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April 22, 2003
3.5 hours

Air Management

Yes, a complete entry dedicated to something silly like refinishing the air filter. There's nothing new here that you haven't seen before, but I thought you'd like something to read...

I stripped and powdercoated the air cleaner for the Buick this evening, which was a big project simply because it was so hard to clean. The blasting was easy, but there was also 60 years of oil and crud inside that had to be removed before I could do anything else. So after blasting the exterior, I spent about an hour wiping out the insides with some acetone to get the oily residue out. Then I baked the parts for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees to get the oil out of the cracks and crevices. Once it was cool, I wiped it down again with more acetone.

Water Pump Neck Done.jpg (81361 bytes)
Blasted air cleaner looks pretty good. The metal turned slightly gold
from cooking in the oven.

Then I trimmed the rubber gasket material around the inlet tube so it was nice and tight to the body of the housing. It swelled up slightly from being cooked, so I decided to cure the powder at a slightly lower temperature than normal, but for a longer duration to keep it from swelling up more. It worked out well.

Filter Internals.jpg (69815 bytes)
Finished air filter housing. Looks good, no?

I'm also trying to determine a way of using a paper filter element inside the original housing so I can get rid of the oil bath. I realized last summer that the oil bath filter has a problem--whenever the engine hiccups, it blows oil all over the engine compartment. I figure that a paper element will also flow better and still filter more dirt.

Air Filter Top 1.jpg (79751 bytes)
I'm thinking a cylindrical air filter will fit in that center area.

Right now, I'm thinking about finding a small conical filter that will fit in the central area of the filter, then milling some holes in the sides of that central cylinder for more airflow. I can't see any other way because of how the housing is designed. Air flows in through the central cylinder, through the bottom of the filter, then up the outside to the carburetors. The only place a filter will work is in that central cylinder. I'll take it to the auto parts store and see if I can find a conical or cylindrical filter that will fit in there. Stay tuned.

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Thanks, Fidget!