Mark Simpson

Spin-On Oil Filter Conversion

Mark Simpson
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Duration:   8  mins

Oil filter conversion is one component of our classic cars to which we seldom give much thought. In fact, most cars even into the 1930s didn’t have oil filters, but rather a large oil plug on the oil pan that was used so that debris in the bottom of the pan could be fished out with a wire. As the automobile evolved, the need to keep the oil as clean as possible to ensure against engine failure became apparent. The earliest oil filters were often simply screens but soon the canister-style filter was developed with replaceable paper filters. The benefits of these canister oil filters became so popular that many early cars were converted to include some level of filtration. The drawbacks to cartridge-style oil filters were their multi-part design made them prone to dripping or leaking, they could be difficult to change and currently hard to find replacement filters for some models.

By the 1960s most auto manufacturers had converted to current styled “spin-on” oil filters, their one-piece design made them virtually drip free and took a fraction of the time to change. Again the popularity of the spin-on oil filter fueled the aftermarket to create conversion kits to update older engines to modern oil filters. Although, as time went by the availability of these kits diminished, leaving many enthusiasts to search out new old stock (NOS) kits or salvage them from junkyard cars.

Thankfully there is renewed interest in vintage engines and modern manufacturing equipment has made it possible to bring short run economical parts to the market. We were anxious to convert our 1957 project car to a spin-on oil filter, but the fine folks at Stanke Motorsports had the right parts to get the job done. Follow along as Mark Simpson takes us step by step through the oil filter conversion process of removing the original filter system and upgrades it with a new spin-on filter. This new upgrade is certain to stop the drips, make oil changes easier and ensure we can pick up a filter at the local auto parts store. As an added bonus, should we ever decide to return to the stock filter we only need to turn a few bolts to make it happen.

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