How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter? - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

When my pre-filter gets dirty, I squirt some Dawn degreaser on it and add a little very hot water. I then squeeze the filter while folding it. Squeezing and rinsing, squeezing and rinsing until I get no more suds out of it. Unfold it and rinse some more. Then I fold it and squeeze it as dry as I can get it. Then I wrap it up in an absorbent paper towel and squeeze it some more. Next thing I do is to take it outside on a nice sunny day and hang it in the sunshine....a breeze is good, too..........let sit about an hour.

Then I'll oil it up. I may use 10 wt oil or I may even use marvel mystery oil. Fold and squeeze......get it even throughout the filter. Then I'll wrap in a fresh paper towel and squeeze it for a couple of minutes. Install.

What other methods are YOU using??

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post #2 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 09:56 PM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

I do pretty much the same thing other than hang it in the sun. I leave it air dry in the basement before oiling it.

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post #3 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 10:00 PM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

Pretty much the same, without the oil.

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post #4 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 10:40 PM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

I use Belray foam filter oil from the motocross world. Really tacky and I had 2 bottles left from a prior life. I wash with dish soap and water until it's clean, let dry in the sun and then don a pair of nitrile gloves and dribble some oil on. Then squeeze and add oil until it's saturated to an even color all over. If I squeeze hard I want to see oil being forced out of the foam. Then wrap in a paper towel and squeeze again to get out the excess.

A foam element with no oil is a screen not a filter. The foam is a maze the dirt must pass through changing directions many times. With oil the dirt doesn't make it through. Without oil the dirt does make it to the paper filter clogging it sooner.

On my latest Kohler Command single the bottom of the paper filter didn't appear to be sealing completely so I laid on a thick layer of Belray grease to insure the seal. Another MX trick.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 10:53 PM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

rayjay,

I had forgotten about Belray, Klotz oil came up in a thread awhile back.

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post #6 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
I use Belray foam filter oil from the motocross world. Really tacky and I had 2 bottles left from a prior life. I wash with dish soap and water until it's clean, let dry in the sun and then don a pair of nitrile gloves and dribble some oil on. Then squeeze and add oil until it's saturated to an even color all over. If I squeeze hard I want to see oil being forced out of the foam. Then wrap in a paper towel and squeeze again to get out the excess.

A foam element with no oil is a screen not a filter. The foam is a maze the dirt must pass through changing directions many times. With oil the dirt doesn't make it through. Without oil the dirt does make it to the paper filter clogging it sooner.

On my latest Kohler Command single the bottom of the paper filter didn't appear to be sealing completely so I laid on a thick layer of Belray grease to insure the seal. Another MX trick.
I like it!

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 11:17 PM
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+1 to mowergene's

I do use oil after cleaning and squeeze out excess oil. You don't want that thing dripping with oil.

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post #8 of 28 Old 07-02-2019, 11:22 PM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
I use Belray foam filter oil from the motocross world. Really tacky and I had 2 bottles left from a prior life. I wash with dish soap and water until it's clean, let dry in the sun and then don a pair of nitrile gloves and dribble some oil on. Then squeeze and add oil until it's saturated to an even color all over. If I squeeze hard I want to see oil being forced out of the foam. Then wrap in a paper towel and squeeze again to get out the excess.

A foam element with no oil is a screen not a filter. The foam is a maze the dirt must pass through changing directions many times. With oil the dirt doesn't make it through. Without oil the dirt does make it to the paper filter clogging it sooner.

On my latest Kohler Command single the bottom of the paper filter didn't appear to be sealing completely so I laid on a thick layer of Belray grease to insure the seal. Another MX trick.
Back in my Motocross days I did exactly as you describe. Oil up the foam filter and seal the edges with Belray waterproof grease. The difference is that on dirt bikes there is ONLY the foam filter. No paper filter underneath so it needs to be oiled. You don't want oil getting on a paper air filter element.

On the majority of newer tractors they do not advocate oiling the foam pre-filter. I have two foam pre-filters and swap in a clean one every time I change oil which is at 25 hrs. I just rinse the filter out in plain water until it is clean and then hang it up to dry. I get a lot of debris collected on the foam pre-filter and changing it regularly really seems to keep the main paper filter clean.
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-03-2019, 12:11 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

John Deere owners manual for new machines says NOT to oil the pre-
filter. Likely do so some careless types over doing it and oil gets onto the
paper element next to it.

I have cleaned the foam over filter and sprayed lightly with WD-40.
Allowing that to dry for a time before installing.


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post #10 of 28 Old 07-03-2019, 07:05 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

I clean it but do not oil since the manual specifically says not to.
I figure somewhere, someone has a reason not to oil it so I don't.
Just keep it clean.
I blow it out occasionally and wash when dirty. I also always keep a spare ready to go.
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-03-2019, 07:51 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

Properly done with the Belray thick sticky oil no oil will get on the paper filter. This alone would make the cost of the Belray stuff bearable. I just changed the foam on one of my units that had 50 hours in some dusty conditions. I didn't take a pic sadly. Next time I will. The foam was absolutely thick with OILY dirt. This oily dirt becomes part of the filter. The paper filter looked almost new.

If I had my druthers I would have a filter that looked like a modern MX filter. 2 or 3 layers of foam with the outer having the largest cells and the inner having the finest cells. Overall about 1.5" to 2" thick. When serviced with a foam filter oil and grease at the sealing ring no dirt gets through. They are a pitn to clean but nothing else does the job so well.

BTW, this is 2019 not 1969. The suits of today have no problem recommending service proceedures that sell more parts and the heck with what is best for the equipment.
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-03-2019, 07:53 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

Another thing about cleaning and oiling foam filters. Squeeze it. Never ever wring it or you will tear the fibers which makes it less effective. This won't matter if you are not oiling it.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-03-2019, 08:28 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

Now that I think about it, JD is missing sales of JD branded foam filter oil. You can bet that if they do start offering it they will recommend it's use on all their machines even if the owners manual says no oil.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-04-2019, 09:20 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

My manual says to clean with soap and water, dry, add 1 oz of clean engine oil and squeeze excess out. I keep a spare so I dont have to wait for it to dry. Been doing this since 94, never had a problem.
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-04-2019, 10:13 AM
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Re: How do you treat your air cleaner's pre-filter?

My JD X500, with the Kowasaki twin uses a thin foam pre-filter. I just wash and dry as others have already stated and reinstall, no oil. My air filter is just blown clean with compressed air. Both are still near new condition at 185 hours. I don't have much dust other than the occasional mower deck blow back during turns or on windy days. But, fall leaf cleaning with the Cyclone Rake and June Poplar fuzz requires frequent checking and cleaning of all intake and cooling functions, including my transmission fan blades.

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