First oil change (filter upgrade)

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Engine Upgrades' started by wash, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. wash

    wash Active Member

    I was planning to change my oil at around 500-800 miles to get rid of the break in oil and get a fresh filter in there but life interfered and I changed at about 1,300.

    I wanted to see the underside of my car and not struggle so I went to a self serve garage called Pit Row I think. They had an "oil change special", where you could get 1/2 hour of lift time for less than the hourly rate. The owner was very nice, showed me how to operate the lift and he stuck around because he was curious about the Fiesta ST. He even hooked up a sophisticated OBD scanner to see if there were any options that could be set in the ECU but the engine is too new and the scanner did not have support for it.

    Any way, I brought my own oil and filters. The first filter was the Purolator equivalent of the FL910s or whatever we have stock. The second was a Purolator Pure1 equivalent of an FL400s I think. Its a longer filter with a premium element but the bypass pressure, threads and ADBV are essentially equivalent. That means it will hold more junk before it bypasses, there will be less pressure differential across the element and finally it will hold slightly more oil than the little one.

    Once I got my car on the lift I used the shop's oil collector to catch every last drop of oil, a lift is really the right way to change oil. The filter was a pain to remove. Ford torqued mine on very tightly.

    There isn't much space around the filter, there is a water/oil heat exchanger that takes up space and the coolant lines get in the way too. I tried one of the filter wrenches that fits the profile of the oil filter can but the can was thin and the flats would deform and skip before enough torque was generated. I had to use a chain style filter wrench to get it loosened and that really chewed up the filter exterior. I wanted to cut the filter but the shop does not have a filter cutter. One impression I got was that after 1,300, the oil was quite black. That means either a lot of contaminants suspended in the oil or a break in lube that blackens easily.

    Any way getting the stock filter out was an ordeal, there wasn't an oil filter sized path to remove it with and the heat exchanger plumbing was the main problem. I reduced the issue a little by rotating one of the spring clips on a hose but its still a pain.

    Despite the difficulty of getting a filter out and in, it looked like the longer filter might have enough clearance and since its mounted horizontally it is aimed at the radiator fan instead of the ground so a long filter is "safe". After fishing it in to place the longer filter cleared everything and threaded on to the engine with no problems.

    A larger filter is not necessary on this engine, it is just extra insurance and for people who like to try things, it can be used for two and maybe more oil changes before it clogs. I wouldn't normally consider that but with the pain in the butt of removing the filter, that could be convenient (especially if you don't have a lift).

    Any way, my oil change was a success, you just need a 13mm wrench for the drain plug, possibly a chain style oil filter wrench and there is a filter upgrade available.
    brian likes this.
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  3. wash

    wash Active Member

    A little oil filter background:

    The OEM spec filter is the Motorcraft fl910s. It is made by Purolator as can be seen from the identical parts and stampings. It has a silicone anti-drain back valve (adbv) which is superior to the nitrile used in cheaper filters and has the advantage of keeping oil in the filter and oil lines so you won't get a ~dry start after it has been sitting for a few days.

    The Purolator classic line is similar but uses the inferior nitrile adbv. I believe they are rated at 97.5% efficiency filtering particles over 20um.

    The Purolator Pure 1 uses a better filter media that is 99.9% efficient at filtering particles over 20um and silicone adbv.

    The Purolator Synthetic uses synthetic filter media that is 99% efficient at filtering particles over 25um and silicone adbv.

    The efficiency rating of the fl910s is hard to say. One goofy number is 50% at 35um but that's so far below the others I dismiss it. That was at 18.5 GPM flow which seems very high.

    The Motorcraft fl400s is the longer parent filter that the shorty fl910s was based on. I have read from various sources that it was tested at 94% efficiency at 20um.

    Here is a link to a picture comparison between the fl910s and fl400s filter elements:

    Here is a link to a picture comparison of the Purolator Pure 1 20195 and synthetic 20195 filters:

    Bottom line, the fl400s has about 4/3 the filter media of an fl910s so the pressure drop across the media should be the reciprocal: 3/4 the pressure drop and lower is good.

    Evidently the fl400s was recently shortened and the Purolator 20195 is the size of the old fl400s so there might be even more media in there.

    The more efficient filter medias do create a higher pressure across the media because the pores are smaller which isn't the right way to go but having more media to offset that should work.

    I decided the Pure 1 20195 was the way to go. Quality construction, maximum filter element area and very efficient at filtering small impurities. The synthetic is an interesting one. Its more expensive but the pressure across the media might be lower so I'm going to research for next time.
  4. brian

    brian Member

    Thanks for posting this. I've run larger oil filters for years on my neon. I'll do the same on the FiST, along with a good magnetic drain plug and strong neodymium magnets on the filter itself.
  5. rweidman

    rweidman New Member

    I have used K&N filters for a while and though more expensive, they are a very good quality filter and I love that nut welded on the bottom for removal and installation. No filter wrenches and you can torque the filter if you want.
    RaNDoM likes this.

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