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Vintage Full Flow
True Full Flow Oil Filtration Conversions for Our Vintage Engines
Our Vintage Full Flow equipped '51 Hudson Hornet coupe taking a few laps on the 2-1/2 mile road course at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Mason County, Washington.
U.S. Patent 8,807,111
Welcome to the official website for the Vintage Full Flow System (U.S. Patent # 8,807,111).
Chances are that if you are visiting this site, you have probably heard someone ask "why hasn't someone invented a way to convert our old engines to full-flow oil filtration?"
It has been my experience since the early days of pursuing this idea that not many people have a clear understanding of what the term, "full-flow oil filtration" really means as it pertains to the lubrication systems in automotive engines. It is often mis-characterized as relating only to the type of filter element used. Aside from the requirement that one must use the correct element for the application, there is no connection between the element itself and the type of system (bypass or full-flow) being served by the filter. Simply replacing a bypass element with a full flow element doesn't convert the system to full flow filtration.
There has never been any question that the full-flow type of filtration system is a superior method of reducing wear and improving the life-span of any engine, but that type wasn't a part of early designs. By-pass type oil filters were usually available as an option or aftermarket add-on and some makes may have offered them as standard equipment, but their effectiveness has always been known to be minimal. Additionally, and just as important, is the fact that with full-flow filtration, one may now correctly utilize modern detergent oils without the downside of recirculating contaminants held in suspension by those oils, formulated to do exactly that.
Contemporary oils have superior qualities for lubricity, detergency, corrosion prevention and thermal stability, to name a few, making them apparent obvious choices for use in our old engines. Unfortunately, they are also formulated to maintain contaminants in suspension so that they may be conveyed to, and removed by, a filter before being introduced into the engine's lubrication system. Virtually every modern engine incorporates a full-flow filter into its lubrication system design. Such was not true in most engines of the early Fifties and prior. The filter cartridges designed and made to handle high flows with adequate filtration levels just did not yet exist. In time, the common use of full flow systems made such filter elements readily available but they weren't of use on engines not designed for them.
The "Heart" of the Vintage Full Flow (VFF) system is an adapter that alters the flow path of oil in certain vintage engines, separating the net flow (that which is necessary to maintain designed pressure) from the gross output of the pump. This allows the net flow to be directed through an intervening full-flow filter element before being introduced into the main oil gallery, thus assuring that every drop of oil that lubricates the engine has first passed through a filter.
Net-from-gross flow separation is accomplished by an integral pressure regulator in the VFF adapter. It regulates pressure by regulating the volume of oil that leaves the pump, then passing only that flow through the filter. The surplus volume is internally routed to the inlet side of the pump.....just as it occurs in more modern engines that were designed that way to begin with.
Amongst the several design criteria that I imposed upon myself were that the components, aside from the adapter itself, must be commonly available and that the installation procedure must be within the abilities of those with ordinary skill in the field of automotive repair.
To date, prototype versions have been developed and created for most Chrysler Products, in-line, L-head, six and eight cylinder engines using the Gerotor or rotor type pump, dating back to the mid thirties, and all Hudson pressure lubricated six cylinder engines, including the Jet. Prototypes of each are currently undergoing field testing to gather information on reliability, performance and longevity. At the time of this writing, there have been approximately 7000 miles driven in the test vehicles with no negative issues of any kind.
With the confidence gained from successful testing, I have moved on to development of iron castings and the tooling and fixtures necessary to produce the adapters in quantity for the Big Hudsons and the various Chrysler Product applications.
Obvious benefits of this system are stated above, but not so obvious are cost savings at oil change time due to extended oil change intervals, lowered consumption of petroleum products and lower impact on our environment by a reduced volume of waste oil generated. The increased life span of those expensive-to-rebuild vintage engines is certainly a positive factor as well.
Some "Wills" and "Won'ts"
Although the Vintage Full Flow Conversion may well save the world, it won't do some things. I'll try to cover some "Wills" and "Won'ts" here.
Vintage Full Flow Will:
Vintage Full Flow Won't:
On certain engines, the VFF conversion is 100% reversible, allowing the user to return the engine to its original configuration by simply removing all VFF related components. In other cases, it is reversible by removal of VFF components and installing appropriate plugs into related passages.
* If oil pressure issues are a result of any engine condition, VFF will have no positive effect.
**Caution should be exercised in any engine that has accumulated sludge, crud or any other contaminant that may be released by the application of detergent oils. Such release may plug the oil pump inlet screen, starving the engine of critical lubrication.