The oil fil­ter’s be­ing a tad awk­ward

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: - TONY REPLIES

QAc­cord­ing to the ser­vice man­ual my 1991 BMC en­gine re­quires an oil change every 150 hours, but it doesn’t mention the oil fil­ter. I have a spin-on fil­ter con­ver­sion but it is too long to un­screw from the fil­ter head and chang­ing it makes a hor­ri­ble mess: is it nec­es­sary to change the fil­ter at the same time or would once a year be okay? ALAN CLARKE, via email

AThe fil­ter has a by­pass valve in it, so if it blocks this opens (you have no way of know­ing if this hap­pens) and un­fil­tered oil is di­rected to the en­gine with the at­ten­dant risk of ex­cess wear. So (quite apart from lay­ing my­self open to lit­i­ga­tion by go­ing against the man­u­fac­turer’s rec­om­men­da­tions) I can­not ad­vise re­duc­ing the fil­ter change in­ter­vals.

Ask who­ever supplied the fil­ter con­ver­sion for the cor­rect fil­ter num­ber. Yours may have been changed at some time for a longer one.

Is the fil­ter head still se­cured on the block by the orig­i­nal two bolts? If so, get some fil­ter head to block gas­kets, and in­stead of tak­ing the fil­ter off the head, undo these two bolts. Then lift the whole as­sem­bly away to some­where that you can undo the cen­tre bolt over a tray or bowl. Scrape the re­mains of the old gas­ket from the faces be­fore fit­ting a new one.

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