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Added a coolant filter

Old 01-20-2018, 04:57 PM
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Default Added a coolant filter

I did a pretty in-depth tear apart/repair of the cooling system in the ZJ I bought 20 years old. Didn't know much about its history and it had developed a leak, so I figured it was a good time to make sure everything was in good shape (it wasn't.)

I decided to experiment with putting a coolant filter in. I know some larger diesel engines use them, and some commercial trucks. Probably minimal benefit for us, but I was curious. I installed this inline with the heater return hose. Stock heater hoses will work fine, but I replaced mine.

Parts:
The filter can't handle anything close to the flow rate you want, so I drilled a 3/16" bypass hole to allow higher flow rates and continued flow if the filter ever becomes completely blocked. I might expand that if I'm not happy with the heater performance.

Here are some pictures of the filter project, and a couple others from the other work done. The filter is just hanging there for now - I'm making a mount that will attach just behind the hood.
















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Old 01-23-2018, 02:39 PM
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Looks pretty cool but I am curious how it will be in near 100 degree heat in the summer and if there is still enough flow.
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:43 PM
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I don't get this whole thing about coolant filters. If you maintain your cooling system properly and flush it properly you should never have any debris to worry about.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rgr4475 View Post
Looks pretty cool but I am curious how it will be in near 100 degree heat in the summer and if there is still enough flow.
It should actually increase cooling of the engine. On the 4.0, coolant is always flowing through the heater lines and core, the thermostat only controls flow through the radiator. Additional restriction in the heater loop should increase flow through the radiator, at the expense of some cabin heating capability.
I think I made the bypass hole big enough that the drop in cabin heating shouldn't be very noticeable, but I can always drill it out a bit more if need be!
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Old 01-23-2018, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by firebane View Post
I don't get this whole thing about coolant filters. If you maintain your cooling system properly and flush it properly you should never have any debris to worry about.
Well, I wouldn't say they offer a whole lot of benefit. I did mine out of curiosity rather than a perceived necessity.

Still, I wouldn't say they are useless. I'd be surprised if they didn't extend water pump life, improve coolant performance during its recommended life, and help keep heat transfer levels high. Plus, if for some reason you do have... whatever entering your cooling system, they'll hopefully get rid of it.

I'm open to having my mind changed though! I'll also update whenever I decide to change the filter and cut the old one open.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by firebane View Post
I don't get this whole thing about coolant filters. If you maintain your cooling system properly and flush it properly you should never have any debris to worry about.
There is more science to it than just filtration. This has now become a standard on big rig motors. There are filters with time release anti-corrosion additives and even some with sacrificial anodes like marine engines have built into the filter. It's actually not a bad idea at all because when serviced regularly you will get absolutely ZERO corrosion and ZERO calcium deposits in your system, and I mean zero.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
Well, I wouldn't say they offer a whole lot of benefit. I did mine out of curiosity rather than a perceived necessity.

Still, I wouldn't say they are useless. I'd be surprised if they didn't extend water pump life, improve coolant performance during its recommended life, and help keep heat transfer levels high. Plus, if for some reason you do have... whatever entering your cooling system, they'll hopefully get rid of it.

I'm open to having my mind changed though! I'll also update whenever I decide to change the filter and cut the old one open.
With the right filter choices you just did one of the best things you could have done to your engine man. Seriously...

https://www.donaldson.com/en-us/engi...ducts/coolant/
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugout4x4 View Post
With the right filter choices you just did one of the best things you could have done to your engine man. Seriously...

https://www.donaldson.com/en-us/engi...ducts/coolant/
That's interesting. I specifically avoided a filter with any additives since I wanted to do a little more research on what they contain. Might go with one of those for the next one though, especially if I ever do a more thorough removal of existing deposits of the block!
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
That's interesting. I specifically avoided a filter with any additives since I wanted to do a little more research on what they contain. Might go with one of those for the next one though, especially if I ever do a more thorough removal of existing deposits of the block!
Absolutely... Like I say they are time release, and the sacrificial anode works just like they do in marine applications. And because of the engine and cooling system costs in the heavy truck industry this has become a standard with most manufacturers.

It works...
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
It should actually increase cooling of the engine. On the 4.0, coolant is always flowing through the heater lines and core, the thermostat only controls flow through the radiator. Additional restriction in the heater loop should increase flow through the radiator, at the expense of some cabin heating capability.
I think I made the bypass hole big enough that the drop in cabin heating shouldn't be very noticeable, but I can always drill it out a bit more if need be!
i think you are right on that one. do you think the cooling will be significantly better if the heater core flow is cut off?
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jon-d View Post
i think you are right on that one. do you think the cooling will be significantly better if the heater core flow is cut off?
If you mean cut off completely, I'd worry about that since I don't think you'd get much circulation through the block until the thermostat opened up, and its opening would be delayed anyway by that lack of circulation. There is usually some small initial flow through a thermostat, but I *think* it would be insignificant in this scenario.

In regard to being partially cut off... On one hand you have a smaller coolant volume available to help dampen the effect of short-term high heat generation. Plus, I'd guess an increase in work required to spin the water pump with the increased flow restriction.
On the other hand you have faster coolant flow through the radiator. This seems to be a controversial topic, but as I understand it, greater flow on the scales we are concerned with means greater cooling rate. The OEM pump doesn't seem to be very good at overcoming flow restriction though, and I'd guess this increase in flow through the radiator via restricting the heater would be more significant with a pump that could build higher pressures.

I also wouldn't expect any if this to come into play in any way that matters until after the thermostat has fully opened. If that is the case though, and just throwing out numbers, a 3-5% increase in cooling capacity wouldn't surprise me.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
If you mean cut off completely, I'd worry about that since I don't think you'd get much circulation through the block until the thermostat opened up, and its opening would be delayed anyway by that lack of circulation. There is usually some small initial flow through a thermostat, but I *think* it would be insignificant in this scenario.

In regard to being partially cut off... On one hand you have a smaller coolant volume available to help dampen the effect of short-term high heat generation. Plus, I'd guess an increase in work required to spin the water pump with the increased flow restriction.
On the other hand you have faster coolant flow through the radiator. This seems to be a controversial topic, but as I understand it, greater flow on the scales we are concerned with means greater cooling rate. The OEM pump doesn't seem to be very good at overcoming flow restriction though, and I'd guess this increase in flow through the radiator via restricting the heater would be more significant with a pump that could build higher pressures.

I also wouldn't expect any if this to come into play in any way that matters until after the thermostat has fully opened. If that is the case though, and just throwing out numbers, a 3-5% increase in cooling capacity wouldn't surprise me.
Faster flow doesn't always equate to better cooling. Sometimes it can flow so fast it isn't in the radiator long enough to cool as it should. If I were doing this myself, I would look at the filter adapter housing to see if the passages could be drilled bigger for more flow through the heater core and filter. The filter will handle an increased flow with no problem until it starts to get plugged up. At which point it would probable be due for a change and service anyways.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugout4x4 View Post
Faster flow doesn't always equate to better cooling. Sometimes it can flow so fast it isn't in the radiator long enough to cool as it should. If I were doing this myself, I would look at the filter adapter housing to see if the passages could be drilled bigger for more flow through the heater core and filter. The filter will handle an increased flow with no problem until it starts to get plugged up. At which point it would probable be due for a change and service anyways.
Great, now I'm gonna have to get a flow meter and a couple temperature gauges haha. Anyone have ideas for these that would be able to be fitted close to the radiator inlet and outlet? I'll do some testing!
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatsuwr View Post
Great, now I'm gonna have to get a flow meter and a couple temperature gauges haha. Anyone have ideas for these that would be able to be fitted close to the radiator inlet and outlet? I'll do some testing!
Lol... I don't think you have to go to all that trouble unless you absolutely have to prove a theory. I would just see if if can be drilled out to 3/8 ths to a 1/2 inch without destroying the housing and go with that.

1/2 inch is enough to let a 1000 fpm of air or a few hundred gallons of liquid per minute to flow without much restriction so it should be plenty.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:10 PM
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I'm just curious, and enjoy these project when I have the time for them.

As far as the housing though, 1/2" would definitely not compromise the housing, and that + the filter flow would probably just just barely under original flow rates.
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