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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Delaer just pulled my oil filter out...it looks like this..is this bad?
Can anyone else share any pics of their filters for comparison?

[updated with better pics!!!!!]

1165443


1165444
 

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That's exactly what it should look like.

If you want to perform an aircraft-engine level of inspection, in good lighting look between each pleat for any trace of metallic debris.

Recip aircraft engines typically use a 'can' type filter, and require a special filter-cutter to open the can and allow inspection of the filter element. Toyota has made it much easier with this cartridge filter design.
 

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I was thinking, maybe take it out of the bag, cut it down one side and open it up. Would make it easier to see. My FJ has a "can" style filter, never bothered to open it up to take a look.
 

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Run a neodymium magnet across the filter, they’re super strong any small pieces of metal will stick to it.
As mentioned probably best to try and cut it in half you could also put it in a bucket hit the sides of the bucket to break the particles loose from the filter and then use the magnet on the residue and the rest of the filter.
You can buy that type magnet at Home Depot, Lowes or online. You may want to use rubber gloves as not to get any metal shards in your hand if there are any.

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Cut a section of the filter medium out, wrap in shop towel/cloth, squeeze in a vice, wipe off excess oil. Hold up in sun light. Only be concerned in abnormal metal contaminates.
 

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Run a neodymium magnet across the filter, they’re super strong any small pieces of metal will stick to it.
As mentioned probably best to try and cut it in half you could also put it in a bucket hit the sides of the bucket to break the particles loose from the filter and then use the magnet on the residue and the rest of the filter.
You can buy that type magnet at Home Depot, Lowes or online. You may want to use rubber gloves as not to get any metal shards in your hand if there are any.
A magnet will only detect ferrous particles, and there aren't many sources of large ferrous wear particles unless there is a catastrophic failure.

Much more important are particles of aluminum from impending connecting rod and main bearing failure, which can only be detected visually.

Transmissions, transfer cases and differentials tend to shed larger ferrous particles, which is why their drain plugs should always have magnets, both to capture them and keep larger particles from circulating through the bearings, and to concentrate them in one location for easy visual detection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was thinking, maybe take it out of the bag, cut it down one side and open it up. Would make it easier to see. My FJ has a "can" style filter, never bothered to open it up to take a look.
Nice one...done..updated the terrible first pic I posted!
 

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A magnet will only detect ferrous particles, and there aren't many sources of large ferrous wear particles unless there is a catastrophic failure.

Much more important are particles of aluminum from impending connecting rod and main bearing failure, which can only be detected visually.

Transmissions, transfer cases and differentials tend to shed larger ferrous particles, which is why their drain plugs should always have magnets, both to capture them and keep larger particles from circulating through the bearings, and to concentrate them in one location for easy visual detection.
Good point, did not think about non ferrous. I would imagine the particles are very hard to see as they may be stuck in the filter. I would tap the filter against the side of a bucket to dislodge them and then strain the residue using a coffee filter.

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Actually, most of that color is just dirty oil. Mine looked just like that. I hated the way those cheapie paper filters distorted under the canister's spring pressure. It didn't give me the warm and fuzzies as to the internal seal under pressure it was so flimsy by the time the oil saturated it and made it softer. So I started using the TRD version of the filter. It's got steel end caps, silicone seals and a nice wire mesh for support. They're more expensive, about $20, but clean engine oil is important and I tend to be picky. They also turn just as brown after miles of use. I also replaced the plastic canister base with one from a Toyota Venza, which is aluminum. The only issue is that you have to swap the internal parts of the canister since the Venza's is shorter.
 

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Good point, did not think about non ferrous. I would imagine the particles are very hard to see as they may be stuck in the filter. I would tap the filter against the side of a bucket to dislodge them and then strain the residue using a coffee filter.
The particles will typically be very small and extremely low mass, and the combination of the viscous oil and the fibrous filter material will keep the particles trapped on the surface of the filter material.

We are talking about microgram-weight particles, not small lead shot ... tapping the filter won't "dislodge" them.

Aircraft. industrial engine, and race car filters have just been examined visually for 80 years as a means of detecting metal particles that can be the first indicator of impending engine failure.
 

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A tad off topic as you are talking about looking at the filter. @FJtest has more experience with Blackstone than I have.

Blackstone Labs

IMG_1069.JPG
 

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The particles will typically be very small and extremely low mass, and the combination of the viscous oil and the fibrous filter material will keep the particles trapped on the surface of the filter material.

We are talking about microgram-weight particles, not small lead shot ... tapping the filter won't "dislodge" them.

Aircraft. industrial engine, and race car filters have just been examined visually for 80 years as a means of detecting metal particles that can are the first indicator of impending failure.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. it would make sense that the aircraft industry standards would be superior to almost anything else. I would love to learn more. Please provide your source as I would like to read the documentation. Thanks in advance.

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As already said, that's about what it should like with your oil having several thousand miles on it. You could start examining the filter for debris at every oil change, but with regular maintenance (including air filter changes) you're probably not going to find much of anything and you'll just drive yourself nuts wondering what every piece of glitter you see is. Engines do wear, so there is always going to be some bits in the oil, and 1 of it's functions is to remove them and store them in the filter for safe removal later. Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all your input..it looks like there isn't any metal in the filter, so it looks good...as noted by @FJtest maybe the particles are really small...I'm just doing this using the naked eye.

This time I did the oil change through the dealer, for just $75 - partly because I wanted the Toyota service history record...at that time I got a TRD oil filter installed as mentioned by @Kaiju ...let's see how that looks in 5k miles time!

Thanks everyone!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm most interested to hear what the dealer had to say when they "presented" the used oil filter to you.
Oh..they just said "here's the old filter"...! I could probably have pressed for more, but I didn't on the spot.
 

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Sorry, I thought there may be one main manual that was the standard, had I known I would have looked it up on my own but thanks for taking the time to post some of them. It appears there are a variety of ways to evaluate an airplanes oil filter and residue some even recommend sending the results off to a lab.

Checking Your Airplane's Oil (avweb.com)

Interesting article, speaks to a bunch of different things to do and look for. Here are some of the mechanics comments in the article.

Since I’ve been changing the oil and cutting open the oil filters for 18 years now, I have a very good sense of what my filter contents usually look like. In my view, any substantial increase in metal above what has been the norm deserves a closer look. The first step in that “closer look” is to rinse the filter medium in a clean jar or can using clean solvent or mineral spirits to wash the particulate matter out of the filter medium. Then slowly pour the now-dirty solvent through a large, clean coffee filter. This will allow you to examine the particles much more clearly. Next, pass a strong magnet underneath the filter paper to determine whether the metallic particles are ferrous (iron or steel) or non-ferrous (aluminum, chrome, tin, bronze, etc.) A small amount of non-ferrous metal is not unusual; ferrous particles are of greater concern.Non-ferrous metal can often be distinguished by appearance or other simple tests. Bronze particles have a characteristic yellow color. Chrome flakes are shiny, sharp and very hard. Tin is dull and melts at a very low temperature. Aluminum will fizz and dissolve when exposed to dilute sodium hydroxide (lye), including common household drain cleaners like Drano and Red Devil brands.
I have never cut open an oil filter and even that has a process, but I am here to learn. For a car filter I am not sure I would go through all of the steps unless I found something that warranted further investigation. If I did a rinse I would run a magnet over the residue as he suggested, and some other articles suggest just to see if anything sticks. The other steps he recommended may work but sound dangerous! Fortunately, it appears the FJ engines are bullet proof if not abused and normal maintenance is done in a timely manner. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.

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