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Discussion Starter #1
Two-part question: (1) I was wondering if anyone knew if a lifetime stainless steel oil filter was available for the 3 series? (2) If one was available, would you be interested in using it (assuming price was no more than $100-125)?

I run them in my motocross bikes because of their superior filtration capabilities compared to paper (30 microns absoulte v. 85-90 non-absolute for paper). Yes, they are more expensive but I figure the added protection for the engine is worth it, besides for DIYrs they can be cleaned and reused.
 

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St. Louis BMW Fanatic
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Never heard of a "lifetime" anything for a car...

Oil filters are so cheap...why skimp on something so vital for such a nice car?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not so sure I understand what you mean by "skimp on something so vital." A stainless steel oil filter that removes more particulates from the oil than the stock paper filter is a benefit in my book. Also, filtration paper used in oil filters does not have the flow rate of the surgical guaze used in stainless steel oil filters. This is one of the reasons why you have a bypass valve. When the paper filter is unable to keep up with the oil flow requirements and pressure in the system builds (most often at start-up and when running at high RPMs), the bypass valve opens and unfiltered oil is circulated through your engine.

The flow rate of the stainless steel oil filter is significantly higher than paper. Consequently, its flow rate is able to keep up with the engine's demand and the bypass valve is rarely, if ever, opened. Thus, the oil is completely filtered on each pass, unlike the stock filter.
 
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FWIW, one of thse guys seems to disagree with your numbers:

http://www.ridingarizona.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6909

Quote:
"But it would be unfair to unwary buyer's to let any one belive a stainless filter will out preform a fiber filter!!!!The filter may work and do a satisfactory job!! but a quality fiber filter will run circles around a steel compound filter!! The average blood cell is 35-60 microns the average fiber filter stops 10-15 micron!!!! i have a flow bench if you wish to bring your filter by my shop ill be happy to prove flow for you!!! Reusable filters were designed for racers who put hard time on a engine and fast wear dispersing large partical damage the average rider is mellow in that aspect and most of the wear is in normal micron sized partical's!!!So unless your a racer like the cop guy's then i would suggest staying with a fiber filter."

Don't know if you are talking about the same product, but it sounds like it is.

According to the manufacturer's website, it sounds like this is a racing product. Racing parts often have very different requirements than parts you would use in a street car (or even a street car used for racing). Filtration is often not high priority, simply for the reason that long-term wear is unimportant in consideration of how often racing engines get rebuilt.

The other part of the equation I would be concerned with is how well the average user cleans the filter. It's just like the aftermarket intake filters that people neglect cleaning that get stuffed up, a stuffed-up oil filter would be really bad news. Not only that, but I wouldn't trust many people not to do something bone-headed like wash the filter in their sink and contaminate the local water supply with motor oil. At least with a paper filter, it gets disposed of properly and replaced, removing the above concerns.

As always, I am open to alternate viewpoints backed up by hard technical data. Feel free to show me how the above information is incorrect.

- Rob
 
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