I bought a 1979 Nissan 280ZX that had an after-market Ray-Jay turbocharger on it. The waste gate was set at 14 pounds of boost, and the car had water injection to keep it from blowing itself up at those boost levels. I dialed the pressure down to 9psi and took the water injection off. I put 200,000 very trouble-free miles on the car. I gave it a tune-up one Saturday. On a whim, I decided to replace the fuel filter and PCV valve.
The Fram PCV valve I installed was defective. It would not shut off the flow when the flow was reversed. Unfortunately, when a turbocharger starts to build boost, this is exactly what happens. So the turbocharger spun up, pressurizing the intake manifold, which the PCV valve let go down into the crankcase. That pressurized the entire crankcase, which built up so much pressure that the oil drain for the turbocharger was no longer a drain. It was a spigot spraying oil into my intake manifold, which broke three pistons in the six-cylinder engine.
I’ve heard similar stories about people needing a new engine in their cars after changing the oil and using an oil filter that turns out to be faulty. A friend of mine put a new oil filter on his motorcycle and crashed when the filter split wide open and dumped oil in front of his rear tire. He went down on a curved section of a two-lane highway. He almost got run over by a big rig coming the opposite direction.
There are several Websites that investigate oil filters and report on the construction details of the various products available. There are a few surprises out there, but don't take my word for it. You can look at this site to read what users have to say about different oil filters. The site provides cutaway pictures of different oil filters on the market. You’ll get a good idea which ones are quality and which ones could leave you stranded with a damaged engine.
This entry was submitted by Kelly Williams and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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