Spin on oil filter

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    Do any of you run oil pumps with the built in spin on oil filter?  I am considering one and soliciting comments please.  

    Marc Lipsius


    VW recommends you change the oil every 3000 miles, so why do you have to add a filter over and above (in addition to) the oil screen, which is all they designed into this engine and all it seems to need? You would have to reroute the oil lines, and for more info on this, John Muir discusses this pretty well in his book.

    Paul Mossberg


    Paranoia? What better reason. 

    When I did  the first rebuild on my engine, I added a high volume oil pump with spin on filter. It’s a straight bolt in replacement for the existing oil pump. No extra lines necessary.

    Yes, I know. Literally millions of Beetles were or are on the road, accumulating multi-millions of miles.

    I simply felt better with the added protection of the true oil filter.

    Paranoia. Remember?

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)



    Marc, I’m confused.  It sounds like you think that a filter is not needed but you reference John Muir.  Note that extra oil lines are not needed for the type of filter that I was considering.  Muir is one of the reasons that I was considering a spin on oil filter.  On pg 73 of his book: “The Volkswagen oil system operates without a great volume factor of safety……..One of the suggestions I make is that you put in an oil filter……..”. 

    I run a SP stock 1500 engine with unknown miles on the engine.  I do have one cylinder (#1) with lower compression (rings) than the others.  (This engine is on my short list for rebuild.)  Also, my oil pressure is a little lower than I would like so I am going to replace the pump with a new one.  I thought that I would go ahead and replace the pump (with or without the filter) now and see what it does for pressure.  I am not interested in building a high performance/race engine.  These aftermarket oil pumps, of the sort that Paul uses, with built in spin on filter are not much more expensive than a standard oil pump without the filter. Sounds like it may be worth it???  I’m still listening for forum member opinions.   



    The stock oil screen was meant to stop/catch large pieces of crud from getting into the engine. For filtering that crud out the stock oil screen does the job fine. The newer pumps with the spin on oil filter help in catching any particles that get through the stock screen. That provides better filtration of the oil but the best part is the higher output pump. Remember too that back in the day VW owners were changing their oil about every 1000 miles and the oil screen didn’t have the drain plug. So when you changed your oil the screen HAD to come down. Later models added the oil drian plug making oil changes simpler. I thought of adding one on my Ghia engine but decided that since I’m only running a stock engine, no need for the spin on filter. Its mainly what you want to do.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    Peter C. King



    Did they even have oil filters when this engine was designed in the 30’s? We’re talking about an 80 year old design. It is elegant in its simplicity but you have to assume that VW would design oil filtration differently today. Why wouldn’t you want to filter the oil?

    edward ericson


    Bridget’s also an old case, SP engine with indeterminate mileage.

    For me, for now: 1000-1500 mile oil change, 2000-2500 mile screen clean/change.

    I think you need to change oil in air-cooled engines more often than water-cooled engines because air-cooled engines run a tad hotter, and the metal they’re made of expands and contracts just a bit more than on water-cooled engines. Add to that V-dubbers’ tendency to err on the side of richness in their carb tuning tendencies, and that means that, on cold startup, more unburned gas gets swept into the crank case, contaminating the oil.

    No filter can counter that.

    The filter does, however, give you more oil volume, so there’s more to keep your engine cool on hot days and, crucially, more oil in there to dilute with gas. Thus, you can stretch your changes out a bit–not too much–with the oil filter.

    Can’t hurt to get those fine particulates out of circulation, either. I’ll bet that makes a big difference over, say 60,000 miles. Also, not having to fiddle with those little copper washers under the screen would be its own reward. I say go for it.



    Paul, In reading the fine print it says that the spin on filter type oil pump will not fit with the stock muffler/exhaust system.  Do you run a stock system? 

    Does anybody know of a spin on filter pump that will fit with the stock system? 

    I really wasn’t planning to change my exhaust since it is almost new, but if I did, I would go with the EMPI 3487.  Does anybody know if the spin on pump fits with the 3487 exhaust? 

    Richard Shear


    I have the by pass filter pump 3030-10  on my roadster. I have the EMPI exhaust. 1970 engine.

    Appletreeauto.com has a great selection of oil pump/ filter for the VW




    I have another question about these bolt on adapters.  I have made a number of inquiries with suppliers and it seems that they will not fit with the stock exhaust system.  (Or I have not found the one that does.) 

    Does anybody have info on one that will fit?  I was interested in one like the pic.



    I’m having an additional oil filter and pump added during my VW engine rebuild.  It will increase my total oil capacity, and also keep oil up in the engine for starting.  I think it will help in keeping engine temperatures down, especially in our hot Phoenix summers.



    Royal I am changing my exhaust to the EMPI 3487 before spring driving starts.  My oil pump is a little on the weak side and I will probably replace it at the same time. Your talk of a spin on filter pump has me thinking of going that route. Even if the spin on filter is not needed, I look at it with the ” chicken soup cant hurt theory”. Filtering out fine particles and as MGlondonRoadste said ” It will increase my total oil capacity, and also keep oil up in the engine for starting. ” These things make it seem worthwhile to consider for just a few dollars more. Please let us know if you find out it will work with the empi 3487 and post some photos if you do the swap out. Any member already have this exhaust and the pump/filter combo ?

    Peter C. King



    Back when I was driving aircooled VWs, I regularly put 100k on engines, including 2 vans. I dropped the screen, torqued the heads and adjusted the valves at every 3000 mile oil change. It can be done. I’d put a spin on filter on one today. It’s a belt and suspender thing. It even acts like an oil radiator.    

    Has anyone checked the thermostat? It’s a bellows that sits behind a curved piece of tin at the front of the engine on the right side. It’s worth finding. It controls the flapper that allows air to circulate through the cylinders. I’ve seen a number of VWs that didn’t even have them. 


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