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Joined: Feb 2022
Posts: 33
So I'm getting my 261 put back together and crossing my "t's" and dotting my "I's".  I've got a couple of questions I hope someone has insight on.

1) I have a canister style oil filter (see attached picture).  While the oil in the engine was clean (think it was newly changed), the inside of the canister was black sludge, so am wanting to remove it and do a thorough cleaning.  Problem is, I can't seem to unscrew the hoses.  You can see from the picts that there is like a 3 or 4 stack of adapters but nothing has a spinning head, so when I try to wrench on a nut, the hose twists to the point of extreme resistance so I back off.   This is a previous retro-mod so not sure if this is the original canister from the 1950 3100 truck or from the 1960 261 engine... hopefully someone can look and tell me.

2) I'm inclined to move towards the screw-on filter adapter but would rather not cut the rubber hoses if I don't have to, is there a trick I'm missing as to how these canisters were suppose to be able to be removed ?

3) The dark sludge in the canister is disturbing, suggesting to me that the filtering may not be working as it should.  But I can't figure out how the filter/canister is suppose to work.  The bottom of the canister is the feed-in port, and goes up via a long (what seems to be solid) rod to the top where the lid screws on to the top of the filter.  I would have thought that this rod would have had small holes and the oil would seep out through them, then the filter, and then back to the engine via the side mounted (half-way up) feed-out port.  Being that the rod seems solid, I frankly can see how the oil even flows through this thing (or the holes are so tiny I just can't see them, but that seems inconsistent with solid full-flow oiling).  Is this normal or has someone used an in-correct filter/canister for this engine ?

4) Also, this engine does not have the "plug" for by-pass or full-flow as shown in the pictures on this site and others.  On my engine, this location is threaded.  Pushing a rod into the hole it does go about 5/8" but looks nothing like this in what I've seen online, so wondering if this was a Chevy upgrade or what.

5) Lastly the O.D. of the to/from rubber hoses is 7/16", unsure of the I.D. since I haven't yet been able to get the canister disconnected; however I'd think the I.D. would be less than 3/8" as it looks like a substantial hose... guessing a 1/4" but really just a guess.  This is leading me to think that this filter/canister was really from the old 1950 truck and reused, but was for a 216 or 235 with a by-pass system.  Can one tell from the pictures ?   The retro-mods otherwise on this truck have been top notch, so would seem odd that the oiling would have been a short-cut, but then again I don't know the full history so a later owner could have made the mod for some reason.

Sorry for the number of questions, but they are all related to the oiling.  I'm ready to get the engine fired up after some head work, etc. and this is my last item to pull together to make it happen.  Suggestions and observation greatly appreciated.

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Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,256
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
It looks to me like the fittings screwed into the block would swivel (turn the second hex from the tee and hold the hose with a backup wrench.)
There should be a restrictor in the tee that reduces the flow to the filter. or in the swivel fitting that's screwed into the tee.
There will be some holes in the central riser of the cannister. You probably just can't see them. [on edit] I can actually see one of the holes in your picture.

Last edited by klhansen; Fri Apr 15 2022 02:07 AM.

Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,315
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
The fittings attached to the block will swivel, allowing you to remove the flex hoses. Only the later model 261's have the full flow/bypass option, so if yours does not have the dowel pin in the block that is pushed in for full flow filtration, a bypass filter will be the only choice you have. Are you sure the engine is a 1960? It appears to be an earlier one, but your photos don't show enough detail of the side of the block. If you choose to modify for a spin-on filter, it is absolutely essential to install a restrictor in the supply line to the filter with a 1/16" hole in it. That prevents oil from being recycled straight back into the oil pan and starving the engine for lubrication. The canister filter has the restrictor built into the center standpipe in the housing.

"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!"
Abraham Lincoln

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,736
Thanks for questions and responses. I am learning.


1966 Chevrolet K-10
Ghost: formerly Flappy Fenders
In the Stovebolt Gallery []
More pictures on Photobucket []

1962 Chevrolet C10
1962 Suburban
Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 1,143
In my opinion, the only real benefit of converting to a spin-on oil filter from the canister type is the ease of changing it.

In practice, the canister style filter with the replaceable element filters about 87% of the oil. The spin-n type filters about 92% of the oil.

As long as your canister filter is hooked up properly and the lines are clear, the two filters are nearly equivalent in efficiency.

The sludge in the bottom of your canister is no different from the sludge in the bottom of your oil pan. Wipe it out when changing the element.

Last edited by Otto Skorzeny; Fri Apr 15 2022 01:16 PM.

1939 Packard Standard Eight Coupe (The Phantom)
1950 Chevrolet 3100 (Ol' Roy)
1956 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (The Bismarck)
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado (The Purple Knif)
1966 Ford Mustang (Little Red)
1964 Ford Galaxie 500 coupe
1979 Ford F-100
1976 Ford F-150 (Big Red)
1995 Ford F-150 (Newt)
Joined: Feb 2022
Posts: 33
Thanks for the comments. Regarding the engine, here are pictures I used to decode the vintage, etc.

My decoding resulted in the following:

- Head for 261 block (1956-1962 vintage)
- Casting #: 3769717 ('58 to '62, 261 block)
- CON4 F90 (June 9, 1960 manufacturing date)
- Serial #: F06I5LB (Flint site, June 1960, C60/L60/S60 series truck)

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IMG_3465.JPG (165.62 KB, 89 downloads)

Joined: Feb 2022
Posts: 33
Regarding the by-pass plug... I'm still at a loss here. All 261s were suppose to be full-flow from my research, but I don't (seem) to have the plug... or perhaps its degraded. Picts below if anyone can confirm from the pictures if its correct or something goofy is going on.

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IMG_3471.JPG (114.37 KB, 89 downloads)
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IMG_3468.JPG (431.35 KB, 91 downloads)

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,680
Bubba - Curmudgeon
1954-1956 261 USA Chevrolet truck engines had by-pass oil filters/filtration.

1957-1962/63 261 Chevrolet truck had the ability to have full-flow internal oil circulation (and corresponding filter-type) - I dimly recall.

My weak memory seems to recall that in 57-63/63 there were "pins"/"plugs" to select by-pass oiling vs full-flow oiling. (my 1960 261 has this)

Would someone please confirm/correct this - links to documentation would be nice. Thanks.

Tim []
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. []
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,315
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
OK- - - -by enlarging one of the posted pics, I see what has happened. The full flow/bypass pin is there, directly above the front oil line. Someone had drilled and tapped it, probably in an attempt to remove it, or maybe to thread a bolt into it to assist in driving it into the "full flow filter" position. That dowel is not normally threaded. Since the block has 1/2" NPT ports, it's definitely a late model. Either leave it set up "as is" with the bypass filter, or be extremely careful when trying to make the pin move. It's not impossible to crack the block with some energetic hammering. I'd suggeswt pulling the dowel, threading the hole, and installing a screw-in block off plug if you want to convert to full flow filtering.

"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!"
Abraham Lincoln

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,685
Listen to Hotrod, precisely why I left mine in the bypass mode as delivered. Looked for over two years to find a decent engine, wasnt going to risk it by moving the pin in that had thousands of heat cycles and 60 years of life behind it. Just to crack a good block.

Last edited by sstock; Fri Apr 15 2022 09:56 PM.

1953 Chevrolet 3100
261 cu inch, sm420, 3.55 rear, torque tube still,omaha orange, still 6 volt, RPO green glass, side carrier spare, all done
1964 GMC 1000
305 Big Block V6, sm420, the next cab off restoration
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