By Stu Brennan in the June 1997 RootesReview
There is an alternative to the oil filter hoses, and to those short filters that you can’t find at Wal-Mart. Ford Motorsports is manufacturing a copy of the old Econoline right angle oil filter adapter, described in an old CAT tech tip. This will mount directly onto the block, and allow the use of standard Ford filters, accessible from below. The Ford part number is M-6880- ASO, and the price is around $50. Ford dealers will be able to get them, but you might save a few bucks at some mail order performance parts outlets. This adapter was the subject of several discussions this winter on the Tiger E-Mail network. Indications are that clearance problems may exist if aftermarket headers or larger racing style oil pans are fitted to your Tiger. On stock Tigers, no problems were reported.
Installation couldn’t be easier. It is NOT necessary to lift or lower the engine to get adequate workspace, as some had theorized. With the old filter and hoses removed, I used a piece of pipe and a hammer to begin to unscrew the old block adapter. This was done from the top, with the pipe against the nipple on the side of the old adapter. It turned off easily once broken loose. My car spent its entire life in the Northeast salt belt, and the seal on the old adapter worked well, leaving the outer portions of the sealing surface on the block rather rusty. An O-ring provides the seal between the new adapter and the block, so the surface has to be clean and smooth. I couldn’t easily get it smooth enough, by my judgment, to assure a good seal, so I wiped an extremely thin coat of RTV onto the surface just before final installation. With the RTV, the microscopic irregularities that the O-ring might not be able to fill would be sealed, and the joint would not weep. If you try this, be extremely careful not to get any RTV into the groove for the O-ring.
A threaded adapter is screwed into the block. (Those of you using the short filter will have to remove your old adapters first.) Don’t screw it in all the way, or there won’t be enough sticking out for the outer part of the right angled adapter to grab. With your filter mounted on the adapter body, you position it for the best clearance, and tighten it all down. As you can see in the photo, it’s angled slightly to the rear, and is well protected from road debris.
But wait, what filter is that? I had done a bit of research in the Fram data book, discovering that the PH3600 (FL400, used on Taurus, etc.) has the same thread, gasket size, and pressure specs as the PH8A, but the diameter is smaller. Planning some experimentation, I had one of each available.
With a PH8A mounted on the adapter, it appeared that the clearances would be somewhere between zero and microscopic. Used Castrol was dripping onto my face, the RTV was curing, and rain clouds were moving in from the west. Patience quickly wore thin. The smaller diameter PH3600 replaced the PH8A, and suddenly there was plenty of clearance. End of experiment. I must report that at least two other people who installed these adapters were able to find a position where the larger filter would fit.
You are probably wondering how “Mr. Stock” can justify racer parts on his car? I regard this change not as a modernization, but as a correction. The Econolines that used the original version of this adapter were on the road in the early ’60’s. If Rootes had properly done their homework and dug a little deeper into the Ford parts catalog, isn’t it possible that they would have selected this adapter over those silly hoses?
A big THANK YOU is sent to Email network members Steve Laifman, Larry Allbritton, Norm Miller, and Mark Meswarb, for their info and support.