Learn more about John Deere filters than you ever wanted to know!

posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016 in Blog

Basics of Filtration:

Filters function to remove dust, dans, miosture, soot and pollen that gets sucked into your machine. Filters retain large particles that can cause sudden machine failure. They can also work to reduce smaller particles that cause wear and tear on the engine or hydraulic components and protect against water. The most common types of filters found on your equipment include engine or lube, primary and secondary engine air, primary and secondary fuel, hydraulic, transmission and hydrostatic, and fresh and recirculation cab air. Filters are most commonly made from paper, cellulose media, synthetic media, cellulose/synthetic composite media and synthetic/synthetic composite media. Geometry is an important feature of filters and factors in fiber diameter, pore size, thickness and porosity.

Filter Properties: 

Pressure drop: the resistance between the raw and clean side of a filter

Separation efficiency: the percentage of particles that are being separated

Dust capacity: the mass of solid particulate which is accumulated on the filter until the final restriction is reached

Particle separation influences pressure drop because at the beginning, there are only a few particles attached to the fibers. This means that the pressure drop is low. Over time, there are more and more particles separated and retained. The number of free pores is reduced so pressure drop increases.

John Deere filters are required to pass a beta ratio test. This test measures the filter's efficiency and determines the filter's overall performance better than the micron rating on its own. Beta ratio is the ratio between the upstream and downstream count of particles of a given size flowing through a full assembled filter.

A micron rating is assigned to the filter's media but does NOT indicate filter performance. It indicates a filter's ability to remove contaminants by particle size. It does not give a true picture of filter efficiency or contaminant holding capacity.

 Lube Filtration:

Filtration challenges:

1. Remove wear causing, microscopic contamination. This increases efficiency.

2. Last for extended service intervals by removing sludge/soot. This increases capacity.

3. Be able to flow adequate amounts of oil. This increases cold flow ability, due to cold starts and soot/sludge and oxidation.

There are both organic and inorganic contaminants, and your organic sludge ratio increases as you exceed your standard service interval and don't change out your filters. Sludge is the largest amount of contamination. It causes wear, it plugs filters and bypass valves. Sludge is the reason you must regularly change your filters.

Fuel Filtration:

Fuel contamination causes corrosion, system erosion, clogged systems, loss of performance, application failure and increased operational cost and down time. Contamination enters the fuel supply from dirty fuel tanks, lines and hoses. Open fuel tanks, overnight condensation of water, damaged fuel pumps and fuel system vents are also sources of contamination. Contaminants include physical particulate, such as dirt or wear particles, water, microbiological (bacteria, yeasts, mold) and surfactants and other additives. Soil bacteria grow in water and fuel interface as slime mats. Bacteria die and slime plugs filters. Non-winterized fuel with high cloud or pour point and cold weather and no fuel heater causes contamination. Dissolved fuel tank deposits and rust also contaminate.

Water is an engine's worst enemy. Condensation means warm, humid air is drawn into a cool fuel tank through the breather at night, and water condenses on the tank walls. Poor fuel handling practices allow rain and run-off water into tanks.

Air Filtration:

There are many benefits of original manufacturer replacement parts.

OEM replacement parts use high quality media that is selected for each application, they ensure high efficiency and that small particles are captured within the depth of the media, and they have high dust holding capacity i.e. a long service life. Will-fit replacement parts are made from low quality media to cut prices so the media can tear and allow unfiltered air into the engine. They cause increased engine wear, poor efficiency (coarse media allows fine particles to pass through) and they have a low dust holding capacity, which means premature service will be necessary.

OEM replacement parts seal tight with housing; no bypass is permitted and they are resistant within normal temperature ranges. OEM material retains elasticity throughout service life. Will-fit replacement parts are lower quality and are often too hard or too soft to seal correctly. Material loses elasticity when exposed to engine vibrations and temperature changes, which means seals may crack and cause bypass. 

OEM replacement parts offer better stabilization. Their pleated bellows maintain shape under all operating conditions and allow for ideal air flow. Filter media is embossed and stabilized with glue beads, support inserts or a pleat lock. Media impregnation is added to protect against the ingress of moisture. Will-fit replacement parts are often missing embossment or stabilizing inserts. Media compresses and the pleats stick together, reducing filtration surface area and causing lower capacity and possible tearing of media. Inadequate or lack of impregnation allows media to absorb moisture and swell, causing wavy appearance and weak media.

Hydraulic and Transmission Filtration:

70% of component replacement is due to surface degradation.

Types of contamination include storage (airborne dust, rust and debris), ingressed (airborne dust past breathers and seals, worn cylinder wipers, improperly sealed access covers), internal (wear debris, oil degradation products), new generic oil (dirt, sand, rust, scale, fibers, paint chips, biological) and system components (manufacturing swarf, dust, welding, slag, rubber particles from hoses, sealant and sand from castings).

Types of damage:

Key filter media types for hydraulic filtration:

1. Wire mesh- roughing filter, prefilter, safety/last chance filter

2. Cellulose- nominal filtration, low pressure applications, good value

3. Synthetic (glass fiber)- absolute filtratin, all pressures, high performance


With John Deere OEM replacement parts, you are getting functional reliability throughout the service interval, consistent clean air, fuel and oil to the machine, optimum component protection, optimum filter performance and longer service life. This means lower operating costs, more up time and more productivity!