Installing a Tefba coolant filter on my 1964 Buick Wildcat

When I pulled Sherman out of the junkyard after sitting for 10 years with no water pump on the front of the motor and the cooling system open to the elements, I expected to have problems with it. Remarkably, I put a water pump on the car, flushed the system, installed a re-cored radiator, and never had a problem. The car could idle in summer temperatures with no problem. I was amazed.

That is until the body shop visit where the car sat for 9 months not moving. When I retrieved the car from the body shop, it overheated on its first long trip. I swapped the coolant to no avail. I noticed some larger chunks bring picked up in the radiator tubes, and took the radiator to be rodded out. They didn't follow my instructions and just flushed it with their high pressure hose. The chunks remained.

Since I'm still in the middle of reassembling the front of the car, it seemed to be a good time to install a coolant filter. My idea is to run the coolant filter to get the chunks out, then get the radiator rodded out, and keep the filter in until all gunk has been removed from the system.

When doing a search for a coolant filter, there is really only one out there, made by Tebfa in Austrailia. In 2010, it was only available at one US distributor. It costs me around $80 including shipping. It comes with the housing, two filter screens, a course and fine, an O-ring for the cap, and two hose clamps.
Tefba filter 1964 Wildcat

The first hurtle in the installation was that I had to cut the upper radiator hose. I didn't want to cut my only perfect hose, and I was finding that an upper radiator hose that is not a flex hose for a 1964 Buick Wildcat or Electra with A/C was unobtainable at conventional auto parts houses. There are a few obtainable on the web for around $25 plus shipping. I stumbled across the fact Napa Auto Parts carries a "universal molded" radiator hose that is a perfect fit once it is trimmed. It was $17.99 and they had it in my local store the day after I visited. It is part 7343.

You can tell where to cut the universal hose.

First cut.


I originally wanted the filter in a flatter section of the hose, but found that the fan blade would hit it. Pushing it back a few inches alleviated the problem.

Coarse filter installed. Once I get the front of the car reassembled, we'll see how well this works. As you can see, the filter is directional, and has molded in capture points for the filter.

Update: 6-2010

The filter after the car's first run:

It didn't seem to pickup very much, but things improved. When the filter didn't pick much up, I dropped a few circular magnets on the post to pick up more metal.

The filter after the cars second run did much better. I'd say it was worth the money spent.