A212CW – Air Filter = headache somewhat resolved

I was trying to figure out what was the correct air filter and posted it over at the CRG.

According to every reputable post I’ve read, original filters have “BEST WAY TO PROTECT” on them.

Also, in the “Corvette Restoration Guide, 1968 – 1982” by Richard Prince, he states:

“All 1968 and 1969 Corvettes not equipped with an L88 or ZL1 use an open element air cleaner assembly.

……………etc etc. and then……

Original air filter elements have ‘BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOUR ENGINE – REPLACE WITH TYPE A 212 CW’ silk screened in white around the horizontal lip. Furthermore, original elements, unlike later replacements, have a fine wire screen around the outside. Most replacements use a noticeably heavier wire. Earlier cars probably utilize an element with the wire screen in a diagonal pattern. Later cars probably use an element with the wire screen in a horizontal pattern. With a horizontal pattern, the wire forms rectangles with the longer measurement running vertical when the element is installed.”

so, after knowing the correct text I also needed to know what mesh was correct:

this original late 1969 filter:

or this 1967 version:

A guy named William who is a core member of the CRG and is extremely knowledgeable on Camaros wrote:

“Both Hot Rod [1-69] and PHR [4-69] tested the same very early production ’69 Z/28. The PHR engine photo clearly shows the soldered diamond mesh version as seen in photo #2. ’68 Z/28 tests show the same mesh.

Car Life [8-69] and Road Test [8-69] tested the same yellow/yellow JL-8 Z/28. For the C/L test it had a cross-ram. But it was all OE for Road Test. The photo shows the mesh as in photo #2 but it appears to be oriented 90º from the photo. It is definitely not the diamond mesh. The earliest yellow interior cars were mid-February.

You could probably use either.”

Here is the 8/1969 Road Test Picture that William posted. He said to notice the “reverse polarity” battery. You also have to look very closely, but you can see that the mesh is rotated by 90 degrees compared to a lot of filters sold and it is definitely not the diamond mesh.

I bought the 4/1969 the Popular Hot Rodding and here is a picture of the DZ 302 that was tested with headers. This is the straight-wire the soldered diamond mesh version.

After figuring out what I need, I ended up paying dearly for one….It’s perfect match to the Popular Hot Rodding one, but the filter paper looks brown.  

GaryL on the CRG wrote: “Production-line A212CW filter element paper was “oil-wetted” (that’s what the “W” originally stood for), which is why the paper appears yellowish. Later service replacement A212CW elements were not, and had “white” paper.”

my filter

My filter looks more brown than yellow. I’m not sure it it’s a heavier oil or it’s dirty or it’s just from age. I am guessing it’s from age.

updated 6/10/12:  JohnZ responded to my posting on the CRG regarding this filter and confirmed that  “The original production-line filters had yellowish/brownish paper, as the paper was oil-wetted“.

I had been trying to think of a way to lighten it up by cleaning it somehow, to make it a light yellow, but after JohnZ’s post, I think I’ll just leave it alone.