Donaldson Pre-Cleaner

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 08:33
ThreadID: 7672 Views:8894 Replies:11 FollowUps:5
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I noticed much comment recently about the pros and cons of reversing the direction of the intake on a snorkle.

Have done a search on pre-cleaners but it didn't reveal a lot.

We are hoping to head up to the cape next May/June and I have noted a lot of comment about the amount of dust etc.

Has anyone used a Donaldson pre-cleaner on their snorkle and was it effective?

They don't appear to be all that expensive, especially if they save your main filter.
I guess the proof of the pudding is in how much dust they collect which would otherwise head down the tube.

Anyone with first hand knowledge??Rosco
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Reply By: Member -Ted - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 10:46

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 10:46
Hi Rosco

I have a Nissan 3.0 diesel and fitted a Donaldson to the Safari snorkel to do the Simpson trip and it worked great. The swirling action of the dust particles snad blasts the inside of the collector but when I got back home I emptied around 1 tablespoon of powder like dust from it. I have used it on tracks in the high country during dry conditions and with the same result. I got the one they recommended which is about 250mm in dia, looks dorky but works great.
AnswerID: 33104

Reply By: Alan H - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 11:31

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 11:31
We used them on all the light vehicles on mine sites in the North West. They worked really well in some really dusty areas, you could see just how much they collected. We also changed or blew the air filters out in all the heavy machinery sometimes four times every 24 hours!
Dirty filters were sent to Perth to be professionally washed/ cleaned out as they were so expensive to replace.
I'm going to get one for the Defender as I believe they're well worth it for those dusty trips.
AnswerID: 33110

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 12:17

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 12:17
I have one I got to test out myself. Cheap from a 'contact'.. :)

Day I picked it up from mate, put it on for the drive home. There were a few things around the size of end of a pen, and you could see them spinning around in the head of the unit while it was idling at the lights. Very impressive.

Used it on a trip to Woods Point and it worked well, my car sucks heaps of shait into the filter normally, this time it was bit cleaner. I have now also scrapped the precleaner box in the engine bay yet to get out into the bush to test that, but there IS more power without that!

With the Donaldson, I did feel the car was not as responsive powerwise, so back on with the standard Ram Head and it felt normal again..
AnswerID: 33113

Reply By: GUPatrol - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 13:41

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 13:41
I have been using one in my GU 4.2TD for a while now, it is excellent, however the lack of power Truckster refers to is because the small one is borderline for a 4.2diesel engine.
I called donaldson and they did the calculation of how many CFM capacity the pre cleaner was and how many CFM the engine would draw at X revs/throttle openings.
THe TD42 has no buterfly so it is quite noisy with the the donaldson fitted....
Donaldson told me that up to 1800rpm the smaller Donaldson was OK above that it was restrictive for that engine but the catch is that the bigger one does not catch as much dust at low RPM.
My decision was to keep using the small one because most of the dusty tracks are slow going anyway and I hardly ever go above 1800rpm.
On the bitumen I change it back to the original Safari air intake.

AnswerID: 33120

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 14:31

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 14:31
Ive got the larger 8inch (I think) one looks massive on the end of the snorkel....
FollowupID: 23675

Reply By: Hughesy - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 17:37

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 17:37
Don't know how true it is but I've been told that centrifical air filters (Donaldson)are only suitable for low speed/stationary engines. By low speed I mean under 80kph. This is because at speeds above that the air turbulence caused inside the filter stuffs up the centrifical effect. Not going to do any harm but just doesn't work as effectively. Therefore if you had one and were driving on the highway (not for long I hope) it would be wise just to leave the normal cover on. I don't know because I've never watched the filter bowl on a vehicle doing highway speeds....For those that have them have a look next time your cruising down the highway.

AnswerID: 33142

Reply By: Member - Ross- Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 17:37

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 17:37
Certainly looks like the way to go.
Have been doing a little research and found they only come in 3" and 3.75".
The snorkle on my Defender is 3.5" so looks like I will play with some 3mm rubber as a packer with a 3.75". Or try some truck exhaust pipe suitable stretched as a transition ...but from my enquiries that's a bit extreme at this stage.

By the way.. if anyone is in the market for one be sure to let your fingers do the walking. 3" are generally 33% ARB price and 3.75" almost 50% ... I know everybody has to make a quid but that's a little over the top???

AnswerID: 33143

Follow Up By: Member - Ross- Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 18:07

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 18:07

I've sent an email to Safari to ask if they have any transition adapters and will keep you posted.Rosco
FollowupID: 23706

Follow Up By: Member - Ross- Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 18:10

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 18:10

It was my intention to leave the normal ram inlet in place for the on-road part of the trip and change over before attacking the rough stuff .. seems like the best way to go.Rosco
FollowupID: 23710

Reply By: Member - Keith - Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 18:11

Wednesday, Oct 08, 2003 at 18:11
You might like to consider a 'Finer Filter' sock that fits over the snorkel head. It's impregnated with that sticky oil and when dirty can be washed out in turps and re-oiled. I used 2 on a trip to the Cape, one up and one back. Seemed to work OK....certainly picked up a load of dust. About $20 each from memory.
AnswerID: 33151

Follow Up By: colin - Friday, Oct 10, 2003 at 12:40

Friday, Oct 10, 2003 at 12:40
Keith i think you will find that using turps is a no no, same as the main filters, they have a special cleaning fluid, but i have found using liquid detergent and hot water is just as effective. col
FollowupID: 23891

Reply By: Glenno - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 16:20

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 16:20
Just got back from NT & WA (From Brisbane), covered about 12,000k and a fair majority of it was dirt roads. I went through 3 of the uni filter drop in filters, that slide down the snorkel body. Simply gave them a clean with turps and a coating of oil when i got home and they are ready for the next trip. The Toyota paper filter is in mint condition so the snorkel filter certainly did the job.

Well worth the couple of bucks.


AnswerID: 33247

Reply By: howesy - Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 19:51

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 19:51
Been using it for a couple a years and its majic. The only thing I do is I smear the inside with baby oil and let it pool to about a qurter of an inch deep at the botttom and the bleep it collects is phenominal. I wash it out with warm soapy water when it is putrid and start the process again.
AnswerID: 33270

Follow Up By: Member - Ross- Friday, Oct 10, 2003 at 07:49

Friday, Oct 10, 2003 at 07:49

Soundedlike an interesting idea but I thought I'dcheck with Donaldson.....

Hello Ross
Adding a smear or dribble of oil to the bowl on your pre-cleaner will cause
a small portion of the dust to collect on the surface. This will provide no
real benefit to you and in fact will make the Pre-cleaner bowl a little more
difficult to clean when it becomes loaded with dust. It won't provide a real
You should also be aware the Pre-cleaner works best at low speeds
and is not suited for highway driving. If your plan is to fit the
pre-cleaner when you reach the dusty conditions and remove it when you have
left these conditions behind then it will work well. Have a close look at
the pre-cleaner and you will notice the air is routed through the underside
of the bowl. When traveling at highway speeds this means the air needs to
change direction and flow upwards into the bowl. This creates additional air
restriction and reduces the level of performance.
Hope this info is helpful


Bruce McNamara
Sales Administration Manager
FollowupID: 23865

Reply By: Member - Ross- Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 21:27

Thursday, Oct 09, 2003 at 21:27
As promised .........

Hi Ross,

No we don't have an adapter available I'm sorry. I've seen people use a
strip of rubber to take up the difference or I've also seen people use
adhesive tape. - a few laps around the snorkel neck.

Have you checked with Donaldson if they have anything suitable?

Rainer Fritzsche
Safari Sales.

AnswerID: 33279

Reply By: Macco - Friday, Oct 10, 2003 at 18:53

Friday, Oct 10, 2003 at 18:53
Hi all,
I am actually working for a company who disributes Donaldson precleaners etc and also uses them on their franchise earthmoving machinery. Without being biased, they do a fantastic job of removing dust particals as everyone has stated. In the earthmoving game we have seen numerous vehicles where they are working in EXTREME conditions that may choke their aircleaners in 1/2 a day. After installing a precleaner, sometimes we can extend this to nearly a day without having to blow out the aircleaners. It is important though that the right size is used for the application to ensure that the right air velocity is achieved to limit dust entry. We find in some of our large Wheel Loaders that if we put on a large capacity bowl that we do no eject as much dust as if we reduce the bowl size. The only draw back being it has to be emptied more often- Benefit of it being see through, ...Can tell when it is getting full. I have a snorkel type fittedon my 80 Series to get the ram flow effect of the highway but swap it for a Donaldson bowl when going offroad.



AnswerID: 33364

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