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Heiden Sump Filter- Reviews?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MadeThatMyself, May 2, 2019.

  1. MadeThatMyself

    MadeThatMyself XS650 Enthusiast

    I removed my sump filter last night to find the classic torn mesh on what appears to be the original filter. After doing some forum research, it looks like the MikesXS filters seem to work, but really aren't any more durable that the OEM ones that have been repaired with JB weld, sheet metal, etc.

    Then I stumbled upon this filter from Heiden Tuning...


    Most of the posts about it were older and said that the product was too new, had no reviews, no information on performance/longevity...

    I am curious if anyone has run this filter for a while and has any opinions, positive or negative? Is there a magnetic element to this filter? I noticed Heiden also sells a magnetic drain plug. I am not sure if the OEM plug is also magnetic. I didn't think to look when I took it apart.
    Paul Sutton likes this.
  2. Tron311

    Tron311 XS650 Member

    subbed for reviews. the OEM drain plugs in my motor are definitely magnetic
    gggGary and Paul Sutton like this.
  3. nighthog

    nighthog Lifelong member of the Easily Led Club

    I have one on my '82, but it's not been on long enough for an inspection during an oil change. I also had the torn mesh on my original and let's face it, it's not hard to improve on that design, so I went for one of these and Heiden's paper oil filter conversion too. All look pretty well made. I figure this combination HAS to be an improvement on the original stuff!
    Paul Sutton and MaxPete like this.
  4. MadeThatMyself

    MadeThatMyself XS650 Enthusiast

    I received email confirmation from Heiden that these filters do not have a magnetic element because the magnetic drain plug is directly below the filter. Should that be a concern?

    Anyone else have first hand experience with these filters? I'm leaning towards getting one from Mike's since there does not seem to be many people running and talking about these.
    Paul Sutton likes this.
  5. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I am following with interest.....:popcorn:
    FLEA likes this.
  6. nighthog

    nighthog Lifelong member of the Easily Led Club

    I think that what Heiden are saying is that there's no need for a magnetic element in their sump filter because there is already one in the drain plug, which is unchanged. So no, nothing to be concerned about.
    Paul Sutton and MaxPete like this.
  7. MadeThatMyself

    MadeThatMyself XS650 Enthusiast

    Nighthog- my concern is that the OEM filters and the ones from Mike's have additional magnets on the front and back side of the filter element in addition to the magnetic drain plug. The mesh on these Heiden filters also appear to be more coarse (from the photos) than the stock filter. Without the additional magnets, any small metal shavings suspended in the oil might pass through the filter mesh.

    I am not saying this filter doesn't work, I'm just looking for some reviews from current users. It sounds like you are giving this filter a thumbs up, so that's 1 vote for "worth the extra money".
    Paul Sutton and MaxPete like this.
  8. nighthog

    nighthog Lifelong member of the Easily Led Club

    You're quite right that the mesh is coarser, but it's a lot stronger and I supplement mine with the paper filter so I figure I have good engine protection. Time will tell!
    Paul Sutton and MaxPete like this.
  9. I would not worry too much on the lack of magnets or if the screen mesh is a little larger. Magnets are there just to grab the larger pieces so it is easier to remove (ie. from the drain plug). Having them on the actual filter is just a nice to have in my opinion. This is only the oil pickup screen. It is to prevent larger particles from reaching the pump which could jam and break the gears on the pump. Anything fine enough (metal or not) to pass by that screen would most likely flow right through the pump and would then be captured in the side oil filter before it reaches the engine galleries.

    I have also considered this "upgrade" but have not heard much feed back on it. From a design standpoint it is pretty straight forward. Most bikes have nothing more that a thumb size screen in the pickup. That is all my 1200 Guzzi has with a screen area a 1/10th of what this has and my old KLR had even a smaller more delicate screen. This one will do the job simply based on the shear size of it.
  10. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    While clean oil is crucial in just about ANY machine, the fact is that nearly every bearing in our XS650's is either a ball or a roller bearing and these have several key advantages over the plain or "journal" bearings found in most other bike engines and all car engines. This is because the motion in the bearing a rolling motion rather than a sliding motion. Here is run-down:
    • rolling element (ball / roller) bearings do not require large volumes of oil nor does the oil need be supplied at high pressure (journal bearings do need high pressure oil and a fair bit of it because the sliding surfaces are separated only by a microscopically thin oil film);
    • rolling element bearings are much more tolerant of debris in the oil than journal bearings - although nobody should interpret this as meaning that dirty oil is OK, by any stretch of the imagination;
    • journal bearings are smaller, lighter, and much cheaper than rolling element bearings;
    The rolling element bearings, especially the big heavy ones on the XS650 crankshaft are likely a major reason why our bikes weight 30-40 lbs more than comparable Triumphs and BSAs etc. (along with the electric starter and larger battery).

    So, there you have it. The rolling element bearings in our bikes are part of the secret to why XS650s live so long and never seem to wear out. It is also the reason why Yamaha "got away" with such a rudimentary oil filtration system on the bike. ANY improvement to that system will pay-off in even longer engine and transmission life.

    Now, here are the key parts of the XS650 engine and transmission that do NOT have rolling element bearings:
    • the piston ring-to-cylinder wall interface - which nobody has ever replaced with any sort of rolling motion system;
    • the timing chain guides which use plastic coat pieces bonded to metal shoes to guide the chain and keep the proper tension on it;
    • the rocker arm-to-camshaft lobe interface which is a purely sliding motion with a fair bit of force involved due to the stiff valve springs and the fairly large and heavy valves (lots of unsprung mass there I'm afraid);
    • the valve adjuster screw-to-valve stem tip interface which is more of a linear "push" than a sliding motion;
    • the clutch pack - sort of goes with the territory of what clutches are all about.
    Those sliding and linear-push motions are pretty unavoidable and, except for the front timing chain guide, they seem to cause relatively few issues with our bikes. I suspect that the front timing chain guide failures are more related to high temperatures (which can be caused by low oil levels) than they are to debris in the oil. At high temps, the bond between the plastic guide and the metal shoe seems to fail (also - they are now upwards of 45 years old) and that causes big problems.

    That also raises another important fact about engine oil - it is a major part of the cooling system in air-cooled engines like ours. Watch your oil levels on especially hot days folks.

    Anyhow - clean oil is always better than dirty oil and the correct amount of oil is always better than too little oil - so keep checking it and keep changing it.

    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  11. MadeThatMyself

    MadeThatMyself XS650 Enthusiast

    Thanks for the extensive write up MaxPete. All good stuff to know. To me, it sounds like if the construction of this Heiden filter is more durable, and may not blow out like the OEM and Mike's, then it might be worth the extra cost.

    Nighthog can't be the only person running this filter. Has anyone else had some experience with longevity on these? Ideally I'd like to hear from someone with a few years worth of riding and oil changes.
    MaxPete likes this.
  12. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Well, you can spend the money for that filter or spend less money on JB Weld and patch up quite a few stock sump filters.
    The stock filters work very well.
    The main reason they fail where they do is that spot on the filter is the weakest spot. This spot is about as close to the oil port to the pump as it can get. Cold oil doesn't flow through the filter as easy as warm oil. The port to the pump creates a very strong vacuum effect. This is strongest just where the filter is weakest. Thus the element tears.
    When you start your engine if you let it warm up a bit before you start riding the oil warms up enough to flow through the filter easier. Keeping the engine rpm's down below 3000 for the first few miles of riding allows the oil to come up to operating temp.
    Doing these things will help the filter from tearing.
    Patching the torn filter or building a cover over this area will deflect the oil flow around to stronger areas of the filter.
    Even at that, letting the bike warm up a bit is a good idea.
    I have one of the thermometer dip sticks. When I want to ride, I start the bike, then put on my riding gear, chaps, coat, helmet, gloves. I then look at the oil temp. Usually by then it reads up around 100*. I then start out slowly, keeping rpm's down till the oil temp reaches 150*. by then the oil has thinned enough to flow well. Then I can start riding with a bit more oomph.
    I altered one sump plate for a spin on oil filter. Uses lawn mower filters.
    I altered a right side engine cover to have oil lines run out and back in. I then can plump in an external oil filter and/or an oil cooler. I can still run the stock oil filter in the side cover.
    So depending on just what set up I run I can filter the oil two ways before the pump three ways after the pump.
    I have found that the stock filters work fine. The spin on filters may filter better but can increase flow restrictions that may be a problem in the long run. They also cost a lot more than cleaning the stock filters.
    Plumbing in the oil cooler has many benefits. Cooling the oil cools the entire engine. Cool oil lubricates better. In the stock form oil temps can reach well over 240*. most oil can't really handle temps that high for very long. They start to break down. They can scorch and burn. This is one of the reasons for short oil change intervals of 1000 to 1500 miles. That and along with the gears in the tranny crushing the oil molecules, as well as contamination from the clutch.
    I think using the stock filters with an oil cooler is the best option. Then maybe go to a 2000 mile interval on changes.
    lakeview and MaxPete like this.
  13. MadeThatMyself

    MadeThatMyself XS650 Enthusiast

    MaxPete likes this.
  14. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I've made a couple patch pieces made of heavy perforated steel like on my avatar that are form fitted to the filter. The first couple I made attach using the top filter mount screws. I have another one waiting to be finished that is trimmed up to be JB welded in place and is a lot less obtrusive. For that one I really want an untorn filter to start with so I can watch if it prevents the blowout. Right now all I have is filters that have already blown out. It's on my list of projects/mods to get done for now. Pictures are in this other thread by 5Twins for his stab at it.

    MaxPete likes this.
  15. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Forgot to mention. Get an extra sump plate and filter. Extra side cover filter. That way at oil change you just swap in the clean for dirty.
    This can speed up oil changes. Then clean the dirty filters whenever and have ready for next oil change.
    lakeview, GLJ and MaxPete like this.
  16. MartinNC

    MartinNC XS650 Member

    Yes I have been running this with the side paper filter conversion for about 3 years now, all good, just clean at oil change time and replace paper element. However, mine was one of his first ones and supplied a post mount which was intended to provide support, it obviously didn't!. I questioned Jerry about this and he said it didn't really need it. But I made a bracket to support the loose end anyway

    Attached Files:

    Paul Sutton likes this.
  17. delagem

    delagem XS650 Addict

    I went a slightly different route; anything to keep me from taking the bottom filter plate off again!

    I liked the spin-on option; I bought the Heiden replacement plate that uses 2016 Smart ForTwo car filters:

    [​IMG]IMG_1576 by michael delage, on Flickr

    I also bought a SmedSpeed spacer plate; unfortunately it doesn't fit my '83 due to the kickstand mount interfering. I can't recommend Smedley's plate; it's a nice piece, but he was seriously difficult to deal with.

    [​IMG]newoil2 by michael delage, on Flickr
    Paul Sutton likes this.
  18. JAX71224

    JAX71224 jax71224

    Sump extension plate is interesting, if not using it, ya wanna sell it? Not sure it will work with my '78 Special frame but would like to try it!
  19. FLEA

    FLEA XS650 Junkie

    back in mid 80s (74 model) picked up a very cheap xs650 exspecting to use it for a few months before flying out to a new job .. ie dump it or sell it cheap so maintaince including oil changes just didn't happen (yea I know young and stupid and to much money at the time) .. got partying and 12 months later still riding it hard with no oil changes etc (just topped the oil up ) wiring caught fire and got parked for 30 odd yrs (got sold a few times between mates without going back on the rd or being started) got it back couple of yrs ago and pulled it down and the internals were still fairly good .. these fking bikes are fairly bullet proof oil wise and otherwise .. their electrics are another matter.. true story
    gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  20. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    delagem, do those filters you use have a standard thread or metric thread? The spin on filter sump plate I built uses a standard thread. I haven't found an adapter that threads into my plate that has metric threads.
    If those are standard and can be bought inexpensively I might try them.
    The lawn mower filters cost around $12 each. Been looking for a cheaper replacement.
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    MaxPete likes this.

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