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  #1  
Old 11-12-2003, 01:29 PM
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Fram oil filters, junk or not?

Personally I think Fram oil filters, at least for gasoline cars, are junk. Especially when compared to a Purulator, WIX, or Mann etc. Yet, when I am "dreaming shopping" on E--bay and lookng at Ferraris I constantly see the infamous orange Fram filter on the engines. Just about every Ferrari 400i, V-12 you see has 2 oil filters and they are both Fram. Is there something I am missing here, does Fram actually sell a quality filter? I find it hard to believe that Ferrari owners would risk their engines to a poor oil filter.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2003, 02:37 PM
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Dear rickjordan:

I do not think Fram oil filters are junk at all. You cannot judge an oil filter brand based on its external appearance (especially spin-on type filters found on virtually on Japanese cars). The important part of a filter is still the filter element inside.

Fram (and Pennzoil) oil filters for Japanese cars are especially cheap ($2-$3 each). My friends and I have used Fram oil (and air) filters on old Japanese cars for a long time without any problem. I even have a friend who has a 1984 Honda Civic with 348 Kmiles (original engine and auto transmission!) and it has just even passed the new California Smog Check II with flying colors! And guess what? He's the type of person who would never spend time to open his car's hood to check for anything. All he has ever done was to buy a Fram oil filter at Kragen at every 5000 Kmiles interval, then bring it to an oil change place and have it change the oil for $11.

He had his car's timing belt and water pump replaced at 160 Kmiles!, and ATF fluid change at 210Kmiles.

I am well aware of the fact that Fram oil/air filters are manufactured anywhere in the world, including India, Turkey, South Korea, Phillippines etc..., but it does not mean that they are bad.

Eric

Eric
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2003, 06:48 PM
Bud
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Do a Google search on Filter Test.

Here's a link to one interesting site that takes filters apart. Note that there are more than one grade of Fram filters. Fram filters appear to be cheaply made (you don't get what you don't pay for).

http://people.msoe.edu/~yoderw/oilfilterstudy/oilfilterstudy.html#fram

There is also a description of the differences between the Bosch filter made by Champion and the German made Mann which looked to me to be the same from the outside.

Also note that the filter made by Champion for Mobil 1 is of very high quality and might be a good filter for extended drain situations.
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2003, 09:31 PM
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Hi,

Bad reputation is due to the fact that most (if not all) their filters (spin on type) have PLASTIC anti-drain back valve that could leak resulting in lack of lubrication upon startup (rattle for few seconds till filter is filled up); and this is definitely no good for engines, IMHO.

Frank.
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2003, 12:28 AM
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Funny, I would never put a WIX on my car. My family has used Fram for 30 years and never had a single problem. I have extended family and friends who swear by Fram.

This car is the first car I have not used a Fram for. If they made one for it, I might consider it. At least I can still use Castrol GTX 20w-50.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2003, 01:09 AM
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Sorry, didn't mean to upset people. I once cut open a Fram filter and the "spring" that held the filter portion inplace was nothing more than a piece of pressed aluminum. The filter element had thin cardboard ends to it, whereas the WIX had actual metal end caps to the filter element, and the spring was an actual coil spring. Again, maybe they have better filters in their line, but the ones I saw were cheaply made. The center of the filter had only 30 holes in it for oil to pass through, versus the 60 or so in the WIX. It just seemed that OEM filters, Purulators, etc. were beefier. I just assumed all Frams were made this way since they only cost $3 ("you get what you pay for"). To see them on Ferraris seemed odd. Again, didn't mean to start an oil filter debate, which is probably a first.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2003, 01:18 AM
BlackE55
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Quote:
Originally posted by rickjordan
Again, didn't mean to start an oil filter debate, which is probably a first.
Aye. "Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of war!!!"
Shakespeare's Mark Antony

A $100 million advertising campaign doesn't make for a good filter.
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2003, 08:34 AM
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I agree, but seeing Fram filters on Ferrari engines says alot. Though, the one thing I noticed the Ferraris that usually have the Fram filters are older models like the Daytona. I wonder if the owners were using those to maintain the original look of the engine.
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2003, 08:42 AM
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Well,
when you need an oilfilter, you'll go to a shop to buy one...
So, you"ll buy what's available...that's why you see Fram-filters on Ferrari-
engines...
I owned once a Russian car with a French Diesel engine ( an Indenor XDP-90), the French equivalent of a MB Diesel at that time and as good as that! I drove it 4 years, put 172.000 km on the counter and one key on the engine : a 17 mm for the drain plug. I replaced the oil every 5000 km as I did the oilfilter. The brand of the filter was a Fram...so I am not taking part of ...IMHO...

Danny
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2003, 09:09 AM
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I think that there is just some lack of knowledge thanks to Fram's reputation. Here is a summary from the above link that I think says it all: (my bolding)

******************************
Fram Extra Guard
Years ago Fram was a quality filter manufacturer. Now their standard filter (the radioactive-orange cans) is one of the worst out there. It features cardboard end caps for the filter element that are glued in place. The rubber anti-drainback valve seals against the cardboard and frequently leaks, causing dirty oil to drain back into the pan. The bypass valves are plastic and are sometimes not molded correctly, which allows them to leak all the time. The stamped-metal threaded end is weakly constructed and it has smaller and fewer oil inlet holes, which may restrict flow. I had one of these filters fail in my previous car. The filter element collapsed and bits of filter and glue were circuilating through my system. The oil passge to the head became blocked and the head got so hot from oil starvation that it actually melted the vacuum lines connected to it as well as the wires near it.

Fram Double Guard
Another bad filter idea brought to you by your friends at Fram. The filter itself is a slightly improved design over the Fram Extra Guard, but still uses the same filter element. It has a silicone anti-drainback valve, a quality pressure releif valve, and enough inlet holes for good flow. The big problem is that they are trying to cash in on the Slick 50 craze. They impregnate the filter element with bits of Teflon like that found in Slick 50. As with Slick 50, Teflon is a solid and does not belong in an engine. It cannot get into the parts of the engine that oil can and therefore does nothing. Also, as the filter gets dirty, it ends up filtering the Teflon right out. Dupont (the manufacturer of Teflon) does not recommend Teflon for use in internal combustion engines. Please do not waste your money on this filter.

*****************************************

Juyst because you see a filter on some guy's Ferrari means nothing. Of course, the funny part is that he probably paid $40 for it...
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2003, 10:37 AM
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If I remember correctly, there was a post on the Allpar web site that mentioned there was an internal Daimler-Chrysler memo that banned the use of Fram oil filters in the testing facilities because they found some contaminant debris in an engine that was purportedly traced back to the oil filter.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2003, 04:29 PM
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I purchased an oil filter for my step-sons 2002 Honda Civic the other day. Bought it at a Honda dealership. Always liked the Honda filters.

Got home and read the fine print.

Made by Fram.

They most likely have multiple mfg. facilities. The radioactive orange Wal-Mart variety and the Honda dealer filter were likely made in different plants unless Honda has suddenly developed a death wish for continued success.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2003, 05:01 PM
Bud
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Well, the only two car makers that recommend 5W-20 oil are Ford and Honda!

It appears that Honda (like Ford) are now more interested in CAFE averages than in long term reliability.

At least Toyota offers 10W-40 oil at their dealerships.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2003, 01:16 PM
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Hey, people do all kinds of stupid things. Just because someone owns a Ferrari, doesn't mean he's intelligent. (Maybe he earned his money the old-fashioned way -- he inherited it!)

In any comparison tests I've seen, Fram filters always rank dead last. I wouldn't put a Fram filter on my lawn mower! And as for my MB, I would keep the USED Knecht on the car before I would install a NEW Fram.

Just my 2-cents -- arguably worth that.

Jeff Pierce
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2003, 01:43 PM
Bud
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My neighbor was able to pick up a very low mileage Lexus from a Dot.Com Exec. The P.O. did his own maintenance and treated his cars with TLC including Mobil 1.

The first thing my neighbor did was take the new car to Walmarts to have it serviced. It now sports a Fram filter.

It's enough to make a grown man cry! I simply do not understand why people would spend tens of thousands of dollars for a car and then worry about saving $2 on a filter or complain about having to use premium fuel.
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