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Re: Cheap filters.... (Fram)

I'll chip in with this Fram oil filter thread.  I used to be one that
would just go to K-mart and get a Fram PH2840 or whatever the number is
together with 4 qts. of motor oil for my oil changes.  Guilty as
charged, at the moment I didn't know any better.  From the discussions
on the list, about two yeas ago I decided to give the german OEM filters
(Mahle, Mann) a try.  It used to be that I always got lifter noise for a
few seconds after start up in the mornings.  Since I began using the
Mahle oild filters, there is _no_ noise at starup.  At worst, it would
last for only one second and only when the oil is definitely due for a
change.  You can draw your own conclussions from my experience.

But I didn't stop there.  I got a new Fram filter and disected it.  My
findings were similar to Mark Quinn's.  The Fram filter was lighter and
in general flimsier than the OEMs.  The ends of the filter element were
glued to a cardboard piece.  The bypass valve was made of plastic and
looked cheap.  There was no anti-drainback valve.  On Fram's defense I
guess I must be fair and say that they did have an anti-drainback
"rubber lip" around the inlet.  It was nothing more than a piece of
rubber gasket fixed on one side and losse on the other functioning as a
"one-way flap".  Obviously. it doesn't work nearly as well as the metal
valve on the Mahle filters.  To top it off, you can get the good german
stuff for just $3 a piece in medium quantities.  That's almost the same
price of the Fram.  So that's what I did - I got myself a 3 year supply
of Mahle oil filters and never looked back at Fram.  I still have the
disected Fram filter to show to the non-believers about it's inferior
materials and construction.


Luis Marques
'87 4kcsq