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Are FRAM ULTIMATE oil filters safe to use?


1004ron

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I noticed the latest high-grade version of the FRAM oil filters in Walmart so bought a couple for my wife's BMW X5 and my Sport.

 

I installed one of these filters in my wife's X5 and decided to take a look at it after +- 2K miles, and that was enough to return the unused filters to Walmart.

 

The attached photos leave no doubt that the filter media presents a high flow restriction, enough to partially collapse the filter.

 

Search Results | FRAM

FRAM FE10075 Synthetic Endurance® Oil Filter | FRAM - BMW Filter FE10075

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seems like there should a cage inside to support the media. 

most cartridge filters have some kind of a cage inside to protect the filter from being crushed by the pressure differential

 

I will say that the synthetic media Fram filters for mine (2.7) do have the cage inside to support the media and do not have any crush problem.

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Edited by Cerberus
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I had two of those for my Edge and two for my wife's BMW and after seeing what happened I returned all four to Walmart, even though I agree that the ones for the Ford appear to be more robust, like you have found.

 

Edit:

I notice that the OEM Mann filter doesn't have a cage but appears to have a much greater surface area and the old one I pulled was in good shape - that also makes me question the filtration efficiency of the Fram.

 

Edited by 1004ron
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31 minutes ago, 1004ron said:

I had two of those for my Edge and two for my wife's BMW and after seeing what happened I returned all four to Walmart, even though I agree that the ones for the Ford appear to be more robust, like you have found.

 

Edit:

I notice that the OEM Mann filter doesn't have a cage but appears to have a much greater surface area and the old one I pulled was in good shape - that also makes me question the filtration efficiency of the Fram.

 

filters are a subject of particular interest (hah!) to me

everything is a compromise.

You have several conflicting parameters to work within, like oil pressure & flow rate, versus engine drag which effects fuel economy.

But of course, the required oil flow at a specific viscosity is a non-negotiable value for any given engine, defined by machining tolerances and wear.

Pressure requirements are contingent on clearances and load (power stroke) on the bearing to journal mating. 

Flow requirements are contingent on how quickly the pressurized journals squirt their cushion out, and back to the pan (which again is influenced by design clearances & wear)

You can make a filter that would not let anything over 0.1 micron particulate through it, BUT, you'd never get enough flow to make the pressure to float your bearings unless it had Massive surface area.

 

The Mann filter does look like it has a lot more surface area but being a cellulose filter media, the pose sizing is highly irregular compared to a woven synthetic filter media, and that irregularity makes for some larger pores (bad for filtration but great for flow) and some tight pores which are arguably wasted filter surface until or unless the large pores are filled up. But is won't crush because it is flowing a lot of (less clean) oil.

The primary benefit of synthetic filter media is that a tightly woven synthetic media can have extremely predictable and normalized small pore size which allows for a high level of filtration without being too restrictive to flow rate. 

But a heavy oil at high flow rates will still exert a lot of pressure on the media and crush it if it is not well supported. 

 

 

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