Who was it who mentioned Fram oil filters and dropping oil pressure?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Hachiroku ハチロク, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Who was it in the Subaru group that mentioned my low oil pressure might be
    caused by my using Fram oil filters?

    There may be something to this.

    I picked up yet another 1992 Grand Something-or-other (in this case, a
    Grand Caravan. The last two were V'gers...). It has 239,000 miles on it. I
    got it on eBay for $150 and had to go 135 miles to pick it up. To make a
    long story short, we had to cut and crimp one of the rear brake lines to
    get the thing to move without emptying the brake cylinder, and the plan
    was to drive it within 100 miles from home and call AAA..."It blew a brake
    line!"

    No need. The crimp held and the thing ran so well I drove it the entire
    way home! Of course, I told "Jane" to avoid highways, so it was 92 miles
    through Providence and back into Mass and on to home.

    All the way the oil press. guage was about 1/2 way up the guage,
    occasionally dropping a little below on a 68 degree November day in the
    middle of Providence. Other than that, it stayed right around the halfway
    mark the entire trip.

    Today I gave it a 'service', oil change, air filter and tranny juice and
    filter. I used a Fram TG oil filter since if you bought a jug (5 qts) of
    Valvoline oil you got the filter $2 off. Maybe it's just on the Subaru?

    NOPE! After I changed the oil and took it for a test, the oil pressure
    guage had dropped a whole mark off halfway! I don't believe it!

    I'm going to wait until the next nice day, pull the oil filter and put on
    something like a Wix. Never had that problem with either OEM or Wix
    filters, and Wix got high ratings from Consumer's Reports.
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Nov 22, 2009
    #1
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  2. Hachiroku ハチロク

    hls Guest

    Those indicating gauges are often very inaccurate. Also, there may have
    been a difference between the oil you drained out and the oil you put in,
    viscosity wise.

    I have never had a problem with a Fram, but I have pussed out and avoid
    them strictly on their reputation.
     
    hls, Nov 22, 2009
    #2
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  3. Hachiroku ハチロク

    dsi1 Guest

    Couldn't this also have meant that the filter may have been restricting
    the oil flow i.e., clogged up? Just guessing.
     
    dsi1, Nov 22, 2009
    #3
  4. Hachiroku ハチロク

    hls Guest

    It could mean a lot of things. Remember he changed both the filter and the
    oil
    on this car, and measured the results with a rather inaccurate gauge.

    There are a lot of variables here.

    If he wants to eliminate Fram from the equation, change to a Wix, or
    something else,
    as he suggested.

    Now, going back to the OP, he apparently just picked up this higher mileage
    vehicle.
    How do we know what the seller added to the crankcase?

    He will just have to work through this item by item,and I hope he will post
    the results
     
    hls, Nov 23, 2009
    #4
  5. I also have an '89 Soob GL Coupe, AWD. When I replaced the oil filter with
    a Fram, the pressure dropped...

    I have an '88 Supra. When I replaced the filter with a Fram...

    I remember someone in the Soob group mentioned something about Fram
    filters when I was talking about low oil p before, and now it's three for
    three...

    I think next time (~800 miles for the Soob) I'm going to hunt down a Wix
    filter and see what happens...
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Nov 23, 2009
    #5
  6. Hachiroku ハチロク

    nm5k Guest

    It's a known problem on the orange Fram filters. The problem is the
    anti drainback valves don't work. How much it effects the engine will
    depend on the filter mounting and position.
    I have two old Ford trucks, both with straight six engines. "300 and
    240".
    You cannot use those Fram filters on those engines unless you like
    starting up with no oil pressure.
    I knew about this before trying one, but I happened to get one free,
    so
    decided to try it. At first I thought it was ok. But I came back three
    hours later to go to the store and had no oil pressure. And this is on
    a
    fresh rebuilt engine with a new oil pump. Not some wore out beater.
    I couldn't get pressure, so i cut it off. Then I tried it again and
    finally
    got pressure going. I dumped that filter right there on the spot and
    replaced it with a Motorcraft FL1A which is what I normally use.
    Never had the problem again.
    I wouldn't use one of those filters if it were free. Total junk as far
    as the anti drain valves.
    I wouldn't use one on any other car either just due to the problems
    I had, no matter if the mounting position was a problem or not.
     
    nm5k, Nov 23, 2009
    #6
  7. Hachiroku ハチロク

    dsi1 Guest

    My question is: is it possible to increase the oil pressure reading at
    the sender by installing a filter with a high resistance to oil flow?

    Might it be that a drop in oil pressure may not be a bad thing if it is
    the result of installing a oil filter that allows more oil to be
    filtered? Again, this is just a guess - I've never read anything about
    this.
     
    dsi1, Nov 23, 2009
    #7
  8. Put a Wix 51515 on it and you won't have a problem again.

    Daniel
    Bought a 95 Grand Caravan SE 3.3l with 223,000 miles on it for $800 and
    immediatly changed to a 51515 and Mobil 1 5w30 non-EP. I have 10k miles of
    my own on the van now and the engine is still going strong.
     
    Daniel Who Wants to Know, Nov 23, 2009
    #8
  9. Let's see if I can remember that number! ;)
    When I changed the oil and started the engine, there was what sounded like
    a bottom end knock in it...

    I went for a 5 mile ride and the sound went awat...Thank You! Whew!

    I had a Gr Voyager w/279,000 miles on it. It had had the trans replaced
    under warranty and never had a problem with it, excep the guy who gave it
    to me wanted it back! He ran it up to 324,000!!!
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Nov 23, 2009
    #9
  10. Yeah, I think there are too many variables to know for sure. While I
    DO believe there are filters with no/bad anti-drainback valves(and
    other issues) - I just don't see how a filter could cause abnormally
    low oil pressure.

    As a further odd-ball failure mode, consider that new oil and/or
    'disturbing' an old and possibly neglected lubrication system could
    have dislodged some debris that is stuck in the oil pressure sender's
    orifice. I had this happen once on an old mitsubishi/Colt Vista engine
    (IIRC) . The after market sender had a much larger orifice. The OEM
    was 'maybe' a millimeter !
     
    1 Lucky Texan, Nov 23, 2009
    #10
  11. Hachiroku ハチロク

    C. E. White Guest

    I am confident that the oil pressure pick-up point is after the
    filter. Therefore a restrictive filter can only reduce the measured
    pressure, not increase it.

    Ed
     
    C. E. White, Nov 23, 2009
    #11
  12. Hachiroku ハチロク

    N8N Guest

    That number sounds familiar... same filter as a 225 leaning tower of
    power maybe?

    nate
     
    N8N, Nov 23, 2009
    #12
  13. Hachiroku ハチロク

    WW Guest

    I also had a Ford 300 six. Same problem. Changed to NAPA best filter ( I
    think this is made by Wix) Problem solved. WW
     
    WW, Nov 23, 2009
    #13
  14. But in the Consumer Reports test, Fram (and Lee Maxifilter - Champion)
    did even better and was not only top rated but also check rated,
    meaning they did significantly better than the rest. They removed
    something like 88% of the test particles (I think they were 20 or 25
    micron particles, but I don't remember if the test was single-pass or
    multi-pass), compared to 70% or 75% for AC. The worst filter removed
    50%, and I think it was a depth filter.
     
    larry moe 'n curly, Nov 23, 2009
    #14
  15. Hachiroku ハチロク

    N8N Guest

    Doesn't matter how well it filters if the ADBV doesn't work, and
    Fram's traditionally don't.

    NB: I haven't used a Fram filter in 15 years or more because of this
    issue, so they may have rectified it - but why take the chance when so
    many other filters have been working well for years?

    nate
     
    N8N, Nov 23, 2009
    #15
  16. A Finnish magazine article from 1996 found no problems with any of the
    drainback valves
    tested, and Fram did not leak the most. Also how come you can blow
    into an orange Fram but not suck air from it? Money saving hint:
    doing that test in the store = free oil filter. :)
     
    larry moe 'n curly, Nov 23, 2009
    #16
  17. Hachiroku ハチロク

    N8N Guest

    That's nice, but personal experience trumps a test any day. Time from
    cold start to oil pressure light going out on my old Dart, >5 sec.
    with a Fram filter. 1 sec. or less with a Wix filter. Guess which
    filter I've used ever since.

    nate
     
    N8N, Nov 23, 2009
    #17
  18. Hachiroku ハチロク

    jim Guest

    But here's the problem - a filter that works really well will also plug
    up sooner. If you put a filter that removes fine particles an old
    sludged up beater that has been accumulating fine particles in the
    crankcase for years it will plug the filter in a short amount of time
    (sometimes very short) and that will show up as low oil pressure. Even
    if the engine has not been abused If it used a filter for years that is
    letting the fine stuff through you can expect a filter that catches fine
    stuff to to load up in short order.

    If you notice the millions of new cars using Fram filters aren't the
    ones having problems. It is always the guys with the 30 year old beaters
    who tell of their the bad experience with the Fram filters.

    That is not to say Fram filters are high quality. They are cheap
    filters, but they are good enough if you change the oil often enough.

    -jim
     
    jim, Nov 23, 2009
    #18
  19. Lee Maxifilter?!?!?!

    How the hell old was this test?!?!?!

    I used to use Lee Maxifilters in my Corollas. When I got the Hachiroku,
    for it's first oil change I went to get a Lee...GONE! I actually found one
    in a closet last year, but it doesn't fit anything I own. I must have
    bought it ~1982 or so.

    If you find a Lee, let me know!!! ;)

    BTW, that same test, from 1984, also said if you had a Toyota, you were
    getting the BEST filter made...
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Nov 23, 2009
    #19
  20. Every three thousand miles, regardless of age/condition of car...
     
    Hachiroku ハチロク, Nov 23, 2009
    #20
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