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Fram filters nightmare story.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pir8Darryl, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488


    A couple weeks ago I posted here about loosing oil pressure in my Dodge P/U 318. It turns out the Fram filter had come apart and a piece of the filter material had lodged in the lifter oil galley. Took me 4 days to get the SOB out of there.

    Well, I'v got another Fram disaster on my hands. This tim it's a spin on fuel filter on my diesel truck.

    I had some buildup on the inside of my tank, so I ran a couple bottles of diesel clean thru it to clean it out. After about 100 miles, the filter started clogging so I went to the parts store for another. They were out of my usual [WIX] brand, but they did have the fram. It was cheap, so I bought it thinking it would clog within 100 miles also... Spun it on and drove on down the road.

    After ~200 miles, it was still going strong, but I was getting a little concerned, so I replaced it a few minutes ago................OMG!

    I'm gonna open this thing up and share some pics with y'all. Looking down into it, I can see the metal tube in the center is crushed, and when I shake it, it rattles like a marbel in a mason jar. :eek:

    I'v got a suspicion that it completely colapsed internally and I'v been sucking dirty un-filtered fuel into the engine.

    Think about that. The stock fuel pump drew enough vacuum to implode the filter internally.

    That's 2 fram filter failures I'v personally expirenced in a 2 week timespan.

    Anybody else have any first hand expirences like mine?
  2. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,545


    Fram hasn't had a decent filter in years.
  3. tooslow54
    Joined: May 6, 2005
    Posts: 929


    I think Fram is german for "Junk".

  4. when you can't find a Wix use a NAPA which is the Same <p> Wix makes there Filters for Napa
  5. Just a note (sort of related) -
    The Napa Silver filters are a higher micron (not quite as good of a filter), but still high quality. When breaking in a fresh engine (i.e. for the first 3-5k miles) or when resurrecting a sludged up old engine that sat for a long time, the Napa silver is a better choice because the Wix or Napa Gold will sometimes plug almost immediately, and start bypassing. Got that recommendation from an engineer with Clevite at a seminar on preventing bearing failure on fresh built engines, and have lived by it ever since.

    Supposedly the Valvoline filters are the same as Napa silver, and we have used them on occasion with good results, as well.
  6. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103


    We killed a $30,000 race engine one time because of those junky ass Fram filters. We swore off of them after that. The oil filter came apart and got into the dry sump pump. Locked it down and starved the engine at 9200 rpms. By the time I caught it... it was too late. Crank, rods, etc.

    Ooltewah Speed Shop
  7. Used to work the Ford garages in the 70s & 80s, was told by some even that long ago that Fram was #last of all filters to use. 'course being a ford dealer we used Motorcraft, along with Wix and Baldwin. Don't know too much about the Baldwins anymore.
  8. spiffy1937
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 732

    from Florida

    I had a '63 Galaxie that I put a 351W in and it had a slight "rattle" when first started. I figured it was because the oil was draining out of the filter when parked for a length of time so I switched from the Fram PH filter to a Fram TG. The Fram TG filter stopped the "rattle" and I have been using the Fram TG filters ever since in all my cars. Does anyone know what the difference is in construction of the PH and TG--anyone cut them apart? Anyone else have opinions on the TG??
    I scanned through the other post on Fram filters and didn't see anything on the TG.
    Unrelated to Fram but--I tried Hastings back in the late 60's early 70's on my 289-271HP in my Morris Van and the damn things kept splitting and leaking out the side!! Anyone have that happen?
  9. 392_hemi
    Joined: Jun 16, 2004
    Posts: 1,737


    Wix are good but just changed the spin on filter on my Allison trans and was surprised to find out the filter was made in China. Not sure if that's just for that particular filter, or if they're all going to be imported. If that's the case, I'm switching to Baldwin. They are top quality and still made in the US. As for Fram, I'd keep me old filter before I'd put one of those on any of mys cars or trucks.
  10. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488


    Opened her up, and here's what I found!!!! Scarry! :eek:






    So there you have it. The proof is in the pudding, seeing is believing, etc, etc, etc...

    I will NEVER NEVER NEVER use a Fram [sham] filter again!
  11. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    from Garner, NC

    I swore off Fram when the were banned from the AMA, CCS, and WERA motorcyle events in the mid 90's. Problem with the threads and they would just blow off....
  12. Parts48
    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,363

    from Tucson, Az
    1. Hot Rod Veterans

    ..uh..that don't look too nice..;)

    Haven't used Fram in years....
  13. skajaquada
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 1,642

    from SLC Utard

    man, my wife would kill me if i did that on the kitchen table...............again

    looks scary man. hope nothing got into your engine from that thing.
  14. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,495


    Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart. I really thought that the orange Fram filters looked real "cool". I have two exposed filters on my vintage race car (all the old-timers told me that I should run lots of oil in an early hemi, so I ended up with a fourteen quart pan, a big oil cooler and two filters). I really wanted to run Fram for their looks, but I found the NAPA filters were cheaper, so I bought 2 of them and painted them orange. I didn't know it, but I got the better filters for less money. Again, better lucky than smart.
  15. Road Runner
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,257

    Road Runner

    Sheesh - heard about collapsing Fram filters but seeing one is another thing all together. That's bad.
    Glad you posted the pics and warning.
    Somebody pointed out that currently there is a Fram HP oil filter recall on their website....

    I broke in my fresh chevy inline 6 with a wix/napa gold filter WITHOUT bypass valve and SAE 30 straight grade oil, last winter/spring.
    Replaced it after 500 miles then again after another 1500 and am on the 3rd one right now.
    Oil pressure has never dropped with that filter on that engine, since initial run in.

    Remember Fram from the early days....?
    The name is all that's left today.
  16. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488


    There are advantages to being single :p
    Actually, that's the kitchen floor... But I take care of my shit, and was carefull not to make a mess.

    I opened up the inlet on the Injector Pump. The screen was clean, but lord knows how much fine particulate matter has raped the internals. :mad:

    I'm still pizzed about the whole affair. What's worse, I had to put a fram back on it. I bought two of them thinking they would be "disposable" just untill I ran it dry and flushed the crap outa the tank. Fortunately, I'v only got about another 50 miles worth of fuel in there. I'll most definately be replacing it monday morning for sure!!!!!!!

    No more fram filters EVER!

    Notice my new signature line? Links back to this post! :)
  17. spiffy1937
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 732

    from Florida

    Well, I've never had a problem with the Fram filters but after reading about all the problems everyone else has had (and I don't want) I'm going to have to check out the Wix or Baldwin (who sells Baldwin??) filters for my next filter change--like tomorrow. After reading about the China thing I went to the Wix web site and this is the info about their manufacturing facilities. Looks like they still have US plants.
  18. Road Runner
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,257

    Road Runner

    When did you buy your last HP4 ?
    Heard about the current recall? ....

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width="90&#37;" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top width="1%">Q:</TD><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top width=*>What products are being recalled?</TD></TR><TR><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top>A:</TD><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top>Only the FRAM Racing oil filters HP4 and HP8 that were manufactured from May 25, 2006 through September 14, 2007. These oil filters can be identified by date code: A61451 through A72571 sequentially. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width="90%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top width="1%">Q:</TD><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top width=*>What is the nature of the defect and why is it a safety issue?</TD></TR><TR><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top>A:</TD><TD class=pressReleaseCopy vAlign=top>The gasket of the oil filter may become more pliable under high temperatures and pressures. This condition may cause inadequate sealing and loss of engine oil.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  19. For the racing Ford & Mopar guys, or guys running most remote filters, Jomar makes some NICE filters. The Ford guys can also run the FL-1HP which is pretty good. The Fram HP series as mentioned is normally decent enough but their quality control seems inconsistent.

    For the street guys, as mentioned Wix & NAPA (and Carquest, made by Wix unless they've changed) are as good as anything out there....
  20. Mopar Mama
    Joined: Nov 19, 2007
    Posts: 234

    Mopar Mama
    from Boise, ID

    Don't know about the Valvoline/Napa sliver, but I worked for NAPA for a year, and we had all kinds of filters cut open, the NAPA Gold is by far the very best. Beat K&N hands down, and that's the next comparable thing. He's right about the Silver being better if you're going to be changing it often. Best value for the money. Some Lucas fuel treatment ought to clean that up. I would rather lick my oil pan clean than put a Fram in my car. Bad juju. :eek:
  21. skajaquada
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 1,642

    from SLC Utard

    But the K&N oil filters don't really filter that well compared to others. They are a "high flow" filter and thus not meant to filter that well. They were originally intended for race engines that see regular teardown/rebuild. Not really meant for an every day engine.
  22. I also work for NAPA and before I started working for them I was in charge of maintaining 2 separate fleets of trucks and equiptment. For the 24 years I was with that company we used nothing but NAPA, Wix and Baldwin filters with the exception of one year when the NAPA guy forgot to submit his annual parts bid and we ended up with company's filters for a year.
    We had nothing but problems and at the end of that year we got back with more problems.
    Hey, I remember an old test where they compared all the popular makes of oil filters by opening them up and unrolling the elements on a flat shop floor.
    The Fram filter was by far the shortest....lotsa empty room in those fram cannisters...
  23. 48thames
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 79

    from so cal

    I use fram filters on those brown trucks, everything from 4.3 gm gassers to cummins and international diesel's.
  24. Weeks46
    Joined: Jul 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,495


    Hm, I was wondering why I hear noises from what sounds like the valves whenever I first start up in the morning. They get quieter as the oil pushes through my engine. Time to junk the frams and get some wix or mobil filters. I must be having the leakdown affect to the oil pan as described by many on this thread. I just thought it was the engine starting to get tired 116,000 on a four-banger. Good thread thanks for all the info from ya'll.-Weeks
  25. turdmagnet
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 382


    To Pir8Darryl - I'm curious what model number of the fram filter it was and how old the filter was. There will be a coded number on the side of the can.

    Cutting a filter open will tell you sqwat about the quality of its filtering ability. Unless you get into the technical specifications of the filter media, there's no way of stating whether its crap or not. There is a quite a detailed comparison floating around the internet, but if you read it, there is no scientific data backing up the authors claims. All he did was cut them open and make observations. No actual capacity or efficincy testing was done.
  26. louietrucks
    Joined: Apr 26, 2008
    Posts: 12

    from Atlanta ga

    I had read the earlier horror stories about Fram on here and had a O/T Camry my wife drives all the time. It too had the rattle at sart up and then quieted down only has idoit light and it always went right out. After reading the posts here I swapped to Wix and the rattle is gone. Also noticed my truck's oil pressure gauge actually stays a little higher than before the swap to wix (about 5lbs) My project is not far enough along yet to have an engine much less an oil filter

    Atlanta Ga
  27. Tiger II
    Joined: Mar 10, 2007
    Posts: 97

    Tiger II

    I have used Napa Gold 2qt. filters for years with no issues. They come in both Ford and GM configuration and have yet more filtration area. They are longer so make sure clearance is not an issue.
  28. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488


    Part #P6904
    Date code-A81141, which translates to Feb of this year
    The filtering media was never in question... Tho pure common sense tells me that more surface area is better than less. If Fram uses less media than other manufacturers, then it clearly has less filtering potential.

    If you want to discuss micron ratings, I can tell you that a standard oil filter is rated to 25 microns [nominal] and a fuel filter is rated to 7 microns [nominal].

    NO filter media available from any manufacturer is capable of flowing fuel or oil once it is clogged. The only way to increase the lifespan of a filter is by
    #1, using more filtering media to catch more crap over a longer time span
    #2, using a filter media that has a higher micron rating so it does not clog as quickly with fine particulat matter.

    If fram chooses to use less media, then common sense tells me it either has less lifespan, or less filtering ability... Or both! :eek:
    And in simillar fashion, all I did was cut this one open and report on what I saw... The filter had colapsed under the suction of the stock fuel pump... No high dollar Holly or FASS here. This indicates to me that there was not enough filter media to give the filter adequate lifespan

    The structural metal supports had crushed like a beer can, indicating it had been constructed out of inferior materials in the name of "cost cutting".

    After the filter colapsed, it allowed the rubber gasket to become dis-lodged, thereby letting un-filtered fuel enter my Injection Pump... Which I might add is an incredibly precision insturment, and costs around $5000 to rebuild on my model truck. This indicates to me even more cost cutting.

    Your arguement would have me believe that all of this is in my head, yet I have personally expirenced 2 [count 'em... TWO] fram filter failures within as many weeks. The first one cost me 4 hours to dig the pieces of filter media out of the engine. The second one may end up costing me a $5k IP rebuild.

    Lessons learned thru life expirences... The paint on a $5000 car might be just as shiney and pretty as the paint on a $50,000 car. The difference is that one of them has bondo under the paint, and the other has metal under it. I dont need to strip the paint off a cheap ass car to confirm my bondo suspicions, nor do I need to strip a high dollar car to confirm the metal.

    By the same token, I dont need a laboratory and a bunch of guys in white lab coats to tell me that Fram filters suck ass!!!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008

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