Following is some info I wanted to share about Oil Filters, this is the summery of quite a report. The sight has specks and photos of most popular brands. Make your own conclusions..
Later BB 98 SSE 117,000
All of this information can be a bit overwhelming. When it comes down to it, all of the lower-priced filters ($5 or below) have they ups and downs. In reality, there are only five different manufacturers available. Here are the low-cost filters that I feel safe using, based on all this information (in alphabetical order): AC Delco, Purolator, and Wix. Here are my reasons for each:
I like the deep pleats of the AC Delco’* filter element and the fact that it is not weak like the Champion. I also like the way that the anti-drainback valve diaphram makes a positive seal to the filter cartridge and to the bypass valve, which sort of “snaps” into the diaphram. The fact that the bypass valve seats against the backplate metal-to-metal is not a big deal. It probably doesn’t leak anyway, but if it does, only clean oil can get back into the pan. In case you haven’t noticed, I like this filter.
It is the best filter that you can buy for $3.
The Purolator is a very solid design. It seems to have the toughest paper filter element of them all and the bypass valve is built right into the cartridge. There are no internal sealing problems with this filter at all. I wish the inner diameter of the cartridge was smaller so that the pleats could be fewer and deeper. The Premium Plus version looks like it flows fine, but the Pure One or Motorcraft versions seem to be packed a bit too tightly. That assembly string still bothers me somewhat, but not enough to avoid these well-made filters completely. My ‘88 Shadow ES (as of 2/24/99) has a Purolator Premium Plus in it right now. I plan to cut it open and see how it holds up at the next oil change.
I don’t care for the Champion filters. The filter elements are way too fragile to give me much confidence in them. That, along with the rusty backplates, makes me shy away from them. Some decent filter material and a little oil used during assembly would make this into a fine filter. Like the Purolator, I like how the bypass valve is built right into the filter cartridge. This filter has no internal sealing problems, either. Even so, I won’t be using them.
The Wix filter is a very well made filter. My praise goes to Dana for putting some effort into it. Aside from being a stronger case, it also uses a much better filter element (about the same as the AC Delco). Like the AC Delco, it also has a minor internal sealing problem. In this case, the bypass valve has a metal-to-metal seal to the filter cartridge. It probably doesn’t really leak either, but if it did, dirty oil could get to the clean side of the filter. Otherwise it is a good filter. Given the choice between the Wix and the AC Delco at the same cost, I'd pick one while blind-folded. However, the Wix is about twice the price, so...
If money is no object, I would go with the Mobil 1. Although it has Champion internals, it has a really tough synthetic fiber filter element, which is the Champion’* only major downfall. The element is stronger and thicker than the Purolator, but they claim that it flows just as good as paper. As with the other low-end Wix filters, it has no internal sealing problems. The $10 price tag is a bit steep, but it is the best filter you can buy retail. Watch for “Mobil 1 Oil Change” sales, which includes 5 quarts of Mobil 1 synthetic oil and a Mobil 1 filter. Granted, there are probably better filters available through mail order, but I haven't tested those yet...
I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time. It could easily change if another filter (or one of the filters I am waiting on) comes around and is better.
It should be clear that Mopar filters are really nothing special. Unless you are trying to have a perfect restoration and need that Mopar logo, there is no reason why you should be buying Mopar oil filters. Most of them seem to currently be Purolators or Champions, but that could change at any time.
See the AC Delco, Champion, Fram, Purolator, and Wix sections for information on how to identify these manufacturers by looking at the backplate. The tell-tale signs are always there.
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