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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This has been a long debated topic so here is my .02…

When a filter is opened it just might make you question what the hell you are doing using that filter. There is definitely a difference in filters and you do get more when you pay more. Some features seem to be over-kill but you understand why they use them. I.E. coil spring versus stamped spring steel or 93 square inches of filter material versus 53 square inches or silicone anti-drain seals versus rubber. There is also common sense… like the anti-drain back doesn’t mean anything on a stock Pontiac V8 as the filter is not upside down or horizontal (opening facing down or horizontally).
After two of the Fram “open element” filters (no metal can) failing on my 01 Saturn I decided to look into filters further. One thing I found with the open filter types is Fram , K&N etc are the exact same… This is different than the “canned” versions where K&N definitely seem “better” that the lower priced models.
Putting some faith into the manufacturer’s specs and watching some very detailed testing videos on Youboob.com you have t make an edumacated decision and hope you get it right.

View attachment 99554

I’m using these criteria to pick a filter:

Flow rate
( there are always trade-offs) assuming higher flow means less filtering of small particles although as it clogs up it helps filter smaller and smaller particles like a furnace filter. Flow rate is also higher in general as newer cars require thinner and thinner oil viscosities.
K&N one of the higher rates based on media type.

Filter media surface area
(longer strip = more pleats more filtering)
K&N blew away competition at 93 versus 53 for most. I suspect this is because of the higher flow rate above they increased “inchage” to compensate?

Construction – steel bits versus xxx bits
FRAM has the only cardboard based end caps I saw. Vast majority have steel end caps and inner tubes – cheaper filters have plastic.

Media type - Synthetic versus xxx
I think this is a toss-up but how they secure the two ends does matter. K&N uses/used steel clamps where most use glue. The steel in my opinion is better as it can’t be a weak spot – this is where the two filters above failed. The least at the joint buckled.

Media application – mesh backing etc
ONE filter used mesh backing in the filter and it was really expensive compared to even the moderately priced units. Not sure this is such a big help. Maybe if you are running extremely high oil pressures.

Application – low or high pressure
I’m a stock pressure guy so this eliminates the high pressure application racing filters which are out of my cost/make sense range any way.

Oil type
I’m using Full Synthetic but these days I don’t think this matters much as most modern engines/cars require synthetic.

Additives?
Better/higher flow rates may enable use of things like a thick Oil Stabilizer.

Cost/benefit
One can go crazy and spend $25 a filter but using common sense brings me into the $8-12 range of filters.

I said all that to say this... I will try the K&N filter after looking at Bosh, FRAM, NAPA, AMSOIL, WIX etc etc etc.... thing is a lot of these are just like DVD players - one manufacturer makes a bunch of them and just puts a different wrapper on it. K&N seems to be a unique filter and it's actually available cheaper than most of the others, with some inter-web digging.

Time will tell if I made the right decision... hopefully it doesn't end up as an expensive lesson.
View attachment 99562
 

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I too have looked up online oil filter info. Like many other subjects, info differs, depending on who you ask.

Fram definitely gets the worst reviews, on many sites. But, not all.

Most say that WIX/NAPA Gold are good filters. I've used the NAPA 1258 for many years. Never a problem.

I bought a couple of K&N's for a recent 455 bracket car. Did this for 2 reasons: the nut on the end, and the advertised smaller particle filtering. They worked OK. I've never cut a filter open to see what was inside. This seems to be a common practice nowadays.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/knn-hp-2003/overview/

Reviews can vary. Some even have Fram on the best filter list. Royal Purple is high on several lists, as is Mobile One & Bosch.

https://www.yourbestpicks.com/best-oil-filters-reviews/

https://gear4wheels.com/best-oil-filter/

https://www.prettymotors.com/best-oil-filter-brand/

https://www.caroutfitter.com/best-oil-filter-reviews/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I too have looked up online oil filter info. Like many other subjects, info differs, depending on who you ask.

Fram definitely gets the worst reviews.

Most say that WIX/NAPA Gold are good filters. I've used the NAPA 1258 for many years. Never a problem.

I bought a couple of K&N's for a recent 455 bracket car. Did this for 2 reasons: the nut on the end, and the smaller particle filtering. They worked OK. I've never cut a filter open to see what was inside. This seems to be a common practice nowadays.

Reviews can vary. Some even have Fram on the best filter list. Royal Purple is high on several lists, as is Mobile One & Bosch.

https://www.yourbestpicks.com/best-oil-filters-reviews/

https://gear4wheels.com/best-oil-filter/

https://www.prettymotors.com/best-oil-filter-brand/

https://www.caroutfitter.com/best-oil-filter-reviews/
Thanks for the links bigD.

I used to think I had no issues as well until I started cutting open filters after oil changes - hence my looking into a filter change. Used FRAM all my life, over 40 years, so I was shocked to see them fail regularly - most collapsed or twisted, only one actually ripped open.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Interesting, the K&N is 1/8th inch smaller in all aspects but the same with respect to construction as the FRAM (made in China) "open cartridge" model - same plastic bits. Fram Extra Guard has 49 pleats fairly evenly spaced, FRAM Tough guard has 80+ pleats with really really small spacing, K&N (made in Korea) has 53 pleats but the material is much thicker and pleats are nicely spaced... The K$N is $3 buck cheaper. I'm reporting on these filters because I'm betting the "enclosed" filters are similarly built - I'll know when I open them up.

View attachment 99658

This will be a lonnnngggg term project...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Swapped out the FRAM oil filter for K&N. Seems to be a better filter (beefier/much heavier) - same # of intake holes - opening it up later will tell more. Opened up the used FRAM (2 actually). Neither FRAM failed but I will open every filter I change on all cars in my family for along time to research what happens.

Hopefully these new filters work well and are worth the extra dough - not that it will break me to replace one of these every year but at 3 times the cost of the FRAMs I certainly hope they are worth it. I suppose it's cheap insurance but I still don't like spending more just to spend more, I'll know more after more tests... It's just ingrained in me.
 

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The Wix/NAPA, AC, & Baldwin filters are under $10, including tax, at many local stores. And they're cheaper online, if you can get free shipping with a larger order.

https://www.fleetfilter.com/filter/51258.html

WIX 51258 Oil Filter | RockAuto

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/wix-5291/filters-16470/oil-filter-16731/oil-filter-12090/oil-filter/51258/4835619

https://www.walmart.com/ip/ACDelco-Oil-Filter-ACPPF24/33678562?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227022912864&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=42532459232&wl4=aud-310687321602:pla-81189464792&wl5=9025493&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=33678562&wl13=&veh=sem

https://www.1877forparts.com/baldwin-b39-full-flow-lube-spin-on/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAmITRBRCSARIsAEOZmr6BprIlYHunt4gToWmNe-lbrI7ulyFc3YOIyuDa6F_OpO6dDP7P_qAaAqKtEALw_wcB

https://www.baldwinfiltersrus.com/baldwin-b39-full-flow-lube-spin-on.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAmITRBRCSARIsAEOZmr7bvFew7Xt90v2SCrQQcEonc_m_sbsT4nZ7zjmV2Gvr4GLYUlFNXG0aAnslEALw_wcB

Mobil 1 filters get good reviews. But they ain't cheap.

https://www.autozone.com/external-engine/oil-filter/mobil-oil-filter/106095_0_0

This site gives the Amsoil filters the best numbers.

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/yes-the-oil-filter-you-sellect-does-make-a-differance.117/

http://www.performanceoilcompany.com/products/amsoil/EA-oil-filter-EAO31/

Some sites show Royal Purple to be best. I couldn't find the large diameter Pontiac filter. But, you can use either the short or long LS filter.

http://www.royalpurpleconsumer.com/products/royal-purple-oil-filters/

http://www.thevog.net/threads/royal-purple-vs-mobil-one-vs-wix-vs-k-n-vs-amsoil-oil-filters.54346/

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/chc-10-44/overview/make/pontiac

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/chc-20-59?seid=srese1&cm_mmc=pla-google-_-shopping-_-srese1-_-royal-purple-oil-filter&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmITRBRCSARIsAEOZmr4V7OjdhV-6I4yR_L8YjE3MTrTajqqFe3N3pcGKKnU2NPfaaDCD9coaAhFUEALw_wcB
 
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