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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone, this is the start of the Oil Filter Shootout. Before it begins, we all have to thank "DaJokr" for the sizeable contribution that got the ball rolling. Thank you! (Thanks, to everyone else who contributed too!)

Please... DO NOT REPLY OT MAKE COMMENTS TO THIS TREAD UNTIL I GET EVERY THING POSTED! I'm hoping the Mod's can lock this thread while I'm building it. Once done, it will be open to everyone for commentary.... Thanks for understanding.

To begin with, every filter in this test has proven to work on the 6.6 L Duramax platform. In comparing them, it's back to the old argument of what makes the best beer. Its all very objective, with a sprinkling of fact or science tossed in. I'm not going to recommend anything...I'm just pointing out my observations so everyone can make their own decisions. This also isn't going to be number crunching spread sheet. Things like can thickness really doesn't matter. They all hold the oil in, and the world out... without rupturing. A few thousandth's of a inch one way or the other really makes no difference. Its going to be based more on common sense and real world experience. I hope everyone gets something out of it... and if for some reason I have left something out that you're interested in.. please P/M me.

I contacted every manufacturer to get the micron and efficiency numbers directly from them for the part number that is being examined. For something so straightforwards, it has turned into a adventure of its own, but more on that later.
Also, this should be fun and interesting.. so please keep the bickering to a minimum...

With that all said, I'll start posting the reviews today. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this happen!!!

In order to be reviewed:

1. Baldwin B1441
2. K&N 3003
3. Wix 57202XP
4. Donaldson P550518
5. Purolator Boss PBL35399
6. Rotella RTO-59
7. Fram XG9100
8. AC Delco PF2232
9. Fleetguard LF16102
10. Mobil 1 303A
11. Amsoil EaO 52

NOTE! For every filter that I could, the tech line contact phone number and email are provided , so you can do any follow up on your own, if need be.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Every test needs a baseline, so I'm starting with the Baldwin B1441, which is just a beautifully designed and manufactured filter



It has everything you want in a filter...nice can, the "best in class" bypass valve assembly, real assembly spring, really nice element and anti-drainback valve, and thick mounting flange with adequate oil inlet area.

As our filters mount pretty much vertically, the anti-drain back valve is unnecessary. I wont spend too much time on this feature in this or other reviews.


The element itself is free of uneven pleats, glue globs, dents, or other issues. Viewed from any angle, the care PARKER puts in its manufacturing is very apparent. Note I said Parker, and not Baldwin..... I emailed Baldwin for the specs, but Parker send me the reply. Interesting... right?



The bypass valve is the industry standard. Its the biggest, and best designed....by far. Some valves in other filters put the hardware in the flowpath of the oil. Baldwin doesn't. Baldwin seals the valve to the filter element with its own gasket, others do not. NOTE!! If I lived where it got really cold, the Baldwin would be the only filter I would run due to this large bypass valve. Cold , thick oil needs a path to the bearings.. and only the Baldwin provides this. The bypass valves in some of the other filters are a joke in comparison.




So , there you have it.... what I believe is the best of the bunch. Great design and build. Acceptable micron specs, and top of the line bypass.... all in a $9 filter. Amazing. About the only way to improve it, would to seal the filter in plastic before putting it in the box. For something designed to filter at the 20 micron level, it seems counter productive not to seal the filter in plastic ( only 3 filters tested did this) or... why not put the filter in the box, and then seal the box in plastic? This would keep and debris out, and stop any tampering.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Next up is the K&N 3003. I'm not going to spend too much time on this filter, I think it's junk for a $14 filter made in Mexico.



Average construction, small -cheap-PLASTIC bypass valve and a cellulose filter media with uneven pleats. Specs? What specs....



See those speck's at 11 o'clock? Those are rust particles, even though it came wrapped in plastic.



If those tiny plastic hooks fail over time after being exposed to hot oil, the filter will go into full time bypass, and the parts will end up plugging a oil passage somewhere inside the engine.... no thanks!

If K&N wont put much effort into this filter, neither will I .......

Pass.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm reviewing the Wix 57202XP and the Donaldson P550518 together, because it's basically the same filter. Does Wix make it, or does Donaldson, or are they both made by a 3rd party? Who knows... as their has been allot of consolidation in the filter industry over the last few years.


Note the number stamped into base plate.



The Wix uses a synthetic media filter. I wrote them for the specifics on the 57202XP. They answered with a generic email, referencing a few different filters. I emailed them again with a request for specific information, and I did not receive any response.



The Wix also came with a torn "anti-drainback valve". It's shocking that in the small batch of filters bought, how many defects are present.


The Donaldson rep responded with this...


So the less expensive $14 Wix with synthetic media filters at 99% efficiency at 35 microns, and the $16 Donaldson with cellulose media filters at 99% efficiency at 20 microns? Sometimes I wonder if the filter makers just pull these micron numbers out of the ether.

Both filters have the same bypass valve assembly. Its similar to the Baldwin, but much smaller.


So, both are decent filters but priced on the high side when compared to the Baldwin filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here we have the Purolator "Boss" oil filter. Purolator was bought by the MANN-HUMMEL Group, from Germany. MANN is one of the biggest and most respected filter makers in Europe.


This is a odd filter, that takes some thinking to figure out. Allot of people think that the weight of something equals quality. This is by far the heaviest filter of the group, and it appears they made it heavy on purpose. First off, let me say it's built to a very high level in fit, finish, and design.... BUT... as far as the added weight, none of it is functional.


The majority of the heft is the the base plate itself. Its at least twice as heavy as the others. It is beautifully machined with rolled threads, and nicely cut oil inlet ovals... These ovals are a give-a-way that it's produced by Purolator.

More weight is added in the form of double assembly plates. Some call them "Flat Springs", but their not. Their just soft steel that when bent, stays bent.Their is no "spring" action.


The filter media is synthetic, but Purolator ignored my request for information. All over the packaging and their website.. they throw around this number of being "99% efficient", but no micron size is ever given.



There is no "Rugged internal construction". Lying to sell something flat out sucks....

But here's the problem... If K&N sucks for not publishing their test data, do we left MANN slide for not publishing theirs? I would really like to give the thumbs up on this filter, but I cant. If MANN ever responds, I will revisit this review and correct it as needed.

The bypass valve is also kinda' kooky. The "spring" is a flat disc with cutout's in it. The cutouts let the oil flow through when the disc flex's inwards. It all seems very restrictive, but at least their is no plastic in the design....


It's also expensive at $18. I had high hopes for this, but it didn't deliver... :frown2:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
While we are talking about Purolator, here is the Rotella RTO-59. Same basic construction as The Boss, and the same restrictive bypass valve.

For you cold climate people, I suggest you steer clear of any of these Purolator products!!







As far as specs.... Shell was of little use, probably because they dont make it and just resell it.


"Test Target" WTF does that mean?


Autozone markets this as a high end filter, at $18 ! It's far from it !!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
FRAM for allot of folks means " F-ram R-uined A-nother M-otor"... and I tend to agree. In my own experience ( and in a moment of weakness) I got a top of the line Fram XG filter for my daughters BMW, and the thing fell apart like it was made with oil soluble glue. Here's a photo of the unraveling mess....


This Fram XG9100 is cut from the same cloth. Total junk.


Let start with the box...because how do you screw up a box...right? Its such low quality cardboard that it feels like it's damp, even though it isn't. It barely holds itself together, let alone protect the filter inside. The filter itself has blurry text on it, like the stencil has been used 200,000 times. It has that nice Fram grip texture, but thats the only redeeming quality.


The baseplate has really small inlet holes. I mean, how much does it cost to stamp a bigger hole?


The filter media looks like crap. The pleats are spread all over the place, and the metal clip is too long, so when the filter is smashed together at assembly, the metal clip buckles and part of the flap lifts up...



The bypass valve is crappy plastic, and isnt even part of the element. It's part of the assembly plate and just sits on the element ! Their is nothing stopping oil from seeping past this connection, and entering the engine unfiltered.



Here's the bypass in the open position ( sorry about the blurry, one handed photography) Those 4 tiny ports between the plastic legs are the only way for oil to flow through it... total joke for Frams "Top of the Line" filter.

Specs? Here's what they sent me....


I asked a follow up question in another email, for 10 micron numbers. He stated Fram does zero testing, below 20 microns.

The anti drain back valve is really soft, really thin silicone, and its shaped like a funnel and just drops into the top of the element. Look at the other filters and you will see a plastic coupler or the valve will sit on a metal nipple on the top of the filter element.


There's nothing the stabilize it, and there's nothing to keep the oil from pushing it out of the way. It if does, their is unfiltered oil going straight into the engine! Its the biggest design failure in any of the filters, and of course, its completely unique to the Fram. No other filter has a anti drain back valve like this.


This filter is total crap at $10. Its still total crap at $2.00
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Allot of people like to go OEM, so here's the AC Delco PF2232. Nothing about this filter is great or exciting.... but... millions of them have driven trillions of trouble free miles and how many filters can say that!!


Assembly quality is good, not great... a few glue smudges here and there. Filter media is cellulose, and GM did not answer my email or website question form requests. Online searches seem to say its 95% efficient at 35 microns. The can itself is very sturdy, one of the best for sure.



It has the same bypass assembly as the Fram... along with the same issues.




I got this filter for $8, so you get what you pay for with this one.....

Its still hard to argue with the miles driven on this one. It just works.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Next on the list is the Fleetguard LF16102. It's also made by our friends south of the border, and came wrapped in plastic. Thank you Mexico!



Great construction quality! A nicely made element and the preferred all metal good flowing bypass valve, a real coil spring.... and the biggest anti drain back valve I've ever seen! In whats probably a cost saving measure, Fleetguard might use this same valve in any and every filter they can stick it in. Being this big doesnt present any problems for this filter.



The filter is clean and tidy, and so was the response from Fleetgard ...


This is a really, really nice filter, especially for $8. I would not hesitate to run this on any Duramax......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In what seems to be a fall from grace is the Mobil 1 303A, made by Champion Labs. I kept hearing how these filters were being poorly produced, so I went out and bought one to see for myself. I cut it open, and the photo speaks for itself.... What a mess.



You can look at this two ways. Either its a big issue, effecting the whole production line, or... I got 'lucky' and bought the crappiest filter Champion Labs has ever produced.

I contacted them, and here are a few of their replies... Mr. Ferguson has been very responsive.







I'm hoping since I took the time to help them straighten out their issues (which kinda' blows me away... that they were not randomly checking on this themselves) that they will replace any filters that you guys have sitting on your shelves... I'll let you know how this pans out!!

As for the rest of the filter, its a good quality known brand that many of us have run a bunch of miles on, without issue. I dont have more photos, as I have sent the filter back to Champion.

Here are the specs....


A very good performer!!!

As I hear from Mr. Ferguson, I'll keep you guys informed....
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
And last, but not least is the Amsoil EoA 52. I can tell you right now, that no other filter in this shootout is built anything like this filter....

I would like to thank Mr. Manners who is a Amsoil dealer on this site for donating it... Thanks Willy!



Starting with the box, its a stiff, quality cardboard and the filter comes wrapped in plastic , as they all should. When you cut it open, you instantly see how shinny it is inside!!





EVERY surface is cadmium plated for corrosion resistance. I've never seen anything like it.

The element itself is very different from the other synthetic elements in the test... it almost has a terrycloth feel to it and it uses the preferred style bypass valve.

Here are the specs...


No other filter can say nearly 99% at 20 microns with a straight face. Not one. Due to the build quality on the Amsoil filter, I also believe Amsoil's micron numbers.

At a price point of around $18, its the most expensive filter in the test. But unlike the other expensive filters that are nothing more than smoke and mirrors, this one delivers and gives you some value for your hard earned money. All that cad plating must be expensive, but I'm not sure how important it really is. The filter comes wrapped in plastic to keep it dry, and once you install it, if you get any moisture inside.. you have way bigger issues!!

I inquired who makes these? This is Amsoil's reply.


If Amsoil replaced that flat steel assembly piece with a real coil spring, it would be nearly perfect! ( I still consider the Baldwin the best overall designed filter)

If you do decide to to buy these, please order from Mr. Manners. He's easy to find on this site. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, here you go guys!! I was cutting the filters apart today to measure surface area, and my bandsaw crapped out, so I'll post all that info together in another post later this week.

You are free to post comments or questions.....

I hope this sheds some light on the subject of Duramax oil filters!!

Bob
 

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Wow! Thank you for your time and thoughts as well as putting all of this together.

Mr. Manners please PM me.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Acceptable Element Connection A ( As shown on the Baldwin)

A plastic connection piece fits in the ID on the element, and the OD of a piece on the baseplate index's into the ID of the plastic piece. The plastic piece also goes through the center of the anti drain valve to positively locate it. NOTE! Even with the anti drain valve missing, everything still functions due to the mechanical connection the plastic part provides.





 

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Discussion Starter #15
Acceptable Element Connection B ( as shown on the AC Delco filter)

The filter element has a metal nipple extending from it. The baseplate also has a metal nipple extending from it. The OD of the baseplate nipple index's into the ID of the element nipple. The anti drain valve sits on the top of the element nipple to positively locate it. Note! Even with the anti drain removed, the filter still functions.



 

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Thank you for your efforts. Nice to see the performance of the Amsoil. I always thought it was a high quality filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Unacceptable Element Connection ( As shown on the Fram)

The Fram element has a smooth top, and the base plate has a smooth convex shape. When the unsupported anti drain valve is placed between to two surfaces, it makes a connection between the inner part of the element and the convex portion of the baseplate fits into the concave portion of the anti drain valve. Their is no connection between the baseplate and the element whatsoever. Note! With the removal of the anti drain valve, the filter ceases to function.





Does it work? Yea. Is it the cheapest way to do it? Yea. Is it good engineering? No.
 

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Discussion Starter #18


Here's a quick comparison on inlet area....

The Fram has 8 holes at 0.175" for a total area of 0.192 square inches

The Amsoil has 8 holes at 0.250" for a total area of 0.392 square inches

The Purolator has 6 slots at 0.480" x 0.220" for a area of 0.633 square inches.
 

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Discussion Starter #19


I went to Walmart today, hoping they had a SuperTech filter for the D-Max. Closest thing I got was for a Chevy 6.0 l gasser. It was $2.55. I cut it open,and it has the exact same anti drain back valve as the top of the line Fram.

When viewed from above, without the valve in place.... you can clearly see the direct flowpath from the inlet holes, to the center outlet hole. Terrible engineering.



This is the same view when looking down the Baldwin. The plastic spacer is both locating the element on the baseplate... and .... sealing off the inlet holes from the exit hole. Excellent engineering
 

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Great write up! Man am I glad I ordered that Baldwin for next oil change, will definitely stick with them! Makes me want to go take the fresh AC/Delco filter off and replace it with Baldwin right now. Also glad that I didn't order the Donaldson filter. Not because it looks bad, but because it was $17 and the Baldwin was $10.
 
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