Motorcraft FL 1A oil filter cut apart

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EdM

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David, as you say, a matter of opinion. To some extent I agree with you. If oil broke down that much, it wouldn't get recycled and re-refined and sold as an "off brand' oil. Personally, I do like to change the oil and filter each spring, but that's MY choice. I do not use synthetic oil in these motors, to me, that is a waste of money. Actually it burns me that a barrel of oil at the well head cost say 40 dollars, but a 5 (US) quart jug of 10W30 cost 35 bucks (in Canada). Can you say "Profit Margin"!

My intent with this post was to discuss oil filters and their pros and cons and not so much about whether one should or should not change the oil.
Clearly you have not worked in the oil and gas industry to realize the capital spent to take a barrel of oil to a quart of oil.

 

Ron Tanzi

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While we're on the subject of oil, can I break forum etiquette and politely hijack for a moment?

Am I the only one who when he shuts down his Cleveland it sounds like there's a dang rainstorm going on in the oil pan? I've never had a car that is so loud with oil returning to the pan. I don't know how long it lasts, but it seriously sounds like it's raining in there. I've just never heard that on any other car I've owned, driven or worked on. It's pretty dang loud. 
My 72 Cleveland has always made the rain sound in the pan at shut down. I like it as it lets you know the oil is getting up top and everywhere. 

 

Spike Morelli

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To change oil, or not to change oil. Well, it's your car. However, I have seen, being in the engine building business, a lot of crap in people's oil / oil pans. To be fair, some of the junk in old oil may be there due to poor maintenence, ring blow-by, pcv systems in-op, running too cold or too hot, so many reasons for oil to become contaminated with moisture,carbon by-products, and metal particles sloughed off by wear. In a perfect world, under perfect conditions, with perfect maintenence, having a perfect tune, etc,etc, sure...... the oil shouldn't have issues. BUT, if you drive your car, the oil will get contaminated with all the above. Even if the oil's viscosity index remains the same, there's still minute contaminants in your oil. Proper maintenance requires the lubricating oil be drained and replaced at reasonable intervals as a cautionary routine to maintain your engine.
I also hold an A&P license, ( aircraft mechanics certification ), and I can tell you, THAT industry doesn't want to take any chances, and requires maintenance to be top priority. Piston engine oils are changed at set inspection intervals. Engine reliability/ failure is at stake, which equates to loss of life. Longshot? Not one person reading this wants to take that chance. Further, when the oil is drained/changed in an aircraft engine, a sample is allways sent in to a company for anyalisis to determine internal engine condition. Those out there who say "there's nothing floating around in the oil" are ill-informed. There always is, in used oil, and a read-out of metal and chemical contaminants is returned to the maintanence facility to preclude any further maintenance, and, believe me, the oil filters use in the aviation industry are very good. Synthetic lubricants are specified for non-reciprocating engines ( turbines ), and gearboxes, where the synthetic oil does not come into contact with carbon contamination, as in piston engines. Although many people use synthetic oil in their automobiles, I prefer to not. ( Here, just my preference due to aviation background).
I'll join anybody, anyday of the week in a discussion about oil prices being ridiculous, but, that's more of a political discussion. Whatever the cost of motor oil, If you are a car guy, an engine guy, or just really love your machine, oil cost should be the least of your worries. I don't think a person who has the time, space, and coin to referbish/restore any car, should worry about buying fresh oil for his/her baby. I asked a guy, once ,at the airport, how much does it cost to fuel his P-51 Mustang ( the aircraft), with fuel. He just smiled, and said, " If you can't afford the fuel, you shouldn't have the airplane"
 
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My suggestion for anyone that doesn't think it necessary to change oil is to go to your favorite car salvage lot and pull the valve covers off a couple of beaters so you can see what happens to the insides of engines that have a lack of maintenance. I'm sure Spike, and anyone else who has worked on and/or maintained car engines, has shook their heads more than a few times, wondering how "that" engine managed to run as long as it did. The ones that are the worst are the ones that were just driven 3 or 4 miles at a time, never getting warm enough to evaporate the condensation and volatiles.
 
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I talked with Mellings and Wix a few years ago about flow rates. A long story made short, the Wix Racing filter flows significantly more than needed in high RPM endurance racing. So I stayed with Wix Racing filter. Chuck
 

Spike Morelli

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I was not privvy to any ugliness that occured 2 years ago, and I'm not calling out anybody in particular.
 
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I was not privvy to any ugliness that occured 2 years ago, and I'm not calling out anybody in particular.
Ok Spike, all good, no problem.
You make very valid points as does Don C.
I change my oil every Spring no matter how many miles I put on it the previous season. Originally in this thread, the intent was to show that the filter I choose to use, the FL1A, had no visible signs of debris or sludge after 1500 or so miles.
 
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I talked with Mellings and Wix a few years ago about flow rates. A long story made short, the Wix Racing filter flows significantly more than needed in high RPM endurance racing. So I stayed with Wix Racing filter. Chuck
That's why I use the TMeyer filter adapter. By using a WIX 51268 you get the flow of the race filter and the filtration of the street filter.
 
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I asked a guy, once ,at the airport, how much does it cost to fuel his P-51 Mustang ( the aircraft), with fuel. He just smiled, and said, " If you can't afford the fuel, you shouldn't have the airplane"

How true for many of the things we own. Sometimes we overlook the needed necessities for an extra bell or whistle. My brother had his own plane - Bonanza - and maintenance came before anything else, even his beer. He was a firm believer in the top-of-the-line oil filters with the best micron rating. He used to compare contaminates in oil to sandpaper. As he would say, would you rather have 220 grit or 2000 grit eating at your bearings?
 
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I was not privvy to any ugliness that occured 2 years ago, and I'm not calling out anybody in particular.
posts #21 and #22. #21 was to me, personal, 22 was my quick reaction. Leave it at that.
Discussing the pros and cons of oil filters is all good and informative.
 

Spike Morelli

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I had an experience comparing a Fram oil filter, with a standard Fl-1A Motorcraft filter years back. I cut both open, while my inspection may have not caught all of the differences, ( this was 2000 ), what I do remember was that when I removed the paper filter media from both and recorded the filtering area in square inches, the Motorcraft had 33% more filtering area than the Fram. Interestingly, if you compare how both filters fit the threads to the block, you'll find thr Fram's threads are a bit loose, compared to the Motorcraft's, which tends to be a tighter, more precision fit on the threads.
 
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I had an experience comparing a Fram oil filter, with a standard Fl-1A Motorcraft filter years back. I cut both open, while my inspection may have not caught all of the differences, ( this was 2000 ), what I do remember was that when I removed the paper filter media from both and recorded the filtering area in square inches, the Motorcraft had 33% more filtering area than the Fram. Interestingly, if you compare how both filters fit the threads to the block, you'll find thr Fram's threads are a bit loose, compared to the Motorcraft's, which tends to be a tighter, more precision fit on the threads.
Interesting observation Spike.
Back between 78 and 89, I worked for Canadian Fram in the R&D department, building prototype air cleaners and induction systems. While we had nothing to do with Fram oil filters, I find it kind of surprising that Fram oil filters would not have been made to the same high standard as the air filters were. The labs we had then were extensive and testing rigorous. Air cleaners are not just to stop dust and dirt. They are designed to provide the correct restriction and air flow needed for a specific engine at all levels of 'dirtiness', for the want of a better term.
 

Ron Tanzi

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Wix or Napa Gold are one in the same and are the only filters I use on everything including my clients cars. I once was a disciple of Fram many years ago until I cut a PH8A open and I was not impressed.
 
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For our vintage ponies (69 Shelby and two 73 Mustangs) I have been using FL1-A, but may switch to FL1-HP for the 69 GT500, as it often had a oil pressure reading of 60 - 80 PSI at higher RPMs. I prefer to not risk a filter blowing out. I was not able to find the Motorcraft oil filter element kit for our 2020 GT500, as it was on national back order. I ended up getting an oil filter housing kit, which included the filter element and sealing rings. It was more costly, but my alternative involved waiting for who knew how long to get the filter element. I tend to keep several FL1-A units on hand, and change the oil and filter annually, following pulling them out of Winter Hibernation, despite the pony cars typically having less than 500 miles on the prior oil. Were I not able to get an FL1-A oil filter I would be fine with Purolator, NAPA, or Wix Gold. They all have looked like they are a higher quality design. I would almost prefer to keep using an old FL1-A as opposed to using a new Fram oil filter. I have never been impressed by their design, other than from the perspective of a penny pinching manufacturer looking to provide a marginally acceptable alternative for the lowest possible cost. I am truly amazed at much they were able to squeeze out of such cheap materials. But, not the kind of being impressed that would encourage me to use their product. I guess for old beaters I did not care about lasting a Fram filter would be fine. But for only a bit more I can get a much higher quality filter.
 
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Wix or Napa Gold are one in the same and are the only filters I use on everything including my clients cars. I once was a disciple of Fram many years ago until I cut a PH8A open and I was not impressed.
The problem with Fram, as are many companies, they get bought and sold many times. The name may stay the same, but the product as sure as hell doesn't.
 
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