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Old 01-24-2016, 10:46 PM   #1
sam o nela
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Default Legend-Specific Oil Filter Comparo

There have been numerous write ups on the internet comparing the make up of oil filters by different manufacturers. The purpose of this write up was to look at the Legend-specific filters. All of these filters are able to be used on both the G1 and G2 Legends as well as the NSX and the 1G TL with the C32 engine.

First, let’s go over some basics about oil filter construction and their functions.



All oil filters consist of some basic parts:
* Outer canister – outer steel housing; can differ in gauge of steel used

* Spring – holds all components in place – can be a coil spring or a leaf spring

* Base plate/cover plate – main portion that holds the o-ring, inlet holes, and outlet holes

* Inlet holes – typically 6-8 holes; holes can differ in size; oil enters the filter through here

* Anti-drainback valve – keeps oil from draining back out of the filter after engine shutdown to prevent “dry starts”. I used to think that since our filters are mounted vertically with the inlets facing upward, this wasn’t a huge issue. But it turns out there can still be drain back for some pretty interesting reasons (details here if you’re interested). Material can be silicone or nitrile/rubber with silicone being better tolerant of extreme cold temps.

* Endcaps – caps each end of the filter media and sealed with adhesive

* Filter media – this filters the contaminants from the oil before sending it back to the engine.

* Center tube – provides structure/strength to the filter media. Is a rolled tube with holes. Holes can vary in size and tube construction can be a straight roll or corrugated.

* Bypass valve – Allows unfiltered oil to bypass the filter media under specific conditions highlighted in this write up. With the exception of the Fram 6552, all of the Legend filters had stout bypass valves located at the dome end of the filter canister. Keep in mind I didn't test for bypass valve leakage. Although I suspect the higher scoring filters wouldn't be likely to do so.

* Threaded outlet hole – Oil goes back into the engine through here.

With the exception of the Ultra 8, all of these filters are available from Rock Auto. Many are also available off the shelf at the usual Auto Parts stores. A lot of these are also dwindling in supply. So hopefully this can be a guide for people in deciding which filter works best for them.

I had originally planned to test only tall filters, but realized that short filters are worth looking at too considering their wide availability. So I’ll rank the filters in a tall and short category.

I didn’t go incredibly deep into the details of each filter, although that was totally possible (like total surface area, weight of individual components, pleat depth, bypass valve sealing test, etc) but it would have made this writeup much more complex. I kept it simple. All of the filters were evaluated for the following:

* Filter Height
* Pleat Count
* Filter Circumference


I weighed most of the filters, but unfortunately got a little excited with the second shipment of filters and forgot to weight them. So I’ll post weight if I have it.

Each filter is marked with (left to right) Filter Media height, pleat number, and media circumference. (see example pic)




Before we get started, let’s begin with the one filter I tested that you should NEVER buy.

Fram PH6552
Luckily, this one is not widely available anymore. But it can still be found. Don’t let the tall canister fool you. This is easily the worst constructed of the tested filters:





It had cardboard endcaps, 37 unevenly spaced pleats (one of the fewest of all), a thin gauged canister, and a plastic bypass valve incorporated into the leaf spring.
I wouldn’t risk the possible failure of this filter on my car. Just wanted to get that out of the way first.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:47 PM   #2
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Short Filters

STP S8212 and Fram PH8212
I want to start with the short filters…and among them, first the most readily available. The Fram PH8212 and STP S8212. These two are decent filters. I went ahead and took pictures of the two of them next to each other to compare them as well as the subpar PH6552. Considering the easy access to these, they should be the bare minimum in quality during spring and summer months. Their basic and thin rubber ADBVs may not like extreme cold followed by engine operating temps followed by extreme cold again and again and again.
Pleat count on both is impressive. The STP has a larger circumference than the Fram, but has fewer pleats. Overall, quality on the Fram, believe it or not, edges out the STP.







With those two out of the way, I will now post the remaining short filters from least impressive to most impressive based on the measurements mentioned above.


5. Pure Pro 8212
Definitely the smallest of them all. It has lots of other Brand Part numbers printed right on it to tell you what it replaces, but this filter is definitely proof that not all are created equal.






4. AC Delco PF1240
Good quality filter. Middle of the road as far as surface area and other measurements go.





3. Parts Master 61378





2. Hastings LF462
I have to say this is a damn good filter. Construction was solid. Thick canister gauge, stout filter media, it was just edged out only dimensionally by the Valvoline.





1. Valvoline V0-60



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Old 01-24-2016, 10:47 PM   #3
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Tall Filters

The original Legend oil filter was a taller filter than what is sold today. While it originally came equipped on the 88 Legend, it was later referred to as the “NSX Filter” due to it being still used on the NSX, but replaced by the shorter one on the Legend. Eventually both the NSX and Legend were designated the short filter and now that is all you can get from Honda. However, many aftermarket manufacturers continued making a tall version. Here is how they stack up against each other (again, least impressive to most).

10. Wix 51378
I have to admit I was pretty surprised by this one. Wix has been a pretty reputable brand and over the years I have heard plenty of good things about the filter on the old and new forum. I don’t know if they changed manufacturers, or if maybe I got a dud (which if I randomly got one that was this bad, you’d have to wonder about their quality control practices).

While the canister is on par with the size of the larger filters, the filter element itself is only slightly larger than the previously tested small filters. And also one of the lowest pleat counts with inconsistent spacing.
Not as bad as the cardboard endcapped Fram, but definitely not what I expected. I won’t be using these.






9. Purolator 24484
This isn’t particularly a bad filter. It’s definitely better than the Wix. But there are plenty of better filters on this list







8. Prime Guard POF4484
This and the next few are actually pretty well constructed filters. Perfect middle of the road candidates.
One area of improvement could be if they had slightly larger inlet holes.





7. Pro Gauge PG0-4484
This filter featured doubled leaf springs which was interesting. It was the only one to do so. Not sure if that is standard or if the one I received was a fluke.





6. Penzoil PZ41A
This poor filter was already cut open when I realized I didn’t weigh it (or any of them) or take an individual photo of it. Again, a decent, middle of the pack filter.





5. Power Flo SL 24484


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RIP fut

Last edited by sam o nela; 01-25-2016 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:01 PM   #4
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Okay so this is the point where the filters stop being polite, and start being real. These are pretty damn good filters that you can feel comfortable spending your money on and even leaving on for some extended time.

4. Ultra 8 361 2905
This filter can take pride in knowing it was the lowest scoring of the high scoring filters. While dimensionally the same as the other big guys. The lighter weight should have been a quick indication that it was skimping here and there. The steel of the canister is a lighter gauge, and the filter element is smaller than the others. Which the manufacturer made up for simply by adding a slightly taller leaf spring. See the picture below with it next to the Denso element for some context.







3. Denso 150-1013
It goes without saying that this is a longtime favorite amongst Legend owners and it is easy to see why. This is a damn good filter with damn good construction and quality. It was only slightly edged out by the Beck and Arnley.





2. Beck & Arnley 103-118
Sometimes less is definitely more. And when you see this nondescript, all black canister with nothing but a B&A and OEM part number, you know not of what lives underneath. As it turns out, this is also a damn good filter…but even more so, I would venture to say is on par with the OEM tall filter that has been discontinued all these years. Side note: you’ll have to excuse the damaged pleats in this picture, that was my fault while deconstructing it.







1. Champ PH903
The appropriately named Champ has objectively made it to the top of the list. It boasts the largest filter element size and thus the largest pleat count but made with consistent, durable, quality construction. While you may see other write-ups stating that too many pleats is just as bad as too few, in this case, Champ offset this by enlarging the holes in the center tube to allow for proper flow through the increased media surface area. Good thinking! Unfortunately, this particular part number has been superseded according to Rock Auto, but I did not get the replacement one. I don’t know if it is simply a new part number, or if there were significant manufacturing changes. Guess I’ll have to find out. But for now, there are a limited number of this one left. So get em’ while you can if you’re so inclined.






I hope you enjoyed this comparo. It took many weeks longer than I thought it would, but it was actually a lot of fun and I feel like I learned a lot in the process. Plus in the initial shipment I bought two of almost everything, followed by 10 of my favorite filter. So I think I’m set on filters for a while

Thanks for reading!






Hidden:

By the way, I've still got at least one more bonus one waiting in the wings



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I Would Think The Higher Octane Fuel Would Burn Cleaner...Thus Leaving Less Deposits Of Carbon...But Im Not Even Smart Enough To Stop My Phone From Capitalizing Everything...
RIP fut

Last edited by sam o nela; 01-25-2016 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:31 AM   #5
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Interesting write up there Gabe! So all the grief a certain "Wrenchman" has given me over Fram PH8212 that I've used for YEARS without incident isn't as "end of the world" EVIL as he claims! I used to change them every 3,000 - 3,500 miles religiously but have gone to 5,000 now that I run full synthetic oil in particular after the rebuild in EEV. You'll have to cut up (err I mean "test") a current Honda OEM short filter as well for comparison as I am currently on that filter "kick"!
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:49 AM   #6
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Wow Gabe, thanks soooo mooocho for the test sir. Ive really been looking forward to the results!
I was a little let down when I saw my go-to at number 3 on the tall filters list. However, you validated why so many of us use and have used the filter and will continue to use as the years continue to pass on our old girls.
There didnt seem to be a lot of difference in the "Final 3" anyway, but I will most def be on the hunt for a Champ, and probably a Becks Arnley as well with the tall filters to change it up a bit which I like doing in most cases.

Im aalso kinda surprised with the Purolator Classic, as I always hear how well made and you can't ever go wrong using one. But, I assume if it is #10, there are hundereds of oil filters manufactured, so it is certainly still a viable option if for instance I have a couple laying around and loot is low. It certainly isnt going to damage our cars (ha).

Thanks again Gabester for performing this and going beyond what you originally set out to test with the filters. Kudos bro! 😀

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Old 01-26-2016, 06:27 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. To be honest, with the Champ being in such short supply, my recommendation is the Beck and Arnley. It's only slightly better than the Denso, but the price on Rock Auto can't be beat!

Also for the die hard Denso guys, Amazon has them for like $7 shipped with Prime
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Old 01-26-2016, 02:15 PM   #8
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Yepper, that is where I get the Denso's...usually about 6 ordered each time. I down to one now from last order heha.

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Old 01-26-2016, 03:38 PM   #9
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Neat. I did a bunch of reading on oil filters a few years ago, and my take away was that the filter didn't matter nearly as much as the oil. I've been avoiding fram without realizing they make two different models. It's nice to hear that purolator and stp aren't total trash. That's what I tend to put in my car (even though it's a 3.5 with a different filter).

I've never heard someone talk about an oil filter failing. What's the danger here? What's the danger for a filter getting changed along with my conventional oil every 3000 miles? Or with synthetic every 6000 miles? Or in a car taken to a track day?
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:29 PM   #10
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Possible to throw Genuine Honda into this as well?
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