Heads Up on Fram Drive oil filters: With pictures

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I thought I would post here what I ran into when changing my oil today. Please know that I have absolutely no intention here of disparaging or bashing Fram, Autozone or AAP. If you reply here please keep that in mind, I would rather not see this thread locked and do not want to go against BITOG rules. I just thought I would pass this along to maybe save someone else the same trouble.

A few weeks ago I bought a jug of STP 0W20 at AZ. They did not have my filter so I went to the AAP down the street and picked up one of the Fram Drive filters. They are supposed to be the same as the Champ-made E-Core style ST filters at Walmart. WM at the time was sold out of the ST6607. I have used one of the ST6607 before with no problem, so I thought the Fram Drive would be the same.

Today I did my oil change. Spun the FD6607 on and there was something not right. The end of the can bottomed out on the filter boss mounting area before the filter was tight. When the gasket first touched the mount I still could spin it almost two more complete turns. Every other filter I have put on there is always just a slight gap between the filter boss and the edge of the can, with the gasket squeezed in between. I studied this for a few minutes and decided to get a new different filter. I went to AZ and they had plenty of filters on the shelf but they all had louvers. I do not like louvers, I prefer holes or E-Core but I checked one of the S6607 filters out really close and some of the louvers in it that I could see were either barely open or not open at all. I went to O'Reilly and picked up one of the Micro Gard extended life filters for $10.00. It has holes, no louvers, has a red silicon ADBV and gasket and seems to be very well made. Whip City Wrencher cut one open not long ago and he was very impressed with it. So was I. I may switch to that filter and the O'Reilly Syntec/BP synthetic when I change oil again on my Rogue and my wife's Rogue too coming up in February. OR runs a deal on that oil and filter sometimes for $31.00 or $33.00, which nowadays is a decent price.

I think what happened here is the threads on the Fram Drive were set too far up on the base plate and that caused it not to tighten like it should. I am no expert but I think that is the problem. Maybe the AAP Fram is made in a different plant from the Walmart ST filters and there is some difference in the machining of the base plate. I took these pictures to post here for comparison.

In this pic the Fram Drive filter is in the middle, the PH6607 that came off the engine is on the right. The new Micro Gard is on the left. It looked to me like the Fram Drive had the threads too close to the base plate.

PXL_20220806_202937015.jpg


Here is another picture, the Fram Drive is on the left and the old Fram PH6607 on the right. I don't know if I am right about this or not. I do think the way that Fram Drive filter went on would have leaked and caused problems. I don't know if all Fram Drive filters might be this way but thought I would just post this so people would know about a possible problem. I would say check the filter and threads very closely if you buy a Fram Drive to be sure it will spin on and tighten correctly.

PXL_20220806_203506823.jpg



Here is also a picture of the Microgard on my engine. It tightened down normally, about half a turn after contacting the mounting boss. If you look real close you may see it has just a slight gap between the block and the end of the can. The MG seems to be a very well made filter. I had absolutely no start up noise with it. It seems worth the few extra bucks.

PXL_20220806_203141373.jpg
 
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This is very interesting. The FD4967 fits my Toyota 1.8 with no issues, so this is not a general issue with the brand but could be an engine- or filter-specific issue with the baseplate design.

@Jimmy9190 if you still have the FD6607 and PH6607, can you measure the distance between the threads and the plane of the seal surface? This would indicate whether the threads actually extend too far on the FD.
 
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The can bottomed out on the mount area and you still spun it almost 2 times? Did I read this right?

No excuse for poor quality, but you should have stopped when you noticed the issue. That could damage something. Score the mount, damage threads, both etc.
 
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Great post OP~!! Yes, I've had a similar (if not the same) issue with a recent Wix filter on my KIA. The filter canister made contact with the mounting plate as if the filter gasket wasn't quite thick enough. I was initially afraid the compression (gasket) wasn't 100% but left the filter on and checked for leaks. Some have accused this on "over-tightening" but I can honestly say that I have never experienced this issue in all my years of changing oil & filters.

Perhaps it's a defect or odd one-time occurrence... Dunno. Having said that... I think my next filter will be the Micro Guard (O'Reilly's) as it appears very well constructed.
I also watched the Whip City review and was impressed. I'm glad to see you went with that filter. The gasket and core appears to be a huge plus in my book.

Thanks again for your pics and post!
 
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First thing I noticed is the smaller and fewer holes on the Micro Guard. Second thing I noticed is that you are a neat freak.😁
 

Jimmy9190

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I took more pictures of the two Fram filters today. This one shows clearly the threaded part of the baseplate on the FD sticks out further:

PXL_20220807_203517144.jpg


This one shows a different style of lip holding the FD baseplate in place. I don't know if that is part of the cause of the problem but it contributes to the elongated baseplate end on the FD. The gaskets are both the same thickness, I don't think that had anything to do with this problem.

PXL_20220807_203957743.jpg


I am no machinist or engineer but it looks to me the FD has slightly different thread pitch. Maybe I am wrong about that.

PXL_20220807_203525607.jpg


This pic clearly shows how the threaded part of the baseplate on the FD sticks out further than the one on the PH6607. I don't have much of a way to make an actual measurement, other than just eyeballing it.

PXL_20220807_203850737.jpg


I don't know what caused the problem. When I saw the gasket on the FD had contacted the mounting surface I figured ok, spin it another half turn or so and it is done. But the filter simply would not tighten down and kept spinning as I turned it until the metal edge of the can was contacting the mount surface. At that point I stopped turning it to try to figure out what was going on. There was no damage or scarring to the filter mount surface and the MicroGard tightened down exactly as it should. The gasket touched the block and I gave it another 1/2 to 3/4 turn and it was tight.

I am just very glad I caught this problem before running the engine. Maybe I just got a bad FD. I don't know. FD costs $6.29 at AAP. For just $3.70 cents more I can get the MG XL filter which I think is a much better filter anyway. I will very likely do the O'Reilly Syntec and MG XL filter deal next time I change oil in my and my wife's car. I have not stashed oil or filters in 10 years but I may buy 3 or 4 of the sale deals at O'Reilly, just to be sure I have what I need on hand for the next few OCI's.
 

Jimmy9190

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First thing I noticed is the smaller and fewer holes on the Micro Guard. Second thing I noticed is that you are a neat freak.😁
Yep I try to keep it clean and organized when changing oil or doing any other job in my garage. I have sure enough cleaned up my share of spilled oil, spilled gear oil, spilled transmission fluid and antifreeze to have learned cardboard is a real lifesaver when working with fluids.
 

Jimmy9190

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Great post OP~!! Yes, I've had a similar (if not the same) issue with a recent Wix filter on my KIA. The filter canister made contact with the mounting plate as if the filter gasket wasn't quite thick enough. I was initially afraid the compression (gasket) wasn't 100% but left the filter on and checked for leaks. Some have accused this on "over-tightening" but I can honestly say that I have never experienced this issue in all my years of changing oil & filters.

Perhaps it's a defect or odd one-time occurrence... Dunno. Having said that... I think my next filter will be the Micro Guard (O'Reilly's) as it appears very well constructed.
I also watched the Whip City review and was impressed. I'm glad to see you went with that filter. The gasket and core appears to be a huge plus in my book.

Thanks again for your pics and post!
Yep I think O'Reilly may be where I buy my oil and filters from now on. I really like that filter, you can just tell it is very solidly built just by holding it in your hand. It will be a while now befer I do any more oil changes but I may buy a few of the O'Reilly Syntec and MG XL filter deals soon, just so I don't go through this again any time soon.
 
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Yep I think O'Reilly may be where I buy my oil and filters from now on. I really like that filter, you can just tell it is very solidly built just by holding it in your hand. It will be a while now beefier I do any more oil changes but I may buy a few of the O'Reilly Syntec and MG XL filter deals soon, just so I don't go through this again any time soon.
Amen to that. Sometimes I get a $5 off coupon and it's good to shop at one stop. I'm not a Fram fan. Hope it's not too much of an issue!
 

blupupher

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I have read of several filters that have this issue with some vehicles.
The thread area is too high up and contacts before the gasket and keeps it from being tightened correctly.

Is this on the Nissan?

You could take a straight edge and lay it across the gasket and measure down to the threads to compare.
 
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I've installed quite a few of the fram drives, always were clean / no weird thread and installed with no issues
 
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Yep I think O'Reilly may be where I buy my oil and filters from now on. I really like that filter, you can just tell it is very solidly built just by holding it in your hand. It will be a while now befer I do any more oil changes but I may buy a few of the O'Reilly Syntec and MG XL filter deals soon, just so I don't go through this again any time soon.
Yeah, I like our new Microgard green box filters. They do seem well built. I’ll be trying one when I do my next oil change. Although I’ve had good luck with the regular Microgards and they cost me a ton less. Although the fact my price is significantly more on the green box ones is probably a good thing, as it means they cost a lot more to make than the red box Microgards.
 

ZeeOSix

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I am no machinist or engineer but it looks to me the FD has slightly different thread pitch. Maybe I am wrong about that.
If the threads were different, you wouldn't have been able to screw it on 2+ turns before the base plate hit the mount spud.
 
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ZeeOSix

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I don't have much of a way to make an actual measurement, other than just eyeballing it.
Take a straight edge and lay it across the base gasket, then take a ruler/scale and measure between the bottom of the straight edge (that locates the top of the base gasket) to the thread boss on the base plate. That's the distance from the top of the base gasket to the thread boss.
 

ZeeOSix

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The OEM Toyota filters do on our FJ. Still seems to seal ok.
Those use a P-gasket on the base plate, so the circumference of the bottom of the filter will contact the mount and cause it to stop. That's not the same thing as the threaded hole in the base plate bottoming out on the mount spud.
 
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