Should I return 7.5 yr-old New Old Stock (NOS) Fram Ultra Synthetic filters or buy more?

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I just received a 6-pack of Fram Ultra Synthetic filters (XG3506) from a Michigan-based Ebay seller for $31.95, shipped ($5.33/filter). Great price. Perhaps too good? The clear, circular tape-tabs on the box-lids are badly yellowed/peeling and the black-grips on the filters are kinda micro-cracked, indicating some age. The boxes are older-style and look exactly like THIS-- not the newer style box that looks like THIS. (No fading.) So I searched here and found how to decipher Fram's date-codes. My date-code "A40991", translates to the 1st-shift of the 99th day (April 9th) of 2014--which seems about right.

There's no rust and the seals seem soft. I think they use silicone & synthetic filtration material-- which should have a longer shelf-life than rubber & cellulose. At first I thought that I should return them because they might be deteriorated. But some people say that they have a shelf life of at least 10 years. And according to a recent thread here, the new Fram Ultra Synthetics now use a construction that is worse than the older models. (No longer wire-backed.)

Should I return these 7.25 year old filters which I will use over the next 2 years? Would it be safe for me to buy more (say, a 4-year supply)?

FYI: I have two 1996 2.4L Chevy Cavalier convertibles (100k & 160k miles) which use this filter and I use Costco/Kirkland 5W-30 at ~4k-5k intervals here in mild-climate northern CA. I want to keep these cars running for as long as possible.
 
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Use 'em. Still plenty good. The materials likely won't degrade in a decade. I have no data but I'd bet a quality filter will last 10 years, probably 20, if stored in a cool dry room.

Not enough value and too much hassle to return.

If you wanted to take prevention, you might run a bead of motor oil on the seals and vacuum seal the filters, and store them in climate control. I have dozens of filters, and I will probably put a bead of oil on the rubber seal to keep it from drying out.
 
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If no signs of rust, they should be fine. Store them inside the house where it's dryer and less temperature swings.
I add a shot glass of Redline (ester metal loving) to my Titaniums, put a nitrite rubber over the top to seal it and pop it back in the box face up. . I have to buy 6 at a time a discount price that matches Ultra's. I roll them slowly every 3 months untill they are gone. Do it all over again.
 
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I just received a 6-pack of Fram Ultra Synthetic filters (XG3506) from a Michigan-based Ebay seller for $31.95, shipped ($5.33/filter). Great price. Perhaps too good? The clear, circular tape-tabs on the box-lids are badly yellowed/peeling and the black-grips on the filters are kinda micro-cracked, indicating some age. The boxes are older-style and look exactly like THIS-- not the newer style box that looks like THIS. (No fading.) So I searched here and found how to decipher Fram's date-codes. My date-code "A40991", translates to the 1st-shift of the 99th day (April 9th) of 2014--which seems about right.

There's no rust and the seals seem soft. I think they use silicone & synthetic filtration material-- which should have a longer shelf-life than rubber & cellulose. At first I thought that I should return them because they might be deteriorated. But some people say that they have a shelf life of at least 10 years. And according to a recent thread here, the new Fram Ultra Synthetics now use a construction that is worse than the older models. (No longer wire-backed.)

Should I return these 7.25 year old filters which I will use over the next 2 years? Would it be safe for me to buy more (say, a 4-year supply)?

FYI: I have two 1996 2.4L Chevy Cavalier convertibles (100k & 160k miles) which use this filter and I use Costco/Kirkland 5W-30 at ~4k-5k intervals here in mild-climate northern CA. I want to keep these cars running for as long as possible.
You and a few others responded to the thread I revived and it got locked. I just wanted to thank the poster for the date code info. Didn't realize that was a no-no on here, lol.

I am wondering if those filters are from 2004? Zee0Six is more familiar I think with packaging of Fram products, but the weather-checking of the grip is disturbing to me. Could have had sun exposure that hastened the aging and avoided rust, I guess. Whether they are good or bad is debatable too. Don't know the quality or efficiency of a potentially 17.5 year old filter.

I have received 5 year old Pure One filters (yellow can) from AAP before, and returned them to CarQuest (Northern CA) to get newer versions, but they looked new, no aging evidence, maybe a little surface rust on the baseplate. They shipped from Bakersfield.

The wire mesh backed Ultra Synthetic media has been replaced by a newer, supposedly more efficient, media, and apparently the old wire mesh was relegated to the Titanium, which I just found out is a new AAP exclusive line. No telling if your filters predate the wire mesh version.

Here is the update:

New Fram XG.jpg


These are pretty impressive numbers, IMHO

The description (dual-layered media) reminds me of what Purolator did with the Boss, but with less efficiency
 

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The wire mesh backed Ultra Synthetic media has been replaced by a newer, supposedly more efficient, media, and apparently the old wire mesh was relegated to the Titanium, which I just found out is a new AAP exclusive line. No telling if your filters predate the wire mesh version.

Here is the update:

View attachment 78064

These are pretty impressive numbers, IMHO

The description (dual-layered media) reminds me of what Purolator did with the Boss, but with less efficiency
The wire-backed media has not been "relegated" to anything, it has been phased-out for a cheaper synthetic-blend media. The new Ultra is cheaper to manufacture than the old one, that's the reason for the change. The Titanium is a blend too:
Screen Shot 2021-11-16 at 2.05.11 PM.jpg


Whether the new media is actually more efficient or not is yet to be determined ("Proposed" is doing some lifting in that above snapshot), but there's nothing stopping them from making a synthetic blend media that's slight more efficient than the multi-layer synthetic media they were using previously, just like there was nothing stopping them from making that media even more efficient if it had been so chosen.

A synthetic blend media is a price-conscious compromise on both flow and holding capacity. Maintaining efficiency and increasing pleat count is a way to counter that to some degree, but per square inch of surface area a synthetic media will out-flow and out-hold a cellulose or blend media. That in no way makes the new Ultra "bad", it's just a cheaper filter now. If people are OK with that, then there should be nothing to discourage them from buying it, it's still extremely efficient and flows better than OEM requirements.
 

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I'm OK with cheap, as long as it does the job of filtering. I prefer more efficient filtering, I usually don't leave a filter in very long.

Too bad the media that Andrew tested in https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t...e-point-and-burst.334882/page-28#post-5936486 is no longer available.
At the level of efficiency we are discussing it's really splitting hairs (between the old and new Ultra). I'd like to see Ascent Filtration Testing test the new media though, that would at least tell us how accurate that "Proposed" media doc is.

I prefer better flowing filters (less likely to bypass) and media that can't tear (synthetic), which is why I, personally, won't be using the new filters.

I'll personally be using either the Fleetguard Stratapore filters, or the AMSOIL EaO, haven't decided on which yet. The Fleetguard uses a nitrile ADBV, which is the only thing that gives me pause.
 
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The e bay 6 packs are all old stock.
I have one left, at 4 bucks each great deal
 

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The date code must be 2014.

From the link: https://www.fram.com/about-us/history/

2000 - Once again, FRAM asserts itself as an industry-leading brand with the introduction of its Xtended Guard® product line, an oil filter designed for use with synthetic oils and extended oil change intervals.

2012 - FRAM releases a new oil filter designed specifically for synthetic oil: the FRAM Ultra Synthetic® oil filter.


Apparently, it was called the Fram Xtended Guard (where the designation of XG came from) from 2000 to 2012, then was called the Ultra Synthetic in 2012 and beyond.
 
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OVERKILL

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The date code must be 2014.

From the link: https://www.fram.com/about-us/history/

2000 - Once again, FRAM asserts itself as an industry-leading brand with the introduction of its Xtended Guard® product line, an oil filter designed for use with synthetic oils and extended oil change intervals.

2012 - FRAM releases a new oil filter designed specifically for synthetic oil: the FRAM Ultra Synthetic® oil filter.


Apparently, it was called the Fram Xtended Guard (where the designation of XG came from) from 2000 to 2012, then was called the Ultra Synthetic in 2012 and beyond.
Yes, that's correct, that's where the XG suffix came from, which they carried on with, even after changing the name of the filter.
 
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At the level of efficiency we are discussing it's really splitting hairs (between the old and new Ultra). I'd like to see Ascent Filtration Testing test the new media though, that would at least tell us how accurate that "Proposed" media doc is.

I prefer better flowing filters (less likely to bypass) and media that can't tear (synthetic), which is why I, personally, won't be using the new filters.

I'll personally be using either the Fleetguard Stratapore filters, or the AMSOIL EaO, haven't decided on which yet. The Fleetguard uses a nitrile ADBV, which is the only thing that gives me pause.
It seems that flow vs. efficiency is a trade off. As I stated I was a huge Pure One fan, due to the high efficiency rating. I had been warned by an analyst that they would plug faster, but I used oversized (taller) filters and short OCIs, so not too worried.

AC Delco filters are what, 40um? So they will flow more and not bypass as much for a long time, IMHO. Protecting the warranty, not necessarily the longevity of the engine.
 

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It seems that flow vs. efficiency is a trade off. As I stated I was a huge Pure One fan, due to the high efficiency rating. I had been warned by an analyst that they would plug faster, but I used oversized (taller) filters and short OCIs, so not too worried.

AC Delco filters are what, 40um? So they will flow more and not bypass as much for a long time, IMHO. Protecting the warranty, not necessarily the longevity of the engine.

That's the beauty of synthetic media, it simultaneously flows better while filtering better. This is due to the thickness of it and fine and uniform nature of the fibres. I posted about this extensively in the other thread.

Of course this comes at a cost.
 
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The date code must be 2014.

From the link: https://www.fram.com/about-us/history/

2000 - Once again, FRAM asserts itself as an industry-leading brand with the introduction of its Xtended Guard® product line, an oil filter designed for use with synthetic oils and extended oil change intervals.

2012 - FRAM releases a new oil filter designed specifically for synthetic oil: the FRAM Ultra Synthetic® oil filter.


Apparently, it was called the Fram Xtended Guard (where the designation of XG came from) from 2000 to 2012, then was called the Ultra Synthetic in 2012 and beyond.
Thank you Zee,

Are any of Fram’s current line full synthetic media?
 
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That's the beauty of synthetic media, it simultaneously flows better while filtering better. This is due to the thickness of it and fine and uniform nature of the fibres. I posted about this extensively in the other thread.

Of course this comes at a cost.
Thanks O,

So the two you mentioned, Stratapore & EaO are fully synthetic? I may revisit Amsoil’s EaO lineup. I went to PureOne originally for the efficiency at the price point, as I was not leaving them in more than 2,000 miles.
 
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