Wal-Mart Oil Filter Looks Same As The Mercruiser

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May 29, 2005
Ozark Mountains
Was looking at the Mercruiser oil filters at Wal-Mart today. The Mercruiser filter #35-866340Q03 looks exactly like the Wal-Mart STS Supertech cheap filter but the Wal-Mart filter is longer. The Supertech filter was less than $3 and the Mercruiser filter was almost $8. Very disapointing! I decided to buy a Napa Gold filter.

Any thoughts?
I'm inclined to think IF there is any difference between the 'Genuine Official MercCruise' filter and any common Chevy filter, it MIGHT be that it's designed to be tolerant of water in the oil (marine environment).
Here's my theory: OEM filters and fluids are usually outrageously overpriced.

If I want cheap, I'd go with the SuperTech. If I want (one of the) best, I'd go with NAPA/Wix.
Here is my theory: My boat engines cost $14,000 each to replace. The 275 gallons of gas in the tank costs $768.00 to fill up. My insurance, dockage, storage and all the other related stuff costs $500 a month.

So, where is saving $5 on an oil filter I am not 100% sure is spec'ed for my engine getting me?
The OEM part is a safe pick if unsure of the alternatives. But between a Quicksilver filter and a NAPA Gold/Wix, I'll take the latter every time. Cost aside, after tearing one open, there is nothing all that special about the former.
With their new ownership, I think Purolator needs to earn a new reputation. Did you find a cross reference? Does the Mercury need a filter with a bypass?
Originally Posted By: labman
With their new ownership, I think Purolator needs to earn a new reputation. Did you find a cross reference? Does the Mercury need a filter with a bypass?

Not sure but at WOT I would think so running 25w40 oil. I never hammer the throttle until I see 165F on the temp guages but some guys sure do so a bypass must be in there. That would be my issue with a non-factory filter.
PT1, most aftermarket filters (especially the better ones) come with a bypass filter. Decades ago the OEMs would scare customers with the idea that their filter came with a bypass but the cheaper (usually Fram, I believe) aftermarket filters did not. I just don't think that's really the case anymore.

Speaking of OEM, I agree with Volvohead above. I really dislike OEM parts and fluids because they are usually of ordinary quality but at a super-premium price. It's not a cheapskate thing ... it's about principle.

Even though I am a Honda fan, I really resent having to use their filters and fluids. Usually I can find substitutes of similar or greater quality. For example: my Civic UOAs are much better since I got rid of their air filter in favor of a Wix.

For CRV owners, however, I don't believe there is a substitute for their dual-pump fluid. Dave Granquist from Red Line said they wouldn't release the specs. That kinda thing really rubs me the wrong way.

So, along comes Mercruiser. They take a (probably) Champion Labs filter that cost them a dollar or two, paint it in the factory color and charge $8.

It's not the $8 filter ... heck I could buy a few thousand of them. It's the principle. I doubt the Wix will be much if any cheaper than $8 ... but I'm 97% certain it is a better unit.

So thanks, I'll take the Wix unless someone can show me an even higher-quality filter.
For many years MercCruiser used standard AC filters. They marinized Chevy engines(mostly) and used GM filters.
Now, of course, their filters are yellow (last I looked) and likely are Champ Labs units. I've tried to check but so far no one can find out for me (Friends work their).
"For many years Mercruiser used standard AC filters. They marinized Chevy engines (mostly) and used GM filters."

That makes perfect sense, dwendt44.

I don't mean to be too down on a Champion Labs filter ... they make a decent unit under a lot of brand names. Of course, quality varies as they will build to the owner's specs (within some limits). I imagine a customer is given a menu of options ... along with an incremental cost. Something like this: You want a thicker canister? That's another $0.07 per unit. Better (silicone) drain back valve? $0.21 Media pattern with 27% more pleats? That's $0.19, etc ...

Imagine being able to custom order single filters like this? Custom width, height and all the rest?

But once an OEM (it's not just Mercruiser) puts their name on a product, they double or triple the mark-up. Sure, it's a safe bet that it will work (more or less) but there are better options available if you are willing to do a little research.
Look up the burst ratings. I have always used automotive filters on my boat engines because they are automotive engines.
I had this very concern when I returned from my dealer with a $15 E-Core for my 5.0L Merc. part # 35-866340k01. I emailed Champ Labs and this was there reply:

We do manufacture several of the Mercruiser numbers. This particular filter is not available in the shorter version in the Super-Tech line. We do offer several different brands of filters. We also manufacture the STP filters from Autozone, which is a S8873. This would be a cheaper alternative for you as well. Here are some other brands of filters we offer with the proper part #'s.

A/C Delco = PF454
Champ/Luberfiner = PH454
Mighty = M454
Mobil = MO5313
Mobil 1 = M1-111
Purepro = L5313
Royal Purple = 10-454
Service Champ = OF5313
STP = S8873
Valvoline = VO65
Warner = WPH454

These part numbers would be equivalent to the Mercruiser number you have. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Bob Buckman
Tech Rep
Champion Labs
618-445-5394 (direct)

I went with a Purolator L15313 for $5.

Also, the Mercruiser filter I took off that the dealer installed on the last oil change was a FRAM! PH8873 painted black.
I use a Purolator Pure One filter in my Volvo Penta. for me its not about saving money - its about getting a better filter for the same or less cost. same with the oil. Volvo specs and sells a synthetic - although its a group 3 "fake" synthetic. so I use a group 4 synthetic.
Most boats run wide open a lot- few cars do. I saw a study years ago and the merc had low pressure drop and filtered poorly (compared to other filters) but on a boat it was the perfect choice
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The flow factor is another reason why I prefer a Wix for marine duty. Their elements sacrifice some filtration for improved flow, which is a very good trade off in a marine engine. It is also why I have some reservations about using high filtration filters such as PureOnes and M1s in this environment.
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