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Comparing Oil Filters

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I'm trying to figure something out.

I need to change my oil and I need to do it soon. I know there's some debate over the quality of Fram oil filters, but so far, I've had no issues because of it.

I've also found they're the most available of all the brands, so I continue to use them because I can get them at my mechanic five days a week or at Wal*Mart if I decide I need to do it at 2:00 A.M.

So I forgot which oil filter I was supposed to buy. I figured looking at them may reveal a stark difference between the two candidates, so I pull both CH6009 and CH6012 out of the box and compare them.

They have the same outside diameter.

As far as I can tell by the finger gauge, the same inside diameter too.

And they look to be the same height.

They both come with new o-rings.

So my expectation was somebody put one back in the wrong box. I inspect the filters for a number and printed on each is something - 9 and something - 12 which correspond to the boxes I took them out of.

I check two more, same numbers in the right boxes and same dimensions.

I did notice the CH6009 is $2 cheaper.

As luck has it, I picked the right one, CH6012, the more expensive of the two.

So can anyone tell me what the difference between the two is?

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well, it only took me six months and two weeks, but I found the answer.

The difference is 1mm high.

CH6009 56X77X20 (HXODXID)

6012 57X77X20

So if I get that bike running again in the future, I'll buy the cheaper filter because it's spring loaded, 1 mm high will make no difference in the amount of oil flowing in the big picture.

1mm = $2, how much is that by the foot?

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Assuming your filter has one, there may also be a difference in the pressure relief valve. It's there in case the filter gets plugged up so it can still pass oil, or sometimes it kicks in on really cold starts on really cold days when your oil is too thick to pass the filter media until it's warmed up. If the relief pressure is set to high then it can't pass oil properly in the above situations which starves the engine for oil. I saw a spin on filter on a sport bike once that looked like a balloon that was about to burst because of this.

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Oh, well I should mention this is a cartridge filter with a pass-through filler tube, so it's extremely simplistic. This bike supposedly has a relief valve somewhere else in the system. I never had the nerve to look up into the oil filter hole (yes it loads from the bottom) to see what it looked like.

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