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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2002, 12:18 PM
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URGENT: Non-jeep oil filter question

I've got a bit of a problem, and I thought I'd run it past the engine gurus here...

Wife drives a 2001 Impala LS with the Series II 3800 (3.8L v-6). We were changing the oil in it today, and I sent her to the parts room for a filter...she grabbed one and I didn't look at it very closely...screwed it on, filled 'er up with oil, and moved on...When I was cleaning up the shop afterwards, though, I realized that the filter she grabbed was not the Impala filter, but rather was a filter from my dad's pickup (95 Chevy K2500 with 350 (5.7L) v-8). I immediately compared a 3.8L filter with the 5.7L filter, and the designs are almost identical...same thread pitch, same opening size in the center, slightly different holes around the perimeter of the center hole, same diameter filter and same size o-ring (width and thickness) for sealing...the only difference is that the 5.7L filter is about one inch longer. It doesn't hit anything on the car, and even if the engine were really rocking, it wouldn't (lots of clearance). So I'm just wondering...is there any reason to pull it off and screw on a 3.8L filter? If I do that, do I need to drain all the oil, or can I just swap 'em out quick and top it off? (can't see any reason why I couldn't do that...) Advice? Suggestions?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2002, 12:41 PM
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Re: URGENT: Non-jeep oil filter question

Humm... I'd be tempted to leave the bigger filter on the car and check the oil to make sure it's at level. The requrements for lube and filter media in the two engines are quite similar, and the bigger filter means more oil is dumped on inital start up. I can't see a downside.

IMHO nothing was hurt. If you want to go back to the OEM filter... or if you want to continue using the larger filter, no harm done.

I'm looking forward to other answers on this question.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2002, 01:52 PM
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Re: URGENT: Non-jeep oil filter question

I would say if there is no leaks, conastant normal oil pressure, and oil still in pan, go for it. LEVE is right that an extra inch of oil fliter will be better. Heck just remember the number and next change get the same one. That would be great if you could use the same filter for different vehicles, then you dont have to have multiple filters hanging around. Its like have multiple fireamrs of the same caliber. You don't have to worry about grabbing the wrong ammo if you need to get the firearm in a hurry.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2002, 02:02 PM
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Re: URGENT: Non-jeep oil filter question

How about backpressure or filter media? Would that come into play? My '95 Trooper has the oil filter locatedin such a way it could take an 18" long filter and not hit anything. If I can find one that has the right threads and gasket, could it work without damaging my motor? Right now the stock one is TINY and fills up easily (like 1,800 miles).
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2002, 04:56 PM
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Re: URGENT: Non-jeep oil filter question

Filters are pretty generic, as there's only a few manufactures:
Champion Labs makes
OEM Motorcraft, OEM GM on some applications,
Mobil 1 filter.

Purolator makes:
Aftermarket MotorCraft,
Group 7 and

Wix makes:
NAPA and

Then there's is Fram.

I think AMSOIL makes their own, but I'm not sure about that... it could be outsourced to one of the above producers.

Filter differneces will be in case standards, pressure standards, and micron filtering ability.

Some rules of thumb (take them with a grain of salt!)

1. Filter media within brand, is the same.
2. The more expensive the brand, usually the finer the screen.
3. The bigger the filter:
a. More surface filter area.
b. More oil in the filter at start up.
4. Bypass valves are also somewhat generic they're:
a. Used to bypass the filter if the media's clogged.
b. Used to help get around thick oil in cold climates.
c. Used in Bypass sytems to bypass about 10% of the oil that carries gunk too big for the filter media and:
d. is stet at 10-20 psi on domestic cars and Jeeps
e. is set at 25-35 on import cars,5. The next thing to think about in this swap fest is size. One can go too big.
5. The oil pump has to be able to fill the filter during the operation cycle as fast as it's circulated through the engine. So you can actually go too big...

Then one can get into the age old question... [b]How often should I change the filter and the oil?[b]

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