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Interesting articles, Charles. Maybe Baldwin is a good mid priced filter. As the article says, things change from time to time and the article is 6 years old. I haven't been able to find anything much more recent. At $12 a filter for the Royal Purple, spread over 6 months isn't really going to kill me. Real savings is in buying bulk (45 gal) oil, getting oil costs down from $40/ change to $8. I've looked into it a little. Lots to consider, shelf life, handling, where to buy, brand, oil weight, etc.
 

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FYI, Rock Auto has a Hastings CF107 (should be same as the smaller Baldwin B163) for $1.62, listed for the Alfa 164. :thumbup1:
Charles
 

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Luckily NO MORE of those new ones in Stock. Only Italian made ones in stock now. Got a batch still made in Italy. I will be looking at a new supplier asap. After further review of the product I have concluded that the original ones made in Italy were much better. They are basically the same design but quality might be not there. Although I have seen this happen with the best of them too. So 1 filter having an issue does not raise a red flag yet for me but I don't want to offer such a product. I think they made a bad decision to have these produced in China. I will bring in the italian ones.
 

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Just to set the record straight on my little Sachs strut rant, they called me today and apologized for their inventory issue. Apparently they have nothing but right struts for that Civic. :tongue_smilie: They have fixed the mislabeled ones. Still, too late as KYBs on the way.

Jason, it's good of you to A-B inspect those Chinese made filters versus Italian made. I know you only want to sell the best parts and it is appreciated. I wish companies cared as much. Mazda for one, certainly has a problem that I don't think they have bothered to address, apparently.

Charles
 

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Yeah. I just called Johnny at Difatta and he had no idea they were made in China. He ran back and checked and his are all chinese too. But he told me 70% of parts these days are made there and I have to agree it's hard to sift through.

I only buy from vendors that are transparent of their products and where they are made. I try my best to offer Italian/German or EU made if at all possible but it is becoming hard. Luckily I have a line on German made ones. So after I sell off OEM and stash a few for me, the German made ones will be available. They are to Alfa spec with drain back valve and bypass valve opening pressure.

I have a Mazda CX-9 AWD. I no longer use the OEM filter either, they are made in USA I believe maybe China now.... I use German made Filter. Works well. But I have to say Mazda is a solid car and parts are typically all made in Japan which I am of course OK with.
 

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Honestly these days I've just been buying the Purolator PureONE filters at Kragen. They're a little more expensive but they seem to have some nice features (grip textured can, good gasket, silicone anti-drainback valve, synthetic media).

I think they're like $10 but I change the oil in each Alfa like once a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well this certainly has turned into an interesting discussion. First of all I'd like to make it clear that I was in no way suggesting that Jason had any culpability in these matters. You are doing a fine job providing support for the 164's in the USA Jason and we all very much appreciate that.

So I figured that a bit of investigation was in order and here is what I've come up with so far. I think we are all in agreement that quality control seems to be on the skids on an almost universal scale. We are at a point now where we can no longer rely on brand names. The neo-policy now seems to be - your two dollar filter failed? Okay, here's another one - good luck.

Since I had two identical filers and one failed I began my investigation with basic comparative observations of the two and, as of yet, no disassembly. Since my failure seems to have been the drain back seal I started with that. Amazingly, right off the bat I noticed a stark difference in the quality of the inlet holes drilled on the outer perimeter of the filters. The first picture is the filter off of Blackie (which had no failure) and the second picture is the filter off of Red (which did fail)

The pictures might not show it as clearly as I can see with my naked eyes but the holes on Red's filter are obviously irregular and not deburred as they are in the first picture. The drain back seal is the rubber diaphragm just past those holes so this appears to be the smoking gun I was looking for.



 

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Alfa 164 oil filters (my current stock)

I checked the spare filters I have in stock. The OEM 0046805830 has a D379 code on it. What country code is that?

As for the Fram PH16 and STP S16 filters The Fram box says made in USA and the STP filter body has Made in USA stenciling.

All three have drain back valves (diaphragms) just past holes.

I need to pull OEM filter off my BB2 (164S) and check diaphragm.
 

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The Royal Purple filters I just bought for the 1st time are made in the US by Champion Laboratories (now Fram). It's a heavy filter weighing 1lb 2oz (new unused), much heavier I believe than an equivalent Fram filter although I haven't got one to compare. Here's a shot of the inlet holes and anti drain flapper. The holes are punched in a thick plate with no signs of burrs.
 

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Next to a caterpillar diesel, that's gotta be the heaviest oil filter out there!

For what it's worth, four Baldwin 233 filters at home look like the QC is pretty good.
 

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That is identical to the design I mentioned for the old Ferrari V12's. It IS heavy, even the outer shell. I was jojing with a friend when I said I cant cut them open. He took one home and bounced a 38 bullet off one. Just a slight dent.
 

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Royal purple, amsoil all made by Champion. Same filter.

At 56.25 sq.- in. of filtering media, this is the least amount of filter media in a filter (in OEM replacement apps) thus far. Despite this, RP claims this filter will support extended oil change interrvals, up to 12k miles. The media IS 100% synthetic, with a wire mesh backing. RP also claims the anti drian back valve is "High performance", and it IS a cool Purple color......so....take that for what its worth. They also claim the filter housing is "Ultra Strength", and I will attest that this filter was THE hardest filter to destroy. Again.....take that for what its worth. I dont know of any Fram filters (despite them being absolute garbage) blowing apart under the hood. Anyway, construction is much like the Amsoil
 

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I'm doing an oil change on Red today, the second time since I got it and I noticed something a bit odd. When I removed the filter no oil drained out of it. The filter is one of the OEM Made in China ones from Jason. I changed the oil in Blackie last week which had the same type filter and got the expected mess as I unscrewed it so I'm not sure what the issue is. The filter was not dry - that is there was obviously oil going through it but it was not full of oil as you would expect. There have been no oil pressure or other issues with the car and it seems to run fine although I have noticed that after it sits it makes noises like a car makes when you start it up after installing a new filter so somethings going on.

BTW Castrol 5 qt 20/50 is on sale at O'Reillys with a free Microguard filter (so I got two free filters)
Bumping this up for 2022 as it is exactly the problem I am getting - although I also then get stupidly high oil pressure until oil properly hot (0w/40 Mobile 1 fully synthetic). The current filter put on my with back flow issue is also a China made OEM filter, bought from a very respected Alfa specialist. I have just received an OEM one made in Italy and will put it on tomorrow, after taking the extra pics for my related oil pressure thread. Seems those Chinese made items are a real issue, quality wise.
 

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"Tapping" noise on cold startups on a 164 12v engine with hydraulic de-tensioner may be from another source as well: the actuator pin of the de-tensioner may slap the tab on the pivot arm of the bearing, that is, until there is adequate oil pressure in the body of the de-tensioner body to pull the actuator out of the way of the tab. I know slap does occur because one often finds signs of peening on the tab. This may have relevance to Paul's observation (if he has a hydraulic de-tensioner), of course it's not relevant to Richard's point on his 24v engine.
 
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