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Old 11-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
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A lesson learned . . .

Needed some connectors (cable to terminal) to wire the new battery charger for the boat. Thirty-mile round trip to town (Tallahassee), went to Lowe's and they didn't have what I needed. Went to Ace Hardware. Ditto.

Finally gave up. About a half mile from home on the return trip I noticed a nondescript little NAPA place by the side of the road. Sure didn't think he would have the connectors, but worth a try.

Lord, he had all kinds of connectors! No problem at all with getting the ones that I wanted, and he even crimped them on the cables for me at no charge.

As I said -- lesson learned. :-)

John
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #2
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Also, an auto parts store will typically carry any screw on filter you might need. You can get a Carquest filter that matches a Sierra model for much less than what you'd pay in WestMarine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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Also, an auto parts store will typically carry any screw on filter you might need. You can get a Carquest filter that matches a Sierra model for much less than what you'd pay in WestMarine.
That is because it is a cheaper filter. Cheaper is not always as good or better. To save $10 you could put a $20k engine in danger. West sales Fram which may or may not be the best for your engine either.

I use Racors in the Racors, Yanmar fuel filters on the engine and GenSet and Yanmar oil filters on the engines. That's about $30k worth of equipment so saving $30 or $50 a year on some off brands just isn't worth it in my book.

But some folks don't care so to each his own.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:29 PM   #4
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If you're looking for connectors, try any automotive battery store. Not only do they have a wide selection of connectors but they'll crimp it on your cable if you have it, or make up a cable to any size with any type of connector on each end.

And they'll likely be much cheaper than any marine store,.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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That is because it is a cheaper filter. Cheaper is not always as good or better. To save $10 you could put a $20k engine in danger. West sales Fram which may or may not be the best for your engine either.

I use Racors in the Racors, Yanmar fuel filters on the engine and GenSet and Yanmar oil filters on the engines. That's about $30k worth of equipment so saving $30 or $50 a year on some off brands just isn't worth it in my book.

But some folks don't care so to each his own.
Fram filters are usually not rated very high..West does try and sell good products...but Fram would hardly be considered anything but economy unless one of the top Fram filters.

Even Racor isn't considered one of the best...but it is more than adequate...so money aside...knowing what is OK or not is way more important.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Having retired from Carquest and also worked for NAPA,I can tell you that the premium filters they sell are made by Wix, considered one of the best filters made. I definitely would not use a Fram filter. Made mostly with cardboard. It's for sure that the engine manufactures don't make their own filters. Someone like Wix or Baldwin make them.
Both companies have good computer systems and can interchange most manufactures part numbers. Also both have Sierra marine parts in their distribution systems. I sold tons of marine parts over the years.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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Greetings,
I agree with the low opinion of Fram filters. I use NAPA gold to the best of my recollection. NAPA and similar stores have saved my butt on several occasions. I very seldom patronize the box marine stores preferring to order and buy from local chandlers. Yes, it DOES cost more but it keeps the small guy in business and I don't waste gas in the Cheby driving miles (about an hour away) to the closest WM or similar.
Can I get Racor filters at NAPA? Haven't had the need to replenish my spares yet.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #8
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We use Baldwin filters on the boat other than the Racor 500 elements. We use NAPA (Wix) in all our vehicles except the new Subaru.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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I have been using a NAPA filter in my Racors for the past 5 years with no issues what so ever. They look exactly the same and have the same specs. I think they are probably made by Racor for Wix.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:12 AM   #10
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but Fram would hardly be considered anything but economy unless one of the top Fram filters.

Consumer reports would disagree , they rated Fram auto oil filters best at first pass capture.

How well the filter works is more important than what its made of , as long as the in service time is OK.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:32 AM   #11
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Agree Vinny... the OEM fuel filter for my Kohler genset was $0.13 more expensive than the NAPA Gold 3263 although both are made in Taiwan. Peace of mind says go OEM.

Happy Thanksgiving...

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Old 11-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #12
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I've been around a lot of machinery over the years...can't remember the last one that failed from an oil filter issue.....
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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Greetings,
Thanks Mr. Russell C. I'll check that out next time I'm in a NAPA store if I remember...A while back a friend who worked at WM was able to get me a case of 2 micron Racor filters at his associate price. I still have about 8-10 or so left.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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I used Baldwin everywhere I can. Even in the Racor's. (JD... Roy's Marine has the entire line... almost.)
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:01 AM   #15
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I don't want to get into a long discussion nor do I think I can change anyone's mind. This has been discussed before.

The facts are that yes no engine company makes their own oil filter, as no car company makes their either, as no car company makes their own tires, as in no car company makes their own batteries and on and on.

But one fact remains with any of these parts. The OEM of the car, boat engine or what ever has a set of specs for the tires, the oil filters for their engines and the battery as well. When they have that product put into their box it has the same specs as the original. They run the quality control.

To me that is important. That means the same filter material, the same material in the casing, the same relief spring for the bypass, the same sq inches of filter material. The same holds true for OEM tires on a car. GM has specs that they require in their tires that although XYZ builds the GM tire they also built the tire sold at the local store. Just because the tire is the correct size and brand does not mean it is the same as the OEM. You have to know how to read all of the numbers and letters on the side of a tire and then understand what they mean. OEM GM tires are designed for the particular car they are used on as in right down to the suspension tune. Tire companies built both under the same brand name except one may cost $20 more. The same goes for oil filters as batteries.

I believe oil filters, fuel filters, tire and batteries can all be make cheaper by just changing one or two specs, a little less element, a less quality bypass spring etc. How much it effects your engine is an unknown but that is an unknown I will not try to discover.

BTW most car dealers will tell you they love the Quick Lube joints. They get several engine over hauls a year due to them. Oil filters splitting, gasket failures, drain plugs cross threaded and the list goes on.

If you own a Yanmar 6LY series engine it has the red coolant in it as a lot of the newer Yanmars do. Now walk into any parts store and ask the attendant if they have coolant that will work in your engine. They will march you right over to the bottles that say "Mixes with all". Go ahead and use it. Yanmar has a replacement engine all ready and waiting.

I can tell you that in the seventies as a field rep I would go into my dealers and walk into the parts department to inspect fuel filters, oil filter and oil brands that the dealer was using. We had the authority to reject any warranty claims that were submitted with the engine using something other than a Porsche AG approved Mann or Mahle filter. That could be a $6 or $7k lesson that no one wanted to learn.

I buy and use OEM parts when ever I can get them. I find that the cost difference is worth the peace of mind. In the scheme of things saving a few hundred on a couple of parts just isn't worth it to me.

Your mileage may vary.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:02 AM   #16
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Wix filters have served us well with no issues for years. Used mostly in Caterpillar, Detroit, and Ford (light trucks) engines. For the Sabre I use OEM filters for engines and generator.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #17
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Wix filters have served us well with no issues for years. Used mostly in Caterpillar, Detroit, and Ford (light trucks) engines. For the Sabre I use OEM filters for engines and generator.
I'm interested Don, not trying to be a smart ass.

Why the difference in what you use on the road trucks vs what you use on your baby? Would it be that the trucks are company trucks and if one fails it is paid for out of the company check book and the Sabre isn't? I realize the money belongs to the same person but there is no tax advantage to the boat.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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I'm interested Don, not trying to be a smart ass.

Why the difference in what you use on the road trucks vs what you use on your baby? Would it be that the trucks are company trucks and if one fails it is paid for out of the company check book and the Sabre isn't? I realize the money belongs to the same person but there is no tax advantage to the boat.
Not at all. We carry the stock of Wix filters so no chance of mix up. I use OEM on anything under warranty just to keep down questions in case of a failure. The other thing is that the boat is serviced at a longer interval. Because I live a long distance from the boat, it is usually serviced by a trusted factory certified mechanic while I am away. I just don't want a mix up on cross numbers. I want all filters marked with date and engine hours installed. I carry spare everything. To keep the stock fresh, the new filters become my spares. I do the same with belts.

I don't do the service because I want to use the time to enjoy the boat. Besides, I look like hell after a day in the engine room. My mechanic could do it in a starched white shirt, and the boat is cleaner than before he came aboard. An amazing guy.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #19
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NAPA Gold on my boat, and I do all my own work as I cannot afford a mechanic as good as myself.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:42 PM   #20
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I buy and use OEM parts when ever I can get them. I find that the cost difference is worth the peace of mind. In the scheme of things saving a few hundred on a couple of parts just isn't worth it to me.
For the most part I agree with this. However in many cases--- the FL120s and Onan MDJE in our boat being examples--- there is no OEM-branded filter anymore. So we go with filters that we know are high quality, Baldwin in our case. For our Racor 500s, however, there is an OEM-branded element readily available so that's what we use even though there are slightly less expensive equivalents made or marketed by other companies.

With one exception, all our vehicles are fairly old. I do not use OEM-branded oil filters in them but do use high quality filters, Wix in this case. I'd use Baldwin filters in them, but there is no nearby Baldwin dealer in our area.

In the case of our year-old Subaru, however, I not only use the Subaru-branded oil filter but I use Subaru-branded 0-20 synthetic oil as well. I know neither the filter or the oil is made by Subaru. But the cost of both is pretty much the same as the cost of the "name brand" equivalents so for the reasons JD states, we use the OEM-branded products.
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