Alternative Parts, an exposition on filters by Sandy Grice
As the 52,500 service is upon me, I thought I'd spend the day doing the required servicing, reducing the trip to the dealer to the $68 resetting of the OBDII computer. As I was out of crush washers for the sump, while at the dealership, I actually bought a "genuine" oil filter. Later, at the auto parts store, I compared the genuine one to a Fram PH-16 and a PH-8A (which I also use on the 88). The sealing ring is exactly the same. Other than the diameter of the canister (the OEM is 1/16" smaller), either will work. The PH-16 is about 1/4" shorter than the OEM and the PH-8A is about 5/8" longer. As space is no consideration on the Disco's filter location, I'll be using the PH-8A's from now on. Bigger is better, right?
That done, I turned my attention to the fuel filter...and to save the $98 the dealership wanted to do the job. Mind you, this is still the *original* as the last time it needed to be changed, I couldn't get one of the fittings free. Even after a week's soaking in PB Blaster, it was no better. The "out" fitting wouldn't budge. It seems that Rover conspired to make this as difficult as possible: "I know. Let's place it up under the wheel well so it can get continually sprayed with road grime and salt! Even better, lets place it up behind a chassis outrigger so you can't get a wrench on it! And how about making the fuel fittings out of steel and the canister out of aluminum? And then let's smear it with this yellow monkey snot stuff." Even after disconnecting the line clips on the top of the frame rail so the filter could hang free, it still couldn't be unscrewed.
Time for *serious* action. Cut the damn thing off. Wetting the area down and with a fire extinguisher close at hand, I set to work with the Dremel. Aluminum isn't supposed to spark, eh? It does. But in a short time, the offending filter was gone. Now to use the nut splitter on the remaining bit. Wrong. Aluminum doesn't fracture like steel, it mushes. After soaking in a jar of PB Blaster for an hour, it finally came free. No worries. Wrong again.
Used teflon tape to ease the threads. Now teflon shouldn't be used around petrol (it dissolves), but the way the fitting is shaped, there's no way it'll contact the fuel *unless you cross thread one of the fittings*! Damn. Now to find another filter 4PM on a Sunday. While I had crossover numbers on the computer at work, I dropped by a new autoparts store less than a mile from home. Old, mutilated filter in hand, the clerk took one look at it and said "Fram G3727". It fits some Buick, Cadillac, Chevy, Jaguar, Mercedes, Oldsmobile and Pontiac and some Chevy, GMC and Rover "trucks". Judging from the amount of shelf-space given to this filter, it may be the most common type in the US today...and it's made of *steel* so it won't cross-thread if you rush. Plus, it's only $9. Hosed it with Waxoyl, once I was done, just for good measure.
For future reference, other numbers are: AC GF-621, Lee LG-481, Motorcraft FG-851, NAPA 3481, Purolator F33144, WIX 33481, GM25055046 or 25055052. Cheers