SAAB Oil Filters! MANN 712/80 vs MAHLE OC981

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Hey everyone! Thought I'd contribute something cool to this forum by cutting open two European made aftermarket oil filters that cross reference to SAAB 93 186 554. This is a comparison between what I think are two of the best aftermarket filters for your SAAB; MANN 712/80 and MAHLE OC981. The MANN is made in Germany and the MAHLE in Austria. The MANN is slightly more expensive as well. Gasket Both filters use a nice quality gasket, I think they are both made of standard rubber. I've used both filters and they easily hold up for the entire OCI. I also never had the issue of a stuck gasket, as both are held firmly into their respective baseplates. Housing Both filters have a high quality housing. Both are 0.6mm thick and really hard to squeeze even when empty. Baseplate Both baseplates are really sturdy and robust. The MANN has 4 inlet holes and the MAHLE has 6, the MANN has larger inlet holes while the MAHLE has smaller ones. The MANN also has slightly deeper threads than the MAHLE, about 1 more thread I'd say. ADBV Both filters have really nice ADBV, I think it's safe to say that they are both constructed from silicone. The MANN's ADBV is slightly more pliable. Both seal against their respective baseplates really well. Filter Media This is where it gets fun... first off I just want to say both filters have phenomenal build quality with no excess glue and excellent pleating. I counted 66 pleats on the MANN filter and 56 pleats on the MAHLE filter. The MANN media is 46mm tall and the MAHLE media is 57.8mm tall. Both filters probably have very similar total surface area but it's something I haven't yet calculated as I haven't completely torn out the media yet. Media on both filters looks like a cellulose base. The MAHLE has a stiffening band around the media which is a nice touch. Both centre tubes are of a really nice quality and have an axial seam. Both bypass valves are made of a stiff rubber material, the MAHLEs is slightly harder to open compared to the MANN's. As you can see both filters use metal end caps. Retaining Spring The MANN uses a piece of stamped steel, which is held onto the filter media with a slight touch of oil, took a little bit of force to remove it from the bottom end cap. The MAHLE uses a much preferred spring which of course has much less chances of getting distorted. Although I prefer the MAHLEs spring, I do have to say the MANN's stamped steel is really nice compared to cheaper filters. To sum it all up, both filters have nearly perfect build quality and I'd easily trust either of them in a 12,000km OCI or even higher! I've used both in the past and have always thought they were super well made but now that I cut them open they truly prove that they are some of the best filter makers around. In a future thread I'd love to go in depth on these two filters with more measurements and more detailed comparisons, I also need to find my scale so I can weight the parts of the filter, but in the mean time I'll leave you guys with what i hope is a nice little read. What do you all think? Let me know if there are any improvements I could make. Thanks for reading! :P

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196
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NC
Good review. My Saab 9-3 has a cartridge type filter, GM 2.0 designed engine. In that I've used Purolators, AC Delco and M1 all with good results. I've used Mann and Mahle in my red block Volvo for years. Both filters are well constructed and will stand up to long OCI. I think the Mahle filters are a bit less expensive but not enough to make a difference to choose one over the other. I did run Mahle in my 6 cylinder 126 chassis Mercedes for a while and never got that annoying timing chain rattle at start up.
 
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Thanks! Yes I used to have a 9-3 and pretty much always used MAHLE. Redblock Volvos love a European made filter, I think MANN is the OE on those cars? I completely agree that no matter the very small cost difference (like about a dollar) there's no reason to pick one over the other as they are both going to stand up to a long OCI.
 
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Originally Posted by TurboTristan
In a future thread I'd love to go in depth on these two filters with more measurements and more detailed comparisons ...
Nice C&P, thanks. If you want to measure the media area, you can do it by using a good scale and measure the pleat depth, length and number of pleats, then do the calculation as follows: [Linked Image]
 
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Originally Posted by TurboTristan
Thanks! Yes I used to have a 9-3 and pretty much always used MAHLE. Redblock Volvos love a European made filter, I think MANN is the OE on those cars? I completely agree that no matter the very small cost difference (like about a dollar) there's no reason to pick one over the other as they are both going to stand up to a long OCI.
Great pics and great write up/review smile Thank You for.cutting them open for us to see
 
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Canada
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Originally Posted by ZeeOSix
Originally Posted by TurboTristan
In a future thread I'd love to go in depth on these two filters with more measurements and more detailed comparisons ...
Nice C&P, thanks. If you want to measure the media area, you can do it by using a good scale and measure the pleat depth, length and number of pleats, then do the calculation as follows: [Linked Image]
I will definitely do this in one of my next threads!
 
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12,253
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I've always thought the Mahle quality didn't carry over into their spin on filters and that Mann was all around top notch, but this post seems to prove otherwise. The Mahle looks much better here, but I'm somewhat disappointed in the rubber ADBV.
 
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I agree that based on appearance both look like capable filters for the FCI you noted. Since cost not noted, that would be the bottom line for me between the two. That assuming post use anecdote appearance acceptable. On appearance only with no defining description provided by manufacturer I might reach different conclusion on adbv composition. In line with that the Mann noted more pliable, unsurprising to me. As for band around Mahle media, I can only assume it's purpose similar to string used by Puro for some larger filters, assembly. Can't figure any other purpose. Looks like cellulose type material. I guess because the string used by Puro looks cheaper, it gets flogged often for it. As far as I can tell neither would hurt anything. The other thing not mentioned is efficiency of either/both. That is often a/the main sticking point for some with filters posted here. Fwiw, I don't have a problem with it either way, just that if one or more filters judged on appearance alone, same criteria should apply to all. My .02 Thanks for c&p and write up.
 
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24,119
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I run the W71280 and the Perflux L254A. The Made in France Perflux is a nice fit in the hosing with green Viton O rings and very stiff media, I never see any deformation, the price is right too. Perflux were OE on Saab pre GM.
 
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How can a center tube have "an axial seam"? It's a tube. Do you mean a lengthwise running seam (parallel to the axle I suppose) as opposed to wound construction? Just pointing it out. Apologies if I misinterpreted.
 
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Originally Posted by Kira
Do you mean a lengthwise running seam (parallel to the axle I suppose) as opposed to wound construction?
That's exactly what I mean smile
 
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Originally Posted by dlundblad
I've always thought the Mahle quality didn't carry over into their spin on filters and that Mann was all around top notch, but this post seems to prove otherwise. The Mahle looks much better here, but I'm somewhat disappointed in the rubber ADBV.
I agree, the MANN definitely has a nicer ADBV but the MAHLE's seems like it would do the job without a problem.
 
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