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Oil Filter Cannister Types and Decals

July 13, 2010 | Research & Identification

Photos submitted by Ken Daugherty — Text by Ken Daugherty and Barry Lee Brisco, with additional material courtesy of Marco Marinello and Jim Breazeale

 

Note: replacement decals for Fram, H Filter, and Mann oil canisters are available from NLA and Stoddards.

The photos of original, unmolested H Filter, Fram, and Mann oil filter cannisters shown on this page illustrate how to identify them and how the decals were placed. At the bottom of the page are several photos of restored cannisters with reproduction decals, as well as photos of an early Fram that could have been used by 356 owners before Porsche made oil filters standard (perhaps in late 1954, according to Marco Marinello).

 

The colors of the cannisters varied, but it is common to see H Filters painted silver with a matching or black top, Frams painted orange or silver with a black or matching top, and the Mann painted green. More detailed information is shown below the photos.

Questions or comments, please email to Barry Lee Brisco, Website Technical Editor, barry.brisco@356registry.com


The early factory filters were generally Fram, orange with a black top and a big wing nut for the top (see additional comments below from Jim Breazeale). Often they had a drain and the strap was wide and similar in design as the coil bracket. Common manufacturing practice is to order a supply of items (in our situation the oil filters) and the PA would go by price and availability. Both Fram and H filter were suppliers. When the stock ran low, Mann could be supplied.


As a general rule the early Fram filters were orange with a black top. I have never seen an orange H filter. Later the Fram and H filters were silver with a black top, and finally all silver. The large Fram decal was only used on the orange filter cans. Later Fram units only had a decal on the top and the inlet designation, as did the H filter.


Top of H filter


Closeup of small logo on top of H filter. This decal is not available as a repro, as far as I know.


Pre A filter cannister — The first factory oil filters were in 1953, according to the parts book. Prior to that, they were dealer/owner installed. The filters could be purchased at tractor supply houses and the oil lines were home grown. The labels would be in English.


Unrestored Mann filter showing original decals and placement.


Restored Mann filter — Ken Daugherty first saw a green Mann oil filter can on a 1957 1600N, serial number P66929. He has also seen Mann filters on some 912's. These were silver. Some had drains, some had a blank off disc where the drain plug wound have been and some, nothing.


Restored orange and black Fram filter with top decal (side decal missing)
Photo by Barry Lee Brisco


Restored silver Fram filter, top decal
Photo by Barry Lee Brisco


Restored silver Fram filter, side decal
Photo by Barry Lee Brisco

[From Marco Marinello] The Fram shown below was an "after market" filter for Porsche 356 and VW that were produced new without oil filters. FRAM had an outlet in the US. That's why the text is in English. The exact same filter but with different stickers would be used by Porsche. For some time all Normal engines had no filter, only the Super had them. For Normal engines it was optional. I think, though I am not sure, that in late 1954 Porsche decided to install filters on all engines.

Photo by Marco Marinello


Photo by Marco Marinello


Photo by Marco Marinello

Oil filter Ken Daugherty removed from a 1952 356 engine. Porsche did not have oil filters on their engines until 1953, so apparently this was added. It has been cleaned and repainted to match the dark red color of the old paint. It appears to be a Fram. Nothing is known about what kind of decals it would have had. Photo by Ken Daugherty

Photos submitted by Ken Daugherty — Text by Ken Daugherty and Barry Lee Brisco, with additional material courtesy of Marco Marinello and Jim Breazeale

 

Note: replacement decals for Fram, H Filter, and Mann oil canisters are available from NLA and Stoddards.

The photos of original, unmolested H Filter, Fram, and Mann oil filter cannisters shown on this page illustrate how to identify them and how the decals were placed. At the bottom of the page are several photos of restored cannisters with reproduction decals, as well as photos of an early Fram that could have been used by 356 owners before Porsche made oil filters standard (perhaps in late 1954, according to Marco Marinello).

 

The colors of the cannisters varied, but it is common to see H Filters painted silver with a matching or black top, Frams painted orange or silver with a black or matching top, and the Mann painted green. More detailed information is shown below the photos.

Questions or comments, please email to Barry Lee Brisco, Website Technical Editor, barry.brisco@356registry.com


The early factory filters were generally Fram, orange with a black top and a big wing nut for the top (see additional comments below from Jim Breazeale). Often they had a drain and the strap was wide and similar in design as the coil bracket. Common manufacturing practice is to order a supply of items (in our situation the oil filters) and the PA would go by price and availability. Both Fram and H filter were suppliers. When the stock ran low, Mann could be supplied.


As a general rule the early Fram filters were orange with a black top. I have never seen an orange H filter. Later the Fram and H filters were silver with a black top, and finally all silver. The large Fram decal was only used on the orange filter cans. Later Fram units only had a decal on the top and the inlet designation, as did the H filter.


Top of H filter


Closeup of small logo on top of H filter. This decal is not available as a repro, as far as I know.


Pre A filter cannister — The first factory oil filters were in 1953, according to the parts book. Prior to that, they were dealer/owner installed. The filters could be purchased at tractor supply houses and the oil lines were home grown. The labels would be in English.


Unrestored Mann filter showing original decals and placement.


Restored Mann filter — Ken Daugherty first saw a green Mann oil filter can on a 1957 1600N, serial number P66929. He has also seen Mann filters on some 912's. These were silver. Some had drains, some had a blank off disc where the drain plug wound have been and some, nothing.


Restored orange and black Fram filter with top decal (side decal missing)
Photo by Barry Lee Brisco


Restored silver Fram filter, top decal
Photo by Barry Lee Brisco


Restored silver Fram filter, side decal
Photo by Barry Lee Brisco

[From Marco Marinello] The Fram shown below was an "after market" filter for Porsche 356 and VW that were produced new without oil filters. FRAM had an outlet in the US. That's why the text is in English. The exact same filter but with different stickers would be used by Porsche. For some time all Normal engines had no filter, only the Super had them. For Normal engines it was optional. I think, though I am not sure, that in late 1954 Porsche decided to install filters on all engines.

Photo by Marco Marinello


Photo by Marco Marinello


Photo by Marco Marinello

(From Jim Breazeale) The early Fram filters were "period correct" aftermarket parts, they did not come from the factory. There was also a "toilet paper" filter that was installed on more than a few 356s "back in the day". Yes, the filter element was a roll of toilet paper!


Early Fram filter
Photo by Jim Breazeale


Early "Toilet Paper" filter
Photo by Jim Breazeale


Early "Toilet Paper" filter
Photo by Jim Breazeale

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