Oil filter model: cross-reference confusion

Can anyone clarify the cross-referencing of oil filters for my car?

I have been using Fram PH2951 oil filters on my 1988 Chevrolet Nova. Checking what WalMart’s store brand has available, I see a cross-reference to SupterTech model ST4967. However, that model seems to match three different Fram models: PH2951, PH4386, and PH4967. Each of these three Fram models has different dimensions and matches different engine types for the Chevrolet Nova.


Similarly, when I checked what is available at an Autozone store, their database shows STP S4967. The box for the filter shows that this corresponds to a Fram PH4967.

So, do STP S4967 and SuperTech ST4967 really fit my Chevrolet Nova, which has always used Fram PH2951?

This is the NUMMI Nova, similar to the Corolla. According to Fram, there are 2 different filter designs for it, the PH2951 (“VIN 4”) and the PH4386 (“VIN 5”), so that’s probably the source of some of the confusion.

I think these were the same filters my 89 Corolla used to use/RIP.
One is taller than the other. I felt it wasn’t much different since I was doing short interval changes.

texases: correct. I have the VIN 4 model, which Fram identifies as using the PH2951. But what of WalMart’s SuperTech brand and Autozone’s STP brand, which do not make the distinction between engine types?

galant: yes, my car is a “Toyota” Nova. Partly I am trying to figure out whether the different dimensions matter. In addition to the outer dimensions, Fram describes “Turning Specification” and “By-Pass Valve Setting” which are different for the three different filter models.




Me thinks Paddy is making this way to complicated. Kinda like his old thread about mixing different oil weights to arrive at something else.

I’d stick with the Fram that you’ve been using.

The PH2951 is much less available and more expensive than it used to be. So I am checking other readily-available brands to ensure they will do the job.

The Supertech is probably the same quality level as the Fram. I think the current ones are made by Champion. I can’t help you with the cross references.

I remember the walmart part numbers were the same as STP, so assume were made by the same manufacturer. Who knows if the Walmart is of lower quality or not, but I used to use their brand for many year without any issues. Now my cars are under warranty and they are Hyundai’s so have to stick to OEM because they engines are picky.

My early 90’s Corolla uses the Fram 4967 as I recall, if that’s of any help. On the 88 Nova, it depends on which engine you have and whether it is fuel injected or not. Here’s the oem part number for the oil filter as far as I can tell, might be helpful for cross reference purposes.

4ALC engine

fuel injected: 94851858
no fuel injection: 94847351

1600 CC Dohc engine

fuel injected: 94851858
no fuel injection: 94847351

there he goes again, trying to be mysterious . . . :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Fixing cars is always a mystery. Did you notice the part numbers are the same for both engines? :wink:

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George: yes, that’s right. It’s the GM part 94847351, according to https://www.gmpartsdirect.com/auto-parts/1988/chevrolet/nova/base-trim/1-6l-l4-gas-engine/engine-cat/engine-parts-scat .

But I am wondering why the lookup on the Wix and Fram web sites shows different models of filters for different engines, where the different filter models actually have different specs.

For example, the page for the Fram PH2951 shows it is used for the 1985-88 Nova with VIN 4; Fram PH4386 is for the 1988 Nova VIN 5; and the PH4967 is for the Prizm 1998-2002. All three of these vehicles are related, including the Prizm. But the filters are presented as if not being totally interchangeable.

Advance Auto / Carquest has A Carquest R85394 filter for you Carbed, vin4 Nova for $3.99, maybe even cheaper if you buy online and pick up in the store.

Their filter for the vin 5 is R84145.

14 posts about a lousy oil filter that most people could have gotten while they were buying groceries at Walmart.

I used to get lousy oil filters (Fram PH2951) from time to time at Walmart when convenient. Switching brands, I’m checking into a discrepancy about brands and models (as stated in the original post). If you don’t understand the motivation behind asking a question, don’t freak out.

How do you figure that Fram oil filters are lousy . . . ?!

How do you figure that Fram oil filters are lousy

I don’t; they’re not. See the snarky post prior to mine (“14 posts about a lousy oil filter”, etc.)

The car is running well after 31+ years of using Fram filters. This thread is not about oil filter quality (unlike 99% of other threads here about oil filters). Fram has been fine, and I assume that I could switch to another brand which will also be fine as long as I can sort out the fitments.

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Keep it simple…Quit screwing around with cross-referencing and after-market filters.

Use an AC Delco PF1233F

Correct filter for 88 Nova SOHC VIN 4
Correct filter for 88 Nova DOHC VIN 5

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My guess is all the filters are functionally equivalent, but just different physical dimensions, as required for needed clearance to surrounding parts in the engine compartment of the various vehicle/engine configuration. Besides physical dimension and flow rate/micron filter size, about the only customization for filters is the anti-drain back valve and a bypass valve, for which I’d expect that family filters are configured the same.

As a side note, I was at Walmart the other day looking at the oil filters, and definitely notice d a difference in the anti-drain valve appearance between the Fram filters and the less expensive semi-generic-brand filter they stock there. The Fram version looked more robust. I also compared the various versions of the same Fram filter (4967), and while I couldn’t see much of difference by appearance, the more expensive versions definitely seemed to weigh more than the least expensive, which I presume means there’s more of the filter element substance (i.e. more pleats) in the more expensive Fram version. So it appears you do gain some advantage in filtering by purchasing the more expensive Fram filter. I’ve always used the least expensive Fram version for the Corolla and the prior Rabbit, and always used the Motorcraft filter for the truck, never had any oil related issues in any of my vehicles.