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The Infamous Oil Filter Adapter

MadKraken

NAXJA Forum User
NAXJA Member
Location
Utah
This is not a question post. Rather, it’s me sharing my experience so as to help someone who may be struggling to get that stupid bolt loose. There are a plethora of other sources that show you how to remove the oil filter adapter, so this is not an exhaustive breakdown - just some tips/tricks/whatever you want to call it.
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I’d watched all the YouTube videos and read all the forum posts on how to break loose the oil filter adapter’s torx bolt on my Jeep XJ 2001 Sport. Still no success. I’d even bent two wrenches on two separate occasions. One of the two is pictured below:

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My only next option was to lift the engine up/out and use an impact wrench to break it loose. Then I remembered that Craftsman SAYS they are the best and they have a lifetime warranty. Challenge: accepted. And they did not disappoint. No bends, breaks - just solid and true. Craftsman or GTFO.

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(There is no sign of deformation post-use)

To recap how ‘everyone’ says to loosen the bolt:

1. Pound a T-60 torx out of its socket
2. After seating the 60 into the bolt hole, anchor a 12mm box wrench onto the bit

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3. Extend the wrench with a breaker pipe/bar and push hard AF towards the aft part of the Jeep.

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(The diameter of your pipe will have to be wide enough to fit over the wrench. I had to tap the wrench into my pipe. Fortunately I was able to pry it back out)

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(Inserting my breaker bar into the pipe like this allowed me to adjust my lever length)

4. After much weeping and wailing… feel the bolt shift loose (either that or you’ll feel the wrench bend - if it’s not a craftsman).

Tip on reattaching: don’t press the bolt completely into the adapter housing. This will give you to ability to get the bolt started by hand, then twist until you feel comfortable enough to reapply some wrench action.

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I can’t remember where, but I learned it from someone else so I don’t get credit for this tip. Just collocating the information for you.

Also, remove your coolant reservoir. You’ll have more room to set a clean line on your lever.

That is all. God speed.
 
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Isnt there more room from the bottom if on a lift? Im due for this and valve cover gasket at next oil change (and may as well do rockers/pushrods etc)

Would there be room from the bottom to get an electric ratchet on it? Or even a 3/4” breaker bar?


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I didn't notice any 'rust' on the threads of the two or three I have done. Maybe 4. One or two were done with the engine out. Still, I think threads sort of bind together if left together for many years.
I looked at trying to do this from the bottom. I could not get a breaker bar etc. in there. I think it might be doable with the T60 bit and the 12mm box end wrench with a cheater bar. I would wonder about welding the T-60 to the box end wrench. This would have you not having to undo the motor mount. Don't know why, but I've had issues with getting motor mounts to go back together. ??? The last one, I tired for a few hours. I went back into the house for a bit to rest my back. I came back out, and the floor jack had settled a bit. The bolt slipped right through.
 
No need to f*** with the motor mount and you can't weld the bit on.
 
There was a guy in the SoCal chapter who used to weld the T60 bit into something, probably a piece of steel, that you could then get a cheater onto to break that bolt loose. I have a T60 bit that one of these days I intend to try to turn into such a tool.

Any way you slice it, that bolt is a PITA. No clearance to get proper tools in, and it just seems to be torqued to 200lb/ft.
 
The size and surface area of the bolt along with the torque give it a big clamping force!
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Isnt there more room from the bottom if on a lift? Im due for this and valve cover gasket at next oil change (and may as well do rockers/pushrods etc)

Would there be room from the bottom to get an electric ratchet on it? Or even a 3/4” breaker bar?


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No it’s about the same. The frame is in the way at any angle.


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That's what I figured which is why I'm so puzzled. Maybe baked oil and rubber makes for a strong hold.


As the larger gasket keeps hardening, the ‘solution’ for some people is to keep torquing it tighter and tighter. I believe that’s what happened to me. The person who owned it before me just kept cranking it down. That gasket had square edges and was hard as a rock when I finally got it out. Many things were half-ass ‘fixed’ in that Jeep. Hashtag-jeep life.


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I had a similar fit with just the oil filter and thought I was going to need a chain saw to cut the K & N oil filter off the 89 Renix. It took even more that what you listed for that bolt to get the Oil filter to turn.

Found out the Oil filter folks could over tighten one. Once again confirmed one should do all their own stuff, as others can indeed screw up a crow bar...
 
Thanks for this write-up and well done! I tried to replace mine last year as it has a slow leak which of course drips right down onto the starter. Just curiousity but does anyone know how bad that is for the starter? I mean I know it's not good, but does it significantly shorten the life span of the starter? The reason I ask is I recently had to replace my starter but I too bent a wrench using a breaker bar trying to get that torx bolt loose for the adapter, and I didn't want to strip it out so I threw in the towel. Wondering if I should try again for the sake of my starter. It's a very slow drip..
 
It is not exactly good for the starter.

My 12V Cummins leaks all over the starter (and pretty much everything else). A couple years ago I pulled the starter while completely re-doing my fuel lines, and I decided to open up the starter to see how it was faring with the continual lubrication. The back of the starter (where the brushes are) looked like it was packed with asphalt. It was still working, but I can't imagine that was good for it. I cleaned it all up and put it back together and it is still working just fine. At some point in the future I will pull it out and expect to find the same mess and clean it up again.
 
It is not exactly good for the starter.

My 12V Cummins leaks all over the starter (and pretty much everything else). A couple years ago I pulled the starter while completely re-doing my fuel lines, and I decided to open up the starter to see how it was faring with the continual lubrication. The back of the starter (where the brushes are) looked like it was packed with asphalt. It was still working, but I can't imagine that was good for it. I cleaned it all up and put it back together and it is still working just fine. At some point in the future I will pull it out and expect to find the same mess and clean it up again.

The starter in my XJ was exactly the same. Was determined to be the culprit of the starter not working. Cleaned it, and the starter worked well for a while, but eventually had to replace it because the brushes were worn out.
 
I used a Serpentine Belt Tool Kit from Harbor Freight for $20. It fits easily between the frame rail and oil adapter.
 
I used a Serpentine Belt Tool Kit from Harbor Freight for $20. It fits easily between the frame rail and oil adapter.

This is probably what I'll try next. I tried the job twice now and abandoned it because I was afraid of stripping the head of the bolt (has anyone ever done that?)

I'm thinking that I'll probably order the bolt to have on hand in case of a catastrophe. My second attempt was with a "go through" ratchet from HF and the T60 bit. I had a massive cheater bar/pipe, but the diameter was so large it was hard to get the right leverage. I've already spent about 35$ on tools for this job and the price is going up. I bought this huge allen wrench from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B82TF1K8?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1 A guy in the comments even said he used it for the job, but it would NOT go into the bolt, the bend was too wide/ torx end too long.
 
I use and recommend a good crowfoot adapter .......
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