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[ # ] Oil Change – 2007 4Runner 4.7L V8
January 26th, 2009 under Uncategorized

I don’t think the engineer for the suspension and the engine designer ever had a meeting and discussed the location of the oil filter in comparison with the torsion bar. The torsion bar pretty much eliminates the ability to use any oil filter wrench. This was the sixth time I have changed the oil on the 4Runner and this time was the most frustrating. The first time was the other difficult time, but I blamed it on the factory having the OE filter too tight.

First let me explain other complaints I have about this process. The oil pan sits four inches above a undercarriage guard. There is a 4 x 6 inch access panel to get to the drain plug. This undercarriage guard is about eight inches off the ground. Now assume your used oil container is about five inches tall. This leaves no room to get your arm and hand up into the access panel while your oil catch is directly underneath the drain. Now the only way to remove the oil plug is to have your arm directly vertical with the plug(the direction the oil travel when the plug is removed) because you have to reach up through the access panel. This means you always have oil run down your arm. This is totally awesome when the oil is hot. Quickly you pull your arm out the access panel, while the oil is running down it, and then pull your oil catch over to have the oil drain into.

Back to the filter. To gain access to the oil filter you must remove a brush guard that weights about 15 pounds. Unscrew the bolts in the wrong order the thing drops on your head. By now you have oil on your hands, making it impossible to unscrew the filter by hand(I hand tighten each filter, thus I should be able to remove it by hand). I try to use an oil filter wrench because I can sometimes get enough movement from it to break it free. But all it does is crush the filter a bit making matters worse. I try one of those big socket like things that fit on the end of the filter. It keeps jumping because of the small dent now in the filter. I grab the big wrench I use on the Excursion two quart filter. I think it may work but all it ends up doing is piercing a whole in the filter. Now oil is leaking out the filter making things work. I can get any other angle with the big filter wrench or the normal wrench because of the torsion bar. Thus they keep making contact in the places where the filter is damaged.

I continue laboring over this for about 45 minutes getting super frustrated, wondering how can this filter be seized on here, I only hand tightened it! Finally I accepted the fact the current methods were not going to work. I had to go with my last resort. I grabbed my largest screw driver and hammer and hammered the thing directly though the filters diameter. I then started to turn. The filters walls started to tear, I got nervous, but then the filter finally started to move. I had to repeat this three time before I was finally able to remove the rest by hand. The filters gasket was stuck to the oil filter mount. This may have been why it was so difficult to remove, but doubt it. I always put a coat of oil on the gasket.

This process without any problems takes 45 minutes, on the Excursion I can change the oil in about 15 minutes without getting a drop on me. But then again I can wash the 4Runner in about half the time.


Read the Comments

[ # 14430 ] Comment from Ted [November 8, 2009, 5:51 pm]

Your post is right on! I just went through almost the same thing. No problem with the plug, but the filter was seized, and I had to do the screwdriver trick. My biggest problem was that the 4 bolts holding the brush plate were also seized. Even using Liquid wrench etc. I broke off 2 of them. My 4runner is a 2005, and until now only the dealer has changed the oil. I’m thinking that they didn’t change the filter (for the last 2 oil changes, at least), because that plate hasn’t been off in a long time! @#$#@%#$%@#!!!!. You just have to do this stuff yourself!!! Thanks for your help…. Ted

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