5.4l oil filter replacement

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May 12, 2003
You guys got any "secrets" as how to change the oil filter off this engine on a F150 4x4 setup? The darn thing is horizontal, right on top of the front differential. You can only get one hand in there and God forbid if you have to get a filter wrench in there. The time you get the filter off and on the ground, ALL oil has run out of it, landed on top of the differential and spills all sorts of directions which means little oil puddles for the next 4 days. Geeeeesh. Oh, filter relocation kit is not an option.
Other people have suggested using a zip lock storage/freezer bag to at least catch some of the oil in the filter. Otherwise place an oil catch pan below the plastic drain shield under the oil filter and have lots of shop towels handy. The location is a pain in the butt. Personally I take my truck to the Ford dealer. They charge $22 for the oil change with Motorcraft oil including the Motorcraft oil filter. If I bring my own oil they deduct $1/quart or $6.00. For me it's worth it. They change the oil while it's at least warm and I'm out within 1 hour and NO MESS! Whimsey
I used the dealer today too once I saw where the filter was. Our local dealer runs $5/off coupons twice a month and on top of that been running $19.99 oil changes. For $15, I can't buy oil and filter from motorcraft for that. But I figure they must use a wrench that fits on the end of the filter with a 3/8 wrench, a few u joints and couple of extensions. I'll invest in the tools when I get the chance. K+Ns come with a nut on the end of the filter, so a reg socket would work but they are pricey. I also see that it looks like a heater hose is running under the filter, so getting oil on that rubber hose will cause it to prematurely crap out and leak after a few years.
Its actually not that bad. Before changing the oil, turn the wheels all the way to the left. This will move most of the steering linkage out of the way. Invest in a cap style oil filter wrench that fits whatever filter you decide to use. I use mine on the end of a 12" long socket wrench. Strap style wrenches won't work here. I believe they began installing the plastic guide in MY '99. After loosening the filter just enough to begin draining, let it drain for a while. On my '99, the guide carries all the oil right around the differential and straight into the drip pan. Leaves very little mess.
I've used the cap style thingie that MNGopher wrote about. It works well. There is just enough room to get that cap on and use a 3/8" ratchet handle to loosen the filter. I've only had to use the cap a couple times when the dealer did the previous oil change. Despite my request that they not use a darn torque wrench to tighter the filter, they always tightened it way too much. When I do the work the filters only go on hand tight making subsequent changes a breeze even with only one handed, contortionist access to the filter. Mikep
I've only had my F150 long enough to have changed the oil once, but here's what I found. Getting to the filter was gravy once the front skid plate is removed, it does leak on the diff when removing filter, next time I plan on laying a couple disposable shop towels over the diff.
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