Improvised cap wrench

Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
159
When installing a filter on my Subaru engines, I like to use a cap wrench to install them.

I can already feel a lot of you gearing up to tell me you don't need a wrench to install, and I know you're right, but hear me out first. I have two reasons. First: I have tendon problems in my wrists, and hand tightening a filter puts my hand and wrist in just the right (or wrong, I guess) position to aggravate that condition. Second: It's way easier to do exactly the specified amount of tightening (3/4 turn, 1 full turn, whatever is called for) with a handle or bar than it is to gauge it by hand. Satisfies my OCD.

Now to the point. I bought a dozen Champ filters for these engines, and I can't find a cap wrench that fits them. So I made one that fits:

photo_2022-04-25_22-29-41.jpg


This is an old cap wrench I bought for a car I might have had 30 years ago. I wrapped one of the Champ filters in Saran Wrap, lined the inside of the old cap wrench with JB Weld epoxy putty, smushed the plastic-wrapped filter into it, and let it harden. It fits the filters perfectly, and as a bonus, the JB Weld didn't stick to the Saran, so I was able to peel that out cleanly. It's a little funny-looking but it does the job. Probably wouldn't hold up to being used for a lot of removals, but to tighten that 3/4 turn it's just fine.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Messages
10,654
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Champlain/Hudson Valley
It's been my experience that oil filter cap wrenches lift "up & off" -'away' might be the better word- the filter during removal.
I wonder if an exact fit tool like yours would stay in position?

I mark the new filter so I can easily follow it through the 3/4 to 1 full turn.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
27,777
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Near the beach in Delaware
I have a bag of every filter wrench my Dad or I have ever bought, and a set of HF ones (minus the one that broke the spot weld). But for new cars or trucks I always seem to need to buy new ones. Pickup takes strap wrench.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
28,939
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
When installing a filter on my Subaru engines, I like to use a cap wrench to install them.

I can already feel a lot of you gearing up to tell me you don't need a wrench to install, and I know you're right, but hear me out first. I have two reasons. First: I have tendon problems in my wrists, and hand tightening a filter puts my hand and wrist in just the right (or wrong, I guess) position to aggravate that condition. Second: It's way easier to do exactly the specified amount of tightening (3/4 turn, 1 full turn, whatever is called for) with a handle or bar than it is to gauge it by hand. Satisfies my OCD.

Now to the point. I bought a dozen Champ filters for these engines, and I can't find a cap wrench that fits them. So I made one that fits:

View attachment 97735

This is an old cap wrench I bought for a car I might have had 30 years ago. I wrapped one of the Champ filters in Saran Wrap, lined the inside of the old cap wrench with JB Weld epoxy putty, smushed the plastic-wrapped filter into it, and let it harden. It fits the filters perfectly, and as a bonus, the JB Weld didn't stick to the Saran, so I was able to peel that out cleanly. It's a little funny-looking but it does the job. Probably wouldn't hold up to being used for a lot of removals, but to tighten that 3/4 turn it's just fine.
Finding caps for Subaru aftermarket filters is a PITA, I found one that works well with OE and another that fits the Wix pretty good.
These are one of the filters I torque to 10NM, I wont try to remove or hand tighten the ones that are in "ring of fire" its an easy way to cut your hand badly.
 

dwasifar

Thread starter
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
159
Finding caps for Subaru aftermarket filters is a PITA, I found one that works well with OE and another that fits the Wix pretty good.
These are one of the filters I torque to 10NM, I wont try to remove or hand tighten the ones that are in "ring of fire" its an easy way to cut your hand badly.
I might put a torque wrench on next time and see how much force 3/4 turn takes.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,738
Location
NE,Ohio
Use a rubber strap wrench.. plenty of grip to tighten if you have wrist issues.

although 3/4? turn after contact is not much torque.

Those filter pliers are great for removing.. however I dont like scratching or denting a new filter if I was going to use it to tighten(such as OP)
 

dwasifar

Thread starter
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
159
The wrist issues are funny. I can turn a wrench or swing a hammer, no problem, but anything that requires a wider grip, like opening a jar or turning a filter, and I feel it up my arm for days.
 
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