5th Gen Mods, DIY, Install, Maintenance

Genuine OEM Metal Oil Filter Housing Upgrade

Updated 1/5/20 /

Read Time: 6 mins

Metal Oil Filter Housing Upgrade and Motivx Tools Oil Filter Wrench

Common sense dictates that metal is stronger than plastic, and I’m not a fan of plastic in an important part, like the oil filter housing in my 5th gen 4Runner.

Thankfully, upgrading to a metal oil filter housing using OEM Toyota parts can be done without a lot of effort or expense.

Another chunk of metal that this project involves is an oil filter wrench from Motivx Tools, which can be used for future, DIY oil and filter changes.

Items for this project

Tools required for installation

  • 3/8” drive ratchet
  • 4-6 inch 3/8” drive socket extension
  • Oil drain pan:
  • 27 mm socket (optional)
  • 1/2″ drive ratchet (optional)

Motivx Tools Oil Filter Wrench

The Motivx Tools oil filter wrench fits all Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles equipped with 2.5L, 3.5L, 4.0L, 4.6L, and 5.7L engines that use the newer cartridge-style oil filter system.

It is made of forged 6061 T5 aluminum, and won’t crack or flex like cast or plastic filter wrenches made by other manufacturers.

The 14 flutes and indexing tabs on the wrench securely grip the base of the oil filter housing. In addition, the design and finish allow for easy removal of the oil filter housing from the tool, with no sticking or damage.

When ordered directly from Motivx Tools, the oil filter wrench can be custom laser engraved at no additional charge. This is great for people who may have multiple oil filter wrenches for different vehicles, or work in an environment where tools are lent/borrowed.

Metal Toyota Oil Filter Housing & Cap

Genuine Toyota part 15620-31060 is a metal replacement for the plastic version of similar parts that installed our 4Runners at the factory.

With the metal oil filter housing and cap, there is no concern of cracked plastic or longevity.

Remove the original, plastic oil filter housing

  • After any skid plates have been removed to allow access to the oil filter housing, use a ratchet and 3/8” drive socket extension to remove the cap from the bottom of the filter housing.
  • This is done by inserting the socket extension into the cap, and turning the ratchet counter clockwise.

  • Set the metal cap aside, as it will be installed with the new metal oil filter housing in a later step.
  • Place the oil drain pan under the filter housing, and thread the plastic nipple, that was included with the replacement oil filter, into the bottom of the oil filter housing.
  • Allow oil from the filter housing to drain, and then remove the plastic nipple.

  • Put the Motivx Tool oil filter wrench onto the bottom of the oil filter housing. The center slot/tabs on the side of the oil filter wrench should be aligned over the “wings” on the filter housing.
  • Insert the 3/8″ drive socket extension into the square opening in the bottom of the filter wrench, and use a ratchet to remove the oil filter housing by turning it counter clockwise (Optional: Use a 1/2″ drive ratchet and 27mm socket to turn the filter wrench). Additional oil will drain from the filter housing.

Swap the perforated center tube between housings

  • Genuine Toyota part 15620-31060 has a perforated center tube, which is shorter than the one which is installed in the plastic oil filter housing.

  •  The longer tube must be moved to the metal oil filter housing. To do this, apply sideways pressure near the top of the tube, while pushing in at the bottom. This will allow the tabs on the bottom of the tube to be removed from the housing, and needs to be done on both housings.

  • To reinstall the tube, first insert the bottom plate, with the domed side facing up. Put the spring inside the tube. Insert the tube into the housing at an angle, placing the tabs of it under the “feet” inside the housing. Push in at the bottom of the tube, while applying pressure at the top. Once installed, the tube should have spring tension on it. Press down on it a few times to ensure that it moves freely, and does not come out of the housing.

Install the new, metal oil filter housing

  • Place the large O-ring that was included with the replacement oil filter, into the grove near the threads at the top of the oil filter canister. Coat the O-ring with a little engine oil for lubrication.

  • Put the replacement oil filter over the center perforated tube in the middle of the filter housing. The longer tube installed in the previous step extend towards the end of the filter. The photo below shows a Mobil 1 M1C-256A Extended Performance oil filter, with the longer tube installed.

  • Thread the oil filter housing into the same location that the plastic version was removed from. Hand tighten initially, to ensure that it is not cross threaded.

  • Put the Motivx Tool oil filter wrench onto the bottom of the oil filter housing. The center slot/tabs on the side of the oil filter wrench should be aligned over the “wings” on the filter housing.
  • Insert the 3/8″ drive socket extension into the square opening in the bottom of the filter wrench, and use a ratchet to install the oil filter housing by turning it clockwise (Optional: Use a 1/2″ drive ratchet and 27mm socket to turn the filter wrench). Tighten to 18 foot pounds.

  • Put the small O-ring that was included with the replacement oil filter, into the bottom of the oil filter base. Coat the O-ring with a little engine oil for lubrication.

  • Finger tighten the oil cap, and then use a ratchet and 3/8” drive socket extension to install it into the oil filter housing by turning it clockwise. Tighten to 9 foot-pounds.
  • Start the vehicle and check for leaks.
  • Reinstall any skid plates that were previously removed.

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Chrisb
Chrisb
September 6, 2020 4:10 am

I found a metal clip on the plastic piece, do I have to move that to the metal cartridge? I did not and Im worried the oilfilter may come loose.

Derek
Derek
June 29, 2020 2:51 pm

So the part number for the metal filter housing says its for Avalon when running it through my favorite online genuine toyota parts store. Just curious how you discovered this fit on the 5th gen? Its a no brainer in my opinion and I will be changing my housing on my next oil change. I wish I came across this install write up sooner.

Marty
Marty
February 11, 2020 9:57 am

Stupid question. Do we need to touch the drain plug Gasket or change it at all.

de carlo
de carlo
January 4, 2020 10:01 pm

i think you have a mistake when thightening the oil filter housing bc earlier you state 18 foot pounds and later after you mentioned to finger thight the oil cap (on the same paragraph) you also said that the oil filter housing should be torqued @ 9 lbs or so and that is disrespectful for your audience please pay attention to your writing. thanks

Bill
Bill
December 3, 2019 4:54 pm

if doing this mod and any crazy little / big thing happened to the engine while in warranty, could Toyota void the warranty.

Bill
Bill
December 10, 2019 3:56 pm

some thing to think about

Alana
Alana
July 13, 2019 9:58 am

Thank you! My normal mechanic told me that my oil filter housing was looking brittle. I can’t wait to have peice of mind again.

Kevin
Kevin
May 29, 2019 7:20 am

I just did this after I broke one of the tabs off of my plastic housing which was way over-tightened. The instructions given here for swapping the long tube over are a little misleading. There are two opposing metal tabs on the bottom of the tube assembly, each constrained by a pair of features molded into the housing. These tabs need to be pried up with a screwdriver so they are parallel to the tube. The tube assembly can then be pushed straight in and twisted to be removed. Installation into the new housing is the reverse, then you can… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
May 30, 2019 6:34 am
Reply to  Eric Ellis

Huh, interesting. I tried every which way to get that tube out without bending the tabs, including following your instructions. Must just be manufacturing variations that account for the differences. My apologies, I had assumed you were just glossing over the need to bend the tabs in your writeup.

David Chen
David Chen
May 10, 2019 9:46 am

Is the oil filter element the same part number for both housings?

David Chen
David Chen
May 10, 2019 11:38 am

Thanks!

Hoser
Hoser
April 20, 2019 7:35 am

Great write up, thanks. One Q: Why do you have to move the longer tube? Why would Toyota put in the wrong part?

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