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Tightening the oil filter

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Old 02-22-2018, 10:28 PM
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C7AW
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Default Tightening the oil filter

Hello folks

This may sound a bit trivial, but I'd like to read some opinions on the best way to tighten the oil filter following an oil change.

From my understanding, spin-on oil filters are often hand tightened with a tight grip, but being that the C7 filter sits in a recessed area, it's somewhat difficult to apply a firm hand grip.

What I was considering was to do tighten by hand, and use a filter wrench to tighten 1/2 turn. Is that acceptable/bad idea? Is there a specific torque amount, and does 1/2 turn with a wrench usually exceed this torque value?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:43 PM
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Spin it down until the gasket touches then 3/4 turn. Be sure to put a little oil on the gasket. I can usually get that much by hand.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:36 PM
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As a person who constantly gets under their car alot for 20 years of mechanics, I can say I go hand tight snug (so I can get it off by hand whenever I want also) and then re-check it every so often to be sure. It usually feels tighter than when I put it on after some heat cycles.

I like most of the things on my car like that, barely tight or almost too loose. Hose clamps on the radiator leak the first time so I can go just a hair tighter and they are "loose as possible not to leak" for example. Same with any lines, bolts, they are gently snug as needed b/c I keep re-checking and inspecting.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:48 PM
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Last time I changed my oil I couldn't get the darn oil filter off, so I bought these guys:

Amazon Amazon

Amazon Amazon

Amazon Amazon

Havent tried them yet, but I figure between the three I should be good, problem is there isnt much room to get a oil filter wrench on there (I bought one anyway cause I needed one)


I always get hand tight, then add another half to quarter turn or so

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Old 02-23-2018, 12:37 AM
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Jerry U created a pdf about how to change the oil and filter, but I don't have a link to the pdf handy.

He said that the specification for torquing the oil filter is 22 ft-lbs and that he thought it was too tight and would distort the gasket. I concur. 22 ft-lbs seems insanely tight.

I stick with the "turn by hand until the gasket touches" then turn another 1/4 to 1/2 turn.
(Edit: This is wrong. My error, I was tired after a very long day. As corrected below, 3/4 turn is correct.)

In this link:
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ump-specs.html
there is info that for a Z51 the torque settings are 22 ft-lbs for the filter and 18 ft-lbs for the oil plan drain plugs. 18 ft-lbs still seems tight to me. I use the box end of a combination wrench and tighten by hand until it feels reasonably tight, but not too tight. I have never had a problem with that method in many decades of changing my own oil.

Jerry U's pdf doesn't specify a drain plug torque.

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Old 02-23-2018, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by juanvaldez View Post
Spin it down until the gasket touches then 3/4 turn. Be sure to put a little oil on the gasket. I can usually get that much by hand.
Just as I feel the gasket touch, I apply a marks-a-lot mark on the filter and then turn one full revolution. Never a leak in 50 years of DIY oil changes.
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by driver9 View Post
.......
I stick with the "turn by hand until the gasket touches" then turn another 1/4 to 1/2 turn.

..........................
The Delco filter carton advises at least a 3/4 turn. I would expect a 1/4 turn to start leaking in a few weeks due to thermal cycling loosening the filter. That's what happened twice in a row when I used the dealership's 5 free oil changes in their quick lube dept after a couple of weeks on my Suburban 20 years ago. Both times I had to crawl underneath to tighten it myself. So called Professionals screwing up a simple job.
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:25 AM
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Yep, instructions say 3/4 turn. I think aircraft oil filters say 22 ft/lbs, seems too tight to me. The cheap, end cap style oil filter tools usually work in tight spaces if the filter isn't on insanely tight.
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by GOLD72 View Post
The Delco filter carton advises at least a 3/4 turn. I would expect a 1/4 turn to start leaking in a few weeks due to thermal cycling loosening the filter. That's what happened twice in a row when I used the dealership's 5 free oil changes in their quick lube dept after a couple of weeks on my Suburban 20 years ago. Both times I had to crawl underneath to tighten it myself. So called Professionals screwing up a simple job.
1/4 turn after gasket contact is't enough. Go at the very least 1/2 turn leaning more towards 3/4.

Yep, those dealership "free" oil changes can end up being anything but "FREE".
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:47 AM
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I've been changing my own oil since I got my first car in 1986 and have never had an oil filter come loose on me or leak oil. I've always just tightened it by hand, and I find that when I go to remove it the next time, it actually seems like it's on there even tighter, as it can't be removed by hand, I always need to use a filter wrench (I like the ones that are "end caps" that go over the end and allow you to use a ratchet for extra leverage)

I have yet to do an oil change on my C7 (although I plan on doing it soon as I'm at 780 miles now and might do it at 1000) so if I can't get enough leverage on the filter by hand, I'll use the end cap wrench and just tighten it a "reasonable amount" but I won't make it too tight.

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Old 02-23-2018, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by GOLD72 View Post
The Delco filter carton advises at least a 3/4 turn. I would expect a 1/4 turn to start leaking in a few weeks due to thermal cycling loosening the filter. That's what happened twice in a row when I used the dealership's 5 free oil changes in their quick lube dept after a couple of weeks on my Suburban 20 years ago. Both times I had to crawl underneath to tighten it myself. So called Professionals screwing up a simple job.
My corvette developed an oil leak after my last dealership oil change. I was freaking out a bit, until I realized they dainty-hand tightened the filter. I man handled it and it's been good so far.

Point being, I'm pretty sure the engineers that say 22 torque are right, and everybody else is second guessing them. I am now officially super skeptical of the hand tight directive. If for no reason other than everybody has different strength in their hand. Wack-a-doo accuracy going on.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:39 AM
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Torque to 22 lb-ft.

See post #2 here:


https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ue-values.html


also see (6:00 mark):


https://youtu.be/Q6q3kKly6HA

Hope this helps.

Last edited by JumpingJackFlash; 02-23-2018 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:48 AM
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I got out a shop manual. 25 lb/ft. Granted that's a 1969 manual, the current spec has softened to 22 lb ft, but I'm old school, so still do 25.

Last edited by DAVE396LT1; 02-23-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:55 AM
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3/4 turn after gasket touches, and add a light bead of oil to the gasket. It has always worked for me on all cars, and makes it easier to remove the filter on future oil changes. I also prefer the end wrench to the strap-type. Good to know about the 22lb ^^^...
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:57 AM
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In tight spaces the "cap" end fit tool is the best. IMHO
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:06 PM
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Jack's link is broken, here's what he was going for I think:




https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ue-values.html
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by driver9 View Post
He said that the specification for torquing the oil filter is 22 ft-lbs and that he thought it was too tight and would distort the gasket. I concur. 22 ft-lbs seems insanely tight.
there is info that for a Z51 the torque settings are 22 ft-lbs for the filter and 18 ft-lbs for the oil plan drain plugs. 18 ft-lbs still seems tight to me.
18 ft-lbs for the two drain plugs and 22 ft-lbs for the filter is the GM spec.
I always follow the spec for every car I have owned in the last 30 years, and have had zero issues. To torque the filter, you need a filter wrench that goes over the end an has a center drive.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by driver9 View Post
Jerry U created a pdf about how to change the oil and filter, but I don't have a link to the pdf handy.

He said that the specification for torquing the oil filter is 22 ft-lbs and that he thought it was too tight and would distort the gasket. I concur. 22 ft-lbs seems insanely tight.

I stick with the "turn by hand until the gasket touches" then turn another 1/4 to 1/2 turn.


In this link:
https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...ump-specs.html
there is info that for a Z51 the torque settings are 22 ft-lbs for the filter and 18 ft-lbs for the oil plan drain plugs. 18 ft-lbs still seems tight to me. I use the box end of a combination wrench and tighten by hand until it feels reasonably tight, but not too tight. I have never had a problem with that method in many decades of changing my own oil.

Jerry U's pdf doesn't specify a drain plug torque.
Yep, my PDF says I followed the 2014 Owner’s Manual and was well past my ~50 year experiance on “touch the gasket and use 3/4 to one turn,” before it reached that value! Backed off and did it the way I always dd.

Of interest my 2017 Grand Sport Manual says to turn 3/4 to 1 turn after the gasket touches! As I always have, clean off the matting surface AND put a thin film of new oil on the gasket. Same oil you used to partially fill the filter before installing. You do that right!

I have a filter wrench that fits the bottom of the filter with a 3/8 female drive in the center. Gives an accurate torque reading and I use it to make that 3/4 to 1 turn from touching.

Yep, as I recall 18 ft-lbs is what the stock drain plug is to be tightened. However I have two quality drain plugs and like many items don’t use a torque wrench. When removing the side drain plug was ready with a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar and 6 point 15mm scoket. That is what I needed on my Z51 first change. However the Grand Sport oil cooler extends down past the plug and is very close. Recommend getting a 6 point box wrench! Funny the front drain plug came off so easy and no Loctite as on the side. It was way to easy to remove, IMO! GM didn’t follow their own torque spec!

I don’t know why I did with the first change on the C7-guess it helped with the proper post!

Last edited by JerryU; 02-23-2018 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by C7AW View Post
Hello folks

This may sound a bit trivial, but I'd like to read some opinions on the best way to tighten the oil filter following an oil change.

From my understanding, spin-on oil filters are often hand tightened with a tight grip, but being that the C7 filter sits in a recessed area, it's somewhat difficult to apply a firm hand grip.

What I was considering was to do tighten by hand, and use a filter wrench to tighten 1/2 turn. Is that acceptable/bad idea? Is there a specific torque amount, and does 1/2 turn with a wrench usually exceed this torque value?

Thanks in advance.
C7AW, these 2 little tools have been very useful when removing and/or installing the oil filter on the C7.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:49 PM
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Also, be advised that on rare occasions the old gasket can remain on the engine block, so when the filter is removed it remains, and two gaskets will leak. Did that once on my mower and a friend had it happen to his C7 at a dealer, noticing a puddle of oil in his garage the next day. When a dealer does my free oil changes I crank the car and check for obvious leaks before exiting the parking lot.
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