About: Retired Firefighter 1966 to 1986; Retired Wheat Farmer 1987 to 2003. Drapery Sales 1969 to 1987. 17 year Quintuple Heart Bypass Surgery Survivor; 14 year Melanoma Cancer Survivor. 81 years young.

I seem to have an affinity for making things or improving them. This is certainly true for wrenches used to remove and replace the oil filters on cars, tractors, and mowers, etc. I have an even dozen different wrenches for changing filters on all these different engines, and I'm not a professional mechanic. I just work on my own stuff.



Old 1/2" drive deep socket, size 11/16" or 3/4"

2.5" to 3" X 3/4" diameter black steel pipe. If you buy a new pipe nipple, you should buy a longer piece, so you can cut off the threaded ends of it.

A 2 foot piece of 2" wide seat belt strap.


Electric or Oxygen / Acetylene welder. I use a MIG welder.

Chop saw with 1/8" wide blade preferred, but you could use a hack saw and multi-blades to make cut 1/8" wide.


I have 2 different engines that that have very limited access around the oil filter. This wrench works great in applications where you can get to the filter from the side of it and have about 3" open area below the filter. It was completely made of scrap material. If you don't have the socket, a good source is a pawn shop, garage sale or swap meet. A new short piece of steel pipe can be acquired at Lowes or Home Depot, Buy black gas pipe, not galvanized. The zinc on galvanized pipe gives off fumes that are a breathing hazard when heated or welded.


This tool was made from an old 11/16" X 1/2" drive socket I bought at a pawn shop for 50¢. I welded 2.5" piece of 3/4" pipe to the end of socket and cut a 1/8" slot lengthwise through the piece of pipe. I cut a 2 foot piece of seat belt from an old car. To get the length calibrated, I wrapped the strap around a new oil filter and threaded both ends through the slot in the pipe. I left about 4 inches between the pipe and the filter so that the strap would wrap around the pipe , giving more tension when being used. I burned the ends with a flame to prevent raveling.


Using the strap wrench is as simple as slipping the strap onto the oil filter and turning the ratchet, tightening it to break the filter loose, then unscrew the filter by hand. Be sure to remove the old gasket, clean the surface the new filter and gasket will fit onto, and lightly oil the surface of the new gasket. When installing the new filter, just reverse the procedure by tightening filter by hand, then snug it down another 1/2 turn or amount the manufacturer suggest. Over tightening the filter is as bad as not getting it tight enough. After you get the oil changed, start engine, let it run a few minutes while checking for any leaks. Check again after a few miles for any leakage. If this is your first time changing your filter and oil, get a friend or neighbor to oversee your work. If I can do it at age 81, YOU can too.



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    14 Discussions

    What a way to get the job done when you do not have a right size oil filter wrench. Simply think about what needs done and then modify the way you can getter done. +++

    I've improvised and done this same sort of idea with a pair of visegrips

    Why not just slot the deep socket and use a short extension? I don't have a welded right now.

    Nice hack Gray-dog~



    7 months ago

    Nice! I used to use an old belt until the buckle strap broke. I'm going to have to try this come next oil change.

    2 replies

    I did the same, only I used a vice-grip and used a 1/2" a rod as a heel that pressed against the belt and oil filter to not damage or picture oil filter....

    kudos to you graydog111,... nice hack and thanks for sharing.

    Thanks Nate5b. When you finish it, come back here and post it as “I made it”)

    Nice! I've whipped up a couple of fast versions of this, using a length of conduit, and an old seat belt. (new mechanic at a school bus yard didn't have a strap wrench, so I did a quick fabrication with spare parts) It's amazing, how simple it is, yet, how much strength it creates! (and I was 48 at the time.. LOL) (54 now)

    1 reply

    Interesting gelfling6. Our minds are on the same wavelength

    really an innovative idea..well done..


    7 months ago

    Smart idea!

    What I often use is a old timing-belt. The tooth has a lot of grip.

    1 reply

    Thank you keets. Your timing belt would work great. Since I wrote this, I have made several of these & gave them to friends. I put one in each of our 2 vehicles & 1 with oil changing supplies. They will work great in tight quarters when other types will not.