This is a home-crafted oil filter wrench for tight spaces on modern automobile engines.  It is made from an old piece of 1/2 inch black iron pipe and a pipe end cap.  Also used is some discarded bicycle chain.  The wrench is operated by a 3/8 inch drive socket ratchet.

The chain tightens its grip on the oil filter as the pipe twists when pressure is applied to the ratchet handle.  

Step 1: Commonly Available Filter Wrenches

 These common wrenches do not always fit the space available on an automobile.  The end cap style (center) sometimes should fit a particular filter, but does not.  Sometimes no end cap wrench is available for a particular filter.  The wrench described in the Instructable can be made to fit whatever filter your car uses. 
I like this, very elegant solution. Definitely beats the screwdriver method. <br>Thanks for sharing. :-)
<p>Thank you. I think we all were forced into the screwdriver method at some point in life.</p>
<p>You may also want to make one of these. It adapts any filter size and can be used to screw the new filter without scratching it.</p><p><a href="http://static.liveclicker.net/thumb/965/1284355992_1_Flv_512x288_thumb_2.jpg/lisle-heavy-duty-strap-filter-wrench-60200-2.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://static.liveclicker.net/thumb/965/1284355992...</a></p>
Thank you.
Brilliant and simple. Well done.
Thank you. I am sorry I did not see your comment until now.
I'm still confused how this actually works. Is there a chain tensioner inside the pipe? Maybe I'm just looking at this wrong, but I can almost always figure something out in an Instructable.
There is nothing inside the pipe. Each piece of chain passes through a hole in each side of the pipe. Each piece of chain is a closed loop sized for the filter. When the ratchet wrench turns the pipe the chain wants to wrap itself around the pipe, which has the effect of shortening the chain around the filter and makes it very tight on the filter. The only thing the force of the ratchet can do once the chain is tight around the filter is to twist the filter on or off of its threaded stud on the engine, depending on which direction you are pulling the ratchet. I hope this helps. Thank you for looking.
Ah I understand it now. Very simple. Thanks for the help.
I am glad to have been of help.
Really nice and handy tool that is rather easy to built. Great idea and great work.
Thank you.
I like the double-action, useful indeed I should think.<br /> <br /> L<br />
&nbsp;You are quite correct. &nbsp;The chain pieces tighten around the filter as easily whether installing or removing the filter. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> One of my goals was also to make this without any welding, even though a little welding might have made some steps easier. &nbsp; No welding means more people can make use of it.<br /> <br /> Thanks for your comment.<br />
You can buy wrenches like this, but not with two chains as I remember. Beats whacking a screwdriver into it, which is another way...<br /> <br /> L<br />
My wife drove a Subaru Forester for several years.&nbsp; It used an odd size filter for which no standard wrench fit.&nbsp; This would have been handy for that car, had I thought of it then.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I thought only shade tree mechanics in the USA drove a screwdriver through the filter in hopes of turning it loose.&nbsp; I did not know people in the UK had fallen to our low standards, too.<br />
Oh aye, it's a classic, after all you throw 'em away don't you?<br /> <br /> L<br />
but its really messy it makes a real mess out of your clothes and pavement
Yes I know, that was the original point.<br> <br> L<br>
u are right but sometimes u gotta do what u gotta do eh
<br> Oh yes, you do, that's true.<br> <br> L<br>
&nbsp;The screwdriver method has not worked well for me. &nbsp;First, there may not be a good angle for pounding the screwdriver into the side of the filter. &nbsp;Then I may not have enough room to make the filter turn. &nbsp;I am apt to mangle the filter badly so that I cannot get a good hold on it later with any tool. &nbsp;At the start I had an intact filter difficult to remove. &nbsp;Later I have shards of a filter I cannot grasp and it is still difficult to remove, but there is no tool that will work at that point. &nbsp;
Smart and simple idea, Phil.<br /> <br /> I never used a chain tool. I just put the chain on a piece of wood, and using a steel awl or nail and a hammer I hit the pin I want to extract. Once loosened a bit, I complete the task by replacing the wood with a nut whit a hole which is a little larger than the bolt.<br />
Thank you, Osvaldo.&nbsp; Your method of breaking a chain apart works.&nbsp; A chain tool is not very expensive and makes the job easier.&nbsp; A chain tool is also nice to have with you when riding your bicycle some distance from home.&nbsp; Twice I had a chain break while I was out riding.&nbsp; Once I had a chain tool and was on my way again quickly.&nbsp; The other time I did not have a chain tool and pushed my bike home. &nbsp; <br />
once my bike chain broke and i did sometjing not really bright and i welded it wrecked the chain i had to look for another chain just for being lazy for not putting the link back in
To err is to learn, do not complain.
yes correct you are very correct i should really think more positive and learn from my mistakes
This is a really good idea. The filter on my SEAT is really difficult to get to. I once saw a mechanic use a tricky ratchet driver attachment. It had three prongs which tightened in on the filter as the driver was turned, worked very well.<br />
&nbsp;Thank you. &nbsp;What your mechanic used would be an interesting challenge to make at home. &nbsp;The design presented in this Instructable requires common household tools, very available materials, and no welding. &nbsp;
That's why I like it so much. This is a very slick design, thanks for sharing.<br />

About This Instructable




Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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