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Old 06-01-2021, 06:55 PM #1
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T4R oil changes, generation to generation -Method to Toyota's madness

I've owned a 2nd gen and 3rd gen T4R, both of which required removal of the skid plate to get to the typical spin-on filter. A pita but not bad for most DIY folks but I'm sure a few of those paid the dealership.

The 4th gen, which I still own, has the spin-on filter high on the engine where you could literally pop the hood and put your hand on it without your torso being in the engine compartment or even under the hood. Easy, simple filter changes. I don't even have to go up on ramps to drain the oil, despite it being a little tight. Even non-DIY'ers were probably doing their own oil changes. The shop must have been losing money. Along comes the 5th gen. I can hear the discussion in that smoky conference room...

"We're losing easy oil change money due to the 4th gen! What shall we do?"

"Let's not only put the filter back under the skid plate, but make it a cartridge filter that is a major pita! Even the old DIY geezers will pay the shop!"

I'm on the long side of 65, had open heart surgery 9 weeks ago but ill be damned if I'm paying a shop. Thank God my wife is out of town or she'd be reading me the riot act for wrenching against doctor's orders. Our 5th gen was overdue and I HAD forgotten what a pita it is! But it's done!

Up yours, Toyota! You're not getting me that easily!
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:41 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuke View Post
I've owned a 2nd gen and 3rd gen T4R, both of which required removal of the skid plate to get to the typical spin-on filter. A pita but not bad for most DIY folks but I'm sure a few of those paid the dealership.

The 4th gen, which I still own, has the spin-on filter high on the engine where you could literally pop the hood and put your hand on it without your torso being in the engine compartment or even under the hood. Easy, simple filter changes. I don't even have to go up on ramps to drain the oil, despite it being a little tight. Even non-DIY'ers were probably doing their own oil changes. The shop must have been losing money. Along comes the 5th gen. I can hear the discussion in that smoky conference room...

"We're losing easy oil change money due to the 4th gen! What shall we do?"

"Let's not only put the filter back under the skid plate, but make it a cartridge filter that is a major pita! Even the old DIY geezers will pay the shop!"

I'm on the long side of 65, had open heart surgery 9 weeks ago but ill be damned if I'm paying a shop. Thank God my wife is out of town or she'd be reading me the riot act for wrenching against doctor's orders. Our 5th gen was overdue and I HAD forgotten what a pita it is! But it's done!

Up yours, Toyota! You're not getting me that easily!
you can get a spin on adapter kit.
Spin-On Oil Filter Adapter Archives - Baxter Performance

I have a 3rd Gen also but I never take off the skids to do the oil filter, it's fairly easy from the top.
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:55 PM #3
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Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
...

I have a 3rd Gen also but I never take off the skids to do the oil filter, it's fairly easy from the top.
Hmmm, on my 2000 3rd Gen I could sneak the oil filter out from the driver side wheel well, after popping off the rubber splash guard.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:00 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
you can get a spin on adapter kit.
Spin-On Oil Filter Adapter Archives - Baxter Performance

I have a 3rd Gen also but I never take off the skids to do the oil filter, it's fairly easy from the top.
The info for that spin-on adapter says it requires the TRD or aftermarket skid plate for clearance. And at $200, I'll continue to struggle.

I tried changing my 3rd gen's oil filter from above once and probably had about 1/4 cup of oil get on the top side of the skid plate and it just left drips everywhere. I could have come up with a catch can but figured I'd just continue to drop the skid plate. Thank God for synthetic oil and the associated extended drain frequencies.
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'19 ORP - just over 6,000 mi. (garage queen, like my '07 Mustang)
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Old 06-02-2021, 01:12 PM #5
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Originally Posted by ElectroBoy View Post
Hmmm, on my 2000 3rd Gen I could sneak the oil filter out from the driver side wheel well, after popping off the rubber splash guard.
That's probably the most common way but I use an oil wrench with 1/4 inch socket and reach it from the engine bay. It's all done with feel instead of sight and it's really easy.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:03 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroBoy View Post
Hmmm, on my 2000 3rd Gen I could sneak the oil filter out from the driver side wheel well, after popping off the rubber splash guard.
Do you have bionic arms? Man I hated the oil filter location on the 3rd gen. Easily the most annoying oil change of any vehicle I've had.

Strangely, the easiest is my E36 BMW M3. Cartridge style metal filter housing accessible from the engine bay with zero dripping mess.
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:13 PM #7
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Originally Posted by rightyouareken View Post
Do you have bionic arms? Man I hated the oil filter location on the 3rd gen. Easily the most annoying oil change of any vehicle I've had.

Strangely, the easiest is my E36 BMW M3. Cartridge style metal filter housing accessible from the engine bay with zero dripping mess.
Yeah, and no matter how many rags I stuffed around it I always had an oil mess to clean up.
The easiest way was to spray a degreaser on the area then blast it off with a hose.
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:27 PM #8
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Agreed... BUT, they did it for a reason

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuke View Post
I've owned a 2nd gen and 3rd gen T4R, both of which required removal of the skid plate to get to the typical spin-on filter. A pita but not bad for most DIY folks but I'm sure a few of those paid the dealership.

The 4th gen, which I still own, has the spin-on filter high on the engine where you could literally pop the hood and put your hand on it without your torso being in the engine compartment or even under the hood. Easy, simple filter changes. I don't even have to go up on ramps to drain the oil, despite it being a little tight. Even non-DIY'ers were probably doing their own oil changes. The shop must have been losing money. Along comes the 5th gen. I can hear the discussion in that smoky conference room...

"We're losing easy oil change money due to the 4th gen! What shall we do?"

"Let's not only put the filter back under the skid plate, but make it a cartridge filter that is a major pita! Even the old DIY geezers will pay the shop!"

I'm on the long side of 65, had open heart surgery 9 weeks ago but ill be damned if I'm paying a shop. Thank God my wife is out of town or she'd be reading me the riot act for wrenching against doctor's orders. Our 5th gen was overdue and I HAD forgotten what a pita it is! But it's done!

Up yours, Toyota! You're not getting me that easily!
I had a 2008 FJ and LOVED the oil filter being up on top to change the oil. I've since had another FJ (2012) and several 4runners now.

I only recently found this video: Should you buy a Toyota 4Runner? Why is it so reliable? - YouTube

If you skip to around the 10 minute mark, this Toyota Mechanic explains why they moved the oil filter to the bottom of the engine. *Hint: it's the added oil cooler.

All that aside, I wish they kept the filter in an accessible location and just somehow added an oil cooler elsewhere...
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:12 AM #9
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I definitely miss the oil filter being up top on my last 2 4th gens, but I bought a skid plate with a removable door to get to the oil filter, so I don't have to drop skids ever again. I also swapped out the cheap plastic oil filter cartridge for a Toyota OEM metal one
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