Ford ZX2 oil filter

Eventually I am going to have to get under my wife?s ZX2 to change the oil again. The first time I was under there for wayyyy too long. There is not really much room to swing a band-type filter wrench or get my hands around it. The end of the filter is to close to something else to get a cap-type wrench with a ratchet on it. Since I tend to keep cars for 10 years, I have worked on relatively few cars though I have worked on them significantly. I need some suggestions for getting the filter off and tightening the new one without spending an hour on it.

Some gloves with grippy fingers and some muscle. And then when it’s time to put the new filter on, don’t tighten it so much that you can’t get it off again later.

Does this thing have the oil filter in the rear, pointing straight at the firewall?

I suggest hand tight only. The rule I was taught is to screw them down until the seal touches and then 3/4 of an additional turn. I have used this for years and I have not had any problems related to oil filters. I will add that some filters have a grip surface on the filter. I usually use FRAM? Extra Guard? filter with SureGRIP?. Yea, Fram is the filter so many people complain about when they take them apart and see the interior construction, but I have never seen any evidence that the fail more often or filter less well.

My favorite “oil filter wrench” is a large pair of channel lock pliers that I bought at Sears 32 years ago.

And definitely follow the previous replies advice on hand tightening.

You might try using a strap oil filter wrench such as this Most parts stores sell them.


Back when I worked as a mechanic while putting myself through college I only needed 2 two filter wrenches. I now have 6. I bought different ones because of the specific car/truck we’ve owned that my current filters didn’t fit.

It may be trial and error, but there’s a wrench that will do the job.

I’d suggest a band type filter wrench that goes on the end of a 1/2" ratchet extension.

I had a similar problem getting the oil filter off one of my cars. I happened to look down and saw that I had the perfect oil filter wrench–my belt. I put it around the end of the oil filter and as I pulled it in the direction to loosen the filter, the belt tightened around the filter. You don’t need as much room as with a strap wrench. I keep an old wide belt around for that purpose.

Thanks for the input. I have been thinking of the type that Tester linked and, what I think TSMB is suggesting. Yes, it does point straight back to the firewall. It has been a while and I forget the smaller details. What I do remember is that it is not as close to the exhaust as on the wife?s DOA ?88 Accord. Space is really tight, though. I can ?t get my hands in there enough to turn it the requisite ? turn much less get a tight one off. I don?t have very large hands either. I think that I got the last one off with a cap wrench turning it with an adjustable wrench. I had to repeatedly turn the adjustable around because I could not swing it far enough to engage it again otherwise.

I guess I will get the ramps out, stare at it a little more, and then go off to a parts store to try to find something that works. I like to stick with the original Motorcraft filters (on both my cars) because they should be adequate and I can get them for a good price. IIRC, the aftermarket filter that I took off was a little shorter.

The one I was thinking of actually has a metal band linked to a female 1/2" square drive such that as you turn counterclockwise the metal band tightens. A 1/2" extension goes into the drive, in a fashion such that it is parallel with and alongside the filter.

I have one of these too; it works just fine. Otherwise, as was said, a Fram with the wrinkle paint grip at the end is effective too.