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OK, I just finished my first 2011 FJ oil change at just over 1,200 miles. Not being familiar with the FJ or its cartridge-style oil filter, it was an ordeal, but the first time is the hardest. Now that I know how to do it, it will not be so bad in the future. For anyone who has not done it yet, here is how, with pictures attached.

Step 1 - Remove the front skid plate. It is held on with four 12 mm bolts. You will need a socket wrench and a short extension. Break all four bolts loose at the locations shown in the attached pic. Toyota had torqued these to some ridiculous torque, but I finally busted them loose. The front of the skid plate has hooks to support it so take out the front two bolts first. Then support the skid plate as you remove the two rear bolts. Lower the back of the skid plate to the ground, and the front hooks should then release so you can remove it and set it aside.

Step 2- Remove the oval shaped metal plate covering the engine oil pan and drain plug. It has two 12 mm bolts. See attached picture.

Step 3 - Remove the metal bottom from the filter assembly using a 3/8" drive socket wrench extension. A little oil will drip out so you may want to cover it with a paper towel. See attached picture with the brass threads exposed.

Step 4 - Attach a foot of 5/8" fuel line to the plastic filter draining tool. Push the draining tool into the filter hard, and the oil will run out through the hose. When you pull out the draining tool, the small O ring should come out with it. If not, use your fingers to remove it - do not use any type of metal object because you may damage the sealing surface of the filter.

Step 5 - Use a 65 mm 14 flat cap style oil filter wrench to unscrew the plastic filter housing. Toyota had torqued this filter in place so hard I could not believe it. I am not sure if the 65 mm is too small or if mine is just a crummy tool, but I had to tap it onto the filter by force - very, very tight fit requiring a lot of force to put it on and take it off - be careful. It worked though. Difficult to get on and off the filter. Brand: Performance Tool part #W54074 from Advance Auto Parts - $5.99. See pic of the metal filter housing that remains attached to the engine.

Step 6 - Remove the old filter element, remove the old large O ring at the top of the plastic filter housing (fingers only!), lubricate the new O ring with clean oil, and place it on the plastic filter housing. Insert the new filter element. Clean everything up as best you can - it gets messy - 0W20 is thin and runs everywhere. Reinstall the plastic filter housing with the new filter element inside. I am not accustomed to tightening O ring seals and plastic parts until they bottom out, but that's the way Toyota did it, so that's the way I put it back. I did not tighten it to the insane torque of the factory though. I tightened it firmly after it bottomed out, but not insanely hard. No leaks - yeah!

Step 7 - Lubricate the small O ring and reinstall the metal filter housing bottom with the new O ring behind it using a 3/8" socket extension. Again, it bottomed out, and I just tightened it firmly after it bottomed out, and I have no leaks.

Step 8 - Remove the oil pan drain bolt with a 14 mm socket. I wasn't prepared for the torrent of oil released by my FJ - my pan was about to overflow. Note to self: get bigger oil drain pan.

Step 9 - Do whatever it takes to get the fiber drain plug washer off. That thing was stuck on there so hard I was almost thinking it was part of the metal drain pan. A wooden dowel and a whack knocked it loose without damaging the sealing surface. I used a ribbed (for my pleasure) nylon washer that I hope will not stick like that. No leaks - yeah!

Step 10 - Put in 6.4 quarts of Mobil-1 0W20 oil. Geez, the Japanese shure like to torque stuff - I could barely get the oil filler cap off!

Step 11 - Start the engine and check for leaks. If there are none, reinstall the cover over the oil drain pan. Any reason not to just leave this off? Ideas? The oil pan would still be well protected.

Step 12 - Reinstall the front skid plate. Let it hang by the front two metal tabs as you put in one of the rear bolts. Don't tighten the bolts until you have all four of them in because it takes some moving around to get all four holes aligned.

Repeat every 5,000 miles - I don't care if Toyota does say 10,000 is OK - I am not going that long.

Note: at 1,200 miles the oil was much more dirty than I expected. It wasn't jet black, but it was very dirty. A close inspection of the used filter element revealed several flecks of metal in each of the filter pleats. That's just what was visibile to the eye - who knows how much microscopic metal was stuck in it?

If you are in a pinch and temporarily unable to get a genuine Toyota filter for some reason, WIX 57173 seems to be decent quality (filter material seems not as thick, but has about 8 more pleats than Toyota) and it fits until you can get a genuine Toyota filter.

It could be psychological, but I swear the engine is quieter than I ever have heard it at idle after the oil change???

OK everyone with a 2011 - go change your oil with confidence. I hope this saves everyone some time and effort.


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