Cars, Computers, & Random Thoughts
Mazda 3 – Spin on Filter Conversion
Mazda 3 – Spin on Filter Conversion

Mazda 3 – Spin on Filter Conversion

I changed my oil yesterday, which led to me remembering that I haven’t posted about the spin on conversion I did. Our 2004 Mazda 3 uses Mazdas MZR23 2.3l. This engine comes with a cartridge style oil filter, which I don’t mind. My Mercedes uses the same style setup. This engine was designed by Ford though and Ford thought “Hey, lets make the oil cartridge holder out of plastic!” because that seems like a good idea. Maybe it would be, if it wasn’t a critical component that was threading into aluminium and it wasn’t so prone to cracking or cross-threading and just in general sucking. But it does suck.

So what most people do is they get the oil filter housing and gasket (part #’s 1F2014310C & LF0214342), and replace the plastic cartridge setup with a spin on setup. Then they stop worrying if the person changing their oil will strip the cartridge holder and kill their beloved car. I do my own oil changes, so I’d only have myself to blame. Can’t have that. So I grabbed the whole package off EBay for the best price I could find. Then I waited until my oil was due and I started taking it all apart.

This is a really simple procedure. I started just like a normal oil change, draining the oil and removing the cartridge holder. Once the oil stops running out you can wedge your head under there and see that the oil filter housing is held on by 4 bolts, one at each corner. Grab a socket and ratchet and get to work. There’s also the oil pressure sender you have to disconnect, which can be a bit of a pain in the cramped space.


I chose to clean the surface a bit once I had the old housing off. I didn’t want any corrosion or oil getting in the way of my new gaskets seal. I don’t have a picture of the nice shiny surface afterward but I do have a shot of the nastiness I needed to clean off.


Now take the oil pressure sender out of the old housing and thread it into the new housing. Next, align the new gasket. There’s a tab on the gasket that helps hold it in place so lining things up shouldn’t be too hard. Grab your bolts, make sure the threads are clean, and bolt the housing back on. If you’ve got any blue Loctite, now would be a good time to use it. I’m not sure what the torque spec is on this so I just cranked it down as much as I felt was safe, this is bolting into aluminum after all. I did check the bolts again yesterday and they haven’t backed out any.


Now grab whatever oil filter you prefer you prefer and spin it on. I like Purolater PureONE filters myself, though I can’t say I ever had anything bad happen with others. Bask in the glorious ease of installation and have confidence that should you have your car serviced, the person doing your filter change will be thoroughly confused.


Yes, that’s an extended filter on there, I had the wrong part number. I’m also going to be doing some other work on the Mazda this week. I’ll be replacing the gas cap since I’m getting an evap engine code. The previous owner replaced the whole evap system (a weak point on these cars) so I’m trying the easier fix first. I’ve also got cabin air filters that I’d like to change out but it’s cold, so who knows if I’ll actually do that.


  1. John

    Was there a hole on the side of this filter adapter? What’s the model number of the purolator filter you used. I have the cartridge filter and have been wanting to do this change for a while. Thanks so much for your post.

    If I as mazda what filter mount to use for my car, the’ll tell me to use the cartridge type.

    1. Hey John, sorry for the super late reply! The spin on holder does have a hole in the side as that’s how the oil enters/leaves the filter. The design is identical to the cartridge filter setup other than this one takes a spin on filter.

      I’ve been using Purolator ONE PL10241 filters for this and now my MazdaSpeed3 as well! I try to buy them in bulk so the price is better as they are otherwise semi-expensive filters. Here’s where I normally buy them when they’re in stock:

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