• 2021

Seal the Deal!

2017 Pacifica

Oil Filter Adapter Replacement in the 3.6L V6 Pentastar

This 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine has been used for many years in a wide range of vehicles. In this engine, the oil filter is installed inside a housing that is a part of an adapter mounted in the valley between the banks of the engine block and under the intake plenum. This location is much different than it is in most engines; the filter is simply a one-piece component that screws directly onto a threaded nipple on the engine block.

From time to time, oil leaks might occur in the housing, or around the O-rings on the bottom side of the adapter. This may result in excessive oil consumption and/or an oil leak seen on the top of the engine. Let’s investigate this issue.

The lubrication system on this engine is a full flow filtration, pressure feedback lubrication design. The oil pump is mounted to the bottom of the cylinder block and is chain-driven by the crankshaft sprocket. The oil pump pick-up tube is attached to the oil pump and supported at the windage tray.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 1. The oil travels from the pump to the oil filter element that is mounted inside the housing on the oil filter adapter ①. Remove the oil filter cap ② to access the filter. The oil then moves to the oil cooler assembly ③, then into the main oil gallery. The oil pressure ④ and oil temperature ⑤ sensors are located at the end of the adapter, just above the oil cooler coolant nipple ⑥. Five bolts ⑦ secure the adapter to the engine block.

Overview: Replacing the O-Rings

The oil leak problem is likely to be occurring at the O-rings, or seals, on the bottom of the oil filter adapter (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2

There are five oil rings as shown in the photograph. The suggested repair is to replace all O-rings with new O-rings provided in O-ring kit no. 6819 1356 AA- 001 (see Figure 3). In order to replace these seals, however, the oil filter adapter must be removed.

Figure 3

Figure 3

After replacing the O-rings, verify that the problem was corrected. Check the engine oil level and top off the oil, as necessary. Add an engine oil leak detection dye, such as Mopar 4-IN-1, part no. 05010042AC, to the crankcase. Start and run the engine for 15 minutes. Check the area of the suspected leak with a black light to find any traces of the dye. If no dye is found, it is very likely that one of the seals was the leak source. No further repair is necessary. If the dye is detected, proceed with normal engine oil leak diagnosis and repair. Sometimes, the repair is replacing the oil filter adapter.

A More Detailed Look at Replacing the O-Rings

Replacing the O-rings involves some work on the top of the engine. Let’s look at this procedure in detail. In order to access the oil filter adapter and O-ring seals, the upper and lower intake manifolds must be removed in the following manner:

1. Release the fuel system pressure.
2. Drain the cooling system.
3. Remove the cooling fan, shroud and intake resonator.
4. Disconnect all the sensor connectors on the manifold.
5. Remove the hoses for the brake booster, vapor purge and PCV valve.
6. Disengage the wiring harnesses, as required.
7. Remove the seven manifold attaching bolts and remove the upper intake manifold.

Figure 4

Figure 4

With the upper intake manifold removed (see Figure 4), remove the retaining bolts for the lower intake manifold. Remove the lower intake manifold to access the oil filter adapter (see Figure 5).

Figure 5

Figure 5

Disconnect the oil temperature ⑤ and oil pressure ④ sensors, as indicated in Figure 1. Remove the five bolts to remove the oil filter adapter from the engine. Lift the housing and disconnect the oil cooler coolant hose ⑥, as indicated in Figure 1 and remove the housing from the engine.


NOTE: Upon removing the adapter, if oil is leaking from the housing itself, the housing must be replaced; there are seven different housing designs which are all very similar, but each is unique; be sure that you install the correct adapter.


Working on a flat surface, remove and discard the five O-ring seals that are shown in Figure 2. Install the new O-ring seals. Lubricate the seals with clean engine oil prior to installation. Now the oil filter adapter can be re-installed in the engine.

Re-install the oil cooler coolant hose on the oil filter housing (⑥ in Figure 1). Next, position the oil filter
housing on the engine block. Then, loosely install the five housing retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts in the recommended sequence. This sequence is indicated by the numbers on each bolt shown in Figure 5. Tighten the bolts to 106 in-lbs. Reconnect the oil temperature ⑤ and oil pressure ④ electrical connectors to the respective sensors (see Figure 1).

With the oil filter adapter re-installed in the engine, re-install the lower and upper intake manifolds, performing the removal steps in the opposite order. There are, however, several points to keep in mind. First of all, verify that the four fuel rail bolts were not inadvertently loosened. The bolts should be tightened to 62 in.-lbs. Tighten the bolts on one side; then tighten the other side.

Next, clean and inspect the sealing surfaces and install new upper-to-lower intake manifold seals. Also, make sure that the fuel injectors and wiring harnesses are in the correct position so that the harnesses do not interfere with the upper intake manifold installation.

After the lower and upper intake manifolds are re-installed, reconnect all the wiring harnesses, hoses and connectors. Install the engine cooling fan and shroud. To finish things up, connect the negative battery cable terminal, fill the cooling system and install the engine cover.