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I felt the need to post this since there is only mentions of doing it this way but no pictures or explanation.

I read a topic debating how easy or hard this is, and after doing it I disagree with anyone who says it's easy. Even if the car was jacked up and the wheel off, the act of puting the filter and box back on by itself makes this extremely difficult. The box is virtually one piece, and you are attempting put the box on with filter, completely blind as to whether the filter is in place or not. It's crazy, next time I'm cutting the box with a dremel to make it two pieces. It would save at least an hour out of the process.
That being said, I have some pictures of the no jack/wheel-on method I used to change the filter with steps. I'm only showing glimpses of the removal part, as most of the steps are the same as with the wheel off. This is for anyone questioning if the space is there to leave the wheel on. It is and not that bad to remove this way. The re-installation is the worst but as mentioned above wouldn't be much easier lifted off the ground and with the wheel removed. The design and location of the box is the worst part.

Step 1, park the car and turn the wheel as far to the left as possible before turning the car off.

Step 2, remove the front under tray.

Step 3, reach into the wheelwell and remove the 6 phillips head screws, and the one 8mm bolt.
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Step 4. Remove the wheel well cover to reveal the filter box in the area behind the headlight. It has 4 screwbolts that dont come all the way off, and plastic tabs. Losen the screwbolt with either a phillips head or 8mm socket.

Step 5 Remove the filter box and filter in two pieces. They may get stuck, but work them out through the gap under the car as shown. There is plenty of clearence with the right angle.

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Step 6. Curse yourself for being so cheap and arrogant for not paying a mechanic to do it while you struggle to put the filter and box back together. I only made it happen by holding the filter in place with one hand, and sneaking the box under it and into place with the other. Eventually you do however have to let the filter go in a motion I would describe as pulling a tablecloth from under a fully set table. Use the visibilty under the car to view where all the snap tabs are and verify they are in place before tightening the screws on the box. They put a tiny view window on the box so you can verify the filter is in place, however to view what you need you must lie flat on your back and look upwards in it with a flashlight.

Step 7 Re-assemble wheel cover and undertray.

Bonus tip* The BMC filter must be washed and air dried before re-oiling and will more than likely need all night to fully dry. You cannot dry it with compressed air or blow dryer to speed it up. If you want this to be done in an afternoon, stick with the OEM paper filter.
 

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I just replaced my filter in a 2004 Coupe. I bought the car about 1 1/2 years ago. It was a car in need of some help, which I like. I think I am a mechanic.......all right mechanical.........I bought a factory filter on Ebay probably a year ago.......had every intention of changing it but life got in the way as I knew it would take a bit and I had another car I was working on sporadically. I have a 4 post lift in my garage which the other car had hogged it up. Finally fixed the other car, it is a 98 Lotus V8 Twin Turbo. Really pretty quirky. I was redoing the radiator and it really was a PITA in that car. But on to the filter change. I did not see your write up until after I pretty much finished mine. I am not sure my filter had ever been changed. I will post a picture or two of what I found. I agree with the step by step that you outlined, but I think to make your life easier you really should take the wheel off and trust me the bolts are on soo......tight......I tried to do it without taking the lip off underneath and that was a mistake. If you don't have a lift you could drive on some ramps, then take the lip off. Once the lip is off you could jack up the drivers side and pull the wheel off. This is where the frustration begins cause that wheel dont wanna come off...... of course make sure you have the car safely up and remove the inner front panel. It is velcro'd and bolted in. Once that is out you will need to remove the 4 screws on the cover, 2 on each side. They are 10 mm and I would recommend spraying them first with a penetrating oil. There is a square nut on the back side that should not require to be held while you unscrew the bolt, but one of mine was spinning on the backside..........start cursing at this point......finally get the 4th bolt out and why won't this thing come off..........there are two clips one on each side of the cover that snap over a catch. You need to bend the catch out a bit and then pull the cover and it will come out. The filter is really just sitting there kinda pressed into the top hole. I had tons of leaves and debris in the box. Look at the front opening for air and you will see why.....no screen etc. The filter is a pretty tight fit getting it in and out. Once you have the new filter in I would recommend rolling it back and forth like you are trying to screw it on so that it goes on the hole or lip as far as it can. Once on you will need to fit the panel that was held on by 4 screws and the clips on each side back on. Here is where you will be happy that you took the lower lip off as the plastic panel has 2 tangs or clips that slide into to holes towards the front of the car. It is much easier to see this with a light......and no front lip panel on. It is still a struggle to get this thing pieced back together as it is very tight fit with the filter inside and at this point you are definitely saying.......I should have paid someone......don't worry it will be OK. Push the panel in to the locking tabs in the front of the car and then push the panel up pretty hard and try to line up one of the bolt holes.......Oh and while you are doing this remember to see about the panel clips on each side. OK by now you have rounded 2nd base and 3rd is open. put the bolt in any hole, but upper outer is easiest and tighten with the 10 mm screw. Once that is in try another and another etc, till all 4 are in. Once done if the assembly is not perfectly together.....don't worry as long as the filter is in where it belongs tight it will do the filtering. Now the easy part putting the inner panel back in. Once in put the tire back on and I would recommend a slight anti seize compound on the wheel lug bolts and put them back in. Tighten in a pattern skipping every other bolt. I haven't looked up the torque for it but make it tight and do it as I said in a pattern skipping every other bolt until all are tight. Now with the money saved buy a 30 pack and start drinking. It is OK to be proud of your accomplishment.
 
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