Thread: Topsiders
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Old 07-30-2001, 07:48 PM
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longston longston is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mark West, CA
Posts: 787
The Topsider Chronicles...

First, let's address some misconceptions:
  • The Topsider is a metal cannister vacuum pump that is being discontinued by the manufacturer, who has introduced the Liquivac to take it's place.
  • The Topsider, or more correctly, the BigBoy-Topsider MVP (for multi-purpose vacuum pump), is still available at some on-line marine supply websites like West Marine. They generally sell for $46.99. As you can see, it's simply a mating of an old-stle gas can and a bicycle pump. Very crude.

  • The new Liquivac, shown here in the Marina Pro packaging that will be sold in boatshops, is easier to store, more compact, more elegant of a design, and less prone to damage. The pump is in the "handle, and you unscrew the ball-end to begin using the pump. It retails for about $38.00. The Liquivac literature does suggest that you not drain your oil when it's extra hot, and mentions warping the container, and melting the hose. They suggest warming the oil for a few minutes, and then draining. This is the exact same method employed by boat dealers when their service departments are doing oil changes for their customers.

  • The real pros use a system similar to this. It's the Shurflo Waterwolf Oil Changer, Model 3000-400. It runs off of your car or boat battery, has a high speed impeller pump, a 3.5 gallon bucket, and with a three position switch (on, off, reverse) can both provide suction and pump oil back into your engine. It retails for $149.99, but is on special at Boat U.S. for $99.00

  • However, Don Swinford has created a car battery powered oil change rig from a simple J.C Whitney electric oil change pump, and a Gott gas can. I think the cost is about $20.00. He changes his oil hot out of the dipstick tube into this container that is made of essentially the same material as the Liquivac, but is of much thinner walled construction, and not at all designed to be used to hold hot motor oil.

  • If it works for him, I think it would also work just as well using the Liquivac, so I am assuming that the warning from the Liquivac people is just a disclaimer, unless someone here has actually melted one while changing their oil.

Now, a litte comment on the raging "debate". I respect Larry Bible a great deal, and look to him as a truly senior member here who has paid his dues and contributed enormously to these forums. I don't want to have anyone view my following comments as an endorsement of what I see as an unwarranted attack on Larry that grew out of what was intended to be debate. Please Tracy, "Sarcasm is the shelter of the stupid and arrogant"? Go back and read your previous comments again, and see if that wasn't a hypocritical statement. Now, don't you owe someone an apology...? Larry has the remarkable distinction of having logged over three quarters of a million miles in Mercedes vehicles. Personally, that holds a lot of weight where I come from.

But Larry, I do have a question about the wisdom of changing oil the way you do. Your engine is at operating temperature when you are ready to change the oil, you place a pan under the drain plug, you open the filler cap, and finally open the drain plug to allow the oil to drain out overnight.

When you open up the engine like this, after the majority of the oil has drained, the hot engine will cause the cooler outside air to be pulled into the engine through the drain plug, as heat rises. When this happens, whatever moisture (water vapor) is still in the engine will combine with any moisture in the air being pulled inside, and start to form condensation in the engine. Will it not?

So if this is true, then isn't it better to use a suction oil changer that pulls the oil out of the dipstick and does not create this thermal updraft and condensation? The acids are formed as a result of the additional water vapor being present, so the question is just how much of a trade off is best? Condensation, or whatever minute particulate is present in a 3000 mile oil change interval.

I kind of favor the Waterwolf myself...

Just some liquid oxygen to add to the fire...
"We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
- Marshall McLuhan -

Scott Longston
Northern California Wine Country...
"Turbos whistle, grapes wine..."
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