Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help




Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum > Technical Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-04-2000, 07:59 PM
Davidtoo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I've been using a topsider to change oil. I have wondered if I am leaving a lot (or a little) junk in the oil pan simply because the oil drain plug is not removed. I am concerned that the topsider oil change might not be such a good idea, even though it is much easier and cleaner. Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-04-2000, 08:42 PM
LarryBible
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
David,

Sherman, Texas, you're almost a next door neighbor, I live on the river North of Honey Grove.

There has been discussion and a little controversy on this Forum regarding the Topsider.

If you have your oil changed at the dealer, this is the method they use. If you change oil often, you can probably get by with this.

The main reason you change the oil to begin with is that it is the only method you have for cleaning the inside of the engine. If you leave a little dirty oil in the engine, this is equivalent to driving more miles between changes.

If you hang around Mshop much you'll find that I'm an absolute maniac regarding oil changes. I drain oil usually on Friday night after driving home from Richardson. The engine is as warm as it will get. I pull the plug and let it drain overnight. Draining the oil hot gets out more contaminants because they are churned up and suspended in the oil. Draining it overnight allows the sludge to come out. The last drops that come out are the dirtiest.

I believe that my method is as thorough of a crankcase cleaning as you can get. If I were to go to the topsider method, I would change my oil more frequently to make up for leaving a small amount of sludge in the crankcase. I believe that if you were to change your interval to about 2/3 of what you would use if doing a thorough oil and filter change, you could get by with the topsider just fine.

Beware of extended oil change intervals. A pro tech on this Forum indicated that they were seeing sludge in some engines that were seeing oil changes whenever the FSS system indicated. I would change oil more frequently if this is a car that you plan to keep for some time.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-04-2000, 09:21 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Posts: 180
The Topsider is awesome! Larry makes a good point that it can leave some in the bottom. However, I think changing the filter each time will take care of this. Unless you have a lift or a pit to do these things safely, I think this is the best way to go. Cheers, Andrew Seidel.

------------------
89 190E 2.6
86 560SEC!
83 300TD Turbo
75 240D
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-04-2000, 11:04 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Simpsonville, South Carolina
Posts: 77
These guys got me to change my oil more often using the topside method. I love the method. I am not a mechanic but it only takes me about 30 minutes to do the whole procedure between dealer services. These guys are the best.

Paul
1999 E300TD 40000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-05-2000, 11:00 AM
LarryBible
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A fresh oil filter is definitely necessary, if for no other reason than you leave dirty oil in the system if you don't change the filter.

But, changing the oil filter will not take care of the sludge problem. Sludge is varnish, goo and such, that is not captured by the oil filter.

Please, if you insist on using the topsider method, do yourself and your engine a favor. Change your oil AND filter more frequently to make up for it. And regardless of your method, remove the oil while it is HOT. This way you will remove much more of the contamination from the engine, because it is churned up and suspended in the oil.

As far as no jackstands, lifts and other safety equipment go, I use four items to change oil from underneath; drain plug wrench, oil filter wrench, drain pan and paper towels. I do not raise my car when changing oil. Obviously, I have to go inside and change to my nasty clothes, so maybe that's another item.

I pour the oil from the drain pan into one gallon jugs that my oil comes in. I then take it by AutoZone where they accept it, and I assume recycle it.

With all this said, if you use the topsider, I understand, but you can buy a wrench that fits the drain plug, an oil filter wrench, if you need it for your model and a drainpan, much cheaper than you can buy a topsider. It also lets you go further between these bottom side thorough oil changes, saving you more money.

If convenience is worth the money, enjoy your topsider and change it more often.

Best of luck,
Change oil hot and change oil often,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-05-2000, 04:18 PM
WmHarlow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Larry,
Just a suggestion, but you should put your favorite phrase, "change it hot, change it often" at the bottom of your signature line. It would keep you from typing it so much......

------------------
William
76 240D (W115) - 555K miles
78 300D (W123) - 200K+ miles -- SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-06-2000, 10:14 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,503
We had this discussioin on that other mercedes mailing list a few years ago. To settle the question of topsider vs. drain plug, George Murphy actually performed some experiments to gather empirical data. For those of you not familiar with him, George is one of two or three main technical advisors to the Mercedes Benz Club of America. Apart from the politics of that organization, he really knows these cars.

What George did was mount the oil pan - I believe it was from a 123 300D - and fill it with water. He then drained it using the plug, and measured the remaining water. He then repeated, using a topsider down the dipstick tube. (All MBs for the last 20+ years have a dipstick tube which extends all the way to the bottom of the oil pan.)

I can't recall the exact values, but the topsider was *more* effective than the drain plug, leaving about half as much fluid in the pan. I believe the values were something like 300ml for the drain plug, 150ml for the topsider.

This should not be a surprising result. MB designs their cars to be changed using the topside method, and in fact this is the recommended factory procedure, according to Mr. Murphy.

There's certainly nothing wrong with Larry's overnite method, but I'd wager that 15 minutes with a topsider would extract more old oil. The key, of course, is to change the oil while it is *hot*. No arguement there.

Don't forget that a liter or so of old oil always remains in the oil cooler, and you can't change it out. Hence getting that last 100ml out of the oil pan doesn't mean you got rid of all the old oil.

Enough preaching for now. I can dig up the citations for George's experiment if anyone cares - the list is archived.

Larry - you commute from Richardson to Honey Grove? You are nuts!

- JCY
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-06-2000, 01:58 PM
LarryBible
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
JCY,

I have chosen to raise my kids in the fresh air away from Plano, and Arlington. They're worth every mile of it. I moved out where I am now from Arlington when my oldest was in the first grade. I can't think of anything better that I could have done for them.

I guess if we used water in our crankcases, Georges test would have been valid. I use oil in mine.

I have been a member of the MBCA for over five years and enjoy their publication very much. However, it doesn't take too much to see who the publication is loyal to. If they need an article to support their dealers topsider practice, I'm sure they have no trouble getting it.

In the case of oil in a crankcase instead of water, oil clings to everything. If you suck with the topsider for fifteen minutes vs. pull the drain plug for fifteen minutes, I expect that you would get about the same amount of liquid out. What the overnight drain does, is let the oil that is clinging to everything come out, or quite alot of it. Buried in one of my replies somewhere, I mentioned that a good way for the home mechanic to use a topsider, would be to suck for fifteen minutes immediately after shutting the thorougly warmed up engine off. Then suck some more the next morning. This way you would allow alot of the sludge to come off of everything.

Additionally, if you will reread my earlier replies in this thread, you will see that I am not against using a topsider, I just believe that you need to change a little more frequently if you decide to take advantage of the convenience.

Better yet, if you're not planning on keeping your car for the long term, use the topsider about every 10K and forget it. All my comments about oil change are aimed at those who want absolutely maximum engine life.

Thanks and have a great day,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-06-2000, 07:40 PM
Ashman's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
I think either method is fine. mer personally, I like larry's whole drain it hot and often comment, and the overnight draining. My car is running much much better since I did that.

personally I go one step further than larry and jack up the right side of the car further helping the oil drain out the plug.

Regardless of oil staying in parts of the engine, changing it more often will at some point clean out that extra dirty oil that stays, or dilute it with enough fresh oil for it to work its way out of the system more..

I plan on changing my oil every 3000 to 3500 miles. Personally I want my car to last, and after my poor habits with my old car, its definately something I want to get in the habit of doing.

In fact I changed the oil in my old car just before I changed the oil in the benz. I'm ashamed to say how bad the oil in my other car was, as I dont think I really got it changed much at all. lets just say I've seen coca cola with more viscosity than the oil that was in my old car...

Of course the old car is a jeep, has been sunken in a mud puddle, and has towed a 5500 lb boat on several occasions. the only problems with the car is the tranny, slips in a couple of gears like reverse if ya hit the gas too hard, or if you downshift into lets say 3rd at speed. other than that the car actually drives fine, though the brakes are in no way that good, especially after driving a benz I wonder how I ever got that damn jeep to stop. LOL

so based on the way that car is, and I did a good 70k miles on it since I had it, I dont want my benz to get like that so frequent oil and other fluid changes will be my thing.

I'm thinking of changing the tranny fluid and filter soon. is this a diy job or should I have it done by a "pro" i hate messing with gaskets and gasket sealants. I usually end up getting it either all over where its not supposed to be, or all over me....
alon


------------------
'92 300CE
Metallic Black (Blue Flaked) on Parchment
Clear Corners
94-95 Tail-Lights
Black Grille Insert
78.5k Miles

Future Upgrades:
Sportline Suspension
17" AMG Monoblocks or EVO II's
Euro Headlights
Performance Chip
AMG Exhaust

Click here to Go To My 300CE Page
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-06-2000, 07:56 PM
engatwork's Avatar
busy
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,777
Ash the trans filter/fluid is a diy if you have everything you need to enable you to get underneath it. You will need to remove the plugs to rotate the engine (use the bolt on the crank pulley) to get the torque converter drain plug into position for removal/replacement. Make sure you use the trusty old torque wrench when tightening everything up and you need to have a clean area to work in. Try to keep everything spotless.
good luck
engatwork
'95 E320
'97 Honda CRV
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-07-2000, 02:28 AM
Ashman's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
thanks, For me I would say its not DIY, if I have to start lining up things to drain it.. hehe I think I'd rather pay my mechanic to do that. I don't wanna mess anything up. I don't mind the little things.. hehe plugs wires etc etc. its the big things I'm afraid to attempt..

Alon

------------------
'92 300CE
Metallic Black (Blue Flaked) on Parchment
Clear Corners
94-95 Tail-Lights
Debadged
Black Grille Insert
78.5k Miles

Future Upgrades:
Sportline Suspension
17" AMG Monoblocks or EVO II's
Euro Headlights
Performance Chip
AMG Exhaust

Click here to Go To My 300CE Page
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-07-2000, 09:54 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,503
I'm a bit disappointed in that response, Larry. You waved your hands and dismissed everything, but didn't offer any rationale, logic, or evidence to support your points. I'm afraid that despite your guru status in this forum, I don't find unsupported arguments very convincing.

I've used both the drain plug and topside methods on several of my mercedes - 123, 124, and 210 chassis models. After using the topside method, I've had to add noticably more oil to bring them up to the full mark vs. using the drain plug method. Hence I contend that the topside approach is quite thorough. My experience, empirically determined, I might add, is that it certainly removes more oil than draining for 20 - 30 minutes.

Have you ever determined the additional benefit of your overnight drain versus, say, 20 minutes? How much additional oil is removed in that extra 12 hours?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-07-2000, 05:41 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
To add more wood to the fire...Why would the engineers at MB approved the "sucking" method? Would anybody recommend an engine flush/cleaning fluid with any of these methods?


------------------
J.H.
'86 300E
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-07-2000, 06:33 PM
roas
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would like to add some Oil to that fire. hehe

I for one dread the thought of crawling under the car to change anything after DIY'ing for 15 years, escecially during the winter months. That said, I tend to go for the easier way of doing things and prefer the Topsider. But before we start taking sides, let me just add my own observation.

The second time I used the Topsider I did a drain with the plug out and let the car sit for over a hour. By that time a drip took over a minute to cycle, with the oil hot. After that hour, I used the Topsider to see if I could scavenge anything else still in the pan. I was able to extract about 2oz. of "rich", dark, creamy CRUD, but only while continuously pumping for about 2-3 minutes, topsider happily gurgling away. I figured I needed the excercise anyway and was just curious anyway. I was surprised, the viscosity of the oil was working in the Topsiders favor.

Moral of the story? Two is better than One! FSO (Flame Suit On)!

BTW, does anybody know of a large, wheeled container to store the used oil, say 10 gallons or so? Going to the Recycler's site is getting annoying, plus I'm getting lazy.

There is one more possible solution i have not seen mentioned yet. Try rigging a disposable shop vac to a hose at the bottom of the oil dip stick! Now there is an idea!



------------------
Ross Newcomb
96 C280, Greenish Black
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-07-2000, 07:42 PM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ross,

I have had the same experience with the topsider. I also keep pumping with the unit gurgling away for about 10 minutes. I then let the car sit for about 30 minutes (just to make sure I get as much old oil as possible into the bottom of the pan, and then go back with the topsider and suck out anything that is left.
With the topsider or any method, changing hot and often (as Larry says) is essential for long engine life.

I keep the used oil in old 5 gallon paint containers (the plastic ones)
If you want something really big, get an empty 50 gallon oil drum (and also buy a wheeler to move it when it is full)
To lift it to a truck, well, eat 45 bowls of Wheaties in the morning.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Considering a 97 E300 D - Good Idea, or What? GuitarBenz Diesel Discussion 11 01-01-2005 07:52 PM
A warning. R Leo Diesel Discussion 7 11-12-2004 11:57 AM
A/C repair in winter: good idea? ktlimq Tech Help 1 10-28-2004 11:12 PM
is this a good idea ned2683 Diesel Discussion 4 11-24-2001 03:51 PM
Replacing headlight assembly GOOD IDEA? New2Benz Tech Help 3 03-29-2001 11:12 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2011 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page