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Old 12-23-2001, 05:08 PM
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Four screws is not a big deal. Use a 1/4" drive ratchet with a short extension and a socket, I believe 8MM. You can have the belly pan off in less than five minutes.

There are two overlapping belly pans on my 203 car and it took some messing around the first time to know that the rear one comes off to access the engine drain plug, once I learned that, it is now an extra five minutes for the belly pan off, and another five to get it back on.

Merry Christmas,
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Old 12-24-2001, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080

Have you received your Shurflo oil change system?

Mine just came today and I put it together. Look good but will not use in the next couple month as all the oils in my car are recently changed. Hope it pumps fast.
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Old 12-24-2001, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Valrico FL
Posts: 171
I've been using a Topsider for about a year now and although it works, it does have some quirks. The biggest problem I've had is the suction hose is too soft and collapses when you place the recommended amount of vacuum (pumps) on the system. It takes a few extra minutes to extract the oil because of this. Another problem is if the oil is too hot, it will melt the end of the plastic hose which could be very unhealthy for your engine if it broke off inside the dipstick tube. So let the oil cool for about 30 minutes after driving and it should work OK.
For purist, like Larry Bible, letting the oil sit for 30 minutes prior to draining would not be acceptable but I think the tradeoff is it makes oil changes so easy people are apt to do them more often and reap similar benefits in the long run. Lets face it, this level of attention only matters if you expect to keep the car for a very, very long time. To borrow a phrase fron Nike, "just to it" and often.
99 E300 133K
98 ML320 99K
87 Saab 900 Turbo Conv 123K
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Old 12-25-2001, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SW Chicago Suburbs, IL
Posts: 264
loubapache -- haven't received it yet...still waiting. I've got about 1500 more miles before the MB is due for an oil change and 2000 left on the VW. I'm certainly going to try it out shortly after it arrives. I'll let you know.

I am having some airflow issues, but haven't dug into them yet. My center dash vents aren't working and the rear vent is only blowing COLD air. Oh well...not sure when I'll have the time to get THAT involved with it. I'm thinking a visit to the shop may be in order.

So how has your diesel been behaving when started cold? Just curious, as mine is just a bit rough (maybe 10-15sec) when started in the morning. Maybe need to check the glowplugs?? I think I'm used to the VW diesel, which fires right off.

Anyway, Happy Holidays and we'll catch up later.
Lance Allison

Sold: 1987 MB 300SDL, 320k miles, Astral Silver, Blue Leather, all books and records from day one.

Totalled: 1998 VW Jetta TDI, 488k miles, Classic Green/Gray Leather, loaded, E-Codes, "Slightly" modded, "Slightly" faster than stock, arrived 11/07/1997.

MBCA Member, Chicago Region
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Old 12-25-2001, 04:48 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Western Michigan
Posts: 1,080
So how has your diesel been behaving when started cold? Just curious, as mine is just a bit rough (maybe 10-15sec) when started in the morning. Maybe need to check the glowplugs??
Mine is doing better and better as the time in my hands passes. At 20 some degrees it starts, without smoke, and idles nicely now. I found my battery was kind of low on water and charge. Filled with almost half gallon of water and then used an automatic trickle charge to charge it to full. Now I usually glow twice in the morning *an additional 10 seconds after the light goes out), and it starts right up and with no smoke.

Initially I also thought the glow plugs but apparently a not-perfect battery cannot make the plugs hot enough.

Happy Holidays!

Last edited by loubapache; 12-26-2001 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 12-25-2001, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
I've been using my topsider for the last year. I have used it on my boat, and my car.

IT works great, have had no problems except the clamp to seal off the hose for the vacuum to build up broke. no biggie I remedied that easily.

I never change my oil at piping hot. I always lett he car sit for 20-30 minutes at least before I do it, that way oil has a chance to drip back down into the pan.

Unfortunately to get under the car now that it is lowered requires jacking up the car and propping it on jackstandas, so I doa topsider change every 3k miles, and let my mech to a regular change when I take the car in to him for other repair services.

'92 300CE - Sold
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