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  #1  
Old 02-08-2002, 01:07 PM
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Safety question

I plan on changing the trans fluid this weekend. Looking at the book I have, it says the car should be level while draining the fluid. Is that necessary? I was going to use my ramps.

If the car does need to be level, (here comes my question) my driveway has a gentle slope. I was thinking of placing the ramps down hill and drive the car onto them toward the street so that it would be level. I would put it in park,set the brake and chalk the rear wheels. Good idea?

Also, to drain the converter, can I hit the starter to line up the drain plug or is turning the engine the only way? Finally, if I'm standing in front of the engine, which way do I turn the pulley?

Thanks,

Bill
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2002, 01:27 PM
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I don't think being level is important for draining. Its important for refilling properly.

Turn the motor clockwise looking from the front to rear.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2002, 04:49 PM
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Steve what is the concern about the direction of engine rotation. What happens if one is rotated backwards?

I would position the car such that the tranny drain hole is at the lowest point. That will ensure that all of the fluid is removed. Make the car level then be sure to refill the fluid level to the right amount.
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86 300e 5 speed manual - 210k
87 420sel - 240k
89 560sl - 78k
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2002, 04:59 PM
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Bill,

My driveway has a slope to it as well. I use the ramps, place them lower on the drive and pull up on them. The car sits nearly level. Good luck trying to get the drain plug by bumping the starter - never worked for me, close but not quite. Easy enough to wrench it over from the crankshaft nut. If under the car, with the rachet handle pointed toward the right side of the car, pushing up will turn the engine clockwise. Have heard tell that turning the engine CCW could cause damage to the timing chain or rails/tensioner. No first hand knowledge though.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2002, 05:06 PM
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Doesn't really matter whether the drain plug is at the lowest level or not. You have to drop the pan to change the trans filter, and that's part of doing the job right. Another quart or so of fluid comes splashing out when the filter is removed, so this is the only way to change it all.

My understanding is that diesels don't like the crankshaft turned backwards. I *think* it's the injection pump which gets very unhappy - can't recall for certain.

I've never been able to line up the drain plug by bumping the starter either - and I tried using a remote starter from under the car! Had to break out the old 27mm socket and do it the manual way. No big deal - just wait for the compression to bleed down past the rings.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2002, 05:07 PM
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If that is true, I dont understand why. Maybe some could explain it.
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78 Corvette Stingray - 3k
82 242 Turbo Volvo - Manual - 270k
86 300e 5 speed manual - 210k
87 420sel - 240k
89 560sl - 78k
91 420sel - 205k
91 560sel - 85k
94 GMC Suburban - 90k
97 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail - 25k
00 GMC Silverado 1 ton 30k
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2002, 05:11 PM
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To tell you the truth I'm not sure what happens. I have turned engines backwards numerous times for various reasons. I can tell you that turning it backwards would be sort of like trying to pedal a ten speed backwards. The tention should be between drive gear and driven gear if you go backwards you are driving through the tentioning device (derailer on the bike). if the chain is slack enough you might pull the tentioner back loosening the chain and jump a gear. Also its said that dragging a chain backwards over a rail can cut it. I have bever seen it.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2002, 06:11 PM
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Putting ramps on a slope is dangerous, not an engineer myself, but it probably puts forces on the ramp that it is not designed to withstand. The literature with the ramp probably advises against using them on anything other than a firm level surface.

About twenty years ago I did this, my friend stopped by and I got out from under the car to talk to him and very shortly thereafter the ramps collapsed.

As others mentioned earlier, by pulling the pan you should get a good drain at almost any angle.

Do it the safe way and good luck with the job.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2002, 07:24 PM
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Thanks guys, I appreciate your help!
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2002, 08:44 PM
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No chance of my ramps collapsing. I'm using something called RhinoRamps. An ABS type plastic material, fairly tuff stuff, light weight and very reinforced, enough so that with just a little more material they would be solid. Good to 12,000 lbs.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2002, 10:12 AM
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I agree with "Sugar Bear." I would ABSOLUTELY not put ramps on a slope. The issue is more one of geometry than strength of the ramps. I'm not an engineer, but seems to me that with the ramps on a slope, the force applied to the ramps would have a tendency to make the ramps tip. Also, I would not be confident that the wheel chocks + the little stops at the ends of the ramps would keep the car from going down hill and off the ramps . . .

PLEASE don't do this!
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