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  #1  
Old 09-10-2002, 03:43 AM
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Cheap

I started thinking about trying to make my own topsider or some siphoning rig. Anybody else ever done one? If so, what materials did you use and how does it work?

I try to keep this forum clean. You should too. Benzmac

Last edited by Benzmac; 09-10-2002 at 09:14 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2002, 07:30 AM
LarryBible
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It would be a lot cheaper to reach underneath with a wrench and a drain pan. As an added bonus, you get to look around underneath at the same time to check everything. You never know what might be about to fall off under there.

If you do build a topsider, however, I strongly recommend building one that you can use with the oil piping hot. If you had some sort of hand vacuum pump, that you connected with a hose to the top of a large metal container, then a suction hose that goes between the container and the bottom of the pan to draw the oil into the evacuated metal container, you could draw the oil out while hot.

I read many of the topsider threads for months before it came to light that some of these gadgets would melt if the oil was hot. This is BAD!!! Draining, or removing oil while hot is far superior to draining or removing cold oil. When the oil is hot, the contaminants are "churned up" in the oil, rather than clinging to everything inside the engine. This is the main reason you are changing oil, because it is the only method for cleaning the inside of the engine. Draining cold oil and leaving the contaminants stuck inside is like driving twice as far between changes, or maybe farther.

Good luck,
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2002, 10:44 AM
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Somewhere buried in a thread on this site is a link to a site where someone describes how to make your own. It used a gas can and electric pump. However, I'm with Larry. Use the drain plug. I understand why boat owners use Topsiders but I have been puzzled as to why Mercedes owners are so fascinated with them. Perhaps it is connected to the 'class' image that Mercedes projects in the US by not importing trucks. Mercedes owners are not the kind of people who should have to lay on their backs to drain their oil????
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2002, 04:49 PM
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I use a $10 pump picked up at a local parts store. Although, when hot the oil does make the hand pump a bit more difficult to hold, its not hot enough to melt the unit.

My goal here is not to spend $75 at my local MB dealer or let the novice mechanics at the Quick lube touch my car. Since I run my own filters (K&N) and oil (Mobil 1) its much more cost effective this way.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2002, 05:12 PM
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Kerry:
In the US, with regards to dealers using topsiders, the whole thing was started by the ML. MB wants us to use the oil evacuation units (real heavy duty topsiders) because if you drain the oil out of the crankcase, the hot oil will run all over rubber components and make them degrade.

Gilly
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2002, 05:27 PM
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Now I'm really curious. Is it just on some models that the oil runs over rubber components? On my 300d's it drains directly into the pan without hitting any rubber components.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2002, 08:45 PM
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Kerry:
The ML seems to be the only one with this problem, even the 4MATIC cars (recent model, not the early 90's 4MATICS) don't have any access problem or a problem with the oil flow. But the 104 engine 210 chassis E Class does have a problem getting oil to drain out and not run into the front bumper skirt. I believe it's the 210 anyways, I use the oil evacuation equipment almost exclusively now, everything except the M111 motor.

Gilly
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2002, 08:58 PM
1992300e
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DYI

In general, as a do it yourselfer I always change my filter when I change my oil and on every car I've owned other than the mercedes the filter was under the car. So used to putting the car up on ramps and climbing under I do the same with the Mercedes. And I agree, gives me a chance to look around and see how things look.

Joel

PS> Is there such a thing as a magnetic oil plug for the mercedes?? Does anyone use those?
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2002, 01:57 AM
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TOPSIDER

I've been using my Topsider (that's a brand name, not a generic description) for about four years now. I've changed oil in my now sold 95 C280 many times, a friend's CLK430 twice, and my '01 C320 once. Every time it has been done with the engine at normal operating temp. Not once has the suction tube melted or gotten soft. I think this is just a theory promoted by some of the fussbudgets on another MB list.

The unit costs a lousy 40 bucks at West Marine.

Roger E./Seattle
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2002, 08:46 AM
LarryBible
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Roger,

That's great news. I was concerned from what I had read that using the Topsider eliminated the possibility of removing oil while hot and mixed.

1992300E,

Yes, I have magnetic drain plugs in my later MB's. I can't find one for the 123 diesels anywhere though. I get the ones for the 124 chassis and later at Pep Boys.

A magnetic drain plug is a very good add on. Not only does it catch much of the microscopic metallic particles. But every time you change the oil and wipe it off, you can tell if there is anything crazy going on. There is always the slightest amount of grey particulate wiped off the plug. If there is more than you usually see, it's time to keep a closer eye on things.

Have a great day,
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2002, 10:35 AM
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I use my LiquiVac when the oil is hot, and it causes the tube located at the junction to the storage unit to deform a little, but seems just fine. Done lots of changes on various MB's with it, and love the thing.

The way I figured it, the LiquiVac was half the cost of the labour of ONE oil change. So, I took a risk and evacuated hot oil.

If it takes using the LiquiVac/Topsider to have frequent oil changes, then do it. Otherwise, the tried, tested, and true method that Larry advocates is just fine.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2002, 11:58 AM
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Has anyone retrofitted some type of hi-temp/hi-performance hose to an otherwise stock Topsider or LiquiVac?
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2002, 12:15 PM
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I use a liquivac with the oil at full operating temp. The tube does get a little softer, but it has worked every time without anything permanently deforming or melting.
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2002, 02:31 PM
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Making a topsider

I bought a Topsider, but if it would ever fail and I need to make one, I would probably go with a washer fluid pump and a plastic gas tank, and some piping from Home Depot... and the battery in the car.
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2002, 03:19 AM
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Thanks for all the replys. Check out this little pump. Runs off an electric drill. I like the idea of that better than a garden sprayer-type hand pump.

http://www.jackssmallengines.com/oil-pump.cfm

What do you think for $!4? Worth a try?

Dave
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