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  #1  
Old 11-18-2002, 07:10 PM
rdanz's Avatar
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Topsider survey

How many of you use topsiders to change oil and where is the cheapest place to buy one.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2002, 10:43 AM
I told you so!
 
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I don't use one. I prefer using the oil pan drain plug for a number of reasons.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2002, 10:54 AM
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I have used Topsider on 2 oil changes. First time, I had to get used to it stopping and having to pump up agian but you soon get the "feel" for how long it takes, etc. I really like it, I'm too lazy to crawl under car, take off cover and drain. I have had no problem in getting most of oil out. This last time it sucked out virtually all of the 8.5 quarts. Believe I paid about $45. ordered thru Northern Tool website.
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2002, 11:04 AM
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This topic is probably only second to "oil to use" for popularity. Do a search, and I think you'll be more than a little surprised at the number of "topsider" threads you'll find...
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2002, 06:10 PM
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I got mine online at Overtons: http://www.overton.com/ (search for "oil changer"). I could only find them at boating places. I still have to get underneath of my SL for the filter, but I still don't have a 14mm hex bit and my torque wrench is 3/8" drive.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2002, 06:16 PM
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I just noticed that Harbor Freight has a knockoff for only $24.99. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=45403
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2002, 01:09 AM
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I've used one for two years and love it. Nothing like changing the oil the way Mercedes engineers designed it to be changed!
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2002, 08:34 AM
LarryBible
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The Mercedes engineers and ALL car manufacturers DESIGNED the oil to be changed by draining it out of the oil pan. This DESIGN was done 100 years ago. It's very simple. If you make a hole in the bottom of the pan, gravity causes the oil to come out.

The only implication of these cars being DESIGNED to draw the oil out the top is CONVENIENCE for the dealers. Until the oil draw systems were installed in the dealer service departments, most oil changes were done at the "grease pit." That was fine for PM oil changes, but what about when the oil was to be drained for a repair of some sort? Then the grease pit was not practical because the car must be moved to the tech's stall after draining in the pit. This meant a drain pan and doing something with its contents.

By putting the vacuum systems in the shops, they were not only able to efficiently remove oil for repairs, but it was as shop efficient to draw the oil from any stall where the vacuum equipment was installed as it was to do it at the pit. This meant that oil change jobs could be given to any tech, not just whoever is working the grease pit.

This whole withdrawing oil through the dipstick hole was done for dealer service department efficiency, NOT to do a better job removing the oil.

If you BELIEVE that it was done to do a better job of removing the oil, I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

For the DIY person that does not like getting underneath a car, and the dirty hands that go with it, the topsider is a great idea, but the oil needs to be changed a little more often if that is your change method. One way that you can help the topsider along, is to draw out as much as you can in the evening, then draw again the next morning to get as much of what makes its way down from the top of the engine overnight.

There is one more "downside" to the "topside," that is you tend not to make as many opportunities to inspect everything underneath. By draining the oil, you have a periodic opportunity to look around underneath for leaks, loose parts and other problems. Frequent visual inspections are as important in the maintenance of your car as changing its oil.

Good luck,
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2002, 10:04 AM
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I agree with Larry, but I still pull the oil out through the dipstick tube.

Pick a method that you prefer, and change it. Just change it!
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2002, 10:18 AM
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I use it on all my euro-cars...got it from BoatUSA...like $40...though I do pull the drain plugs every third change (about 10,000 miles)and let it weep over nite...its good for the M119 motor b/c I can suck the oil out of the filter housing too.

Topsider best on warmed up oil too...duh...I tried it cold once and flowed like molassas.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2002, 10:33 AM
jcd jcd is offline
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I just live for these threads.............................

Especially since I started one about 2 years ago.

I wait breathlessly waiting for Larry to weigh in with his good advice. Larry........I think this reply is your best effort to date.

I think a key point is his last paragraph. Spending a little time under the car is a good thing............for the reason's he stated.

JCD
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2002, 10:44 AM
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Larry should have his latest comments incorporated in the DIY section of this site. It would avoid the confusion I faced when I first visited this site wondering...."What the heck are these people thinking using a topsider!" .... and it put the different oil changing options in perspective for other newbies.
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2002, 11:23 AM
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Larry,

Thank you for the detailed post. With the exception of your statement regarding a visual inspection underneath the car, I respectfully disagree. It has been proven by personal experience that the topsider removes MORE oil than when allowing the oil to drain at the plug. I have tested this extensively and found that the topsider removed more oil on average. I surmise that one of the reasons is that there is a boss on the inside of the oil pan to accomodate the drain plug threads. This acts as a dam for the last little bit of oil which can spread thin over the surface of the pan bottom. Regardless, a few ml of oil will not harm anything as long as one is taking advantage of proper oil changing regimens and using the right oil! Can't find other accounts now, but have heard others make reference to this fact on numerous occasions. MB has recommended and approved of vacuum oil changes since the '70s. This has always been one of the most hotly debated topics. The bottom line, use MB approved oil and change it often and all will be good.
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  #14  
Old 11-21-2002, 12:26 PM
LarryBible
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The oil pan configurations vary, the drain plug boss does not really limit oil drained. Some of the aluminum pans do, however, have gussets that limit a small quantity of oil from finding the drain plug. In those cases, a properly placed floor jack will cure this.

As was well stated by blackmercedes, "just change it."

Also, don't dare overlook the value of undercar inspection.

There is one indisputable advantage to my method, I'm not out the bucks it took to purchase the topsider.

Have a great day,
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2002, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
There is one indisputable advantage to my method, I'm not out the bucks it took to purchase the topsider.
This is offset by the cost of a 14mm hex bit socket. The only ones I could find were all 1/2" drive, which my torque wrench is not. So I'd have to buy a 1/2" torque wrench too.
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