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Old 12-16-2002, 04:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 283
M119 oil filter change/mess

Anyone change their oil filter without making a huge mess?

As soon as I pull the cover, oil starts leaking out. Pull the filter, regardless of how long you wait, and there is more oil spilt.

Am I doing something wrong, or is this just a MB quirk in these models? Any helpful pointers to reduce the mess?
1985 300TD 4-speed 212K
1992 400E 343K
2001 E320 72K
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Old 12-16-2002, 04:33 PM
Glen's Avatar enthusiast
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
Posts: 1,187
My M119 has a drop in oil filter cartridge so no mess there. I've been extracting the oil via suction through the dip stick so again, no mess.
Glen Tokuhara
Beauty & the Beast and the wagon that could!
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Old 12-16-2002, 04:38 PM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,825
I believe you have to just loosen the cover to let most of the oil drain down. Only then can you remove the cover.

Just a shot in the dark, but have you tried first draining most of the oil from the crankcase before removing the oil filter?

If all else fails, diaper the area with lots of paper towels before starting the work.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 147K
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Old 12-16-2002, 04:49 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 237

Had some tranny work done and tech noted oil in the belly pan and accused me (wrongly) of not tightening cover down. Have not found a way to remove cover without a mess. Apparently, our anti-drainbacks are working (too) well. I suck oil out and this has had no effect and I believe I have posted in the past on this issue with no response. As there is almost no clearance next to or under cannister, I also see no way to put absorbing material nearby either. Given "change it hot," any time spent near the canisster is grueling anyway given proximity of exhaust manifold.

I hope we can get some insight from someone.

P.S. For those forum members unfamiliar with set-up, the oil canister is cocked at an angle parrallel to the V of the V-8 such that it spills easily over low side and there is no room (V-8 in a W124) to access except with long (346mm) socket extension and stretch-burn-proof arms.
2008 GL320CDI 6K
1970 280SL 112K
1982 240D 210K (Sold)
1973 220D 220K (Sold)
1967 200D 160K (Sold)
1992 400E 139K (Sold)
1988 300E 148K (Sold)
1987 300D 257K (Sold)
1991 300E 108K (Sold)
1987 300E 131K (Sold)
1978 300D TMU (Sold)
1980 300D TMU (Sold)
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
You might want to search on this. Someone else had a thread asking how much oil is left in the metal reservoir in an M119 engine. I remember responding to it. On mine, there is maybe a half-ounce of oil left in the bottom so not too messy. Sounds like your reservoir is pretty full? That was the other poster's problem, too. I don't recall what the remedy was.
'93 400E
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Old 12-17-2002, 03:22 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Los Angeles CA
Posts: 140
Strange. On my car oil change is one of the cleanest jobs to do. As soon as I loosen the long bolt, I can hear air being sucked past the bolt and the filter housing drains completely. I do this after draining the oil pan, if it makes a difference.

If I'm not mistaken, it is supposed to work this way.
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Old 12-17-2002, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: South Eastern, MA
Posts: 1,743
I just changed my oil using a Topsider and like Glen had no difficulties at all. I did notice that if I let the car sit for about 5 minutes after all the oil was sucked out I could pump even more oil out. It may be the check valve or just residual oil that is slowly draining down.

When I pulled my oil filter out I did it slowly and let any oil sitting in the filter canister drip out. I then used the topsider to remove the oil sitting in the housing and installed a new filter.

A trick to making oil changes easier is wearing rubber latex gloves. It insulates your fingers and makes changing it hot much easier.

02 C32 AMG

92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd
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Old 12-17-2002, 11:29 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,825
Afshin, I hope it was residual oil draining down and not the drainback valve. The whole idea of the drainback valve is that it should hold oil until the next startup - hopefully overnight or longer.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 147K
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Old 12-17-2002, 11:59 AM
Gary Ganaway's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 367
I , too, have never had a problem with filter housing. I loosen the cover bolt a few turns, start up the topsider, and after about 3 minutes take the cover off and at most i have 2-3 ounces of oil in the filter housing.
95 E420 ( 76K) SOLD
85 380SE(125k)
95 SL500(72k)
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