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  #16  
Old 05-14-2003, 11:26 AM
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I agree. DIY and do it right.

I did C320 for the first time a few months ago. About 5k on the odo. Rhino ramps and less than 1 hour, start to finish. The hardest part was removing the plastic covers from the underside and that just wasn't that difficult. The rest is oil change 101. Pieco-o-cake and I know I got ALL the oil out since I poured abot 1/4 quart of new to flush out the bottom of the pan. I waited 10 minutes for it to drain. :-)

Brian

=====================

Larry Wote:

Two minutes is not near long enough. That and the fact that they are the King of the drain plug thread strippers is why I don't take it to them.

You are much better off changing it at home regardless of your method as long as you change it frequently enough.

Have a great day,
Change oil hot and change oil often.


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  #17  
Old 05-14-2003, 01:55 PM
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Suction is recommended at least from 1981

The oldest MB Maintenance Manual I have handy is for 1981.

In section 0101.05 it refers to suctioning oil out of the engine or, if no suction is available, to remove the drain plug.

When I replaced the oil pan gasket on my 1983 300SD the other day, I first suctioned out the oil using the Topsider, with a slash cut tip on the Topsider suction tube which is inserted in the dip stick tube. On removal, the oil pan contained approx. 4 fl. ozs. of oil after suctioning.

Suctioning then, at least for the 1981 through 1991 cars:

1 - Is recommended by the manufacturer
2 - Is efficient
3 - Is not messy

I have done, maybe, sixty oil changes with the Topsider. MBDad777 has come up with an elegant variation on that theme and deserves to be congratulated.

I also use suctioning on the wife's 1999 E320 Wagon, change oil every 2,500 miles or 3 months, and disregard the FSS system. That way, even if the odometer fails, passage of time reminds me to change the oil. Foolproof, unless the Earth stops rotating.

Sadly, the oil filter in the 107 cars has to be removed from below, which takes away much of the advantage of the Topsider approach. However, on the OM617 diesel, 420/560SEL M117 and in-line six in the modern E class (M220?) engine with their top mounted oil filters, the process can (almost) be done in your tuxedo before a good night out.

Suctioning is also great on the transmission oil - you can remove most of it before removing the transmission oil pan, minimizing spills.
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2003, 02:17 PM
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Thomaspin you bring up a good point. If the filter is underneath the car what is the benefit? Short of an oil filter relocation kit there may be little.

I admire the inventiveness in creating the "suction" device. However, it appears that you are adding an extra step to the process. Why use an expensive compressor to create a "compressed air to venturi to vacuum device"? Why not use a simple shop vac with the water pipe/bong contraption? Feasible?

Just curious. Any details on construction are appreciated.
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2003, 03:19 PM
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Re: Suction is recommended at least from 1981

Quote:
Originally posted by Thomaspin
Is recommended by the manufacturer
Thomaspin, the reason MB recommends using a topsider is for economy in their service department, not because it's better for the vehicle. These manuals are mainly written for service techs that work at MB dealerships. They can change the oil much quicker with a topsider than draining to a pan or using a special oil change bay. For a dealership, time is money.
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2003, 04:12 PM
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One conclusion seems to be that suction/evacuation devices using a probe are more efficient than those using a hose attached to the top of the dipstick tube (as mine does). And that draining through the pan is more efficient than either. Being somewhat of a purist, I like to pour a half-quart of clean oil through just before sealing things up for the refill. It makes me wonder just how close to the bottom of the pan the dipstick tube actually is. On my C280, the refill only took seven (7) quarts. Many here know the actual capacity is 8.5 quarts. This after suctioning the oil several times over the course of several hours just to make sure it had time to drain down. And yes Larry, it was "hot" when I started!

Another conclusion we might draw is that the shops (or manufacturers - hint, hint ) that tout oil evacuation may not be getting out as much oil as we are wont to believe! Hmmm???

For those who are curious, I used an air vacuum pump as the centerpiece of the operation. A stream of high-speed air is passed over a perpendicular opening and creates the vacuum in that opening. I understand this is a primitive and small-scale version of what some of the pro shops use. I wanted something relatively simple and "elegant." No extra motors, wires, hand pumping, etc. I studied the Mighty Vac (my personal retail favorite) and others and decided to try my hand at building my own. Incidently, as I dicovered after making mine, Mighty Vac makes a version that also uses the compressor/venturi principle (click here). The prices at the Tool Warehouse in the links are the lowest I've seen. Total cost to build mine was around $25-30, not including the compressor, of course.

I got the (air pump) at Harbor Freight Tools. It's occasionally on sale for under $10. The translucent 3.5 gal. bucket was from Lowe's for about $3. You can get the lid there or from Home Depot. The reinforced hot tub hose (5/8" OD, 3/8" ID) was from Home Depot at .44/ft and provides a perfect friction fit inside the top flange of the dipstick tube (for some reason it was .99/ft. at Lowe's). I got the 3/8" brass "barb" hose fittings but you could probably use plastic ones which are much cheaper. They're a pretty good fit, so I didn't even use clamps. I also used a couple of big 5/8" washers on the lid for the hose fittings.

I'm wondering about using ramps when draining the oil. Since the vehicle is not level are you going to be able to get as much oil out through the plug? Doesn't the car need to be level to get the most oil out?

Well, crap. There goes my lunch break! Anyway, thank you all for your comments and compliments and even the toungue-in-cheek pokes! This really has been a fun project and topic for discussion.

Dan
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Last edited by MBDad777; 05-15-2003 at 10:37 PM.
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2003, 08:46 PM
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OK i'll bite for this one. How do you suck out the oil in the new cars that have no dipstick
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  #22  
Old 05-15-2003, 05:05 AM
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A funny oil change story

I agree with Larry. I change it hot and often (5,000km on the 300TE & 190E daily drivers and 2,500km on the less used 350SLC). I must admit though, having to remove the plastic under panel to drain the oil is a pain.

A funny story (was not funny at the time) from my pre MB days. I was draining the oil and left it for a while to drain thoroughly. I then returned to complete the job but got interrupted. When I eventually returned again I poured in 5 litres of new oil. Just as I finished I noticed all this dark liquid flowing across the floor. Guess who forgot to replace the drain plug! The new oil had run out into the bucket of old oil and the whole lot had now overflowed onto the floor. To add insult to injury, it was a Sunday so I could only buy more oil at a local garage at a rediculous price.
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  #23  
Old 05-15-2003, 03:49 PM
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Automation is sometimes great, but it would scare people if they knew how often their cars are grossly overfilled by places that use this approach.

This problem is not limited to the quick-lube places with the 18 yr. old kids. It also exists in dealerships of all varieties, both domestic and foreign.

If you have someone else change your oil, pull over after you exit the lot, let it sit awhile then check it. The idea here is not so much to see if the oil is exactly on the full mark, but to see if it's 5 inches over the top of it.
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  #24  
Old 05-15-2003, 06:38 PM
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I never assume the capacity of my crankcase equals the amount of oil I put in. My car came on a truck accross the country from a dealer in Florida and they had graciously changed, and over-filled, the oil before sending it to me. If I hadn't sucked some out I probably would have fried my main bearings!

Not only that but I just recently noticed they had also used the dreaded green anti-freeze (click here) in the process of giving it "all fresh fluids." They probably used DOT 3 brake fluid, too. It's for all these reasons and so many more that I never let someone else work on my cars unless I have no choice.
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  #25  
Old 05-20-2003, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RickM
Why use an expensive compressor to create a "compressed air to venturi to vacuum device"? Why not use a simple shop vac with the water pipe/bong contraption? Feasible?
I didn't want to use a shop vac because of the strain it would place on the vacuum's motor.
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  #26  
Old 05-20-2003, 07:46 PM
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As well as these devices may (or may not) work....I must say that I find it humorous how people always seem to overcomplicate the simplest of tasks. Just stand back, take a deep breath, and evaluate the situation. Short of replacing the air filter, an oil change is probably the simplest maintenence task on a car. And we are talking about pumps, venturis, vacuum devices, compressed air...so on and so forth. Just pull the damn plug and drain the crap! All ya need is a wrench!!!
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  #27  
Old 05-20-2003, 07:53 PM
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Agreed. I like to get under the car every now and then like others here. The only equipment needed to change my oil other than a wrench is that silly gizmo that removes the cap from the oil filter housing. Charging $25 for it is criminal. Dealer and online prices are comparable. Why, why, why did they design it that way? I know the answers, no need to reply.
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  #28  
Old 05-20-2003, 08:09 PM
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Got my filter wrench at Autozone for under $5. There are dozens of makes and sizes at the local parts houses. Just go out and find one that fits!
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  #29  
Old 05-20-2003, 09:15 PM
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Hi,

I happen to use a Stearns electric oil change pump. It was about $35 and runs off the battery.

I get the vast majority out of the engine, and the ease of doing it makes that job fly by -- about 20 minutes.

I look at the underside of the car as well.

There is another thread about this topic and is on a 126. Owner did both types of draining procedures -- pulled plug and suction. Suction got more oil out by a number of ounces. He has photos of the results.

Either way, change it hot and often and you'll be fine. A few extra ounces will certainly not hurt your new oil. Even if you let all the oil drain overnight, there is still more than you think up in the motor.

Regards,
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2003, 10:12 PM
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Knowing there is a quart and a half of oil left after a drain makes me want to buy two types of oil, put in the cheap first, drive aroud the block and drain it again. There would still be oil left in the engine, but it would be an eighth as dirty as without the first change.

I'll never do it though.
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