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  #1  
Old 04-02-2000, 10:41 PM
arosen@troweprice.com
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I just read the article on how to change the oil the Topsider. I would think that it would not work as well to change the oil since it is not taking full advantage of gravity to rid the pan of any heavy particulate matter.
What is everyone's thoughts??
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2000, 08:53 AM
LarryBible
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Arosen,

I personally agree with your thinking. I am a terminal, oil change fanatic. This was a subject about a month or so ago, and there were several people who believed that the topsider would get out more oil. I have a difficult time believing that, because it is sucking the oil from only one basic location in the bottom of the pan. There has to be a little film left over.

Keep in mind when considering my opinion, that my typical oil change method is coming in on Friday night with the engine at max temp, pulling the plug and filter, and letting it drain overnight, or maybe even until Sunday afternoon. The last drops that you manage to drain out of the engine, contain the worst of the sludge that you're trying to remove. Like I said, I'm an oil change fanatic. But it seems that long engine life goes along with it.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2000, 10:21 AM
Andras Nagy
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Arosen:

Have to agree with Larry, but I'm sure that many other will post their excellent experience with the TopSider.

However, you should know that MB has designed their oil pans to have the oil drain plug at the absolute bottom of the pan, and that the pan slopes down to that plug. Look under your car and you will see.

That said, MB authorizes dealers use the drain method, but then do have lifts. But I have been draining my oil for the past 15 years, using only a cardboard sheet to protect my clothing while I am under the front part of the car. It takes about 30 seconds to get the 15mm socket onto the drain plub and drain the oil into a Haartz kitty litter pan, (which fits under the oil pan and is large enough not to spill any oil on my garage floor.)

That way, when you do change it hot/warm, like Larry says, you will get every bit of the oil and the residues out.

The reason others use the Topsider, is that they don't want to get on their backs under the car. But they spend more time pumping, than letting gravity assist them; they risk not getting all of the bad stuff on the bottom (since when the pump gets to the bottom of the oil it starts sucking air and once doing that, they won't get the last amount of oil); etc. etc.

So it all comes down to convenience, not "the best way". In this matter, there is no "best way", there is only the MB way, and the convenient way. I doubt there is one authorised MB shop that uses a TopSider. Hope this helps......Andras
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2000, 01:38 PM
Bill Wood's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Johns Creek, GA, USA
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quote:
Originally posted by Andras Nagy:
I doubt there is one authorised MB shop that uses a TopSider.
Of course no authorized shop uses the Topsider. It is a consumer product and would not stand the abuse of commercial use nor is it fast enough. Several authorized MB shops use the suction method for oil extraction. There is a commercial device manufactured for this purpose that the dealers use. This is about the only good way to remove oil from the ML since the oil pan drain hole is located directly above a structural crossmember.
Ask M.B.DOC about the use of oil extraction via suction at MB dealerships.


------------------
Bill Wood - Webmaster
MercedesShop.com, LLC
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2000, 07:34 PM
arosen@troweprice.com
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Does anyone know where I can purchase a top-sider and for how much?
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2000, 08:57 PM
Bill Wood's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Johns Creek, GA, USA
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Here's the best price I've seen...$39.99:
http://www.boatus-store.com/MC_Online/Browse.asp?ShowItem=16467

------------------
Bill Wood - Webmaster
MercedesShop.com, LLC
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2000, 09:36 PM
arosen@troweprice.com
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Thanks!
I will order one and see how it works. My plan was too drain the oil then fill it up with fresh oil, run it for a while and then empty and repeat this once more. My intentions were to sort clean the inside of the engine.
What are your thoughts?
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2000, 02:57 AM
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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While I do prefer draining the oil out of the pan, I can say that using a suction device on models such as the 107 chassis SL with the large drain plugs does make life a little easier. When they come in for an oil change and the engine is hot, you pull the plug and oil gushes out all over the place (good luck keeping all of it in the catch pan!). With the suction device (we use an air powered unit at the shop which is made by Tecalemit in Germany) all you have to do is stick the hose down the dipstick tube and hit the start button and 5 minutes later, you have a dry sump. Now changing the filter on those can be a bit tricky if it's hot, but at least oil won't come spilling out when you remove the filter bowl Just my $0.02

------------------
Rgds,
Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
'74 Jensen Interceptor Mk.III
'81 DeLorean DMC12
'85 BMW 745i Turbo
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2000, 08:41 AM
LarryBible
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arosen,

If you want to clean your engines internals well, and you don't have the 107 chassis that Aaron described, why not drain it out the bottom.

If you will pull the plug when you get in on Friday or Saturday night while the engine is hot, and let it drain all night, you will get the real sludge out. The last few drops that come out are the worst contaminants.

Do this several weekends in a row, and you'll get it clean. You also will save the $39.99 for the topsider.

Buy oil in one gallon jugs, and use the jugs to drain the old oil into. You can then take it to a recycling center. I take mine to AutoZone.

I realize this is messier, but it will definitely give you the results you're looking for. Messier for you, cleaner for the inside of your engine. I admit that I'm an oil change maniac, but I have had some engines go for many miles.

Change oil hot, and change oil often.

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2000, 09:16 AM
Andras Nagy
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In addition to what Larry says, when you change your oil from the bottom (without a TopSider) you have the added benefit of being able to inspect the rest of the car from below. There are so many components under the car that, if left uninspected, can go "wrong", and this "preventive maintenance" can avoid future problems. Fo instance, you can inspect the fuel pump, accumulator, and hoses for possible leakage or weepage (just check all the previous posts which found this to be the cause for hard starting), or you can check you exhaust system for rusting (which could cause your asphixiation if it's leaking), or you can check for curb damage to suspension components (and just check all the previous posts of people experiencing suspension problems); I thknk you now get the idea of this kind of "preventive maintaenance".

I will submit again, at the risk of incurring all the wrath of TopSider fans, that using the TopSider is not in the best insterests of your car, but rather in the the best interest of your convenience. If you are afraid of getting your hands oily, wear latex gloves; and if you are afraid of getting on your back under the car, use a cardboard sheet, and don't ever go to bed (you'll be on your back there too).

In conclusion, the use of a TopSider is for people who THINK it is more convenient (check Aaron's posting that it take 5 minutes of pumping, whereas doing it from the bottom takes 30 seconds) and goodness knows I agree with Aaron most of the time. The TopSider is for people who don't care about the rest of their preventive maintenance, and think that doing an oil change in a tux is acceptable behavior.

How's that for an opinionated posting? ....Andras
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2000, 01:04 PM
roas
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I believe that Boat US had the Topsider on sale up until this last Sunday. When I called to order mine Sunday night, the call staff said that the price was $39.99, but the page I was looking at had the price at $29.99 (bookmark from an earlier search on this forum) and they did give it to me at the $29.99 price, good Customer Service. Anyway, the link is http://www.boatus-store.com/MC_Online/Browse.asp?showitem=16467

Also, does PartsShop carry Mechanics gloves (stretch material)? The kind that are good for gripping and can handle hot temp's, these would be very handy when working on the cars, I've seen them in the back of auto magazines for around $30? If not, anyone have any locations?
------------------
96 C280

[This message has been edited by roas (edited 04-04-2000).]

[This message has been edited by roas (edited 04-04-2000).]
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2000, 01:05 PM
Bill Wood's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Johns Creek, GA, USA
Posts: 5,013
I love these spirited discussions!
It seems that whenever there is a post about oil or anything associated with oil that everyone has an opinion. Selecting and changing oil must be something that most everyone on this site has done at some time or another.

As I have stated before, I am not a Tech but, like everyone else I have opinions and beliefs...some based in fact and others based on rumor and hearsay. At the risk of throwing more gas on the fire here's what I do with my '98 E430 and why:

1) I use Mobil 1 20w-50 and change my oil every 5,000 miles. Most of my driving is highway and I never drive on dusty roads. For the first 15,000 miles I used dino oil and changed it every 3,500 miles. My "assumption" was that the engine would break in better with dino oil. Since I have switched to synthetic my fuel mileage has increased...that's a fact. I now get around 29 mpg on the highway at an average speed of 80 mph or so. I have records of every drop of gas my car has ever consumed. I "think" the synthetic oil is better because I "know" it requires less additives to cover a wider temperature range and I "think" it is less likely to break down. I "think" the cleaning action of synthetic is better than dino oil and therefore I "think" my engine is less gunked up.

2) Synthetic oil is expensive but, I want to use it for the reasons stated above. One way to control expense is to change the oil myself. The Topsider is the best alternative for me. Since most new cars are very low to the ground, it is difficult to drain the oil out the bottom. You have to remove the undertray and there's little room to work. I could use ramps but then part of the oil would be stuck in the back of the pan. Since I am NOT a Tech and I can't see much under my car anyway, I ONLY do every other oil change myself. I have Benzmac do the other oil changes, inspections, etc. The way I look at it, I am already changing my oil twice as often as the factory recommended rate since my FSS system will let me go more than 10,000 miles between changes. (based on my driving conditions)

3) The greatest concern I have heard about the Topsider is that it might fail to remove heavy particulate that settles in the bottom of the pan. I think that is the job of the oil filter! Besides that, look at the attached picture of my E430 lower oil pan:



As you can see, the drain plug (shown in red)is not located on the very bottom of the pan, it is located on the side. The dipstick tube is located between the 2 yellow plates. I cannot believe that there is much of a difference between what the Topsider can extract vs bottom draining.

In summary, the Topsider allows me to use the oil I want while controlling my cost, change my oil twice as often as the recommended rate and it provides some level of "pride of ownership" in maintaining my prized Mercedes. Besides, if Mercedes-Benz says that it's ok to suck the oil out, who am I to question them?

My $0.02

------------------
Bill Wood - Webmaster
MercedesShop.com, LLC
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2000, 03:28 PM
Andras Nagy
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Terry:

I accept your chastisement. Upon my re-reading my posting, I see where I might not have been politically correct in my remarks about un-named individuals (none of which were on this posting, by the way). I was merely trying to express an opinion, but as you so clearly implied, it was not constructive opinion. I apologise, and will refrain from personal opinions, and will keep my replies to constructive answers only.....Andras
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2000, 04:39 PM
LarryBible
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To topside, or not to topside, that is th.......... ,

I don't think Andras was out to personally insult anyone. He was making a joke. Lighten up.

More importantly, he correctly pointed out the preventive maintenance advantage of getting underneath the car every once in a while to see what might be falling off. It's much more convenient to find it at that time, than to have to walk back up the road, and pick up the part, so you know what to go buy.

We all have different methods involved with taking care of our beloved MB's. Some of these methods work for some folks, and other methods work for other folks. We share our methods so that we can take it all in and formulate what works for ourselves.

Bill Woods pointed out the baffles in his oil pan. I didn't know that there were any pans that looked like that inside. I know my 240D doesn't. He knows his own vehicle well enough to be aware of it. Thanks to his posting, and graphics, we all know, and have something further to consider. BTW, I think Bill uses the method that gives him the best of both worlds. He has the convenience of the topsider, and compensates by changing his oil twice as often. (Change it hot, and change it often)

Good luck,


------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2000, 03:44 AM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Los Angeles, Calif, USA
Posts: 521
Topsider save me cleanup time, therefore, I change oil as scheduled or as often as I wish. Before I had the Topsider, I delayed my scheduled oil change because I had to allocate at least one hour for oil change and cleanup.

It takes about 15 minutes to suck up all the oil from a diesel engine. While the Topsider is sucking, I can check the bottom of my car, change oil filter, or check on other part of the engine . If you drain the oil from the drain hole, you cannot really check the bottom of your car while the oil is draining. I think the Topsider can get as much oil out of a 617 engine as the drain plug does because of the location of dip stick.

David

[This message has been edited by be459 (edited 04-07-2000).]
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