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  #1  
Old 10-23-2003, 08:13 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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The importance of torqueing your oil filters

Well I haven't wanted to post this topic untill I had the evidence and coul completely embarras myself. My wife went to get our daughter at Texas A&M last weekend. Since we are cutting back on things, IE selling cars, We have been renting cars at Enterprize for weekend trips and such. We figure put the mileage on their cars not ours. Were down to the SL and TD for regular transportation. Since the TD is not bakc together we are keeping the SDL as a back up. I had traiing this weekend so I could not go to A&M with my wife to get out Aggie. So I changed the oil in the SL and told my wife to take it. Jacked the car up, dropped the filter and oil plug and replaced the filter. I grabed a 1/2 drive ratchet. I normally use a 3/8 drive all the time. Screwed the new oil filter and housing on and tightened it. Replaced the drain plug and washer and refilled the car. Ran the car and checked for leaks. It ready to go.
When tightening the oil filter I had a funny feeling about it. A sort of sixth sence about something. so I made sure the filter was tight.
BIG MISTAKE.
I'm so use to changing the oil on the Deisels. I use a 3/8 drive ratchet. tighten them by hand. And away we go. I have not done the SL for a while. Ive had the dealer do the last couple of oil changes. So I have not done the SL in 2-3 years.
Friday I'm on a trip. A turn to Charlotte NC. whe I got to CLT I check my cell phone, a message. I was finishing say "ba- bye" to the passengers when the phone rings. My wife is stuch on the side of the rod down in College Station. She was cruising at 60 MPH and heard a bang, saw something fly out from under the car and the engine started smoking.
She quickly pulled to the shoulder and shut off the engine.

My God I taught her well.

A long streek of oil on the road all the way up to the car. When I talked to her she had already called Mercedes. It was way beyond road side assistance. But they offerd to arange a tow truck. My wife then called USAA, who we have insurance with and towing. The aranged a flatbed tow truck.
When I called her she had been taken to the Goodyear shop and they said it was out of there capability.
It was brought to local Foreign shop but they wer closed fo rthe weekend. The Mercedes Dealer is in Houston, A 1.2 hour drive. So the best solution was to have the car towed to Dallas with my Wife and Daughter. So my daughters first weekend back home, she came home in a Tow Truck

What happened I realize that I probably torqued the bolt to about 80-90 NM. Not the 25 NM recommended amount.
If you look at the pictures you will see the piece I 'm holding. When you overtorque the bolt this unit will be stressed and break.

SOOOOO make sure you torque your oil filter bolts. It is important.

Dave

PS The filter was flat due to the pickup truck that ran over it.
Attached Thumbnails
The importance of torqueing your oil filters-destroyed-filter-1.jpg  
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1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2003, 08:57 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Yeah, it's only necessary to hold the oil in, not lift a battleship with the bolt!

I'll bet the "funny feeling" you had was that the bolt wouldn't "bottom out" like normal -- having cracked the fitting, you were extracting it!

Hope the repair wasn't too bad..... At least she stopped at once, no engine damage! I've got Mother trained, she reported that the oil pressure gauge read zero one day, but since the gas gauge and temp gauge did too, she could drive slowly home. Blown fuse.

Peter
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1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2003, 11:03 PM
dmorrison's Avatar
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Location: Colleyville, Texas
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The bad feeling was the filter trying to tell me to GO LOOK THE TORQUE SETTING UP IN THE MANUAL AND GET ONE OF YOUR TORQUE WRENCHES.

Look at the picture
The bolt goes into the black threaded unit that is still on the filter unit. The black treaded unit screws into the aluminum unit I am holding. As I tightened the bolt the steel bolt tightened into the black treaded unit, steel. And the weak link was the aluminum unit I am holding.

I have attached a picture of the assembly in order of assembly. the bolt, bolt reciever and aluminum unit with the aluminum reciever broken off.

"hope the repair wasn't to bad" $255 for the towing and $380 for the repair. I would have done it but I was in school and life is on hold while in school. Its to important. Your career is on the line during your training. If you flunk and get nervous you could be in front of the FAA who could think about suspending your license. SO its full of pressure. Ive been on the same aircraft for 13 years and flown it for 15.5 total so I'm very comfortable with the aircraft and my knowledge. But you still get nervous during training.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
The importance of torqueing your oil filters-web-oil-filter-1.jpg  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2003, 11:18 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Posts: 1,149
Spin on oil filters always say "Hand Tighten Only". Can we assume this is good advice for our cartridge filters housing also?
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2003, 05:33 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 298
Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

I have been always using 3/8 ratchet to tighten my filter cap on my 400E, better stop before I run out of luck.

The first thing to do when I go back home tonight will be loosing the bolt and reset torque.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2003, 12:14 AM
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dmorrison,

Hope the rest of you weekend goes well !
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