Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm changing the oil on my 2001 Vulcan a couple of weeks back.

I'm taking the oil filter off with my wrench (typical Craftsman metal oil filter wrench, jointed, with the rubber coated handle). I get the filter loose and try to take the wrench off. Oddly enough, it gets stuck on something that I can't see (I've changed the oil on Vulcans what seems like a million times and never had this happen before).

The next thing I know, I've got sparks shooting everywhere and oil is dripping out of the filter, not to mention the drain pan of oil sitting underneath!! I get the wrench in a position that isn't shooting sparks and begin trying to see what's happening, but if I let go of the wrench, sparks everywhere again....

No one was around so I had no choice but to get the wrench out of there, so I finally just twisted and pulled (with major sparks) until I got it out of there.

The whole time, I'm just waiting for a big flaming oil fire!!!!

Anyway, when I got the wrench out of there, the metal band of it was melted completely through, half way across the band!! Also, a hole had melted through the side of the oil filter.

What had happened was that the red plastic cover that snaps over the positive contact on what I believe was the alternator (below and slightly behind the oil filter, just to the driver's side) had come loose and the wrench was hitting the contact the whole time!! Current was flowing from that positive contact, across the metal wrench strap, through the oil filter and to the grounded engine block!!

Weird, dangerous, and true....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
that is a very odd problem, glad to see that you made it through it allright though


i witnessed a similar problem one time when i took a tire from my explorer to get a hole plugged. there was a large plate glass window behind the waiting room to where you could see what was going on in the work bay's. the people had just lifted a honda up to change the oil, and someone walked underneath the car and reached up to release the filter... next thing i know the whole engine compartment of the honda was engulfed in flames!! it was weird to see, but they got the fire under control in a reasonable amount of time. guess that is js tone of those weird freak accidents that can happen due to a design flaw <_<
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
This happened to me a few times when changing the oil on my '93. The metal filter wrench would touch the positive wire, grounding the circuit. ZAP! I wound up wrapping my filter wrench in electrical tape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
Originally posted by CincySES@Feb 10 2004, 09:26 PM
So I'm changing the oil on my 2001 Vulcan a couple of weeks back.

I'm taking the oil filter off with my wrench (typical Craftsman metal oil filter wrench, jointed, with the rubber coated handle). I get the filter loose and try to take the wrench off. Oddly enough, it gets stuck on something that I can't see (I've changed the oil on Vulcans what seems like a million times and never had this happen before).

The next thing I know, I've got sparks shooting everywhere and oil is dripping out of the filter, not to mention the drain pan of oil sitting underneath!! I get the wrench in a position that isn't shooting sparks and begin trying to see what's happening, but if I let go of the wrench, sparks everywhere again....

No one was around so I had no choice but to get the wrench out of there, so I finally just twisted and pulled (with major sparks) until I got it out of there.

The whole time, I'm just waiting for a big flaming oil fire!!!!

Anyway, when I got the wrench out of there, the metal band of it was melted completely through, half way across the band!! Also, a hole had melted through the side of the oil filter.

What had happened was that the red plastic cover that snaps over the positive contact on what I believe was the alternator (below and slightly behind the oil filter, just to the driver's side) had come loose and the wrench was hitting the contact the whole time!! Current was flowing from that positive contact, across the metal wrench strap, through the oil filter and to the grounded engine block!!

Weird, dangerous, and true....
Don't you mean it shorted to the positive terminal on the starter? Thats very crazy though! I've never had that happen while changing the oil on my vulcan. I've always been able to take it off by brute hand force
I have accidentally cause some major sparks before (by accident of course). I was about to perform a Tach-n-time on a newly installed diesel motor (basically setting the injection pump, which is a manual fuel injection system) I set the tach-n-time unit on top of the passenger side battery (these trucks have 2 batteries) and when I bumped the passenger side fender well the hood hinge swung down (the hood had previously been removed) Once the hinge swung down it hit right on the starter solenoid terminal mounted on the passenger side fenderwell, it immediately welded itself to it!! (Keep in mind the batteries are both about 1000 CA each with a 1/0 gauge wire connecting the two) As i'm fighting the welded hinge loose from the starter solenoid, smoke starts coming out from behind the engine!

That wasn't fun! Fortunately for me, I didn't have to repair the melted wiring
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Here's a tip if you don't have a filter wrench and need to twist off a stuck filter:

Get a philiphead screwdriver and pound it through the filter with a hammer, then loosen the filter using the screwdriver as a handle. If you have drained the oil, it shouldn't be too messy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Originally posted by civicex@Feb 10 2004, 10:26 PM
Here's a tip if you don't have a filter wrench and need to twist off a stuck filter:

Get a philiphead screwdriver and pound it through the filter with a hammer, then loosen the filter using the screwdriver as a handle. If you have drained the oil, it shouldn't be too messy.
Oh it's messy alright!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
From above: "Oil filter wrenches? Don't you sissies have any forearm muscle?"


Ok, the reason I use the wrench to get it off is that I tighten it as tight as I can by hand and then give it a little "extra", using the wrench when I put it on....It's just something that I picked up from my dad, you're guaranteed to never have a filter come loose that way (of course you can't tighten too much with the wrench or you'd crush the filter...)

and


"Don't you mean it shorted to the positive terminal on the starter?"

Yeah, of course, that sounds much better (sometimes I swear my brain goes on vacation...how would there have been juice coming from the alternator with the motor turned off?!?!?!......)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
QUOTE
Anyway, when I got the wrench out of there, the metal band of it was melted completely through, half way across the band!! Also, a hole had melted through the side of the oil filter.[/b]
With all those sparks and the resulting metal disfiguration, it sounds like some pretty serious 12v arcing was going on there...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Exactly, because the wrench became lodge between the positive contact (a bolt) and the oil filter, it spent quite a bit of time completing the circuit while I struggled to get it out of there (being VERY careful to keep my hand on the rubber part of the handle)...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,181 Posts
why do you put the filter on so tight? I put mine on as tight as I can by hand. I do not see how it would vibrate loose in 6000k if its nice and snug.. just my opinion, but man that would be scarey as hell havin to put up with sparks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,959 Posts
I'm glad to hear you went hurt.

It has always been my understanding to not overtighten the oil filter. I have changed hundreds of filters and I only tighten the by hand. I run the filter all the way down then go 1/2 turn more and back it of 1/4. I've never had a filter leak or come off.... and I've never had to use a tool to remove the filter. I was told that overtightening the filter can damage the rubber O-ring.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
501 Posts
I always pull the battery whenever working in the engine bay, even if its for 10 minutes to change the oil. Electrical burns on the hands are very, very painful.
 
B

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Now we all know why Chiltons recommends, before doing anything, to disconnect the battery.


Glad you weren't hurt though!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
952 Posts
Originally posted by Bob Gervais@Feb 11 2004, 07:49 AM
Now we all know why Chiltons recommends, before doing anything, to disconnect the battery.


Glad you weren't hurt though!
I think most of the Ford Service CD starts with that step too.
They either start with Disconnect the battery (See Section "Disconnecting the Battery")

or

Raise the vehicle (See section "Raising the vehicle")

-Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,126 Posts
You should never overtighten an oil filter. You risk the deforming of the gasket if you do. The biggest problem that comes from leaking or loosening filters is the old gasket is stuck to the oil filter adaptor.

Always lightly coat the new oil filter gasket with some oil or grease then <span style="font-family:Arial">FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE FILTER!!!!!!!!</span>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Ok, Ok jeezzz! Enough already, I mean good grief, what is that like 48 point red font?!?!

I'm not an idot here, I know not to overtighten the oil filter. Come on here folks, I said I tighten it a LITTLE BIT with the wrench. I've never stuck the gasket to the engine, or crushed a filter......Clealy, if the filter is over-tightened, the gasket will not function properly and you risk damaging the filter itself....


Besides, that has nothing to do with the sparking problem. As far as I know, I'm not the only one in the world who takes his oil filter off with an oil-filter wrench! This was meant as an interresting story and a word of caution about the potential for sparks if that red plastic cover comes loose....
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top