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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, new member here. I have a 2002 Taurus SEL with 36,700 miles, and now that I live in a slightly more lenient apartment community I can actually perform my own basic maintenance on it. Hooray!

My questions stem (no pun intended) around the dipstick tube length, so hopefully someone out there has torn down a Duratec or two, or at least has more knowledge than I.

We also own a 1981 Mercedes Benz 240D, and one very nice asset of this car maintenance-wise is that the dipstick tube goes to the bottom of the sump. This means that oil changes can be done via a topsider (suck the soil from the dipstick tube into a storage container). As an aside, since the oil filter housing is mounted near the top of the engine, one could effectively perform an oil change wearing a tuxedo and not soil one's clothes. Pretty smart, those Germans.

If the Duratec has a similar capability, this means I buy a ShopVac, switch it on, and enjoy the adult beverage of my choice. If it doesn't, this means I buy a floor jack and jack stands, crawl underneath the car, etc, ad nauseum, and enjoy the adult beverage of my choice.

So, is it time for a ShopVac or time for a floor jack?
 

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I can't really answer your question, but I will say that if you can do it, it's better to change your oil the old fashioned way, crawling under there and removing the drain plug. You have to get under there anyways to do the filter, which on my '99 'tec is a little tough to get at and drips oil all over the place. Your 2002 is probably the same way. By removing the drain plug and draining your oil when it is warm, gravity and flow is on your side and will help to drainn the pan of any sludge or other thick stuff that can tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Using a vacuum pump through the dipstick tube will not remove as much of this junk if there is any present.
 

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Floor jack my friend. Buy the shop vac for cleaning the inside
 

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Yeah, you'll need a floor jack to get the oil filter off. But I have a question for dIESEL600 and I'm not trying to be a smarta$$ here: If the oil filter is properly doing it's job how why would anything be settling inside the bottom of the oil pan? If sludging is problem inside the engine draining the oil using the oil plug is not going to solve the problem. I really don't see any reason why using a suction pump or fluid evacuator and sucking the oil out of the dipstick tube is not a viable alternative to changing oil. M-B has been recommending this method for years, but their engines also have the oil filter on top of the engine so there's really no reason to go underneath the car.
 

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On my '02 SEL I jack the right (passenger) side up high enough to clear the front tire off the ground (and slide a jack stand under). This gives me enough room to access the filter and drain plug from the front. It turns out that letting the car down to get the last bit of oil never drains any oil out, so I don't drop it until everything is put back together. From start to finish I'm looking at 15 minutes, icluding wiping up the mess from the oil filter over the exhaust and crossmember.
 

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Originally posted by road_rascal@Jan 5 2004, 06:55 AM
Yeah, you'll need a floor jack to get the oil filter off. But I have a question for dIESEL600 and I'm not trying to be a smarta$$ here: If the oil filter is properly doing it's job how why would anything be settling inside the bottom of the oil pan? If sludging is problem inside the engine draining the oil using the oil plug is not going to solve the problem. I really don't see any reason why using a suction pump or fluid evacuator and sucking the oil out of the dipstick tube is not a viable alternative to changing oil. M-B has been recommending this method for years, but their engines also have the oil filter on top of the engine so there's really no reason to go underneath the car.
I'm sure it does not make a huge difference, but it just seems to me that using a suction pump could leave a little of the old oil in the pan, and I'm just really anal about stuff like that. I do, however, use a vacuum pump to change the oil in my boat, so that I do not have to drain the oil into the bilge. This system is a little different though. There is a tube that attaches directly to the drain plug on the oil pan, and it has a garden hose fitting. So you do not need to use the narrower dipstick tube. Even so, it is tough to get the last little bit of old oil out because air starts to get through and you lose suction.
 

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Next time I change oil in one of my vehicles I'll use the suction pump/ fluid evacuator/ LuquidVac/ whateveryoucallit and see how much oil I can actually get out of the dipstick tube before I remove the oil pan drain plug. I use my LiquidVac for getting trans fluid out. I can get 5.5 qts out of the Taurus and 6.33 out of the Windstar. Also comes in handy for sucking out power steering fluid. Can never go wrong with fresh fluids!
 

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Originally posted by road_rascal@Jan 5 2004, 02:25 PM
Next time I change oil in one of my vehicles I'll use the suction pump/ fluid evacuator/ LuquidVac/ whateveryoucallit and see how much oil I can actually get out of the dipstick tube before I remove the oil pan drain plug. I use my LiquidVac for getting trans fluid out. I can get 5.5 qts out of the Taurus and 6.33 out of the Windstar. Also comes in handy for sucking out power steering fluid. Can never go wrong with fresh fluids!
Good idea. I am curious to find out how well this method works. What kind of pump exactly do you use. For my boat I have one that attaches to an electric drill. It's very tiny but does an awesome job. It will suck all 5 quarts out of my boat in less than a minute. I will post a pic of it in a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Originally posted by road_rascal@Jan 5 2004, 02:25 PM
Next time I change oil in one of my vehicles I'll use the suction pump/ fluid evacuator/ LuquidVac/ whateveryoucallit and see how much oil I can actually get out of the dipstick tube before I remove the oil pan drain plug.
I scored an excellent deal today on a floor jack and jack stands (3.5 ton load capacity, $99 for the set) at Sears, but I'm still curious as to how this plays out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As an aside, can anyone tell me what the proper jacking points are so that when I use this new floor jack I don't crush a rocker panel or floor pan? I'm guessing that where the subframe connects is a good place to jack the car up, but what about where to place the stands?
 

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http://www.liquidvac.com

I think I paid about $39 for it at a local tool shop. It took about 7 minutes or so to suck out 6 1/3 qts of tranny fluid from my Windstar. I have had it for about a year now and it works very well.

As for jacking points the front 'frame' rails have enough room for a floor jack and a jack stand. I use a small block of wood sitting in the cradle of my floor jack. For the rear end you'll need unibody adapter pads to lift the car otherwise you'll crush body underneath.
 
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