LW300 Oil change

I did my first oil change on the '01 LW300. (3L) It has been 5200 miles since I bought the car with 40K on it from Saturn. The Change Oil Soon lamp
just started to flash.
Found I needed a new tool. The oil plug is removed with a Torx T40 wrench. I had one but it sheared right off when I tried to remove the plug. Got a new one from Sears that attaches to a 3/8" breaker bar. The Oil plug is steel and has an O-ring in a groove under the head. Took a bit of coaxing to remove it but it came off easy after that.
Forgot how fast 5W30 oil drains when hot. Was trying to hold onto the plug while slowly removing it to keep from dropping it. didn't work, oil came gushing out and I dropped the plug into the catch basin. Was glad I had a sheet of cardboard on the ground to catch the minor spill. Fished the oil plug out of the basin with a magnet.
When the oil finished draining, cleaned off the mating surfaces and reinstalled the drain plug.
The owner's manual said that the oil filter is removed with a 17mm wrench. Not even close. I did notice a square recess in the end of the cover and found that a 3/8" ratchet fits it nicely. Since space was tight, I used the ratchet rather than a breaker bar but did need the added assist of a 1 foot length of pipe over the end of the ratchet. The cover has an O-ring and once the cover is partially removed, oil drains out nicely. The cover has a couple of flats in the threaded section and rotating the cover to get the flat facing down assists draining. Nice design in that the body of the oil filter has a bulge that forces the oil to drip from that point rather than running down the engine block.
The Fram CH8806 cartridge comes with a replacement O-ring for the filter cover. (surprising not with a replacement seal ring for the oil plug) Torque back on cover and plug. Fill with 5 quarts of API 10W30 for summer driving, check for leaks and all done. Now go to the fridge for a cold one...
Oppie _________________
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Yup someone thought it would be brilliant to take the age old hex head design for drain plugs and come up with something far far inferior for servicing. I think the use of a torx was an attempt to prevent over tighting of the drain plug. Not something that was really needed since its a thick aluminum pan. Btw you sure it was a t40 and not a t45? A t- 40 would fit but might risk gumming up the works.

Yeah keep in mind that the 3.0's and the 3.5's do not have that nub that continues past the threads (forget what thats called). So starting it and holding it in place before jerking it away takes skills. If they were GM engines they most likely would have that nub. Cant recall a GM engine not having that.

The owners manual said that??? Wow thats a typo. Its actually a 24mm. Most 3.0's do have a provision for a 3/8's ratchet, earlier ones dont seem to.

What? You mean you didnt get oil all over yourself? How did you do that the first time and.... :) Oh you had the front of the car jacked up so it was tipped back... Yeah stick that on a lift where its nice and level and get ready for an oil shower. Oh and watch out for that exhaust, if that engines been running and up to temp that oil filter housing gets hotter than...

Oil drain plugs seldom need the seal replaced so why change now? The 3.0 filters come with a new seal because I think the exhaust can bake the old one dry if it is used to many times. For the average owner that does their own oil changes, having to hassle with one of these engines a few times a year seems acceptable but when you have to do them daily you wonder wtf where they thinking.
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I have thought about drilling a hole through the bottom of the casing and tapping in a drain plug... Shades of filter changes in other cars where the pre-emptive strike was to punch a hole in the (spin on) oil filter cartridge an allow the oil to drain out before removing the filter. My old Plymouth would leak oil down the front of the engine and make a general mess when removing the filter without draining it first.
Still, with the front wheels on a pair of ramps and the rear on the ground, it was very clean and simple.
Next week, time permitting, I want to rotate the tires, inspect the brakes and suspension. Haven't found any grease fittings yet. Got to take a closer look.
Oppie
| | > Since space was tight, I used the | > ratchet rather than a breaker bar but did need the added assist of a 1 foot | > length of pipe over the end of the ratchet. The cover has an O-ring and once | > the cover is partially removed, oil drains out nicely. The cover has a | > couple of flats in the threaded section and rotating the cover to get the | > flat facing down assists draining. Nice design in that the body of the oil | > filter has a bulge that forces the oil to drip from that point rather than | > running down the engine block. | | What? You mean you didnt get oil all over yourself? How did you do that | the first time and.... :) Oh you had the front of the car jacked up so | it was tipped back... Yeah stick that on a lift where its nice and level | and get ready for an oil shower. Oh and watch out for that exhaust, if | that engines been running and up to temp that oil filter housing gets | hotter than... |
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Someone challenged the engineers to make the oil more difficult to change than on the S series.
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Say what you will but for me the all time sucky engineering (and I AM an engineer) was the Chevy Monza 8 cyl back in the late 70's. I was working in a shop on weekends and a monza came in for a tune up and oil change. Couldn't get to the rear spark plug. It was worse than on most of the big engines that were shoe-horned into tight engine compartments. Finally one of the older and more experienced mechanics came over after watching for a while and smiling. He cut a hole through the fender well which I found out later was GM's recommended service fix.
My faith is in techs and engineers that came from the trenches rather than right out of school. There is no education like having to fix other peoples problems and having the power to change things.
Oppie

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The 70's was nothing but sucky engineering... I just think that by now they could done a better job than they did on the 3.0 but they fell way short. These are some of the rules I use to judge modern engine: If you cant touch all the plugs or touch the fuel injectors without removing the intake, its a bad design. The 3.0 fails in those two areas and a lot more areas as well. I'm not saying its not reliable, just poor in the servicable department. Thats what happens when one outsources engines. The engine maker doesnt take responsibility, its not their logo on the nose of the car.
snipped-for-privacy@-nospam-ludl.com says...

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All points well taken. I keep telling myself that I just have to develop new troubleshooting skills. No more is it easy to pull a plug wire to do a cylinder balance test by seeing how the RPMs drop. Even to pull a plug and check the insulator color or to smell for gas is not an option. I'm still looking at OBD2 tools and if it is worth getting the extended codes. The 'old ways' are definitely done.
Earlier than the Monza snafu, I remember that on many cars of the 60's through 80's where they were said to 'run-on' or diesel when the key was turned off. Almost the entire industry had their heads stuck up their posteriors on that one. I had a '69 VW bug that would run for a minute when the engine was turned off hot. It would chug along and sometimes run a few turns backwards spewing the most obnoxious fumes. Easy fix was to put it in gear and stall the engine. The alleged gurus of the time said it was carbon deposits in the combustion chambers, an engine in need of a tune-up or that a higher octane fuel was needed. BS!
I had a revelation when marveling over the engine run-on, I pulled off the cable from the ignition coil and the engine quit immediately. Hmmm... Then I started to trace out the electrical system. The short answer was that a very poor electrical circuit was made between the battery, through the alternator idiot lamp (through the alternator field relay in the case of the VW generator though something similar with alternators) and to the ignition coil + terminal. This electrical path caused the Alternator lamp to come on when the ignition was turned off and the current flow was enough to make a poor spark. The 'FIX' was to add a 10 cent diode in series with the idiot lamp such that the lamp came on when the ignition was on and the engine not started. When the engine was running and turned off now, the idiot lamp stayed off and the engine quit immediately.
This worked on EVERY car that I did this on. Showed it to several service shops and they just thought I was a smart ass kid and didn't take it seriously (was 18 at the time). Even Detroit in their madness put throttle cutoff positioners on many cars. The solenoids were wired to the ignition circuit... the same one that was weakly energized still when the ignition was shut off. How brain dead was that?
Seems that in those days the mechanical guys ruled the design and the electronic / electrical designers got almost an afterthought. Now that the cars are so heavily integrated with computers and all manner of fancy electronics, I hope that the electrical engineers are getting more respect.
Oh well, time for dinner - Later Oppie

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Gee...I'm glad you're on our side. :-)
Oppie wrote: ...

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