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Old 02-07-2015, 02:10 PM   #1
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DIY Oil Changes on Big Engines

I just completed my 1st oil change and service on my Cummins ISM. I was prepared and had a drain pan large enough (lower 1/4 of a plastic drum) to handle the 11 gal. I also changed the fuel, air dryer, and coolant filers, and the fuel filter and nozzle on the Hydro Hot. There were more grease fittings than I expected and a few were pretty tough to reach, on the fan drive U-joints. I then had to pump the oil from the drain pan into the empty gallon jugs to haul off to a reclaimed oil site.

I'm just curious how others handle this and what equipment you use to catch and transport the used oil. I don't see where you save much money over Speedco, after buying oil and filter. Do you do it because you enjoy it, for the certainty of it being done right, or for the convenience of not having to drive the rig across town or beyond. I wanted to do it the 1st time, more to familiarize myself with all the working parts. There is no Speedco in Austin and the nearest one is 85 mi each way. I did enjoy the experience gained, but I am undecided as to whether I will do it again in the future.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Being a heavy equipment mechanic for most of my 35 year career, I decided to have my oil changes done by someone else, when I retired. Been there done that.


I do keep an eye on them, though. Knowing how to do it yourself, is a valuable asset.


Enjoy
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:23 PM   #3
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I do mine for all the reasons you noted above.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:28 PM   #4
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I've never had to change the oil on a diesel and had to deal with that much waste oil.

I have always changed my oil and filter because I know it will be done correctly. Here's just one example. How tight do most tighten the oil filter???
Here's how I always taught my students and it NEVER, NEVER caused any problems.
Spin the filter on until the gasket contacts the block. Then find a spot, marking or put a mark on the filter and continue turning the filter 3/4 to 1 full turn.

That's it. It does not have to be any tighter. Most of the time I can remove (by hand) any filter I have put on without the aid of a filter wrench. That often depends on how accessible the filter is.

The same it true for the oil drain plug. I've started using the Futoma oil drain valve on the F-53 for ease of getting the oil out and into a container. That I'm sure would work for your diesel. You could fill up a container and with the flip of your finger you can stop the flow, change the container and resume.
Changing the filter is still a bit of a mess but not as bad.

TeJay
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:32 PM   #5
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I have it done at the Cat dealer with the oil and filters. It's just too much for me these day's. If I had a pit I would do it but I don't. At least when you do it yourself you know that you greased all the fittings. The Cat service is just a few blocks away from the house. Your case is that you are a long ways from a service facility....
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:33 PM   #6
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I use a 3 gallon oil pan that has a spout on it & stop it half way & dump it into a 5 gallon empty vegetable oil container I get from our local restaurant.I like doing it myself so I know it gets greased properly.Also a couple yrs ago my wife got her oil changed when I was out of town ,I checked it & it was still dirty,we took it back & got a refund,he offered to do it for free we declined,I've been doing it ever since.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:43 PM   #7
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I perform all my maintenance and engine work so far Scott, I do not do it to save money, I do it so when we back it out of the garage to head out, I am at peace, when I start it up to head out, that it was all gone over, and was done right. When I am under it, I care more, and look at a lot more things, and check stuff, than someone changing the oil, that I could hire ...........There will be a day when I am going to have to find someone to do it for me, but for now, in a heated garage, over the winter and when not in use, I do it all. My Father had a Excavating business, and we were brought up to do all our own maintenance and repairs in the shop........ I thank my Father for that lession........RIP Dad!
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
I've started using the Futoma oil drain valve on the F-53 for ease of getting the oil out and into a container. That I'm sure would work for your diesel. You could fill up a container and with the flip of your finger you can stop the flow, change the container and resume.
Changing the filter is still a bit of a mess but not as bad.

TeJay
Very interesting about the Fumoto drain valve. Do they hang down very far and is the any danger of getting knocked off from road debris? It seems like the oil pan is very low to the ground already without something hanging down below it.

And like you said, whoever changed the oil on the Onan last, went crazy on the drain plug. I hade to use a 24" breakover to get it broke loose. There's no reason for this.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
My Father had a Excavating business, and we were brought up to do all our own maintenance and repairs in the shop........ I thank my Father for that lession........RIP Dad!
My story is similar to yours in regards to line of work. Although I have to be honest that I haven't done any of the oil changes on our heavy equipment for the last 25 years. What do you use to capture and haul the oil. I barely had enough head room to maneurver something large enough to hold 11 gal oil, underneath the pan. Then I had an open topped container with 11 gal of used oil to deal with.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:57 PM   #10
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I have always done my own Lube Oil & Filter changes on the RV and Generator as I know it will be done right and all mess will be cleaned up . While under the coach it also gives me the opportunity to inspect the undercarriage to include exhaust system, wiring, brakes, hoses, belts, look for leaks and loose bolts, etc. I prefer to do my own inspections as they are more detailed and I can judge the urgency for repair/replacement.
I transported my waste oil in 5 gal Gerry cans to a friendly recycler where I could pour out the oil.
Major and difficult services which require special tools or help I leave to others to do for me like transmission, replacing brakes, suspension.
Doing the work I can saves me a little money and allows me to learn more about my RV inside and out. It also gives me a since of accomplishment.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
My story is similar to yours in regards to line of work. Although I have to be honest that I haven't done any of the oil changes on our heavy equipment for the last 25 years. What do you use to capture and haul the oil. I barely had enough head room to maneurver something large enough to hold 11 gal oil, underneath the pan. Then I had an open topped container with 11 gal of used oil to deal with.
I cut off a 55 gallon plastic drum, maybe 16" tall, and cut handle slots in it to handle it.......
I put some big blocking under the rear jacks, raise it enough to make a good work height........with the big blocking up under the jacks, it they fail, it can only drop to where the jack is retracted, and not come down any further. Then it is into a big used oil drum in the back of the shop, when full, a buddy takes the drum, empties it and returns the empty drum.........uses it in a oil fired heater in his shop works for both of us!
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:28 PM   #12
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I, too, just did my first oil change on my ISC. It takes about 24 qts, including the filter. I use a 5 gal bucket. First I used the bucket to catch the old filter and drip oil. Then I filled and installed the new filter. Next I drained the oil pan. After most of the dripping had stopped I put the plug back in and DW held the funnel as I dumped the gal jugs of Royal Purple 15W40 down the fill tube. When the engine was run and inspected for leaks I topped off the oil. Then we filled the containers with the old oil and I returned it to O'Reilly's.

A side note: I send a sample to the lab for testing. Now that I am using Royal Purple I will be testing it annually and changing it per the test results.

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Old 02-07-2015, 03:30 PM   #13
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TeJay said,


continue turning the filter 3/4 to 1 full turn.


Gee, I thought that meant 3 or 4 turns, no wonder I can't get it loose
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:42 PM   #14
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I cut off a 55 gallon plastic drum, maybe 16" tall, and cut handle slots in it to handle it.......
Yep, I had the same, minus the handles. I borrowed it from our fuel and lube truck.

Anybody used one of these 14.5 Gallon Oil drain. It is on sale now. Last week when I was looking for something, it was not and I didn't buy it.
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