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I have a question about putting the tube in the dipstick hole: did you put it to the same depth/length as the dipstick? Follow up question: how do you know the dipstick goes all the way to the bottom of the pan? How do you know it doesn't stop on a 'shoulder' in the pan?

I have had cars which can show no oil on the dipstick but still has oil in it...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I have a question about putting the tube in the dipstick hole: did you put it to the same depth/length as the dipstick? Follow up question: how do you know the dipstick goes all the way to the bottom of the pan? How do you know it doesn't stop on a 'shoulder' in the pan?

I have had cars which can show no oil on the dipstick but still has oil in it...
Q1- The suction tube that inserts into the dipstick tube goes all the way to the bottom of the oil pan. The heavy black line I drew on the suction tube (a tip from the instructions) matches the full inserted length of the dipstick itself, clear to the end of the stick. This helps you know that you've inserted the suction tube at least the length of the dipstick and that there is still some distance to go. The extra, arbitrary black marks helped me judge the distance between the absolute bottom of the dipstick and the bottom of the pan, which is roughly 2 more inches. You only insert the suction tube until it hits the pan. You'll feel that happen, don't shove in anymore tube.

Follow-up/Q2- It seems what stops the dipstick from inserting itself any deeper into the dipstick tube is the dipstick pull handle on top the stick. It is formed to have a slightly snug press fitment into the dipstick tube, securing it in place. I am assuming the "wet" end of the dipstick is simply suspended in the oil, not bottoming-out hitting the pan.

Steve.
 

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Stevet:
The mfg. of this product would be very interested in your review and pay you for it. Excellent review.
Sell it to the mfg. and buy a new A/R 6-C with your new found $.

Shark, It's simpler than draining from the bottom, try it..
 

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Seems a whole lot easier than raising the car level. That is a job, otherwise you won't get it all. Lets not forget all the screws, fasteners, and whatever to get to the oil pan before draining the oil. Then you have to do it all over in reverse. I don't think you will find any sludge in these engines, or any engine for that matter, running today's fancy synthetics. My truck? I can almost walk under it, no biggie doing it from below, but not necessarily any better. It also runs on some fancy FCA synthetic oil. I have a couple freebies from the dealer, but once they are gone, I will certainly go the top route if I choose not to pay somebody to do it.
 

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Seems a whole lot easier than raising the car level. That is a job, otherwise you won't get it all. Lets not forget all the screws, fasteners, and whatever to get to the oil pan before draining the oil. Then you have to do it all over in reverse. I don't think you will find any sludge in these engines, or any engine for that matter, running today's fancy synthetics. My truck? I can almost walk under it, no biggie doing it from below, but not necessarily any better. It also runs on some fancy FCA synthetic oil. I have a couple freebies from the dealer, but once they are gone, I will certainly go the top route if I choose not to pay somebody to do it.
This is what I picked up... will use it at next oil change --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=295&v=CK5WGBRi8cc
 

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The wonders of You Tube
The reason I posted that particulair video link is because it shows the unit being used with an air compressor. I know you can just pump it manually 30 times to build a vacuum, but since I have the compressor it should make a relatively easy job easier. My only concern if doing this all top side is how much oil will drip from the filter on to the skid plate/pan when removing the filter. My mechanic is convinced top side approach is the best way if you do frequent oil changes, in particular if you don't have access to a lift. I saw a video on youtube of a Mercerdez Mechanic who compared topside to traditionil. He pulled oil pan after each change and measured amount of oil left in the pan after each approach. Top Side Vacuum extracted more oil, required less tools, had less risk (No jacking, noting to be cross threaded, over torqued, etc).

Pump was $70 on amazon. There are plenty of other things I can use a small/effective vacuum pump for.
 

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The reason I posted that particulair video link is because it shows the unit being used with an air compressor. I know you can just pump it manually 30 times to build a vacuum, but since I have the compressor it should make a relatively easy job easier. My only concern if doing this all top side is how much oil will drip from the filter on to the skid plate/pan when removing the filter. My mechanic is convinced top side approach is the best way if you do frequent oil changes, in particular if you don't have access to a lift. I saw a video on youtube of a Mercerdez Mechanic who compared topside to traditionil. He pulled oil pan after each change and measured amount of oil left in the pan after each approach. Top Side Vacuum extracted more oil, required less tools, had less risk (No jacking, noting to be cross threaded, over torqued, etc).

Pump was $70 on amazon. There are plenty of other things I can use a small/effective vacuum pump for.
Agreed, I have a compressor but not a lift. I guess I should look to see where the oil filter is hiding. On a side note, I had a 41' boat with twin Caterpillars and an 8KW diesel Genset. There was no way to get under those motors to change the oil, so the boat came with an elaborate, permanent mount oil change system for the engines and generator, not to mention the challenge of moving gallons of oil from under the pan. It was electric, all you had to do was position your drain/fill hose and 5 gallon drum and flip a valve to that engine. Same for putting in fresh oil, just flip valve the other way. Never had any issues, and that was using Cheap Shell Rotella
 

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... I saw a video on youtube of a Mercerdez Mechanic who compared topside to traditionil. He pulled oil pan after each change and measured amount of oil left in the pan after each approach. Top Side Vacuum extracted more oil, required less tools, had less risk (No jacking, noting to be cross threaded, over torqued, etc).

...
However, aren't Mercedes designed to have the oil pumped out from the top? The pan would be designed so that the 'low point' is where the vacuum tube would go. A conventional pan is designed so the low point is at the drain plug, and not necessarily at the filler tube extrapolated point.
 

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This is what I picked up... will use it at next oil change --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=295&v=CK5WGBRi8cc
As we had discussed before I am afraid of the tech guys and the V4 air intake and getting to the oil filter, so I have the EWK system as well. I have also said I had a free oil change coming from my salesman but was thinking of not using it for those reasons. This morning I get an email from Mopar with my name and Vin number for a free oil change and $5.00 off tire rotation, which they charge $22.00 usually. I may have to break down and maybe speak to the tech guy, lol. That is 2 free oil changes now, hard to pass up
 

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Those of you wondering how to lift a car level in your home garage to do the oil change bottom-side, here's an idea. I've done this before for other reasons, and it should work fine for an oil change. Back the car up onto a set of ramps. Jack and support the FRONT of the car with a jack and jack stands. Car is level, and your oil drains completely. Just a thought.
 

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Those of you wondering how to lift a car level in your home garage to do the oil change bottom-side, here's an idea. I've done this before for other reasons, and it should work fine for an oil change. Back the car up onto a set of ramps. Jack and support the FRONT of the car with a jack and jack stands. Car is level, and your oil drains completely. Just a thought.
This is what I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
It's been one year since my original post when I put the Topsider (TS) oil extractor into service. And since, sadly, it is "that time of year" again (I'm really becoming a winter hater), I thought I'd follow up with another report.

Unlike my first use of the TS, this time I put the car up on my full length wood ramps (the whole car is uniformly off the ground), and I checked the dipstick- the oil level was at the top of the hatch, where it has been all summer. The world conspired against me this season and I only logged 3000 miles, a mistake I won't repeat in '19.

Anyway, I used the TS exactly as instructed. After 8-10 minutes, it was pulling air bubbles- the sump was empty. After a half minute or so of sucking air I knew the vacuum was gone from the TS can. To experiment, I left the suction hose in the dipstick tube and spent another minute or 2 slowly and steadily pulling the vacuum pump handle to scavenge more oil. Lots of bubbles of oil continued to pull up, I'd guess enough for a couple-few ounces of oil.

After pulling the oil filter I used the TS to draw the old oil out of the bottom of the filter case- much easier and more effective than a turkey baster. There is quite a bit of oil captured there.

And now the big test. Having the car on the ramps, I went under there and pulled the oil sump drain plug and caught the remaining oil in a lab quality (+/-5% accuracy) Pyrex graduated beaker. I had a very thin stream of oil for a minute or two, then dripping. To be as accurate as my patience would allow, I caught the drip until drops fell once every three seconds. The beaker had right about 60ml oil oil in it, 2 ounces. There was more than that in the oil filter mount.

With a new Mann oil filter installed and Pennzoil 5/40 Platinum Euro full synthetic in the sump, 3.75 quarts brought the oil level up the factory dip stick right to the top of the hatch marks. The manual states 4 quarts. Oh, and not a drop in my oil catch can, but still a couple small oil smears inside my EuroCompulsion air intake tube and just barely into the turbo inlet itself. I wipe these out whenever I pull the EC air tube.

Moral of the story- as a DIY'er, I now have no reservation about pulling the old oil up through the dipstick hole. I may, on occasion, drain from the bottom of the pan just to assure I'm draining any settled heavy gunk, but for most of the normal oil changes I'll use the Topsider oil extraction pump.

Steve.
 

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I am next, glad you posted your observations. I have the ETK unit but have yet to use it. Next month the car will be one year old and it presently has 3600 miles. I really should have done it much sooner, as I typically change break in oil around 1500 miles, but all the EC goodies added to Spidy have given me pause, lol.
 

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