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Changing the Oil

September 28, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair

 By Jerry Wells, photos by Barry Lee Brisco

 

I have two basic procedures:

  • Easy, Change Oil Only
  • The Full Monty

Easy

Recently I have been changing oil that is fairly warm, that is, full engine temperature then cooled for approximately 40-50 minutes. All you need is:

  • a jack
  • jack stands
  • an oil draining reservoir (large plastic container from any FLAPS [friendly local auto part supplier])
  • 19mm socket and handle
  • 4 1/2 quarts of new oil
Proceed as follows:
  1. I like to put the rear on jack stands then raise the front with the jack so it's level for maximum oil drainage. Not sure how to safely jack up your car? Read how.

     

  2. Position the oil draining resevoir under the engine and remove the 19mm bolt from the bottom of the engine case. Use care as this is a pipe thread and is easily stripped. The oil will drain into the resevoir for recycling at your local auto parts store.

     

  3. Remove the lid of the oil filter container (save gasket for reuse) and pull out the oil filter. Use a rag to wrap it as it will be full of oil. Place the filter on the oil reservoir to allow it to drain while you use your turkey baster to remove the remaining old oil from the oil filter container. Wipe it clean with paper towels, re-install the filter and the top (Ed: others change the filter every time).

     

  4. Put the drain plug back in, being careful not to tighten it excessively! Just snug it in.

     

  5. Refill with 4 1/2 quarts of the oil of your choice. I use, and have used for 20 years, Pennzoil 20-50.

Ed: Refill with 4 to 4 1/2 quarts only if you have removed the oil filter and drained the oil filter housing. It will only require 3 to 3 1/2 quarts to fill if the filter has not been removed. Do not fill over the upper line on the dipstick.

 

Oil Choices: Conventional or Synthetic

Ed: The choice of what oil to use is a matter of some debate. Some prefer conventional oil because they change their oil at frequent intervals and the cost is reasonable. Some prefer synthetics like Mobil 1 based on claims that the engine will run cooler and you can stretch out your oil change intervals. Others who prefer Mobil 1 still change it every 3,000 miles or even more frequently.

The Full Monty

In addition to the above, remove the sump plate assembly: the plate itself, the strainer and the two gaskets. Check the magnet carefully for any sign of metal fragments such as shavings, "hair", etc, which can be a sign of engine wear. Clean the parts thoroughly with cleaning solvent. Reassemble with new gaskets. Use a small wrench or socket so as not to tighten too much (a warped plate is a major cause of oil leaks in 356 engines). Here's how Harry Pellow advises you attach the plate:

"The Sump Plate Studs use a flat 6mm washer, then a wavy 6mm washer then the 6mm nut. Tighten the nuts from the middle out, alternating from side to side, and REPEAT ABOUT 5 TIMES! But do NOT overtorque them (7.5 foot pounds is plenty)! That's the only way to stop sump leaks. If the Sump Plate holes are deformed upwards from overtightening, use a Ball Peen Hammer to redress them until they're flat."

The oil filter procedure is similar to above, except use a new filter and gasket.

I like to do the "Easy" method every 1000 miles, the more complicated one every 3000 miles.





This is part of our module on how to tune up your 356. Components include:

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