By Jerry Wells, photos by Barry Lee Brisco
I have two basic procedures:
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:
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: