Oil change

From WikiLEC
Jump to: navigation, search

1. Release the oil filter

The oil filter should be removable by hand. Invariably, it is not and some sort of tool is necessary to assist in its removal - this is easy with a K&N filter as it has a hex key on the bottom however many are unbelievably smooth and provide no purchase. On lesser cars, this is usually not a problem and there are a wide variety of tools to assist in addition to the trust screwdriver hammered in to act as a lever. The oil filter on the Elan is cunningly concealed between the engine and the bulkhead, just below the plenum and above a variety of pipes etc.

There have been a multitude of suggestions for the best tool to assist in removing the Elan oil filter, but I (Geoff) rejected all for a Boa Constrictor. Although there are strap wrench type oil filter removal tools, there are two advantages to the Boa: Firstly, it is all plastic and secondly, I found one in the kitchen cupboard so apart from a clean in the dishwasher afterwards, it didn't cost me anything.

There have been many suggestions as the the best way in to the filter. I have tried from the top, the bottom and stopped short of taking off the wheel as I was convinced there was a better way. I recommend the best way in is from the side:

  1. Make sure the engine is cold/cool. Where your arm is going, there is no benefit in having a hot engine unless you've got shares in elastoplast.
  2. Set the wrench to the same size as the new filter and double back the strap to make sure it doesn't slip; I taped around the handle as well to make sure the strap didn't come out, but this is probably not necessary.
  3. Stand by the LH wing and rest your left arm on the cam cover.
  4. Feed your right arm in above the coolant tank and below the plenum until your elbow is at the coolant tank; you should be able to feel the filter to the left.
  5. Remove your arm, feed the wrench in and fit on top of the oil filter.
  6. With the wrench on the top of the filter and at a slight upward angle, there is just enough room to apply sufficient force to free even the most stubborn filter.
  7. Remove wrench and pop in dishwasher.
  8. Gently release then gently tighten up the filter by hand.
  9. Take the car for a spin to warm the oil.

2. The dirty bit

gallon tin ready for oil
oil flows where it should
bags of oil
admire the lack of mess
  1. Place the new oil filter upright and fill with new oil. Keep topping it up until it is saturated.
  2. Release the sump plug (M14 x 1.5mm with 22mm hex head) until you can turn it by hand.
  3. Place your oil collection tool on a newspaper under the sump. Depending on the type of receptical you use, you may have to jack the car up, but the gallon tin with a slightly concave side and 1" square hole that I've been using for years fits without needing a jack.
  4. Release the sump plug by hand, ensuring the oil flows where it should.
  5. Get a couple of plastic carrier bags one inside the other and place below the oil filter; release the oil filter into the bags and carefully withdraw. It is possible to do it without spilling any oil down the engine, onto the chassis members etc.
  6. Dispose of the oil filter in a responsible manner and allow the oil to drain.
  7. Replace the sump plug washer (A100E6159S or any 14mm x 20mm x 1.5mm copper washer - I got one for "Volvo 240/Saab" from the local accessory shop but many Fords, Hondas, Vauxhalls etc. have M14 plugs) and replace the sump plug. Torque to 20lbf.ft.or 27Nm.
  8. Tip the surplus oil out of the new oil filter into the engine and smear some oil around the seal.
  9. Clean the mating surfaces and fit the oil filter hand tight. There is a seal on the filter so don't overtighten it, as you will make it difficult to remove next oil change.
  10. Fill with oil: Lotus quote 3.5 litres / 6.2 imp. pints and the difference between maximum and minimum marks on the dipstick as 1.1 litres / 1.9 imp. pints.
  11. Run the engine and check for leaks around the oil filter and sump plug.
  12. Check the level and top up if necessary.
  13. Dispose of the used engine oil responsibly.
  14. Admire the lack of mess !