Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

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Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby Danny R » Sun 28.06.2015, 11:29

I'm trying to change my oil and filter now I've got mine running something like normal.
I've had a quick look on here and in the Lotus Service Manual, my question is, How do you get to the oil filter?

The inlet manifold is in the way if you go from the top. I've crawled underneath with the car supported on axle stands but the front suspension seems to be in the way.
I'm now thinking of going in through the driver's side wheel arch but that looks like a flawed method. I don't think I have the reach or dexterity for that and I don't think I'll be able to get my chain wrench around it.

I'd appreciate any tips from anyone who doesn't use a four post lift and an array of lotus specialist gear - like me!

Cheers.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby GeoffSmith » Sun 28.06.2015, 11:37

Plastic bag and a few newspapers do you?

http://wikilec.9600.org/index.php/Oil_change
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby Danny R » Sun 28.06.2015, 11:45

Thanks Geoff,

I looked through the Wiki and somehow managed to miss this.

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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby GeoffSmith » Sun 28.06.2015, 11:58

No problem Dan, I've just done another oil change with very little mess. The key is funding the easiest route for your arm.

PS I've just noticed where you're from..... maybe the suggested tools are on the pricey side. :mrgreen:
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby Danny R » Sun 28.06.2015, 21:23

That method worked quite well for me, the old filter was only hand tight so got it without a tool. I did end up spilling oil from the filter removal and pre-loading the filter didn't help much, but overall - success.
Finished off with 4 new plugs as well.

GeoffSmith wrote:PS I've just noticed where you're from..... maybe the suggested tools are on the pricey side.


Aye, true t' mi roots.


Thanks again,

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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 29.06.2015, 01:02

I've always gone in from the right hand wheel arch as suggested by the manual (Section EC Page 13) but will try Geoff's approach next time.

When I'm doing an oil change I'm usually interested in condition of spark plugs too so after fitting a pre-soaked but empty filter and refilled with oil I'll crank the engine on the starter with the plugs out for some time after the 'oil pressure' has come up on the gauge. Air from the filter has to pushed through the cooler and the main gallery before it gets out so I like to be sure when I do fire up the engine it will have oil pressure straight away.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby rip » Mon 29.06.2015, 12:57

lotusflasherman wrote:I've always gone in from the right hand wheel arch as suggested by the manual (Section EC Page 13) but will try Geoff's approach next time.

I think Elans vary here slightly. I would barely be able to fit my snooker cue through this gap in my wheel arch.
I have always accessed my oil filter using the method Geoff suggests. I now use K&N filters because they have a 1" removal nut built into the housing.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby muley » Mon 29.06.2015, 13:38

I always use the Geoff method unless a previous chimp has overtightened the filter. My added tip is to disconnect the battery 'cos there are beefy live connections down there (which can lead to a suddenly hot filter and LOTS of swearing!)

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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby Oliver » Sat 19.03.2016, 22:44

From above, stick your arm down behind the inlet manifold to grab the filter. If using a metal oil filter removal tool disconnect the battery first else you may short out the starter motor!!
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby esprit888 » Sat 19.03.2016, 23:34

Geoff,
Read your Wiki on this and must admit I've always done it from the RH wheel well after removing the wheel. For my next change though I'm going to give the Smith method a shot just to see if my Popeye forearms will fit :lol: One item I am not clear on is the Dirty bit Item 5.

'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.'

Is this done from the top, bottom or same side as you suggest loosening the filter? I'm struggling to understand how I can get the bags in there and loosen the filter so it falls into them. Also I tend to take my time with this so I would skip the warm up drive after loosening the filter. I will warm the engine with a quick spin then drain the engine oil then go have a nice lunch, maybe even a nap :D Then once cooled down attack the filter.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby clemo » Sat 19.03.2016, 23:45

I am a from the wheel arch in man .
dislocate my wrist , up over and round and twist .
that sounds so easy...

but the previous muppet had rammed it on so tight .so that time it was a long screw driver , punch a hole in the side and ram the thing off .. oil everywhere .
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby Simon_P » Sun 20.03.2016, 06:24

I only ever tried from the wheel arch once! And have used arm up a cow's backside method since.

It's hot and there are sharp bits so wear long sleeves and gloves (rubberised help grip also) and be careful not to break any clips or inadvertently dislodge vac pipes etc.

If you empty the sump and then kick the engine over with the starter (don't start it) you will empty the oil filter. You should be able to undo the oil filter, rotate it on your finger tips and withdraw your arm without making much mess.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby dapinky » Sun 20.03.2016, 10:50

Colin,

One other thing to bear in mind if attempting the 'in from the inlet manifold' technique is that your car is the wrong way round to ours......

.... I'm not sure if the brake master cylinder/servo will get in your way a bit, or if it is still the *easiest* way to try to do the job.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby alan e » Sun 20.03.2016, 11:44

i have a set of halfords oil filter 300mm pliers about £12 and take the filter out from under the car with no problem at all.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby daveiow » Sun 20.03.2016, 20:12

Simon_P wrote:I only ever tried from the wheel arch once! And have used arm up a cow's backside method since.

It's hot and there are sharp bits so wear long sleeves and gloves (rubberised help grip also) and be careful not to break any clips or inadvertently dislodge vac pipes etc.

If you empty the sump and then kick the engine over with the starter (don't start it) you will empty the oil filter. You should be able to undo the oil filter, rotate it on your finger tips and withdraw your arm without making much mess.

As some body who has spent quite few hours with their arm up a cows ..... :shock: helping them calve I can tell you how I do it -
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby rip » Mon 21.03.2016, 09:51

Having heard the methods used by others, I am convinced that there are several minor variations in the layout of the engine bay. I have seen my oil filter from the wheelarch. The gap is way too small to fit my hand & arm through. My hands are not huge either.
From underneath sounds like a lot of vehicle lifting to me. Ok if you have a hydraulic lift or inspection pit handy. I don't.

I am one of those who shoves my arm down behind the plenum. I wear an old leather jacket to protect my arm from the heat.
I can never decide whether a socket or spanner is easier (I use a K&N filter), so I am often swapping tools. I find that once I get my arm down there, I have no room to pass a tool to it with the other.
I am convinced the filter has the ability to move itself each time I remove my arm to change tools, just to annoy me so I have to spend another minute finding it again by feel. :roll:
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby HJ2 » Mon 21.03.2016, 12:24

Yep!

I found out that the filter moves a couple of inches after get put your arm out to grap a tool or a cloth :lol:
I replace it when I have the car on stands. Whilst laying under it, I reach in from the side and get the bugger out blindfolded by now without leaking....
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby tigerdog » Fri 25.03.2016, 19:24

Seems to make a real difference whether the car is RHD or LHD. The over the top method only seems viable on RHD cars. On my Fed Elan, I go in from the right side with the wheel off. Darned near impossible from any angle. I've thought seriously about using a remote filter mount but there's really no suitable location to put one. Some things are just meant to be difficult.
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby dapinky » Fri 25.03.2016, 20:35

tigerdog wrote:.... I've thought seriously about using a remote filter mount but there's really no suitable location to put one.....


I looked at the same sort of thing a while ago and decided that the *best* place was somewhere down by the horns/oil cooler - working on the principle that there are oil pipes going that way anyway, so it would *just* need to be spliced in.....

.... but then I got used to the arm-round-the-back method so decided that (for me) it wasn't worth any more thought :?
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Re: Oil Filter Access - How do the DIYers do it?

Postby John_W » Fri 25.03.2016, 23:10

I must say that, despite various comments over the last 15 years about oil filter access, I always jack up the RHS, remove the wheel, turn the steering to full RH lock, and just reach in and unscrew the filter. The new one goes on ditto. I have never experienced a problem. No tools necessary - just use my hand.
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