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Oil and Filter Change
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Oil and Filter Change

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50 to $75

Talent:

*

Tools:

Oil filter removal tool, 19mm socket or wrench, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW E10 2002 Coupe/Conv (1967-76)
BMW E21 320i Coupe (1977-83)

Parts Required:

Oil and Filter

Hot Tip:

Get the engine warm before you drain the oil

Performance Gain:

Longer engine life

Complementary Modification:

Flush your cooling system

One of the most common tasks to perform is replacing your engine oil. Frequent oil changes are perhaps the most important procedure you can do to maintain and prolong the life of your engine. With the better oils that are available today, the requirement for frequent changes is diminishing but I usually recommend that you keep the changes under the 3,000-mile limit for smaller engines. If you don't drive your car too often, you should change the oil at least once a year to keep things fresh.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have everything that is required for the job. Nothing is more frustrating than emptying your oil, only to find out that you don't have a replacement filter or enough oil. You will need an oil filter, a 19mm wrench or socket, an oil filter housing socket, a new drain plug crush washer, a roll of paper towels, a very large oil pan or bucket, and 5 quarts of oil. The motor should take 4.25 quarts or 4 liters when changing the oil and filter. Start by driving the car around, and let it heat up to operating temperature. You'll want to empty your oil when it's hot, because the heat makes the oil flow a lot easier. More particles of metal and dirt will come out when the oil is emptied.

Next, safely jack up and support your car. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle for more info.

The oil filter is located on the left side of the motor (yellow arrow) and is best taken out from below.
Figure 1

The oil filter is located on the left side of the motor (yellow arrow) and is best taken out from below. The drain plug is located on the lower right side of the pan (red arrow).

Place a large drain pan under the plug and use a 19mm socket and remove the plug (red arrow).
Figure 2

Place a large drain pan under the plug and use a 19mm socket and remove the plug (red arrow). The oil will be hot if you have warmed the engine, so watch your hands.

The stream of used oil will change as it drains out so don't open the drain plug and walk away.
Figure 3

The stream of used oil will change as it drains out so don't open the drain plug and walk away.

Always inspect the drain plug for any signs of trouble like metal or debris and replace the crush washer.
Figure 4

Always inspect the drain plug for any signs of trouble like metal or debris and replace the crush washer. Once the oil has finished draining reinstall the plug, torque to spec, as most people tend to really over tighten this plug.

You will need a special oil filter removal socket to get at the filter.
Figure 5

You will need a special oil filter removal socket to get at the filter.

The filter (red arrow) mounts to an external bracket on the motor, so you want to use the right tool for removal.
Figure 6

The filter (red arrow) mounts to an external bracket on the motor, so you want to use the right tool for removal. Do not put any sideway torque on the mount when removing or installing.

Fit the socket to the end of the filter (red arrow) and remove it.
Figure 7

Fit the socket to the end of the filter (red arrow) and remove it. The filter should not be on very tight but most people, some shops included tend to really over tighten the filter to its mount.

Even though you have drained the oil the filter will still be full, so make sure you keep it upright while removing it (red arrow).
Figure 8

Even though you have drained the oil the filter will still be full, so make sure you keep it upright while removing it (red arrow).

Clean and check the condition of the mount (red arrow).
Figure 9

Clean and check the condition of the mount (red arrow).

Place a small film of fresh motor oil on the oil filter gasket and install it onto the mount (red arrow) Most filters only need to be installed hand tight but I recommend hand tight, then a 1/4 turn with the socket.
Figure 10

Place a small film of fresh motor oil on the oil filter gasket and install it onto the mount (red arrow) Most filters only need to be installed hand tight but I recommend hand tight, then a 1/4 turn with the socket.

Open the fill port on the front of the valve cover.
Figure 11

Open the fill port on the front of the valve cover. Unless you have really steady hands use a funnel. Our project car happened to be the Clarion Build's BMW 2002 and no way were we running the risk of spilling oil on the fully restored engine. Add four quarts or 4 liters of oil, give it a minute to settle, start the motor and let it run for a few minutes. While the engine is running check for any leaks. Shut the engine off and give it a few minutes again for the oil to get to the bottom of the pan. Check the dip stick and add oil as needed. DO NOT OVERFILL WITH OIL--THIS WILL DAMAGE THE ENGINE!

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Comments and Suggestions:
crav Comments: Thanks! I just got a 1976 2002 and it's time to get fluids freshened.
December 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Sun 1/22/2017 03:03:17 AM