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Author Topic:   Oil Extraction Vacuum Pumps
jimh posted 01-19-2004 09:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
There are two prominently marketed oil extraction vacuum pumps available:

--The Topsider oil pump is a small metal container with a vacuum pump and hose. It is a favorite among Mercedes-Benz owners;

--The Tempo Oil Boy is a plastic pump with a large container. It is new on the scene, but appears well built.

The salesman at a local marine supply house told me that "for every three Topsider's he sells, two come back, but I haven't had one of the plastic ones returned, yet."

Users with first hand experience with either of these devices are invited to post comments.

I am planning to buy one or the other of these. In addition to changing the oil on the car, you can also change transmission fluid with these. Of course, for the 4-stroke outboard these devices may also be handy.

Tempo Oil Boy:

Topsider Oil Pump
[Can't find a link anywhere.]

jws posted 01-19-2004 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jws  Send Email to jws     
I bought the Tempo Oil Boy. So far very pleased with it. It takes very few strokes to get the fluid out and it is quick. I thought it was kind of pricey at around $50 but it sure is convenient, quick, easy and clean. It has a somewhat limited capacity but it is very easy to empty the contents.

I also checked into the Topsider and read some negative user reports on it.

WSTEFFENS posted 01-19-2004 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     

For what purpose? From a professional mechanic's view (ASE) thease things are a joke! One is in the case of crank case oil, the solids not trapped by the filter are in the bottm of the pan (the gray stuff). You can only get it by draining the pan thru the plug. Second for a transmission, what about the filter under the valve body? You have to pull the pan to get to it. From my point of view it is pure "As Seen on TV" type feel good maintenance.

Just my .02$ for what it is worth!



Knockerjoe posted 01-19-2004 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knockerjoe  Send Email to Knockerjoe     
Jim, I owned a Topsider and was very dissapointed in it's performance. I urge you not to buy one! It really was a piece of junk. The Tempo looks good though.
WSTEFFENS : in many inboard boats it is impossible to use the oil pan drain plug that is why these contraptions are used. Pull any marine catalog and you will see a dozen or so diffrent deviced meant to pull oil out of your pan. h the question is how many really work?
RMS posted 01-20-2004 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for RMS  Send Email to RMS     
Jim, I have neither brand you're looking for but I do have a homemade version and a word of caution regarding these pumps. On my LandCruiser, the pump works great on the oil sump and pulling the sump drainplug results in no additional oil removal. However, when pulling the plug on my Volvo after using the pump, another quart or so of oil comes out. Good luck.
Tom2697 posted 01-20-2004 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
We tried the metal version of this on my father's I/O with a 302. We experienced two problems. The first is that not all of the oil is removed. The unit will only suck up oil that contacts the end of the vacuum line. If you don't locate it far enough into the motor, some of the oil will not be touched. Also, WLS said it right about the sludge Second, DO NOT lean on the carrying handle while pumping the vaccuum! Our can collapsed and then made quite a mess.

We have since gone back to the old school style of using the drainplug.

dgp posted 01-20-2004 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
I'm on my second Topsider; first one would not hold vacuum long enough to withdraw one quart. Second one works normally.
I would select another brand.
The vacuum method is preferred by Mercedes Benz. It worked very well on my VW diesel especially removing the oil from the base of the oil filter housing and oil cooler located below it.
I found it best to insert a 6" section of copper tubing into the end of the plastic tubing. This gave me a metallic sound when the end of the tubing hit the bottom of the oil pan.
WSTEFFENS posted 01-20-2004 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     

I am not here to start a fight. However, this doesn't seem to be a "Whaler" forum issue.

For K-Joe & RMS, Joe: there are plenty of "trick" drain plugs that can be installed on "badly designed" IO & other inboard installations, that then don't require the suck thru the stick tube solution.

RMS: This may sound harsh, and it is not ment to be, but if you can afford an "high dollar" land vehicle, (by the way your insite is very interesting), why wouldn't you take the time to remove the skid plates, body aromor, etc and use the drain plugs provided by the mfg?. They arn't there for fun, and by a long point are some of the best design features of the vehicle. Look a BMW oil pan for example, a beautiful example of die cast aluminum with ribs and cooling fins. A true work of industrial art! And intrestingly being coppied by domestic type manufactures as it is not just esthetic,but also functional. Sound containing and cooling all in one! (sweet).

Lets put this pup sleep!



jimh posted 01-22-2004 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I believe on the Mercedes-Benz vehicles there is no oil pan sump drain plug, so extracting the oil via the dipstick is the only method for changing it.

The oil is changed when very warm, with the notion that any solids (the "gunk") will be in suspension and will be withdrawn with the oil.

Most automatic transmission pans do not have a drain, although curiously the newer GMC transmissions now often do have a drain plug.

It sounds like the reputation of the Topsider has suffered.

Dick posted 01-22-2004 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
In the marine industry there are two ways of extracting the old oil. Sucking it out through the dip stick tube or draining it with the oil pan plug.
There are drain hose assemblies that replace the oil pan plug. If the boat is on a trailer the hose can be run through the hull drain and into a bucket, in the water a suction pump can be attached to the hose.
By far the most used method is sucking the oil out through the dip stick tube.
We do hundreds of oil changes a year and use the Jabsco 12V oil change pump. Haven't seen one of the drain hose installations in years.
I have sold both the Topsider and the Tempo unit and customer responce has been far better on the Tempo unit.

The key for an easy oil change is overlooked by most do it yourself types. Run the engine up to operating temp first.

In a marine engine you may not get quite all of the oil but with a good quality filter and frequent oil changes there should be no worry about sludge.

As far as vehicle oil changes go, my dealer does a great job.


diamondjj posted 01-22-2004 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for diamondjj    
That may depend on the year Mercedes. I own a 300D, change my own oil and there is definitely a drain plug on the oil pan sump.
WSTEFFENS posted 01-24-2004 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     

I find almost impossible to believe that MB didn't put a drain plug on one of their vehicles engine sumps. As a 30 plus year professional "wrench", I have never seen such a thing. My guess is that you ran across a tec, that didn't want to or mabe didn't know how to take off the "belly pan" to find the plug! Some domestic vehicles have had more than one plug on an oil pan! For MB, I can't buy it, sounds on the line of "swamp land" salemanship to me!

As or automatic transmissions, no generally on domestic vehicles there isn't a drain plug. The drill goes as follows. Loosen the pan bolts and let the ATF drain into a large pan. Remove the pan, clean, change the filter under the valve body, replace pan and gasket and fill with ATF. Its a dirty job and you can get severly burned with hot oil. That is why some dealers charge $100 plus for the service. If you don't pull the sump pan and clean it and change the filter, what is the point? Otherwise, it is "phoney baloney, plastic banna, good time rock and roll" maintence. (yea Rus L lingo!).

Domestic manufactures took two approaches to ATF changes. First was no drain plug, its there for life! When it burns up "thats life" and I sell you a new trany. Second was to bury deep in the maintenance and useage of tow equiped vehicles the ATF change schedule. This kept them out of the grease so to speak under "warrenty".

Some offshore manufactures do supply trans and even 3rd member (differential) drain plugs. Good for them.

Lastly, you have spent 30k plus on a tow vehicle, why would you skimp on good maintence? Makes no sense to me.



jimh posted 01-24-2004 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Walt--I don't own any Mercedes Benz vehicles. I just read owner comments on the web.

WSTEFFENS posted 01-24-2004 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     

Didn't want to offend you or anyone else. What you drive is what you want. I just think MB would think the problem over very carefully. I have great respect for the engineers there. I believe the tec that recommended that procedure just wanted the easy way out and to use his "oil sucker". There was an ATF oil change system around several years ago, that wanted to tap into the trans cooler lines and "pump" out and replace the ATF. Most knowagable people in the bussiness sayed away as it just stirred up the junk in the pan, didn't change the filter, and in really bad cases forced dirty fulid past the filter and into the valve body. This caused all sorts of problems with the servo valves and ball check valves! This is why I have such a low opnion of the suck out oil change.

As for "Dick", if you are trapped by bad design and bad installation, you do what you have to do. Its better than nothing. I am sure many installations survive under thease conditions. (Dick, I am in no way picking on you, I am sure what ever process is used it is the best that can be expected under the circumstance.)



Steve Leone posted 01-27-2004 12:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
I use an electric pump to remove sump oil. Warm the enginge up. Measure the dip stick tube and match the length with the insert tubing (the hard black plastic stuff works well). The pump is mounted on a 5 gallon pail and will spin either way with the flick of a switch. Necessary to easily remove the oil from the pail to the recycle bucket when finished. Mine is a manufactured model and is priced about $100.00. I use it quite frequently so the cost is absorbed. I belive you could make one fairly simply with some enginuity. Sludge that is in the bottom of the pan stays there. That is why it`s there in the first place. It does not move around and effect viscousity nor "cleanliness". Steve
weekendwarrior posted 01-29-2004 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
If you're the garage gadget type of guy and you have compressed air then it's easy to make your own oil removal tool very inexpensively. All you need is a rigid container with a lid, some type of venturi vacuume (I used a sand blaster nozzle) and some hoses. You poke two holes in the lid of the container sized so that your hoses press in firmly. In one hole you insert the oil line, insert this hose several inches into the container and leave enough line to insert down the dipstick tube. In the second hole insert the suction line from your vacuume tool, only insert it about 1". Turn on the air and you get spectacular vacuum in the container and the oil line and the oil is deposited right into the container. The biggest problem that I have had is finding a container that is rigid enough. A metal container would be best, I have only been able to find plastic and if I turn the air up over about 40psi the container collapses. Anyway, works great and thought I would share. This also works great for bleeding brakes single handedly (suck the brake fluid out through the bleed screw).
RMS posted 01-29-2004 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for RMS  Send Email to RMS     
WeekendWarrior, what you describe is similar to my system, given to me a few years back my an older gentleman. The container for this system is an old propane canister, which works well. A 1 1/2" cirular hole was cut near the top, and a rubber stopper with two hose connections is inserted there. While I wouldn't recommend it, I have seen large wine bottles (1 gallon size) used in the same manner. Bob
Bigshot posted 01-30-2004 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Being I have owned many a Benz....Jimh is correct, sorry WSTEFFENS. My ML320 had a "small" drain plug but it was off to the side and if removed it shot oil(at a very high pressure) at your brake rotor. I complained to Benz and they said it is because it is meant to be sucked out via the dipstick. The newer Benz's do not even have the plug, they have a oil management monitor that tells you when to have it dipstick either.

Being I have one of the Tempo pumps but the older brass model which is sturdier, I can say that they do remove more oil than Jiffylube allows to drain out. If I remove my plug after pumping I get a shot glass full if lucky. My dipstick on my transmission is not there and the pull thingy says "see your dealer" on it. Mercedes loves you to see them.

It is not the easiest thing in the world to drain 8.5qts out of a tiny dipstick hole. For those of you who are concerned about getting the tube to the bottom, you don't need the tube. Just stick the pump on the end of the dipstick tube and pump. The metal dipstick tube goes to the bottom of your pan, or at least on all of mine it does.

For any further questions you will have to as JB because I traded the ML in for a new Seville on Tuesday.

WSTEFFENS posted 01-30-2004 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     

I stand corrected. You owned one, I only worked on them in the 60's- mid 90's. And no dip stick really puts me over the edge. They (MB) either have a real handle on it or are going to be big in rebuilt engines. By the way, if there is no dip stick, how do you suck the oil out? Sounds to me as the (MB) is adapting the same philosphy they use with the F1 engnes (its in the crate, and don't monkey with it) to passenger car power plants.

Thanks for the information, oil shooting on a brake rotor doesn't supprise me, however the elimination of the drain and dip stick is bizzar. You learn something every day!



Bigshot posted 01-31-2004 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I guess it is like my Tranny dipstick, just a cap that says "See Dealer". Not sure what models have no dipstick and the monitor, it was being "phased in".

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