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"NEW OWNER" of a 1991 SL 500 weekend toy. Hope I don't go broke maintaining it!
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Discussion Starter #1
This is weird. I changed my oil twice this past month (follow my posts to learn why).

1st - The first oil change, I used a MB OEM copper washer for the drain plug which I had picked up at dealer (no charge since I bought my oil pan gasket there/same day)

I had no leak after torqueing to 40 nM as indicated by service manual

2nd - Second oil change I used the copper washer that came with my STP oil filter. After torqueing to 40 nM - I have oil dripping and can't stop it.

I don't want to over tighten and risk damage to oil pan.

I did notice the STP-Provided drain plug copper-washer seemed THINNER (narrower) than the OEM copper-washer.

Any suggestions of what I can do without draining oil back out?
 

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Sith Lord
72 280SE 88 560SEC 92 E500 6.0 95 SL320 14 GLK350
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11,813 Posts
Tighten it, more.

Most mechanics in Lebanon don't use torquey torque; no fatalities on file.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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I don't have any ideas now that you're where you are. Stopping a leak from the outside is pretty much a lost cause.

I will offer that I buy OEM filters (Mann, Hengst, etc.) from autohausaz.com for a good discount. I have to buy the copper washers separately, but OE from aotuhausaz they're so cheap I bought quite a few so I'd always have one on hand.

I'm aware that some aftermarket filter companies like STP and Purolator simply repackage others' filters in their box so they can offer complete coverage to a store like Pep Boys, etc. In that case I'd trust the filter, but I would still want an OE gasket; who knows where they got those?

Or you could go the route of so many and buy an extractor...at least once you get the current issue resolved.

Good luck.
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,391 Posts
Tst, tst,

STP made filter?

Never.

Now you know why.

Get them from autohasaz.

Regards,
aam.
 

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"NEW OWNER" of a 1991 SL 500 weekend toy. Hope I don't go broke maintaining it!
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Discussion Starter #5
Yea. It's probably the gasket that came with the filter. I had some reservations as it seemed narrower (not as thick). 40 nM is ALOT of torque. I don't think I went that tight last time and was worried going tighter.

I may try just a little more tightness with a short handle wrench to see if that helps.

I'm going to take your advice and pick up a few OEM ones to keep for future. I think the STP gasket caused me problems
 

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"NEW OWNER" of a 1991 SL 500 weekend toy. Hope I don't go broke maintaining it!
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Discussion Starter #6
I got it now. Wife will kill me if I have to do a 3rd oil change in one month. Will try just tightening for now and making sure its centered well. should be warm enough to work in garage this weekend. Today was 18 in am 32 in pm.
 

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I got it now. Wife will kill me if I have to do a 3rd oil change in one month. Will try just tightening for now and making sure its centered well. should be warm enough to work in garage this weekend. Today was 18 in am 32 in pm.
You are right that 40NM is a lot of torque; the newer engines have the same thread size I believe and the spec is 25NM. I'd proceed very, very carefully. Better the devil you know (another oil change) than the devil you don't (stripped threads...ugh).

FWIW, you might want to think about replacing the drain plug itself. The shoulder can deform a bit over time and affect the ability to seal. You should be able to get the drain plug bolt and a new gasket from your stealer for under $5.

BTW, good for you for checking afterward. Too many people don't do that.
 

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Moderator
SL55, 300SE, GL450, Daytona 955i
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one late and stupid suggestion, but it happened to me before...

are you sure there is no old washer stuck to the hole in the pan, and you're not double washering?
 

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"NEW OWNER" of a 1991 SL 500 weekend toy. Hope I don't go broke maintaining it!
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Discussion Starter #10
Good point actually as I have had the copper washer stick to the cap on the filter housing and had to pry it off with mini-flat-head screw driver.

I don't think that's the case here as I distinctly remember the old washer landing on my oil pan screen.

I'm leery of tightening more as I would not have applied 40 nM as it stands if the directions in AlldatayDIY didn't specify such.

AllDatay says:
20 nM for oil filter cap
40 nM for drain plug
10 nM for lower oil pan hex bolts
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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I'll say try replacing the drain plug bolt with new gasket. If you put your thumb at the hole, you have be able to retain most of the oil (but it could be messy).
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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I'll say try replacing the drain plug bolt with new gasket. If you put your thumb at the hole, you have be able to retain most of the oil (but it could be messy).
It will be amazingly messy, especially if you're laying on the ground nearby.

OP, if you go this route, buy a new bolt and gasket, so they're right there ready to go. Then unscrew the one you have...once you no longer need the wrench, press in against it while you loosen it until you feel the threads "jumping", then remove it and cover it with a finger immediately. Then position the other one and reverse it.

It won't be as bad as the gulf oil spill, but it will be ugly. Toss down a few layers of cardboard to catch the splatter that misses the drain pan.



To be honest, though, I'd probably use a clean drain pan and drain it all, then put in the new plug and gasket, and then use a large funnel and an old (but clean) T-shirt in a funnel as a filter and recapture all I could that way. But don't tell anyone I even mentioned that. ;)
 

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'97 SL500, 06 Subaru Outback, LL Bean 3.0
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This is weird. I changed my oil twice this past month (follow my posts to learn why).

Any suggestions of what I can do without draining oil back out?
I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but why not drain it into a container, get a new gasket and pour or siphon it back in?
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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I would slack the plug to make space, then I would use some plumbers Teflon tape in between.
Are you guys looking for work?
Wife, tee shirt, siphon, pump, girlfriend, fiiiiingeeer? ;) Haha.
There I said it .

Regards,
aam.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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I would slack the plug to make space, then I would use some plumbers Teflon tape in between.
Are you guys looking for work?
Wife, tee shirt, siphon, pump, girlfriend, fiiiiingeeer? ;) Haha.
There I said it .

Regards,
aam.
Why don't you try that specifically and let us know how it goes? Oil leaking past the threads, trying to hold the bolt so it doesn't turn while you try to put low-friction tape on a lower-friction slippery mess...and getting enough on the bolt to completely fill those gaps and not dropping the little spool...and then not getting tape so low and loose and sloppy on the threads that it shreds off inside the oil pan and possibly blocks an oil passage or two.

Certainly we each have our preferences, but that would be well down the list of crap I would try. ;)
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,391 Posts
Oh dear, I knew that there would be problems with this one. Haha.
But I always look for jokes & trouble.

(OK, here more explaining for the hardcore.)

You roll the Teflon tape in to a tight STRING, or you can buy ready made.
(Valve stem packing, too thick, must thin it out.)
Why pay more?

Asbestos packing works better but it is not legal any more. :(

Now loosen the plug just enough for the rolled tape to go in TIGHT, round, round & round....
Roll it TIGHT between the crash washer & the oil pan.
(Do not let it go in the pan.)
There is no problem if it also goes in between the plug and crush washer.

As far as crap goes....
Cars are not my profession.

But repairing leaks.
Is.
Don't preach what you can't teach. Lol.

What is this?
Want help?
Complete.
Your profile?

Hey Greg, do you think that this has a change to fly?
No my name is not Icarus.

Keep it somewhere in your list, you may need it someday. ;)

Guys that works for high pressures.
What is the pressure in the pan?

Regards,
aam.
 

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'97 SL500, 06 Subaru Outback, LL Bean 3.0
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735 Posts
Oh dear, I knew that there would be problems with this one. Haha.
But I always look for jokes & trouble.

(OK, here more explaining for the hardcore.)

You roll the Teflon tape in to a tight STRING, or you can buy ready made.
(Valve stem packing, too thick, must thin it out.)
Why pay more?

Asbestos packing works better but it is not legal any more. :(

Now loosen the plug just enough for the rolled tape to go in TIGHT, round, round & round....
Roll it TIGHT between the crash washer & the oil pan.
(Do not let it go in the pan.)
There is no problem if it also goes in between the plug and crush washer.

Keep it somewhere in your list, you may need it someday. ;)

Guys that works for high pressures.
What is the pressure in the pan?

Regards,
aam.
Seems like that would work fine, but I'd always go for the permanent fix, messy tho' it be at the best of times.
What about if you forget next time, or the next owner or your guardian? The car should out-live us all.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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Seems like that would work fine, but I'd always go for the permanent fix, messy tho' it be at the best of times.
What about if you forget next time, or the next owner or your guardian? The car should out-live us all.
???

It only has to last to the next oil change, so what's the problem?

aam...I've done plenty of pipefitting in my time; note that I didn't say it wouldn't work, just that I couldn't picture it going that smoothly while you're laying under the car and trying to do all that manipulation lying on cold concrete in a cold garage. (Doubtless while the wife stands by muttering about all the attention you give to the car...) Almost assuredly less messy than trying to swap the drain plug, though.

Heated garage with a lift and a friend to hold the bolt so it doesn't turn or fall out while you strand the teflon tape and wrap it around...that I would probably try.

Absent that, I'd still be draining it.

The real question is why you're slamming my avatar. It's a useful reminder. I still don't understand why people expect others to read through a thread to find information that basic instead of sticking it in the profile where it belongs (and once there, it doesn't leak out). ;)
 
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