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Old 12-10-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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I need to change the oil in both my snowblower and lawnmower. It occurred to me that I could use some sort of cheap hand pump instead of tipping the beasts over and draining the oil. That could be messy and potentially unsafe.

I'd rather not spend $50+ on something designed to do this. I think I could rig up something with a cheap plastic tube. Has anyone out there done this or could you recommend something?

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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I use my Pela unit, but I imagine there are cheaper (smaller) versions out there. Google around for a "top side oil extractor", I'm sure harbor freight has one cheap.

Me, I paid my $50 about 8 years ago and can't imagine doing oil changes without it. No more crawling under vehicles, no more mess, it's paid for itself many times over in convenience.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:09 PM
 
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I've heard it is better to drain the engine from beneath than extract it from the top because any sludginess would have settled to the bottom any you might not get it all. Anyone have any knowledge that either supports or conflicts?
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottfs View Post
I've heard it is better to drain the engine from beneath than extract it from the top because any sludginess would have settled to the bottom any you might not get it all. Anyone have any knowledge that either supports or conflicts?
I know that was a big line back when some quick lube shops were supposedly using top drain for cars. (I never witnessed personally a shop do this, but some may have.)

Thing is, a lot of small engines don't have a bottom drain at all, so the point is moot. If it does have a bottom drain, it would be a good idea to use it.

The only one I have is a lawn mower, and I just tip it over. I actually made a drain pan out of a 5-qt oil jug that works really well and also gives a nice spout to pour it into something else for eventual disposal.

If you look in the equipment manual, it may tell you which direction is better for tilting. In the manual for my mower it says to turn it one way as opposed to the other.

I was leery of tipping it before I did it the first time, but the reality is with the lawn mower it was quite easy.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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I use a Mityvac pump, originally bought to change oil on my boat and pwc, for oil changes on several of my vehicles and my lawn mower. They cost $50-$75 and do a great job.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:41 PM
 
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Two types of extractors. One type uses a motor with a flexible impeller and draws oil through the pump. The other is the vacuum pump, where oil fills an evacuated air chamber. Both work nice, but the impeller on the electric models goes bad, so buy a quality unit, like Jabsco, so you can rebuilt the pump. Don't think you can change oil in suit an tie. When you pull out the plastic draw tube from the dipstick, it tends to always flick oil everywhere. Also, that draw tube will drip for days if not left completely vertical over the oil chamber until drained, so don't plan recycling the used oil that same day, unless you have another oil container to drive away with.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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The Toro lawnmower I use has an oil drain plug underneath. So I just lift it and place it on top of 5-gal. buckets or anything else I can find, and drain the oil from underneath. It's much easier and faster that way.

But if you want to take longer to do an oil change, there are all kinds of hand pumps designed for changing oil on small engines. Several are shown here, buy I bought a large one at NAPA for $8.00 that has a cylinder that looks much like a grease gun (not shown below):
Oil Change Pumps - Wholesale Marine

Please note that the marine ones cost a lot more than regular oil-changing pumps.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:29 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 17,779,267 times
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Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
I use my Pela unit, but I imagine there are cheaper (smaller) versions out there. Google around for a "top side oil extractor", I'm sure harbor freight has one cheap.

Me, I paid my $50 about 8 years ago and can't imagine doing oil changes without it. No more crawling under vehicles, no more mess, it's paid for itself many times over in convenience.
Whats the big deal? The hardest part is getting under to change the oil filter anyway?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
Whats the big deal? The hardest part is getting under to change the oil filter anyway?

Both my 4-wheeled vehicles have hard skid-plates that cover the oil drain, and the one before that had 3" of ground clearance so jacking the vehicle took more time than a full oil change. I also measured what I was able to extract vs. drain when I first got it (I was very skeptical), and both my vehicles showed a half liter more extracted than drained.

I guess if I had oil filters that couldn't be reached from the Top, it might be a moot point.

Heck, I've used my Pela to purge diesel lines after changing injectors, bleed brakes, pull old fuel from fuel tanks that wouldn't drain and I'm sure there's some other things too. Like I said, it's more than paid for itself over the years.


I don't use it on my mower though..... doG Bless 2-strokes.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Yeah, 2-stroke, the easiest way to change oil.

I've never personally used a 2-stroke bigger than a string trimmer though.
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