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home Diary    12/1/97    58,316    
12/1/97 58,316

 Well, I'm past the oil change mileage by a tad but I've been investigating proper filter replacement. The GI Joe's guy called Fram and they said an HP1 would replace the PH2804-1 so I bought one. A note to Jaan brought a reply that the 2804 has a standpipe to keep the oil in after the car is shut down. The HP1 does not have a standpipe but the Gi Joe's guy called and found it did have a check-valve to keep the oil in. I put in an order at an import place but I'm still curious as to the difference. A question to the list server and all said 2804 - stay with the right one. We'll see.

We did take a nice drive yesterday to Grants Pass along the back roads. So nice to have it running well! Temperature was perfect and all went great. I don't have any heat coming through but that's another project.

12/9/97 58,403

 I did the oil change Sunday (finally). I had some trouble getting the right filter but finally ended up with one that came in a box with little horsies on it and a standpipe inside. Cost $20 instead of $7 for the Fram. Not as well made either.

 I started by modifying my 2x10 blocks to use as ramps. I drilled holes so I could put pins in to hold them together then with a masonry bit drilled the concrete so they shouldn't slide. After a couple of tries I was able to drive up without a hitch though the clearance is still a little tight.

There is, of course, 2 drain plugs in close proximity - one reads simply "olio cambio" while the one farther to the front is labeled "olio motore". A check in the manual showed olio motore to be the one. They both use hex (allen) wrenches and are different sizes. I didn't have the right one for the oil drain plug and traveled to GI Goe's who no longer has much in the way of tools and then to Eagle. The largest Eagle had was a 12 mm so I bought it figuring $3.37 was a cheap gamble. Upon returning I found it was the right one but push as hard as I might it just wouldn't budge. So, back to the car to visit more stores in search of a hex socket for my big torque wrench. After several stops the best I could do was a set that included one for something like $40. This was a little on the spendy side for an oil change. So I stopped by a plumbing electrical place called Grovers and bought a 10" section of pipe to use as a cheater. Drove home and tried my make-shift tool and voila! The drain plug broke free. I got the pan underneath and the black stuff gushed out. I then went after the filter. With a little determination I was able to get it loose by hand. Now, the big deal with the standpipe was so oil would stay in. When I asked Jaan he said (email) that it never had oil in it when he changed his and sure enough it was dry. Next time I may choose different.

While the oil was draining I put a couple more turns on the parking brake (seems better but not a tight lock - since it operates just a rear caliper I don't want it too tight). I added 8 quarts and checked it but it needed another quart - still looks down - one more makes 10 and it looks right. It's a definite pain starting the motor and then checking but I wouldn't trade the oil cooler for easy changes. I still need to check the gearbox and oil the horns and such but I'm glad the big part is done. Next change is due at 61,400 or at six months.

 On other fronts I'm hoping that I don't put too many miles on it as that means high-cost services are that much closer. Thankfully, the weather is poor so I'm not all that tempted. Watch out spring!