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Yep. Another oil change/filter post. :)


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I'm a 5'2" woman and because I'm the smallest adult on the farm, I do all the oil changes, and some of the less involved repairs and maintenance.

I can just barely reach the filter, standing on a stepstool, right knee on the battery mountings. We just got this '93 SE Pathfinder, looks good under the hood, nice and clean like someone did it up before we got it. (Leaving an old battery to leak on the carpet in the very back, no, not so cool but I took care of that.) I can see on the filter written that it was last changed in January '21. Good oil color on the dipstick, but we like to do an oil change when we add a vehicle to the farm.

 

If the filter wasn't cranked on to the physical limit of its seal (a common problem I find with Walmart oil changes) I think I have the leverage to loosen it.  I read about the tricks involving rags, baggies over the filter to keep the oil as contained as possible, all great suggestions.  But I need a longer arm, or... what?  Any suggestions? Even my old Swedishbrick while it's like playing Twister to reach it, I can still get a good grip.

 

Do any of you shorter folks have any suggestions? If we keep this for long enough, I like the idea of a filter relocation kit, and brought it up to my brother in email - if we keep it for years, then it's a good plan (or else I'll tell him "sucks to be you, there's the Walmart.")

Also the online manual stuff says 3.6 or 3 5/8 qt, but I read on a post on this web forum that 4 qts won't hurt anything as the oil pan's nice and deep.  Any other thoughts on this?

 

Thanks!  And enjoy your day wherever you are.

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I'll add after taking a second look just now - I have plenty of sheet nickle silver, the stuff is sturdy and flexible (not silver, a nickle alloy. I make jewelry you see.) I can probably fabricate a kind of a drain pan that with a drain channel that pours into my oil drain pan.  It would fit just there, one that can be put in place over what I've read is the starter and other stuff, just for filter changes then removed.

 

My only concern would be that I read something about a power terminal to the starter that's right there? Would I be risking shorting something out? Obviously I wouldn't be doing this while the engine is running, but it seems like something I should check with y'all on.  Thanks!

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The power terminal from starter to battery is just a 0 gauge wire with no fuse so I wouldn't go sticking anything down there. You can get those strap oil filter wrenches that usually works. I've also driven a screwdriver through it to turn it loose. As long as you spray some brake clean on the starter shortly afterwards it'll be fine. I've never had oil "kill the starter" doing it this way.

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Just finished. I used a clamp-type filter wrench to get it loose, after it came off fine and  had enough room to get it out with minimal spill - maybe a tbsp ended up on the little tray I made, with a little more sliding below it. 

 

I've had to do the screwdriver trick before and did not relish the thought with that tight a working  space. :)

 

I'll glue a rubber sheet to the underside of the little tray I made to avoid any conductivity problems, thanks for the tip.  Tight fit but my arms are tiny and just exactly long enough that I could get to the filter and get it out.

 

Also. I looked up the filter to use, the filter that came up was a 3682 so I bought one - but the one I removed was a 3614.  I don't know if that was an old tractor or our old samurai, but we had a couple of those in the shed. it looked like the 3682 _should_ have fit but I could not get it to the right angle so I went with the 3614 and it went on just fine. Put in the oil, started it up, didn't blow the filter seal or anything else, and after shutting it down and checking the dipstick everything was fine, tight and dry.  

 

Thanks loads for the comment!  :)

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I've seen a picture of an oil filter with burn marks from falling on the starter. Hasn't happened to me yet, and I've dropped a couple of them. IIRC there's supposed to be a rubber boot on the positive cable, but, yeah, best not to test that by setting a piece of sheet metal on top.

 

I bought a bunch of Carquest R85361 filters a while back and have been slowly going through them. Not sure how that relates to the sizes you tried.

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Definitely going to pick up some rubber sheeting from Ace, then. :) Sounds like the basic safety thing is to disconnect the battery's negative terminal then, as a safety measure regardless? OIl-soaked rag or paper can burn impressively if you roll 7's during the job and something lights up.

 

I'll write down that filter number - that "first oil change" in a newly acquired vehicle on the farm is usually a basic cheap one, next one will be with good oil and premium filter. I expect my next thing on that beast will be checking the transmission & fluid - is it normal for it to rev pretty high (over the 3 on the tach) before shifting? That would be regular sidestreet driving. 

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I've never bothered disconnecting the battery for an oil change, but yeah, that's not a bad idea given where you're working.

 

There's a switch on the dash that lets you select between "power" and "economy" modes. If you've got the round dash, the switch lights up if it's on. If it's square dash, the dummy light is below the cluster (orange light that says "POWER").  In power mode, it shifts later. Something to check. If it's shifting over three grand with hardly any pedal input, I would check the throttle position sensor. The service manual (free download off Nicoclub for the round dash, or cardiagn.com has a '90 manual for the square dash, also free) has info on testing/adjusting that sensor and graphs of where the shift points should be by vehicle speed and pedal position. Mine tends to shift too early (I think whoever programmed the trans computer figured on more low-end grunt than my old VG30E has), so I leave it in power mode all the time. It's less eager to grab overdrive and less fussy about downshifting.

Also watch that power mode indicator on startup. If the trans computer thinks something is wrong, the light will flicker. The manual has instructions for decoding which flash is longer into which circuit it's unhappy about. It does sometimes trigger when nothing is wrong (the trans computer was not programmed with doughnuts or snow drifting in mind and has no idea what's going on, so it assumes the sky is falling), but if it flickers consistently, check the code and see what's got it upset.

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I guess that I've done about 25 filter changes at 100K.

I did make a long spike to poke a hole in the top of the filter and then turn it 180 to drain it before removal.

It sort of worked, but now I just pack the gap between the filter and the starter with disposable rags.  That catches 90%+, but a good wipe down after a short trip helps avoid dust catching oil build up.

It is one of the mysteries of life that, when regular changes at reasonable intervals are good, most designs make it difficult. 

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3682 is the Fram number and the right one for this engine. The 3614 is just a shorter filter and not the right one. It may also have a built in bypass while the one for our engine does not (this engine has it's own on the filter mount).

 

Someone probably just slapped the 3614 on there because they didn't have any 3682.

 

Don't believe the BS on the fram filters, the tough guard or the ultra filters are actually very good.

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