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Old 12-03-2011, 09:05 AM   #1
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F53 Chassis Oil Change

We recently traded up to a 2011 Suncruiser 32H that's built on a Ford F53 chassis. The coach is nice but has quality issues that have become all too prevalent in the industry, but this thread isn't about that. I like to change my own oil and the way this chassis is built, it poses a problem. The engine oil pan drain plug is directly over the front axle. When the plug is removed, the oil hits the axle and goes everywhere. Do any of you do-it-yourselfers out there have any solutions for this? My coach is due for its next change and I'd like to avoid the mess again.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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If you put the front jacks down manually and raise the body a couple inches there is enough room between the oil pan and the axle to place an oil drain pan. The pan sits on the axle and is supported by steering the tie rod. Another way is to install a Fumoto or quick drain valve (with a nipple for adding a drain tube) in the drain plug hole.
QuickOilDrainValve.com - the best way to change oil

Personally I prefer to place the drain pan on the axle. The drain valve may be easier, but in my mind it's just one more thing that could fail and have dire conseqences. The drain tube style sticks out 1 1/2 below the pan.

Last summer we ran over a large piece of a tire thrown off by the truck in front of us. Upon inspection the axle and oil pan were scuffed but no real damage. Had there been a quick drain valve sticking out of the bottom of the pan I'm sure it would have been damaged and possibly broken off.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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I changed the oil myself every 3K on our 01 Adveturer F-53 chassis for eight years. I always had to deal with the oil draining on the axle; When I was done, I just wiped it off good. I just felt I had to deal with it.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerdogs View Post
If you put the front jacks down manually and raise the body a couple inches there is enough room between the oil pan and the axle to place an oil drain pan. The pan sits on the axle and is supported by steering the tie rod. Another way is to install a Fumoto or quick drain valve (with a nipple for adding a drain tube) in the drain plug hole.
QuickOilDrainValve.com - the best way to change oil

Personally I prefer to place the drain pan on the axle. The drain valve may be easier, but in my mind it's just one more thing that could fail and have dire conseqences. The drain tube style sticks out 1 1/2 below the pan.

Last summer we ran over a large piece of a tire thrown off by the truck in front of us. Upon inspection the axle and oil pan were scuffed but no real damage. Had there been a quick drain valve sticking out of the bottom of the pan I'm sure it would have been damaged and possibly broken off.
EXACTLY!
The drain pan sitting on the axle is about the easiest way of correcting this situation without spending any money. If you get the valve he's talking about, it would be even easier for the rest of yours and the motor homes life. You know, it's kind of ironic. Ford, in its infinite wisdom, created the same exact situation years and years ago with it's F-series pickups. The F-250, as in 1970 era, had the drain plug DIRECTLY over the center of the cross member of the front frame. And, that cross member was not only real wide and at an angle so no pan could sit on it if you wanted one to but also, it had a lip, on both sides that would catch the draining oil. Talk about a mess, SMART MOVE FORD!
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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If you do not want to go the Fumoto Valve way, you surely could devise a high capacity funnel to place on the axle, under the drain plug to route the oil to the drain pan. On some of my lawn and garden equipment, faced with a similar problem, I use the top portion of a Delo 400 gallon jug to reroute the draining oil and avoid a mess.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:48 PM   #6
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the Fumoto Valve with the nipple so you can run a hose to where you please sounds like the best idea.
On my vehicles I stick the hose on the valve and the other end in a gallon jug.
NO mess at all then.
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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I fashioned a trough out of some tin I had left from my ductwork in the house. my problem is getting the new oil back in. the quart cans are not so bad, but the gallon jugs are cheaper, but I have not figured out an easy way to pour it in.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses. The idea of using a pitcock valve has always been interesting, but a failure or damage is definitely a concern. Still it's worth looking into. Not too big a fan of jacking up the front of the coach. Mainly because of the issue of getting an oil pan with 7 quarts of oil down off of the axle without causing a catastrophe. I initially tried to make some sort of a slew to catch the oil and guide it down to a pan, but my first attempt failed. Still think that it's the best idea though.

I agree that the Ford engineers didn't appear to have thought through the placement of the drain plug, but you can at least get it out without jacking up the coach. Sometimes that's as good as you get.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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i was dreading my first oil change on my rv after reading about the F53 issues. i have an E450, but i didnt know if it had the same problems or not. when i got under there the first time i was so relieved to find that ford had gotten it right. both the drain plug and the filter are easily reachable, with no crossmember in the way. the oil change went perfectly, and not a drop was spilled!
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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My Brother had the same problam and he installed a Fumoto Valve and says it is not an issue any more.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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MIKF, If you get one of those hand pumps from an auto parts store, it is much easier to pump the oil from a gallon (or larger) container than any method that I have used before. You will more than likely need another pair of hands to hold the container, but other than that, the process goes smoothly and with no mess. Just a thought.

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Old 12-04-2011, 10:10 AM   #12
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I have found that it's easy enough just to wipe the oil off the cross member, no big deal. I tried cutting a liter bottle and putting it over the cross member to direct the oil, but I still had to wipe it down so that didn't save any work.
I also like to buy the larger containers of oil. I just keep a quart container and fill it from the larger container. A bit of a pain but it works.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:56 AM   #13
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I place the drain pan on the cross member. I use a drain pan that is self contained with a plug in the middle that you twist & lift up to allow the oil to go into the container. When removing from the cross member you don't risk spilling the used oil from the pan if it tilts.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #14
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What do Ford dealers do to avoid a mess?? I had my initial change done at a Ford/Lincoln dealership who was doing warranty work on my cab air but plan on doing them myself from here on.

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Old 12-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAT-LON View Post
.....
I agree that the Ford engineers didn't appear to have thought through the placement of the drain plug, .......
I bet a paycheck that the engineers that design the engine and the ones that design the chassis are not in the same building or talking to each other.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
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Most professionals use something like the Lincoln model 3506, 82786, or 83366 waste oil catch basins. The lid is opened and placed under the drain. It acts as a funnel to route the waste oil into the basin.

http://www.lincolnlube.com/products/...ccessories.pdf

With the right eqipment changing oil in any vehicle is a non-issue. These systems might not be something intended for the do it yourself market but there is other less expensive equipment on the market that will fit the bill. It's just like anything else, the right tools make the job a lot easier.

Keep in mind this engine is available in everything from an F 250 to an F 550, an E 250 to an E 450, and several different versions of the F53. The drain plug has to be placed so it can be accessed when placed in any of these chassis. To me it's a minor inconvenience. No better or worse than on half the vehicles on the market.
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:49 PM   #17
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Mainly because of the issue of getting an oil pan with 7 quarts of oil down off of the axle without causing a catastrophe.
Yep, that's a problem. I put a drain valve on during my first change. I don't have any containers that will take all 7 quarts without being full to the brim. With the drain valve, I can stop part way and swap in another jug.

I've found that the drain pan on the cross member works very well for the oil filter. I can sit almost upright with my back against the driver-side tire and comfortably change the oil filter with the oil dropping into the pan.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:15 PM   #18
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I have the valve and used it on my old coach for over 5 years of owner ship. One my new 2011 my first oil change was messy but again put the valve on and can change the oil in about 15 minutes. I do have a small drain pan for the filter that sits on top of the I beam and drop the filter then carefully drop the little pan. Got the drain container and little pan at Wally World. Also get the Ford 5w20w and ford filter there two. Never had a problem with the valve on either coach. I also get a 5 qt and two qt singles Ford motor oil and use the singles to get oil back in the V10 I just keep filling the 1 qt up till I get the last 5 qt in. It is a lot easier that way then trying to hold the 5 qt jug and poor it in . Hop this helps.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:55 AM   #19
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I'm convinced...the valve with a small drip pan for the filter seems to be the way to go.. Thanks for all the feedback.

Have bigger problems right now. Got into the beast yesterday and it wouldn't run. Cranks fine and there's plenty of gas, just won't run.
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