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Old 11-12-2020, 02:21 PM
brian257 brian257 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 143
Default oil change mess

I have on my planes always accepted the fact that changing the oil filter results in a mess with oil dripping on the floor and the firewall and I have compensated with oil dry on the floor and washing down the firewall and back of the engine with gas after it is done. Now I am starting to do more oil changes for others and I am getting paid and working on expensive planes in hangers with floors you can eat off of so I need to do it without the mess.

I have seen various devices to punch holes in the filter and drain them before removing, bib arrangements to catch the oil so it doesn't drip everywhere, and other methods. Can any of you comment on what would be best for me to buy to do filter changes without the mess that works on RVs and also a wide variety of other certified and experimental planes?
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Old 11-12-2020, 02:35 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 3,551
Default plastic bag

Lots of tips on this site in other threads. I find a giant ziplock bag to work very well.
Mickey Coggins
"Hello, world!"
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:46 PM
Bicyclops Bicyclops is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LA, California
Posts: 357

Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
One thing that helps keep the mess to a minimum is the Form-A-Funnel Flexible Draining Tool. Comes in various sizes. Works great.
And these oil filter bibs work fairly well:
The form a funnel is the bomb. Get the longer version and you can make it drain well clear of every part of your airplane into a bucket. Works for either the standard rear facing oil filter adapter or the 90* adapter.

Ed Holyoke
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:48 PM
Alchemist Alchemist is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Glasgow, KY
Posts: 128

I use walmart bags, my wife likes to collect them.
Justin Richardson
Vans RV-6A N457DH
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:09 PM
ArlingtonRV ArlingtonRV is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 528

I use the oil filter drain device sold by Vans (TOOL FILTER DRAIN). It is an aluminum tray with a string that can be used to hold it in place. There is a hose that attaches to the back to run into a pan or bucket. It is a little tricky to get in place with the rear prop governor, but I can swap out a filter without spilling a drop.

Also, because no plan is perfect I put down a large plastic sheet (goes to both wheels and and at least 3 feet in length). Most of the time I don't spill anything, but when I do it isn't an issue.
Steve Rush
Arlington, WA
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:27 PM
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newt newt is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 384

Large zip-loc sandwich bag from your local supermarket. Pull it over the filter and unscrew it inside the bag.

It takes some practice, but the location the oil spews from is pretty obvious and predictable, and you should be able to finish up with the filter sitting in a puddle of oil at the bottom of the bag, and no leakage anywhere else.

Be careful with puncturing the bag on the lockwire lugs as you twist, a hole kinda ruins outcome

Once the inside of the bag has oil all over it, it'll try to stick to the filter case as you twist it. Just be patient and make sure the bag stays aligned and it'll all work out fine.

- mark
[ Paid up on 3 Feb 2020 ]
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:05 PM
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azrv6 azrv6 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 231

I made this tool about 25 years ago, took me maybe all of 30 minutes to make it from scrap aluminum and it has been used ever since, on my plane and others. I never spill a single drop of oil when removing the oil filter.

Here is an end view:

One end nestles up under the oil filter, the other end hangs out to the side and holds a plastic cup that the oil drains into.

Here is the detailed view of the end that nestles under the oil filter:

Takes just a coupe of seconds to slide it in from the right hand side:

Now unscrew the oil filter a couple of turns, just enough to get the oil to run out into the "V" groove and drain down into the plastic cup. You can see the oil running down the slide.

Right into the cup.

Wait a little bit, then unscrew the filter a little more, to increase the flow as needed. In about 10 minutes you are all done. Unscrew the filter the rest of the way, wipe the lip as you go. And it's out. Remove the slide and cup and you're done.
Dave Binkley
RV-6, O-360-A1A, C/S
1932 Monocoupe 110, Warner 145 (
Sedona, AZ
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:15 PM
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AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Maple Grove, MN
Posts: 2,395

Someone makes (made?) a tool which is basically a fitting mounted on a hose clamp (not the Tempest one), which has a length of PCV tubing attached. One punches a small hole in the filter with the tool that came with it, straps on that fitting, and loosens the filter 180 degrees. I make another small hole in the side that is now up. Then I let it drain overnight. The next day the filter will come off without a drop spilled. Not sure if this tool is still in production - a quick search was unproductive.

For the oil screen, I have a similar "chute" to one pictured earlier made from thin aluminum. This catches most, but taking the screen out without a mess it a bit tough.
Alex Peterson
RV6A N66AP 1700+ hours
KADC, Wadena, MN
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Old 11-13-2020, 09:06 AM
Feetwet Feetwet is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle/Tucson
Posts: 60
Default Use one quart plastic milk bottle on RV4

I lay a one quart plastic milk bottle on its side with the plastic handle down and cut the top half off tapering down away from the handle side. Leave cap on. Cut so the tapered corner still has a small edge. Stick it in sideways and it fits nicely under the spin-on filter at the front of the filter. Back the filter out a couple turns and let the oil drip for a couple minutes until the residual oil is gone. Spin off the filter and turn it up as you remove it. Usually only a drop or two hit the floor.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:20 AM
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turbo turbo is online now
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,139

just pack a bunch of absorbent material under the filter and let it rip. takes about 5 seconds to remove after unscrewed.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2021
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,200+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, gyro sold,35,000 miles flown in 2015
Stuart, Fl / S WINDSOR,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - under major repair from hurricane damage
addicted pickle ball player
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