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Oil Drain Line Not Working


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2013 247

When I bought the boat 2 years ago, it was 5 years old with only 85 hours on it.  My guess is that it had at most 2 oil changes based on engine hours - of course the PO may have changed every year, but I don't know that.

I have done 3 oil changes on it and need to do a 4th now.  Previously, I have used a vacuum hand pump, similar to what others have recommended on TMC - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077XQ1VL2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1.  However, I have never successfully been able to extract oil through the drain hose and always have to cautiously go in through the dipstick.  Admittedly, the first time that I did this I really didn't get the engine warm enough - I idled in the slip until I saw 140 on the temp gauge and that resulted in a very slow extraction through the dipstick.  The last 2 times that I have changed the oil, I have run the boat moderately hard for 30 minutes or so and immediately tried to extract the oil with better, but not good success.  I say not good success because it still takes me several hours to get it all extracted through the dipstick.

A couple thoughts / questions:

1.  Since I can't seem to get any significant flow from the drain hose, is there a chance that this could be "plugged" with sludge from infrequent changes over the first 5 years of life?  any suggestions on getting this line flowing better?

2.  Do you think that I will get any better flow with an electric pump vs a manual?  I am confident that the current manual pump is pulling suction, as it is building negative pressure and maintaining it for some time (verified by venting), but I don't have any type of gauge to verify how much vacuum is being pulled.

3.  Other than convenience, would there be any improvement in a direct fitting / coupling to the drain hose vs using the extraction tube inserted into the drain hose.  Obviously I could maintain a bigger diameter, but that would only improved flow, not initiate it.

Even thought it is probably unlikely, I would really like to avoid going through the dipstick for fear of getting an extraction tube stuck down there.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

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Mines the same way. It literally took me two days to get the oil out with a pimp. And you never get all the oil out. There’s usually a quart  or less still in the engine when all is said and done. So be cognizant of that when you put oil back in, or you will overfill it....lol

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Are you removing your oil fill cap when attempting to remove the oil with the vacuum pump? Removing the cap acts as a vent and seems to result in better flow on my boats. Are you certain the vacuum tube is not bottoming out and preventing flow? Although many Crew members discourage removing engine oil via the dipstick tube, I have been doing just that for many years with no issues. Cannot remove all oil through the dipstick though. Must finish removal via the drain hose, with the vacuum pump.

  • Like 3
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4 minutes ago, Murphys said:

Are you removing your oil fill cap when attempting to remove the oil with the vacuum pump? Removing the cap acts as a vent and seems to result in better flow on my boats. Are you certain the vacuum tube is not bottoming out and preventing flow? Although many Crew members discourage removing engine oil via the dipstick tube, I have been doing just that for many years with no issues. Cannot remove all oil through the dipstick though. Must finish removal via the drain hose, with the vacuum pump.

Yes, cap is vented (when using both methods).  As for the bottoming out, tough to know what it actually looks like down there, but I have certainly tried different "depths" without any noticeable difference.

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This https://www.amazon.com/America-5060TS-Topsider-Multi-Purpose-Removing/dp/B001445IZ8/

and a trip to Home Depot for a couple fittings and you'll have the oil out in less than a minute - safely - using the drain hose attached to the bottom of the oil pan.

Edited by minnmarker
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4 hours ago, minnmarker said:

This https://www.amazon.com/America-5060TS-Topsider-Multi-Purpose-Removing/dp/B001445IZ8/

and a trip to Home Depot for a couple fittings and you'll have the oil out in less than a minute - safely - using the drain hose attached to the bottom of the oil pan.

Isn’t this really the same system that I already have, just in a different, smaller package?  I don’t see much different with this option.

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54 minutes ago, amartin said:

Isn’t this really the same system that I already have, just in a different, smaller package?  I don’t see much different with this option.

I use a fluid extractor (vacuum pump) very similar to the ones linked in your original post. Works very well for me. Seems you are using proper methods to me. Warming the oil is the key factor in improving flow rate. Thirty minutes of run time should be more than enough to get your oil nice and warm. 

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is your boat on a lift ?  if its on the trailer you should just be able to let it drain with gravity though the drain hole - i never warm mine up and it only takes 45 minutes for it to drain.   If you can't do it that way I would get a fitting that threads into the drain hose and a barb on the other end.  

all in all if you leave a quart of old oil in there it will not hurt a thing - 50 hours on oil is not even close to wearing it out - so it you replace it with 80% fresh oil I say you are golden.  

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20 minutes ago, SkiPablo said:

is your boat on a lift ?  if its on the trailer you should just be able to let it drain with gravity though the drain hole - i never warm mine up and it only takes 45 minutes for it to drain.   If you can't do it that way I would get a fitting that threads into the drain hose and a barb on the other end.  

all in all if you leave a quart of old oil in there it will not hurt a thing - 50 hours on oil is not even close to wearing it out - so it you replace it with 80% fresh oil I say you are golden.  

Yes - the boat is on a lift.  I would prefer to not put it on the trailer every time that I need to change the oil.  I am not too worried about getting the last qt out - just the pace at which it is coming out.  What should be a 1 hr job is turning into an all day affair. 

I wonder if there is any downside to trying to put a small amount of air INTO the drain hose to try to clear any blockage that might be there.  Any concerns there?

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Can you drain the oil and then remove the hose?  Not sure how accessible the other end of that hose is.  I could do that with my direct drive.

My biggest challenge with a direct drive is the engine is tilted back 30 degrees or whatever that tilt is.  The hose connects to the pan on the front side of the oil pan, and the engine is tilted in the opposite direction.  I usually drain my oil when it's on the trailer and I have to spin my trailer jack sideways and use a floor jack to drop the trailer tongue as low as possible to reverse the engine angle.  I still only get 4 quarts out, or a little less actually.

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19 minutes ago, amartin said:

I wonder if there is any downside to trying to put a small amount of air INTO the drain hose to try to clear any blockage that might be there.  Any concerns there?

I would be hesitant of using air, no other reason is that most compressors also compress the vapor (condensation) that is already a part of our (earth's :biggrin:) air.  Unless you have a great water separator or air dryer as part of your compressor, could cause issues.

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28 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

Can you drain the oil and then remove the hose?  Not sure how accessible the other end of that hose is.  I could do that with my direct drive.

My biggest challenge with a direct drive is the engine is tilted back 30 degrees or whatever that tilt is.  The hose connects to the pan on the front side of the oil pan, and the engine is tilted in the opposite direction.  I usually drain my oil when it's on the trailer and I have to spin my trailer jack sideways and use a floor jack to drop the trailer tongue as low as possible to reverse the engine angle.  I still only get 4 quarts out, or a little less actually.

I can't even SEE the other end of the hose, much less remove it:)

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1 hour ago, amartin said:

Yes - the boat is on a lift.  I would prefer to not put it on the trailer every time that I need to change the oil.  I am not too worried about getting the last qt out - just the pace at which it is coming out.  What should be a 1 hr job is turning into an all day affair. 

I wonder if there is any downside to trying to put a small amount of air INTO the drain hose to try to clear any blockage that might be there.  Any concerns there?

 

I use this extractor https://www.amazon.com/OEMTOOLS-24937-Pneumatic-Manual-Extractor/dp/B07N7X4TP9/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=oil%2Bextractor&qid=1607102088&sr=8-2-spons&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFFRUtDNkVFNFc1SEomZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAwMjY5MDUyNkZIUDRXQ0hNQTBTJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA0Mjk4MTkxQk84STdMT1dITlZCJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1

I hook it up to my compressor it, sucks real good :) It might be worth a try.

I wouldn't blown air into it but you could hook up some type of "Y" shaped connector and blow air through it to act like a siphon to clean the blockage.

 

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I see no issue in blowing into the oil drain line, just keep the PSI down - maybe start with 10.  As for compressed air introducing water into the oil, unless you are planning on blowing in there all day long there isn't enough water to worry about even if you live in the rain forest.

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What about just taking about 5' of 14 gauge electrical wire and feed it into the drain hose to breakup the blockage.  I'm referring to just stripping the wire cover off some romex and use one of the 2 colors inside - it has a tough coating on it but can still bend about corners.  just a thought

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1 hour ago, oldjeep said:

I see no issue in blowing into the oil drain line, just keep the PSI down - maybe start with 10.  As for compressed air introducing water into the oil, unless you are planning on blowing in there all day long there isn't enough water to worry about even if you live in the rain forest.

Or just lip lock the hose and see if you can blow and hear bubbles in the pan.

1 hour ago, SkiPablo said:

What about just taking about 5' of 14 gauge electrical wire and feed it into the drain hose to breakup the blockage.  I'm referring to just stripping the wire cover off some romex and use one of the 2 colors inside - it has a tough coating on it but can still bend about corners.  just a thought

I kind of like this idea since air can pass through a small blockage that oil is too viscous for.  But I really don't see how you would have a significant blockage anyway.  If you have a hose that will fit the dipstick tube, can't you just use it to probe the drain hose?

It sounds like you are just trying to suck viscous oil through a tiny hose.  Change your pump to a larger hose that will screw on to the end of the drain hose.  Cross sectional area is your friend here, not the amount of suction you have.

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2 minutes ago, justgary said:

Or just lip lock the hose and see if you can blow and hear bubbles in the pan.

 

No thanks ;)  Then you need to be quick enough not to get a mouthful of whatever is in the line when you stop blowing.

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45 minutes ago, justgary said:

Or just lip lock the hose and see if you can blow and hear bubbles in the pan.

I kind of like this idea since air can pass through a small blockage that oil is too viscous for.  But I really don't see how you would have a significant blockage anyway.  If you have a hose that will fit the dipstick tube, can't you just use it to probe the drain hose?

It sounds like you are just trying to suck viscous oil through a tiny hose.  Change your pump to a larger hose that will screw on to the end of the drain hose.  Cross sectional area is your friend here, not the amount of suction you have.

I agree wholeheartedly about the area point, but it doesn't explain why it SLOWLY works through the dipstick, but NOT the drain hose.  My thought was that even with the same size "extraction tube", gravity would be less of an obstacle if I am not having to come all the way up and out the extraction tube.  I have probed the drain hose with the "extractor tube", but I don't think that it is getting all the way through it, as I don't believe it is as long as the hose.  I guess in my mind I am envisioning an accumulation of debris and gunk in the pan at the inlet to the drain hose that is getting in the way - similar to blockage when draining water from a block - I just don't have anything to poke in there to loosen it up!

I will plumb up a fitting and see if I can get better results with a direct connection to the drain hose tube - and at least give me a clean place to lip lock - shouldn't get too much back flow if it is above oil pan level when I start making out with the hose! - No there will not be pictures provided!

Thanks all for the input.

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I do not see it mentioned, but have you traced the line by hand all of the way to the pan? I just got done winterizing my buddies H6 on his FI25 and that line was easily kinked and routed in some crazy directions. Talk about a plumbers nightmare of drain hoses and plugs!

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If you are going to drain it in a lift you will have a lot of trouble using the drain hose due to the tilt of the engine and lower gravity flow.  You can try removing both vent/fill caps on each valve cover and pulling out the dipstick on a warm engine.  You may never get more than 4 quarts out.  Some have suggested pouring in a few quarts and draining until you get fresh oil out the drain tube.

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9 hours ago, amartin said:

I agree wholeheartedly about the area point, but it doesn't explain why it SLOWLY works through the dipstick, but NOT the drain hose.  My thought was that even with the same size "extraction tube", gravity would be less of an obstacle if I am not having to come all the way up and out the extraction tube.  I have probed the drain hose with the "extractor tube", but I don't think that it is getting all the way through it, as I don't believe it is as long as the hose.  I guess in my mind I am envisioning an accumulation of debris and gunk in the pan at the inlet to the drain hose that is getting in the way - similar to blockage when draining water from a block - I just don't have anything to poke in there to loosen it up!

I will plumb up a fitting and see if I can get better results with a direct connection to the drain hose tube - and at least give me a clean place to lip lock - shouldn't get too much back flow if it is above oil pan level when I start making out with the hose! - No there will not be pictures provided!

Thanks all for the input.

my extractor hose bottoms out at the pan, i put my electric pump on the swim deck and hose is long enough to bottom out where hose meets pan.  you should feel it stop real solid, i don't think your at bottom of hose, you even said i don’t think its long enough to get there.   4 3/4 out in 30 minutes 

i would hate to have to use a fitting at top if hose vs easy push of the tube down the hose,  i just push it in between the valve cover and cat and it stands up on its own with hose down it, walk away!

Edited by granddaddy55
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On 12/5/2020 at 3:55 PM, amartin said:

I ended up with a combo solution.  Once I got a clean end on the hose, I put some pressure on it via lip lock.  It look a while, but I could soon hear bubbles in the oil and I was flowing air.  That was done with everything cold.  After I heated everything up, I plumbed directly from the vacuum chamber on the extractor to the NPT on the drain hose.  Sucked it dry in no time flat, even with an annoying vacuum leak in my plumbing.  Got a ton more oil out than normal - which is a good thing.

Not sure if the line was "clogged" or if eliminating the small diameter extractor tube, but the problem appears to be solved.  Thanks for all of the crew input.

i think it was clogged, try it without the npt fitting next time and try extractor down hose again, its so simple

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