Bad engineering

So, I got 3k miles on the new truck. Dodge Ram with the big Cummins diesel.

At 3k, I thought I’d change the oil and filter. Get the gasket edges and other shit that is trapped in the filter and all the assembly lube and other contaminants out of the crankcase and such. Fresh clean oil and a new filter make for a happy engine and all that….

I get 3 gallons of synthetic oil. (yeah, that is a lot of oil, but it is only changed every 15000 miles) a filter and the Geno’s oil filter cap off tool….because the idiots at Dodge made no arrangements for an easy oil filter change. (On my old Dodge Truck, an ’03, one slid under the truck, used a filter wrench like this and simply turned the oil filter off the truck….it dropped right down after being unscrewed. Nothing in the way… Took less than 30 seconds.

On this new truck, one must get to the oil filter from the wheeelwell and drop the filter to the A-arm, then put the cap on it, rotate it 90 degrees, and pull it out. Then fill the new filter, put the cap on it, put it back in the little space in the wheelwell, turn it upright, remove the cap, carefully put it up to the filter housing and screw it in. You can only see the bottom third of the filter so the replacement is all by feel.

Now this is difficult, but not hard.
Unless the oil filter was out on about 4 turns too tightly at the factory….likely by a gorilla. I had to use 2 oil filter wrenches to get it to turn that first two turns. And the filter was wrinkling enough that I was worried that it was gonna tear.

We won’t talk about the fact that I had to use a wrench on a wrench to get the oil plug to turn the first turn. Again, factory torqued to  “11”. It was so tight that the plug  was distorting the steel oil pan before it finally turned. (I was wondering if it was gonna tear out of the pan, actually).

On would think that the engineers could do better. The alternative is removing the entire air cleaner (8 bolts, 2 clips and some push in fasteners, plus two large hose clamps). One would have thought that for a $65,000 truck they could do a remote oil filter or something.

Now that I have done it, the filter is correctly tightened, and the oil pan plug is properly snug. Neither are OVERtightened. It won’t be so bad next time. But a bit of decent engineering could ahve made it less bad.

I do have to say that the Geno’s Garage tool is pretty nice, and a solution to a problem that shouldn’t be there in the first place. 

5 thoughts on “Bad engineering

  1. Just wait until you have to change the fuel filter. BWAAHAHAHAHAHAA! Serious assholery was deployed there.

  2. If you have two then they must have changed it.
    I did one on my buddies 2015 Dodge last Summer.
    It only had one, the same set up they had ever since they dumped that Cummins engine in them.
    It's on the drivers side right over the motor mount and it is pretty much like the oil filter experience you described.
    Even with a bucket under it there was diesel everywhere.
    Running down the frame, the front suspension and dripping all over the ground.
    it was less than 1/8 of an inch too long to just pull it down over the motor mount so you had to fuck with it and turn it to get it out and it dumped fuel all over doing it.

    Those are nice trucks and that Cummins set up is the bomb but they are just like anything else these days to work on.

  3. That's because they no longer have factory mechanics that actually CHECK to see if you can work on the vehicle… sigh

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