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TR2/3/3A TR3 Oil Change

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
About 5 quarts will put it at the lower line on the dip-stick. I used to put in 7 quarts to take it to the top line, but it seemed to drip or get blown out till it got down. So I leave it between the bottom line and about 1/8" above that. I use Castrol 20W50 like all other early 4-cylinder owners use and in 16 summers, I've driven 94,000 miles on this engine.



According to the shop manual 5 qts. Most popular oil is probably 20w-50 Castrol.


Luke Skywalker
It will be a little different if you have a spin-on oil filter adaptor -- depends on which filter you use.

20W50 is great unless you're always running in really hot weather, or driving hard. When I lived in Houston, I ran straight 50wt racing oil. Up here in Olympia, WA I run Castrol 20/50. I think I have synthetic blend in there, because that's what was on deep discount. I wouldn't use a straight synthetic, though.

Geo Hahn

Country flag
Certainly more than 5. Like Don, I keep the level in the lower half of the 'add/full' range.

If you read a capacity figure in a manual, bear in mind that it may be referencing Imperial measurements.

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
I have heard a rumour that if you ask 6 TR3A owners to put the dip-sticks from their engines all side by side for comparison, you will find that size matters. Not "their" dip-sticks, the ones from the car. I mean . . . they might all be different and may all have the low and high scribe lines at different places. That's the rumour I heard. If so, that can have an effect on the number of quarts needed. For a quick conversion, 5 US quarts = 4 Imperial quarts and a liter is very close to a US quart.


Thanks for all the information. I will start with 5 quarts and keep an eye on the dip stick readings. The oil filter is a cartridge replacement that came with the car. Any recomendation on where to purchase more?

Geo Hahn

Country flag
Wait 'til after that first oil change... your question may change to where to get a spin-on filter adaptor.

I used to call that the 'Capt Hazelwood Oil Change' (skipper of the Exxon Valdez) but maybe I was just sloppy. Anyway, I find it *much* quicker, cleaner and easier with a spin-on.

The usual big 3 have the cartridges, never tried to source one at NAPA, etc.

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
I don't have a spin-on oil filter. Everyone talks about the problems they have with the original oil filter and I'll tell you what I did to make it easy. I fumbled to get it off (that was about 15 years ago) and I looked at it carefully. Next, I cut about 1/4" off the long threaded shaft that holds it all together. Then I took the long shaft and ground the end that I had just cut shorter and put a 45 degree chamfer on the end. This taper makes it easy to centralize when you are re-assembling it all lying on your back on your rolling dolly with a light to see correctly. The shorter length means that you can spin off the original filter body using a full ratchet closed end on the head of that long bolt, before the wrench or the head of the bolt hits the crankcase breather down-pipe.
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