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Re: [T3] Lesson learned

When I bought my first Volkswagen early in 1968 (a 1963 Type36 Variant), I
decided to do an oil change at home.  This was in Zambia in Central Africa and
where I was there was no suitable garage or VW service place.  I had never done
an oil change before but I had bought an Elfrink manual.  I was determined to
be self-reliant while isolated in the African bush and I thought I knew how to
do it anyway.  I had bought 4 litres of good quality Castrol 20W50 oil and had
a friend obtain new oil strainer cover gaskets etc for me from town.  I dug a
hole in the ground, warmed the engine up and drove the car over the hole.
Despite the hot engine, I removed the oil strainer cover and drained the old
dirty black oil into the hole.  I didn't even drop the little nuts and copper
washers into the hole.  I was clever.  I then meticulously washed the oil
strainer and cover and all the little cap-nuts and washers in petrol and with
great care laid them out on newspaper to dry.  Then, I carefully measured out
3.5 litres of fresh engine oil and poured it into the engine.  I felt very
pleased with myself.

Nevertheless, before starting up and driving off, I thought I would just check
the oil level and also admire the nice golden coloured oil.  To my complete
astonishment the dipstick showed the engine was empty!!!  ......   Then I saw
the oil strainer, cover plate, nuts and washers neatly laid out on the
newspaper!  I had forgotten to put them back on again and all those 3.5 litres
of brand new engine oil were in a hole in the ground mixed up with sand and the
old dirty black oil!!!!!

That was a lesson learned.  Unfortunately, I'm ashamed to say, some seven years
later in the bush in Central Australia and after countless oil changes since, I
had to learn that same lesson all over again!!!!

Simon Glen
Toowoomba,  Australia.

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