Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1989-1996 Repair Guide

Engine

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OIL LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Check the engine oil level every time you fill the gas tank. The oil level should be above the ADD mark and not above the FULL mark on the dipstick. Make sure that the dipstick is inserted into the crankcase as far as possible and that the vehicle is resting on level ground. Also, allow a few minutes after turning off the engine for the oil to drain into the pan, or an inaccurate reading will result.

  1. Open the hood and remove the engine oil dipstick.
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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the engine dipstick to check the oil level

  1. Wipe the dipstick with a clean, lint-free rag and reinsert it. Be sure to insert it all the way.
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Fig. Fig. 2: Diesel engine dipstick location

  1. Pull out the dipstick and note the oil level. It should be between the SAFE/FULL (MAX) mark and the ADD (MIN) mark.
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Fig. Fig. 3: To get an accurate reading, turn the engine off and wait a few minutes before checking the dipstick



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Fig. Fig. 4: Wipe, re-insert, then check the oil level against the markings inscribed on the dipstick

  1. If the level is below the lower mark, insert the dipstick and add fresh oil to bring the level within the proper range. Do not overfill.
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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the oil filler cap from the rocker arm cover to add oil

  1. Recheck the oil level and close the hood.
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Fig. Fig. 6: Even with "easy pour'' bottles, it is still wise to use a funnel to keep oil from spilling

OIL AND FILTER CHANGE



See Figures 7, 8, 9 and 10

You will need a container which is capable of holding a minimum of 7 quarts of oil for gasoline engines or 11 quarts for the diesel. A container which is larger than the oil capacity is recommended so that it can be easily slid out from underneath the truck without the danger of spillage.


CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used.

The oil should be changed more frequently if the vehicle is being operated in very dusty areas. Before draining the oil, make sure that the engine is at operating temperature. Hot oil will hold more impurities in suspension and will flow better, allowing the removal of more oil and dirt.

Though some manufacturers have at times recommended replacement of the filter at every other oil change, the editors of this information recommend the filter be replaced with each engine oil service. The small amount saved by reusing an oil filter rarely justifies the risk. A clogged or dirty filter may fail to protect the expensive internal parts of your engine.

  1. Loosen the drain plug with a wrench.
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  3. Unscrew the plug using a rag to shield your fingers from the heat. Push in on the plug as you unscrew it (this should prevent oil from escaping past the threads until the plug is removed).
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  5. Once the plug is unthreaded, quickly pull it and your arm back, away from the hot oil. Watch the oil drain and, if necessary, move the pan to keep it underneath the stream of oil. Be careful of the oil. If it is at operating temperatures, it is hot enough to burn you.
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Fig. Fig. 7: Loosen the oil drain plug with a wrench, then carefully remove it with your fingers

  1. Give the oil sufficient time to drain in order to assure you have removed the most oil and dirt possible, then carefully install the drain plug. Make sure the plug is properly tightened, but DO NOT overtighten the plug, as the threads are easily stripped. It is better to leave the plug a little loose than to overtighten and strip the threads.
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  3. Be sure to check the plug for looseness or seepage after the engine has been fully warmed.
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Fig. Fig. 8: Unscrew the bolt the rest of the way-be cautious with the stream of heated oil that will follow



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Fig. Fig. 9: Loosen the drain plug using a wrench or a ratchet and socket



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the plug by hand, keeping an inward pressure on it to keep oil from escaping past the threads

Spin-On Filter Replacement

See Figures 11, 12 and 13

To remove the filter you may need an oil filter wrench, since the filter is often fitted tightly and the heat from the engine may make it even tighter. A filter wrench can be obtained at an auto parts store and is well worth the investment, since it will save you a lot of grief.

Oil filter wrenches are available in different size ranges. Be sure to select a wrench of the proper circumference.



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Fig. Fig. 11: Spin-on oil filters are easily removed using a filter wrench, but do not use the wrench for installation; HAND-TIGHTEN the filter

  1. Position a drain pan under the filter before you start to remove it from the engine; should some of the hot oil happen to get on you, you will have a place to dump the filter in a hurry.
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  3. Loosen the filter with the filter wrench. With a rag wrapped around the filter, unscrew the filter from the boss on the side of the engine. Be careful of hot oil that will run down the side of the filter.
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  1. Wipe the base of the mounting boss with a clean, dry cloth.
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Make sure the old filter gasket was removed with the filter and is not left on the engine adapter. If the old gasket is left in place, you are almost assured to have an oil leak.

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Fig. Fig. 12: Unscrew the oil filter by hand. Remember that it's full of oil which could spill, so keep it opening-side-up



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Fig. Fig. 13: Coat the gasket on the new filter with fresh engine oil

  1. When you install the new filter, smear a small amount of new engine oil on the gasket with your finger, just enough to coat the entire surface, where it comes in contact with the mounting plate.
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  3. When you tighten the filter follow the part manufacturer's instructions. If none are provided, tighten it about 1 / 2 - 3 / 4 a turn after it comes in contact with the mounting boss.
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