$2 DIY Topsider


1. Vacuum cleaner (shop or domestic unit) with ITS hose

2. 5 gal plastic joint compound or detergent bucket (or appropriate size container strong enough not to collapse under vacuum cleaner suction)

3. ~ 5 feet of 5/8" OD plastic tubing with some fabric in the walls to help it resist collapsing due to suction and heat from the oil


1. Near the outer edge of the bucket's plastic top, cut a small hole slightly smaller than the 5/8" tube. Insert end of 5/8" tube snugly into this hole - NOT to the bottom of the bucket - only an inch or so into the top - enough to stay securely in place. (If the discharge end of the evacuation tube is below the oil level in the bucket, much bubbling and turbulence will occur in the oil when most of the oil has been removed from the engine, and the sucker sucks air. The turbulence may cause oil to be spattered near and drawn into the vac hose.)

2. Near the opposite edge of the bucket's top from the 5/8" tube, cut a hole slightly smaller than the suction end of the vac cleaner hose. Insert suction end of the vac cleaner hose snugly into this hole - NOT way down in the bucket - just past the top enough to stay securely in place.

3. Insert other end of 5/8" OD plastic tube snugly INTO TOP inch and a half or so of engine oil dipstick tube. (If you feel more comfortable by wrapping a bit of tape around the plastic tube to increase its size and make it fit more snugly INSIDE the dipstick tube, please do so.)

4. Attach other end of vac hose to the vac cleaner.


In lieu of plastic joint compound or detergent bucket, use 5 gal. kerosene, gasoline or other appropriate metal or plastic can with built-in pouring spout and filler opening.

1. Insert suction end of vac cleaner hose snugly into the can's pouring spout.

2. Insert/install end of 5/8" oil removal tube in the can's other opening. (I used PVC couplings/fittings of appropriate sizes to adapt filler opening for the 5/8" tube. I also used a short section of 1=" dia. PVC, installed with slight downward slope inside the top of the can to discharge the oil across the can as far as possible from the suction/vac opening. The 1=" PVC pipe inside the can also causes the air being removed from the engine after the siphoning action is broken to slow down enough to "release" small droplets of oil that may be suspended in it.)


1. Have engine at or near operating temp.

2. Loosen top of oil filter canister & lift it =" or so to allow oil to run freely out of canister down into oil pan when vac starts.

3. Turn vac cleaner ON.

4. Change filter while oil flows into the receiver. (I can't get mine changed before the oil removal is finished.)

5. When satisfied that oil removal is complete/sufficient, lift end of 5/8" tube out of dipstick tube. (Turn end of tube upward and lift it upward to aid flow of any oil in the tube into the bucket.)

6. Turn vac cleaner OFF.


8. Clean up - stow equipment.

This can also work nicely in the dark. : ))

Wilton Strickland, 2002