How to Change Oil and Install a FRAM SureDrain Oil Pan Valve on a 5.4L V8

By Stephen Dalfollo-Daley


information refers to a 2001 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L, 4WD
(4R100 Transmission) with rear heat. I hope this helps with the
construction of the Ford Expedition FAQs, general info about the Ford
5.4L engine, and provides users some info on one of the very basic
maintenance activities.

will need (cost estimates from mainly Wal-Mart)

  • 6
    quarts of your new oil (see decisioning below; ~$4/quart for Mobile1
    Synthetic 0W-20)

  • Socket
    or wrench for the oil plug

  • Socket
    or Wrench for the FRAM SureDrain Valve Install

  • Oil
    Filter (see decisioning below; ~$2.50 for Ford MotorCraft FL-820-S)

  • Oil
    filter wrench (the type that is a padded band of steel; ~$2.00)

  • Shop

  • Oil
    collection bucket (at least 6-7 quarts, ~$6.00)

  • FRAM
    SureDRAIN Oil Pan Valve (Model SD-2; ~$14.00 ““ Check for your
    proper size)


  • First
    Time: ~$48.50

  • Second
    Time: Mobile1: $26.50 (MotorCraft 5W-20: $13.00)

recommends the MotorCraft 5W-20 oil changed every 5000 miles. This is
half as often as I changed the oil on the 150K mile Explorer XLT. I
plan on changing the Mobil1 every 5000 miles, while I get an idea of
how well the oil wears with my driving”¦I might add a 1000
miles if the oil looks very good (synthetics should last longer); but
I want to balance that with the need to remove contaminants from the

I switch to MotorCraft 5W-20, then I would change religiously every
4000-5000 miles with regular driving, and religiously at 3000 if I am
taking a trip or towing my trailer. Right now, I am spending the same
amount of money on oil changes as I did on my Explorer, but I get to
use Mobil1 because I will likely keep it in the system twice as long.
These are my thoughts, read the boards to formulate your own.

Quarts of Your New Oil

  • ~$4/quart
    for Mobile1 Synthetic 0W-20); and ~$1.90 for MotorCraft 5W-20 at

  • You
    need 6 quarts

decided to run with Mobil1 Synthetic (0w-20) as I feel it best
matches the Ford requirement of 5W-20 (it says it is specially
formulated fro Ford 5W-20 requirements); check the boards for other
Mobil1 grades; Also it is winter in Colorado Springs (03/2004).

next choice (and one I may use during the summer because of more
driving, more oil changes, and lower costs) would be MotorCraft 5W-20
(also at Wal-Mart)

I would select a Castrol product, likely their synthetic (good
reviews on the boards, good oil)

or Wrench for the oil plug/Valve Install

a socket wrench or open-ended wrench for removing the plug (usually
part of a standard set of wrenches). You will also need a larger size
for inserting the oil drain valve (this size is typically NOT part of
a standard wrench set; you may need a channel lock).


decision for the filter is an easy one (MotorCraft FL-820-S (check
for your vehicle)). If I did not have that available to me, I would
go with Purolator Pure One, or WIX, or thirdly Mobil1 or CarQuest
(actually a WIX). You can search and read more if you cannot decide.
The Ford filter is a very good filter, if not the best.

Filter Wrench

chose and recommend the type that is a padded band of steel (~$2.00
at Wal-Mart). Luckily, I grabbed the right oil filter wrench at
Wal-Mart (the trusted padded band of steel). This wrench gets tighter
as you rotate it, flip it around for the other direction, very cheap;
and the handle rotates so you can find a position to move the filter.
The one at Wal-Mart fits with out a lot of play, and that works to
advantage in the Expedition filter removal. The quarters are tight,
but I am big handed and faired OK; I expected a lot worse.


have a ragbag of old/throw-away clothes? The red rags or fine linen
should work. Cotton absorbs oil better than polyester. The first time
you do this you may need several when you miss- judge wear the oil
will go coming out of the oil pan (DAMHIKT).

Collection Bucket

got a cheap and simple unit from Wal-Mart. it has two holes for
collecting oil and one cap for discharging it at Autozone/PepBoys oil
recycling locations (you DO recycle don’t you??!!). I have to say,
that I do not like it entirely well and may have to get another.

points of oil collection buckets: make sure it will hold the amount
of fluids you expect it drain (>6 quarts); the Wal-Mart design has
the plugs in the bottom of the collection area. So even when it is
plugged the area where the oil splashed is still wet and exposed. If
you plug the container area after you have drained the oil to move
the container, you will return 4 hours later and see more oil has
fallen into the recessed plugs and covered or soiled them even more.

design I saw at other stores has a 6" to 8" cap that covers
the area where the oil would drain. There is a grating there so that
filters can sit and drain, and you cannot lose the oil pan plug. When
you cover the drain area to store or bring to the recycle center the
oily areas should be completely covered. I will likely replace with
this model.

SureDrain Oil Change Valve

decided to get the oil drain valve to make oil changes easier when I
do them in the future. The valve replaces the oil pan plug.

I want to change the oil I remove a simple hand-tighten cap; the kit
comes with a ~8" tube and connector that screws on to the new
oil pan valve. When you twist the connector the last two turns, it
opens the flow of oil through the tube. Less mess, better control on
where the oil goes. I bought it at Checker, but I see them at
Wal-Mart ~$14 here is the link for more info (
My vehicle takes the SD-2 model.

to Change the Oil and Filter/ How to install a FRAM SureDrain Valve

  • First,
    you will need to warm up the engine a little to get the oil a little
    warm. I ran my engine for a few minutes until I saw the temperature
    gauge start to pick up off of dead cold (mornings here in Colorado
    are still maybe 35*F). You do not want to do this after a lot of
    driving as the engine may get very hot and the oil could give you a
    nasty burn or the engine itself. We are just trying to warm the oil
    so that it flows easier and we get more of it out.

  • Make
    sure the car is on level ground, or maybe leaning to the passenger
    side (the plug is on the passenger side of the oil pan); have your
    tools ready and make sure to review your procedures. Set the
    parking brake.

This is the order that I did it. Caveat: this is the first time I
have changed my own oil since high school; see note below for other
possible order.)

  • Lay
    down with your belly in front of the driver’s tire and look up
    through the driver’s front wheel support/steering arms (I am sure to
    be corrected on the exact name ), and you should see the oil filter.
    Some may have the oil filter remotely mounted under the front bumper
    on the passenger side or elsewhere, consider yourself lucky. Yes, it
    is tight, but doable. It was easier than I expected.

  • If
    you have never changed the oil you may find that the factory has
    torqued the filter on pretty tight; if you can’t remove with the
    filter wrench, I suggest having the Ford folks change the first time
    and replace with only hand-tightening. Some might suggest spiking a
    srew driver through, but I think it is too tight to do that.

  • Use
    your hand to wiggle the filter wrench around the filter. You may
    want to rotate the handle slightly for more clearance. Now apply
    pressure to loosen (righty-tighty; lefty-loosy). You will find
    because of the crowded nature that you can rotate only 1/32 or 1/16
    of a turn. That is OK (think happy thoughts like "Wow, the
    Expedition is the greatest truck in the world; maybe we should start
    a foundation for people who drive Dodges or Chevys to help them with
    their affliction."). Keep up the slow loosening of the filter
    with the wrench until it can be loosened by hand.

  • Now
    that you have loosened the filter, you need to prepare the oil
    bucket to receive it. Have it nearby and place it under the
    passenger side of the front differential. If you look carefully, you
    will see a plastic cover on the differential that will guide oil
    from the filter opening over the front differential and drip to the
    bucket. Prepare for the oil to come from there. As you come to the
    final turns be ready to tilt the filter up to keep oil in the
    filter. Remove the filter and turn upside down on the collection
    pan. I had maybe 1/2 cup of oil drain over the shroud.

  • Next,
    position yourself to loosen the oil pan plug on the passenger side
    of the oil pan. A word of warning if you have not done this, or not
    in a while: When you finally remove the oil plug the oil done not
    come straight down, the oil plug is on the side, so the oil will
    actually arc towards the passenger tire before it falls into the
    bucket. I lost a quart on the driveway. Next time I will have the
    FRAM SureDrain and be prepared.

  • Take
    the time to observe the oil coming out of the pan; how dark is it?
    There are places, I think that can take a sample and let you know
    more. Otherwise, if it is dark you are likely not changing often
    enough. Let ALL the oil drain; until it drips (do you think they
    wait at the quick change places ““ this is why you are doing it

  • From
    one of the new oil bottles take a finger of oil and lubricate the
    rubber gasket on the oil filter. Replace the filter, being careful
    not to mess up the threads. Most folks will just hand tighten the
    filter, and they have no problems. Because of the tight quarters to
    get to the filter, I used the wrench to tighten another 1/4 to 1/2
    turn to make sure it is snug and leak free.

  • Read
    the instructions that came with the FRAM SureDrain. Wipe off the oil
    pan opening, carefully screw in the valve and torque to the
    recommended level. Replace the cover to the new valve.

  • With
    the filter on securely, and the new drain valve and cap installed
    tightly, you should be ready to refill the engine with oil. Put in
    4-4.5 quarts of oil. You should just see the oil on the dipstick. Do
    not just add 6 quarts. Some have overflowed the system. When you
    have 4.5 -5 quarts in, replace the cap, crank the engine, this is to
    distribute the oil and fill the oil filter with oil. Shut down, and
    add the remainder of the oil at .5 quart increments, while checking
    the level. Keep in mind you will likely not go to the FULL mark on
    the dipstick. When you have 6 quarts in you are likely done.

  • Wipe
    down the engine block near the filter; wipe down the plastic shroud
    on the front differential, wipe down the oil pan. Make sure you have
    no oil on your back or clothes before driving again, DAMHIKT. Take
    the car out for a spin and warm the engine up, stop and take another
    look at the fill level. The Ford Manual recommends that you do not
    add oil if the level is between the low and full marks on the
    dipstick. You should be fine if you have added 6 quarts. Others may
    have opinions to add.

I suspect that there is some question about the order on draining
oil. I did this: remove filter, remove oil plug/replace
filter/replace plug/replace oil. I was surprised how little oil came
out of the filter and the filter hole in the block. I chose to remove
the filter first as I read that there might be a vacuum and all oil
may not drain. Next time I think I will: loosen the oil filter to
hand tight, open the oil fill cap on top; remove the drain plug to
start the removal of oil/ THEN finish the removal of the filter while
the oil pan is draining. The boards may correct me.

Some might suggest filling the oil filter with oil before replacing,
however on the side-mounted engine block oil filter I think this may
be difficult because of the close quarters. If you have a remotely
located oil filter, then it should be no problem; some say this will
reduce the ‘no oil in the system’ issue when you first crank the
engine. If you are fairly quick about changing the oil, this should
not be a problem when you first crank the engine and the new oil is
dispersed throughout the engine.

I did not change my own oil, I would consider the following:

$8 Wal-Mart will change your oil and filter with the oils and filter
of your choice (they sell both (MotorCraft filter and Mobil1 0W-20
oil (and other grades)), so it would save you the mess and hassle and
you get exactly what you want; however you can’t go down in the pit
and look at the oil coming out and look at the other parts of the

understand that Ford will also sell you the labor, and allow you to
choose the oil and filter.

hope this helps someone out, as you know you are responsible for
making sure you are using the correct fluids, filters etc.

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