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No experience at all, here, with DIY maintenance. I can drive 'em, fill 'em up, and occasionally wash 'em and that's about all!

I read messages from a lot of you experts about how easy it is to change my own oil, oil filter, tranny filter, and maybe even fuel filter, and how important it is that I do that regularly (or at least have it done), etc.

But how easy is it, really, for someone who doesn't own any special tools at all? All I have is a regular garage attached to the house, and a driveway. No jacks, no special wrenches, no nuthin but a few woodworking hand tools! And I already know from experience that even just driving half way into the garage will dump enough diesel exhaust into the garage that I'll have to disable the smoke detector in the garage while I'm working on the truck and I'll smell up the whole house for at least 24 hours! Maybe more in winter when I can't afford to open windows to vent, etc., living in Pittsburgh, PA, as I do.

Am I nuts to contemplate doing any of this myself, no matter how simple it is to you experts?

Tom
 

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Oil and filter, easy
Tranny filter-Easiest
Fuel Filter-A little tougher but still easy.
Do a search on all of this, look in the DIY section, you will find the answers to all your questions there.
 

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Assuming I find out how to do simple filter replacements, other than the right kind of wrenches to remove the filters, what special tools or equipment do I need to buy, at least one time? E.g., are all the filters and stuff I'd need to get at accessible without having to raise the truck off the ground, or do I need jacks, ramps, etc? How do I collect the fluids that I remove, and what do I do with them? I seriously doubt my tree-hugging wife'll let me just toss them over the hill into the ravine next to our property!
 

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Tom,

About the only special thing you need is a good quality oil filter wrench. Not the $3 special, get a good one. You will need an oil pan to catch the oil - get one for at least 12 qts. The engine holds about 10. You can find places that take used oil. Most service centers take it. It should be free, no charge to you. Save up some gallon milk jugs and use them for transport or some of the fancy oil pans have lids. If you are going to do your oil changes a Fumoto (sp?) valve is a great thing to get. It replaces the bolt and lets you dump the oil with only a turn of a valve. It also lets you catch the oil in a smaller container, stop the flow, swap containers and start the flow back up.

You don't need any jack or ramp. There is plenty of room under there (at least for me 6'2" and 210#).

The diesel fuel filter is tough only because it is a bit cramped in with AC lines and the 2nd battery. AND you have to unhook the water in fuel sender. Still not a big deal. Unhooking the sender usually takes me more time than the rest of the job as my big fat hands can't reach it very well. There are good write ups on doing this -- search and read.

I wouldn't worry about your wife's hugging trees, unless she starts kissing the trees, then there might be a problem (LOL)!

jb
 

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to make life easier your just gonna half to invest in a good set of normal, everyday garage tools (sockets, wrenches, ect...) and some other normal things (jack, jackstands, filterwreches, ect..)

i.e. stuff you should already have! jk ;)

don't be intimidated by working on your truck, there is nothing you can do that can't be fixed, and if you get all your info from this site and make wise decisions you won't screw anything up.

tell your wife the oil lubricates the tectonic plates which lessens the amount of earthquakes ):h
 

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Tom, You can always fill the empty 1 gal. bottles with the used oil after you have emptyed them into the truck. I go to costco, for my oil, dealer for my filters, allison (for tranny filter, cheaper). I think NAPA, has a 4in. filter wrench for the fuel filter (looks like an oil filter wrench) The fuel filter is the most difficult, only cause it is in a tight area. Read here till you build confidence! You'll get er done.Tools just basic metric wrenches and sockets, also a grease gun with a flexable (24" of hose make it easier to get to all the zerks ) at Sears. In the end you'll save lots of money- and mainly know it was done right
 

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Tom,
I look at it this way, Not only does it save you money to do it yourself, but you know the job is done right, plus while under the truck you get a good look at the drivetrain, trans and anything else that may need attention. An oil change place will only change your oil and not tell you your trans filter is weeping or there is no grease in your front end. Even if you go to the dealer and ask them to look at these things, they charge you for it. Good luck with whatever your choice.
 

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If your a complete newbie to mechanical stuff, and by your post's it sounds like you are, you might want to check with your local Community college's or maybe a Technical high school and see if they offer any basic Auto mechanic courses which can help you learn the easy stuff. Or check with your local car dealer sometimes they offer a Saturday class on simple stuff like checking fluids for new car buyer's, maybe you can sneak in there.

Once you learn the basics for one car it's about the same for all of them, even Diesels.

DD

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Use 100% synthetic oil like Mobil 1 or Rotella T Syn and you don't need to change your oil quite as often. I change mine every 7500-8500 miles.
...I just opened a can of worms....
 
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