The Garage - Maintenance
Engine Oil & Filter Change!

About Me
Photo Gallery

Last Updated: 12/3/2013
Engine Oil & Filter Change

Royal Purple, Inc.
One Royal Purple Lane
Porter, TX 77365
Phone: 281-354-8600
Toll Free: 888-382-6300
Fax: 281-354-7600
Click here to visit their website.

Summit Racing Equipment
Address: P.O. Box 909
Akron, OH 44398-6177
Phone: 800-230-3030
Click here to visit their website.

The fabrication, modifications and designs you see on this web site are completed by myself. If you duplicate these modifications you do so at your own risk. I do not endorse or make any claims to their safety, performance, On-road or off-road worthiness. Any "Product Reviews" are my sole and personal opinion. These reviews are on items purchased from or provided by reputable aftermarket suppliers. All registered trademarks belong to their respective owners.

Keep this site alive!
If you find the material on this site useful, please consider making a small PayPal donation to support my work and to keep this site alive. Thank You!

Visit the Photo Gallery

The "Photo Gallery" has some of my favorite pictures of my Durango, our family trips, and others of interest.

Regular oil and filter changes are the best way to ensure longer engine life. Most Magnum engines run a bit hot and can be very hard on the oil. Even missing a single oil change on these otherwise very reliable engines can cause the Magnum engine to develop sludge which can cause engine damage with as little as 15000 miles to the odometer.

Today's modern oils contain detergents and additives that are designed to protect against sludge formation, but if you regularly do a lot of stop and go driving, like rush hour driving, engine heat will eventually break down these additives so that they stop protecting your engine. Sludge problems are usually not covered by any warranty (if any exists) and you could be stuck with a bill for major engine work!

If you are unable to do your own maintenance please make sure that you bring your truck to a qualified Dodge Dealership or a mechanic you can trust

A bad mechanic can make more damage to you truck than you think. Many of the lube shops hire inexperienced grease monkeys that I personally just can't trust. I have read and heard of several people who had Jiffy Lube change their oil and didn't put the filter back on properly resulting in a damaged engine. Quick lube garages are notorious for overfilling the engine with oil, which I have seen myself. This will kill your engine as where the oil reaches the height of the rotating crankshaft, and this whips the oil into a froth. Oil with lots of air in it does not lubricate well. The result can be the same kind of problems you wuold have running a truck without or to little oil...e.g. bearing failure, catastrophic damage.

Factory service schedules should always be followed when it comes to maintaining a vehicle. The vehicles engine oil doesn’t just lubricate the internal engine parts; it also helps to cool them. Over time the oil will break down, thus reducing its ability to lubricate and dissipate heat. Factory engineers always recommended a specific engine oil and take many variables into account when designing a service schedule, so they should be followed as closely as possible.

Engine Oil & Filter
The Dodge Magnum 5.9l loves Synthetic Oil!
I have found, after trying many brands, that I personally like Royal Purple Oil the best as it seems to unleash some extra power and it also looks much less "old" after each maintenance cycle than the two other brands I have tried which were Mobil1 and Valvoline respectively. Maybe down the line when my financial situation allows it, I will be sending some of the used oil for testing to an independent lab to have a real comparison.

Here is a simple chart which I am using to determine what viscosity is right for my engine.

Royal Purple
Engne Oil

The correct oil viscosity is usually specified in the trucks handbook. Viscosity the measure or how thick and oil is and how well it will flow. The lower the viscosity and lower the number, the thinner it is and the the faster it will flow. High viscosity oils are thicker and will flow more slowly than a lower viscosity at the same temperature.Thus, depending were you live the oil you will be using may differ from the one I choose for the cold winters and mild summers here in the Michigan UP.

My viscocity may change at one or the other interval depending on the amount of miles I am antcipating to put behind me within a given time frame, e.g. if I am going on a vacation trip I may choose a different viscosity depending where I am traveling to etc. I don't mind giving my truck an extra oil change between my normal intervals, my engine will thank me for it on the long run.

I prefer to purchase my Royal Purple engine oil at the local auto parts store.

Goto Royal Purple's site to find the nearest dealer to you by clicking here.
Royal Purple, Inc.
Phone: 281-354-8600

Royal Purple was founded in 1986, but its roots go back much further. Founder John Williams was a pioneer in developing synthetic lubricants as far back as the 1940s and 1950s. He used his expertise in chemical engineering working with other lubricant companies prior to founding Royal Purple.

Mr. Williams decided to name the company Royal Purple since historically, royalty used the color purple for only the finest of fabrics because it was so expensive to produce. Mr. Williams’ hope was that the color’s association with quality would symbolize the quality in all of Royal Purple’s lubricants.

Today, Royal Purple continues to commit significant resources into research and quality assurance to ensure that it continues to raise the standard of excellence in lubrication.

Drain Plug w/Magnet
I use the Summit Oil Pan Drain Plug on my Dodge Durango which I purchased at Summit Racing Equipment last year. This drain plug has a RH thread size of 1/2-20 in. offering a build-in magnet which suppose to remove small metal particle from the oil. This can be a life saver for the engine as I am able to check for any metal shavings or particles which can be of great help as to point me to the actual problem. For under 5 bucks, it's a no-brainer!

The manufacturer recommended oil and filter change interval for the Dodge Magnum engine is every 3000 miles. This is taken directly from the 2003 Dodge Service Manual for Dealers. I talked to the mechanic at the dealership from from where I purchased my truck from told me "3 months or 3000 miles, You may be able to go up to 5000 miles with high quality synthetic engine oil, but I don't recommend it".

Anyway, I change my oil before the 3000 miles or 3 month are up no excuses, but's, or if's! I have made myself a special software program and an online service chart for just that purpose which can be accessed by me from anywhere with internet access.

I need 5 quarts of oil for an oil change on my 5.9l Magnum (You need 6 quarts for the 4.7l). I always install a brand new oil filter which I prefill 2/3 of it's capacity before installation.
I am using on my engine usually the Mopar Performance (# P4529190) Race Oil Filter. The filter which is available from Summit Racing is a high performance, heavy duty race oil filter which has a thicker canister with a high burst strength. However, I do substitute here and there with the Mopar Performance (#P4452890) standard sized canister oil filter which is available at my local Walmart .

Mopar Performance Race Oil Filter

Getting Started with the Oil and Filter change
The basic procedure of this project does not require much skill, mainly crawling under the warm truck, placing a container to catch the old oil under the oil pan, opening the drain plug, replacing the oil filter by un-screwing the old one and replacing it with a partially oil filled new one, and after placing the drain plug back onto the pan, opening the oil filler cap and adding about 5 quarts of oil to the engine while keeping an eye onto the engine oil dip stick.

1. Warming up the engine (it's 17F (-8C today) and setting up what's required for the job.

2.Opening the drain plug and draining the oil from the engine into a container below. Re-installing the drain plug and cleaning off any spilled old.

3. Removing the old Oil Filter (making sure the o-ring is still on the old filter, if not, recovering it from the engine).

4. Pre-Filling the new Oil filter with fresh engine oil to about 2/3 of it's holding capacity,

5.Putting a small film of oil over the o-ring and then installing it.
The new oil filter needs to be hand tightend only.

Tip: Put a roll of strong, absorbent Blue Shop Towels on your bench and you’ll always be ready to clean up oil, coolant and other messy fluids.

Perforated Towels won’t fall apart when wet, so they’re great for a variety of cleanup jobs around the shop or garage You can get these at any Ace Hardware Store, at Walmart, and many other local stores.

6. The waste oil goes in an old oil jug I saved from last time.

7. Cleaning all my tools and the container I used to catch the old oil in assures me a nice working enviroment next time I want to use the stuff.

8. Getting 5 quarts of Royal Purple Oil ready and after taking off the cap from the valve covers, I am re-filling the engine with new oil through that opening. After I put about 4 quarts into the engine, I start watching my dip stick very closely to ensure correct fill level. I don't want to much oil in the engine.

The last thing on my to-do-list is to check for proper oil pressure and read off the milage from the odometer.

It's about an hour later and all is done including filling the empty quart bottles with the old oil and bringing it to a local facility which disposes of the engine oil for me.

On the way home I had a new idea of reusing the waste oil in my own self made oil based heating system?

This would also make a great summer project! Thus, at least for now, I will be saving my drained engine oil in a few old jugs and fuel cans I have laying around until I can get my hands on a big used barrel for a better storage solution.

My Recent Oil & Filter Change Log


MO = Motor Oil Royal Purple 5W-30 (~ 4.5 quarts)
OF = Oil Filter Mopar Oil Filter
TO = Transmission Oil
TF = Transmission Filter
*Oil change always includes Filter change

It is my believe that any store that sells to me new fluids for my vehicle such as engine oil is/should be required to dispose of any waste fluid from the vehicle
including the old and used up engine oil I bring back to them. Please make sure to ask before you buy your oil or other fluids. In any case, please dispose of your old oil and fluids properly. It 's just the right thing to do!

Well, the oil change has been completed! Of course, having to do this at 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8C) in the middle of a Michigan's winter isn't neccessary the most cozy of jobs, but all things considered, this project (if you can even call it that) was simple to do and was done within less than an hour on a Wednesday late afternoon. ...but the best is that I don't have to worry about an oil change for another 3000 miles!.

This project was completed on 02-03-2010

Unauthorized use of any materials presented here is prohibited. Copying or reproducing any elements from this page other than for personal use is not permitted. Concept, Designs, Artwork, including the contents of the website such as images created by or for SnowDigger and it's text are ©2013 All Rights Reserved. The logos presented on this site are trademarks of their respective owners. is just a fan site, I am in no way affiliated or endorsed by Chrysler, Dodge, or anyone connected with them.