As the engine is effectively brand new, Turner Engineering recommend the first oil change be carried out at 500 miles. Turners provide 10 litres of running oil for this stage. 

Running in oil has a higher concentration of zinc. This helps protect all of the components in the drive train (camshafts, rockers, pushrods etc). It also allows the piston rings to bed in correctly with the cylinder walls, preventing glazing of the bores. Glazing results in the honing on the inside of the cylinder wall to become less effective at returning oil to the crank case… thus it gets burnt = blue smoke.

Typically the viscosity of most running in oil is around 15W40, although the oil supplied Turners didn’t seem to have a viscosity rating… More on viscosity later.  

Turner Engineering stipulate certain driving styles be adopted during the running in phase… Normal urban driving (including motorway driving). Don’t flog the engine (low revs up steep hills) Don’t thrash the engine (unnecessarily high revs). Make use of the gearbox and do some runs under moderate load to help bed in the piston rings.

With all of the above criteria ticked off and the mileage limit reached… (and exceeded a little) it’s time for the first engine oil and filter change.

The workshop Manual specifies a 15W40 mineral oil. I managed to find a decent branded mineral oil locally, so stocked on enough to do 2 engine and filter changes. 

So what does the engine oil do?
  • Reduces friction (obviously)
  • Creates a barrier between metal surfaces
  • Disapates heat from away from the combustion cycle
  • Reduces oxidisation 

Motor oil comes in many different thicknesses (viscosity). Most motor oils available (outside of North America) follow the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) rating… and it looks like this… “20W-60” (by way of example) 

The W in the designation stands for Winter. So, if we take the oil LGL needs, (15W40) “15W” relates to the low temperature viscosity at -15 degrees C. The second number, 40, indicates the viscosity at 100 degrees C.

Motor Oil Viscosity Chart (degree C)

There are 3 main types of motor oil available.

  • Fully synthetic (manufactured in a lab).
  • Semisynthetic (mix of manufactured and refined oil)
  • Mineral (refined during the cracking process of crude oil)

The 2.25ltr petrol engine in LGL uses as a mineral oil. There’s much discussion as to the suitability of semisynthetic and synthetic motor oil in older engines but it all comes down to… “lubricate as per manufacturers instructions”… so we’ll do that then 🙂

That’s the science bit over and done with, time to get our hands dirty.  First of all… a large piece of cardboard is laid on the garage floor, because, with the best will in the world it’s going to drip. 

The oil is drained off from the lowest point of the engine sump via the sump plug.


Oil is refilled via the red filler in the centre of the picture.


Best laid plans…

It helps if the engine (and therefore the oil) is warm. Once the plug is removed, get your hand out of the way quick and try not to drop the sump plug in the oil pan… Hmm.


Hastily improvised fishing rod to retrieve the filler plug from the oil pan. Old bicycle speedo magnet and a length of fencing wire!



It’s a good idea to leave the oil to drain for a while… long enough to have a cup of tea and a digestive seems to be optimal. 

Searching my collection of crush washers to replace the one on the drain plug. (good practice to do this)


Sump plug and new copper crush washer being wound back into the empty sump


Old engine oil can be recycled locally. I find this the easiest method of decanting it into a 20 litre plastic Jerry can.


Now it’s onto the filter. Most engines these days have a screw-on cartridge filter. The body and filter are all one disposable item. The Series Land Rover engines have a separate filter housing and filter element. There is, however, an adapter available to fit a more conventional cartridge filter. Maybe one day…  

The filter is positioned at such an angle that it’s not unheard of for the unwary mechanic to end up with an armpit full of warm engine oil when removing the housing… Yes, it has happened to me on more that one occasion and yes, it’s as nasty as it sounds!

Although I do this kind of stuff infrequently, by that I mean I don’t make a living out of servicing cars, I always use a decent barrier cream and disposable gloves when handing old engine oil. All of the following can be found in used engine oil…sulphur, aluminium, arsenic, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, silicon, sodium, tin, toluene, benzene, xylene, ethylbenzene… hence the barrier cream and gloves!

Whilst the engine is now totally empty of oil, the filter housing is still full. As it sits at an angle on the side of the engine block, as soon as the main bolt is unscrewed oil will start to leak out. 

Filter housing. The large bolt on the “nose” needs to be unscrewed to remove the housing.


Once the main bolt head is cracked off a few turns, the oil start to run out of the filter housing. As it sits directly above the front prop shaft, it drips onto this, runs down it and crips off somewhere else. Great. Make sure the oil pan is suitably positioned!

So far so good. My armpits and wrists remain oil free. Best to let the oil drain off. Once again, the time required to do this is the same as it takes to make a cup of tea and have a another digestive. Coincidence? 


Filter housing removed. Oil is pumped from the engine, into the housing via the opening at the top. It’s then forced through the paper element, removing particles etc and returned to the engine via the aperture around the threaded hole in the centre. The other opening opposite the intake, is where the oil pressure gauge takes its reading.


Old oil filter, seal and housing (the latter after a good clean)


New (Land Rover) oil filter, seal and housing.


New filter in the housing…


Housing and filter in place. The filter sits on a spring inside the housing so when the housing is screwed to the boss, the filter is pressed hard against the inside separating the incoming flow with the outgoing flow of oil.


Finally refill the engine with new 15W40. The engine needs 6 litres but as the oil filter has been renewed, an additional 850ml needs to be added… check the level on the dipstick. Job done 🙂