Is there supposed to be an access panel for the oil cooler?

Discussion in 'Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat' started by dodgeboy, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. dodgeboy

    dodgeboy Silver Member

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    I did the first oil change on my Charger HC this weekend (at 1,000 miles). I was expecting there to be a removable access panel, or a hole to get at the drain plug on the oil cooler. Instead, I was presented with having to remove the entire plastic panel that attaches to the bottom of the front fascia (removing screws, plastic fasteners, etc.). There's even two staples in this panel, which leads me to believe that you aren't supposed to remove it. Is the wrong belly pan (for a non-Hellcat) installed on my car?

    I looked through the owner's manual, and I didn't see any reference to removing the drain plug on the oil cooler to drain it during oil changes. It just mentions "oil and filter." It makes sense to me that it should be drained, but why would there not be an easy way to do this? Is there an access panel on the Challengers?

    Does anyone know the thread specs on that drain plug? I'd like to order a drain valve with an NPT fitting, so that I can drill a small hole in the panel and run a hose through it for future changes. I've purchased Fumoto valves in the past for the main oil drain plug, and it would work perfectly for this. There's no way I want to remove that panel every few thousand miles.
     
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  2. B5 Blue

    B5 Blue Platinum Member

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  3. tsc

    tsc SRT Hellcat Enthusiast

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    Yes, for stock setup you have to remove the main belly pan (4 bolts) to get to the main drain plug then the second panel that is also attached to the fascia to get to the oil cooler.

    Basically the same setup as the Challenger, too.
     
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  4. SRT_HC_707

    SRT_HC_707 SRT_HC_707 Staff Member

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  5. B5 Blue

    B5 Blue Platinum Member

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  6. SRT_HC_707

    SRT_HC_707 SRT_HC_707 Staff Member

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    Shaddup! Did anyone ever tell you that you have a tendency to perseverate!!!
     
  7. dodgeboy

    dodgeboy Silver Member

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    How is this practical? Is it possible that they don't expect you to drain the cooler during a normal oil change? I would've thought they would've built a quick way to get at it so that their own service techs didn't spend so much time removing panels.
     
  8. B5 Blue

    B5 Blue Platinum Member

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    IMG_20150330_123904.jpg

    Nope;)
     
  9. SRT_HC_707

    SRT_HC_707 SRT_HC_707 Staff Member

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    While I personally think it's ridiculous I can say that I've had many makes and models with similar time consuming necessity to remove the belly pan. Most of my cars it takes longer to drop the pan than it does to drain the oil.

    I like the idea of a belly pan but it should be very quick to R&R (or have access panels). The guys that design them do not take maintenance into play at all.

    Plus it just looks bad when the dealer is charging you a lot of money for an oil change due to time consuming labor. You can always make an access panel....
     
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  10. SRT_HC_707

    SRT_HC_707 SRT_HC_707 Staff Member

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  11. dodgeboy

    dodgeboy Silver Member

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    That is a good idea. I just wonder how it would hold up to vibration, wind, etc. I might order one and check it out. I may also just drill a small hole for a 3/8" hose, and attach it to an EZ drain valve, leaving the hose attached all the time. I can reach the drain plug without removing the front belly pan, so I could open the valve. I do my own oil changes as well, but I don't want to remove that panel each time. It seems like it will get sloppier each time it is removed/reinstalled.
     
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  12. zippy

    zippy Silver Member

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  13. thedynoguy

    thedynoguy Gold Member

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    personally, I don't get the deal about draining the oil cooler. I've been around high performance boats and diesel trucks since Noah built the ark and haven't ever drained an oil cooler during an oil change. If the oil is changed at a reasonable interval, I just don't see the point...
     
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  14. usmc341

    usmc341 Gold Member

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    Agreed. My Shelby had an oil cooler and it didnt have a drain. Seems like an awful lot of trouble for a few ounces of oil.
     
  15. Hemibuck

    Hemibuck Gold Member

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    So do you need to pull the plug on the oil cooler or not? I will be asking my tech when the cat gets here. If all you get is a few ounces of oil that's not worth all the headache IMO.
     
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