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My daughter bought a 1975 Mercedes 240D several months ago and we just tried to change the oil. The oil was very dirty and it took about 5 quarts to refill it. The problem we confronted was when we tried to insert the oil filter from NAPA. First, the oil filter was too large to fit into the canister in the car. (about 3.75 inches and the canister was about 3.5 inches). The oil filters from Rock auto vary in size from 3.54 to 3.75...very strange. worse yet, there was no oil filter in the canister. It did have oil in it but it was not dirty and there was no evidence that it was circulating. Is there a check valve or other place it could be obstructed so that there is no circulation in the oil filter canister? (I'm going to call the maintenance facility tomorrow that was supposed to be maintaining this car for the last several years.)
Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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Oil filter canister

To the best of my knowledge the oil filter canister drains when you pull the top off. mine are allways mostly empty when I change filters.

I actually poured a 1/2 gallon of motor in it the first time I changed filters on my first 300d. (1978 w123). I pour and when I looked in it was gone. I checked my dip stick and there it was.

I'm thinking the filter is the last stop after the oil cooler then it flows back to the crank case from there.
 
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