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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oil change DIY procedure and ISG delete mod


I bought my 2013 McLaren 12c spider with 5400 miles from McLaren Atlanta (via Elite Autos LLC as my broker) in August of 2016. I now have 7200 miles on it, and it has been a terrific car. No issues except for the occasional electronic glitches, which always seem to correct themselves. Prior to my purchase, my car had just been inspected (three times in the prior year), and was approved for continued warranty, and just had it’s 3-year service done. I decided take a chance, and passed on the warranty, since the nearest dealership (Chicago) is over 600 miles away from me, and also, because I have several fun cars, each one can only be driven a limited amount each year. Also, I thought I might install an aftermarket tune, which would probably void a lot of the benefits of the warranty, anyway. The winters are long here in South Dakota, and I have plenty of time to perform maintenance procedures on my summer toys, and I typically do all of my own maintenance. I'm pretty anal about my vehicles, and I figure nobody is going to take more care than I will.


The first step was to get all of my parts and oil. As suggested by ima2nr and carbon, I bought all of my service items from a McLaren dealer, in this case, McLaren Chicago. Nico and Arnold there were extremely helpful and professional, and I had my parts in 2 days. Once I had my factory parts, I could see that it is indeed simple to obtain these parts elsewhere, for much less money, but I wanted to do my first DIY service with all factory parts. I cover this more later in the thread. I also purchased the air filters and cabin air filter.


Armed with a service manual from Valentin, and his thread http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/mclaren-mp4-12c/30794-tips-suggestions-mclaren-mp4-12c-oil-change.html , I loaded the McLaren onto my 4 post lift. First tip- if you have the “vehicle lift” feature, put the car in the “up” position prior to driving onto the lift and shutting the car off.




garage2by William Brunner, onFlickr

garage1by William Brunner, onFlickr






mclarenchicagoreceiptby William Brunner, onFlickr




I removed the small “rear” bottom tray, and the large “middle” bottom tray, 33 bolts in all, and they all have a 10 mm head. When reinstalling, remember that the 6 shortest bolts go at the very forward edge of the large middle tray. There are also 4 larger bolts (still have a 10 mm head), and it will be obvious which holes they belong to. The small rear tray has the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) module mounted to it (on the top side), and you will need to disconnect the clip for the wires.




lowerpansoffby William Brunner, onFlickr

partsfromchicagoby William Brunner, onFlickr

As for the best place to get your service parts and oil, a McLaren dealership is a great choice, and that way you can document that you at least started with all of the correct parts, which will probably be important to both McLaren (in the event you need their service department someday), as well as any future owners of the vehicle. However, I did verify that you can very easily (and much more cheaply) get the parts elsewhere. The oil is simple- the recommended oil is Mobil 1 0w-40 European Formula, which you can get anywhere. The oil filter (cartridge-style) is a Mahle OX254, and you can also get this easily, since several other cars use the same filter. I bought mine from ebay; it was listed for a BMW M3 E92 coupe. The two rubber O-rings that come with it are correct, and the two copper gaskets can be tossed.




oilfilterfromebayby William Brunner, onFlickr



Here are my two filters side by side (the one I bought from McLaren, and the one from Ebay). You can see they are identical.






oilfiltersthesameby William Brunner, onFlickr





The aluminum crush washer for the oil tank drain plug, and the copper gasket for the oil pan drain plug, can be purchased from your local hardware or auto parts store.




oiltankcrushalumby William Brunner, onFlickr

oilpangasketcopperby William Brunner, onFlickr



The O-rings for the turbo oil-return lines are also easy to match up and source locally. I have an assortment kit of O-rings (local autoparts store for $15), and found two that matched perfectly, although I just used what I bought from McLaren since I already had them. McLaren actually replaces the entire oil pan drain plug, which seems like dramatic overkill, but I bought it anyway ($37.52- they call it an engine bed plate plug on the invoice). Next time, I would just replace the copper gasket, and reuse the drain plug. It’s a beefy piece; I’m sure it can be used several times with confidence, as long as you change the gasket each time and torque it to spec. By the way, all of the torque specs can be found in Valentin’s thread.


Back to the procedure itself.


On the top side, I removed the coolant overflow tank cover and intake manifold cover (the two pieces that can be optioned in carbon fiber), and agree with Valentin that you do NOT have to unbolt the coolant overflow tank to gain access to the oil filter. However, I did find that it was much easier to remove the entire engine cover (the hatch with the glass) for much easier access to the oil filter. It’s only 4 bolts, plus you need to disconnect the two gas struts, which are held on with a small clip you can disconnect using a small flat screwdriver. That oil filter is way down deep, and this makes the oil filter part of the job a piece of cake. Just be sure to use plenty of protective tape to protect your paint, in case you bump things when removing the hatch.



glasshatchoffby William Brunner, onFlickr

oilfilterwaydownby William Brunner, onFlickr

After you have removed all of the necessary things and are ready to start draining the oil, be sure to let the car warm up for a bit, so the oil is warm and will drain more completely. As Valentin said, don’t neglect to drain the turbo oil return lines- lots of oil there.

There are 4 places to drain oil from- the oil reservoir/tank (which uses an aluminum crush washer), the oilpan (which uses a copper metal gasket, and the drain plug itself requires a T50 star drive bit), and the two turbo oil return lines (which each have a rubber O-ring). A hint from XPRD: when reinstalling the drain plug on the oil tank, have somebody hold a wrench somewhere on the top side of the tank, to apply some counter-torque, so you don’t twist the tank off of it’s mounts. Apparently that has happened to somebody.





turboreturnsdrainingby William Brunner, onFlickr





To remove the oil filter housing, I found that using a large 1 7/16” socket with an extension on a ratchet worked great. Not sure which metric size, but this is what I had on hand and it worked perfectly. Unscrew it slowly, so oil doesn’t trickle out and make a mess.






oilfiltersocketby William Brunner, onFlickr

oilfilterassembleddirtyby William Brunner, onFlickr






When installing the new oil filter (cartridge style), be sure to replace the small O-ring on the tip, and the large O-ring by the threads. Also, be sure to apply enough force to slide the filter COMPLETELY onto the housing, which takes a bit of force. The plastic center part of the housing should protrude past the filter about 3/4" .





oilfilterlargeOringby William Brunner, onFlickr



After you have drained all of the oil from all 4 locations plus the oil filter, and have reinstalled all of your drain plugs and turbo oil return lines, you can start adding your oil. As has been stated by others several times, and also is emphasized in your owners manual and service manual, DO NOT OVERFILL. Start with 5 quarts, and then do your oil level check procedure. If you did your oil draining correctly and thoroughly, you will need to add some more, but you can quickly go from "way too low" to "overfilled", and it’s a mess to have to drain “just a little” from one of the drain plugs. I actually found that checking the level, then turning the car off, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then doing the procedure again to check the level worked best, as sometimes it seemed to take a couple of times before it would give me an accurate reading from the last oil addition I made.


When you are finished, before you reinstall your bottom trays, it’s a good time to re-torque the lower turbo hose clamps.


To access the air filters (and I forgot to check and see if the air filters cross-referenced to any other part numbers), you need to remove the rear wheels and wheel well liners. I got to try out my new rolling bridge jack for this part, and it sure worked nice for this part of the job. There is some sort of module on the inside of the passenger side wheel well liner that will have to be disconnected. To be honest, I didn’t end up removing the drivers side, since the air filter on the passenger side still looked perfect. I just held onto my new air filters, and will change them out next time. The air filters just slide “out and down” with a bit of wiggling. They are held in place by some lips on the airbox housing and cover. No other fasteners used for them.






bridgejackby William Brunner, onFlickr

onliftjosiebridgeby William Brunner, onFlickr

wheelwelllinerby William Brunner, onFlickr

onliftwheellineroffby William Brunner, onFlickr

airfilterby William Brunner, onFlickr







I also took a peek at where the ECU is located, as I am seriously considering a “tune” this spring.






ECUaccessby William Brunner, onFlickr







At this point, I decided that since I already had things tore apart a bit, it would be a good time to delete my ISG (intake sound generator). This is a component that McLaren replaces every year or two on their service schedule. There have been some documented cases where the diaphragm fails and this allows unmetered air to enter the engine, and can cause issues. Since I am not a fan of the somewhat “artificial” sound anyway, I decided to just cap it off and be done with it. Thanks to XPRD for his advice on the matter. My advice to others would be to just buy the block-off plate from XPRD and save yourself the headache. I was anxious to get my car all buttoned up by the end of the weekend, so I fabricated my own piece. Here's a great DIY thread from ima2nr that also discusses this: http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/m...generator-saves-weight-eliminate-un-mete.html


I’m not as familiar with the arrangement on the coupes, but I think access to this area is more difficult in a spider. I found it much easier once I just removed the hose connecting the intercooler and the throttlebody, and then the throttle-body itself, which is secured with four bolts.



ISGaccessdifficultby William Brunner, onFlickr

ISGmoduleby William Brunner, onFlickr

ISGdiaphragmby William Brunner, onFlickr

ISGandthrottlebodyremovedby William Brunner, onFlickr

blockoffplatewithtemplateby William Brunner, onFlickr

blockoffplateinstalledby William Brunner, onFlickr





At this point, I was pretty happy that everything went so well, and I went to reinstall the engine cover/hatch and dropped a bolt into the engine bay. Finding that stupid thing took me longer than the whole rest of the project, but I knew I wouldn’t rest easy until it was found. I tell you what, one of those cheap (~ $40) endoscopic cameras that sync to your smartphone via wifi connection is SUPER handy for such situations. Found the little bastard hidden on top of the exhaust manifold shielding.


https://www.amazon.com/Endoscope-Depstech-Inspection-Megapixels-Smartphone/dp/B01MYTHWK4/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1517214284&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=depstech+wifi+endoscope&psc=1

Anyway, I’m sure I left a few things out, and will probably come back later to edit this thread as I think of things. Feel free to make any corrections/additions. I omitted some details that are easily figured out as you go along. Hope this helps some of you out.
 

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I needed to ask (since my ISG noise maker went out once already), does the car throw a fault code when you remove the ISG?

I ask b/c of the settings in the dash that you can go through, to make it louder -- does the car recognize something missing?

(I remember when I changed my seats, car did not "recognize" new seats ... trip to dealer)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I needed to ask (since my ISG noise maker went out once already), does the car throw a fault code when you remove the ISG?

I ask b/c of the settings in the dash that you can go through, to make it louder -- does the car recognize something missing?

(I remember when I changed my seats, car did not "recognize" new seats ... trip to dealer)

According to XPRD, no. Since I won't be able to take the car for a drive for a few months yet (wintertime on the prairie), I couldn't verify that for you yet, but no codes thrown when I start it up in the garage. But yes, I did a little research first before going through the effort, as I didn't want any problems, either. You simply disconnect the wiring connector from the ISG, and I zip-tied it to some other lines in that area so it wasn't fluttering around.


How did you know when your ISG went out? Check engine light?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great write up Clint. Always gotta have one dang bolt dropped or it wouldn't. Be a project.

Thanks, Derek. You should have stopped in- been a while!

Awesome write up; your garage/man cave is spectacular....
Thank you. That is part of the main level. The high-horsepower stuff is downstairs. :)
 

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Dakota,

Yes, I learned my ISG valve went off, by a fault-code. Forgot the number of the code, but when deciphered, would say "unmetered air entering engine" -- something like that.

So I assume it could be detrimental to let unfiltered air into the engine.

There was also a fluttering type sound when I accelerated briskly -- even my 13 year old son recognized it. But that sound alone didn't trigger my concern, was the fault code.


XPRD -- how much for one? And it doesn't throw a code?

Oh, XPRD, I forgot to ask, what size rubber plugs would I need to plug the two holes left going into the driver/passenger compartment?
 

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Dakota,

Yes, I learned my ISG valve went off, by a fault-code. Forgot the number of the code, but when deciphered, would say "unmetered air entering engine" -- something like that.

So I assume it could be detrimental to let unfiltered air into the engine.

There was also a fluttering type sound when I accelerated briskly -- even my 13 year old son recognized it. But that sound alone didn't trigger my concern, was the fault code.


XPRD -- how much for one? And it doesn't throw a code?

Oh, XPRD, I forgot to ask, what size rubber plugs would I need to plug the two holes left going into the driver/passenger compartment?
50.00 shipped for this batch. So few people buying this confuses me. I hate the isg. No idea in the hose side.

XPRD
 

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Awesome write-up!! LOVE that garage!

Regarding the ISG block off mod... I can confirm no Check engine Light issues. Just unplug the ISG module and safely wire tie the harness to the side and your ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, no problems. I’ve pulled enough various cars onto it that I have a good idea of where I am at with each car. The Ford GT is a little more stressful; only about an inch to spare on either side of the side-view mirrors.
 
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