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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need to change the oil in my snowblower, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to do it. The manual is not much help. I have a Yard Machines 179cc 24-inch unit. This appears to be a pretty standard setup.

Here are photos:

Snow Blower - Imgur

First photo, coming out the back of the engine, there's a metal tube with a hex nut. My dad told me (on the phone, without seeing it) to drain the oil from here. Is this correct?

But you can see in the second photo, there's this yellow plastic plug on the side of the engine. I removed it and there's definitely oil in there. What is this for? I'm guessing oil would flow out if I tipped the unit on its side.

Finally, can I just refill the oil thru the top of the engine where the dipstick is?

Thanks for any help!
 

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Yes, I'd drain it by using the more convenient plug on the pipe, and refill it through the again more convenient dip stick opening on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks dbert! I took the plug off the back pipe (a metric socket) and drained the oil. Only about 20 oz came out, so that's how much fresh oil I put in.

Why in the world the manual can't explain this very simple procedure is beyond me.

edit: 20 oz IS the oil capacity of the 179cc engine.
 

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The same engine can end up on several different machines. It is easier and cheaper for manufacturers to make one engine with several drain and fill holes than it is to make several different engines. Some machines might have something blocking one of the holes so they have other ones in place.

Glad you figured it out, though I am surprised the manual didn't say anything. Does the manual at least say how to tell when the oil is full? You can't always go by what comes out because they don't always have the right amount in them before you start. The dipstick probably has a line on it, or the small yellow plug on the side is designed to prevent over filling. Normally you fill to top top of that side hole.

One word of advice about that pipe on the back. Be careful not to put too much side force on it as you might crack the engine block where it is screwed in. Also, you can end up loosening the whole pipe instead of just the cap on the end. Two very good reasons to hold that pipe with a pipe wrench or a good pair of pliers when trying to remove the cap.

It is best to warm the engine up a bit before draining the oil. Warm oil flows quicker and I have heard helps trap contaminants that might have settled to the bottom of the engine. Also, removing one of the fill holes will allow air to enter and let it drain better. Finally, tipping the machine back a bit (and maybe to the left if you can get something under the one wheel) will help get the last little bit of oil out.
 
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