Changing the Oil in a V8 Vantage

The essential maintenance job for the DIYer, changing the oil in a V8 Vantage is a straight-forward and easy task that isn't much different than on a "normal" car. But it is a little more complicated because the car has a dry sump oil system. There's only one filter made specifically for the V8 Vantage. Yes, there are other filters that fit, but there's no guarantee they won't explode – the V8 Vantage's oil filter has an internal bypass spring with a very high pressure rating that other filters don't have. I've tried getting custom filters made, but it's entirely cost-prohibitive. Luckily, I've got complete oil change packages ready to go in my online store.

You have a few options for oil. I discuss them in this blog post. What you use is entirely up to you, but I'd suggest ordering an extra bottle or two of oil to keep on hand so you can top up as needed between oil changes.

DISCLAIMER: As always, follow all safety protocols. Don't undertake this task if you aren't comfortable with it and fully understand it. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do. Neither Redpants, LLC or myself is responsible or liable for anything that may occur.

10 Qts (9.5L) of oil
Oil Change Package:
-New oil filter
-New oil bypass filter o-rings *1
-New oil sump plug(s)
-New copper washer
T30 torx bit
T40 torx bit
13mm socket
Ratchet for the above torx bit and socket
Cam driver *2
Large drain pan
Funnel *2
Oil filter wrench *2
Floor jack and jack stands (or a lift)
Paper towels/shop rags

*1 These o-rings are only used on the 4.3L V8. The 4.7L V8 has a different design that has an extra drain plug, but no bypass filters. The difference is reflected in Step 5, which is different for the 4.3L and 4.7L engines.

*2 These are optional but might come in handy if you want or need to use them.

Torque Ratings
Oil filter: 11-13 lb/ft (15-18 Nm)
Sump plug: 15-19 lb/ft (20-26 Nm)
Sump bolts: 15-16 lb/ft (20-22 Nm)

Step 1
Get the car up on jack stands, or use a lift.

Step 2
Remove the oil cap and set it aside, then use the T30 and T40 torx bits to remove the front undertray.

Step 3
Use the 13mm socket to remove the reservoir drain plug. Oil will drain out (this is the main drain point and you'll get the most oil from here). There is a copper washer on this drain plug. It often sticks to the underside of the sump so make sure you look for it, and don’t be surprised if it falls in to your oil drain pan.

Once the oil has stopped draining, clean the drain point and reinstall the drain plug with the new copper washer included with the Oil Change Package.

Step 4
Remove the oil filter (use an oil filter wrench if needed) and discard that oil filter. More oil will drain out. Put a tiny dab of oil on the rubber gasket in the new oil filter and spread it around the surface. You only need enough so the rubber isn't bone-dry. This will keep the rubber from binding while you install the oil filter. Once the oil has stopped draining, clean the drain point and install a new oil filter.

Step 5 (4.3L engine)
Use the 13mm socket to remove the sump plug and discard that sump plug. More oil will drain out. Once the oil has finished draining, wipe the drain point clean and install a new sump plug.

The 4.3L engine has two bypass filters that need to be cleaned. The first is located near the oil filter. You can see it here in this pic (cover removed), close to the oil filter (the mounting point for the oil filter is to the left in the pic)

Use the T30 torx bit to remove the two bolts securing the cover of the first oil bypass filter, then set aside the cover. Be careful doing this, as these bolts are notorious for seizing, then stripping when you try to loosen them. I had to use a Dremel to cut across the head of two of the four torx bolts in order to remove them.

An easier way to remove them is to use a cam driver and hammer, as I explain and demonstrate here:

Note: I supply a bolt with my oil change packages to remove the bypass filters. All you have to do is thread the bolt into the center of the bypass filter, then use a pair of pliers to clamp onto the bolt and wiggle the bypass filter while pulling it out (I show this in my video above).

Once you remove the bypass filter, oil is going to drain out (it may even splash out).This is what the bypass filters look like. One of my bypass filters caught a round sliver of metal:

Remove the o-ring from the bypass filter and discard it. Clean the filter and install a new o-ring. The oil should be done draining by now, so wipe the drain point clean and reinstall the filter.

Note: You can reuse the old torx bolts for the bypass filter covers, but these are prone to seizing. My oil change package includes hex bolts to replace the torx bolts. The hex bolts don't seize and strip like the torx bolts do, but their use is entirely optional.

Repeat the above for the second bypass filter, located about 1-ft rearward from the first bypass filter. Once finished, recheck each drain point (reservoir drain plug, oil filter, sump plug, and two bypass filters) to ensure they're secure and won't leak. 

Step 5 (4.7L engine)
Use the 13mm socket to remove the sump plug and discard that sump plug. More oil will drain out. Once the oil has finished draining, wipe the drain point clean and install a new sump plug. Repeat for the second and third sump plugs.

Step 6
Add 9.5L of oil to the oil reservoir.

Note: I usually add 9L, then run the engine for 20 seconds (with the oil cap in place), check the level, and then add the rest of the oil as needed. I do this because there may be residual oil left in the system and adding the full 9.5L capacity may overfill it.

Step 7
Double check that none of the drain points under the car are leaking, then reinstall the front undertray.

All done!