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I've posted in this forum previously about some work I'm doing to my 2002 GT. Specifically, I'm replacing the alternator; both battery cables; water pump; radiator; radiator hoses & thermostat; electric radiator cooling fan; A/C condenser; (1) A/C hose; A/C accumulator, and heater core. The catalyst for doing all of this work was the need to replace that underhood wire harness that the power distribution box is a part of (I guess it's sometimes referred to as the headlight harness). I wasn't really having problems with any of these components, but due to the car's age and mileage (103,000, which I realize it's relatively low for an almost 18 year old car), and the fact some of those components had to be removed, I decided to replace them for preventative maintenance reasons (in the case of my heater core, I replaced my floor carpeting earlier this year with NOS Ford OEM carpeting, and I don't want my nearly 18 year old heater core leaking all over my new carpeting I paid roughly $375 for!).

Anyway, I also want to at this time replace the oil filter adapter gasket. It's not leaking, but I had to have that gasket replaced on my 4.6 liter '97 T-Bird I used to own, so I figured I might as well do it now to my Mustang, especially since the radiator; all radiator hoses, and battery cables are removed from the car, and are not in my way.

Has anyone here replaced that gasket, before? I'm wondering why the Ford service manual would specify to first drain the engine oil - the filter & the adapter are mounted on the block, higher up than the oil pan. I'm hesitant to do that, unless absolutely necessary, as I've got expensive Royal Purple oil in my motor, which was just changed a couple of months prior to the car being put to on jack-stands (it's been up on them, without the motor having been run at all, for roughly three months, now). I'd just rather not drain it, then put it back in, unless removing the filter & adapter is going to cause all my oil to somehow leak out.

So, anyone know if it's absolutely necessary to drain the oil pan, first?
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