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Author Topic: Doh! While changing the oil...  (Read 7357 times)

luoma

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2007, 01:42:01 AM »
Thanks for the tip. I'll start with 2 qt from now on. Because it uses an oil tank, it's probably safer to run a bit low than a bit high.

gapl53

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2007, 03:38:05 PM »
Just for information. I've been checking my oil when cold after standing overnight. The level on the dipstick is 1/4 of the way between the low and high mark. When hot and after leaving it drain back to the tank it comes to just under the full mark. My engine must like it there because the levels have not changed during the 620 miles, mostly at 60mph and above, that I traveled the past 5 days.

luoma

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2007, 11:12:27 PM »
Thanks. I've recently heard that 2 qt is more acurate than the 2.4 (converted from metric) recommended. I have to be more careful now that i've begun using synthetic ($$$).

indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2007, 11:27:51 AM »
I assume that when you refer to half, 3/4th or whatever else, that is with reference to the hatch marks on the stick that indicate the range between H and L, and not the entire length of the stick itself?
As I have posted somewhere else, among other things, I need to get myself a baster!
Also, how many oil drain bolts are there?
Can someone help with information about where I can obtain a service manual for the Electra X? It will probably be easier for me to get it from the US, the DIY culture does not prevail quite as much here in India!
If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Leonard

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2007, 01:46:44 PM »
Also, how many oil drain bolts are there?
Can someone help with information about where I can obtain a service manual for the Electra X? It will probably be easier for me to get it from the US, the DIY culture does not prevail quite as much here in India!

 You should be able to find a service manual here:  Online Store
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2007, 02:08:59 PM »
Thanks, I should have checked first! Question to anyone who has used the Electra Service Manual, listed in the store for USD 29, have you found it to be of use in all the little and not so little things that one does with the bike in addition to riding it?
Question for CMW, would this be the manual that I would be able to use for what is designated as the 500 Machismo in India - from what I can see, other than the tank graphics/treatment and front mudguard and a few other small details, this seems to be identical to the AVL engined Electra X in the US. And as Amazon is able to, do you ship the manual to India, if I buy it on line?
If I could obtain it from RE India, it would be a lot cheaper, I know, but that's a big if we are talking about!
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Foggy_Auggie

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2007, 06:49:38 PM »
Just an anecdote since I own the older iron engine.

* I always change the oil filter with every oil change.

* I never pay much attention to the capacities given in the manual.

* I put one quart into the oil tank - after filling the timing chest.  Check the level after spinning the engine with the spark plugged removed.  The oil level is hard to see with new oil but it can be done.  I then add oil at 1-1/2 ounces at a time till it reaches the half-way point on the dipstick range.  In sunlight or shop light the oil level can be made out by angling the stick to the light.

* I then start it up and let it run at idle for about 5 minutes.  Shut it off and recheck the oil level after a draindown period.

* The bike never has had a full two quarts of oil in it (pretty close though).

* I check the oil level cold every morning before riding - as long as it's at the 1/2 or a little below on the dipstick everything is fine.  Nothing more complicated then this.

* I had an oil blowout through the catch can when I first had the bike - I was keeping the oil level at the full mark.

Regards, Foggy
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indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2007, 07:56:37 PM »
The thing is that half on the dipstick in a cold engine, in my case is translating to an inch above the H mark in a hot engine,,,I am therefore guessing that around 1/4th is probably right when cold.
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indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2007, 03:08:28 PM »
I have a peculiar problem with the bike - and I am very conscious of not overfilling.
In a hot engine, drained as suggested here, the level reads 3/4th, and that is fine. The problem is that when cold after being parked for day or two, the dipstick shows no oil on it.
So now I am at a loss to know how to check the oil level on a cold bike - I now need to start, let it drain, then check,,,a process that will take time. Also, what if it is showing no oil at cold because there is indeed no oil in the tank, and if I thought that it is not for that reason, and started the bike to do the hot engine check, the engine would have run for two minutes on no oil, a thing I do not want to think of!
Any fellow sufferers? Any advice?
Thx in advance!
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Kiwichick

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2007, 07:17:49 PM »
Hi India48
As you know, we bought our Electras within days of each other.  Mine has been sitting in the garage for a week (sob) so I went and checked the oil - sure enough, as you say, level way way down. My oil level, as set by the dealer, is just at full when hot - and I can just see the oil on the bottom of the stick this morning - it is at the bottom mark (say 2-3mm).  So with your level reading 3/4 when full, stands to reason it disappears completely when cold.

Now because of my decomp lever/kickstarter problem, I haven't been kicking my bike through to TDC before parking it up.  Would wet-sumping drain that much oil?  Do you put her at TDC before you park it?

Biddy

indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2007, 11:32:16 PM »
Yes, I have been putting it at TDC - in a parked bike for a couple of days,will that have the level on the dipstick fall or rise, as compared to not putting it at TDC? I am bit confused on that.
And, the advice I get is to not see oil up to the H mark on a hot/then drained for a few minutes engine, 3/4th is a better idea, since the bike is unhappy with the slightest extra oil. But then the cold engine is showing no oil on the stick,,,,
Am perplexed!
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indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2007, 01:42:54 AM »
Conclusion I am also coming to by  a process of intuitive guessing is that the cold reading is not a reliable one - for the same amount of oil in the engine, it will give you different readings depending on how much oil is sitting in other parts of the engine than the oil tank. So there is no consistent relationship between a dipstick reading on the hot/drained engine and on a cold overnight parked read after two days one that one can assume to rely on getting this right by a cold reading. Which means that the only way to check it the level is when it is hot/drained. Which means that you have to hope that firing up the engine for two minutes to get the reading, will not mess up the engine even if there is no oil in it to go around.
Which then means that there needs to be a pretty good protocol for the heating/draining times so that one is reading at the right time.
So, questions as follows:
1. How long should the engine run when cold to get it to the hot stage - one minute? two? What is the minimum it should be run?
2. Assuming one is able to touch the dipstick after a run for an hour, can the oil level be checked directly after the run?
3. In the case of 1 above, what is the draining time one should give before checking the level? One minute? Two? Five? Is the draining period important to get the right message from the reading? Or leaving it loose, like, saying couple of minutes good enough? Or is it a gotta time by a stop watch subject to get it right. I am asking this because I remember reading that the draining process happens pretty rapidly in the initial few minutes.
4. And in the case of 2 above, it may take up to 5 minutes to get the dipstick out given the heat around, and in it. So what is the draining time range that is ok after a long run?
Sorry for sounding so fussy here, but I guess people here would understand, and help out if they have any ideas. The bike is fussy about the oil it needs to be just the right amount, and that quirk is another part of the charm for most people here, I am guessing.
Just back from a one hour spin on the roads early in the morning, and the bike ran flawlessly - up and down the gears - what joy!!
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indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2007, 10:33:59 PM »
Further observations - I ran the bike yesterday morning and last night I checked the cold level - just visible at the bottom of the stick. Before I went for the ride, I checked the oil hot/drained and it was at 3/4th on the stick after a 2 minute run/2 minute drain cycle, and I know that is the right level for the oil. And of course the bike ran flawlessly for 30 miles, at speeds up to 50 mph/80 kmph, where I run it at, at the 500mile/800km on the odo in my running in regime. It could also not have done that without the oil!
Checked just now again in the morning, cold, and no oil on the stick!
Left the piston at TDC when the bike stopped.
I know that the oil is somewhere in the bike, because the floor below is spotless.
So, where did the oil disappear to overnight, and why?!!
I remain perplexed, and all of the previous posts questions remain relevant!!
Any wisdom will be truly appreciated!!
The natural tendency is to add a little more oil just to be safe, but I know that the Bullet  does not like this and starts spraying it out like the VW in the love bug movies! Makes this a more interesting situation, hence the posts.
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Kiwichick

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2007, 03:10:39 AM »
Although it is hard to see how this happens, everything you say suggests wet sumping.  But Snidal says that wetsumping occurs when the bike has been left at or close to BDC, though, and you haven't been doing that.  This is detailed in Ch 3, about 1/3 of the way down the HTML page.

But I quote from the Snidal manual:

"If you experience a sudden decrease in tank oil level after having left the machine parked for a period of time, this [wetsumping] may be the situation. To check, clean the area around the FRONT drain plug under the engine unit, place a clean drip pan under it, and remove the plug. Once any oil has run out, replace the drain plug. Any oil which has drained may be poured back into the tank where it belongs, then check the oil level with the dipstick once again."

Why not try draining that front sump and see what quantity you get?  SImple enough, and it would potentiallly rule out wetsumping as an option.  But if you pour back in the drained oil, and it brings your level up to the 3/4 mark, voila!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2007, 03:41:16 AM by Kiwichick »

indian48

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Re: Doh! While changing the oil...
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2007, 03:11:34 AM »
I think that the bike is wet sumping even though I leave it at TDC. Here's why I think so - when I check the oil level the recommended way, it is at 3/4 mark, which is how it ought to be, I believe. After 24 hours, the level is at 1/4th. After 48 hours, I can just about see oil at the bottom of the stick. And at 72 hours, the dipstick comes out dry. The oil is not going out of the system, because when I fire up the bike, and check after a draining down period, its back to the 3/4th mark! So for sure the oil is not exiting the system, and also the evidence on the floor below where the bike is parked, confirms this.
The only problem I have with all of this is that when I ride the bike after a four day break, the only way I can be sure that there is oil in the bike is by going through the running the engine for a bit/letting it drain process, because checked cold, the dipstick will show zero oil.
Other than that, is there anything I should be concerned about? Even after four - five days of not using it, I am still able to start it with just the one kick, once the preliminaries are all done. And there is no smoke from the exhaust so no oil is getting past the rings/valves either.
Can I just ignore all of this as just a quirk? The engine is the AVL 500, btw.
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