Does your oil pressure go to ZERO? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Does your oil pressure go to ZERO?

My engine oil warning light has come on a couple of times - AFTER the engine is warmed up. Is it Rotella T oil?

Back in May I dropped my bike on it's side (after dismounting) and the oil pressure stayed at zero when I started the engine. Before pulling the engine in dispair I read on this site or somewhere that some people have the same experience after changing their oil and they have to "burp" the oil filter before pressure will come back. Air in the pump, or depriming the pump, is the cause. Well, I did that and the pressure came back up and life's good. Until it happened again a couple of days later - this time without any laying the bike over, or any oil change. Just out of the blue, start up and run, and no oil pressure. Burp it again - all good. Possibly an air bubble that didn't get worked out the first time?

Well, I just got my bike back on the road after opening the engine and replacing the stator. The oil pressure failure happened again on the way to work this morning and I burped it on the side of the road. It has ran fine since the engine work, but I changed the oil then. I've driven about 40 miles since the stator replacement.

So, this is what has happened so far:

1) Drop the bike, deprime the pump - no oil pressure.
2) Burp the filter - oil pressure good.
3) Start the bike after driving for days - no oil pressure.
4) Burp the filter - all good.
5) Replace stator (and change the oil) and run - all good.
6) Start the bike and drive for a couple of miles - no oil pressure.
7) Burp the filter again - all good.

The only common thing that I can think of is that this has happened during the only two times that I have filled the engine with Rotella T oil. I can understand the bike drop event causing depriming, but the next two times happened with Rotella T 10W-40 oil on cold mornings. Is this just a coincidence and there's actually something mechanical failing? Has anyone else experienced this? I'd like to eliminate the cause. Possibly the oil type?

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
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-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013

Last edited by darrelc5; 02-01-2007 at 10:41 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 06:04 PM
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You might shed a little more info on what the conditions were when the oil pressure goes out--were you accelerating, or not? Were you in a turn--or going straight? In short, was there anything common about each event, that you can remember???....

Also: what brand/model oil filter are you using? I'd be waaaaaaaaaay more suspicious of a defective filter, than I would be of the Shell Rotella. Be sure that you are using one of the filters recommended elsewhere here.

BTW: one of the other guys in the forum mentioned in another thread that he's been using Mobil 1 for years, in all his bikes. He says he's never had a problem with using this oil on wet clutches. He also says that he's not having problems with "coking" on his stator, using this oil. His oil changes are every 3-5 thousand miles. You might consider trying that brand, and start off with the 10W-40.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 06:24 PM
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I have a question for ya. By any chance did you warm your bike while it sat on the side stand? I had my oil light come on once not long ago after I spent way more time than usual lettting my bike warm up on a cold morning while it was on the side stand. Normally I sit on the bike and do stuff while I let it warm, in fact this might have been the only time I've ever let it sit on the side stand while warming up, but I had several things I was running around doing that I normally don't do. Anyway, after I got on the bike and backed it out of the carport, I put it in first and noticed the oil light on, so I killed it and pushed it back up on the car port. I put it on the centerstand and checked the oil and it was a tiny bit low, so I added just a few oz's of Rotella T synth and started it back up and no oil light. I recently found my rear APE is leaking a little oil so that might account for the oil being a tiny bit low, but it shouldn't have been low enough for the light to come on. So, I'm thinking that having it run that long while leaned over must have done it. It hasn't done it since. Just a thought.

Fergy
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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Have you changed filters or just the oil? my guess is it is the filter or maybe when the bike fell it effected the pressure sensor.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 10:52 AM
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Just for the record, what do you mean by "burping" the filter? I'd just like to know for my own future possible need...

Fergy
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Spline Lube Procedure, with photos, R/R Relocation and Coil Mod
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2007, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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'Burping' is the process of backing the oil filter out about half way and running the engine for a couple of seconds. It is thought that this relieves the back pressure in the oil pump caused by an oil filter full of oil. The helps because, if there's air in the pump, it won't be able to pick up more oil until the head pressure is reduced. Warning, this causes a big 'ol mess. Drape some rags around the filter base and over the starter before you start because the oil comes a-gushin'.

The only correlaton I can think of between the two times the pressure failed is 1) Cold morning, 2) Rotella T. Different filters (WalMart brand and Fram). I usually just back out of the garage in the morning and start the engine and go after about 20 seconds. Both times I didn't notice the oil light on until about 1/4 mile down the road.

I ran Penzoil between the two events with no problems, so this weekend I am going to change back to it.

We'll see....

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013

Last edited by darrelc5; 02-03-2007 at 09:13 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2007, 09:24 AM
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Just to make sure, check the leads from the sensor to be sure they aren't somehow shorting causing the oil light to come on.

And, if possible, plump (with a tee), if only temporary, a pressure guage in with the sensor to be sure you are actually getting no or low pressure, and its not some other fault (leads, sensor).

Jon

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2007, 05:10 PM
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In addition to Jon's suggestions above, if you are going to change to a different brand of oil this weekend, why go just half-way? I'd (also) change to a different oil filter, too (especially if your current filter is a Fram).

In case you somehow missed it, the following is the link to the list of recommended filters...once inside the link--scroll down 'til you see them:

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Consumables.html

Supposedly the Walmart filter doesn't have a check valve in it (somebody pleeeeezzz correct me if I'm wrong on this), so I personally would avoid that one.

Good luck!....
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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Cool

I use a fram oil filter#PH6010A for my bike and Ido not have any issues.Also the kawa dealer next door sells the exact same FRAM filter which is designed for our bikes for 4 dollars more.I am also using a full synthetic oil in my bike.And like I said I have no problems at all.(Knock on wood).Also if you want to find out more about oils go to motorcycle oil technical facts.com...............
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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All,

I change the oil and filter this weekend and haven't experienced the problem since. It was moderately cold when I started up this morning, so it PROBABLY would have happened again on the old oil. After reading the article posted above (Holy Lubrication, Batman, that's more than I ever wanted to know about oil), I went with Rotella Synthetic 5W-40 and the Walmart SuperTech ST7317 filter. That guy knows something about oil and filters. By the way, I didn't look too closely at the ST filter before installing it, but the article and pictures in the link indicate that it has a backflow valve plate made of rubbery material, just like the rest.

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013

Last edited by darrelc5; 02-06-2007 at 12:34 PM.
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