Changing the Engine Oil - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Changing the Engine Oil

1) when you start the engine the oil in the sight glass WILL get sucked into the engine and the sight glass should show no oil level as long as it's running...

2) There is Kaw shop memo about air pockets forming in the oil filter if spun on empty.. it says loosen filter do a brief start to purge the air pocket and retighten to spec.. I hope this helps this helps in the future.. It sure was a shock to see it staying on.. On the shores of western lake erie Tom in Harbor View Ohio

I had this discussion years ago with some top factory wrenches...this is what they told me: Never change your engine oil without running the bike at least 4-5 minutes. It doen't have to be hot..but should be as warm as you can get it without burning yourself. Ride it around the block 2 times or something. First off...the oil will drain faster and more completely. Changing the oil doesn't mean mixing it. Secoundly..cold oil clings to parts yeah..that's what I meant by more completely...but also...if you have any crap in the will stay suspended in that oil and left in your bike. Thirdly...that cold oil that sticks also likes to not drain from the smaller tubes and if it stays there and you then fill the bike with fresh can develope air bubbles in the smaller lines as the new oil moves up them. Most times this is not really a big problem as the oil will circulate and purge the air out. But if you jump on the bike and take off after you change the still takes awhile for the air to get pushed out..Do you want a part that is running at high rpm's not to have the needed supply of oil for even a few secounds? Lastly...because of this and the time it does take for the newly added oil to get run through the system..After you change the oil you should warm up the bike agian..but don't take it around the block...just let it idle for 5 minutesor so before opening up the throttle more. This ensures the oil gets delivered ...and unless you heated the oil up before filling it..LOL...gets a good coat of new oil on all the parts that need it. After you let it run for that time peroid...turn off the motor and wait 10 to 15 minutes to check for leaks and to check the actual oil level. The last thing I was told to never ever just start up a cold engine and take off. Let it warm up untill the throttle responds correctly and the idle sounds right. FYI. Knifemaker

1. Change the oil with the bike on the side stand. Use the 17mm drain plug on the left side of the bike.

2. To check the oil, the bike must be straight up, so put it on the centerstand to check.

3. When the bike is running, there is no oil in the sight glass - this is normal

1- If the back stand means the centerstand under the can change the oil with the bike on the centerstand but more will drain out if the bike is leaning left on the (side) kickstand.

Q: anyone know where oil would be coming from if it is leaking out over my starter a few drips at a time only AFTER I run the bike?
A: My guess would be your oil filter..make sure it's tight ..( use your hands not a wrench )

I have found that the O-rings and gaskets from the engine block to the oil filter plate can wear out over time. I can't remember the sizes I used, but I used some that were slightly larger to seat better in the holes. I also used a crush gasket to replace the one that had deteriorated. It is a pretty simple fix as it is just take off the old and replace with new. It took me all of 20 mins to fix my problem. Just use caution I you choose to do this to not to get grit into the engine, and always remember to properly seat your oil filter.

Before you put your oil filter on put a film of fresh oil on the rubber gasket on the filter to help seal it and keep it from moving when you put the filter on.

If you can't see anything through the sight glass, even with a flashlight, it means you have too much oil in there. The range of fill over which the level actually appears in the sight glass is quite small, making it an ornery and error-prone measurement method compared to a dipstick. By the way, Matt is not the only one who has seriously overfilled the oil because of this problem, just the only one to admit to it so far! Fortunately there seem to be no serious consequences of this if it is discovered and corrected quickly, not even plug fouling. (I use Seafoam :-)) Incidentally, the instructions say to suck oil out the fill hole to correct overfilling, but that is nonsense. Instead I do what Pick recommended: crack open the drain plug and and let it drain slowly until the level comes into sight in the glass. When the air-oil interface is within the range of the sight glass it is very obvious even without a flashlight.

Q: Every time I change my oil it takes forever for the oil pressure to come back up and turn the light off. By for ever I mean minutes. I drain on the side stand, fill on the center stand, and then start it and it runs for about 45 seconds before I get too nervous about the pressure not coming up and turn it off. I go over what I've done in my head to make sure I didn't miss something and then start it up again. As its running for 1-1.5 min with the oil light on I'm down listening to the engine for any signs of damage taking place. Nothing sounds wrong but I turn it off again. I have never had an engine take this long to come up to pressure no matter what I've done to it even after a complete rebuild. It eventually will come up and the oil light goes off but I'm one nervous Nelly until it happens. Any one else getting this?
A: This isn't uncommon. My used '96 did after the first oil change I did. I did pre-fill the filter that first time. Since then it hasn't happened and I'm glad. Some members loosen the oil filter and let some oil out while it's running and find it get's the low pressure light to go out sooner. I would also recommend you change the oil on a warm day and have the oil already warm - in the house the night before, not the unheated garage.

A: Perhaps the oil pump is losing its prime. My bike does not do that so far, but I run the bike for a few miles before the change to get it warmed up, I have heard of this though on other makes/ models, If it continued, I would put on a oil pressure gauge according to the manual (if you can) and see if it is just a weak sensor unit, and to verify that when the light is out, the pressure is not borderline, If it were me, and it turned out these show ok, I may remove the oil pan and have a look, maybe the dip tube is clogged, or loose from the pump allowing air to get in (bad o ring or something), may even concider repalcing oil pump? but I am one of those over worriers lol, it may be fine like it is........

A: One thing, for those "losing their prime" after an oil change.. after filling I leave the cap off for a bit letting those air bubbles from the oil glugs work their way out. Never have lost my prime doing that. Also the warm engine and warm oil seems to keep that oil pressure light from staying on for more than a few secs..
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2006, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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I use Shell 15W-40 "Rotella T" (found at Wal-Mart in gallon jugs). Your oil change will take a little less than one jug. Many people believe this is the best oil available, and it's cheap ($7 / gallon at Wall-Mart or any auto parts store, $34 / 6 gallons at Sam's Club). Many studies have shown there is no benefit from using higher priced motorcycle oils, but if that's what you want to do, I'm sure it will be good. It may even be Shell Rotella (motorcycle companies do not make oil). Do not use oils that say "energy conserving" in the bottom half of circular certification stamp. These oils contain friction modifiers that could cause clutch slippage over time. Essentially all 10w-30 oils are energy conserving, and should not be used in your motorcycle. Don't buy oil additives like STP or Slick-50. Super slippery stuff has no place in a bike with a wet clutch (really, no place in any car or bike, IMHO).

I follow a few simple rules when changing the oil on the VN750 :

1. Change your oil every 2,000-3,000 miles. Period. There is no better protection, and this is more important than anything else ! If you are not riding much, change it after a one year, maximum. Acid builds up in the oil over time and is hard on the internal gaskets and other engine parts.

2. In preparation for the oil change, warm up the bike and take it around the block. Go through the gears. This helps loosen up anything hanging around in there and suspends it in the oil.

3. Optional! : While the bike is still hot, put in several ounces of "Sea Foam", keep the bike in neutral and let it run several minutes. This will help clean the engine.

4. Always change the filter when changing oil. (The EMGO Chrome filter shown in the picture can be found on my other page Pictures and Accessory List ).

5. Use aluminum foil (as shown in the picture) to keep the hot oil off the starter and starter cable.

6. Be sure to lubricate the oil filter O-ring gasket before putting it on the bike. Just use a small amount of the fresh oil on your finger.

7. Clean the oil filter plate on the bike with a little solvent (brake cleaner is fine).

8. Use the side drain-plug to get out every last drip of oil (start with the bike on the center stand, loosen the bolt, then put the bike on it's kickstand so it leans).

9. Always inspect and clean the screen from the oil drain hole (that's another reason to use the side drain hole, not the center one).

10. Never over-tighten the oil filter, oil drain plug, and oil fill plug. When screwing on the oil filter, when it meets resistance, turn another 1/4-1/2 at the most. That's all it needs, really ! Any further and you risk crushing the rubber O-ring (leaks), scoring the filter plate on the bike, or having a really bad day when taking it off.

11. Fill to a little down from top of sight glass with bike on center stand. Run bike several minutes. This will load the new filter with oil. Refill to top of sight glass.

12. Keep a record of the mileage and date you changed the oil.

Good tips but I have to disagree with ya on the oil filter. It holds so little oil that it really doesn't contaminate the new oil of it's changed every other oil change, especially if one (e.g. me) changes their oil every 2K. It also isn't anywhere near to being "full" of dirt/contaminants yet. I would also like to add that a very nice little trick is to pre-fill the oil filter with fresh oil. Fill it right to the top and what ever the filter media doesn't absorb after 5 minutes you can pour out before you spin it on. This will reduce that dry start time. There is no reason not to do this. -Bruce Detroit
I always tighten the filter by hand..Some times a wrench is needed to remove them..Because the rubber ring over time may expand some..making the filter a tad tighter. If you change your oil and filter more may be able to twist it off by hand. New bike owners may find that the bike came with the filter torqued pretty tight. Most mechenics I have known say tighten it as hard as you can with one hand..wait a few minutes and then give it a little "nudge" with both hands. Using a torque wrench on it to tighten it up may not be a good idea anyway...sence most of us wipe the seal with a bit of oil..or some don't...and some forget to wipe off the seals seat and some don't...And some change the filter when the engine is hot...and some do not...this means that the pressure to needed to smoothly screw it on can be the idea is to simply ensure that the rubber seal is firmly matting with the seat. This is why most manufactures tell you NOT to use a wrench ( of any kind..a torque wrench is still a lever..) Knifemaker
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