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Discussion Starter #1
ok - probably a stupid question but here goes.

This was my first time changing the oil myself on this bike.

I drained it (while on the side stand). Changed the filter. Put the bike on it's center stand and poured in 4 quarts and started it up and let it run for several minutes.

After shutting off the engine and waiting several minutes I checked oil site glass and the oil level shows to be above the High mark (maybe even above the glass itself).

This confused me because it's my understanding I should put 4.0 Liters (which equals 4 quarts 6 - 7 ounces) if changing the filter. And now - with only 4 quarts in it shows to be overfull (I guess).

Just looking for some thoughts

Thanks

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok thx

Now I wonder if it's too full. But when I had it "professionally" changed it always showed above the mark too
 

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if its way above the mark drain some out. if you can still see a bubble in the sight glass while on the centerstand you should be ok
 

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What Drain plug did you use when you changed your oil? There is one on the bottom of the engine case and also there is the one on the side of the case a bit fwd of the side stand. This is the one I use while Putting the bike on the center stand.
There is a filter screen inside that may need to be cleaned, I would say dont worry about this time. To let you know there is the screen a washer and a spring inside there. You would just need to note how they came out so you can put them back in properly. If there where any internal engine parts breaking down with larger pieces they would be caught in the screen letting you know you may have a problem.
If your worried about to much oil you can use the side plug and drain some out. You dont have to remove this plug all the way due to the way it is designed. 1 or 2 turns and oil should start coming out.
 

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With a new filter I can only get about 3 1/2 quarts in the engine. As Wib said, you should have 1/2 bubble showing on the top of the sight glass. Drain some oil off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I used the side drain. I wasn't even sure I there was a bottom drain. I took the filter screen out as well.

I will drain a little oil out I guess.

Thanks for the input
 

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I always put 4 qts. in mine. 4 qts. puts it just barely above the line. If you tilt the bike to the right just a few degrees, you will see the bubble. 4 qts. has never caused me any problems. My '85 Goldwing is the same way. It calls for just under 4 qts. But according to information I got on five different GW forums, it is common practice to put 4 qts. in.

I drain mine on the centerstand, with a 2x4 under the right side of the stand to tilt the bike a little to the left. I found the sidestand gets in the way of whatever you are draining the oil into. Also there is a screen, spring, and washer behind the drain that needs to be removed and cleaned. The screen is where the first evidence of internal problems usually shows up. There is an 0-ring on the drain plug you can replace if you notice any oil seeping out from around it. Be very careful not to overtighten the drain plug.

There is a drain plug on the bottom of the engine, but nobody seems to know why it is there, since the manual says to use the one on the side. I've had the bottom one out, and it didn't hurt anything, but I don't recommend using it as a drain plug. Unlike the one on the side, it is a steel plug, screwed into the aluminum cases, and if you overtighten it, it is likely to strip the threads in the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Jerry

When you say "barely above the line" I assume you are referring to the "H" mark?

I like the idea of tilting the bike while on the center stand. It was a bit annoying getting to the drain plug while on the side stand. Not to mention - my old oil pan wouldn't fit under the bike either.
 

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If you do what Jerry says and tilt the bike to the left slightly and can see a bubble in the sight glass , your good. DO NOT drain any oil out.... 4 quarts are fine.

Many fill the bike so the levels at the very top of the site glass with just the smallest bit of an air bubble at the top. This has been the reccomended proceedure for years now. A tiny bit more is ALOT better than a tiny bit less. It's been shown that lower oil levels effect the life of the stator.

Make sure the oil light goes out after you do an oil change. Partially filling the new filter before installing it seems to help here.

Just so you don't think you are crazy...yes the case says to fill with 4 liters of oil. A tech from Kawasaki told us not to go by that, but to fill to the very top of the site glass instead.....and so far that seems to be the way to go.

I would think a bone dry new motor could take 4 liters of oil... But I've not rebuilt one yet and measured...;)
 

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So I have a question for any professional mechanics out there. Exactly how is damage caused by overfilling the crankcase in the Vulcan?

My understanding has been that with the crankcase of any engine grossly over filled, either the oil pump will develop so much pressure that it blow out seals/gaskets, or conversely, the crank will whip the oil full of air like a Mix-master. Then the oil pump will not pump the foamy oil and the bearing surfaces run dry. :confused:

One personal experience causes me to question both these conclusions. Several years ago I helped a Tongan friend learn to do an oil change on his Olds with a 307 ci V8. (He could build me a canoe out of a tree trunk, but had no idea about the mechanics of a car. :doh:)

He had bought the car from a mutual friend about a year earlier and had driven about 20k miles in that time, with out an oil change! YIKES, I thought. :wow: It turns out he didn`t even know how to check the oil, and just added 1/2 a liter or so every once in a while just because he heard somebody else say he had to add some oil to his car`s engine.

When we dropped the oil we got 7 liters in the drain pan instead of the 4 liters there should have been. It was filthy, but he drove the car for a few more years with no apparent catastrophic damage.

Don`t shoot me Knifemaker, but here is another reference to Daniel Meyer`s stories. :)

In this story, *SPI Bikefest Part 2*, Daniel describes overfilling his Yamaha XS 1100 by 2 quarts near the beginning of a trip of almost 2000 miles. He says he knows the working of this engine, and overfilling it won`t hurt it.

http://lifeisaroad.com/stories/2004/11/10/spiBikefestPart2.html
I also checked my oil and given the mess, was not surprised to find it low. There was no new oil on my boot, and none dripping off the bike, so I was confident that the plug had fixed the problem. The oil level in most machines is checked via a sight glass located low in the crankcase. Mine is no exception. I purchased a couple quarts and began to top it off. At first I could clearly see the oil running by the glass, and added a quart. I thought the oil had still not reached the line so I added another one. When I poured the third one in I knew something was wrong, The bike only holds about 4 quarts. Out comes the flashlight, and we determined that in my willingness to believe I had lost a lot of oil, I had overfilled it--probably by about two quarts. This is not wise, but I am familiar with the workings of this engine and knew that it would not do any harm. I admit it only because I know that every other motorcyclist has done the same at one time or another. Don’t bother denying it.
One more story. The Sterling tandem axle truck I drive has an inline 6 cylinder Cat diesel engine of 10 or 11 liters displacement, that holds 5 or 6 gallons of oil in the crankcase. (Niterider can probably verify the proper amount.) Usually when I get the truck back from the shop that does our service work, the oil is an inch or so high on the dipstick. The inch or so between the low and full mark on the dipstick is about a gallon, so I assume the inch above the full mark is at least that much. It takes a week or two for the engine to burn off the overfilled oil. This eight year old truck has about 300k miles on it, and runs like a top, with no particular engine problems.

So restate my question another way; how will slightly overfilling the vn750 with 1 or 2 cups of oil harm it?

What about 2 quarts/liters overfilled like in Daniels story of his XS1100??
 

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OlHoss

I had a mate a few years back had a little mini van he used for traveling to work about 50miles a day it burned oil like most of the British Leyland cars did, he was round my house one day and said I must top up the oil now he was not mechanically minded so he got out his gallon tin of oil and started to top it up I was amazed he poured oil in until it filled the rocker box and then put the cap on I said you can't run it like that his reply was he always did that, it burned oil but never leaked and he ran it like that for a couple of years before he got a newer one :wow:
 

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hey Hoss, how about filling an engine with say..... 10 gallons over full? I had a john deer generator keep dieing with a low oil pressure fault code. the opperators would add 5 galons of oil and start it up again. upon the 5th or 6th time of it dieing... they come get me cause oil is "puking" out of every where. i drained out about 17 gallons of oil.. (no joke) and the service manual calls for 6.5 with filter change... all in all i caught it in time so no real damage was done... and the reason for the low oil pressure light... well they were trying to run to many heaters... doh!
 

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Interesting stories with results at opposite ends of the spectrum too.

My youngest brother is about 10 years younger than I am, and was a partsman at NAPA for about 25 years. He is really anal about oil level in his vehicles. His practice is to check oil level every Sunday morning on all their cars and SUVs, and if the level is the slightest bit below the full mark he tops it up with a few ounces of oil.

On the other hand if he over fills it by a small amount and the level is just over the full mark, he tells me he has gotten under the truck and drained a cupfull out!!! That just seems way too uptight to me. :doh:
 

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I don't think I've ever read any account of adding too much oil causing any horrible issue with a motor...but tons on adding too little oil.

It depends alot on the design of the motor, but speaking for just the Vulcan, adding too much oil can get that extra oil pushed out the crankcase breather, into the airbox. Sucking oil into the fuel intake won't hurt the bike, but it will run poorly. If you have done an earshave, that oil will just pour out of bike, hopefully not coating your rear tire while riding.(I'll just skip the "eviromental impact" here...)

It's my belief that makers design motors to run with X amount of oil in them, they figure the minimum amount needed to avoid engine damage, and use some math to figure at what point adding more oil has no more benefitial effect. Thus they establish a max and minimum oil level for us to follow.

There may be no determetical result in adding more oil, but you then have to ask what would be the point in doing so? Your motor won't run any better, it might leak that extra oil, and most importantly.... You are just wasting your money.

Now I'm not going to say adding too much oil can't cause problems in some motors. And one needs to ask how much is too much? If oil level rises into the bottom of the pistons , you're going to have problems. If your crankcase vents where tossed out oil can coat your rear tire as you ride, you got a problem.

Like anything, doing something that goes against the manufactures recommendations does not always mean something bad will happen, but again, your talking about a machine you trust your LIFE on, so it just seems like a bad idea to chance it.
 

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I just did the oil change and filled it up while on the center stand. I added a tiny bit at a time till it was almost to the top of the sight glass then ran the engine for a bit. after letting things settle for a while, it seemed low so I added just a tiny bit more and when I checked the sight glass again, it was over the top of the glass. I am not about to drain a tiny bit out. so for now it will stay as it is and I will keep checking it.

I always checked bikes by just holding it upright and looking at the sight glass. on previous bikes I owned, you could look at the level while still sitting on the bike. But on this bike, it seems the sight glass is awful hard to see when you are trying to hold the bike upright and looking by yourself. The only alternative is to put the bike on the center stand, but that raises the rear end up and you would think that it might effect the oil level in the sight glass by giving a false "low" level.
 

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I always cheated. I have this thing called a "mirror". You can stick one of these to , say a stick or something, and be able to see things behind , below. And even under stuff. Get one sit on your bike and you can "see" the sight glass while holding the bike upright.

And, if you run the bike after you do an oil change, you need to wait at least 20 minutes before checking the sight glass level after you shut down.

The manual says to check the level with the bike upright and on level ground. By this , I am thinking they did not say "while on the centerstand" for a reason.....so I always check the level with both wheels on the ground, on a flat level surface. The mirror thing makes this easy....
 

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I have this thing called a "mirror". You can stick one of these to , say a stick or something
For a couple of bucks I picked up a mechanic`s mirror with an extension arm and a ball mount for the mirror head so you can swivel it to any angle. I gave it a "test drive" when I got the mirror and it makes the oil level in the sight glass easy to see while seated on the bike. :smiley_th
 

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For a couple of bucks I picked up a mechanic`s mirror with an extension arm and a ball mount for the mirror head so you can swivel it to any angle. I gave it a "test drive" when I got the mirror and it makes the oil level in the sight glass easy to see while seated on the bike. :smiley_th
LOL. Yes Hoss. I really do not have a small mirror duct taped to an old broken broomstick......I have a mechanics "inspection" mirror. (likely much like yours) No home shop is complete without one. (although a small mirror taped to a stick would work fine too)
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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That post was not made for your benefit km, :)
I figured you knew about the inspection mirrors, but some newbies might never have seen them.
 
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