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Straight roads are evil
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580 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not much of a wrench, so I hesitate to take on all but the simplest projects. Fortunately, changing the oil falls into the simple category. If you haven't changed the oil on your bike yourself, stop paying $$$ to the dealership, it's super easy.

This is written for those who have never changed their oil before. If it's old hat to you, move on.

The Vulcan Verses gave the type of aftermarket oil filter to use (Bosche 3323). The local Kragen's had that and 4 quarts of 10W-40 oil, plus a drip pan because I didn't have one. I got the kind that seals into a container, not an open pan, for easy transport to the disposal site.

First, rode the bike 2-3 miles to get it partially warmed up. Tried to change the oil on the side stand, but the drain container wouldn't fit, so had to use the center stand. Put the container in place, removed the drain plug, and glug glug glug all the oil came out, a dark brown stain of aged lubricant. Removed the oil filter (by hand, didn't need tool) and let that drain into the pan too.

Once all the oil had drained, I pulled the bike a few inches off to the side, to let the remaining oil drain out more. Being careful to check the temperature first (warm, not hot), stuck my finger in the drain hole and pulled out the oil screen. There were three things to remove, in order: A spring, a gasket, then the screen.

The shop manual says to clean the screen with "high-flash solvent", but I don't have any. There wasn't any crud on the screen anyway so I just put it back in the bike, along with the gasket and spring. Carefully cleaning the opening, put the drain plug back in too and tightened it down.

Moving to the front of the bike, cleaned the oil filter area so the new filter would have a good seal. Here's a trick to remember: Fill the new filter with oil before mounting in on the bike, then screw it on. That lets new oil flow fast, as the filter doesn't have to fill before moving oil throughout the system. I was surprised, no oil dripped out while screwing in the new filter. Be sure to coat the filter's rubber gasket with oil before mounting, then hand tighten.

Opened the oil fill plug, cleaned off the dirt and started pouring. All told, it took about 3.6 quarts of oil, including filling the filter. Don't know why the manual says 4.2, that would have been overfull. So, I have about a third of a quart of oil left over, guess I'll save it for the next change.

Checked the seals, cleaned up everything and started the bike. The red oil light went off immediately, just like any normal start. Let the bike idle for a few minutes, then suited up and went for a ride. Woo hoo! Oil changes are easy.

Total cost: About $35, mostly for the one-time cost of the oil drip container. Should be less than $20 from here on out.

I plan to change the oil about every 3k miles, should help the engine last longer. If you haven't changed the oil yourself, give it a try, it's really easy.
 

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Giggity!
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4,307 Posts
That's agreat write-up. & hopefully as this thread gets older it will be an easy search with "Oil Change" in the title. Good Job!
Side note: Too help the unknown you could list the size of wrench they'd need. I believe it was a 17mm.
 

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Old Truck Junkie
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4,133 Posts
Most people tend to over tighten oil drain plugs. A tourge wrench is advisable. The aluminum oil pan threads are easy to strip.
 

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Registered
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95 Posts
I suggest that you take a moment to carefully inspect the cast, side drain plug. Upon my first oil change I did just that and discovered fine cracks running through the "legs" of the plug. As careful as I was, the head snapped off when I reinstalled the plug. I imagine the plug was over torqued in the past (?), so if unsure what is the "right tightness", use a torque wrench. Anyway, just a suggestion. Don't know if a damaged plug can fail after threaded back into the pan (without failing as mine had immediately at replacement), and, it was a pain in the butt finding a replacement locally.
 

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Straight roads are evil
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580 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If you ever strip or break the oil drain plug, order this from the local Kawasaki dealer:

11012-1483 CAP,OIL FILTER

The spec sheet says to torque it to 18 N-m, which is 13 ft-lbs. I used a crescent wrench, gave it a tug that I hope was about that much force (not much).
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
:smiley_th Good write up EQ!


Should also mention to be POSITIVE that the rubber seal from the old oil filter isn't stuck to the engine.

And EQ, the 4.2 Qts is if the engine were brand new, with no oil in all the little nooks and crannies that the oil doesn't easily drain from after the very first oil fill.
 

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Old Twistie Sticks Rider
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5,072 Posts
I probably need to look at my oil changing ways... I normally go with 4 qts., and it is a bit full in the glass, about all full as a matter of fact (is that harmful ?), and probably over tighten the plug as I put pretty good pressure on a 12" cresent wrench... :confused:
What is the best method of judgement as to the exact level, to the full mark, 1/2 way between full & low ??? Put in 4 qts, 3.5 qts. ??? I do lean the bike on the center stand a bit when draining by putting a 3/4" board under the right side of the center stand after all that will has run out setting level... I'm using the PureOne filter and Rotella T 5w-40 Syn. also, is that the way to go ???
I think this is a good winter subject, especially for a dummy like me...Thanks for starting it...
Thanks and have a good one...Old Dog...
PS-BTW-You CAN teach an Old Dog new tricks...
 

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Old Truck Junkie
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4,133 Posts
For full level. I set the bike up as level as I can side to side and put oil in it until it is a bit over half way in the sight glass.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
oil change procedure (Vulcan 750)

Some time ago I gathered and edited the combined wisdom of many Vulcaneers on this site to come up with the following. It is, of course, a work-in-progress...

Oil Change
Kawasaki Vulcan 750

Oil:
• use any 10/40 or 15/40 oil that meets Kaw specs and is not "energy conserving" ~ SE Class SAE 10W40, 10W50, 20W40, 20W50
• Shell Rotella T Synthetic 15w40
• Mobil Delvac 1300
• Mobil One 10w40 synthetic
• Chevron Delo 400
• Castrol GTX 10W40; Castrol Actevo 10W40; Castrol Syntec 10W40
• Mobile 1 MX4T 10-W-40 synthetic M/C-specific
• Kendall Motorcycle Oil 20W50

Filter:
• stock Kaw (big $$$) – part # 16097-1066 FILTER-ASSY-OIL 2003
• an auto parts store can cross reference another one for you
• Purolator Pure One Filter (PL14610) ~ "the best you can buy" ~ it's blue, so you might want to use black spray paint, several coats all at once, then let dry before mounting (Sherwin Williams part # 140-0514, Wrought Iron Black)
• Mobil 1 M 1-110, Champion
• Bosch 3323, Champion
• Wix (black), part # 51358
• K & N 202 (larger than most; also has a “nut” at the end for easier removal)
• Fram PH 6010a & 6017a (both are black; the first is a bit larger)

Procedure:
• Remove ring(s) and watch; wear old shoes and clothes.
• Tools: 17 mm socket, socket wrench, torque wrench, oil filter remover, oil, filter, drain pan, wide-mouthed funnel.
• Gather rags, paper towels, hand cleaner, sheet of heavy aluminum foil, a large solid plastic container (for the old oil), and a box/bag (for the oily towels/rags).
• Put the bike on the sidestand (over a thick mat of newspapers) and place the oil drain pan under the left side of the engine.
• On the left side near the bottom there is a 17mm oil drain plug. Loosen the plug, and let the oil begin to drain. As the flow decreases, remove plug entirely. Lean the bike on the left side to get the last bit of oil to drain.
• Once it’s drained, reach in and VERY gently remove the not-so-snugly-fitting spring, flat washer, and (with your pinky) the snugly-fitting (metal/tubular) screen. (Many neglect this step.)
• Clean the screen of any debris (and soak in high flash point solvent -- some use Seafoam, of course). Replace the screen, washer and spring in the correct order.
• Replace the drain plug and tighten with torque wrench to ONLY 13 ft-lbs. (Lots of folks strip drain plugs.)
• Move the drain pan to the front of the engine under the oil filter. Push the aluminum foil under the oil filter (kind of makes a funnel) before removing it. This will prevent any oil from leaking behind the starter, which is not easy to wipe away.
• Remove the filter. (An oil filter remover may be needed.) Make sure the rubber gasket comes off too -- if not, remove gently. Wipe off any leaked oil from around the oil filter plate and starter motor.
• Some prime the oil filter by pouring oil into it until it’s full and then let it sit for a few minutes (almost all of the oil will be absorbed into the oil filter).
• Put a thin coating of clean oil around the rubber gasket of the new oil filter and screw it onto the mount, turning it hand tight ~ 1/4 turn past snug.
• Put bike on CENTER stand. Add the new oil. Once the oil site glass shows your oil level nearly touching the top edge of the glass, stop and replace the filler cap and start the engine and warm it up. Then stop the engine and let the oil settle for about 5-10 minutes.
• Check the oil site glass – with the bike still on the CENTER stand – and top off the oil level if needed.
• Do not try to put in a full 4 litres! Most riders can only put in 3-3.5 litres to bring it up to the full mark.
• Don’t be alarmed if the oil light comes on for a little bit once you fire the bike up. If it seems like it’s staying on too long, you may have an air pocket in the line somewhere. Loosening and then re-tightening the filter, while the bike is running (allowing a slight bit of oil to come out) usually seems to get the light to go out.

How often should this be done? Some say every 3000 miles; others say every 5000 miles. Others do it more/less frequently.

Be environmentally-aware and take your used oil to a recycling center. Auto Zone takes mine.

Like EQPlayer said, even non-wrenchers like me can do this!
 

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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
Fergylicious!

Hey Charlie, I don't think you can qualify anymore as a "non-wrencher" ;) Seems like you've done some pretty good time with the wrench if I recall...
You're right... I've spent a lot of time holding a wrench in one hand, and scratching my head (or calling you for advice) with the other! ;)

Ah, but you will recall the infamous "Snap-Ring Debacle" that ruined my maiden voyage through the "simple, everyone-can-do-it" spline lube procedure! (The sorry tale is recorded on a thread elsewhere on this site.)
:doh:

And I almost destroyed my engine after changing my oil for the first time because I didn't realize that I needed to check the oil level with the bike on the center stand. I rode the bike for 200 miles before I figured out why the oil light was flickering oddly upon every cold start-up. (I must have had just enough oil sloshing around in there, because the light always went out and stayed out.)
:doh:

With a lot of help from wise wrenchers on this site, a couple of good local mechanics, and some luck, my '06 has nearly 10,000 miles on it, and it purrs like kitten! :smiley_th

In any case... hard personal experience, plus the knack for gathering info and presenting it clearly, motivated me to cobble together a fool-proof "how to change your oil" procedure!
 
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