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Discussion Starter #1
I know I saw at least one pic of an oil pressure gauge installed on a VN, but haven't found it again by searching.

Who has one? Can you post a pic and share any info? Any ideas on this one?

I'd also like to hear any valid reasons not to use one. I suppose one could be the oil line popping on the road and hosing you down in hot oil. Maybe mount it down lower instead of on the dash? A copper line would be a plus, and it could be sheathed with rubber vacuum line to contain spray if the line breaks.

Not sure how easy it's going to be to find a copper line these days. Most places just have the plastic line kits.

Should also be able to tee off of the existing idiot light and use both the light and a gauge. I would want to go direct reading vs. an electric oil gauge.

Think I'd like to be able to monitor oil pressure. My driveway slants slightly where I warm up sometimes, bike leaning extra to the left, and I've read that can cause some problems similar to the bike going down on the left side. Anyway, the oil light has flickered on a few times during startup/warmup and it's buggin' me. Sometimes it's a faint glow, others it's bright but blinking.
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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I know I saw at least one pic of an oil pressure gauge installed on a VN, but haven't found it again by searching.

Who has one? Can you post a pic and share any info? Any ideas on this one?

I'd also like to hear any valid reasons not to use one. I suppose one could be the oil line popping on the road and hosing you down in hot oil. Maybe mount it down lower instead of on the dash? A copper line would be a plus, and it could be sheathed with rubber vacuum line to contain spray if the line breaks.

Not sure how easy it's going to be to find a copper line these days. Most places just have the plastic line kits.

Should also be able to tee off of the existing idiot light and use both the light and a gauge. I would want to go direct reading vs. an electric oil gauge.

Think I'd like to be able to monitor oil pressure. My driveway slants slightly where I warm up sometimes, bike leaning extra to the left, and I've read that can cause some problems similar to the bike going down on the left side. Anyway, the oil light has flickered on a few times during startup/warmup and it's buggin' me. Sometimes it's a faint glow, others it's bright but blinking.
I've seen a pic of a bike with an Oil Guage also...I remember it was dated 2008 -or 2009. It was on one's personsal web page.....I linked to it thru this forum. Maybe a search could turn it up.
hope this helps

:smiley_th
 

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When you are driving it is a bad idea to try to study a small oil gauge. The low oil pressure sensor is on these bikes for a good reason.

I think more junk just makes more possibility for issues.

Now I will say that I added a oil pressure gauge to my backhoe. It normally sits around 60 - 70PSI, if I crack it WOT for a bit it will get 100 PSI then flop back down.

I am not doing 70mph in the backhoe, and I think it is good to monitor oil pressure on an old diesel engine.

my 2 cents

kenny
 

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I have given serious consideration to putting one on my bike and getting,one of the digital led electrical system monitor.here is a link to Gadgets Page with tips on installing one on a Nomad ,I think,same basic principle and it should help you a little.
http://www.gadgetjq.com/gauges.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WT, do you remember what the main subject of the tread was about? I searched earlier and didn't find much, mainly just some replies where people were thinking about doing it or someone using one temporarily to verify pressure.

Merc, I don't think I'll be staring at the gauge, any more than I would stare at the tach or speedometer on the bike or any of the gauges on my pickup. Some of the big trucks I've driven have had 30+ gauges all over the dash and it's advised to check them as you're traveling.

The link Denny posted states that you can get low pressure on a gauge long before the idiot light comes on. I'd like a little more notice than that, and just like the voltmeter, I would head for the barn instead of turning to head farther out into the hills if either of those gauges is reading too low.

Thanks for the link Denny, I read that page and will keep the link so I can check out the site. They did mention that Kawi used NPT threads, at least on that particular bike, so that's a plus.

The hookup should be easy, finding the right gauge, right spot, and getting it mounted will be the trick. Next stop, some googling, has to be some ideas somewhere, this can't be an original idea. lol
 

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If you were going to swap a gauge for the idiot light, I would agree that the connection would be easy. If you're going to retain both, there will likely be clearance issues with the front of the case, radiator and oil filter. You could hook one up on a different oil line connection point, just get another fitting similar to the idiot light fitting and install it in place of the bolt. Again, clearance might be fun because of where the lines connect to the heads (near the carbs...).

Connecting one would be easy enough, but if you're going to plumb it with copper line, you'll have to be creative with where you choose to mount it.

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Discussion Starter #7
Wouldn't have to use copper, since I was planning to sheath it all in rubber anyway. Plastic may be preferable with the vibrations and wind, would have to look at routing and decide, but I know the copper doesn't like moving a lot.

I'd have to look again to be sure, but I think the factory sender protrudes below the radiator, if not, an elbow could possibly be used to turn it out to the side.

Getting it mounted without having the ugly back exposed is a major item to figure out. Now if I had a fairing like yours....
 

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I looked at mine. It doesn't protrude past the radiator. You might be able to get an elbow on it, but the only way to point it is down. The only way I can see using a tee on it would be to put a short nipple on it to get past the radiator, then you'd have room to work with it. If you're going to sleeve it you could zip tie it to the frame, run it up to the neck and out to the trees. As far as the back goes, there are different options, just gotta get creative.

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Hey Spockster, DO NOT USE COPPER LINE FOR ANY AUTOMOTIVE OR MOTORCYCLE PURPOSES.
Vibration will WORK HARDEN copper, make it brittle, and eventually cause it to crack.

Check with a mechanic, but I think you need steel tubing and/or a flex hydraulic or brake line.
Look at the way the steel brake line is coiled coming off the master brake cylinder on a car before it connects with the 4 way manifold splitter.
The main purpose of those coils are to absorb vibration too, and avoid eventual work hardening of the steel.
(Secondary reason I believe is to make alignment and screwing together of fittings easier.)
 

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how often do people run low pressure on these bikes?

If you plan on making the gauge visible on the dash you are a. going to need to run pressurized oil line up there.

b. run an electronic model which requires wires to the dash.


the oil gauge is not a bad idea but I look at things as in 'is it worth it?'

only you can answer that question. To me, it aint worth it.

54K miles on my bike, I blew an exhaust valve before I ever had an oil pressure problem.

kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Gordon, that's what I've been saying too. We've got a good hose shop here, maybe they have something better than plastic. Some reinforced hose in the right size, and while I'm there, I can ask about making some braided brake lines. They made an extended set of brake hoses for me once, only $18.

Merc, had your oil light been flashing? Mine has, so I'd like to know what's happening before she drops a rod, it's less expensive if you don't do that. Lots of things are a hassle, but still worth it. The hardest part I see so far is the mounting of the gauge.

Jakzen, I just got down and looked at mine (no easy feat at this time of day lol). It's close but it looks like the sender could be brought straight out under and past the radiator. There may be variables to deal with, but it looks doable. If not, there's looks to be plenty of room to elbow out to the left side, the oil filter is on the right. A street el would keep the length to a minimum.

The fitting is a larger size than I thought too, so that may make fittings easier to find. The sender threads into a long fitting that threads into the block. I just need to take it off, have a better look, and see what fittings I'm able to round up. I have the first oil change since the build coming up, almost 3000 miles so far. :motorcycl

I dug up a pic, keeps me from guessing out loud.... The sender is threaded into the long fitting where the smaller ziptie is:

 

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Merc, had your oil light been flashing? Mine has, so I'd like to know what's happening before she drops a rod, it's less expensive if you don't do that. Lots of things are a hassle, but still worth it. The hardest part I see so far is the mounting of the gauge.
Hi, my oil light has never 'flashed' but it did illuminate when cold and idle is way too low. Once I rev it up the light goes off. Then if i let it idle real low again it will come back on. This is like < 35F degree weather.

If you give your bike a rev while the oil light is glowing or flickering does it go out?

You have made your decision to add the gauge, good luck. If you run a gauge that has an oil pressure line just be careful that it does not get rubbed by anything, if it breaks while you are riding, not only will you be covered in oil, but your pressure WILL drop.

Kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Holy Goggling!

The light does go off, but not as soon as the throttle is blipped. It doesn't always come on, but it's always on a cold start, could just be a wonky sender. As I mentioned a few times, I was thinking of sheathing the oil line to contain the spray if the line happens to break, but I may get a braided line if the price is right. They treat me alright over there at the hose shop, I've bought a lot of stuff there for different companies. Hoses for trucks and heavy equipment, etc. They make it up on the spot, braze on fittings, crimp ons, all sorts of materials and configurations since they serve the industry around here.

No, I've not said I've decided yet, still batting it around. If nothing else I'm going to mount one temporarily to try and see what's going on. However the benefits of using one permanently are obvious.

Reckon I should have goggled first, these things are everywhere. Some are pricey, but the ideas from them are free. A bracket and cup may be all I need from the web.

http://www.jpcycles.com/product/742-000?utm_source=PLAs&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&device=c&network=g&matchtype=&gclid=CIvz4rTlibkCFYik4AodhRYAeg#

http://www.jpcycles.com/motorcycle-oil-gauges?Ns=Non Gold Price|0

https://www.google.com/search?q=motorcycle+oil+gauge+kit&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Change up the search term a bit, and:

https://www.google.com/search?q=motorcycle+oil+pressure+gauge+install&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Then goggle image search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=motorcycle+oil+pressure+gauge+install&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=N77&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=4DcSUoX3K6KSyAHa9ID4DA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1600&bih=768

Those are just some samples, I've got about 40 million hits to work with so far.
 

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if I may suggest, try cleaning the connection on the sender you have now. If it was not flickering you would not be interested in adding a pressure gauge (at least I don't think you would)

and you can save yourself some cash.

kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can do that, but it was all gone over back in May, hey it's just one screw, can't hurt.

And then I have that single tap noise I've mentioned elsewhere, if that coincides with a dip in pressure, she's got troubles. At idle, or idle cruise, I get a single rap that may be coming from the front cylinder. Previously, I had been getting a single rap then sneeze out the front carb at low rpm cruise. The sneeze had me thinking of a sticky intake valve, so I put some Marvel oil in the crankcase and gas tank. I think she'll get Seafoam with this next oil change in case there's varnish on the valve stems. It had to sit a while after it was wrecked before I bought it.

I posted earlier, the link Denny gave says the light on the Nomad comes on late when there's low pressure. A late warning is no better than no warning at all, in my view.
 

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I plan on putting on both an oil temp and pressure gauge on mine...oil temp will often sense an overheat about to occur....and pressure, well, as others have stated, by the time the idiot light comes on, it may be too late....
Also, a pressure gauge will signal to you that its time to change your oil.
Doesnt need to be on the dash, can be out of the way, to just glance at on occasion when stopped. I wish the VNs had a serarate oil tank like Harleys do...I had a temp gauge built right into my dipstick....
Matter of fact, Ive been looking at gauges originally meant for Harleys. Theyre nice.
 

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...a simple & economical solution might be to Replace the Sender Unit first....
just sayin'

:smiley_th
 

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Weather it is an idiot light or a gauge, you need to be looking at it to know you have a problem. How about a screaming / annoying pizeo speaker that will rattle your brain cells when it gets < X PSI?

I wanted to do something like this to warn people of their blinker being on too long, I can do anything with micro controllers just need to interface it to the sensor, whatever kind of sensor it is.

If you have an oil light I can set it up to 'view' the light using a photo sensor and then drive a pizeo speaker with the micro controller. No need for gauges AND no need to stare at a gauge or a light, just drive along and when you hear a nasty sound, kill the engine, Or even one better I can make it go to a relay that goes to the kill switch, low pressre - engine killed.

Now all I need is a market and I can make millions

Kenny
 

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The oil light should not come on. Even on the sidestand, unless your oil level is really low. When mine hasn't been ridden for awhile, like overnight, I always warm it up on the centerstand. I don't know where the oil pick up is. There is also the danger of a running bike on the sidestand slipping into gear and falling over. I know of at least a couple of times that has happened to someone.

I would remove and clean the sending unit, and if the light still comes on, replace it. If it still comes on, you have a problem. You could hook up a gauge temporarily to check the pressure if the light doesn't go out. Didn't you drop the bike recently? Did the light stay on for a long time after restarting it? I have heard that is an issue with several Kawasaki models, including the Vulcan 750 and EX500.

I would find and fix the reason the light comes on, and then just leave it that way.

I also installed a oil pressure gauge on my '64 Ford, which has the original engine and to my knowledge it has never been rebuilt. Being so old I wanted to monitor the oil pressure on that too. I didn't trust the light/sending unit. I was a little disappointed to find the pressure a bit lower than normal, but it was not really unexpected on such an old and worn engine.


I always had a kill switch connected to the oil pressure sender in my race cars. I don't see that as a bad idea on any vehicle, and it is easily done. A warning buzzer would be to, but you would have hear it and react to it. I prefer an instant engine shut down if the oil pressure drops below a certain point
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So, I take it, the word of the day was obstinance.

Instant shutdowns while under way on a bike are never usually good. That's all you need in a low speed turn is to have some damn safety switch cutting the power, jacking the rear wheel and throwing you off balance.

It doesn't have anything to do with dropping the bike, it's done it since May, and maybe at least once before that. It's getting an oil gauge.

An idiot light is never going to tell me what the oil pressure is. Nor is it going to show any variations in pressure.

I wonder how some folks can even get around if they have to stare at the gauges. You don't ride or drive with a fixed stare down the road either, or you're not supposed to. You're supposed to scan, with a scan across the gauges once in a while too.

Hell all I asked for was any info or pics from anyone that's done it and I've ended up writing books here about why I'd even want to. I wasn't seeking permission either. That's ok, I can get what I need off goggle and myriad other message boards I've come across where this subject has been discussed constructively.

Thanks again to those that offered helpful advice.
 
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