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Thread: Oil Change Mess

  1. #1
    Junior Member Rokrover's Avatar
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    Oil Change Mess

    My new SR400 reminded me how messy an SR oil change can be! Adequate preparation helps catch the spouts then dribbles from down tube inside skid plate, crankcase drain bolt onto center stand and oil filter housing over exhaust header. Murphy’s Law dictates I will be spattered in scalding oil anyway, so gloves, shop towels and catch pans help minimize the mess. Woe betide me if the driveway gets oiled up! I know, familiar stuff to old hands.

    Other observations - the original factory assembly oil was already cloudy at 200 miles so that’s why I like to do the first oil and filter change before the required 600 miles to remove breakin swarf, gasket chips etc. I like the idea of a magnetic crankcase drain bolt and need to research a source. I didn’t bother removing the oil separator to add ~ 400 ml fresh oil to the crankcase, as some suggest. Surely the scavenge side of the pump doesn't need priming?

    After restarting I cracked the 12mm oil check bolt at the head but became a little anxious when oil took maybe 30 seconds before seeping out. Guess the pump needs to fill the filter housing and galleries first; I don't think this is a necessary check at every oil change. Finally, 2.2 qts. oil put the level 3/4 up the stick - good enough, as the manual says.
    Last edited by Rokrover; 05-29-2017 at 02:07 PM.
    2017 SR400 / 2017 SCR950 / 1979 SR500 / 1987 Sun Classic G3E
    "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them"

  2. #2
    FORUM SUPPORTER thunderkat59's Avatar
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    I did my first one yesterday too . . . I was prepared. 10 minutes. I just poured it in, I dont think anything will start, dry.
    An epic, must-see video for these is Marlins, that will be the first thing that comes up in youtube when you type it in.
    Last edited by thunderkat59; 05-29-2017 at 06:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Rokrover's Avatar
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    Hilarious - thanks for that link Love the con rod in the drain pan...
    2017 SR400 / 2017 SCR950 / 1979 SR500 / 1987 Sun Classic G3E
    "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them"

  4. #4
    Senior Member gcrank1's Avatar
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    Ive used an old license plate bent in a V to stick/prop under the downtube drain to guide most to the catch-pan rather than down into the skid-pan.
    Centerstand is long gone so I had completely forgot about that.
    By draining initially on the sidestand I have little in the filter compartment which is my last to open; then a catch rag under the lip as I stand the bike upright to do the final drain.
    And I do it over my gravel bit beside the garage pad or with a hunk of cardboard that hasnt yet made it to the recycle center.
    Someday I will have to start wearing those disposable gloves; but I have relied on soaping up my hands with dishsoap and rubbing it well around and under my fingernails then letting it dry to a film while walking around with my hands upraised like a surgeon (fills the pores with soap first rather than oil/grease). After the messy work most of the slop washes right off with some water as the soap film gets activated.
    '81 Yamaha SR500 CSR (Coffee Shop Racer) 'Work in Progress'
    '09 Suzuki TU250X 'The Silent Red Fellow'
    In all things maintain your uprightness lest the road reach up and smite thee

  5. #5
    Senior Member MadMax's Avatar
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    Best start wearing those gloves Crank, the stuff that comes out of the sump can be very carcinogous.

    I used to work with an old mechanic who died of testicular cancer that was blamed on his habit of stuffing oily wipe rags in his pockets.

    The gloves are less than a tenner for a large box, in my case latex free, BTW, for getting the ground-in dirt out of your hands, a teaspoon of sugar with the soap works wonders.

    Max

  6. #6
    Junior Member Rokrover's Avatar
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    Actually, just discovered this simple but brilliant idea to use tape stuck to the downtube under the drain bolt to avoid the mess. The picture is a screen shot from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9PRswjEMQY

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2017 SR400 / 2017 SCR950 / 1979 SR500 / 1987 Sun Classic G3E
    "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them"

  7. #7
    Senior Member gcrank1's Avatar
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    Brilliant, for sure and certain!
    Im getting a box of those today, Max; I need to keep all the parts Ive got left.....same issue with using diesel fuel as a parts cleaner; 'dirty' stuff, that. Though I expect they dont hold up well to lacquer thinner?
    '81 Yamaha SR500 CSR (Coffee Shop Racer) 'Work in Progress'
    '09 Suzuki TU250X 'The Silent Red Fellow'
    In all things maintain your uprightness lest the road reach up and smite thee

  8. #8
    Senior Member duke b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcrank1 View Post
    Though I expect they dont hold up well to lacquer thinner?
    As Max points out, those gloves (nitrile gloves) are very economical, and they come in different thicknesses at Harbor Freight. You might consider having boxes of the thinner ones (light blue) as well as the fairly thick variety (dark blue to black), and use them according to activity. Thick ones would be advisable for your solvent work, but the thin ones seem fine to me for oil-changes, polishing, etc.. When I'm tired and trying to get them off my hands, I pinch the wrist opening tight, pull slightly away from my skin, then introduce a robust gust from the lungs as if blowing up a balloon. They will either explode and go into the trash, or separate from my sweaty hands for easy removal and reuse if they're not too dirty—there's an effectiveness vs. destructiveness learning-curve with regard to lung-power.

    Even my wife wears these things rather than the supermarket variety (overpriced junk) when she washes something by hand. She likes the heavy-duty version because they are slightly longer in length than the thinner ones, and she sizes up since she prefers a more dignified removal method.

    Best money you can spend for dirty work.
    Last edited by duke b; 05-30-2017 at 08:52 AM.
    1979 SR500F / THE BLACK SPIDER (Pictured here in 2015, and here in 2014)


  9. #9
    Senior Member chunk's Avatar
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    I've always wondered what are the risks of always carrying my mobile phone in my pocket is, on the old John smalls. Can't be good having the berries so close to high frequency RF. I do like the nitrile gloves too. No more hands that look like i never wash them. Cheers.
    Last edited by chunk; 06-09-2017 at 01:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rokrover View Post
    After restarting I cracked the 12mm oil check bolt at the head but became a little anxious when oil took maybe 30 seconds before seeping out. Guess the pump needs to fill the filter housing and galleries first; I don't think this is a necessary check at every oil change. Finally, 2.2 qts. oil put the level 3/4 up the stick - good enough, as the manual says.
    Made oil bath under the bike 3 times so far, no matter how well prepared with buckets and plates , that first hit from above skid plate reaches front fender and wheel easily...

    About oil pressure check at bleed bolt,
    just pour some oil into filter (about 1dl or less to absorbe) right before mounting, so when starting the engine to check, oil comes immediately out of the hole without unpleasant delay.

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