Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Some thoughts on changing oil

So, I took the opportunity to do an oil change on the VTR. Now that I know the drill, I'll be able to better document it the next time I do one (I'm guessing some time in the mid-Summer). If you need immediate data, refer to the Lubrication (Chapter 2) section of the Shop Manual on the Resources page. The directions are straight-forward and accurate. Thought #1: use a shallow drain pan with plenty of under engine clearance. I used one of those "self-contained" pans that have a big screw-off lid. Under that lid was a drain grate. It was too close to the bottom of the motor to easily get the oil filter out. Thought #2: have three quarts of motor oil. Even though the manual says "2.11 US quarts at oil filter change", it's more like 2.5 US quarts. Thought #3: ensure that the washer, between the spring and the filter, is retained. It appears that the previous owner did not notice that the washer was stuck to the old filter (and it was discarded with that filter). They're only a couple of bucks from Honda but now I have to remember to order one before the next oil change (while I'm at it, I'll get a filter support o-ring, too). Thought #4: ensure the the crush washer, on the drain plug, is good. Even though my VTR has only 5600 miles, it's seen at least three or four oil changes (hopefully more). The crush washer on the drain plug wasn't in very good condition. I replaced it with a copper spark plug indexing washer. Thought #5: be sure that the bike is vertical (to level ground) when checking the oil level in the site glass. Even when the sump is full, the site glass is empty when the bike is on it's side stand.

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