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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How is it possible that a measured 4.0 L of oil does not show on the dipstick after oil and filter change.?

Checking method:

Idle on side stand for 15.
Off for 3.
Bike upright and check dipstick (not screwed in but resting on threads.)

No oil on dipstick. ?
( and no leaks. )

Skin.
 

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also beware that when the oil is clean and on this bike even after 4.5k and two oil changes it is still almost clear and it is hard to detect on the dipstick. I have had to double and triple check to make sure but the dipstick was not made in such a way to see really clean oil on it. most cars and heck even lawn mowers have a hole in the dipstick surface at low and high levels to see the oil. I think if you rough it up a bit with a dremel tool and a scotch brite wheel it will read easier but make sure and clean it off after dremeling!
 

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I have posted this on various "oil" threads so many times that people who read them all probably think that I am a "one-trick pony" BUT -- when you change your oil, if you measure what comes OUT, and then replace that amount, you will never over-fill. You might be a little low (since not ALL of the oil will come out of the filter), but you can top it up after riding it, and checking it several times.

I also agree that it can be VERY hard to see where clean oil is on the dipstick. The ideas about roughing up the dipstick sound good to me, and I plan to do that.
 

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I have not actually tested this on more than one occasion, but when I changed my oil, I put nearly 4 quarts in and followed the procedure to a 'T'. I could hardly see any oil on the dipstick. Then, I got to thinking that maybe you can't leave the bike on the side stand and just lift it up to check. So, to test my theory, I strapped my bike up so it was standing off the stand as verticle as I could make it. I ran it for 15 minutes exactly and shut it off for 3 minutes exactly. When I checked, the oil was at the upper level of the hash mark. Give it a try and let's see if this is the reason for so much variance. I think the bike has to be at least verticle for the 3 minute cool down, but possibly during the whole idle/cool down procedure. Test it, and post your results. If I have the time today, I will run my bike and let it cool down completely on the sidestand, lifting it only to check it, and then repeat the procedure with the bike strapped up verticle for the whole time. I'm betting there will be a difference in the level on the dip stick.
 

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Measuring what comes out sounds like a good idea, but flawed... Not just in what is in the filter, all engines use some oil, they have to, but how much ? Which will not only depend on engine wear, but type of oil used, driving conditions and how the bike is driven. Oil vaporizes and different oils vaporize at different levels, this is why some oils utilize the Knoack Volatility test, many synthetics are under 10 % where a petroleum oil can be up to 25% loss due to this...

Something I have done in the past where a dipstick is hard to read is to clean it thoroughly and scuff the surface and then use a FLAT Black paint on the stick. Once you wipe it off and then return it to check the oil, it is quite a bit more visible.

One of the best things to clean it with is Brake and Electric Motor Cleaner if you can get the "real" stuff... Carbon Tetrachloride.
 
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Medic, I like your idea. Instead of strapping the bike so that it is nearly vertical, put a 2 x 4 under the kickstand. I think that is pretty close. We both have Jason's bones on.
 

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Bonehead came up with this idea: use gun blue to make the bottom of the dip stick darker so you can read it. Works great.
 

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As far as "measuring what comes out" being "flawed" -- it's success obviously depends on having the right amount IN the bike before changing the oil. When you are ready for an oil change, you should have no difficulty seeing the oil on the stick.

And remember: you're not going to do any harm if you are just a little bit LOW, but if you overfill this bike, it causes all kinds of grief.
 

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I found that a 1x4 nailed to a 2x4 will almost set the bike vertical, but not so far as making it easy to tip over..Just don't bump into it or you will be picking it up..The biggest pain for me is getting the oil filter off..I found a ratcheting 11/16 round end wrench at Lowe's for about $10 that works great on a oil filter removing cap that you can find at any auto parts store..They have a nut built onto the end and the ratcheting wrench requires minimal movement to work..I tried one of those "strap" wrenches and it took forever. :eek: :eek: :eek:
 

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Here's the simple method I use. Seems to work well. This assumes replacing the filter of course.

The recommended amount by the book to put into the bike with a filter change is (about) 3.8quarts which is 190ml (189.2ml actually) less than 4 quarts. I took a clean clear plastic bottle and carefully measured 190ml and took a dry marker and drew a circle around the bottle marking the 190ml fill point. I then pour 190ml out of the 4th new quart of (synthetic of course) oil into the clear bottle and cap it. Then I put the first 3 quarts in slowly cause these bikes don't fill to well. Then with the 4th quart I pour half of the remainder that's in it, screw the dipstick in and run the bike for 3 minutes and then add the remainder of the 4th quart (minus the 190ml I held out).

I then check my oil after a little riding. If any trimming up is needed then or later I use the 190ml part that I poured off into the clear bottle. What this method counts on is that 99% of old oil will come out of the bike if drained properly and the filter replaced. That being the case, putting 3.8 quarts in can't overfill your bike. Just remember to only put half of the 4th (190ml) reduced quart in and run the bike for 3 minutes to get some of the oil distributed and into the filter. Then put in the remainder of the 4th quart.

You know it's real funny that in the Suzuki owners manual they say put in "about" 3,600ml or 3.8 quarts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I stopped idling the bike over and over again in self doubt and checking for non - existant oil on the dipstick and went for a ride this weekend with 4.0 l in the bike. Fortunately nothing blew out.
When i got back it was obviously fully up to operating temp. I put it on the side stand, took note of the time, and took off my helmet jacket etc during the three minutes after stopping.

I picked the bike up and did the dipstick test repeatedly ( burning my fingers on the dipstick cap ) and the level was so high it was over the flattened area and even 8 mm up the round part of the stick. This bike is a beatch to check oil on !

Please remember that i did it to the book IDLING for 15 repeatedly, practically with a stop watch before and i got NO oil on the dipstick with a measured 4.0 l in.
It seems the 15 minute IDLE, even repeatedly, was just not enough to get it warm enough ? even though the ambient temp here at testing time is 25 - 26 degrees C ( no idea what this in farenheit but its summer here, nice and warm.) so the baseline temp was not low to begin with.

I pumped 300 ml out and it was clean and about one third the way up the cross hatching. Total oil in the bike now 3700 ml.

I have no doubt that if i now again do a "book" 15 minute IDLE test from cold (ambient ) temp it will again show NO oil on the stick.

Hate this.

skin.
 

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I'd actually like to know the result. I will predict that it checks out O.K. after another "by-the-book" oil check.
 

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I am having good results with adding 4 qts at oil and filter change and this seems to be what drains out of the case and the filter. I do know if I sit on the bike for the 3 minute cool down period with it upright it always reads full. roughing up the tip of the dipstick helps too, I guess the oil has something to stick to. I still can only add 3 qts initially after the oil change, any more and it overfills the case. at 3 qts you can see it coming up towards the top of the dipstick hole. once the dipstick is in and tight i just start it for a few seconds then kill it and add the other quart then go for a ride and check wheN I get home.
 

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Medic1210 said:
I have not actually tested this on more than one occasion, but when I changed my oil, I put nearly 4 quarts in and followed the procedure to a 'T'. I could hardly see any oil on the dipstick. Then, I got to thinking that maybe you can't leave the bike on the side stand and just lift it up to check. So, to test my theory, I strapped my bike up so it was standing off the stand as verticle as I could make it. I ran it for 15 minutes exactly and shut it off for 3 minutes exactly. When I checked, the oil was at the upper level of the hash mark. Give it a try and let's see if this is the reason for so much variance. I think the bike has to be at least verticle for the 3 minute cool down, but possibly during the whole idle/cool down procedure. Test it, and post your results. If I have the time today, I will run my bike and let it cool down completely on the sidestand, lifting it only to check it, and then repeat the procedure with the bike strapped up verticle for the whole time. I'm betting there will be a difference in the level on the dip stick.
:

:bigthumbsup:I think you are on to something here. Last night after a short ride put the bike on sidestand, shut it off, placed it on a centerstand, waited 3min, checked dip stick and barely anything on the stick. No Way! Started it up and kept it on the center stand for a few min. Shut her off, waited 3min., perfectly full. This thing has to be kept upright to check and prior to shutting it off.

Doc
 

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Just did the first oil change after having the dreaded crankcase overfilled by dealer. Had about 800 miles on the bike and it blew oil down the left side of the bike and on my leg. Took it to the dealer, they kept the bike for 4 days, and they were lost and confused. When I picked the bike up I did an initial check with the mechanic out there with me nothing on the dip stick. He said it was right on just a min ago. Told me to ride it around the block and then lets check it. Did this no oil showed on the stick. He added more. Did the ride again came back checked no oil showed. He said it was good don't worry about it. I'm like yeah right. I cant tell if I have oil in the bike and you say its OK.. Can we say no warranty... YOU didn't make sure you had oil at proper level.
Well like I said that was 2 months ago now I have got the miles to do a oil change. I have a bike jack. Centered the bike and up it went on the jack.
Drained the oil and removed filter. Then measured the exact amount of oil per book. Completed oil change but left the bike on the jack. Started the bike and let it warm up. Shut it down and waited the 3 min. walha perfect. Oil on the full mark. I think the bike has to be perfectly straight for the three min or you get BS readings on the dipstick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am developing "some" consistency with this "upright for 3 minutes" shutoff time approach too, but it only shows oil after a ride, not ever after a "book" 15 minute warmup.
 
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