Sunday, August 10, 2008

Adventures in changing oil

So, I decided to change my own oil on my bike. I have done it on a car, how much different could it be right. Turns out not much different; I still get oil all over the place. Then I ran into the problems.

Lets start with buying a filter. First, I go to the local dealer/service joint down the road. I ask for the filter, the guy brings it out, I look in the box and ask where the o-rings are. He says there is only one (i know there are two) and that they don't have any in stock. Why buy filters and not have the o-ring in stock. I got the ninja250 suggested rotella synthetic ($20 for the 5qt jug). While I am at Walmart picking up the oil, I see a fram filter for my bike with o-rings included for less than half dealer prices. Pick it up too. Stop by autozone and get a torque wrench and a 6 pointed socket. Ride the bike around the block to get the oil warm and start loosening the drain plug.

Drain plugs are the most evil of all creations. it is impossible to get one off without getting oil all over yourself. this one was no different. Oil started coming out and I still had about 8 rotations to get the plug all the way out. Sure I could let the oil drain with the plug still half way in but I am paranoid about stuff settling back in the pan and want that free flowing oil to pull that stuff out, so I like to take the plug all the way out. Of course the bolt is too loose to use the ratchet anymore so it is time to get the hands dirty. So I am twisting away and plop it comes out, out of the whole and out of my hand. The drain plug in my pan isn't big enough for the 17mm bolt to go down. No worries right. Wrong!

The oil drains and I don't see the plug. I take the filter out and let the oil finish draining and look around in the pan, no plug. I look in the drain whole, no plug. I get my magnetic screwdriver and fish around no plug. I take a bucket and empty my drain pan into the bucket, no plug. I slowly poor the bucket back into the drain pan, no plug. I repeat the procedure, no plug. I look around on the ground, under things, shake the empty drain pan, no plug. I pretty much assume that I am going to have to buy a new plug when I decide to ruin my drain pan. I take out a knife and cut it open, to ensure to myself that it isn't in there. It is the only place I can think it could be. I cut open the pan and no plug.

I decide that it is lost but that I need to tighten up the filter screw before I clean up to ensure I don't forget about it when I get the new plug in the mail. After realizing it was easier to guestimate the metric reading than to use math to convert inch pounds (my wrench) to foot pounds (what the manual gives me) and still guestimate (the wrench goes from 120-240 and I needed 174). So I get on my back and lo and behold my drain plug is sitting on my lower fairing. So, more than an hour after I started the process, I was able to finish.

The bike is much smoother now. Go synthetic after 3k miles.

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1 comment:

grrrace said...

yeah. i don't change my own oil. i hate mess. hehe.(btw, i actually DO know how to change my car oil. i just don't do it.)