Oil level, driving me nuts. - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Oil level, driving me nuts.

I know there are several threads on this, but, whilst away this winter I noticed the rear cylinder was covered in oil (again) from the breather hose, I dipped the oil and it was just at the top of the flat part of the dipstick having just been serviced, so I removed 250ml of oil, cleaned the oil residue off. Dipped the oil again and it was no where near the maximum mark and I then had no oil breather leaks for 1800 miles.

Then yesterday I cleaned the last of the winter salt off the bike, and noticed the rear cylinder covered in oil mist again, dipped the oil this morning and it's halfway back up to the maximum mark.

What the hell is going on??

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 11:40 AM
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Are you checking the oil per the manual?

On most Vulcan models, there's a specific oil level procedure. Unlike your car, you can't just take the dipstick out of a cold engine leaning on it's side and get an accurate reading. On my Vulcans, the procedure is to warm it up, then hold it up off of the kickstand (sit on it) and check the oil (clean dipstick, re-install, check). Check your owners manual to see if the procedure is the same.

I know from reading the other threads, that generally it seems most 1700 owners report that an oil level above 'half' on the hashmarks can cause oil blow at higher RPM's.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, checking it hot and level, after allowing 3 minutes for oil to settle, as per manual.
I can't seem to get the same reading on dipstick twice.
I have noticed that a slight deviation in level front to back of the bike makes a massive difference but I always try to check it in the same place that is level but as I've said never get the same reading and it always seems high.
The oil is not contaminated with fuel or water.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 06:10 PM
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I just put in 5 quarts at each oil change and don't worry about it. Chasing the dip stick can lead to too much oil in the bike.

Unless you clean everything, you can have drips for quite a while since the tube vents.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I just put in 5 quarts at each oil change and don't worry about it. Chasing the dip stick can lead to too much oil in the bike.

Unless you clean everything, you can have drips for quite a while since the tube vents.
Me too. I've never had to add between oil changes, and never had any oil from the crankcase vent. Are you sure there isn't oil leaking from somewhere

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 10:27 PM
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Glad to know I'm not the only one having difficulty getting a firm oil level reading.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Contacted the bike shop I bought the O2 eliminator from today, and even though it's a Sunday I got a reply straight back.
Trying to cover all the possibilities even though the plugs are the correct colour, thought there might be a slight chance it was running very rich and fuel was washing past the pistons into the oil.
Got it straight from the dealer how the eliminator forces the ECU to run in open loop, and like I said the plugs are the correct colour. He did however suggest it might be a sticking injector, allowing the fuel to drain down until the residual pressure has gone.

I've got an oil contamination kit coming in a few days to check for fuel and coolant, will post results if anyone is interested.

Of course the most likely outcome is operator error, and I just can't check the oil level correctly............................

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Last edited by Keef; 03-29-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 05:12 PM
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I do the same as twowheeledaddict and dlars. And there a few others do the same. I gave up checking oil all the time. If it ever starts leaking or using then I will start checking... I like the sight glass on my Yamaha's..........

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 06:15 PM
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copied and pasted from another forum.
http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/fo...-capacity.html

Kawasaki's method to check the oil is "odd" because the motor is a semi dry sump engine with 2 sections in the crankcase that store the oil. 1. The section below the crankshaft and 2. the transmission. These two sections in the crankcase are partitioned off from each other... however the seal between them is not 100%, oil leaks between the sections when the bike is not running.

How it works.
When the engine is running oil is pumped from the tranny thru the oil filter, thru the engine and finally into the sump in the crankcase. The oil pump in the sump serves as a scavenger pump and pumps the oil back into the tranny and it starts all over again. So when the engine is running very little oil remains the crankcase sump.

Now when you shut the engine off, over time oil from the tranny seeps back into the sump. After long enough time half the oil will be in the sump and the other in the tranny. This allows oil to be in the sump to bath the crank shaft on cold starts.

So if you check your oil on a cold engine that has not been started you won't get an accurate reading because oil has seeped from the tranny and into the sump and the oil dip stick is in the tranny where half the oil has seep into the sump. In order to get an accurate reading you need to run the engine to pump all the oil out of the sump and back into the tranny.

Now that we know that we can check the oil cold. First use the procedure in the owners manual and make sure the oil is up to the full mark... add oil if necessary. Then the next day when the engine is cold start the engine for 15 seconds with the bike on the side stand. This is done to pump all the oil out of the sump into the tranny. Now wait 2-3 minutes to allow the oil to drain back into the tranny and check the oil level on the dip stick. Wherever the level is on the dipstick is the full mark on the engine cold and on the side stand. Mark it or remember where that level is and you can use the cold method and not burn you fingers using the Kawasaki's hot method.

The key here is consistency, check the oil on level ground and the bike angle on the side stand the same each time and you will get a consistent reading. What you can't compensate for is the ambient temperature. Oil does expand and contract, if you check your oil using this method you'll learn where the winter/summer level is on the stick. It doesn't really matter how you check the oil if you know where the full mark should be in your method and you're consistent.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba in TX View Post
I do the same as twowheeledaddict and dlars. And there a few others do the same. I gave up checking oil all the time. If it ever starts leaking or using then I will start checking... I like the sight glass on my Yamaha's..........
All my other Kawasakis have the sight glass. I'm sure Kawasaki had some reason to change to a dip stick.

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