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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Checking for wet sumping 73 TR7RV

I haven't asked a stupid question in a while...

If I need to check for wet sumping is this (attached) the drain bolt I need to remove? Or is it the bolt in the center of the sump plate?

The parts catalog shows the sump drain as the one in the center of the plate but the only YouTube video I've been able to find shows the angled bolt toward the front of the engine (referred to as engine drain in the Clymer's book) being drained.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm no expert here, but what I vaguely remember reading is there is significant debate as to whether to remove the drain plug that has the oil screen that is supposed to be cleaned. Many say the dealers never removed this because it would more often than not cause debris to get to the oil pump and hurt oil flow/pressure. Others say they remove this drain plug and clean the screen every time with no problem. There will be ample comments on this forthcoming. I have a '71 and drain the oil at the frame, not the engine sump.

Also not sure how that checks for wet sump. If the bike sat for a long time, the best way to check for wet sumping according to my classic dealer is to simply start the bike. If has wet sumped it will temporarily smoke, then when the oil get back where it's suppose to be it will stop smoking.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The bike had started smoking several months ago. I parked it in the garage 'for later'. A couple of weeks ago I totaled my other bike and don't own a car so later has arrived. I had been thinking about having the engine rebuilt with my insurance money mainly because the bike is 39 years old, I don't think it's ever been gone through and had been smoking. The shop I contacted asked me to check it for wet sumping (after I said it had been smoking) before I bring it in to them and spend the money on more work than what may be necessary. So that's where I'm at now. As far as I can tell the sump should have around 100ml of oil in it. The mechanic said to drain it and see how much is there and then we'll decide what to do with the bike. The problem I'm having is that I've seen conflicting info for which bolt I should be draining.

So is it the one in the center of the plate then and not the angled one toward the front of the engine?

Last edited by jonkull; 11-21-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It is the crankcase drain plug you need to remove to check for the volume of oil in the sump (not the frame plate drain plug). As Dr Fene said, be sure to clean around it very thoroughly before removing it (and even more thoroughly before replacing it). If much more than 100ml of oil comes out there is probably a problem with the oil pump's ball valves - if 100ml or thereabouts, no problem there, meaning your smoking is probably something to do with the top end.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonkull View Post
I haven't asked a stupid question in a while...

If I need to check for wet sumping is this (attached) the drain bolt I need to remove? Or is it the bolt in the center of the sump plate?

The parts catalog shows the sump drain as the one in the center of the plate but the only YouTube video I've been able to find shows the angled bolt toward the front of the engine (referred to as engine drain in the Clymer's book) being drained.
The bolt in the bottom of the frame is the oil tank drain.
The sump is under the crankcase.
Your photo shows the correct nut for checking for wet sumping.
If more than 100ml comes from the sump, there is a problem.
Its advisdable to also remove the oil pressure relief valve and clean the piston, and check the spring.
Could be jammed open.
Check the return flow.

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I can't see this making a big difference to the work required to overhaul the engine as a new oil pump isn't going to break the bank.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Garioch43 View Post
I can't see this making a big difference to the work required to overhaul the engine as a new oil pump isn't going to break the bank.
I think the point the mechanic was trying to make was to see if the smoke was due to wet sumping first. If it stops smoking after a new pump is installed we hold off on the overhaul until later.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well if you do decide you need a new pump I'd recommend a Morgo plunger pump. There are some questionable quality pattern 'genuine style' pumps around, and you'd be very lucky to get a genuine Meriden pump these days. The Morgo pumps are very nicely made and surprisingly inexpensive (I think mine was about 70 earlier this year).
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It is simple to fill the oil after a ride. At your next restart, if the level has dropped after sitting you may investigate further. If the oil level remains steady, there is no leakage. If the oil level rises after starting, it came from the crankcase. Bob
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The only proviso that I'd add to ColaradoBob's post is that I had a touch of wet sumping and went on a 60 mile ride after topping up the tank (OIF)

On my return, the oil was way over and had scrubbed loads of cr*p out of the higher end of the frame tube. It was a weekend process to clean all the now loose rust out of the frame, change the oil and filters and wash everything under pressure to get a clean frame
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