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I am sure that most of you readers have heard about the K&N KN 204 oil filter issue. Well, until yesterday I had not. I went on a ride yesterday and upon parking my Bonneville SE I notice a big puddle of oil underneath the bike. I was both concerned a perplexed as I have about 2,000KM on it since the oil change. Upon further observation I noticed the oil was coming from the bottom of the filter! I of course changed the oil filter and oil and I drained the oil to see how much I had remaining which was about 2 liters. I filled the bike with the proper amount of oil and did a leak check with no further issues.

SO, I went on line to find out if anyone else had any issues with this filter. Come to find out there is a recall on this filter!!! Luckily I replaced the filter with a Fram oil filter. The probem is that K&N filter has a little 17mm nut welded to the bottom for ease of installation and removal. They evidently did not spot weld the thing correctly thus causing this failure. No more K&N filters for me. The manufacturer claims that they will replace the filter. No thanks. Just pay me for the oil I used and I am good to go. Like that will ever happen!
 

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I bought a K&N 204 from Amazon awhile back. About a month ago I got a message notifying me of the recall. I took 2 pictures, shot them a copy of my Amazon order, and received a new filter in the mail about a week later. They also offered a refund in lieu of the filter. It was pretty painless, but then, I’ve got an inordinate amount of time on my hands.
 

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There are many horror threads here re those filters, one from a rider who lost his engine over lack of oil. There's many good filter brands for Bonnies, check the 'sticky' here. I use Hi-Flo or Triumph for example.
 

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The probem is that K&N filter has a little 17mm nut welded to the bottom for ease of installation and removal.

The above quote shows the error of your ways.
The welded nut is for removal only!
At least you're man enough to admit your error.

Rex
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Rex, So if that is the case then I am not the only one who did not understand that the nut was only for removal. Also since according to the manual the oil filter is to be torqued to 10mn (which I did) then the manufacturer should have at least made the nut installation strong enough to withstand that small amount of torque. I do not recall reading any warning about the nut being used for removal only.
 

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I recently acquired a 2010 SE. It had one of those filters on it.

I replaced it with a WIX filter and used a cup style filter tool to install it.

Seems like a solution that has caused far more problems than the issue of how to install a filter. I didn't like the slightly lower point of the filter. Seems like its hanging there waiting to hit something.

Anyway, get a cup filter tool that will work on any filter and problem solved.
 

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Hi Rex, So if that is the case then I am not the only one who did not understand that the nut was only for removal. Also since according to the manual the oil filter is to be torqued to 10mn (which I did) then the manufacturer should have at least made the nut installation strong enough to withstand that small amount of torque. I do not recall reading any warning about the nut being used for removal only.
You didn't make a mistake, installing the filters like that is fine. The filter was defective.

It's too easy to overtorque the filter when installing with a wrench, but it doesn't lead to destroying the filter unless you get crazy. Or shouldn't. If it does, filter was defective.

Myths that welds somehow survive counter-clockwise torque better than clockwise-torque are unfounded ;)
 

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K&N has marked the box that the filter comes in pretty specifically as to wrench use.

As to torquing an oil filter...stop it!
After you have your new filter filled with fresh oil and the O-ring seal coated with a light film of oil,
screw the filter on to the engine until the seal contacts the mounting surface.
then tighten the filter, by hand, an additional 1/2 to 3/4 turn.

Triumph has an entire crew of OCD manual writers who have a specific torque for EVERYTHING!
Note the torque value for the plastic windscreen screws used on my Tiger 1050.

Rex
 

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The above quote shows the error of your ways.
The welded nut is for removal only!
At least you're man enough to admit your error.

Rex
So from this statement are we to conclude that all those who have reported failures despite never using the weld nut to install/torque the filter are lying?

Please explain yourself...
 

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I imagine the K&N product engineers talking to the marketing/packaging folks.

"Look, like you've instructed us, we've spot welded this nut-shaped piece of sheet metal on to the filter so folks can remove them easier. If they tighten the filter with it, it might rupture the steel and fail so I don't think this is a good idea. Let's just not put that on there,"

Marketing, "No, its good. We'll just put it in the instructions for people to only use it to remove the filter. We'll even make a logo. Because people are smart, read the instructions and always think things through."


And now here we are.
 

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I imagine the K&N product engineers talking to the marketing/packaging folks.

"Look, like you've instructed us, we've spot welded this nut-shaped piece of sheet metal on to the filter so folks can remove them easier. If they tighten the filter with it, it might rupture the steel and fail so I don't think this is a good idea. Let's just not put that on there,"

Marketing, "No, its good. We'll just put it in the instructions for people to only use it to remove the filter. We'll even make a logo. Because people are smart, read the instructions and always think things through."


And now here we are.
Or, an alternate possibility:
Marketing, "No, its good. We'll just lower the weld point QC standards so that the welds fail whether or not the user toques the nut for install."

>:)
 
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Discussion Starter #15
gotcha. You know, in the past I always put my filters on hand tight and turned them an additional 1/2 turn or so. When I got my Triumph manual they call for 10nms so I figured what the hell, I will give it a go. Well the heck with that from now on!! Also I will admit that since I had never ever used a K&N filter I thought well that will be an easy way to torque it. WRONG!!! In my defense the thing lasted for over 2,000km before it bit the dust. The failures I have read about also happened after about that many Kilometers. SO, I am wondering if other folks got sucked into the torque thing as I did. Anyway, I have eliminated the issue by going back to my old ways. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree with you. I cannot help but think if I had damaged the filter when torquing it to the specified torque the thing would not have waited until 2,000km to fail. Again, I have eliminated the issue by eliminating the brand of filter. Simple fix. :)
 

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So from this statement are we to conclude that all those who have reported failures despite never using the weld nut to install/torque the filter are lying?

Please explain yourself...

Before answering your question I'm going to to give you a bit of background so that you can understand how I formed my answer.

In 1965, at the age of 15, I bought my first motorcycle (1960 Triumph Tiger Cub), and in the intervening years I have always done my own maintenance and repairs to all of my bikes. I have done a mechanically stoopid thing or two over the years.

In 1968 I began my career as a Professional Mechanic, from which I retired in late 2016. During my career I maintained, repaired and rebuilt engines of fractional horsepower to engines rated at 3000 horsepower, as well as the pertinent systems that those engines were powering. I have done a mechanically stoopid thing or two over the years.

For a period of 5 years I worked on an offshore oil drilling rig (5X 3000HP V16 EMD 641 diesel engines). The work schedule was 28 days on/ 28 days off. During my 28 days off I worked for a local Japanese motorcycle shop, writing up repair orders, assembling new machines, repairing and safety checking trade in machines and maintaining and repairing customer machines.

One thing I learned at the motorcycle shop is, that no matter how mechanically inept some of the customers were, many would try to do their own work to "save money". There were instances of a pinched wire causing a fuse to blow to a set of crankcases destroyed by an improperly installed drive chain master link.

So to answer your question, no, I am not saying all of the riders who had an issue with a K&N 204 filter are liars, but you can bet your a$$ that some of them are. If you think otherwise, you're living in a fantasy world.

Everyone makes mistakes, not everyone has the balls to admit to them.
All of my pencils have erasers.


Rex
 

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I like K&N air filters but when I bought a mess of Tiger parts the new K&N oil filter went right into the garbage.
One failure was enough to spook me as that's a lot of hot oil right next to the rear tire.
 

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Not a fan of their air filters either. AEM dry flow have been proven to both flow better and stop more particulates than their oil soaked gimmick.
 
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