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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya,

My Bonneville has just has it's first service, and now has about 900 miles on it.

Engine cold and on centre stand:
No oil in the oil level window
If i tilt the bike to the right (very slightly), a little bit of oil shows up.
It looks like oil is just below the low mark.

Engine warming up, and a short ride later - centre stand and engine idling:
Oil is splashing about in the window, but it's still just below low.


About 10 miles later:
Oil level looks good


About an hour later - 30 ish miles:
No oil again, but oily froth at the low level line, and oil splashing about.


Yet again, after a long blat down the motorway:
Oil looks fine


Today, I put in a little bit of oil, till the level in the window was slightly above the low mark, but after a while it disappeared, and reappeared, as above.


Is this normal.... does this happen to your Bonneville too? The oil pressure light is never on, but I'm still very worried.

Appreciate any thoughts on this.

Thank you

Zaq in NZ

[ This message was edited by: zaqtronic on 2006-04-22 05:31 ]
 

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Zaq, I've been obsessed with my oil level too since it's the life blood of the bike and had some similar concerns as yours.
Last week I was at the dealer and talked oil with the service manager (Country Joe) and he even checked it and told me everything was fine on my bike.
Yesterday I had the bike on the homemade bike stand and the level was perfect after a 10 minute ride a cool-down. I'll continue to check it anyway. :-D
 

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Don't check the oil level with the bike on the center stand or while it's running. Either when the bike is cold or after a 10 minute cool down or so, hold the bike so it's balanced (not leaning to either side), on it's tires, on level ground and check the oil level.

When the bike is running you can't tell anything by looking at the oil level as the oil is ciculating through the engine. I'm surprised you don't see some oil when it's on the center stand, but again it's not level and the oil will run to the front of the engine causing a bad reading. If it's on the side stand you also will see no oil as it all runs to the left.

Ric
 

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Right. It takes about ten miuntes for all of the oil to drain down to the pan. Just hold the bike straight & level and look at the window. It DOES take a bit of practice.
 

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The volume of oil seemingly DOES change......
so learn yer bike, learn yer oil levels, allow me to lern ya'.

Oil expands and contracts under extreme conditions. That's why you're gonna get a different reading when the engine/oil is cold, and when it's up to operating temperature. As was suggested above, the only time to get an ACCURATE reading of your oil level, is ten to fifteen minutes after you've parked your bike from a lengthy ride.

I've noticed that the level of oil changes dramatically in the inspection window if the bike is tilted a little one way or the other. So you should strive to take a reading with the bike on it's center-stand, or as absolutely up-right as possible.

So teach yourself how the oil level differs from when the engine is cold, it's hottest operating temperature, and ten minutes after a ride after most of the oil has drained from your oil cooler and other parts of the engine.

Be consistant, check your oil after it's been warmed from a ride, give it ten minutes to drain down to the inspection window, and strive to keep your oil level at half window.

[ This message was edited by: FattRat on 2006-04-22 19:01 ]
 

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I had problems with my 2001 Bonnie choking out and it was because my air filter was saturated with oil. I'm still trying to locate the problem. Supposedly a seal goes bad and oil is pumped into the air box. Only early models and since not many were sold this is not a big problem. Dealership says check oil level . duh, I've been riding for 35 yrs and know what a sight glass is. Also have a clutch chatter which is a problem on 2001 models but dealers don't seem to know about this. Winchester Triumph in Virginia seems to be the only dealership with decent mechanics...I was going to go today but rain made me lazy.
 

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I agree...it's a pain. What i found is that it changes many mile after you change it. I've filled it, let it idle for a while then checked it and added as needed after it's had time to sit and settle. Still a few weeks later i see it's WAY too high ! it can go either way. So what i'm going to do next time is fill it, let it idel a bit, then sit for an hour and check it again. Once it's right i'll check it again after the first 2 or 3 rides and adjust if necassary. I always check it on the jack too because you cannot go by how it looks while holding the bike at what you think is level ! Just make sure the ground you jack it up on is pretty level. Anyway, it can be tricky even when taking into consideration all the factors like sit time and circulation thru the cooler and filter.
 

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I have found that when my oil level is correct, it is at the top line while sitting on the center stand. I never check my oil when the bike is hot--it always reads low. I check it in the morning after sitting all night and it reads the same every time. Many mechanics will over fill these bikes. They do NOT hold 4 liters. The specs list 3.8 liters with oil/filter change--I get more like 3.5 liters, not 3.8. When I change oil, I fill the filter before installing, then fill the engine to the lower line while the bike is sitting on the center stand. I quit at that point and check it the next morning per usual. If I am planning on riding, I ride. Seldom do I have to add any more oil to get it to the top line while on center stand.

If over-filled with oil, these engines will push oil out through the vent hose (that's into the airbox for those of you still running those contraptions). :-D

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, you folks are absolutely right.

After the bike has had a short run, the oil level looks good.

So, as long as I see the correct oil level atleast once, I'm not going to worry too much (try to anyway!).

i.e., unless I see a patch of oil under the bike, or oily smoke.

But, so far so good. The bike is great... only thing I need to get now, is a decent windscreen, as the wind roar is making me deaf!

Thanks for your replies.

Cheers,
Zaq :)
 

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Three of us have tried to tell you guys how and WHEN to correctly check your engine's oil level.....

Lets try this again. For you folks left in wonderment about your oil level....... if not from me and two others who posted above, how 'bout from the Triumph OWNERS HANDBOOK then:

*Stop engine, then wait for at least 10 minutes for to allow the oil to settle.

*Note the oil level visible in the sight glass.

*When correct, oil should be visible in sight glass at a point mid-way between the two horizontal lines marked on the crankcase.

[ This message was edited by: FattRat on 2006-04-23 07:39 ]
 
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