Author Topic: Nightmare oil change! Damn you RE!  (Read 500 times)

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on: August 18, 2018, 08:20:20 am
Bit of a back story...

I did my '14 's first oil change when I got it that year. I noticed two of the three 8mm bolts that held the oil filter had shavings on it when I pulled them out. Upon putting them back in, I felt they were certainly stripped/ starting to strip. I understand many 14s had over tightened bolts from the factory. Nevertheless it held with no leaks. I knew it would be a matter of time before it would require action...

'15 oil change..held up.
'16 oil change.. held up.
'17 oil change..held up... but man were they spinning...

Did my oil change yesterday, and sure enough enough a slow leak down the ride side cover. When I started the motor, of course it turned to a dribble and dripped at a fast enough rate. My friend at his garage has helicoils so the plan was to drive about 8km (5 miles) to his place down the highway and put in 3 helicoils, knowing that I'd probably lose about  1/2L to 3/4L of oil... big mistake

About 2km down the highway, I look down and about 3ft of oil is shooting out in all directions of the filter compartment.. all over the road, my boot, my exhaust, tire...everything. Shit. Maybe I can take responsibility for not trucking it to his place... I thought it would just drip and dribble a lot... but damn. I slowed down to about 70km/h and kept going nice and easy. Around 5km I start to hear valve clicking from the top end.. it gets progressively louder. Im running out of oil. Around 6km I feel the rear tire slip a bit and lose a bit of traction. I know what that is! Slow down to 50km/h. Valve noise is getting louder. turn off the engine and coast into his place in a plume of smoke as there is smoke burning off my exhaust wrap. All in all, a dangerous situation I will never repeat!

Drained the remaining oil, there was only about 1/2L left!!! Put in the helis.. all good. Filled with oil, started it up and could still hear the valve noise. As the oil started circulating, the valve noise was certainly a lot better, although I could still hear a distinct click. Took it for a rip up and down his street to get the oil moving and I THINK it's gone and back to normal.

Question for you guys:
1) Do you think I could have done valve damage after riding only about 4km at 70km/h with 1/2L of oil? Don't the UCEs have somewhat of a distinct valve noise anyways? When it was fully warm and circulated, could still hear slight tap tap tap but Im SURE that it has always been there. Am I wrong? 

Glad to be have made it in one piece!


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Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 05:12:20 pm
Look, I'm not gonna tell you that glorping out all but a pint or so of your multigrade is the best thing you can do for your bike, but based on your description my hunch is you and it are gonna weather this stressful little episode just fine and with no noticeable long term ill effects.

My own '05, albeit an "iron belly", similarly heaved out nearly all its slippery goo shortly after I got her owing to a bad case of the crankcase breather catch can sploodges, and yet I've since put over 3,000 trouble-free miles on her. In fact, she just seems to keep running better and better. My old Norton 750 also once lost all its oil due to a broken oil feed line, and there too: she's still thumping just fine.

Of course, only time will truly tell, but unless you're hearing a weird new low-pitched or "rumbly" knocking of an unhappy crankshaft assembly, you're probably gonna be just fine.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 05:33:20 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


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Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 07:34:47 pm
That reminds me of a story:  My daughter owned a 1990 Suzuki GS500E and racked up about 80,000 miles in only four years.  Then her husband borrowed the bike and rode it from Seattle to Portland to visit some relatives.  Unfortunately he didn't check the oil level before he left and the engine froze up on the way there due to running out of oil. (He didn't notice the red oil light.) He took the bike apart, borrowed a car, dropped the parts into the trunk and drove back home. After putting the Suzuki back together, he dumped oil into the engine and managed to get it started.  While it did have a noticeable bottom end knock, my daughter continued to ride the bike for another 8K miles, finally selling it, knock and all, to a Mexican fellow for $800 who planned to ride the bike home to Mexico City where he lived. We have no idea if he made it home without any drama, but I sure was impressed with the durability of the Suzuki. Some engines will take a lick'n and keep on tick'n.  ;)
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph Bonneville T-100, 2002 Yamaha FZ1