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Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) #741744
07/13/18 11:58 am
07/13/18 11:58 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
ricochetrider Online content OP

Moto Mojo
ricochetrider  Online Content OP

Moto Mojo

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
Howdy guys,

Have 549 miles on my Commando's top end rebuild. It was suggested that I change oil after 400 miles, but I *accidentally* rode the bike over 200 miles last time I got on it!

oops, my bad.

Meantime, I'm holding off riding it further until I get the oil changed. Got me some Valvoline 4 stroke motorcycle 20W50 oil, and some Purolator One filters.... a buddy has volunteered to guide me through the oil change but I thought I'd post here to ask what exactly y'all recommend-

Changing the filter for sure
Am I draining the sump, or just the tank?
should I pull the bottom end plug to look for metal filings?
any tips, tricks, special info,
anything I need to know that's not glaringly obvious?

I mean it's an oil change, not a heart transplant... not rocket science...
no need to overcomplicate or overthink the matter... right?

Thanks in advance!

post script edit: Now I sure as HECK don't mean this to devolve into one of the dreaded *oil threads* help Believe me I looked around quite a lot at oil... it was recommended I go with an "SG" rated oil... I tried like the dickens to find some but that particular oil rating may have gone the way of the dodo... somebody said that was rated for wet clutches and I have a dry clutch, maybe that's BS - however, I saw many things online, recommending Valvoline over *other* brands, so after perusing the AMSOL website, I went with this 4 stroke MC oil. Talk about the oil of ya want, but too much of hat'll be missing the point of the thread. Nobody needs 50 pages of arguing, gnashing of teeth, name-calling, etc. I'm asking a simple question about the PROCESS. Cheers.

Last edited by ricochetrider; 07/13/18 12:11 pm.

"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

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Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #741749
07/13/18 12:31 pm
07/13/18 12:31 pm
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,984
Maryland
JD Offline

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Maryland
Hey Tom, if it were me and I had just spent that much money making my bike look and run the way you have, I'd certainly drain the oil tank and pull the sump plug. Can't hurt, right? And it makes sure that anything that's in the oil gets drained from the engine.

When you going to be down my direction?


Josh
Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #741751
07/13/18 12:53 pm
07/13/18 12:53 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,823
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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Posts: 3,823
Norfolk, UK
Originally Posted by ricochetrider
Changing the filter for sure


Good.


Originally Posted by ricochetrider
Am I draining the sump, or just the tank?


The longer you leave it after running the engine the more oil there is likely to be in the sump as it drains through the oil pump from the oil tank so I'd suggest both.


Originally Posted by ricochetrider
should I pull the bottom end plug to look for metal filings?


I would.

Originally Posted by ricochetrider
any tips, tricks, special info,


Read the manual section on engine oil changing first (maintenance section K5) if you haven't already done so.

http://www.classicbike.biz/Norton/Repair/70up_Commando/70upCommando.pdf


Originally Posted by ricochetrider
anything I need to know that's not glaringly obvious?

Clean the oil tank filter?
Add some oil to the sump before starting.
Check oil level after running the engine and fill to no more than about halfway between the L and H marks on the dipstick. If filled to the ''full' H mark oil is likely to blow from the tank breather until the level has dropped.

Originally Posted by ricochetrider
and I have a dry clutch,


Belt primary drive?
A clutch that shares a primary drive with a triplex chain flinging 200cc of oil around doesn't stay "dry" for long!



Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #741754
07/13/18 1:21 pm
07/13/18 1:21 pm
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 658
Ewing. NJ
E
edunham Offline
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E

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Posts: 658
Ewing. NJ
Tom,
You might want to re-torque the cylinder head bolts also. They frequently loosen during breakin. If you do, remember to re-adjust the valves.

Ed from NJ

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #741758
07/13/18 1:53 pm
07/13/18 1:53 pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,531
melbourne florida
B
bodine031 Offline
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Posts: 1,531
melbourne florida
Valvoline VR-1 20/50 (ZDDP) As L.A.B. replied drain and flush entire system, prime before starting, retorque and adjust valves. Time consuming but your bike & your time

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #741820
07/14/18 2:26 am
07/14/18 2:26 am
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,370
Magnolia, TX
htown Offline
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Magnolia, TX
FWIW, I've always used Valvolene 20w/50 4 stroke non synthetic in all my bikes including breaking in rebuilt engines.

Last edited by htown; 07/14/18 2:30 am.

1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2004 XL 1200R Sportster

Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746602
08/24/18 11:48 am
08/24/18 11:48 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
ricochetrider Online content OP

Moto Mojo
ricochetrider  Online Content OP

Moto Mojo

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
Howdy guys,

FINALLY
gonna get around to changing the oil on the Commando (been VERY busy all summer long) SO just want to clarify one thing. I found an old oil change thread over on Access Norton with these step by step instructions:

Remove the seat & remove the two bolts holding the oil cover on. At the lower part of the oil tank is a drain bolt. Remove this while holding an empty milk jug with funnel to catch the oil. You can lean the bike toward that side to get more oil out. If you have an oil filter unscrew it with a basin under to catch the spillage then replace with a new filter. Last remove the drain plug at the bottom of the crankcase & drain into a catch basin...should be about half a cup of oil in there. Make sure all the drain plugs are in and tight with copper sealing washers. Replace either 20w50wt or 50wt oil or better yet synthetic. Put in the first two quarts then start the engine, getting it up to temperature. While doing this have the oil tank cap off to make sure there is oil returning to the tank just inside the filler neck. The book says it holds 3 quarts, but it's usually about 2.5. After driving the level should be just at the lower dip stick mark. Add oil to this point.


I see this makes zero mention of refilling the sump, and one other guy said he drains his sump and "never refills it".
Please bear with me as this is my first time doing this on the Commando and I sure don't wanna F this up... no need to put oil back into the sump?

Thanks.
Tom


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746603
08/24/18 11:51 am
08/24/18 11:51 am
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 42
Birmingham UK
iansoady Offline
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Birmingham UK
No it'll "fill up" to the necessary level as it runs. That's why it's called a dry sump system.

You will see very little oil return in the oil tank until it's run for a while however as the oil makes its way round.


Ian.

1952 Norton ES2
1982 Moto Guzzi V50
Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746606
08/24/18 12:27 pm
08/24/18 12:27 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,823
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
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Posts: 3,823
Norfolk, UK
Originally Posted by ricochetrider

I see this makes zero mention of refilling the sump, and one other guy said he drains his sump and "never refills it".
Please bear with me as this is my first time doing this on the Commando and I sure don't wanna F this up... no need to put oil back into the sump?


A small quantity can be added to the sump (not "filled") to help maintain splash lubrication (of cam lobes etc.) until the system stabilises especially if the engine hasn't been started for a while. Some owners may not bother so it's up to you but adding a little oil to the sump won't do any harm in my opinion.

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746610
08/24/18 1:36 pm
08/24/18 1:36 pm
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
ricochetrider Online content OP

Moto Mojo
ricochetrider  Online Content OP

Moto Mojo

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Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
OK thanks.
I was planning to ride the bike a bit to heat things up before changing the oil. Some folks seem to agree its best to get the oil hot?
How would you get the oil into the sump?


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746611
08/24/18 1:59 pm
08/24/18 1:59 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13,001
Central Virginia
Lannis Online content

Well'ard Rocker
Lannis  Online Content

Well'ard Rocker

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Posts: 13,001
Central Virginia
The oil is going to go into the sump as soon as you start the engine; one pump will pump it there and the other will pump it back to the tank. This isn't a new, degreased engine, and bits will still be oily enough for startup, so (as suggested) I don't think you need to "pre-fill" the sump at all. I never have on any of my "dry-sump" bikes.

"Hot" oil drains faster and easier. If you're going to leave the drain plug out and drain it overnight, it probably doesn't matter.

As far as the API rating on oil, "SG" is an older spec from 1988 (it's up to "SN" now), but the API site will tell you that all of these oils are "backward compatible" with the oider specs - so "SN" oil, which is probably what you'll find on the shelf, is compatible with SA, SB, ... SG ...., and SM.

And that's all I've got to say about THAT; the API website has the info about ratings, and since the API INVENTED the ratings, I don't thing anyone has any better information than they do!

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746612
08/24/18 2:04 pm
08/24/18 2:04 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,823
Norfolk, UK
L.A.B. Online content
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L.A.B.  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

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Posts: 3,823
Norfolk, UK
Originally Posted by ricochetrider
How would you get the oil into the sump?


Remove one of the exhaust (rocker) inspection covers and pour in (about 100cc).


Last edited by L.A.B.; 08/24/18 9:39 pm.
Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746643
08/24/18 9:16 pm
08/24/18 9:16 pm
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
ricochetrider Online content OP

Moto Mojo
ricochetrider  Online Content OP

Moto Mojo

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Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
Copy, thanks guys.

Lannis I have Valvolene 4 cycle (4 stroke?) motorcyle oil. Lots of varying opinions on oil, as we well know- but I happened upon several sites saying that Valvolene (Amsol) was superior to some others, so that's what I got.


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746859
08/26/18 11:36 pm
08/26/18 11:36 pm
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
ricochetrider Online content OP

Moto Mojo
ricochetrider  Online Content OP

Moto Mojo

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Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
H guys, so I finally got to the oil change on the Commando... didn't have a lift, I did it in Wade's barn lying on the floor. It went well, it's an easy job as you all know but my first oil change so I was more or less feeling my way thru it after reading step by step instructions online.

Getting under the bike was difficult, and I have some questions, so here goes... Have photos and images too so this is a multi-media question session. laugh

Got up under my bike, found the sump drain plug thing and fiddled with it some, but couldn't get it off. Feeling around up under there, I discovered a hose coming into it, and laid my phone down to get a picture:

[Linked Image]

Now this looks considerably different from what the manual shows:

[Linked Image]


I know I have a number of upgrades on this bike, one of them being a Comstock sump something or other? So I'm assuming this is it. The hose coming into the big cap from above has a nut on it, so I took this apart to drain the sump. Turned out it's not a nut, but a long, hollow bolt with slotted sides; no magnet, no screen. I guess it didn't own on me to get a pic of this, at this point I was covered in oil anyway.

Getting the thing screwed back in was quite the freakin chore, I eventually loosened the large fixture and turned it so I could more easily align the bolt-thingy w with the hole, inserted it, tightened it, and re-tightened the whole. larger contraption. Lying only side, trying to get both hands up in there was exciting, well that's one way of describing it.

Afterwards, I put 2 quarts of oil in, fired the bike up, waited to make sure oil was returning (it was) then topped up to the tune of probably another 1/2 quart or slightly more, until oil reached the tip of the dip stick.

SO what the heck do I have here. boys?

EDIT: OK Googole is my friend.... hang on then... it must be a REED VALVE BREATHER kit/thing, like this one from my buddy Kenny Cummings at NYC Norton. Although Now I gotta go back and clean off the bottom of my motor so it looks more like the one in Kenny"s photos.... facepalm

Last edited by ricochetrider; 08/26/18 11:40 pm.

"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746885
08/27/18 3:32 am
08/27/18 3:32 am
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 443
Wisconsin, USA
F
franko Offline

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Wisconsin, USA
Something like this https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/i...B-6GM3QIVHoezCh1P3g2pEAkYFCABEgLkFPD_BwE heated and bent to hang on the Z plate makes draining the tank easier.
Also, when you are set up to pull the oil tank, give the bottom a scrape to see what kind of muck has collected on the bottom.
No muck, leave in place.
The tanks on the older bikes were set up to act as a settling tank.
The oil line to the pump is higher on the side rather than the bottom of the tank to give a place for heavy particles to settle out.
Remember these were out when NON-Detergent oil was used.
The Detergent oils and filters used now probably help to keep the sludge trap in the crank and bottom of the oil tank clear.
Anyway, just more things to think about

Last edited by franko; 08/27/18 5:09 am.
Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: franko] #746894
08/27/18 6:11 am
08/27/18 6:11 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,332
Oztralia
R
Rohan Offline
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Posts: 2,332
Oztralia
Originally Posted by franko

Remember these were out when NON-Detergent oil was used.
The Detergent oils and filters used now probably help to keep the sludge trap in the crank and bottom of the oil tank clear.
Anyway, just more things to think about


Without wishing to fire up another oil thread (!!), I'm not sure that this is strictly correct about detergent oils, time wise.
Multigrade oils appeared from the 1950s, and didn't Nortons start off the Commando by recommending Castrol GTX = 20w/50.




Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746952
08/27/18 11:58 pm
08/27/18 11:58 pm
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
ricochetrider Online content OP

Moto Mojo
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Moto Mojo

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Posts: 10,650
Pennsyltuckey
My 74 has a drain plug in the very bottom of the oil tank, and it drains the oil out rather well. Next time I change the oil, I'll shine a flashlight in the tank to see what it looks like in there.

I do have a large funnel exactly as pictured in the link.

Can anyone give me some insight as to what the reed valve breather does, exactly?


"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: Oil Change Time (top end resto break-in) [Re: ricochetrider] #746965
08/28/18 1:40 am
08/28/18 1:40 am
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 443
Wisconsin, USA
F
franko Offline

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Posts: 443
Wisconsin, USA
The Comstock breather allows the wetsumped engine to empty without undue pressure to the seals.
Some people will empty the crankcase and refill the oil tank to prevent this from happening.
Breathers in them selves allow positive pressure from the falling pistons to exit the crankcase. After their exit it seals to reduce incoming air and achieve a negative pressure in the crankcase as the pistons rise.
This negative pressure reduces or stops oil leaks and gives a bit of an easier life to the engine as it doesn't have to keep pumping out all the air in the crankcase
Somewhere on youtube is a demonstration of Jim doing this, but after a while I quit looking, as others have said , My google-fu was weak.

The drain is on the bottom of the side of the tank. Think of sand in a box. Cut a hole in the side of the bottom of the box. Some sand remains on the bottom of the box away from the hole. The oil/filter screen is higher to allow sediment to settle out and not be taken back into the oil pump. As your bike is fresh and you use modern oils, my bringing it up is most likely redundant. As also is the sediment reaching the height of the oil pick up or being stirred up when fresh oil is added.


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