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Old 09-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
Sabre170 OP
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Changing oil type - new filter needed?

When I first got my airhead less than a year ago, it was in dire need of an oil change. Not knowing any better, used the same brand oil I use in all my other motors.....AMSOIL. I used a synthetic motorcycle oil that AMSOIL makes. I also did an oil filter change at this same time too.

However, after further educating myself from other airheads, I discovered that synthetic may not be the best thing for an airhead. So, Im now going to do an oil change and put some good 'ol fashion black gold oil in the bike.

So, I've done the non-synthetic to synthetic transition, and there are some nice procedures clear out all the old oil and get a fresh CLEAN oil change with the synthetic. I however, have never done the "backwards" transition.

Two questions.....

1)am I ok with just draining the synthetic and then adding the normal oil?
2)am I ok not changing my oil filter? (I know with normal oil changes, not swapping filters is an accepted procedure with airheads...just not sure in this case)

**note, likely less than 200 miles on synthetic and on this oil filter.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
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The two oils will mix so there is no need to clean out between them. However, I am wondering what problems you are having with the Amsoil. I use Amsoil MCV 20W-50 in mine and have had no issues with it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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I've had no problems. I'm currently running the Amsoil 10W-40 Advanced Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCF). I do a lot of short rides so opted for the lighter/thinner.

I only was thinking of changing due to the general trend and opinions of the airheads out there that have more experience than I.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre170 View Post
I've had no problems. I'm currently running the Amsoil 10W-40 Advanced Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCF). I do a lot of short rides so opted for the lighter/thinner.

I only was thinking of changing due to the general trend and opinions of the airheads out there that have more experience than I.
I wouldn't run the 10W-40 (especially in Dallas), but on an engine with good seals I don't see the issue with the right weight Amsoil (or any other) synthetic.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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The reason that some folks shy away from synthetic is that on older engines seals tend to leak, but if you don't have any problems run what you want as long as the oil is fit for air cooled engines.

Since this is only your 2nd oil change I'd change out the filter just to have a good look at it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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Thanks all....great info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mista Vern View Post
Since this is only your 2nd oil change I'd change out the filter just to have a good look at it.
Because I've put so few miles on the bike (and filter), although I too am curious the state of filter contents (hopefully none), I think I'm gonna put a few more miles on it before I dig into that.

Also, for the same reason that I haven't put many miles on the bike, and I don't have a solid idea of seal state (so far seems good though), that is why I'm leaning on changing the oil to non-synthetic.

On a slightly related note....on my last few rides, I've notices a little bit of oil oozin from around my dipstick. I don't have an o-ring on my dipstick, but am pretty sure my engin isn't supposed to have one ('78 100/7). My oil level looks just fine. Not much oil is oozing out, just enough that after a half hour of riding,
There is a nice thin coating of oil down the side. Then a drop or two when I stop. Anyone ever seen this problem? I'm not worries about oil loss as it is such a minimal amount....just kinda messy.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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Part number 11 in the drawing above. It is a metal compression ring. They don't seal 100% but they shouldn't leak. Any seal that has some dry dirty oil that oozes out over a period of six months is not a problem IMHO. If the oil is wet or it drips it may be a different matter.

Part #07 11 9 963 418
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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Part number 11 in the drawing above. It is a metal compression ring. They don't seal 100% but they shouldn't leak. Any seal that has some dry dirty oil that oozes out over a period of six months is not a problem IMHO. If the oil is wet or it drips it may be a different matter.

Part #07 11 9 963 418
Thanks! I seem to be missing that compression ring. I'll order one ASAP! I'm guessing that will fix the problem.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre170 View Post
When I first got my airhead less than a year ago, it was in dire need of an oil change. Not knowing any better, used the same brand oil I use in all my other motors.....AMSOIL. I used a synthetic motorcycle oil that AMSOIL makes. I also did an oil filter change at this same time too.

However, after further educating myself from other airheads, I discovered that synthetic may not be the best thing for an airhead. So, Im now going to do an oil change and put some good 'ol fashion black gold oil in the bike.

So, I've done the non-synthetic to synthetic transition, and there are some nice procedures clear out all the old oil and get a fresh CLEAN oil change with the synthetic. I however, have never done the "backwards" transition.

Two questions.....

1)am I ok with just draining the synthetic and then adding the normal oil?
2)am I ok not changing my oil filter? (I know with normal oil changes, not swapping filters is an accepted procedure with airheads...just not sure in this case)

**note, likely less than 200 miles on synthetic and on this oil filter.

I would pull the filter just to get the best drain on the canister. Maybe flush through the filter with the fresh oil, but it isn't going to retain a whole lot.

If it's a $6 filter, replace, if it's a $22 filter, run it.

BUT you said "dire need of oil change". So you may have just dissolved a lot of sludge with the fresh oil. Put some Seafoam in the crankcase, drive around the block twice, full oil and filter change. Directions on can for use as a pre-oil change cleaner.

I tried 10-40 in the RS. No-go. Not enough oil pressure at idle once it had warmed up, lower pressure at speed. Went back to 20/50.

Some sythetics have gotten good about not leaking in old engines. I don't know which. But they cost more and don't have any great advantages---and some things sold as synthetic aren't.

If it does leak it can cost you a clutch. Don't feel like experimenting.

I looked at that Amsoil at my local Napa. Very costly. I could change oil almost twice as much w/ castrol 4T. So it didn't make sense to me. The property of a true synthetic I would be looking for is the ability to take a lot of heat w/o breaking down. but when I looked at the cost, I could get to the same place by just changing the oil if I cooked it. I have a temp gauge, I know if I'm cooking it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre170 View Post
Thanks all....great info.
On a slightly related note....on my last few rides, I've notices a little bit of oil oozin from around my dipstick. I don't have an o-ring on my dipstick, but am pretty sure my engin isn't supposed to have one ('78 100/7).
Your disptick would have had a seal. Metal handled dipsticks had the washer and plastic handled ones an O ring. Having said that I've been running with an O ring on a metal handled one for 6 years with no problems I figure it's got to seal better than the washer and it is supposed to seal. If it leaks oil out it will leak air in and give the engine breather more work to do pumping down the crankcase.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
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Your disptick would have had a seal. Metal handled dipsticks had the washer and plastic handled ones an O ring. Having said that I've been running with an O ring on a metal handled one for 6 years with no problems I figure it's got to seal better than the washer and it is supposed to seal. If it leaks oil out it will leak air in and give the engine breather more work to do pumping down the crankcase.
Ya. I been using fat o-rings forever. Set somebody up with one for a dipstick gauge yesterday. Got a pack of 20 for like $3 at the hardware store. Just whatever fits. Fatter is better. I found out recently that the shelf life of Buna-N o-rings is 15 years.

An additional advantage, especially with a fat ring, is it allows you to index the dipstick. You have a lot more compression available than you need to make the seal. So you can turn the dip stick a little more or a little less and all is well. This lets you set the handle parallel to the case. Less wind resistance.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #12
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Less wind resistance.
Haha! Every bit counts! With that said, I can now take FULL advantage of my skin tight spandex super glide riding suit!

Joking aside, I totally hear ya about the o-ring usage.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
Plaka
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Haha! Every bit counts! With that said, I can now take FULL advantage of my skin tight spandex super glide riding suit!

Joking aside, I totally hear ya about the o-ring usage.
I got a super glide spandex bike cover. The thing is killer. But you can't ride with it on.

The older dipsticks had a neat looking top. Turning it parallel shows that off and just looks clean. L'm using a /5 dipstic 'cause it's metal, looks good and we're old pals. It's from my first airhead.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:48 PM   #14
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Woo hoo...an oil thread!

IMHO, I'd change it to 20W-50 and make sure it's SG or SH. Castrol has motorcycle oil that fits these requirements. It's availible at most auto stores, but also use whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

The reason I'd run the thicker stuff is because there's a graph of what oil to use in your manual. I *think* that running in temps over 85 or 90 degrees suggest 20W-50. I'll also add that I ride 13 miles of rural roads to work. My Oilhead and and Guzzi both are at full oil temp in 4 miles. I only stop at three stop signs. So air is always moving over the engine. If I'm going into town, I'm at full temp much sooner. I'd bet you are as well. That elevated temp will break down the oil sooner.

Then I'd make sure the oil is SG/SH. You need the zinc requirement in SG/SH to protect your cams, lifters and rockers. I think Amsoil is SG/SH. I only bring it up because you need to consider both of these things when looking at oil.

As for changing it now...well...I'd probably drain it and refill it sometime in the first 500-1000 miles as long as your not having any leaks.. I wouldn't worry about the filter, but I usually run filters 10K miles. I don't think you'll see any damage that quickly with 10W-40, but it'll break down faster.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #15
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I didn't know the plastic handled dip sticks used an O-ring? I thought that everybody used the same metal ring I have on my /6?

Anyway, the picture and part numbers I posted earlier were for a 1977 R100/7. You said your bike was a 1978 R100/7 and there is apparently no such thing. So maybe this is the right part? Or find something that works at the Dollar Store.

BTW, there's a place on Real OEM dot com to enter your vin and they will tell you what bike you have.
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