Where did all my OIL go?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by SpeedIsMyNeed, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    So, I recently did an oil change at 22,700 miles on my Honda Nighthawk 750 (1991). I changed both the oil, and the filter at that time. I have always checked the oil every week, but recently (23,666 miles), when I did check it, it came out at 0. ??? What the hell?:eek1

    The bike sat overnight and I checked it in the morning and found that the oil was 3/4 full.:clap Ride for the day, check it again tonight, about 2 hours after riding and it is at 1/4 full. :huh I start the motorcycle for about 30 seconds then turn it off. I wait for about 2 minutes and check it again, and behold, NO OIL!:cry

    I understand if the oil is in the oil lines, but when am I supposed to check for an accurate reading? There are no leaks / pools of oil that I can find.

    Please someone give me an answer before its too late and something happens.

    (When I measured the oil, the bike was on the center-stand)

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

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    Do you have an owners manual that you can use to find the correct procedure to check the engine oil level ?

    Some bikes you check after riding, then sitting, others you may check with a cold engine.


    Mike
    #2
  3. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    Was it consuming oil before? Is it possible that oil is spraying out somewhere at speed that wouldn't be obvious in the driveway?
    #3
  4. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    The owners manual does not state how to check the oil.

    The pipes are relatively clean (they run beneath the oil filter and surrounding areas). I have never experienced a problem like this before.

    I am completely dumbfounded! :huh
    #4
  5. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    Oh, and am I supposed to, or not supposed to screw in the dipstick? I have been screwing it in.
    #5
  6. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    That is a wet sump engine with a dipstick into the sump. As with any engine of this type (which is nearly all of them) you'll get the best reading on a warm engine that has been switched OFF for about 10 minutes to let the oil drain out of the top end.
    #6
  7. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    It's been a long time since I owned a Honda, but I think the answer is no.
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  8. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    agree. unscrew, remove, clean, and then just set it in the hole.

    Also, don't use the centerstand - the oil will pool at the front of the motor, and your dipstick is not there. Assuming you can reach the dipstick while sitting on it, just stand over it, make sure it is fairly upright, and check the oil.
    #8
  9. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    Okay, so I added another liter of oil. Ran the motor for 5 minutes, and backed into my garage. Checked the oil without the center-stand (had my dad prop it upright) 2 minutes later. Did not screw the dipstick in this time. Came out to be 3/4 way full. I am guessing that this is good? Any thoughts?

    Also, what will too much oil do to the motor / what are some signs of too much oil?

    Thanks again for all the responses!:clap
    #9
  10. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    Now 20 minutes later its a little above the top fill line. Somebody shoot me!:chaceIs 10 minutes the magic number? How long to I wait after warming up the engine.

    2 minutes after shutdown 3/4 full.... 20 minutes after shutdown a little over the top fill line.

    Is that okay?
    #10
  11. Bobthebiker

    Bobthebiker not normal

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    well you are forgetting, oil isnt like water, its thicker and flows a bit slower. 2 minutes after shutdown, oil is still trickling slowly toward the pan. I'd wait around 10-20 mins, then check.

    overfilled, usually it'll push it into the airbox, and either it'll drain out of there, or be sucked into the intake and burned with the fuel.
    #11
  12. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    So should I leave it, or try and drain some out and start all over again? I don't want to kill the bike.
    #12
  13. uraberg

    uraberg whosaberg?

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    Overfilling is bad for seals.

    Check oil cold. on the centerstand, don't screw in the dipstick.

    If you want to be absolutely sure, drain the oil, remove the filter. Take your time draining it (drain from a hot engine overnight or something like that.)

    Look up the specs for you oil capacity.

    place in new filter, add the amount of oil needed.

    done.
    #13
  14. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    Are you talking about the factory owners manual that came with the bike? I can't believe it doesn't tell you how to check the oil. Look harder. Checking it warm vs. cold, after 5 min. vs. 10 min vs. all night is going to vary from one engine to the next. You really need to find out what Honda recommends for this bike.
    #14
  15. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    Yep, I got an online copy of the full manual that someone posted. Many people posted to other online forums with similar problems. No-one agrees on the hot or cold engine though.

    Either way, the oil was basically no longer rising / falling after 20-30 minutes. I removed the drain plug, brought out a little more than a liter from the crankcase, and balanced the bike upright while checking the oil level (did NOT screw the dipstick in). My guess is that after 30 minutes, the engine oil is basically at the same level as it would be cold. Either way, I tested it (5 times) and found it to be 3/4 full. Good enough to convince me to ride it to school tomorrow (20 miles).

    After my calculations, I should have the same amount of oil in the bike that the manual recommends for an oil change with new filter (2.9L).

    Thoughts? Either way, I am done working on it for the night. I, unlike the bike, am not a nighthawk!
    #15
  16. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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  17. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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  18. Sucks2drive

    Sucks2drive Banned

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    Plastic tube ( clear) dip in oil, suck DO NOT SWALLOW....:deal

    put tube into a container BLOW :nod

    CONGRATULATIONS! you have just drained oil from bike!

    Stop when at right level
    #18
  19. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

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    Sounds like you've got a handle on the situation now. I think the main thing is to be consistent as to when and how you check the oil level.

    Probably after riding a minimum of 20 minutes and then a period of time with the bike on the stand to let all the oil drain down from the top end.


    Mike
    #19
  20. SpeedIsMyNeed

    SpeedIsMyNeed O' Wise One

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    Well, I made it the 22 miles (35 minutes Freeway) to school this morning. No smoke, No oil smell, so I guess that I am good. Anything I should look out for? I guess if I made it this far without problems, I should be good, right?
    #20