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Cap'n Dodgy's visual guide to cheap*-n-cheerful oil changes

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Bravus, May 19, 2013.

  1. You will need:


    Oil (well, duh!)


    Spanner for the sump plug and oil filter wrench thingy. Oil filter (this time - usually every second oil change.) The cheapest, crappiest newspaper you can find - if there's a free rag in your area, great. This is the Sunday Mail: perfect for this purpose, but under no circumstances to be read.

    I'm lucky enough to have the right spanner, but if you don't a shifter can be used with care...


    Something to put the used oil in - this is far from ideal - should use an empty oil bottle, but we moved recently and don't have any lying around.

    (sticking with 3 images/post)

    * at 70 bucks a bottle, the oil itself ain't cheap, but everything else used is.


    Something to catch the oil in as it drains. This one is less than ideal, at 3 L, because:


    (that's 3300 - sorry 'bout the dodgy shot)

    As it happened, without removing the filter, the oil just fit, but it made the transfers trickier than they needed to be, and gave me an anxious moment when I thought I'd have to replace the sump plug. A 4 L juice bottle (washed) would have worked much better.



    You want the oil warm enough to flow out easily but not so hot it will burn the living &*(% out of your hand. Fortunately (?) I'd left the oil in the boot and my beloved took the cage to work. 30 min out and back to pick it up worked well.

    Sump plug looks like this on the Bandit:


    There may be a way to get it out without getting oil all over your hand, but I've never found it, hence the desire to avoid the oil being too hot:

    At least this time I avoided what I've done other times - dropping the plug in the oil. No fun.

    The plug itself was also warmish, but doable.

    On the Bandit the filter is in behind the pipes, and they were too hot, so I left the oil to drain for a while while everything cooled.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Latex gloves keeps oil of your hands :)
  3. You can use a cardboard box under the bike to stop oil from going everywhere as well. For further protection if you are using news paper, put a cut up shopping bag underneath it to stop it soaking through and still staining the driveway.

    Definitely gloves to keep hands clean.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. With the aid of a small funnel from the kitchen, the main engine oil was transferred from the tray to the bottle:


    Tray re-used to catch the oil as the filter was removed, and the oil poured out of the filter:


    Oil poured on the pipes: will wipe off what I can and burn off the rest...


    Both the old and new filter said the same thing: put the filter on and then start the bike, to check for oil leaks.


    Seemed like a *terrible* idea to me to start an engine completely dry of oil, plus what was going to leak? So I interpolated a step of my own of filling the engine with oil first. Happy to hear if I got that wrong, but it seemed right.

    Poured in about 3 L then started watching the window:


    Filled to here, then ran the bike for a couple of minutes to wet the new filter and run the oil through everywhere, turned off and topped it up again (took a bit).

    Et voila, all done, ready to go for a ride to let the engine luxuriate a bit.
  5. D'oh! Glubs are a great idea, will do in future.
  6. I use an oil change pan which I bought for the car. Holds 8 litres. When the sump drains I just move it under the filter. I keep a rag on hand to wipe the oil off of the exhaust pipes etc. Can't use news papers as we don't get them.


    Depending on the bike, you may need to change both oil and filter every time. Mine gets done every 12,000kms.
  7. Yeh, that looks well worth investing in, will keep an eye out for one.

    On the Bandit I'm doing oil every (roughly) 3000 and oil+filter every 6000.

    And I should have added - please dispose of used oil properly. I'll be taking it to a local servo that will accept it.
  8. If you don't have the filter removal thingy. Mallet and screwdriver through the side gives you a good handle to take it off with.
  9. I normally fill the new oil filter with oil before fitting to help the oil circulate faster. Not sure it that's possible with the bandit with the filter behind the headers. Also, I smear the filter's rubber seal with oil to ensure an oil tight fit.
  10. I have the same oil catch pan as @alan55, although good, the snout design is horrible. Towards the end of pouring out old oil into a bottle, the oil starts to creep over the edges around the snout. Besides that, great $10 investment.

    @Bravus, regarding the oil on exhaust. If the exhaust is cool to warm, wrap a cut up shopping bag/cling wrap around the exhaust. Once done, remove plastic and exhaust will stay clean.
  11. As a lot of cruisers & sports bikes don't have a lot of clearance under them, I bought a litter tray from the supermarket, nice & low, $5.00 & holds about 5L!

    Also gives you more room to get to the sump plug & filter on some bikes that have them underneath.
  12. And please don't do what i did. Forgot the oil try was under the bike, moved the bike and managed to flip the tray sending oil all over the driveway and more importantly, the front wheel
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. At least you didn't forget the sump plug...unlike a certain person I know...
  14. Oil on the driveway is the adult version of a Slip n Slide
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. Thanks for the pictorial Bravus.

    I suffered for ages with improvised oil drain pans... then I got me one of these:


    It covers both plug and filter areas so I drain with impunity. lol Has a little filter draining spike too.

    I don't worry too much about the plug - I just unscrew it straight into the drain pan - time it right and there's barely any oil on the fingers gloved or otherwise. Recovery is not an issue - drain the oil into a disposal bottle, recover plug with rag or pliers, wipe of with rag, re-use.

    Two things missing from your instructions Bravus old chum.
    • Righty tighty. Lefty loosey.
    • Before putting oil into bike, take off the filler cap! (Mine doesn't drain well if the cap is still tight, so it's early in steps for my bike).

    Possibly a third thing - it's good to have a crush washer for the sump plug - they should be replaced from time to time.

  16. Or someone that forgot the sump plug washer. Saw it sitting in the bottom of the waste oil after I'd topped the bike up with new oil.
  17. Thanks on those two points, Rob. Yeah, shoulda taken a pic of the filler cap.

    A tip on that is that it's usually finger-tight and intended to be, but if it's too tight and you can't budge it, a shifting spanner with some cloth between the jaws to avoid scratches will loosen it effectively.

    I'da thought 'righty tighty' (aka clockwise) would be taken as read as it's the usual direction for almost everything but gas bottle fittings.
  18. Thought about posting that but decided not to, to protect the guilty.