Technical Discussion Topics related to Technical Issues

Oil Filter Mystery

Old 08-10-2010, 08:07 PM
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Oil Filter Mystery

After being on the original SH forum and now this successor, I've never read about the apparent problem I'm having on my red (the fastest color) 98 VTR with 60k+ mile on it. After I recently, very precisely changed the oil and filter (with Mobil 1 15W-50 and Purolator PL14612 like I have done at least a dozen times, including pre-filling the filter and a quick start-up to pressurize the system), the oil level in the sight glass read exactly where I wanted it (i.e., a smidgen low to reduce crank case pressure and consequential ring blow-by, plus reduce oil windage drag on the crank). However, after a good ride (during which the vehicle ran normally; i.e., very well with better than normal gas mileage), I rechecked the oil level and it was high slightly above the top of the sight glass. Confounded and doubting myself in my old age, I drained 12 ounces of oil from the drain plug opening. I ran the engine for less than a minute and the oil level was now low. I then added back the oil incrementally, starting & stopping the engine between fill intervals until the oil level was back up to where I wanted it, and reusing the entire 12 ounces. Satisfied, I went for another long ride, during which all systems and components were good and gas mileage was also again a bit up. When I returned, I again checked the oil level. Dam if the level was again high. The following week I called Purolator and got the phone number of one of their engineers (Brian Crawford in Fayetteville, NC 910-426-4278). I asked Brian if a high oil level would harm the engine and he confirmed it could; i.e., added crankcase pressure, oil drag, crank aerating the oil with the resulting air micro-bubbles causing oil pump cavitation, etc.. I asked him if their PURE ONE filter's vaunted "Silicone Anti-Drain Back Valve" may be leaking and allowing oil to drain back to the sump from up where it should stay in the system. Brian said it could be a defective filter and to call the Technical / Claims Laboratory and ask Vicky or Barbara to send me an oil filter return test "kit" (which I did & Vicky did but I've yet to send back the PL14612). In the mean time I decided to try another Purolator PURE ONE filter but opted this time for the PL14610 which is identical to the PL14612 only about 5/8"+ longer (which requires trimming the chin fairing quite a bit more to fit). Removed the 612, pre-filled the 610, added a bit of oil, ran the engine, added a bit more until the level was good, and then ran it stationary for a few minutes, revving it higher than I would normally. Darn if the oil level was high again!

I'm debating whether to send back the PL14612 because what are the chances of two different filters having a faulty Anti-Drain Back Valve. On the other hand, if they use the same valve in all their like-sized oil filters, they could have utilized a whole batch of bad valves and I'm the first one to raise a flag.

Any thoughts on this mystery or what I should do?
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:24 PM
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maybe the oil is swelling
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by autoteach View Post
maybe the oil is swelling
Ha ha, certain oils can cause seal swelling but I've never heard of the oil swelling. Ha ha
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:08 PM
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just trying to be helpful
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:25 PM
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maybe there is something wrong with you oil pump?
could it be draining back when the viscosity gets low?
just a thought
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:14 PM
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Now we know where all the oil in the gulf went.

Could it be that heat from running the engine causes every last drop to drain back into the cases rather than sticking to and coating other parts?
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by skokievtr View Post
certain oils can cause seal swelling.......

That was a serious problem after the Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska.
Local beaches were inundated with swollen seals.


Rex
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:41 AM
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So the OP sounds likes like an experienced guy, so this probably isn't the problem, but . . .

First, are you checking the oil on level ground each time? And on a stand (but with bike level of course)? And letting the bike sit long enough for the oil to completely drain down before checking the level each time?

From my experience, if you change the oil/filter and get the level just right, then start the engine, let it run, then turn it off and recheck, the oil level will be low. Add enough to get it right, and then I'm usually fine.

If you are filling it with cold oil in a cold engine, but then run it and heat everything up, more will drain down and raise the level in the sight glass relatively quickly. It might be that you are getting the oil level right with cold oil that hasn't drained down completely. When you go for a ride, the oil heats up, becomes thinner, and fully drains down making the sight glass level high.

I'm not sure if all bikes are like this, but the sight glass seems to be very sensitive to changes in the bikes position, and to changes in the actual oil level. A small difference either way makes a huge difference in the sight glass.

Bottom line: I haven't had the problem you are describing with my '98 'Hawk. And I use the same filters that you are using (I've gone through two this season so far).
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:28 AM
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iirc the book states to check the oil after running the motor and then shutting it down and waiting 30 seconds.

i didn't understand the oil filter valve statements as the oil filter sits lower than site glass doesn't it ?


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Old 08-11-2010, 07:37 AM
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do you have trouble pooping in public restrooms?
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:38 AM
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All the answers you seek can be found in this thread https://www.superhawkforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=10950
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RK1 View Post
Yeah, the entire filter is lower than the bottom of the site glass so scratch that.
That doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it allows oil to drain from the top end. It just means the oil filter will stay full of oil.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RCVTR View Post
do you have trouble pooping in public restrooms?
You sound like an experienced guy, so this probably isn't the problem, but . . .
First, are you checking the stalls to make sure nobody else is there? And do you flush the toilet before you fart to cover the noise? And sit there long enough each time to let the crap fully drain out?

From my experience, if you flush the toilet frequently, it helps with the pooping process and limits the smell. If I flush too much though, that might draw more attention to me, so you have to get it just right.

If you go out for a run, it warms everything up and makes it easier to push out. That way you don't have to strain as much and you can get it done faster and limit the number of people that will walk into the bathroom while you're dropping a deuce.

I'm not sure if all people are like this, but my bowel movements seem to be very sensitive to my level of hydration and position. A small difference either way can make a huge difference in the toilet bowl.

Bottom line: I haven't had the problem you are describing in public restrooms. And I use the same stall that you use. (I've gone through two rolls of toilet paper this season so far).
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Randman View Post
All the answers you seek can be found in this thread https://www.superhawkforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=10950
Ha ha! That's cold, man!

Truth is, I'm too busy riding to worry about a couple oz. of oil. With 60K plus on the bike, you are too.

There's a lot of room to play with between those high & low marks on the sight glass. I say just under-fill it a little bit & let it go.

Last edited by L8RGYZ; 08-11-2010 at 10:04 AM. Reason: x
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RCVTR View Post
That doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it allows oil to drain from the top end. It just means the oil filter will stay full of oil.
oil draining from the top end is moot because a time period is stated as when to check the level.


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Old 08-11-2010, 10:26 AM
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I believe the original question was whether the check vave in the oil filter is allowing oil to drain back.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:49 AM
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See my responses in red

Originally Posted by evines View Post
So the OP sounds likes like an experienced guy, so this probably isn't the problem, but . . .

First, are you checking the oil on level ground each time? And on a stand (but with bike level of course)? And letting the bike sit long enough for the oil to completely drain down before checking the level each time?

#1, I know how to check oil level properly
#2 with the oil hot, 30~45 seconds is adequate time to check but often I'd wait for up to 2 minutes


From my experience, if you change the oil/filter and get the level just right, then start the engine, let it run, then turn it off and recheck, the oil level will be low. Add enough to get it right, and then I'm usually fine.

As I stated, I pre-fill the filter with oil, so only a small amount of oil needs to be added. I also change the oil when hot.

If you are filling it with cold oil in a cold engine, but then run it and heat everything up, more will drain down and raise the level in the sight glass relatively quickly. It might be that you are getting the oil level right with cold oil that hasn't drained down completely. When you go for a ride, the oil heats up, becomes thinner, and fully drains down making the sight glass level high.

See above

I'm not sure if all bikes are like this, but the sight glass seems to be very sensitive to changes in the bikes position, and to changes in the actual oil level. A small difference either way makes a huge difference in the sight glass.

I have had this VTR for over 10 years and always check the oil the same way. The high oil level condition is a new phenomenon.

Bottom line: I haven't had the problem you are describing with my '98 'Hawk. And I use the same filters that you are using (I've gone through two this season so far).
The shop manual oil system flow diagram and system component exploded view, descriptions and photos do not show or indicate a check valve on the outlet of the oil pump (to prevent oil that may leak by the filter anti drain-back valve from flowing back through the oil pump into the oil pan); although the oil cooler pump side does have a pressure relief valve. There is also the main oil pressure relief valve in the bottom of the crank case connected to the oil pump discharge (outlet side) circuit

The anti drain back valve in the PL14612 & 619 is silicone rubber; which is a superior material for this application than the more normal nitrile rubber. If the A-D valve (a simple flapper) is leaking, it will permit oil in the inlet side of the filter (before the filter media) to drain back through the oil pump and pick-up strainer down into the sump. I have decided to send the filter back for testing.

Last edited by skokievtr; 08-11-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:22 AM
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Well the easiest way to know if the drain back valve is working is to watch the oil pressure light on start up. Does it stay on for a sec, like when you do an oil change or does it turn off instantly.

Other than that I don't know how you can tell.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:53 PM
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It prevents (or allows) oil to drain out of oil galleys, back to the sump. Any oil that is above the level of oil in the sump will drain to the level of oil in the sump, without it.

Simple as that...
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RCVTR View Post
It prevents (or allows) oil to drain out of oil galleys, back to the sump. Any oil that is above the level of oil in the sump will drain to the level of oil in the sump, without it.

Simple as that...
Exactly, that is why I said to check the oil pressure light. If the drain back is working, the galley should be full and the light should go off instantly. If it take a second, then the drain back isn't functioning properly and the galley is empty on start up.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by RCVTR View Post
It prevents (or allows) oil to drain out of oil galleys, back to the sump. Any oil that is above the level of oil in the sump will drain to the level of oil in the sump, without it.

Simple as that...
what ? are you saying that the valve in the oil filter will not allow the oil to drain out of the galleys ? i could understand that... like putting your finger over a straw.

but ! this would lock up some oil that would flow to the pan thus giving a 'false' low oil reading wouldn't it ? he was complaining about the reading be too high.

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Old 08-11-2010, 03:09 PM
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Wow, this is going no where fast. No one get offended by my post please.

1. The oil filter is lower than sight glass, therefore that argument is completely pointless.
2. Add the correct amount of oil and check for leaks or smoke. Unless the oil fairy or some local hooligan is adding oil to your bike at night IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE LEVEL TO RISE.

Now stop arguing and ride your damn bikes...
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 8541Hawk View Post
Exactly, that is why I said to check the oil pressure light. If the drain back is working, the galley should be full and the light should go off instantly. If it take a second, then the drain back isn't functioning properly and the galley is empty on start up.
There is always a slight delay on start up until the oil pump pressurizes the system. The oil pressure idiot light sensor/switch is on the left crankcase near the shift shaft. The light does not go on "instantly", check for yourself.

[QUOTE=trinc;277553]what ? are you saying that the valve in the oil filter will not allow the oil to drain out of the galleys ? i could understand that... like putting your finger over a straw.

but ! this would lock up some oil that would flow to the pan thus giving a 'false' low oil reading wouldn't it ? he was complaining about the reading be too high.

tim[/QUOTE

The oil filter A-D valve prevents oil in the filter from running back into the sump via the oil pump (albeit somewhat dependent on the position of the four-sided male "inner rotor" and female "outer rotor" inside the pump). As the oil filter is below the top end and crank shaft (and transmission mainshaft and countershaft), nothing but a possible vacuum in the supply oil gantry will prevent hot oil from also running back from these components through the filter's A-D valve (again, a simple flapper that can be opened with as little as 2 psi of pressure). The reason you check the oil level AFTER filling and running the engine is because the oil level line in the sight glass is only meant to reflect the volume of oil between the inlet of the oil filter and oil pump (that will run back into the sump though the oil pump) and the amount of oil to remain in the sump after the engine is off. Its all very simple, at least to me. Take a look at the "Lubrication System" diagram at the beginning of Section 4 in the shop manual. The oil volume for the engine is 3.9 quarts (128.8 ounces) after draining, 4.1 qts (132.2 oz) after draining & filter change and 4.8 qts (153.6 oz) after engine disassembly. Consequently, if the A-D valve leaks, at a minimum, 3.4 oz could drain back from the filter plus possibly whatever runs back from the supply gantry higher than the oil filter. 3.4 oz is definitely enough oil to raise the oil level in the site glass above the prescribed level but I have observed what I believe is considerably more than 3.4 oz above the "max fill line". I have not yet but will drain off and measure the amount of oil required to bring the level down to the prescribed level just to check if my calculations are correct. Whether I report back is another matter.

Last edited by skokievtr; 08-11-2010 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:45 PM
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Umm could you change the font to something besides red......it is almost impossible to read what you have posted.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:46 PM
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Oh and my oil pressure light goes off as soon as I hit the starter so I don't know what to tell you.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:00 PM
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I thought I took good care of my bike and paid attention to fluid levels until I read this thread! LOL
I can appreciate the guys that really get down to the minute details though...that's what makes this forum kick ***....all the detailed discussions.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:10 PM
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I understand your concern, and you probably don't give two ***** about my opinion. I think your analyzing this to death and making a mountain out a a mole hill. Like I said a few minutes ago, no extra oil is getting into your system. If your not confident in the amount your drained, do it again and measure it on the way out.

The difference in amount between an engine disassembled and just changing the oil is that it's impossible to drain every last drop of oil from the entire bike without taking it apart. There are too many nooks and crannies where it stays when the oil isn't in motion. I know I'm telling you something you already know, but my point is that it isn't enough oil to make a difference on anything. The amount were talking about will not create an over pressure. The engine isn't perfectly sealed, the crank isn't going stir the oil into a foam and cavitate the oil pump because of an extra ounce or two.

Yes, to much oil in an engine can be a very bad thing. The levels you are talking about will have no bearing on anything.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by drew_c14 View Post
Wow, this is going no where fast. No one get offended by my post please.

1. The oil filter is lower than sight glass, therefore that argument is completely pointless.
2. Add the correct amount of oil and check for leaks or smoke. Unless the oil fairy or some local hooligan is adding oil to your bike at night IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE LEVEL TO RISE.

Now stop arguing and ride your damn bikes...
Read next post. If you still don't understand, I don't know if you ever will. However, think of oil as any fluid like water, and water (unless frozen or held by a vacuum) will seek its own level. The oil filter "connects" through an oil gantry to the oil pump whose "pick-up" is down near the very bottom of the sump (oil pan), below the top of the oil level. Get it?
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:20 PM
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Something like skokievtr's experience happened to me a couple of years ago.
I had added oil to the upper level on the sight glass while the bike was on a rear stand. I started the bike up, let it run for a bit and shut it down. The oil level was higher than the top of the sight glass. In other words, it looked like the bike had more oil in it than the amount I had added. It was like the miracle of the loaves and fishes without the religious aspect.
My analysis of the situation was primitive: I had added the correct amount of oil. There appeared to be more oil in the bike after I had let the motor run. I hadn't done anything wrong. Something was weird but wasn't my fault.
So I just rode it. Nothing blew up. The bike performed the same. Oil didn't come out the drain from the air box. The oil level returned to normal. It hasn't happened since.
I dealt with the problem with a combination of ignorance, indifference and arrogance. I recognize that it's rarely the best solution. YMMV
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:40 PM
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Is the bike fully up to temperature every time you check it? There was joking about "swelling" but in fact the oil will expand just like almost every other compound as temperature rises. I didn't read this thread in it's entirety. Forgive me if it has already been mentioned. Also, have you tried an OEM filter just for ***** and giggles?
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