StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2003 DL1000 with 61,947 miles
Changed my oil today, always use synthetic blend, always use K&N gold oil filter and always change oil at 5000 miles.
I pull the oil plug and see 3 small silver in color slithers of metal hanging onto the magnet that is in the plug.
I say typical, buddy who wonders why I change my own oil says ISSUE on a motor with over 60,000 miles.

Thoughts?
and
Thanks!
 

·
FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
Joined
·
38,103 Posts
Powder is typical. Little pieces are not. Whether there is a real problem, only time will tell.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
124 Posts
Based mosty on long term experience examining oil screens and filters on airplane engines...most all of the engines I have dealt with showed some very small particles at every oil change. As long as the particles were very small and there was no change to speak of between changes then I have always considered things as OK. The warning sign is when there is a change in either the size or amount of particles from previous inspections. A "sliver" would be suspect...in the case of an airplane where the stakes are somewhat higher, I would probably pull the filter/screen again after 5 hours of operation and take a look. From there on it would be a judgement call as to what I did next, depending on what was found. In the case of a bike when finding several slivers on the plug where there had been none before I would next cut the filter apart and see what was inside. If there is a problem, it will most probably show up in the filter as metal deposits there.(I have never seen ANY metal on my KLR filter, which is the only one i have ever paid any attention to) I would probably inspect the plug/filter at short intervals(say 500 miles) depending on how suspicious I was. It could be a random event, it could be something coming apart. Time will tell. If you continue to find particles you might want to send an oil sample for analysis to one of the labs to see what's going on. I would probably stay a little closer to home til I knew for sure what is going on. Good luck with that. Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,313 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
they were

They were a sliver, a sliver and another sliver. I should have brought the plug in and took a picture of them. They looked like they could easily be a painful splinter in your finger...........
Sliver equals Worried after I've been reading our posts and then googling the subject. Google searches seem to bring up a 50/50 on whether this is a normal thing.
I'm grabbing the filter and I'm going to open it up tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
Unless you notice a difference in sounds coming from the motor or tranny, or if she is suffering in performance, I wouldn't worry about it either. As a precaution, Rockydog2 has some good advice in checking the drain plug and filter frequently, and I wouldn't let it go another 5k.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
988 Posts
Old transmission shop trick: "Sir, we changed your fluid and found slivers. We're gonna have to rebuild it before it causes you problems"

In fact, particles and some slivers are normal in car transmissions. Could be the same in bikes, I suspect.

I like the idea of running it and then checking again reasonably soon to see if you get more, and if so, how they compare.

But then, you're talking to a guy who managed to break the housing on the clutch cylinder. Take my advice in context.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
124 Posts
remember, the transmission shares the same oil




That's a good point.
A sliver could also indicate a trans bearing problem, or something similar. Or nothing. Whatever it turns out to be, if anything, I wouldn't want to find out for sure what it is halfway to Tierra del Fuego
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
have an oil sample done, it will tell you whats in the oil thats not supposed to be there. Average oil sample test is about $30.00 and well worth the money. I've had lab techs predict how much longer a failing engine would last and be within about 2000 miles of the failure, and on a semi truck and thats only like 3 days of driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Opening the filter

Any suggestions on how to open the filter. My initial thought was to try and break the weld/seam where the threads are on the filter...without causing metal from the filter case falling into it. The seam didn't budge....second thought was to cut it.....my dremel tool is at the new house (I move in one week!)......so then comes my dumb thought.....hydraulic jack, two small boards and the frame on the GMC Envoy....jack, board, filter, board, truck....hoping it would split it open cleanly....home made hydraulic press!
Well........

No kidding, it lifted the front tire off the ground with little cosmetic damage to the filter....yes cosmetic, it appears I could place the filter back on the bike and it would seal and hold oil....no holes, no cracks, no splits.

"Dear K&N, your filter is built like a tank!"

I have more building to do on the new house.....so I'll break out the dremel unless you have a better idea. I found a filter cutter tool on google 4sale....but I haven't cut open a filter in 38 years of life so they can keep their tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
I'm with the other guys. I say trany fragments. Having a lot of service experience on lots of different equipment it sounds like the chrome facing off a gear. I cant recall having seen any shinny metal parts in an engine drain plug. Come to think of it the crank shaft would be the only chromed surface I could think of in the engine its self. If that what it is you will find out soon enough. If its trany flakes you could wear the engine out before the problem manifests its self. I also agree with the other guys on the oil sample. For peace of mind if nothing else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,442 Posts
No surprise if the magnet shows some black "mud" which is iron particles too small to be caught in the filter. Shiny slivers of steel are a sign of a problem, hopefully not big enough of a problem at this time to need repair.

What oil are you using? Can you use a more robust oil? That might be the first thing you can do.

It is tough to open the filter without putting particles of the steel filter case on everything. There are special filter cutters, but they're pricey. A hacksaw or cutoff wheel on a Dremel will put particles everywhere. Can you sharpen a cold chisel to a very sharp edge, put the filter in a vise, and cut it open with that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,313 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
Any chance the slivers could be from the threads on the drain plug/pan?

Like an earlier poster, I worked in aviation (26 years). My experience has been that some metal in the form of a paste is normal. Bigger pieces are an indication that something has gone wrong or soon will. I did oil samples for years. If a sample failed we always had the techs do another one for verification. In almost all cases the second sample was good. The point is, it may take more than one sample, or in your case oil change, to verify a problem.

I'd ride it for another 1000 miles or so and check it again. If you find more pieces that you think are indicative of a problem, then start to look into it a little more. Anything that is shedding bigger pieces of metal will only keep getting worse. If the plug is clean next time, that suggests it really isn't a big problem and I wouldn't worry about it too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
I'm at 22k, change every 3k, and I usually get a big, curved sliver. I finally figured out that it was actually a slice of the crush washer, being reliably torn off every time (I replace the washer with each oil change). Examine them closely and see if that might be it. I recently learned that this is probably because I've been putting the crush washer on convex side up, which apparently isn't ideal.

If it is in fact coming from inside the engine, bet on it being the transmission. Have you noticed any performance change or increase in noise or more difficulty shifting?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
124 Posts
To cut the filter knock a hole in it with a sharp cold chisel and then with a pair of sharp pointed aviation tin snips cut it near the threaded end. It's a PITA to do. If you have to use a dremel type tool or any tool that makes chips you will probably be able to tell the difference in them and any particles in the filter from the engine or trans. They will look different and usually be only in the immediate area of the cut. But the snips are obviously the better way(I have done it both ways), in lieu of a filter cutter. Understand they are expensive.

Oh yeah, when you get the can cut take a knife and cut the element near the threaded end and spread it out on the bench
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
With a K&N filter, cutting the cap off will be virtually impossible. That steel is TOUGH!!

Use a tubing cutter. We have one at work that wasn't very expensive... You might even be able to find a plumber friend that'll let you use his for a few minutes in a parking lot. It's what we use at work to cut them open (test lab).

-Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
I would check your drain plug threads first. Then work back through the system after that.

Bubba
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Dentist

The feeling I have wondering about this is like worrying about going to the dentist to get a tooth pulled....

The bike seems to run fine, to shift fine and feels like my normal everyday bike, though the commute to work was a little colder than usual. (Fall temps are hitting Missouri this week)

I'm going to run 1,000 miles on it and pull the plug again, coffee filter the drained oil and see if I see anything in it and will check the plug again and the threads on the the plug and on the bike. If I see anything I'll start looking through the bike and see if I can find the issue or drop it off and tell the dealer to have fun figuring it out. I commute 62 miles per day and may ride with the guys over the weekend....so depending on the weather I should have those miles completed in 2 to 3 weeks.

As always, thanks for your time and advice!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top