Small oil leak at bottom of engine (DL1000) - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-08-2018, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Small oil leak at bottom of engine (DL1000)

I've never had an oil leak before, but for some reason my '07 Vee started seeping a little oil on a recent 1000-mile trip.

Part of the return trip was 100+ miles of forest roads. I found some gravel inside my skid plate, and quite a lot of accumulated crud on the bottom of the engine. when I got home. As well as a small patch of (now-gritty) oil, on the inside surface of my Enduro Guardian skid plate, clearly indicating some kind of recent leakage.

Near as I can tell, the leak started some time during the return half of the trip.

Before departing home, while at my destination, and prior to heading back home, I was having a look at the engine daily, to be sure the stator cover seam wasn't leaking. That's because I'd had the cover off a few times recently due to some stator issues, but didn't have time to wait for a new gasket before my trip. Indeed, that seam did not leak any oil in the days leading up to my trip, verified as late as the morning of the day I headed back home. It's still possible that seam did start leaking on the way home, but I can't be sure yet.

Post-trip, the whole bottom of the engine was dirty enough that I couldn't be sure where the oil was coming from. Here's the area I mean, cleaned up:



It looked like maybe the oil was coming from the seam with "0706" on both sides. Or perhaps around the oil pan drain plug? There was so much general grime that it was impossible to tell. I suppose the oil could be coming from higher up, but it doesn't look that way so far.

I did an oil change not long before the trip. Torqued the drain plug to spec, so how could it leak?

I've had the aluminum EG skid plate mounted for a couple of months. As you would expect, there's not a mark anywhere on the bottom of the engine suggesting damage. Whatever this is, doesn't seem like it was caused by anything hitting the engine case.

So what's going on here?

For now, I cleaned up the entire area I think the leak was coming from. I am letting it sit overnight, skid plate off, with a clean shop towel on the floor to highlight any drips.

FWIW, mileage on the bike is about 37k.
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-08-2018, 10:28 PM
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Oil, like mice and rats can seep through the smallest of seams. I've got oil seeps on my Toyota vehicles the mechanics make much ado about. But as clean as we'd like our bikes to be, some seepage may be inevitable. I look at the back of the 04 Wee I have and see some seepage on the rear cylinder but no spots on the floor so it isn't a constant flow.
If the oil is pooling under the engine overnight you may have a real concern.
Otherwise, like a classic Brit bike it may be a preservative.
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post #3 of 37 Old 01-08-2018, 10:33 PM
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Just asking, but did you replace the oil drain plug gasket when you last changed oil? Many re-use them (over and over again), but they are actually 1-time use crush washers. Ive seen them leak.
Many auto parts stores carry "Tracer Oil Dye" for use with a UV lamp in an unlit garage. You can buy a small UV lamp, some are battery-powered, and they usually come with a pair of yellow glasses for use with the dye/light combination. These work well. Put the dye in the oil, ride for 100-300 miles, put on the glasses an with the bike in a darkened area and UV lamp in hand, look for a bright green oil trail. I used them all the time at work for engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and a/c refrigerant leaks.
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-08-2018, 11:38 PM
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One place prone to leaks is inside the front sprocket cover. It can be from the clutch pushrod seal or output shaft oil seal. Clean Out front sprocket area!
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Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-08-2018, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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No, I've been through 2 oil changes now and haven't replaced that gasket you mention. I don't know where to get one.

Well, I could get one from Partzilla I suppose, but I object to paying $8 shipping for a $1.16 washer.

If I knew the size, I could probably pick a suitable replacement up at a hardware or auto parts store.

Then I'd just have to drain the oil into a suitably clean container, put drain plug back on with new crush washer, and torque to spec. Then refill oil.

I cleaned out the front sprocket area a few months ago. There was actually not much crud there at all. Haven't had the sprocket cover off since, but I'd be surprised if it had accumulated enough crud since then to cause an oil leak.

Last edited by DesertBike; 01-09-2018 at 12:09 AM.
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-08-2018, 11:46 PM
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A 12mm crush washer will do the trick. I like a solid aluminum or copper washer. I got mine from a Honda dealer. The Suzuki crush washer is hollow and practically disappears onto the bolt. Make sure to get the old one off before adding a new one.
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Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #7 of 37 Old 01-09-2018, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Nice, I'll give that a shot.

I don't think I'm going to see any leaks while the bike sits. I'm guessing the seepage will only happen while the oil is hot, and therefore a bit thinner than when cold.

I haven't ridden since Sunday because it's been too cold in the mornings to go without heated gloves (another tale of woe...). But replacing the crush washer would be easy to do while I wait.

I guess once I get my replacement heated gloves or the weather warms up, whichever comes first, I'll ride a bit & see if the seepage shows itself again.

I've cleaned all the suspected areas of leakage, so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out where it's coming from.
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-09-2018, 01:48 AM
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Crush washer failure is rare, I’m betting on the clutch slave or front sprocket seal being the culprit.
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post #9 of 37 Old 01-09-2018, 01:50 AM
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If the drain plug gasket isnt leaking now you dont need to replace it at this time. But...next time you change oil, take your drain plug to an auto parts store and get a copper metric drain plug gasket. The Suzuki gaskets are steel, but most Japanese automotive drain plug gaskets are copper or aluminum. I used to get them in bulk from work in 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, and 18mm sizes. Take your plug with you to get the proper size. And I do use a torquewrench on them every time.
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-09-2018, 04:13 AM
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"Torqued the drain plug to spec, so how could it leak?"

That's could why. Those threads are fairly delicate and using a torque wrench it's easy to overtighten and strip the threads. There are several options for repair but the easiest is a self cutting plug with a smaller drain bolt in it. Most auto spares places stock those.

The other likely contender is the clutch push rod seal, a self tapping screw and a pair of pliers will get the old seal out, be careful to not push the replacement in too farif you replace it.
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