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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, I know oil changes are very easy to do to your bike. However, my first time around, after never having even seen an oil change before on both a car or a bike, I ran into a couple hiccups.

I just wanted to share some potentially useful tips. If I help even one fellow rider with this, I will be satisfied.

1) If you care about getting oil stains on the ground, then really layer up the cardboard/newspaper. Even if it's a few drops, if given enough time (10 - 30 minutes) the oil will permeate through the cardboard/newspaper and stain your concrete/asphalt. An alternative would be to use a garbage bag, but garbage bags have no potential for absorption, so the oil tends to run off of the plastic if your ground surface isn't completely level and stain once it runs off of the side. If you want to be very cautious, then perhaps consider a garbage bag as the bottom layer, then cardboard/newspaper on top.

2) Be careful where you step, the first time around I accidentally stepped in a few droplets of oil, and when I was walking around my garage grabbing tools I seemed to have spread little oil spots around.

The first time I did an oil change ended up being quite messy for some ignorance of my own. The second time, I managed to only get a few drops on the newspaper.

3) Make sure that the container you use to catch your old oil is capable of holding up to 3 Liters of oil. The extra .6L gives you a little bit of a cushion for when you're moving this container around to lessen your chance of spillage. It's also helpful to ensure that the oil catch container is sufficiently ridged. The first time around for me, I used a really flimsy container that was too small and that gave me a lot of issues when it came to containing the mess. Lesson learned, and I didn't make the same mistake the second time around.

4) Use a funnel for filling the oil, as it prevents the wasting of new oil from spills.

5) An oil filter wrench may be necessary to remove the oil filter during the first oil change. It helps to be cautious and try not to get oily hands all over the old filter as it will make it very slippery and the removal of it very difficult unless you have the ratcheting socket for the end of it which would void this issue.

6) Don't forget the oil drain plug's crush washer. They are cheap, come in aluminum and copper to my knowledge, and are absolutely necessary to avoid oil leaks. The size needed is M12.

7) The oil drain bolt needs to be torqued to 14.5ft lbs, or 174 in lbs. Be careful and don't get these confused or else you may have a costly repair on your hands. Torque wrenches come in either in lbs or ft lbs and just be diligent not to get them confused.

8) When removing oil filter about 200 mL of oil will pour out. Be ready with your oil catch pan. Also, if you don't want to get your headers covered in oil (which ultimately isn't a big deal), I use a slice of tin foil strategically placed over the headers and under the oil filter to redirect the oil cleanly into my oil catch pan.

9) Make sure to lubricate the o ring of the new filter with new or old engine oil.

10) Be diligent and ensure you are not over filling or under filling your bike. Check oil level on a level surface, while holding the bike vertically, and ensure it is filled between the lines on the oil sight glass.

11) In the following days keep checking for leaks, and your oil level to ensure everything is kosher. Worst case would be that you were leaking, and ended up running the engine without any oil in it, potentially totaling your new bike.

I hope someone found some use in this. Be proud of yourselves because this oil change costs $115 with tax and parts included from my local dealer. Ride safely!

Eric
 

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I would add make sure the old o-ring came off with filter. They have habit of staying on the bike and if you don't notice it the new filter will fail and leak oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
See my attached file for possible engine oil filter options. I made this file as a tool so I wouldn't have to go scrambling around to find out what filters fit and which ones don't. I keep it printed in my bikes service binder for future reference. My information source is Fram's website.
 

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I would add make sure the old o-ring came off with filter. They have habit of staying on the bike and if you don't notice it the new filter will fail and leak oil.
Happened to me with my car a few oil changes ago...what a mess. 1st time ever that the seal stuck to the engine block. Will never make the mistake of not checking for that again.
 

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Know an awesome product to use under your bike or car when you have the potential for leaking fluids? Puppy pads! They're super absorbent on one side and plastic backed on the other. You can also use the larger, people sized ones like they use in hospitals and nursing homes. They sell both at stores such a Wal-mart and Walgreen's. I use those suckers for all types of projects around the house and in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Know an awesome product to use under your bike or car when you have the potential for leaking fluids? Puppy pads! They're super absorbent on one side and plastic backed on the other. You can also use the larger, people sized ones like they use in hospitals and nursing homes. They sell both at stores such a Wal-mart and Walgreen's. I use those suckers for all types of projects around the house and in the garage.

I will definitely look out for those next time I'm at the store!
 

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Know an awesome product to use under your bike or car when you have the potential for leaking fluids? Puppy pads! They're super absorbent on one side and plastic backed on the other. You can also use the larger, people sized ones like they use in hospitals and nursing homes. They sell both at stores such a Wal-mart and Walgreen's. I use those suckers for all types of projects around the house and in the garage.
Great idea. I have a lot of those and, shit, my dogs don't use them!

Dave
 

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Kitty liter is pretty good at soaking up oil spills before it can stain concrete. Also when tightening the oil filter to avoid over tightening/damaging the engine spin the filter on until the seal contacts the block then turn the filter between 1.25 and 1.5 more times to get a good seal without over tightening. Helps a lot when you go to do your next oil change.
 

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Kitty liter is pretty good at soaking up oil spills before it can stain concrete. Also when tightening the oil filter to avoid over tightening/damaging the engine spin the filter on until the seal contacts the block then turn the filter between 1.25 and 1.5 more times to get a good seal without over tightening. Helps a lot when you go to do your next oil change.
Don't do this. 1 & a quarter turn to 1 & a half turn after it contacts the motor? Way way way way too tight.

I always hand tighten. Once the filter touches the motor, I hand tighten as hard as I can. That is usually 3/4 - 7/8 of a turn. I almost can never make it 1 full (360 degree) turn.

I have no idea how you're turning it 450 - 540 degrees after it contacts the motor. Are you using a oil filter wrench/strap to tighten it.

When I hand tighten the filter on, it still takes a decent amount of effort to loosen it with a wrench/strap during the next oil change. Again, that's with me tighten it to 270 - 320 degrees.

I've hand tightened oil filters for the past 15 years the same way for all my cars and bikes. Never had an issue.
 

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I'm really surprised that the oil drain nut has such a high torque spec. I'd honestly be scared to torque it anywhere near that high. Are you sure that's correct? The torque spec for my KLX250 is just 22 inch-pounds.
As a hipster who's changed oil a gazillion times in my life on many vehicles I personally think it's a little nutty to specify a torque value for an oil filter where you're compressing a rubber ring gasket against a mating steel or aluminum surface since temperature affects the compressibility/strength of the gasket. I've always done it like this:

  1. After draining the oil I then remove the old filter.
  2. I then wipe a light bead of oil over the new rubber ring gasket on the new filter then spin it on until it makes contact with the mating surface on the engine.
  3. I then give the filter a good twist by hand until it's tightly seated. That's all there is to it. Reinstall the drain plug then add the new oil to the correct level and you're good to go.

I'm proud to say that following this technique for nearly 50 years I HAVE NEVER had an oil filter leak, or develop a leak later, and you shouldn't either. I'm guessing manufacturers are specifying a torque value these days to cover their back sides for newbies who are clueless. Anyway, it certainly doesn't hurt to follow the manufacturer's instructions and torque the filter to the specified value the first time around to get an idea, but after that you'll simply do it by hand like the rest of us.
 

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Don't do this. 1 & a quarter turn to 1 & a half turn after it contacts the motor? Way way way way too tight.

I always hand tighten. Once the filter touches the motor, I hand tighten as hard as I can. That is usually 3/4 - 7/8 of a turn. I almost can never make it 1 full (360 degree) turn.

I have no idea how you're turning it 450 - 540 degrees after it contacts the motor. Are you using a oil filter wrench/strap to tighten it.

When I hand tighten the filter on, it still takes a decent amount of effort to loosen it with a wrench/strap during the next oil change. Again, that's with me tighten it to 270 - 320 degrees.

I've hand tightened oil filters for the past 15 years the same way for all my cars and bikes. Never had an issue.
I only ever hand tighten. Never use a wrench or strap to tighten you WILL over tighten it. And when I say contact I mean literally spin the filter on until it stop moving on its own and is just barely touching the block. I've done it this way for 10 years and never had any trouble getting filters I put on off.

As a hipster who's changed oil a gazillion times in my life on many vehicles I personally think it's a little nutty to specify a torque value for an oil filter where you're compressing a rubber ring gasket against a mating steel or aluminum surface since temperature affects the compressibility/strength of the gasket. I've always done it like this:

  1. After draining the oil I then remove the old filter.
  2. I then wipe a light bead of oil over the new rubber ring gasket on the new filter then spin it on until it makes contact with the mating surface on the engine.
  3. I then give the filter a good twist by hand until it's tightly seated. That's all there is to it. Reinstall the drain plug then add the new oil to the correct level and you're good to go.

I'm proud to say that following this technique for nearly 50 years I HAVE NEVER had an oil filter leak, or develop a leak later, and you shouldn't either. I'm guessing manufacturers are specifying a torque value these days to cover their back sides for newbies who are clueless. Anyway, it certainly doesn't hurt to follow the manufacturer's instructions and torque the filter to the specified value the first time around to get an idea, but after that you'll simply do it by hand like the rest of us.
I think he was referring to the drain bolt with that torque spec not the filter. It still seems a bit high for the drain bolt since there usually isn't much threading there though.
 

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Dude, you must have the strength of Conan if you can turn the filter 1.25 - 1.50 turns after it contacts the motor. I do the same as you. Once the filter makes contact with the motor, I use my hands to tighten it as hard as I can and I can barely make it 1 full turn from that point.
 

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I think he was referring to the drain bolt with that torque spec not the filter. It still seems a bit high for the drain bolt since there usually isn't much threading there though.
My owner's manual specifies the following torques:
drain plug: 14.5 ft-lb
oil filter: 12.9 ft-lb

Since Kawasaki specifies an oil filter torque it seems a little puzzling that the oil filter doesn't have a hex head/nut on the end, a la the K&N oil filter, to facilitate using a freakin' torque wrench. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm really surprised that the oil drain nut has such a high torque spec. I'd honestly be scared to torque it anywhere near that high. Are you sure that's correct? The torque spec for my KLX250 is just 22 inch-pounds.
I referenced the Kawasaki owners manual in addition to the Kawasaki Service manual.
 

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Hand tighten oil filter all the way! My dad who over watches me because he loves this kind of stuff loves to make sure things are tighten but there IS such a thing as over tightening. I understand how he wants to be extra careful and cautious but...c'mon! Also, no one mentioned but K&N makes an Oil Filter that comes off with a 17mm (i believe) socket on the end so you won't need a strap. :)
 

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Just changed my oil yesterday! What a money saver to do it yourself I might say! So glad my dad felt it necessary to teach his daughter how to work on her own motors for basic maintenance! And the tinfoil trick under the filter was a life (mess) saver!
 

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Hi Folks,

I've only had my N300 a few weeks and haven't had a chance to change the oil yet myself, but it seems straightforward enough. However, when I read the Owner's Manual it says to have the dealer do it.

I assume they say this a) out of an abundance of caution, and b) to get the dealers more business, but isn't that going a bit far? Does Kawasaki not have any respect for their customers' ability to do basic maintenance themselves?

S
 

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My .02 cents...you can make a funnel with a good old piece of 8 1/2 X 11 stationary/paper. Form a funnel, use a piece of tape or two to hold the shape and bada-bing, you have a funnel! Do your oil change and throw it away when done. No funnel to clean up/wipe down/make a mess on your shelf. I haven't owned a funnel for years.
 
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