Saturday, June 30, 2007

Changing out the fluids on Maria, prior to the Wisconsin Trip

Temps from mid-80s to low 100s according to the thermometer on my motorcycle. I gotta tell ya, it was hot! I was using my cooling vest when I rode mid-morning to the dealer and I was glad to have it as I ended up chatting for a bit with Bruce, the president of the Colorado Beemers who I ran into at the dealer.

Less than ten days now before the trip to West Bend, WI. I decided to go ahead and change out not only the engine oil but also the transmission and final drive oil. I checked my Clymer's Manual and the procedure is pretty straightforward. Maria has 33,160 on her odometer so I am actually 1.44k early for her 6k oil change interval and 17 months early for replacing the transmission/final drive fluid. See note at end as to why I decided to replace these fluids so early.

I drained the transmission and final drive of fluids ten minutes after I returned home. A bit of a mess ensued from the transmission drain hole as I was not quite prepared correctly for the way the stuff comes out. I'll know better next time. The oil from the final drive was not messy but had to rig a small paper ramp to lead the stuff from the drain hole to the collection pan. Otherwise, it drips all over the rear tire! It's a small amount, less than one liter from the final drive, so I just caught it in a measuring cup and let the remnants drip onto prepositioned newspaper.

I then followed the manual, replaced the crush washers that come with the BMW Oil Filter kit. Now I know what the extra washers are for that I've been accumulating during the last three oil changes. : )

Refilling both the transmission and final drive was pretty easy, just measured using the measuring cup to as close as I could read to what the manual specified. I used the new torque wrench I bought after I learned how to adjust valve clearances to tighten the drain plugs and fill plugs.

A ten minute test ride later, no leaks and the motorcycle seemed to be riding well.

Now, came the changing of the engine oil, it went pretty easily as the last couple of times I did it. A 30 minute test ride later, no leaks and once again Maria just fine.

Another small step towards becoming a wrencher for my motorcycle. Next big hurdle comes in November when I try and bleed the brakes and the ABS unit.

Note, although the oil from the transmission came out as dark brown oil as expected, the stuff from the final drive was dark gray/black! There was a very small amount of collected fillings on the magnetic drain plug which I made sure to wipe off before replacing the plug. Kind of makes me wonder if the dealer actually did replace my final drive oil as was billed to me back in November of last year.

I think I might start doing the final drive more often, perhaps each time I change the oil, rather than every two years per the manual. Just in case, you know?

Very glad I replaced the final drive/transmission oils, now I know for sure it's been done as opposed to trusting the dealer who will not see my money for services anymore.

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