Engine oil and filter changed out on Fiona at 7500 km on odometer.
Gearbox oil replaced, old oil looked clean, no "sparklies". Perhaps this will be last one I do post-gearbox rebuild.
Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig with a '84 R80 Beemer engine can be interesting to perform maintenance tasks on.
Case in point, it was time to replace the engine's oil filter. Due to the PITA factor (4/5) of this task, I do it every other oil change or around every 14,000 kilometers or around 8400 miles.
I do change the oil out at below the prescribed interval of 4500 miles or 7200 kilometers; usually at the 7000 km mark, using Mobil 1's 20W50 Oil. But I don't, as mentioned above, replace the oil filter each time I replace the engine oil.
This oil filter change, I replaced the oil filter cover with one I'd gotten from Richard Winter, where he'd replaced the stock hex head screws with flat Allen head screws, countersunk into the cover for additional clearance.
Additional clearance? Why you ask. Well, The BMW engine had to have its front half lowered enough to allow access to the oil filter's mounting screws and remove the cover/filter. Yep, that's one of the several compromises one must live with when riding a Russian rig with a Beemer engine. Things are close, but not quite.
New oil filter cover in place.
You see how the frame tube blocks easy
access to the cover and it's three screws.
In Fiona's case, not only are the header pipes removed along with the front engine mount rod, but I must also disconnect the two upper sidecar support struts and the front lower connection mount so I can swing the front of the sidecar away from the tug and then the right side engine cylinder has clearance to move downwards.
Not much clearance from front/lower sidecar
support mount and the engine's right cylinder's cooling fins.
As a bonus, the fins on the left front edge of the Beemer engine come into contact with the left side frame and must be "coaxed" away with a pry bar, while pushing down on the top of the engine to get it to move. Simply removing the front motor mount has no effect, sadly. I managed to introduce a break in the front cover, dammit.
Looking down, you can see the left
frame tube and how little clearance there is between it
and the finned forward portion of the Beemer engine.
When lowering the engine, the fins come into contact with the frame tube and must be "coaxed away" for downward progress. You can see the damage I did to the front cover.
After all that, one still gets to "coax" the engine filter cover out from behind the frame portion that still blocks its easy off/on path. Sigh.
Replacing the filter, takes less than 5 minutes.
Taking things apart and putting things back together? About 3 hours, and the help of my sons at intervals.
Now you know, why I don't replace the oil filter each time.
Is it worth it? Yep. The Beemer engine is smoother and has more torque than the stock Russian 750. I expect it to outlast all other components on Fiona. Especially the Russian 650 gearbox, that remains Fiona's weak point.
I think the next time, in about 14,000 km, I will try to raise up the forward half of the engine (after removing the gas tank) and see if that's any easier.