oil level way up when hot... - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default oil level way up when hot...

This is weird: My Jackpot has nearly 7,000 miles. The oil/filter had been changed 3 times using OEM filter and Victory's 10/40 semi-synthic oil. I changed it last about 2,000 miles ago. I measured it accuately per the manual then rode it until it was hot...checked and it was right on the money. Been on several rides since checking it after every 3 or 4 fill ups...always came up to the proper "full" level. Today it was pretty hot and I checked it after some highway/traffic riding:

what the?

The level was up about a quart over the full mark! No oil has been added since the last change. In fact I've never had to add oil since new. I waited for about 20 minutes and checked it again: a little lower but still too high. Where did this extra oil come from? Could the oil cooler have something to do with it? Could there be blockage in an oil passageway? Or...when it's really good and hot on a hot day (87 here today) does the oil expand that much? Anyone else have this?

I'm all ears and thanks in advance...
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 06:51 PM
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I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one this happens to... I thought I was going crazy! I check my oil fanatically, in a bike stand, and with care and steadiness and still get the same results you stated. I use a turkey baster type thing to get the level just right only to find that it changes as it sits. I've changed oil filters twice thinking the backflow valve was creating this, but same results. I now keep the oil bracketed between low and high to prevent an extreme one direction or another, but it's not very comforting not knowing how accurate it is either way. I hate the dipstick method, especially how the stick is angled with respect to the oil in the sump, and how when you screw in the dipstick the actual level is represented as a straight line on the stick higher than the level of the oil. Did the engineers take this into account? I don't know! A sight glass would be a much better method. Or maybe a dipstick that you don't have to screw in to check.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 08:19 PM
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Just to add, I do have a theory that I now adhere to, which is that when the oil is hot, the surface tension is broken on the dipstick and the thin oil will "climb" a bit giving a false high level. When the bike is cold, all the oil has drained into the sump, and the dipstick will show the accurate level, and the oil clings better for a good read. I always use cold reading as the measure, but check it hot also for reference. When changing oil everything's hot so I check it again the next morning. Even though I believe this to be the case, I always bracket the readings to prevent either too high or too low of a level.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 09:44 PM
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I have noticed on my bike when I check the oil after running there are tiny air bubbles. That would raise the level.

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Last edited by 06vitory; 06-19-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06vitory View Post
I have noticed on my bike when I check the oil after running there are tiny air bubbles. That would raise the level.
thanks for the feedback, guys...you all have made some excellent points. I can relax a little now...
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 12:59 PM
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Good post as I had the same questions. Makes me slightly miss the little oil window on my old GSXr instead of messing with a dipstick.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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I have to ask when you change oil your only putting in 4 1/2 quarts and when you check the oil the bike is Straight up an down and you screw the dip stick in till it just seats. Then check.

I'm not saying you don't know what your doing I'm asking if this is the way you do it.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 02:56 PM
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06vitory: bubbles are good for champagne, not so good for oil. Make sure you're not overfilled. Like visionjohnny said, bike upright and level (awkward for 1 person)
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:25 PM
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Give the oil several minutes to drip down. You're prolly getting oil on the stick from things it is contacting when you insert/remove. Kinda like...never mind.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visionjohnny View Post
I have to ask when you change oil your only putting in 4 1/2 quarts and when you check the oil the bike is Straight up an down and you screw the dip stick in till it just seats. Then check.

I'm not saying you don't know what your doing I'm asking if this is the way you do it.
Oh yes, did all of the above. And checked it several times over the last 1,500 miles since the last oil change and it was always at the correct level. I finally decided to remove 1/2 qt. Next morning, checked it cold, then rode 60 miles (hwy & city) and got it good and hot. Pulled it into the man cave...let it sit for a few minutes, checked it and it's right at the full mark! Not over and not under. Checked it again 10 minutes later...same thing. Maybe my wife added a 1/2 qt of Maple Syrup when I wasn't looking?

BTW, I checked the level several different ways:
1) by the book, sitting on it with it level and the dipstick clean, then bend down, screw in the dipstick, pull it out and look at it.
2) with the bike on the kick stand (or as Harley calls it the "jiffy stand"), pull the dipstick, wipe it, replace it and screw it in all the way. Straighten the handlebars, while alongside the muffler-side of the bike, pull the bike up towards me until it is level then let it rest back on the kickstand. Pull the dipstick and check the level.
3) When the engine it hot and the bike is on the kickstand, pull the dipstick...wipe it clean, screw it in then pull it back out. If the level is correct, there is oil about 3/8th inch from the bottom of the dipstick (best to use the same location in the garage for this method).

Last edited by Dana Franklin Welch; 06-23-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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