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100 miles on low/no oil!

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Spent the day on Salisbury Plain (in the UK) today covering almost 100 miles from home and back. Thought engine was noisier than usual when I set out. It got progressively noisier to the point where for the last 20 miles it sounded like a rough old tractor. Should have stopped and checked earlier but just wanted to get home. Anyway, checked oil (the proper way) when at home and it was not registering on the dipstick at all. Thought I would 'top it up' and put almost 2l in before reaching the full level. So she was running on empty I reckon for the last few miles. Anyway, miraculously, she sounds pretty good now and I can't see any obvious damage in terms of performance. Do you think I've got away with it, or am I likely to have damaged something?

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Spent the day on Salisbury Plain (in the UK) today covering almost 100 miles from home and back. Thought engine was noisier than usual when I set out. It got progressively noisier to the point where for the last 20 miles it sounded like a rough old tractor. Should have stopped and checked earlier but just wanted to get home. Anyway, checked oil (the proper way) when at home and it was not registering on the dipstick at all. Thought I would 'top it up' and put almost 2l in before reaching the full level. So she was running on empty I reckon for the last few miles. Anyway, miraculously, she sounds pretty good now and I can't see any obvious damage in terms of performance. Do you think I've got away with it, or am I likely to have damaged something?

Lifting the rocker cover off and inspecting the cams will tell a story of oil starvation or not.

You would have been better off dropping whatever oil was left and measuring it, chances now are you have overfilled it.

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Do a oil change and check the plug. Also its a dry sump so it doesnt really matter how much oil is in the bike as such. It runs on very little oil compare to a wet sump so its generaly better

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I ride with a guy who has run his old xt600 out of oil several times. Ran it till it overheated and stops running. The motor is shot obviously but it did not blow up and still runs. If it was noisy and did not feel right you did damage. It could blow the next time you rev it out or it may last for years. You can tear it down and inspect or do an oil change and roll the dice. Just be ready anything can happen anytime. The cams and head would be the first things to go as already mentioned.

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2 litres?

when was the last time you checked the oil, 2 litres is alot to be missing. Did the bike normally burn oil?

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Thought engine was noisier than usual when I set out.

 

If I heard weird noise's I would have shut it down and looked for the problem right then instead running it knowing something wasn't right.

 

I check my oil level AFTER every ride while hot so that I know the next time I ride whether it be 3 hours or 30 days later so I know  its good to go.

YMMV

Edited by Kioti

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Something Is seriously wrong with your engine to burn or expel 2 litres of oil in 100 miles...

 

if it's just a case of forgetting to check your oil level , give yourself a hit in the head :bonk: and pay more attention to maintenance..

 

even still you shouldn't be using 2 litres of oil between say 1000 mile ? oil changes.., how often do you do oil and filter changes????

 

Checking the oil level after each ride or mid ride is the best time to check...

Edited by Craigo 485sm

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Thanks for all your advice guys. I will follow it. Think it was a case of less haste more speed. I should have stopped and checked oil straight away. Lesson learned!

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Thanks for all your advice guys. I will follow it. Think it was a case of less haste more speed. I should have stopped and checked oil straight away. Lesson learned!

 

It good to see that you have learnt something from your experience....

It appears luck was on your side .....this time.... :ph34r:

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My bike was missing the oil catch tank from the breather when I bought it, most of it was ending up on the swingarm dripping from the bottom of the airbox, surprised how much was disappearing, up to 800ml per 200km, got a new tank fitted it and it stopped, check your top end like now, the first place to see oil starvation is the cam bearing surfaces on the cylinder head, the rest of the motor has ball race bearings which can run a bit light for a while but for some reason Suzuki thought it was a great idea to have the cams running directly in the head much like the old old xr 250s and 500s, pull the cam caps and see if they are scored, check your countershaft seal and for other visual cues to oil leaking round the motor, if none exist check you oil catch tank is there and working the way it should, then check your exhaust for the blue haze, either your rings/piston/barrel are poked and/or your valve guides and seals are nackered, just do some obvious checks to find out where the oil is going, before the f***er grenades itself.

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Id drain the oil and count the volume, cause it may be your not pumping oil up into the frame, like the plastic oil pump drive gear is broke. That would eplain why you not seeing any oil up into the frame, and had to add the entire bikes oil volume back in.

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Well I drained it (crank case and frame) and approx 2 litres came out. I'd recently had top end rebuilt after cam chain got too loose and skipped a tooth. Noticed the mechanic hadn't put in the small o ring behind the filter - from what I've read, that shouldn't matter too much though. Replaced o rings, filter and oil. Ran for 5 mins, left it 1 min then checked oil level with bike vertical and not screwing in dipstick. Level is full after 2.25 litres added. Took bike for short ride and it seems to perform as it should - just noisier than before (but not sounding like a tractor now). Oh yeah - I couldn't see any metal filings in filter or oil or attached to sump plug. There was some thick sludgy stuff on the sump plug though. I haven't checked anything because, to be honest, I don't know how to. Given that it performs OK do you think I can get away without taking it to a mechanic, assuming the oil level stays good? Or should I take it to a mechanic anyway? I'm reluctant cos I've just spent a fortune getting the top end rebuilt.

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No o-ring on the filter = no or very little filtered oil.

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well what ever damage was done is done, if it seems to perform okay, then i guess you can let it ride, unless ofcourse prepared to tear down again, which is the only thing a mechanc could really do.

I think there is some question as to how the oil got so low. I seen the motors run 1500 mile interstate and not burn a drop

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Well I drained it (crank case and frame) and approx 2 litres came out. I'd recently had top end rebuilt after cam chain got too loose and skipped a tooth. Noticed the mechanic hadn't put in the small o ring behind the filter - from what I've read, that shouldn't matter too much though. Replaced o rings, filter and oil. Ran for 5 mins, left it 1 min then checked oil level with bike vertical and not screwing in dipstick. Level is full after 2.25 litres added. Took bike for short ride and it seems to perform as it should - just noisier than before (but not sounding like a tractor now). Oh yeah - I couldn't see any metal filings in filter or oil or attached to sump plug. There was some thick sludgy stuff on the sump plug though. I haven't checked anything because, to be honest, I don't know how to. Given that it performs OK do you think I can get away without taking it to a mechanic, assuming the oil level stays good? Or should I take it to a mechanic anyway? I'm reluctant cos I've just spent a fortune getting the top end rebuilt.

 

It's 1.7 litres, not 2.25 as far as i am aware of.

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Get it checked out, more noise indicates damage done, two things for the garage, cams and oil pressure, cheers

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