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XR400 Oil Change - First Timer

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My new (to me) 2002 xr400 is about to get an oil change. Currently, the oil in my bike is registering quite a bit higher than MAX, so I assume the PO over-filled as described in Kev's FAQ I pasted below? Also, I just wanted to double-check/confirm that the method described in Kev's FAQ is indeed the time-tested, proven way of checking the oil level for xr400's that folks have found to be accurate??  I'd hate to burn up my engine so just looking for a little re-assurance on this :-). 

 

 

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XR400 OIL LEVEL CHECK
XR400's are odd for checking the oil and the manual is wrong.

Warm up your XR400 for a few minutes per the manual.
Check the oil, it will show low.

Now ride it two laps around your car or truck.
Check the oil, it will show OK.


Don't believe me? You shouldn't!
Drain the oil. Put in the recommended amount of oil.
Now try checking the oil using both methods above.
You know the motor is properly filled, so test how to check it.
(Guess how I developed this method!)

I guarantee you for 99% of the XR400's out there if the gearbox is not used, the oil in the tank will show low.
This is one reason XR400's are often over filled, which is not good for the bike.

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Edited by DiscoJV

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Yes, its right. Drain the oil from the normal engine drain bolt and at the lower front frame tube drain bolt. Change the oil filter, being sure not to install it backwards. The official refill oil amount is 1.9 qts but you can finish off the second qt and dump the full 2 in it with no worries. But never more than that. Like Kev says, you know the oil amount in it is right, so when you go to check the level and it shows low, don't go adding more.

Warm up the engine, ride it around some. Bring the bike in, leave it idling, put it level on a stand and let it set idling for 5 minutes "without" wicking the throttle during that time. After 5 minutes, unscrew the oil dipstick and pull it out, wipe it off, then kill the engine and immediately reinsert the dipstick just to its threads, do not screw it in. Pull it again and check the oil level on the stick.

Edited by Trailryder42

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Man I wish you would have posted this yesterday.  I just went through this same thing last night.  Bought 3 quarts Amsoil (1 for extra) and a new filter.  Found that i had to stop adding oil at about 2.3 quarts because I know it cant take anymore.  Now when i get home Im going to have to remove a 1/3 quart, ride it and check per Trailryder's recommended steps.  I guess the book is way wrong in that it says to check oil level with bike on its kickstand too, not on a lift and level.   

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I'm not big on the let it idle bit. No reason to ever let your xr400 sit and idle, especially for five minutes.

Go ride the bike like normal to get it up to temp and pump the oil from the sump in the bottom of the motor up into the frame.

Stop, turn of your bike and take of your helmet, then check your oil. If the motor is warm and you have ridden the bike the oil will show the correct level. Taking off your helmet allows just enough time for the oil in the top of the frame to ( settle) defoam and show you the correct level.

It makes no difference if the bike is level or on the kickstand as the dipstick is I'm the middle of the frame.

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Man I wish you would have posted this yesterday.  I just went through this same thing last night.  Bought 3 quarts Amsoil (1 for extra) and a new filter.  Found that i had to stop adding oil at about 2.3 quarts because I know it cant take anymore.  Now when i get home Im going to have to remove a 1/3 quart, ride it and check per Trailryder's recommended steps.  I guess the book is way wrong in that it says to check oil level with bike on its kickstand too, not on a lift and level.   

i did the exact same thing yesterday  :banghead:

Edited by NzJohny

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I did mine the other week for the first time. I`d had a few beers the night before... had a sore head. Wash and clean, dropped the oil, replaced the filter. filled up the bike as per the manual. 1.8 litres... warmed it up, ran it through the gears.. came home and checked it and it registered an inch above the low mark... all good anyways i assumed, as i knew it had the factory recommended amount in it. While eating dinner.... i was getting paranoid that i didn`t put the filter in the right way.... popped the cover and of course i did.... stupid hangover.... Also had to replace the brake lever with a shorty, as i hit some tree roots at speed and put her down.... All good tho.... Had to ride 45 minutes thru the bush chasing my mate with only the rear. Least I wasn`t pushing it i guess :-)

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Many arguments over how to check the oil. When my xr400 had new rings put in, the shop over filled it.

Like I said, put in the FACTORY RECOMMENDED AMOUNT. Then figure out how to read the dip stick. I do the same with my CB750.

OIL CHANGE

I hope you got a short piece of pipe for draining the oil. Some tin foil for the oil filter. I just use the same trick with tin foil on my Suburban.

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