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-   -   Thinking about trying to do some of my own maintenance (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/motorcycle-mods-maintenance/15423-thinking-about-trying-do-some-my-own-maintenance.html)

fumanchu 06-03-2010 03:43 PM

this might be way late, but considering what seems to be your level of experience with this model of bike, i would definitely leave the first scheduled maintenance (or any maintenance outside of oil changes) to a certified soozie mechanic.

i did something similar to what you are looking to attempt when i lived in europe. i bought all the necessary tools, got the manual, spent time i didn't have reading up on everything, and ended up finding that:

a) in the end, there wasn't much of a difference cost-wise between my jimmy-rigged tune-up expenses and what a certified Suzuki-Austria shop would have charged for the same work,

b) a certified mechanic would have done a better job and in less time (given how green i was about self-maintenance), and

c) time is money. i wasted so much time running to the parts store, forgetting something and having to run back to the parts store, breaking something and running back to the parts store, being confused and having to look up something on the internet, etc.

in short: don't be like me.

best of luck in your quest.

jeff10236 06-03-2010 10:03 PM

Fumanchu, yeah I'll probably mainly stick with fluid changes. Some "bolt on" parts I may do as well (air filter for instance) and items that don't appear to take too much time, but major stuff (like trying to get to the valves) I'll leave to the professionals.

Anyway, I tried my first oil change today and, well, the oil change wasn't as smooth as I hoped. The oil part was easy (of course) but the location of the oil filter was a pain in the rear. I first tried the standard strap style wrench and I couldn't access the filter with it- the frame and engine guards were in the way and there was no way to get the metal strap around the filter. I had a three legged adjustable wrench and it just slipped. I must have tried to find a way to make either wrench work for nearly two hours before I gave up. So, I eventually gave up on the filter, put the new oil in (a waste since the old filter was still on the bike) and figured I'd just take it in to the dealer tomorrow and whenever it needs a filter (luckily the owners manual does not call for it every oil change). Then I figured I could try a wrench specific for the right sized filter and went back to the auto store. It was dark by the time I got back and haven't tried it yet. Before I empty the oil and waste another 3L of oil I'll try it and see if it will work by just starting to loosen the filter, and if it works I'll re-tighten it and do the proper oil change.

Meanwhile, I guess I wasn't thinking ahead and there is a new issue. I live in an apartment with no outside storage (some apartments have a shed on the balcony, all my storage is indoors). Storing the used oil pan could be messy and smelly (even though it is a bottle style that closes up), I don't think I want to store it inside my apartment. I'll figure something out- be wasteful and throw it away every oil change (if I go fairly cheap on the pan it will still be cheaper than having the dealer do my oil changes), or I may just leave it in the parking spot I share with another motorcycle and hope it doesn't go anywhere.

The_AirHawk 06-04-2010 02:47 AM

I wouldn't worry about just changing the filter this time around too much - there's what? 1/4, to 1/3-qt in there at the most? Exactly how filthy was your oil? Just change the filter, and top-off the level in the bike.

Make certain to wipe-off the filter mount before installing the new filter - two reasons: it ensures a clean base for the new filter; and it ensures that you didn't leave the old o-ring behind (more common than you might believe!).

If you have the habit of ALWAYS wiping the filter boss, you'll NEVER double-gasket the filter.

Oil the new filter o-ring, and if it's in a place where I won't spill it all-over the place, I usually fill the filter with clean oil before installing

Hand-tighten ONLY - do not - I repeat: DO NOT use your socket-wrench to tighten the new filter. You shall regret it if you do. Damn things are hard-enough to get off when properly tightened, no sense in punishing yourself by overtightening it. 1/3 to 1/2 turn after the filter contacts the base - and no more, unless you get some leakage when you test-fire the engine after. And if you DO get leakage, you did something wrong (like leaving the old o-ring behind!)

Good Luck.

MOKE1K 06-04-2010 04:59 AM

I think someone mentioned this already but don't use anything but OEM oil filters. If it's still under warranty, you never want to give them a reason to deny a warranty claim because of something like a non OEM oil filter.

Kenneth_Moore 06-04-2010 05:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeff10236 (Post 243170)
I'll figure something out- be wasteful and throw it away every oil change (if I go fairly cheap on the pan it will still be cheaper than having the dealer do my oil changes), or I may just leave it in the parking spot I share with another motorcycle and hope it doesn't go anywhere.

Most "Jiffy-Lube" type oil-change shops will take used motor oil from you for free. Also, many parts stores will do so as well. Used motor oil has value, so they aren't doing you a big favor. I have a 5 gallon plastic gas can I store the used oil in. Between the car and bike I only have to take it in a few times a year.

About the filter wrenches, you should be able to find a "cap" type wrench that fits your filter. If nothing else, Suzuki sells them, but you can probably locate one at NAPA or whatever parts store is near you.

Be sure to read the filter installation instructions on your filter, or in your manual. I grew up with filters that were hand-tightened only. My Suzuki filter wants to be tightened two full revolutions after the gasket initially contacts the base. That takes some torque, a lot more than I can apply by hand. The cap type filter wrench allows me to torque it down.

A Star Ride 06-04-2010 05:10 AM

Is a $3.00 filter with the same, length ID & OD appropiate to use after spray painted black, or is the already black $12.00 filter "better". I've often wondered but never tried.

A Star Ride 06-04-2010 05:25 AM

I have a very inexpensive filter wrench and the best one Ive used. It's a simple chain with a sprocket prong on a cam handle, and in tight spots I can fish it over the filter rather then having to slide it over the end like most wrap style filter wrenches. The only drawback is that the bearing surface is a little narrow compared to the (wider) strap version and I've crushed a few getting them off.

Kenneth_Moore 06-04-2010 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Star Ride (Post 243178)
Is a $3.00 filter with the same, length ID & OD appropiate to use after spray painted black, or is the already black $12.00 filter "better". I've often wondered but never tried.

In my opinion, the OEM filter is the right choice. I looked at the Fram filter that a lot of VStrom users put on their bikes. Instead of the O-ring seal in the center of the base of the OEM filter, the Fram has a little foam gasket around the outside edge. There's no way it could be torqued down as the factory recommends, and it contacts the very outside edge of the base plate. Also, the Fram weighs 1/3 as much, which makes me wonder what it doesn't have that the OEM filter does. I've seen photos of the Fram and the OEM filters cut in 1/2. The OEM's filter material is much denser; it has many times more folds in the material. Internally, the OEM has a bypass pressure valve that is correct for my bike. The Fram filter is set at a compromise bypass pressure to allow it to work on perhaps hundreds of vehicles.

Maybe I'm wasting money with the OEM filters (I use OEM air filters too), but frankly, the cost of OEM parts over the life of the bike versus the savings from using "generic" parts just isn't that much. I know that the Suzuki parts are right.

MOKE1K 06-04-2010 07:44 AM

Good choice Ken and your right about the two filters the OEM filter much finer particles. I have seen more thanone warranty claim turned down by way of the frame filters. Meaning they just say well if you would have used the recommended filter your problem would not have occured.

Kenneth_Moore 06-04-2010 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MOKE1K (Post 243186)
I have seen more thanone warranty claim turned down by way of the frame filters. Meaning they just say well if you would have used the recommended filter your problem would not have occured.

Really? I did not know that my warranty (long since expired) could be voided by using an aftermarket filter. I use OEM because I put a lot of miles on my bike, and like to keep them a long time.


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