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Old 09-04-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
A Star Ride
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Default Water in oil????

Ok, yesterday's day trip to the Back of the Dragon (rt 16 & 19 from Marion, VA to Tazwell, VA) resulted in 3 rain delays & finally a motel room (always keep toothbrush in saddlebag).
At highway speeds of 70 we hit torrential downpours, crosswinds & pea size hail busting my knuckles. After realizing there were more cages on the shoulder then on the slab, we decided to beach the bike at the last available hotel room (Va Tech had opening day yesterday as well)
Got home mid day today (didn't have proper gear for an early morning launch) and after showering & dumping water from the raingear pockets, went back out to assess the damage to the ride. There was a basketball size oil puddle under one of the blow hoses. I pushed the bike outa the way & scrubbed the oil from the newly sealed driveway, checked the oil level through the peep window and guess what? It's overfull and has approx 2500-3000 mikes on it, but plenty black.
Is it likely I have water in my crankcase? How do I stop it from happening again? Do I just change the oil (& filter) & not worry about it anymore?
Regardless of the damage done, we are home & safe & should've stopped a lot sooner so it could be worse.

NOTE: my bike is a 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe 1300CC V-4 (V-Max engine). It has dual air boxes, which I assume stayed dry (enough to keep running) but everything was soaked to the bone.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Regardless of the damage done, we are home & safe & should've stopped a lot sooner so it could be worse.

It has dual air boxes, which I assume stayed dry (enough to keep running) but everything was soaked to the bone.
Don't assume anything. Check the air boxes too.
Part of the water could have come in there.

As for the engine, I'd say drain the oil and pray.
If it drains out milky or otherwise is obvious that there is a lot of water in there.......then I'd change it once, run it just long enough for it to get good and hot.......and then change it again.

As for prevention of damage to your bike AND your skin, don't ride in a heavy downpour. No doubt a lot of those cage drivers were saying "Look at the idiot on the motorcycle." as they sat and waited it out.

I think it could have been a LOT worse. If the engine had seized up and thrown you off, for instance.

And then your woes might not be over with yet either. Riding with water in the oil is NOT good for bearings and such. Likely won't know that for a good while though.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:36 PM   #3
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Pull your plugs, squirt a good 10 second stream of WD40 in each cylinder. Turn over the engine(with the plugs still out, just a couple revolutions). This will displace any water in your cylinder heads/rings. This is exactly what WD40 was designed to do.

Drain your oil and oil filter, get as much out as you can, then put the old filter back on. Fill with cheap oil. Run till it's at operating temerature.

Now change the plugs, oil filter and oil. You should be good to go.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback yall. The oil puddle on the driveway did NOT seem to be a mix, it was just oil not water-separated rainbowinsy looking, could the water have evporated from the puddle making it look like "just oil"? Also I've been told a water-oil mix in the crankcase wil look more like chocolate milk rather then black, and mine looks black.
After dinner I bought a filter & oil ($47.00, damn dont remember paying that much last time). Tomorrow I'll WD the plug holes & drain & fill.
By "cheap" oil, and since I'm just getting to operating temp & not engaging gears & riding it anywhere, what could I get away with? Automotive 5W-30?
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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Tomorrow I'll WD the plug holes

what could I get away with? Automotive 5W-30?
With all due respect, you can skip the WD treatment.....IF the bike was running when you parked it AND there wasn't a downpour while it was sitting.

Diesel oil would be the best for your short run; some riders use it all the time.

AND depending on the location of your oil filter, it might be full of water too. Knowing how hard it is to get one of them completely empty, I would advise against re-using it too......if it is a "spin-on".

I'm a little curious as to how the puddle of oil formed in the first place.......and interested to see how much liquid comes out when drained and what it lools like.

It is entirely possible that the oil came out of an AIR BOX drain, due maybe to wet air filters and you don't really have any water in the oil at all.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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I drained the oil into a clean open top tub, no sign of water rainbow haze or separation what-so-ever. Leaving it overnight with fill cap, drain plug & filter off to look for separation in the morning.
If there is no sign of water, and for now I have no reason to believe there is any. How did my crankcase get overfilled? I'm positive when I last changed it that it was spot on. And if this sudden oil dump on the OL's driveway isnt water in the oil related, why would that have happened? The oil dump appears to have happeded during or after cool down, but was not from the initial "run in the flood". We stoped overnight & drove home in the dry, but foggy conditions.
Also, I removed & disassembled both air boxes, they were completely dry & no sign they had been wet, I air hosed & re-installed.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:40 PM   #7
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If there is no sign of water, and for now I have no reason to believe there is any. How did my crankcase get overfilled?
Overfilling is not the only way for oil to come out.
Did you measure the amount of fluid that came out ??
A gas leak can sometimes flood the crankcase......but you probably could smell that.

This might be Murphy at work and maybe you have a fault in the crankcase vent system that has little or nothing to do with riding in the rain.

Then it is also possible that you have a plain old oil leak from a bad gasket or loose cover, etc.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:43 AM   #8
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I think I'm gonna refill the crankcase & hope for the best. Will run a cleaner through the next couple tanks & pay better attention to the oil level. I'm also going to clean out my vent tubes thinking one of them may have been clogged & may have filled to the point to finally flush, therefore dumping onto the driveway. I see no oil leaks anywhere & no signs (smell or visually) of comtamination in the oil I drained from it. I am going to measure the drained contents to see how overfilled it was, couldnt've been much. Any recommendations are welcomed.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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I think you have a good plan.
Only thing I would add is take a couple of fairly short and easy test rides to see if anything shakes out.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
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I verified the vent tubes were clear by fishing weedeater cord up them, got some ashy/dried debris, but nothing suprising. Put Seafoam as recommended on it's label in the (already full) tank & oil reservior & topped it with oil, ran & verified levels, will have to wait a week or more for a dry road. I put clean paper towels under it to more easily recognige a leak or drip. I measured the drained oil contents 3.5 quarts exactly, capacity chart claims it takes 3.91, WTF?
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