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Really OLD FART Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Alright...I'll put my manhood on the line...a-gain!

Going on long 3-day ride this coming weekend and cash is tight. But I notice that my Oil is black and the Coolant reservoir shows right at "lower" level.

I'm due for maintenance and would like to save some money, time and labor if possible.

I read un-related posts that repeatedly mention that doing such maintenance is "easy" but I can't seem to find any advice in a single post on the subject by searching.

The frequently asked questions (FAQ) stickys don't seem to address something this supposedly "simple"... *shrug*

Maintenance manual pdf only mentions regular oil specs and shows nothing on synthetics nor any real info on how to change it. I saw the precautions in the FAQ that there are TWO drain valves to remove, but nothing more on How To what to Watch Out for. All in all, I'm not having much early success as a newbie wrencher... Don't want to get discouraged but I'm gonna have to turn to you guys, if possible.

To start out...How do you change or fill:

- Oil (regular and synthetic, brand and/or store would be helpful)

- Oil Filter (recommended size - FAQ mentions two sizes, but not why - Brand or Store...of course, cost and effectiveness are BOTH important or I wouldn't be trying this.

Coolant in the reservoir (that plastic jug under the center of the swing arm)

Transmission Fluid (is that even possible for a newbie? - Where is it located?)

Need to know what all is need to succeed (fluids, filters - if applicable, tools, lift etc.).

And need any and ALL precautions to ensure nothing gets screwed up.

Heck...I'm not even sure I'm asking the right questions of you experts out there, but I'm hoping you can figure out what I need.

Appreciate any help you give me (and those who might need/read this later)!
 

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I just did my first oil change last week so it's still fresh in my mind - here ya go:

Oil - Rotella T6 synthetic from Wal Mart - it's in a blue jug. Buy the gallon. $19 or $20
Filter - Print out the sticky from the top of the 1300 forum and stick it in your pocket and take it with you to Wal Mart. Match the numbers on the sheet with a filter off the shelf. I found a Fram Extra-Guard PH7317 for less than $5.

For oil changes, you don't need a lift. You will need a pan to drain the oil into. A low pan will slip right under the bike no problem. There's not much room to work under there, so I borrowed an idea I read here on the forum. I had some 2" thick oak planks (12" wide) laying around and made my own "lift". I cut two pieces about 16" long and cut one end of each at an angle to make a 'ramp'. Cut one more piece about 8 inches long for the kickstand.

Take your bike around the block to warm up the oil.

If you make your own 'lift' put one of the long pieces of wood in front of the front tire, the other in front of the rear tire, put the short piece on the left in front of the kickstand and ride the bike up on the blocks of wood. Kick the short piece under the kickstand and shut off the engine. Now you have some room under the bike to maneuver.

Get your oil pan (a foil kitchen pan will work to catch about a gallon of oil) and put it under the bike. There are two oil drain bolts on the bottom of the engine, one on the very bottom, and one on the front edge of the engine. Take a 17mm socket (I think) and loosen both. There are washers on both of these. Make sure if you drop a washer in the oil drain pan that you find it for when you button it back up.

When the oil stops draining out, get back under the bike and look to the back of the engine. The oil filter is the cylindrical thing and it unscrews just like a light bulb, counterclockwise to loosen. It might not loosen by hand, you might have to get a strap on it or an oil filter wrench. If that fails, hammer a screwdriver through the filter and break it loose. Once it breaks loose it should unscrew by hand. Once it's off and stops draining, clean the bottom of the engine and filter seating surface with a rag.

Take your new oil filter and with a little oil on the tip of your finger, put a nice film of oil on the rubber gasket. Screw it on the engine until it's finger tight, then give it a good 1/4 turn by hand. Clean up your engine drain plugs and re-install them.

Take out the oil dipstick, put a funnel in the hole, and add 3.9 Qt (just a touch less than one gallon) of your Rotella T6 (or whatever you get) to the engine.

Put the dipstick back in. Clean up around the bike and remove the oil drain pan from under the bike. Roll off the wood blocks and take it for a spin. Come back and check the oil level. It should be right on.

That's an oil change. Hope that helps.

I've never changed or flushed the cooling system, so I'll leave that to others. No need to worry about transmission fluid on the VTX - it doesn't have any. The engine oil lubes the transmission.
 

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Reeling Jackwagon
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Just one word of Warning: Never ever start your bike with the oil fill dip stick partially in your bike. It could get caught in the gears and get chewed up. Seen it on a 750 forum and on the VTXOA. All the way in or all the way out.

Coolant fill for the reservoir is behind the left side cover. I use Prestone 50/50. There is a write up for a complete coolant replacement if you feel it's necessary.

The motor oil is your transmission oil.

This sticky will give you part number for filters and such.
 

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Really OLD FART Member
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks big time to the three of you!

Now if I can just figure out what a Torque Wrench is and how to use it...and how do you know if you have the correct size crush washers in the store? :hmm2:
 

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These are the washers you should be looking for http://www.directlineparts.com/product.asp?pid=4745&str=11 For something like this, check with your dealer. Doesn't make sense to pay shipping for this stuff unless you have something else on order.

I don't use a torque wrench. For the filter, I hand tighten then go 1/4 turn with the wrench. For the drain plugs, I just firmly tighten and try not to over tighten. Just have to use a little common sense.

Another thing you may want to consider, if it has not been done in a while, is change the final drive oil. Another simple job. check Bare's page for that too.

I use Amsoil synthetic for both. Some folks use Mobil 1, Rotella. Whatever floats your boat. Can't go wrong with any of them.

I know some folks get totally anal with this stuff. A little common sense and planning goes a long way. One thing to keep in mind, if it it very hot out and you change the oil in your garage, DO NOT have a fan blow on you to stay cool. Makes one hell of a mess as the oil is draining. Please don't ask how I know.

Good luck.
 

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Go to Bare's page http://bareasschoppers.com/ and in the left column is how to change your oil. If I can do it, so can you.
Yep! Bare's got pictures and all. A very good site.

Suggest that you do only the oil and filter change before the weekend trip. Out of town is the wrong place to learn that you made a 'newbe' mistake. Just top off the coolant and do the rest of the maintenance when you are not looking at a multi-day ride.

Geezer
 

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Just one word of Warning: Never ever start your bike with the oil fill dip stick partially in your bike. It could get caught in the gears and get chewed up.

This is new to me but I did make the mistake of starting my X without the stick in....oil blew out of the hole all over my pants and all over the chrome :eek: :banghead:
An oil change is very easy...I'm about to do my second and also did the left over lumber lift.:beer:
 

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Really OLD FART Member
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Discussion Starter #9
Another trio of great advice. Even the personal screw-ups I can learn from.

THANKS!
 

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You want screw ups, come sit in my garage one weekend. I'm full of them.
 

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Ditto - The bit of advice about looking in the bottom of the oil pan for the crush washer was from experience - I found mine in the drain pan AFTER I buttoned it all up and added the oil :banghead:
 
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