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Discussion Starter #1
Gang,
Well, I did my second oil change on the Blue Noid 'cause it had been sitting for over 5 years prior to me purchasing it, about 3.5 weeks ago and I just got it running the other day. So, a couple of $9 oil changes in a short period of time, is in my book, a good thing, to hopefully, prevent any issues from it sitting for so long. Anyway, I've got a couple of questions about that "oil galley bleed screw" at the top of the head. For one, if it's important to actually check the oil flow, after an oil change, then why isn't it outlined in the OWNERS manual? And, even though it's in the SERVICE MANUAL, it's talked about, AFTER an engine has started up and ran. Just wondering here.

Second, just for grins, I decided to go with some of your advise on using that oil bleed screw to check for oil flow, after my change today. Well, I cracked that screw and, fired that engine up with a brand new filter and, a brand new quart of oil. NO FLOW. I opened it up about a full turn, NO FLOW. I opened it up about 3-4 full turns. Well, after at least a minute to maybe three minutes of running, the threads started to seep oil. Not very much mind you but, it was enough to eventually start running down the vertical to the horizontal of the nearest fin to the spark plug. I wiped it off, and let it run some more. Well, it flowed alright but, not what I expected.

Now this is my second oil change in only 30 miles 'cause this bike is new to me and like stated, it had been sitting for well over 5 years before I got to it. So, I don't know what the interior of that engine and the oil sump area looked(s) like. There was only 582 miles on the bike when we picked it up. Oil changes, and filters are cheap, vs a new motor.
Scott
 

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It does take that long. I remove the screw completely then screw it back in one turn, put a piece of paper towel up against it and as soon as oil starts to show on the towel stop the engine. Some folks have snapped off that bolt with too much torque, I use no more than 1/8 turn after I feel it getting snug.
 

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+1 on making sure the filter has the required 4 tiny holes on the engine contact side. Understanding how the engine is designed is important. Members such as TWBrian and Elime will have better knowledge on the inner workings and our fallen brother Lizrdbreth who designed the ad on oil coolers was our original teacher. The bottom half of the engine, tranny gears, crank shaft and clutch get lubricated by what we call oil bath because they sit in the oil sump and the oil is flung on them all the time. The top half is lubricated by a tiny oil pump located in the right side cover. It is neither a high volume or high pressure pump but it does force oil up to the head and cylinder. When you drain the oil from the sump and change the oil filter it is highly possible for the oil in the passageways going up to the head to also drain down. After the new oil and filter are installed it is also possible that air in the passageways could prevent oil to flow up to the head. This is where the bleeder bolt in the head comes into play. You start the engine and crack open the bleeder bolt a turn or two out which allows any air in the lines to exit as the oil pump pushes oil up to the head. Once you see just oil and no bubbles seeping out you shut the bleeder and the lines now have a prime. This is much the same as bleeding the disc brakes, get the air out.
I am not all that familiar with the internals of the engine but I do suspect if the engine has a bunch of sludge in the sump area this could impede the pump pick up and cause a slow or NO oil flow to the head. We hear about guys toasting their head and valves from using the wrong oil filter with only two tiny holes. If the oil does not flow up to the head the head will be toast quick. If when you crack the bleeder bolt open while the engine is running and you don't see oil flowing out within the first minute or two then you know there is a problem and should shut the engine down and investigate. Most times when the passageways drain down are caused by those who allow the engine oil to drain for a long period of time such as over night. If you simply drop the oil, change the filter and put it all back together rather quick you might avoid draining the passageways up to the head. It is NOT always necessary to check at the bleeder bolt but by doing so you assure yourself the oil is flowing and you allowed any air blocking bubbles out. I have never actually removed the bleeder bolt completely while the engine was running but I suspect you would lose a bunch of oil pretty quick and make a mess.

GaryL
 

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The oil bleed bolt on the head is more of a “precaution” than anything, as it seems to be there only to “prove oil flow” to the cams etc. The usual story is for someone who doesn’t know the bike to change the oil filter, read what’s on the side of the filter box, and putting said oil filter straight into the bike without checking further

The trouble starts when the contents of the box doesn’t match the part number on the box, and the person doing the work doesn’t check the new part against the old one. The end result of that lot (and we’ve seen it many times), is that the new oil filter that now has two holes instead of four, restricts oil flow to the head. 20 miles later, and the cams literally “screech” to a halt, and you end up looking at rebuilding the top end

The irony is that the old oil filter can be re-used infinitely (mesh), and that by comparing what came out with what is going back in, the whole thing could be avoided — but if you don’t know this, that little check bolt on the head can save you a whole heap of grief

So the advice to new riders, or to anyone who has their oil filter changed by a freckle faced youth working weekends in a dealership, is to “check that bolt”. Word of warning though — too loose and you’ll do an “Admiral” — to tight, and you’ll shear it (which is possibly why most of us pay attention when cleaning/changing the filter instead) ….. ;)


TW200-oil-filter-correct-incorrect-Old-Towd.JPG
 

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My solution to checking for oil flow is this. I started with a 6 mmm bolt and cut the head off. Then chucked in the lathe and drilled a through hole. This can be inserted in the bleed hole. Now slip a section of clear fuel line over it and route the other end back to the oil fill hole. After you see oil simply shut the motor off and wait a few moments for the oil to drain back and remove. No mess and secure knowledge of good oil flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I want to thank all of you for taking the time to explain some of this to me. I ordered a 4-pack of filters from Amazon and, the first thing I checked when they arrived was, THE FOUR HOLES. Yep, all four there, in each one. So, we're good there. Now, I do have a question. I'm assuming that, if a person owns a TW for eons of time, changes his/her own oil and filter by using the guidelines of the owners manual which, mentions absolutely NOTHING about that bleed screw, but, does let their oil drain over night, to insure ALL old oil is out, then puts new oil in and, a new filter, but does no bleed screw testing, has there EVER been any reports of a failed top end, if all conditions/procedures are followed and, they've always used a 4-hole filter? Thanks again, way in advance.
Scott
 

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I want to thank all of you for taking the time to explain some of this to me. I ordered a 4-pack of filters from Amazon and, the first thing I checked when they arrived was, THE FOUR HOLES. Yep, all four there, in each one. So, we're good there. Now, I do have a question. I'm assuming that, if a person owns a TW for eons of time, changes his/her own oil and filter by using the guidelines of the owners manual which, mentions absolutely NOTHING about that bleed screw, but, does let their oil drain over night, to insure ALL old oil is out, then puts new oil in and, a new filter, but does no bleed screw testing, has there EVER been any reports of a failed top end, if all conditions/procedures are followed and, they've always used a 4-hole filter? Thanks again, way in advance.
Scott
i haven't read about any failures when the right filter was installed. once you get to know your bike, you will most likely only need to change the filter yearly, so the stock filter will last for years. if you use the same filter, then there is almost no chance of failure. i don't check with the bleed screw if i don't change the filter
 

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I want to thank all of you for taking the time to explain some of this to me. I ordered a 4-pack of filters from Amazon and, the first thing I checked when they arrived was, THE FOUR HOLES. Yep, all four there, in each one. So, we're good there. Now, I do have a question. I'm assuming that, if a person owns a TW for eons of time, changes his/her own oil and filter by using the guidelines of the owners manual which, mentions absolutely NOTHING about that bleed screw, but, does let their oil drain over night, to insure ALL old oil is out, then puts new oil in and, a new filter, but does no bleed screw testing, has there EVER been any reports of a failed top end, if all conditions/procedures are followed and, they've always used a 4-hole filter? Thanks again, way in advance.
Scott
Yes! Lots of failed top ends but it is doubtful we can pin it on failure to bleed the head. We know for certain that the wrong filter will destroy the top end but what is the unknown in this discussion is weather or not the oil pump can and does eliminate any air bubble blockages on it's own and re-prime itself. This is why I state that I do it simply for peace of mind and because it is such a simple procedure.

GaryL
 

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I used KN145 ordered from O'Reilly's at a good price, but had to send one back, due to glue in a hole.
 

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To echo others, check the filter. I won't use anything K&N anymore.

Used their filters on some other motorcycles of mine. Thought the nut welded on the bottom was a great idea. Until I started seeing reports of that nut when used would cause leaks in the filter housing. Friend lost a motor when the bolt failed under pressure as he was driving. K&N admitted it was a known defect but he should've been paying more attention to it and told him to eat shit.
 

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The 17 mm spot weld hex nut issues of 2016 were resolved, but still not much of a KN fan

K&N Filter Recall

Had a K&N air filter on my 2003 Sportster, but most HP gain was better air flow from Screamin' Eagle high flow back plate.
On my next Sportster, I used a stock filter and moded the factory back plate for about the same improvement.

OTOH the K&N on my 2003 Jeep Wrangler was a notable improvement, even tho a pain to clean and re-oil.
 

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Gary: I thought the incorrect oil filters were 3 hole, instead of 4.

Purple: You are forcing me to disclose that I slipped (2 1/2 years ago) when removing the oil filter screen, thus the need for an oil filter or new screen at 249 miles. Think I changed it again at about 600 miles...servicing each vehicle as though I intended to keep it forever (that sure makes my wife laugh/roll her eyes).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I myself, will never, ever use another K&N filter, on anything I'll ever own. I've done very accurate tests in power, mileage and more and, NOT ONE BIT OF DIFFERENCE, EVER! And I've also read numerous reports by high end magazines for autos/trucks/m/c and all, who've also stated there's little to no difference. But, this is a personal matter. If you like them, use them. I don't have any issue tossing a filter and installing a new one in a short time. Cleaning a filter? Nope, been there done that. I just got a good deal on a 4-pack of factory type filters for about $19 on Amazon. All four holes are perfect and NO GLUE in where it's not supposed to be.
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Gary: I thought the incorrect oil filters were 3 hole, instead of 4.

Purple: You are forcing me to disclose that I slipped (2 1/2 years ago) when removing the oil filter screen, thus the need for an oil filter or new screen at 249 miles. Think I changed it again at about 600 miles...servicing each vehicle as though I intended to keep it forever (that sure makes my wife laugh/roll her eyes).
I have no idea where you got that from! The correct oil filters have 4 holes and the incorrect ones have only 2 holes.

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Here is another picture showing the correct filter with 4 holes.

Oil filter - 4 Holes.jpg

And here's a picture showing the inside of the filter and the adhesive (red) material that has been reported to sometimes block 1 or more of the holes. This picture also shows the outer wrapper metal mesh that can be easily cleaned allowing the filter to be reused indefinitely.

Oil filter - Inside.jpg
 
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