How to check oil pressure?


13 replies to this topic
  • CanadianWR450

Posted July 15, 2009 - 04:06 AM

#1

I went through my manual, but all I could find was to loosen off the bolt on on the right side of the engine, where the oil line goes in, just as your supposed to do when doing a oil change, etc.

I'm afraid I could possibly have a oiling issue, or low pressure.

I do get oil out of that bolt after about 10 to 15 seconds of starting the bike when it (engine ) is cold. There does not seem to be much pressure though.

I searched on here, and didn't find anything along the line of "How do you know when you have the right oil pressure".....which is what I'm asking.....

How can this be checked, and what are the specs?
Anyone know?

  • Krannie McKranface

Posted July 15, 2009 - 05:29 AM

#2

Good question. I've never heard it asked before.
I would bet oil pressure is very low, due to sump design and small capacity.
1-2 ft/lbs?

  • CanadianWR450

Posted July 15, 2009 - 06:01 AM

#3

I'm hoping William, or Grey pick this one up.....I'm trying to deterimine if I might have a oil starvation issue on my top end.

  • William1

Posted July 15, 2009 - 06:17 AM

#4

Normal method is to loosen the banjo bolt on the feed line to the head. With the engine idling, if oil oozes, it is pumping. This does not mean there may or may not be a clog further down the line, it only means the oil pump is pumping oil. Start engine, let idle for a minute or so, loosen bolt, seel oozing oil make a mess, tighten bolt, shut off bike, clean mess.

Most ball or roller bearing crank engine run low pressure, high volume oiling systems. As such, the pressure is hard to use as a gage of oiling system health. A flow gage works great but they are horribly expensive. A pressure gage is under $10, a decent flow setup is about $200

  • CanadianWR450

Posted July 15, 2009 - 07:12 AM

#5

William, thanks for the response…..

So, it appears, short of the expensive flow meter setup, I’m looking at a complete tear down to inspect oil pump, passages, etc…..yay….

Here is why I ask….

Bike started to smoke a little at high RPM’s and use a little oil at the end of the year last season. Also, started to get inconsistent oil readings on dip stick around same time.

Tore top end down this spring. Confirmed that rings and cam chain were worn, and the cylinder had no trace of the cross hatch left. It was in good shape otherwise, and still in spec. It was not quite shiny yet, but close, more like a matte finish.

Took cylinder to shop, where they honed it with ball hone, and also confirmed it was in otherwise good shape.

Put in new rings, cam chain, valve seals, and guides, new Hotcam’s (the cam chain was so bad that it slightly wore the cam sprockets, but I’m sure I could have reused them).

I have put almost 2,000 km’s on the bike since then, and it is crazy strong, did not go through oil, and no hint of smoke. Oil readings were consistent, I would let the bike run about 1 minute before checking oil (more on that part…).

Now, the bike is starting to show the EXACT symptoms it did last year….first…..noticed a little oil usage, and then small amount of smoke at high rev’s (not as bad as it was at end of last year yet), and checking the oil level started to become inconsistent readings again. I studied the manual, and found that the bike needs to be running a minimum of 3 minutes, then shut down, wait 30 seconds….check oil.
I did this, and actually let it run almost 4 minutes. At the 3:30 – 3:45 mark, top end started to have a loud “tapping”. Gave it a blurp of the throttle, and it instantly went away. Let bike run another 30 seconds, shut down, waited 30 seconds, checked oil, all is well.

Next night, I did the same procedure, only I turned my idle up higher to make sure it was not too low, causing issues. Tapping started again at around same time, blipped throttle, went away. Let run another 30 seconds, shut down, oil is good.

This is why I’m asking if I could have a oil problem.
My next idea is that the cylinder was simply too far gone, and should have been replaced/recoated. It was in spec though, but in all my searches on here, I have never found a case where the cylinder was to the point that you could not see any trace of the cross hatch left.

I hope it is not to be expected that you need top end work every 2,000 km’s???
Trail riding only…….not DS, or motarded…..bike still run’s like a scalded ape, and oil usage is minor….for now…..so for now, I’m going to keep running it, and having a blast….until something changes, or gets worse….and...make sure to follow the 3 minute idle time rule for checking the oil...but I do not really understand why about one minute always worked before, and the inconsistent oil levels/ usage/slight smoke all started at the same time in both cases.

Any idea’s?

  • Mtn-Track

Posted July 15, 2009 - 07:53 AM

#6

Maybe the oil pump is getting worn and not pushing as much as it used to(?). I'd check that and make sure your oil screen is clean in the process.....

  • William1

Posted July 15, 2009 - 08:20 AM

#7

Confirm you have oil flow. I am sure you do as the cam journals are the first to go. Oiling issues (lack of oil flow) rarely affect the piston and rings. They affect the parts that spin like bearings and shafts.
You freshened the barrel and that is good however, a ball honing will not restore the cross hatch of a NikaSil barrel. It will only scrape off burned on contaminants. If the barrel was well worn and you did this, the freshened top end will not last a long time. A dead dive away it is time for a replating is at the top of the barrel, where the piston comes to a stop each time at TDC. If this area is well worn, time to pony up. But we digress.
You made no mention of new valve seals or valve guide inspection. Any reason? They too, can be a source of consumption.

Unless the engine blew up and metal chunks were ingested by the oil pump, severely gouging it, they work for ever. What can happen is the bypass valve stick in the open position, reducing total oil flow. Otherwise, unless you break something else that in turns craps out the pump, they rarely fail.

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  • CanadianWR450

Posted July 15, 2009 - 08:29 AM

#8

William, we replaced the valve seals, and guides this spring when doing the rest of the top end work...
Your pretty much confirming what I was already thinking though.
I should have replaced/replated the cylinder.....not just had it honed....I got almost 2,000 Km's out of the hone, but, I'm thinking that's it....

  • William1

Posted July 15, 2009 - 08:54 AM

#9

If I were to make a internet guess, I'd agree with you.

Ride the rest of the summer, it is not going to catastrophically fail as long as you check the oil level often. Get a new barrel (buy a beat one and send it off to get replated, then sell yours after you are done). You know what I am saying even if I am not saying it clearly.

  • CanadianWR450

Posted July 15, 2009 - 09:08 AM

#10

William, I can't thank you enough for your help....far as I'm concerned, this is the best case scenario, and I'm only out the cost of the rings, gaskets, etc by not doing it right the first time, I have already contacted CVTech-AAB inc up here in Canada ( http://www.cvtech-aa...placage_ang.cfm ) and they have 04 YZ 450 replated cylinders in stock, and I have already confirmed that the part # is identical to my 04 WR's cylinder. They can ship me one of those, and I simply ship mine back to them in the same box, and get the $200.00 core charge refunded.
Price minus the core is $230.00 Canadian + shipping (about $30.00 each way), versus $380.00 + tax (13%) from the dealer for a new one here.

I'll do the top end again this winter (with new cylinder AND new piston, etc...), unless it gets REALLY bad between now and then.

I should also add, the price is the exact same if I send them mine first, and they redo mine, with 3 day turn around, as compared to getting one of thier YZ jugs.

  • William1

Posted July 15, 2009 - 11:13 AM

#11

Good deal! :worthy:

  • Mtn-Track

Posted July 15, 2009 - 11:48 AM

#12

...actually let it run almost 4 minutes. At the 3:30 – 3:45 mark, top end started to have a loud “tapping”. Gave it a blurp of the throttle, and it instantly went away. Let bike run another 30 seconds, shut down, waited 30 seconds, checked oil, all is well.

Next night, I did the same procedure, only I turned my idle up higher to make sure it was not too low, causing issues. Tapping started again at around same time, blipped throttle, went away. Let run another 30 seconds, shut down, oil is good.

This is why I’m asking if I could have a oil problem.

William1: Oiling issues (lack of oil flow) rarely affect the piston and rings. They affect the parts that spin like bearings and shafts.
...What can happen is the bypass valve stick in the open position, reducing total oil flow.


Really?:worthy:

OK, so there's no chance of a possible lubrication issue in here anywhere, so no need to look there. Hope that new top-end works out for you.
:banana:

  • William1

Posted July 15, 2009 - 02:50 PM

#13

Maybe the oil pump is getting worn and not pushing as much as it used to(?). I'd check that and make sure your oil screen is clean in the process.....


This is good advice about ensuring the screen is clean, too bad the one in the engine is nigh possible to get at. Though to remove the stator cover and confirm it looks clean also is a good idea during this process.
I assume you did a cam change when you last did the top end too, right?

  • CanadianWR450

Posted July 15, 2009 - 05:15 PM

#14

Yes, installed new Hotcam's, and I will certainly be checking the oiling system as much as possible to do so this time around short of splitting the cases.
I do have oil flow at the banjo bolt in the head.

When we did the top end we pondered the cylinder, and asked around, etc, and most said you could get away with a hone, so, well, figured the worst case scenario would be where I am now, 2,000 km's later.

The bike is starting to exhibit symptoms EXACTLY as it did last year, and I KNOW the rings and cylinder were worn then. Cam's were perfect except some wear on the cam sprockets from the cam chain, which was a mess.

The only two things though got me thinking about a possible oiling issue is the inconsistent oil level reading, but I have since learned I was not doing it exactly right (The 3 minute idle time), although, I never had issues before with letting it run about 1 minute so we will see if that holds water or not, as from now on, I'll wait the 3 minutes).
The other is the tapping noise that would start around the 4 min mark after idling, from cold. I never had let the bike idle that long before without it being ridden first, or at least blipping the throttle, and I don't plan on doing that "test " anymore either. I'll start it, let it run 30 seconds, give it a small blip, and then let it run another 2.5 min , then check oil, from it being dead cold.

Over all, the engine was in excellent shape when tore down, with only the cam chain, rings and cylinder showing any wear, and the wear on the cam sprockets from the chain. I also strongly believe I was the first one to open the top end up on the bike, and it's a 04




 
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