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How to do an oil change. Don’t do it my way…..

I did an oil change today. Took 5 hours to do. Why so long. Sit back and relax and I will tell you how not to do one.

First let me explain where the oil tank on the MZ Scorpion is. It will then all become very clear to you why it took five hours. It is in the tail of the bike. Runs between the frame work under the pillion part of the seat. See the engine is a dry sump with circulation system lubrication. Not my words. Straight from the owners manual. In other words the oil doesn’t live in the engine when the engine is not running. Well a little bit does. The rest is up in the oil tank under the seat.

So I start off by taking the seat off. Undo the filler cap/dip stick that is up in the oil tank. Put the drip tray under the bike. Undo the drain plug and oil line as per the what the manual says. Drain the oil. Simple?!

Wait till the oil is just now slowly dripping out. Put the drain plug back in and reconnect the oil line. I need to put 2.45 litre of oil back into the oil tank. I have a 1 litre bottle with a funnel on it. So this too is simple. 2 and 2/3 bottles of oil and the oil change is done. I had started at 9am. It is now just after 9:30am. In goes the first litre. In goes the second litre. The final 2/3 of litres is going in when it all gushes back out of the tank and the reaming oil has now where to go. That’s right the oil all went over the back wheel. AAARRRGGGHHHHH…

There is oil going everywhere as I panic to stop the flow of oil. Oil is dripping from the bottle as I try to get it upright and away from the bike. Both right hand and left hand side of the rear wheel has got lots of oil on it. And this is a very new tyre too. All of a sudden the kids arrive at the garage. “Quick go and get the bucket, put water in it and bring down the bathroom cleaner and the scrubbing brush from the shower.” At this stage I am almost frothing at the mouth. Poor kids. I didn’t tell to go and get these things nicely. I just barked out orders. Off they flew. Within minutes there were back with everything I had screamed for.

I started to scrub the tire with the bathroom cleaner. It’s all we had. All my near new clothes in the garage were pressed into service mopping up the oil and cleaning fluid. After quite some time I had the tire clean. But still felt a bit slippery.

So what does the manual say about the oil change? Well yes I did read it before I started. But I didn’t read the bit that said just start with 2 litres of oil; first. Run the engine for 30 seconds and then put the other ¾ litre in. As Hommer Simposon would say D!OH. That’s why the oil flowed back out of the tank. I didn’t stop at the 2 litre amount.

Now I had the clean up the oil tank and under the bike. Once this was done I knew I had to take the bike for a short ride and see if I had got all the oil off the tyre. So very gingerly I ventured out onto the road. I did about 5 kilometres and came home. The tyre felt ok. But I was not pushing it. At home I found more oil on the tyre. I look up under the bike and I had missed some oil.

So off to Woolworths I go to get some proper car wash. Scrub the back tyre again. Clean up the oil I missed first time around that was hiding up under the bike. Venture back out for a ride. Pulled over a few times a peered in at the back wheel. No oil to be seen anywhere. The back end feels ok at suburban speeds. So hopefully I have cleaned the tire enough that she won’t trow me down the road on the first fast corner.

So by 2pm I have finished the oil change.

Note to self. Read the manual more carefully. Anyone got a good size 12 they can kick me up the butt with?


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