Tuesday, 9 December 2014

DR350 - 1998 SEW Oil Change & a fettle

I'm long overdue changing the oil on the DR, so tonight is the night along with some TLC for a few other bits including the brakes & an electrical fault that I've just found.

It's absolutely blowing a hoolie outside, cloud to the floor & sideways rain... nice... so time to fettle bikes some more!!

Oil Change
There are three places to drain the oil from on the DR... just behind the sump guard is the main sump drain plug, there is the filter housing on the right side of the engine, (Typical Suzuki practicality, they have even labelled it for you!) & from the upper part of the frame behind the front wheel.

Looking up at the Sump Drain Plug from the floor (17mm socket)

Filter housing - (where the Suzuki name is) - 6mm allen bolt

Paper filter behind the housing

Frame drain plug. (12mm socket)
The oil tends to sit in the frame reservoir when the bike is used regularly & is pumped around the engine & back to the frame via the filter, however if it is left for long periods of time, say several months, it sinks to the lower crankcase.

The engine should be warm before you try to measure the oil level & in the case of a bike that has sat for a long time this makes sense as it will all be in the bottom of the crank!

I tend to start at the bottom & work my way up, making sure it's all cleaned as I go. The filter hole gets two cleans, one with an old oily rag, then a proper clean with some clean rag & even a check around for bits etc. The filter casing has a spring behind it to help to keep the filter seated correctly & also a large O ring where is sits against the main engine casing. I clean all of these & grease the O ring very lightly to help to make a seal. I think for the next time I'll change the O ring as it looks OK now but it's done a lot of work since I've had the bike.

I also add a tiny bit of copper slip to all of the bolts as I replace them to make sure they do not corrode into place with all the mud & water crossings that are coming up over the winter.

The oil that has come out is disgusting & I feel a bit guilty about leaving it so long, poor ole beastie, no wonder she was struggling to get into neutral lately!!

When you change the filter as well as the oil, the manual says put in 1.9 litres of 10/40 semi synthetic, if it was just a basic oil change it would be 1.7 litres, but if it was an engine strip down, interestingly it would 2.1 litres... Just goes to show how much is left in the casings for a normal oil change!

I prefer the 10/40 semi synthetic to the fully synthetic for this age of bike as it seems to run smoother & change gear easier.

Only manual you can get for a 350!!
 The filter I'm using is a K&N 136 paper version...

Once it's all drained out, (I leave it for about 30 minutes when I've got time to get the last drips out), it's clean & replace all the bits, I do this backwards so start at the top & work down, personal choice as I'm not sure it actually makes any difference, just my OCD kicking in!!

The replacement oil is all poured in just below the headstock, there isn't an engine fill point on this bike. I measure it out & get it all poured in slowly, then I run the engine for 10 minutes to get it warm & circulate the oil around. I then check the fill level with the bike off the stand & held level. You do not need to screw in the oil fill cap, just rest it in to the thread, (be careful to make sure it is in the inner tube section though).

Oil filler point - Just under the handlebars

I was intrigued by some threads I'd read online about the oil temperatures as the bike is in use so I bought a cheap one of Ebay, it kind of worked to a point, but then the temperature always seemed to read past the maximum, so I've taken it back off the bike. Whether this was because the metal probe was too short or because it was just £3.50 I don't know, but you could see the bike warming up evenly each time it was started.

That's that job done then for now... easy as!! ;-)

Electrical Fault Fixing...
A not so easy fix was finding the bike wouldn't start, I traced it through the wiring to find that the main Live lead from the battery to the 20 amp fuse has broken, a mix of corrosion & all the movement it gets as you ride off road I suspect.

One of the faults of the design of these DR's is the bike wiring loom & battery are in a very exposed place so they get all of the water, mud & general shite all over them. The main CDI unit is under the seat & protected by a rubber cover, the rectifier is high up & gets air to it to keep it cool, but the indicator connections, the 20 amp fuse, the solenoid etc are all really exposed...

This definitely leads to problems as I've found the battery has been drained by wet mud shorting out the terminals & now parts of the wiring is breaking up. I've patched it up for now & will try to find a better waterproof setup to make this more secure for the future.

I've also wrapped the battery in a small plastic bag to reduce the amount of mud that gets onto the terminals which seems to have helped no end, but I need to replace the bag every now & then too as it get blasted to shreds by the jet wash. ;-)

Old bikes always have their oddities & this is the DR's for sure!! It's funny the 2007 KTM has resolved this issue & the wiring is really well sorted & protected compared to the DR, but they botched up the air box design pretty badly instead!!

I'll get some pics when I can...

Front Brake Pads
I stripped the caliper out, (which takes about 5 minutes), it's two 13mm bolts holding the caliper to the frame, then a 6mm allen key removes the pins that hold the pads in place around the disc.

The pads are very close to being dead, but the replacement pads I've received are not the correct ones so I've asked Goldfren to send me the correct ones.

In the Goldfren range the correct ones seem to be AD002, I prefer the red packaged ones as they work both on the road as well as off road. I'm interested to look at their rotors as the ones on the DR are a bit rusty around the edges & no matter how much I clean them, grease the back of the pads & generally clean the caliper pistons, the brakes squeal like a stuck pig whenever they are wet, it sounds shite & although it doesn't seem to affect the actual braking I'm not sure if the disc is damaged due to age etc... another thing for the wish list, along with some lighter rims & a fancy rear shock!!

So clean the lot, regrease the back of the pads with copper slip, clean & grease the bolts & remount them until I can get the replacements sorted out!!

Job done, time for tea!!

A link I've just found is this: Part No's