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Strange Color Oil Drippage

Discussion in 'Quota & TT' started by muchoguzto, May 8, 2016.

  1. muchoguzto

    muchoguzto Just got it firing!

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    I've got a small leak I think is from a breather hose newly installed months back by a Euro mechanic. Been dripping still, so eventually saw what I thought was about midway on lube dip stick. Decided to get Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil 20/50 since it was all I could find locally that was high performance lube. I put a little over half a qt and took a 70 mile ride. when I parked it I noticed a quarter size drip pool from my Quota that was slightly orange but more accurately beige. What has caused this? How does adding even a different brand oil produce such a color? If water were somehow introduced, which i can't imagine how, that color might be expected. But heck, I wasn't riding in the rain. Any ideas?
     
  2. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Where is the drip originating? You may be over filling the crankcase. A Guzzi will tend to push out oil until a good level is reached, then stop. I wouldn't be adding oil until you get at or below the add mark. As for a slightly orange color, no real idea. Pull your dipstick and see what color the oil is. If you are getting rust, it may be ejecting some oxidized material from the breather system.
     
  3. Akadak

    Akadak Just got it firing!

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    I think what you see is water in you oil. I would do a complete oil and filter change.

    Mac
     
  4. jetpoweredmonkey

    jetpoweredmonkey Just got it firing!

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    Not knowing how your breather is arranged, I can offer one suggestion. The Quota has a breather box welded into the frame just behind the steering head. Because water vapor comes up the breather tube as well as oil, it will eventually rust the inside of the breather box, especially if you take a lot of short trips. This is a bad thing because the rusty oil emulsion will then run back into your engine through the return lines into the heads. Yes, this actually happens, my bike had a sump full of rust chunks when I took it off. It has 8000 miles. Thankfully the pickup screen kept them out of the oiling system.

    Once I saw that, I disconnected the return lines from the heads and routed them to the ground temporarily. Because they were still connected to the rusty breather box, they emitted a horrible orange-colored oil emulsion everywhere I stopped the bike. This weekend I constructed an alternate breather using copper plumbing fittings. This has a connection to the breather, a tee return line back to the heads, and a pipe at the top that will run to the air box. Just a mini no-rust version of the frame breather. I sprayed fogging oil into the frame breather and capped off the drains.

    So...if you are seeing oily emulsion on the ground, chances are your mechanic has done as I did originally. I would not recommend an open breather return for two reasons. First, it's not cool to be dripping oil on the ground, fix it. Second, you will discover as I did that with some spirited riding, your oil breather will lubricate your rear tire. This is why old British bikes often have a breather exit affixed to the rear fender! For a temporary fix, you could put a catch can on the end of the line, but verify how it's plumbed first.
     
  5. muchoguzto

    muchoguzto Just got it firing!

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    First of all, thanks to all of the replies to my query. I apologize for the late response to your replies as well! I just found the Thread Response email in my email filter today. As I suspect it's probably a little bit of all the suggested causes of my drip color. I've had the bike since new and only in the past 4 or 5 years has it dripped oil of any significance. I replaced the breather tube 18 months ago and since posting my issue stumbled across the breather tube flaw in design. I've always been frustrated with the factory dip stick as being difficult to read and likely misread it, then overfilled by adding about 60% of a qt. But with all the oil that has dripped since that last change, that made my perceived need for more oil more compelling.

    I thought that I read the dip stick as being almost mid way between max and minimum marks. The other thing is I always consider it subjective as to knowing how much running is needed before getting an accurate reading. In the manual, it says to run for a few minutes before checking. Is that 5 minutes or 20 minutes? "a few" ain't exactly exact! What do you guys do after you've been traveling and want to check the oil when stopping for fuel? Or you get up in the morning to continue on a multi day journey and because you're concerned for 1 reason or another, you decide to check the oil. Do you drive it up and down the street for "a few minutes" ?

    On the oil color of the drips, the color wasn't really orange, but more like a beige headed in the direction of orange. And with that in mind along with your suggestions, hopefully I've caught this rusting issue from a miscreant breather, in the bud before it got more complicated. And ironically, I may have discovered and learned more about the breather flaw.

    Never the less, I think I'm going to consider the "extra plumbing" idea very seriously. Or has anyone installed the external filter/sump that MG Cycle sells? I just saw that for the first time last week, and it seems to be not only more convenient for filter oil replacement, but said something, I thought, about helping to get rid of the breather tube problem.

    Sure would like to hear if anyone has experienced relief by using that new design sump those guys are selling.

    BTW< thanks again, a ton for your replies!
     
  6. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Personally I prefer the in sump filter arrangement. Gives the filter some protection. Also it is good to drop the pan occasionally just to be assured everything is good, no metal or rubber bits (rubber can come from the timing chain adjuster) in the pan. As to constantly checking oil level I'm a bit remiss. I've discovered after many years with my big block bikes I've never needed to add oil between change intervals. If i don't see a leak, I don't check.
     
  7. muchoguzto

    muchoguzto Just got it firing!

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    Yeah the one Harper's sell, the "Outsider", is a bit exposed, if I remember correctly, the filter is mounted outside the sump in front of the block, but the one that Gordon sells is mounted on the rear a bit higher up, so it won't get bumped as easily. But you're right it is still exposed, but not nearly as much as the "Outsider". The main reason I'd be interested is, the plumbing is supposed to help rectify the breather tube issue. But again, I'm no engineer. Here's their part URL: http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2216
     
  8. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Changing to the external filter arrangement doesn't change the engine breathing. Having a sort of windage tray will slow down the frothing, but you aren't racing either. Until you change the way the upper part of the breather system is working, you issue will continue.
     

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