5th gen was burning oil....fixed!!

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by jaimev34, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    Last week I noticed (for the first time) that my bike was burning oil. Dark smoke was spewing from the exhaust every time I accelerated. The smell of burnt oil was unmistakeable. I was thinking, this was gonna be an expensive fix. Maybe it's the rings, or some seal, either way, expensive. I took my bike to my trusted mechanic who cemented my fears of an expensive repair, but before spending too much, he recommended switching the oil to a thicker semi-synthetic. I switched from a 10-40 Honda dyno to a 20-50 Golden Spectro semi-synthetic. He said that if it were going to work, we'd see in 150 miles. And if it doesn't work, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

    Well, I'm very happy to report that the simple oil change worked!!! After abut 160 miles, there was no more smoking. I've checked it over and over, and I've driven about 400 miles now and no smoking. The bike is running wonderfully. I don't know the exact mechanics of how or why it worked, but it has. So to anyone with a comparable situation, try changing the oil to a more viscous synthetic type, and see what happens before you spend money opening up the motor.
     
  2. maddog

    maddog New Member

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    Are you sure that the cause of the "smoking" was not being overfilled with oil?

    Checked your airbox for any signs of oil?

    My '00 VFR has over 80k miles and doesn't burn oil.

    And unless you live in a really hot environment (>100f regularly) 20w-50 might be too heavy.

    Hope all is well with your bike.
     
  3. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Your motor needs a rebuild, reseal or the heads reconditioned, it's only a matter of time....good luck until then, ride it till it blows.
     
  4. RWB25

    RWB25 New Member

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    I agree with NorcalBoy. Switching to a thicker oil is only a band-aid solution and is only a temporary fix. You WILL have to rebuild some portion (if not all) of the engine sooner than later. It's just a matter of time. Any engine, even a Honda engine, can have it's issues.

    But I would also do like Maddog suggests and check for excess oil in the airbox and check your plugs as well to look for any other signs to help diagnose the true mechanical problem.
     
  5. eddie cap

    eddie cap New Member

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    Jamie; How many miles do you have on your bike? Did you have your bike from new or
    did you buy it used? Also how often do you change the oil and do you always
    use oil by the same manufacturer? I have a few theories concerning your
    smoking engine, but before I issue my decree,I would like to know the answers
    to the above. Also one of the guys mentioned about overfilling the crankcase,that can sure play a hugh part regarding smoking, I will await
    your response. eddie
     
  6. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    My bike only has 31k miles. I bought it used with about 20k miles about 5 months ago. I change the oil every 4k miles and I've used the same oil brand (Honda dyno) since I've had it.
     
  7. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    I did check the two rear plugs and they were a bit moist with oil in the threads. The plugs looked fine, they were clean. I'll check the front ones and the air filter soon. Is it normal to have oil in the thread of the plugs? If not, what should I do? If I replace them, won't the new ones continue getting oil on them until the underlying problem is fixed?

    Thanks for all the replies!
     
  8. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    I'd really like to keep it from blowing up; I love this bike. I'd like to keep it forever. I don't know what to do. Should I continued riding it and wait for other symptoms to surface? Or, shoud I take it to get the motor opened up and diagnosed? What do you guys recommend?
     
  9. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Before I get going here - keep in mind I generally avoid diagnosis of problems via forums, its just difficult to figure it out without being there - I'm a hands on guy.

    Norcal says if may be the rings and needs a rebuild, that could be very possible. You said you did an oil change to 20-50 Golden Spectro semi-synthetic, and the smoke went away. (BTW - I'm guessing you mean Honda dino? Petroleum oil?) My suggestion is that next oil change go to the
    10 - 40 of the same Golden Spectro and take pains to make sure the oil level are correct or even in the middle of the site glass after your done. Ride the bike and see if it starts to smoke again. It make take a few thousand miles. (If you area gets super hot I would stick to the 20-50 anyway.) The point is if it doesnt start smoking again, my guess is you overfilled the oil on your last oil change and if it does, well yeah you need rings like Norcal pointed out. I would ride it some anyway till I couldnt stand the smoke anymore. (I'm assuming you mean constant blue smoke while running.)

    Dude - above is about the best you got. Your bike has only 31k miles and worn out rings is very unusal for these bikes.

    Good luck,
    MD
     
  10. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    That sounds like a good plan. Thanks for the input.
     
  11. RWB25

    RWB25 New Member

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    Jaime,

    How well do you know the previous owner? Can you still contact him/her?

    I would contact him/her and find out how religious they were with regard to maintenance. Find out if they experienced any problems with the engine or if they raced it etc. Try to get a feel for how well the bike was taken care of, or neglected. You can have the best engine in the world but if you don't take care of it and perform routine maintenance, you WILL run into problems. These are mechanical devices and need to be treated properly for years of problem free use and enjoyment. It sounds like you did your part with the proper maintenance.

    Mello is correct too. It's very hard to diagnose mechanical problems via forums. It's much easier when you can actually see and touch the engine with your eyes and hands.

    Hope we are of some help. And good luck! Keep us posted.
     
  12. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    The PO took good care of the bike. According to him, the oil was changed per the manual. This guy was 70-something and put 20k miles on the bike in 7 years. He wasn't tearing it up by any stretch of the imagination. I'll probably follow Mellow's advice and switch the oil to 10-40 Golden spectro in a couple thousand miles and see what happens. Funny thing is, the shop I took it to changed the oil to 20-50 for me last week and the overfilled it. The viewing glass is about 90 percent full (way past the top line) of oil and it's not burning oil. Tonight, I'm going to drain a bit of the oil so that the level is between the two lines, just for peace of mind.
     
  13. RWB25

    RWB25 New Member

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    A very good idea. From what you've posted, I think you just had way too much oil in the engine. I really hope that's the case here, for you. That's a pretty easy fix. Just more of a cleanup and a nuisance. As I always tell my wife.....you can't put 10 lbs of shit in to a 5 lb bag. It just won't fit. In your case, too much oil and the oil had to go somewhere. Hopefully, that's all it is and with your new oil change, you should be ready to hit the road....worry free. Just the way a Honda engine should be.

    And you might want to find another shop to take your bike to for future work. :unsure:
     
  14. geronpg

    geronpg New Member

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    just my 2 cents:
    "dark" smoke is usually gas; burning oil is bluish white. Dark smoke usually indicates too rich. I'd check the air cleaner, carbs/injectors. With the relatively low mileage and reported good care, it would be rare for it to be piston rings or valve guides -which is where oil gets into the mix if it really is burning it. Those plugs you looked at - if you were burning much oil, they would tend to be black and/or wet on the electrodes, although a powerful ignition can resist oil fouling for a while. If they are light brown or grey, you're probably ok. If the engine is in need of a rebuild, a compression check will verify it. But as long as it's running good, I wouldn't break into the engine.
    Best wishes,
    Geron
     
  15. Spike

    Spike New Member

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    could it have been as simple as a leaking oil filter or oil plug? leaking oil onto a hot exhaust? Once the oil was changed, the filter and drain plug would have been tightened back up or seal replaced, thus fixing the leak?
    sometimes the simple things get over looked...
     
  16. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    Nope, it was coming from within the exhaust and there are no leaks on my bike.
     
  17. Lifttruck

    Lifttruck New Member

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    Your problem could be or have been oil that had gotten into the exhaust and needed to be burned out of the packing. Has the bike ever been down or fallen over and laid on it's side long enough for oil to get into the upper end of the engine? If so, and the bike is picked up and promptly started, oil can get pumped into the exhaust and trapped in the muffler until it's burned out. Or someone being a smart A$$ could squirt some into thte exhaust can from the rear. Just another thought!
     
  18. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    I did go down about a month and a half ago. It was on its side for 5-10 minutes then picked up and started. That would make sense, but isn't it a coincidence that the oil was changed to the 20-50 and 150 miles later no more smoking? Plus, the smoking occured much after the fall and only lasted a week from noticing it to changing the oil.
     
  19. Lifttruck

    Lifttruck New Member

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    I've got a '01 Super Hawk that I run for a track bike. It was an insurance total. The bike was laid down and then started after it laid for a while and pumped the pipes full of oil. I swapped the cans and pipes out with my '00 Street VTR and after running several hundred miles I still have smoking exhaust. It all depends how much oil is in the packing!
     
  20. jaimev34

    jaimev34 New Member

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    I'm keeping my eye on everything. So far, so good. I'm going to keep on monitoring it for a while, and eventualy I'll try 10-40 again and see what happens. If it starts to smoke again, then I know that it's something wrong with the motor.
     
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