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Thread: New S3T owner

  1. #1
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    New S3T owner

    I just bought a 2002 S3T that has sitting since 2013. I know very little about it. Now that it's had a bath it has a beautiful clean apparence. The original owner had back surgery and could no longer hold the bike up with his legs, so he parked it. I have a new battery and have the time to work on it. My question is: will thèse bikes sump? There is zéro oil in the tank and i suspect it is all in the crankcase. I don't see anything in the manual about this. I did see that there is a valve to clean the case of oil at startup, but I don't want to ruin the engine at start up. Advice please.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/6RdyQXVZTZUn958c9

    The last photo is the amount of oil that drained from the oil tank, probably .25 quart.
    Last edited by Dawg; 06-11-2019 at 01:56 AM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    They will sump, and Kudos to you Sir for actually checking the oil before starting a bike that has sat for a long time

    You can pull out the neutral safety switch from behind the belt pulley and see if oil comes out or use a bent wire in the hole. If there's oil in the crankcase, I'd fire it up for a few minutes and re-check the level. If it shows oil then, I'd warm it up, ride for a few miles listening for noises and check it properly.

    Motorcycle engines don't have the same type of solid bearings that cars do (except the rod). They will live with almost no oil pressure for a long time because of the roller bearings. I wouldn't recommend it! Just sayin'
    Last edited by Cooter; 06-11-2019 at 04:32 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    They will sump, and Kudos to you Sir for actually checking the oil before starting a bike that has sat for a long time

    You can pull out the neutral safety switch from behind the belt pulley and see if oil comes out or use a bent wire in the hole. If there's oil in the crankcase, I'd fire it up for a few minutes and re-check the level. If it shows oil then, I'd warm it up, ride for a few miles listening for noises and check it properly.

    Motorcycle engines don't have the same type of solid bearings that cars do (except the rod). They will live with almost no oil pressure for a long time because of the roller bearings. I wouldn't recommend it! Just sayin'
    this is just so wrong it's alarming...even for on here.

    You can pull out the neutral safety switch from behind the belt pulley and see if oil comes out or use a bent wire in the hole.
    how in the hell does accessing the trans sump relate to the crankcase cavity on a "two box" motor design?

    If there's oil in the crankcase, I'd fire it up for a few minutes and re-check the level. If it shows oil then, I'd warm it up, ride for a few miles listening for noises and check it properly.

    do NOT do this!

    Motorcycle engines don't have the same type of solid bearings that cars do (except the rod).

    with the exception of H-D small and big twins....2-strokes....small scooter motors....and the suzuki GS series....most all motorcycle motors since and including the 1969 Honda CB750 are constructed with automotive style one-piece plain bearing cranks. why? simple: ease of assembly during production and no further need for skilled workers to assemble, balance and true multi-piece press-pin crankshafts.

    you NEVER RIDE a "sumped" motor. ever!
    here's the correct steps:
    1-if tank is completely empty then add approx. 1-1/2 quarts of correct oil. LEAVE TANK CAP OFF.
    2-place wood block or similar under sidestand to get bike closer to vertical.
    3-now start and check for both oil flow into the tank...and oil pressure. run at 1200rpm or so for 4-5 minutes which allows proper time for sumped oil to flow back into tank.
    4-after running this amount of time then shut motor off and check tank level. if it has risen substantially you've successfully drained the crankcase cavity. if it has NOT then you have a serious leak somewhere that needs found and repaired.
    5-with tank now at recommended level and lifters pumped up....take for short ride....then drain tank and change filter....and refill with fresh clean oil in correct type and viscosity.

    the above procedure may clean out the check-ball and spring cavity if you're lucky with no further servicing required. if wet-sumping of the crank cavity continues you must immediately service the check-ball/drain cavity.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 06-11-2019 at 01:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    How is this...
    Cooter;"fire it up for a few minutes and re-check the level."

    Different from this...?
    Lunatic; "run at 1200rpm or so for 4-5 minutes which allows proper time for sumped oil to flow back into tank... after running this amount of time then shut motor off and check tank level"

    Besides using way too many words

    Lunatic: We are talking about Buells here, ya, know MAN bikes (H-D small twins?...lol) not 2 stroke scooters. At least your skirt won't blow up when you are riding yours, Fabio

    But I would know how to fix the roller bearings in a '02 Buell S3T
    Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 9.47.52 AM.png

    Page 3-52
    http://buellmods.com/#TabbedContent

    Thats good advise to clean the oil tank check ball
    Last edited by Cooter; 06-11-2019 at 04:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guyz.

    I'm confused. The total oil capacity of the engine is 2 quarts, including the 4 ounces in the filter. If i add an additional 1.5 quarts and the sump clears on startup, won't there be an Exxon Valdez situation at the oil tank?

    I'm definetly servicing the check ball.

    The manual says to use only Harley oil or diesel oil until Harley oil is available. I bought Mobil 1 V-twin oil, cool?

    What's the scoop on the roller bearings?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Ya, Valdez... that why I didn't recommend almost doubling the amount of oil to an engine with an unknown quantity. It will puke everywhere and could cause cavitating (0 psi) issues that you don't want.

    I know it's counter-intuitive that less oil is better, (people freak out about that stuff, like overtightened drain plugs) my comment about the engine having roller bearings was meant to alleviate your fears of starting it for a minute or two, then to check the level to see if there is oil in there.

    If there is some on the dip stick, you'll need to ride it (like the manual states) to check the exact level properly. Shoot for the middle of the dipstick, not the top .000001%.

    Personally I'd be more concerned with getting the old gas out of the system before I started it.

    Any V-twin specific oil is OK. 20w-50 is the most common choice, but check the manual for the lowest temp the bike will be ridden at recommending the correct weight. The primary should have whatever the clutch MFG recommends. If its Buell OEM, they say H-D Formula +, IMO, I find 20w-50 to be a bit 'grabby'.


    Last edited by Cooter; 06-12-2019 at 04:33 AM.

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