Author Topic: metal shavings in oil?  (Read 3812 times)

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Offline Skidmark

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metal shavings in oil?
« on: November 25, 2018, 11:40:54 pm »
   Good evening riders!  that depends on your location.
  I have read through the cog forums from the time that I have owned this incredible machine for about a year and a half. I have currently encountered an issue with the bike that I am struggling with, and the source seems to be the best place to possibly find some input or solutions.  My 2011 abs model has been everything I wanted and has surpassed all expectations . But i was performing  an oil change and preparing for the cooler months, the oil appeared to have an incredible amount of very fine metal shavings in it.
   My lovely lady has roughly 18k, I have many of the service records from the past owner(he kept it in fantastic condition, the reason I bought it from him). I have maintained it beyond what most consider normal. I am a lifetime automotive mechanic, and this issue is getting me a bit scrambled. I have changed the oil 3 times now and no more than 130 miles have been ridden since the problem was first identified. I checked the oil last night and it is fogging up with tiny shavings again. the clutch cover and clutch plates are currently removed and I dont see any indications of damage or wear. Last week the valve cover was off and it didnt reveal anything either. please help I really need some time on it. Thanks
   The bike is running great, no unusual noises, or loss of any fluids

Offline connie_rider

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 11:42:32 pm »
Sounds like something is wearing.
Is the metal aluminum or steel?

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Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 12:20:49 am »
    I have inspected to oil, well at least to my ability. Initially I placed a fairly strong magnet in one of the samples, and yes there is magnetism in a small portion. the other seems to be very small and it is neutrally bouyant. If i shine a flashlight through the bottom of a clear cup, very little light can be seen in about an inch deep of the oil. On other posts Ive seen though the COG, I saw the bearing failure in the case, but there is no crazy noises while riding. I have been putting light miles on it to see if this problem will show itself a bit more prevealent.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 12:34:18 am »
Explain this statement a bit?
       very little light can be seen in about an inch deep of the oil.
If you saying very little light metal can be seen in about an inch deep of the oil, I think I'd ride it and keep an eye on it.

Why did you go into the clutch previously? perhaps slippage?
If so, may have material remaining in the case from that?

Ride safe, Ted


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Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 01:31:38 am »
       I know, it is a bit odd to explain. I took a clear bottle and filled it from the oil that was in the motor, when I put a flashlight under the bottle(with roughly 1 inch of oil), very little light can be seen through the oil. I was trying to describe how much there actually is. I have seen similar samples of oil, say from a transfercase of a truck with four wheel drive. But that truck made a sound that was painful to hear. My lovely bike sounds like a symphony of mechanical music. Except for the 2 second cold start timing chain tensioner.
      I have monitored the oil since first noticed, I will stop and look through the site glass, and now its so concerning I dont dare ride. So I will keep as much info posted as possible until a conclusion is reached. thanks.... keep it uprite.

Offline cuda

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 01:35:07 am »
My early oil changes had a lot of metal, but with 18,000 you should be past the break in?
 I believe most are from the transmission.
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Offline MtnRider

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 01:47:36 am »
it sounds like you still have at least some of the oil. I suggest sending it off to one of the oil analysis places and they can tell you exactly what is in the oil.
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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 01:48:41 am »
Do we have a magnetic drain plug on our bikes?  If not then buy one or make it magnetic. I do it to all my vehicles.
I would send a sample to Blackstone Labs for analysis
They will be able to give a much better idea what and where this metal is coming from.
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Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 02:02:25 am »
  Is there a kit that I can get for the lab test?  Have you used the lab test before?   

Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 02:12:20 am »
  I do believe cuda is rite and it is from the trans. I was and am still hoping its a simple fix. It was a nice day to rack up some miles.

Offline cuda

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 02:22:40 am »
Blackstone will send you a free container, but if you call your local Catapiller dealer they should take care of it.

I believe it is the nature of the beast, don't get too worried.  ;)
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Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 02:48:03 am »
   Thank you very much for that, Im  gonna gravitate in that direction on my next day off. The magnetic drain plug will be a must from this point on.


  I will continue my research and keep posted on the outcome. I just want her to be perfect. Thanks again, Im going to go tuck her in

Offline IBAJIM

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 02:01:09 pm »
A oil analysis will tell you exactly what is going on.  I think it will be well worth the cost.

I have used Blackstone and Wix for my cars in the past.

Offline Freddy

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2018, 02:18:05 pm »
Remove the oil filter, cut the shell close to the base, cut the paper pleats from the core, lay it out and what do you see?
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2018, 02:21:08 pm »
I put a speaker magnet on the end of my oil filter.
Unlike the magnetic drain, I can't see how much metal it attracts, but I think the bigger magnet will attract more and keep them in the filter.

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline Freddy

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 02:24:25 pm »
Only if they get thru the oil pump.   :)
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2018, 02:32:57 pm »
Good point.. But, I still think it better.

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline Jim

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2018, 03:23:34 pm »
When you said the oil was "fogging up" that made me think that what you're seeing is water in the oil, not metal shavings.

Offline strum

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2018, 05:42:18 pm »
When you said the oil was "fogging up" that made me think that what you're seeing is water in the oil, not metal shavings.

short fire ups or around the block rides will cause the sight glass to look milky or foggy. It is usually condensed water in the oil that will disappear with a good at temperature ride.
 I have seen bubbles in the oil that made me think it was metal but to be sure i agree you need to have it analyzed. Cutting the filter apart should be your next step along with the analisis.  if you do cut the filer apart please post some pics for us. 
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Offline Red Fox

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2018, 06:00:12 pm »
I've a 2011 with 57,000 and have had a magnetic plug since 10,000.  Like you, 2 second rattle on start-up.  Change oil at 3 -4k intervals.  magnet plug picks up some black stuff, I wipe it on a white paper towel.  For last 1 1/2 yrs using Rotella 5w-40 from Walmart; like the way it feels when shifting. 

I wouldn't sweat your oil discovery.  On a car I once put a magnet on the end of oil filter, cut it open later and nada.  Total waste of my time. 

IMHO, just change the oil as often as you choose and ride it.  Consider riding this direction next summer; riding in the northwest generates fewer metal filings than riding in the rest of the country - or at least in the southwest!
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 06:05:38 pm by Red Fox »
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Offline TimR

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2018, 06:30:34 pm »
If it is cold out side, it takes at least a good 15 miles to bring everything up to operating temp. Or so it seems.  Same thing happened to me when I first got my 09. I figured out real fast not to even start it unless I was going out for a ride. When I first got the bike friends would come over to see it and of course had to hear it run. Starting and running the motor long enough to cycle the fans on and off still wasn't getting the motor warmed up enough to take the condensation out. So I had a oil window that looked like it was making something.

Red Fox has some good idea's but I use regular motorcycle synthetic oil normally made by Valvoline.  I like the way the transmissions shifts too. He also suggests coming up here to ride. I would suggest hooking up with the S/W hoard that invades the Bun Cooler held the 3rd weekend in May. Takes place in Kamiah, ID which is at the foot of Lo Lo pass. You won't be disappointed.   

The first few oil changes in the final drive was interesting. The oil had what appeared to be metal flakes in it when drained. The pan would have spark lies in the oil. Turns out it was factory lube or something but it wasn't medal much to everyone's relief. it stopped showing up in the oi after about the third oil change for the final drive.
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Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2018, 03:41:14 am »
   Good evening fellas.

   The first time I saw the metal in the oil, I did remove the filter(K&N 303) and completely tore it down to see what could be found, and the largest piece I found was no bigger than maybe .010 of an inch. The metal is fine as powder. Last night with the clutch out, I did find some movement in the basket.

Offline Freddy

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2018, 04:16:37 am »
Did the paper element seem to have metal 'slime' on it after the oil drained from it?
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Offline Skidmark

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2018, 06:18:35 am »
    No it didnt.
in fact I am disappointed on how little I found in the filter compared to the oil.(probably due to transmission grinding into almost a powder) I wound love to send a picture, Im not very tech savvy with the pc and laptop, but will research and try. I have been reading the service manual and am unable to locate lateral tolerance for the clutch housing, seems to have more movement than it should as where the clutch hub is very tight.. thanks for all replies.  I think the speaker magnet idea is fantastic.


Offline Freddy

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Re: metal shavings in oil?
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2018, 09:15:20 am »
If there is next to no metal of any kind on the filter paper, what you are seeing in the oil ain't metal, may I suggest.

What lateral tolerance for the clutch housing are you specifically looking for - which 2 parts exactly.
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