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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today is oil change day, trying to get them all knocked out and I've run into an issue I've never seen before on my '09 ZX-6R. Ran it to get it up to temperature and drained the oil, fitted a new OEM filter and 3.3 qts of fresh 5W40 by the book. I cranked it up and I got an oil pressure light that won't go out after 10 seconds. I shut it off, waited a few minutes and tried again, same thing, oil pressure light is still flashing after another 10 seconds. Normally after an oil change, it takes 6 seconds to establish pressure on this bike and turn off the oil pressure light if I fill the oil filter cartridge with oil before installing, which I did. I'm baffled, it should come right up on pressure. Anyone know what is going on, oil pump lost it's prime? I'm not going to try starting it again until I have an idea what has happened. I've done a zillion oil changes over the years on many, many motorcycles, this is a first.
 

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I just did an oil change on mine and it took a good 20 seconds or so for the light to go off. It had me a little worried because it felt like forever, but just before I was about to turn the engine off, the light shut off and everything is fine
 

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Take the oil filter and back it off so its not sealed. Crank the bike, but dont start it. Oil should start to drain at the filter, you can tighten the filter then. Sometimes are air pocket gets trapped and wont release, causing no oil pressure to build. Happens all the time on my Gen 1.
 
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VERY common issue with the Kawi's, you need to crack the filter just a bit, so some oil will leak out. start the bike, crack the filter, make sure a bit of oil comes out. check light, shut off, check oil level. repeat until the light goes out. you have an air pocket between the oil pick up, and filter, and it wont allow the oil to travel to the pressure sender area (amongst other more vital areas of the motor). Ski
 
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What ^ said :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok thanks folks, I leaned the bike over to the right about 45 degrees after Googling it and finding several threads on this, apparently a common issue on the ZX-6R due to the location of the filter high on the left side of the motor above the water pump and generator cover. I had lost my oil pump prime, can't explain why this never happened before after 8 oil changes on this machine but it did. I hit the starter button and the light went out after about 4 seconds, tried a couple more starts and it shut off the light after about 2 seconds. I'll remember the trick about cracking the oil filter next time if it ever happens again.
 

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Try changing oil in this sequence: drain oil, replace drain bolt, fill with correct amount of fresh oil, replace oil filter cartridge. Doing it this way apparently allows the oil pump to maintain its prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for that tip Bidwell, that makes total sense and I'll give it at try next time around.
 
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This happened to me on my old ZX6R too, unfortunately I was very young and didn't know much about bikes at the time. Listening to my dad he said "Ahh keep riding it, the light should go off". Next thing ya know, motor locked up.
 

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I drain oil no more than 15 minutes and always look that level drops as engine is started.
If that does not happen within 4s then you MUST make the filter a crack open and start-stop again until oil starts to come out.

I think that main root cause is not only dry pump, but rubber flap (one-way valve) inside oil filter that is not opening first time, because pump pressure stays very low as there is air in the pump.
 

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I have seen this happen to a lot of people. but I have never once in my personal or professional life as a motorcycle technician had it happen to me.

I always change the oil with the bikes on a rear stand which means the front of the filter does not have a trapped space to collect air when the oil pump starts to fill it again. I do not know if that is the secret to my success in avoiding this or if I am just lucky for the last 30 years, but that was a trick taught to me by a very wise old mechanic a long long time ago.
 

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PHP:
I have seen this happen to a lot of people. but I have never once in my personal or professional life as a motorcycle technician had it happen to me.

I always change the oil with the bikes on a rear stand which means the front of the filter does not have a trapped space to collect air when the oil pump starts to fill it again. I do not know if that is the secret to my success in avoiding this or if I am just lucky for the last 30 years, but that was a trick taught to me by a very wise old mechanic a long long time ago.
Front and rear or rear only? I do mine front and rear stands and usually have this problem on my Gen 1.
 

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Front and rear or rear only? I do mine front and rear stands and usually have this problem on my Gen 1.

Rear only, most front stands lift the front of the bike a lot higher than the rear which would give you that air pocket in the filter
 

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Try changing oil in this sequence: drain oil, replace drain bolt, fill with correct amount of fresh oil, replace oil filter cartridge. Doing it this way apparently allows the oil pump to maintain its prime.
Yes. Also fill filter with fresh oil before replacing it.
 

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Rear only, most front stands lift the front of the bike a lot higher than the rear which would give you that air pocket in the filter
Yeah that makes sense. Its just so much easier to work on with it on both stands.


Yes. Also fill filter with fresh oil before replacing it.
I do this and somehow still have this problem typically.
 

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I do this and somehow still have this problem typically.
Filling the filter with oil has no influence on initial pressure buildup, because there is "rubber flap" one-way valve at the entry of oil filter (visible through perimeter holes).
I think the one and only technical reason for oil pressure/flow not coming up is that there is air below and above pump, now pump acts like air fan and cannot even blow open the filter flap. Flap not opening and air cannot escape unless filter opened a crack.
 

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Filling the filter with oil has no influence on initial pressure buildup, because there is "rubber flap" one-way valve at the entry of oil filter (visible through perimeter holes).
I think the one and only technical reason for oil pressure/flow not coming up is that there is air below and above pump, now pump acts like air fan and cannot even blow open the filter flap. Flap not opening and air cannot escape unless filter opened a crack.
Oil pumps are positive displacement, not turbine. Air fan effect only applies to a turbine or centrifugal-type pump, such as the water pump (on same shaft), which has lost its prime. They will push/pull air just as well as fluid. 30 years in water supply, we have to know a great deal about every type of pump made. Oil pump in ZX-10R is of the "gerotor" type. This is why the problem is odd, the oil pump should be creating a strong vacuum and pulling up oil promptly from the sump.

I think the issue is that the sump is not filled enough and the oil pump is sucking air. As someone mentioned, if bike is on a front/rear stand this might be causing oil to be too far forward or back to properly supply the sump. Looking at the diagram of the engine oil system this seems very unlikely as it's locate low in the pan but bike should be level fore/aft.

Warming engine assures good draining and a coating of oil on all engine parts at first start, and good flow when oil pump is trying to get a prime.

Make sure:

-Always warm the engine before changing the oil.

-Add enough fresh oil to ensure a good supply to the pump before starting the engine.

I have never experienced this issue on my 2015 Gen 4 or any other bike but after hearing of it I am always attentive to making sure that oil pressure light goes out promptly. I change on front/rear stands together, bike is level, add oil till window is at upper level before starting engine, and usually fill the filter, then top off.
 
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