oil capacity on 2004 VTX 1800 C
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    Default oil capacity on 2004 VTX 1800 C

    I recently did my own first oil change. After reading the manual I purchased four quarts of oil. The manual says that the capacity of the case is 3.9 quarts. I drained from both the front and back quarts. After all was done, I seem to be coming up short. When checking the oil as described, the level does not even touch the dip stick. Yes I seated it but did not screw it in as described. If I let the bike down on the kick stand, it does register.
    Is there something I am missing. Maybe the capacity of the filter is not included in the manual.
    Any ideas from others who have done many of these?

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    Senior Member N2theX's Avatar
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    My book says put it on the sidestand (aka kickstand) warm it up and then hold the bike upright And yes I edited my post after my lack of attention to detail was pointed out

    Page 78 in the 03 C model book.
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    Senior Member BigV's Avatar
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    Default Re: oil capacity on 2004 VTX 1800 C

    Quote Originally Posted by wantucce
    I recently did my own first oil change. After reading the manual I purchased four quarts of oil. The manual says that the capacity of the case is 3.9 quarts. I drained from both the front and back quarts. After all was done, I seem to be coming up short. When checking the oil as described, the level does not even touch the dip stick. Yes I seated it but did not screw it in as described. If I let the bike down on the kick stand, it does register.
    Is there something I am missing. Maybe the capacity of the filter is not included in the manual.
    Any ideas from others who have done many of these?
    Make sure you have removed both drain plugs and replaced your oil filter. Then replace with 4 quarts of oil. The residue left in the containers will amount to 0.1 Quarts (Manual states 3.9 quarts to fill). Don't be concerned about the dipstick as they are not accurate. When checking the oil do NOT check with the bike on the side stand. Make sure youíre on a level surface and the bike is upright. Mark your dipstick with a scribe line for reference when checking at a later date.
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    Senior Member X8urHD's Avatar
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    I think that they owner's manual is wrong about part of the procedure. On my X, with 3.9 quarts in it, it barely registers on the dipstick if I just 'set' the dipstick in the hole. When I screw it in the oil comes right about to the 'full' mark. I think you need to screw it in to check it. But maybe that's just my X...

    Rob
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    Senior Member BigV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N2theX
    My book says put it on the sidestand (aka kickstand) to check it.

    Page 78 step one in the 03 C model book.
    Perhaps you should re-read that section...
    Do not check the oil with the bike on the side stand.
    The manual states to
    1) Park your motorcycle on its side stand on a firm level surface.
    2) Start the engine and let it idle for 3 - 5 minutes.
    3) Stop the engine and wait 2 - 3 minutes.
    4) Remove the oil filler cap/dipstick and wipe it clean.
    5) Hold the motorcycle in an upright position.
    6) Insert the dipstick until it seats but don't screw it in.
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    Senior Member BigV's Avatar
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    Default Re: oil capacity on 2004 VTX 1800 C

    Quote Originally Posted by wantucce
    Maybe the capacity of the filter is not included in the manual.
    The service manual states that the oil capacity after draining is 3.7 Quarts. After draining and changing the oil filter the capacity is 3.9 quarts.
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    Senior Member HDKLR's Avatar
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    Guys, I'm glad this topic came up again, as I recently found something that may be of interest to all of you...

    Every oil and filter change I've done, I've put in 4 quarts. Yes, the manual only calls for 3.9 quarts, but everyone here says, "Pour 4 quarts quickly and be done with it," so that's what I've done. At one point, I checked my oil and found that when the engine was hot, the level was above the upper mark on the dipstick, but I didn't think too much of it, because as I said, the advice is to pour 4 quick quarts and call it good. Anyway, I recently replaced my clutch and found the inside of the clutch cover was full of oily foam. This tells me one of two things: Either there's water in my crankcase, which I don't feel is the case, or 2) The crankshaft is whipping the oil into a froth. The reason for that would be too much oil in the crankcase. After I installed my new clutch and put everything back together, I used a Ratio Rite and filled the crankcase with 120 oz. (3.75 qts.) of oil. I then ran the bike to see if there were any leaks coming from the new filter or around the drain bolts and took 'er for a blast. When I got home, I let 'er sit for 5 minutes or so, then had "the wife" hold the bike upright while I checked the oil level. I then added oil to bring the hot level right to the bottom edge of the top-most mark on the dipstick. Since then I've put more than 500 miles on the bike and have had absolutely zero problems. From now on, I'm putting in just enough oil to hit the upper mark of the dipstick when the engine is hot -- no more, no less. IMO, you should be filling your crankcase with just enough oil to hit that mark when the engine is hot and the oil's had a chance to settle back to the bottom of the case. And remember, whether the engine's hot or cold, as long as the oil comes between the upper and lower marks on the dipstick, you're operating with a safe amount of oil.


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    O.K., Does the dipstick measure the oil in the tank, or in the crankcase? This is a dry sump system, that's why there are two drain plugs.
    Jimbo. 1800c, Drag Bars, Drag Pipes, Chrome Wheels, 31T Ring Gear, BadX Extreme Seat, SOTMC Shocks, 200 Rear Tire, Elimination of all Non-essentials, Kingdom of Kicks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HDKLR
    Guys, I'm glad this topic came up again, as I recently found something that may be of interest to all of you...

    Every oil and filter change I've done, I've put in 4 quarts. Yes, the manual only calls for 3.9 quarts, but everyone here says, "Pour 4 quarts quickly and be done with it," so that's what I've done. At one point, I checked my oil and found that when the engine was hot, the level was above the upper mark on the dipstick, but I didn't think too much of it, because as I said, the advice is to pour 4 quick quarts and call it good. Anyway, I recently replaced my clutch and found the inside of the clutch cover was full of oily foam. This tells me one of two things: Either there's water in my crankcase, which I don't feel is the case, or 2) The crankshaft is whipping the oil into a froth. The reason for that would be too much oil in the crankcase. After I installed my new clutch and put everything back together, I used a Ratio Rite and filled the crankcase with 120 oz. (3.75 qts.) of oil. I then ran the bike to see if there were any leaks coming from the new filter or around the drain bolts and took 'er for a blast. When I got home, I let 'er sit for 5 minutes or so, then had "the wife" hold the bike upright while I checked the oil level. I then added oil to bring the hot level right to the bottom edge of the top-most mark on the dipstick. Since then I've put more than 500 miles on the bike and have had absolutely zero problems. From now on, I'm putting in just enough oil to hit the upper mark of the dipstick when the engine is hot -- no more, no less. IMO, you should be filling your crankcase with just enough oil to hit that mark when the engine is hot and the oil's had a chance to settle back to the bottom of the case. And remember, whether the engine's hot or cold, as long as the oil comes between the upper and lower marks on the dipstick, you're operating with a safe amount of oil.
    Oily foam ??? I have to ask . What oil are you using??
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    Senior Member BigV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo
    O.K., Does the dipstick measure the oil in the tank, or in the crankcase? This is a dry sump system, that's why there are two drain plugs.
    I don't know what you mean by a "dry sump system".
    The clutch is a wet system and the engine oil lubricates the clutch plates as well as the internal parts of your engine. The two drain plugs are to insure all areas are fully drained as there are recessed areas that will not completely drain with only 1 plug removed. When you re-fill with oil, you fill all the recessed area back up.



    I posted this on the 1800 board awhile back. Thought it might be useful.
    Although I have seen this topic discussed on other threads, I have never seen a post explaining how much oil is lost when only the Oil Filter is changed.
    I needed to change the oil in my 1800 today so I decided to find out.
    I pulled the old oil filter and let it drain for about 15 minutes. I found that exactly 6 ounces drained out (including the oil that was in the oil filter).


    So if your running synthetic oil and just want to change the oil filter, you will need to replace 6 ounces of oil.

    I then wanted to know how much oil was left in the crankcase if the front plug was not removed during an oil change.
    I pulled the bottom plug and let it drain completely. After the bottom plug was drained I removed the front plug and measured 9 ounces that drained from the front.
    I donít know if this is useful information or not, but I figured it couldnít hurt to post it.

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    "Dry sump" means there is no oil tank or pan like you see on cars and other metric bikes. The oil pans adds height to the engine and this engine was already fairly tall so they went with a dry sump system.
    I have changed quite a few VTXs oil that have had over 5qts in their engine(one even had 6qts or more) and they have not had a problem. All oil will froth/foam up, depending on what type of oil it is will depend on how much that oil will froth/foam.
    4qts is fine, that lttle teenie-tiny bit extra will not harm the engine or clutch, but I certainly would not suggest adding more than 4qts to bring the line up to the full mark. Better than that, add your 4 qts, then check the stick with the bike on it's sidestand. Now where the oil level is on the stick scribe the stick at that level. Now you know you have the correct amount of oil in the engine, and you know the exact level that is 4 qts on the stick while on the sidestand.

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    Thanks for all the information. Still, no concenus other than if the oil is hitting the dipstick while centered that all should be well. I will reread all and move forward. At this point, I do get it to register on the kickstand so I have no problem riding over to my nearest Honda dealer for another quart. Should have one in the garage any way although I hadn't lost a drop in 3K.

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    Senior Member N2theX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigV
    Quote Originally Posted by N2theX
    My book says put it on the sidestand (aka kickstand) to check it.

    Page 78 step one in the 03 C model book.
    Perhaps you should re-read that section...
    Do not check the oil with the bike on the side stand.
    The manual states to
    1) Park your motorcycle on its side stand on a firm level surface.
    2) Start the engine and let it idle for 3 - 5 minutes.
    3) Stop the engine and wait 2 - 3 minutes.
    4) Remove the oil filler cap/dipstick and wipe it clean.
    5) Hold the motorcycle in an upright position.
    6) Insert the dipstick until it seats but don't screw it in.



    You my friend are absolutely correct!!! Sorry for the misimformation and thanks for keeping me on my toes!!!
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    Senior Member Hans&Feet's Avatar
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    wantucce - some time last year someone had a similar problem, the dipstick was not the same depth into the cap as mine. My 1300 dipstick measures 4.5" exposed metal.
    EDIT:: I just looked at a catalog, the 1800 stick looks longer. Someone please post an 1800 dipstick measurement.
    This may be X8urHD's issue also, incorrect dipstick or length.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantucce
    Thanks for all the information. Still, no concenus other than if the oil is hitting the dipstick while centered that all should be well. I will reread all and move forward. At this point, I do get it to register on the kickstand so I have no problem riding over to my nearest Honda dealer for another quart. Should have one in the garage any way although I hadn't lost a drop in 3K.
    I would NOT recommend putting in 5 quarts (or more than 4).
    I have found that stealers will sometimes add additional oil (over 4 quarts) just to get the oil to register on the dipstick. As stated earlier, these dipsticks can be inaccurate. Follow Spikes advice and put in 4 quarts and be done with it. You could also look into purchasing another dipstick that may read more accurate. JMHO
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    I am surprised that no one else has already said this, I found the issue for me and most of my friends that have the issue is leaning the bike too far. I watched 2 freinds stand the bike up level, the lean over and grab the dipstick and check, as the did so the leaned their body to the left and what do you know, the bike leaned to the right. Huh no wonder it came up short. Try this, worked for us. Sit on the bike and hold it upright, unscrew dipstick and wipe it clean. set the dipstick in, NOW here is the key, sit upright with both hands on the bars and level the bike, then pull hte stick and check. For both of the guys that I watched do this, level went from not touching stick, to right in the middle of the lines.
    Maybe that won't work for eveyone, but it works well for me and the couple of guys that I ride with.
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    Senior Member HDKLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silvervtx04s
    Oily foam ??? I have to ask . What oil are you using??
    I use Shell Rotella T 5w40. It's a full synthetic.


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    Quote Originally Posted by HDKLR
    Quote Originally Posted by silvervtx04s
    Oily foam ??? I have to ask . What oil are you using??
    I use Shell Rotella T 5w40. It's a full synthetic.
    You and Shell can call it what you want. It is a good oil but it is not a PAO synthetic , it is a highly processed type III oil and it won't ever flow like one or last like one. Thats all I'll say about that. You shouldn't find foam in the crankcase so I would question why you did. Oil is pumped directly into the clutch basket from the crankshaft so you shouldn't find anything like foam in it.
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