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Thread: Changing oil filter on a RT

  1. #1
    Registered User arhd63's Avatar
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    Changing oil filter on a RT

    Hello Pros,

    I was wondering if anyone had any tricks of the trade on replacing a oil filter with the lowers on? Not a whole of space in there. Any ideas much appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    From what I've read, switching the hex bolts to allen heads might help. Then using a special allen wrench that has a "ball" end allows you to come in at an angle.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    When I had an RT, I also drilled a hole in the lower so that I could get a hex-driver on a socket extension onto the top rear bolt. Also got pretty adept at removing the exhaust header.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    It's harder on the '79-'84 models than the '87-'95 versions.

    You're maybe only going to change oil once a year so I'd just plan on removing the lower.

    The engine and frame were designed years before the RS/RT fairing, so a little difficulty isn't surprising.

    I'd also disconnect the oil cooler hoses from the thermostat, as this makes things easier as well. This means four new crush washers of course.

    When I had Keihan stainless headers, an oil change required removal of the entire exhaust system. About '81 the OE right header was flattened a bit to facilitate filter changing.

    Airhead frames were hand built and clearances can vary from bike to bike. Frames on the later bikes provide better clearance.

    Clearly you use a hinged filter.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  5. #5
    MonoRT MonoRT's Avatar
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    I have an 85 R80RT that came from the factory without an oil cooler. I'm not sure how much they help, and that's not what we're asking about here, but I did add an oil cooler with the large thermostat to my bike within a year of purchase. In addition to the allen head screws that could be gotten to with a ball driver, I also dented in the header pipe with a big ball peen hammer right where it passes the thermostat. This gives JUST enough room to wiggle the thermostat out of there without removing the fairing lower or the pipe. Somebody else knew about how large the dent needed to be, so I did not have to experiment much. This is a fairly shallow dent - just enough to get the thermostat out of there.

    And yes, shortly after that, the bikes with thermostats came with a little jog in the pipe next to the thermostat.

    When the GS bikes came out with a MUCH smaller "thermostat" that relied on metering holes and the reduced viscosity of hot oil, I did wonder about the possibility of a retrofit. Living in SoCal, it really does not get cold enough for me to worry about an "always on" oil cooler.

  6. #6
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arhd63 View Post
    Hello Pros,

    I was wondering if anyone had any tricks of the trade on replacing a oil filter with the lowers on? Not a whole of space in there. Any ideas much appreciated.

    Thank you
    Drop the exhaust. It takes about an hour. It also gives you a chance to clean and inspect everything. Another couple of fun filled airhead hours but well worth it.


    If you live in a cooler climate consider the kit that eliminates the oil cooler.


    I see you have TWO airhead RT's. Awesome!
    12 R1200 RT
    83 R100 RT

  7. #7
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's harder on the '79-'84 models than the '87-'95 versions.

    You're maybe only going to change oil once a year so I'd just plan on removing the lower? I'd also disconnect the oil cooler hoses from the thermostat, as this makes things easier as well. This means four new crush washers of course.
    This is good advice in my experience so far...
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Red Mazda Miatas ("Jelly Bean" and "Red Hot")
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas & freshly greased bearings!)

  8. #8
    One big Oaff brewmeister's Avatar
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    I use the two piece filters and a ball end allen wrench.I've never had to drill holes or remove lowers but I did remove the oil cooler years ago all with no problems .I did wrap the allen wrench with duct tape to not mark the paint and I found a extra long wrench at the tool shed in town. my 81 r100 rt I never had to mess with the exhaust pipes,40 mm are a pain.
    Last edited by brewmeister; 04-30-2014 at 02:17 AM.
    81 R100RT

  9. #9
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    I found that removing exhaust or lower fairing was almost required on my twin shock RS (1978), but neither were required on my mono-shock bikes (1986, 1988, 1985). That said, I once pinched the $2K O ring and only found out after I noticed oil dripping from the thermostat cover a few days later. After that, I removed the exhaust on that bike too so I could have more room and lower the risk of messing up again. I must have gotten lucky on the pinched O ring, the bike (as far as I know) is still running ten years later.

    Wayne

  10. #10
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    On my 88 RT, I remove the lower portion of the fairing, but leave the exhaust in place. I'd rather have the easier access.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  11. #11
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    Using the hinged filter on my 81 R100RT. I cut the hinge and insert one end then the other. The headers are moved most of the time. Just dont tell anyone you cut the plastic hinge!!!

  12. #12
    One big Oaff brewmeister's Avatar
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    that's weird cause I use the same filters and I can snake them in without separating them with no problems. why does it work on my 81rt and I read so many have problems? oh well enjoy anyways .
    81 R100RT

  13. #13
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    that's weird cause I use the same filters and I can snake them in without separating them with no problems. why does it work on my 81rt and I read so many have problems? oh well enjoy anyways .
    Is your header pipe indented near the thermostat? Some are and some arent.

  14. #14
    One big Oaff brewmeister's Avatar
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    NO they are stock 40 mm pipes and no dent all I can say is it works with no fit problem or any mods for me. I did remove the oil cooler 10 years ago because I really don't need it up here in Wisconsin, I changed the internal oil filter pipe in the filter chamber and the cover with the o ring and shim and I am just careful on replacing this set up when I do my changes. once again I have so many years of familiarity with this I have no problems with it.I gave the whole oil cooler set up to a traveler from Massachusetts . years ago.
    81 R100RT

  15. #15
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    40 mm pipes are NOT stock on 1981 models.

    Clamps for 38 mm pipes have 40 embossed on them.

    There were never any 40 mm header pipes made with dual crossover provision.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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