Tag Archives: Oil drain cap

Oil change tips #2 Changing the oil.

OK…we haven’t got our hands dirty for a while so lets get something techy done –  the humble yet often overlooked oil change. Pretty simple really but there are a few little tips here that might work good for you and your AG. As Jamie Oliver says; lets tuck in!

First things first, take your bike out for a good thrash! That’s right, give it the berries! The oil is (or should be!) thick in the AG200 so make sure the oil is nice and hot. I use a procedure here that leans the bike over on both stands for a period of time so the hotter the oil is the longer it will flow well and therefore drain well.

Remve drain capAfter you have set a new land speed record, get the AG into your shed and get it over on the right hand stand. This gives you easy access to the drain plug. Get yourself a 19mm single hex (go and see my discussion on the drain cap here) socket to release the drain cap and place something under the AG to catch the oil. You might have to juggle the gear lever to remove the cap and actually, you can remove the lever if you want because it does make things a lot easier and it’s only one 10mm bolt. If the cap feels like its going to give you pain removing it, give the end of your 19mm socket a firm tap with a hammer while on the cap to help loosen it.

When you get the cap loose and you feel it’s about to pop off, Drain oillean the bike over to the left side stand. Make sure you move the oil drop container to suit. Now you can totally remove the cap, spring and filter gauze and drain out that old Middle Eastern Gold. As the oil is draining on the left hand side, take the opportunity to remove the oil filter cover and the oil filter on the opposite side of the bike.

Filter housing screwsOn later bikes (’98 onwards) you will need to remove theFilter housing2 two top 8mm hex bolts and the lower 5mm Allen bolt. Older bikes use Philips (see at left) on the top two bolts. Remove the cover carefully and pay careful attention to the rubber o’rings under the cap. If they look daggy, replace them. Pull out the filter and have a good look at it, I have discussed in other posts about the filter specifics so if you think it looks dodgy, replace it. If it looks OK give it a wash, remove the metal from it and it’s ready for another service interval.

While the oil is draining and the bike is on the left side stand you might asFilter cove2 well have a good look in the filter housing and give it a bit of a clean out with a rag. Oil would of dribbled down the casing after removing the filter cover anyway so while you have the rag handy you might as well clean out the cavity or filter housing.

Drain capWhen the old oil slows to a drip out of the left side oil drain, lean the bike over to the right hand stand. Make sure you shift the drain container to suit the oil drain. A bit of oil drain might pick up but probably not. The oil is draining internally as you will see later. Take this opportunity to have a good look at the drain cap. Is the o’ring OK? If not replace it. Now give the cap a good clean, remove the o’ring and have a really good look at it. Most people do it up too tight, even Yamaha do it up too tight! It can easily crack around the edges near the o’ring grove. Yamaha specifies 43Nm for it and that, in my humble opinion, is crazy talk! It’s at least 10Nm too tight.

OK, the bike has been over on the right side stand for ten minute or so right? Time to lean it over on the opposite stand. Get ready to move the catch tray, more oil will start to drain. I like to combine the oil drain with a few other maintenance jobs (valve clearances?) so you have the time to go left and right on the two stands for an extended period. If you don’t have the time then fine, a couple of times back and forward will do the trick.

We have all the oil out, now it’s time to reassemble. Your oil filter is new or freshly cleaned so its time to get it back into the filter housing. It can only go in one way so don’t stress. Install the filter cover and tighten up the bolts. Make sure that bottom Allen bolt does not hang up on that small o’ring and damage it. Put a bit of fresh oil on the bolt and the o’ring. The two top bolts are set to 7Nm while the lower Allen bolt is set to 10Nm. Not very tight so those used to hanging off a wrench with a piece of gal. pipe will learn all about Easy Outs and HeliCoils pretty quick!

Drain filter+springLets turn our attention back to the drain cap and its’ related parts. Is the spring and wire filter OK? Not much to go wrong with the spring but make sure there is no rubbish in the filter. Lean the bike back over to the right side and slap them back in the way they came out. I like to put a bit of grease on the alloy mating surfaces of the cap – i.e. the lip outside of the o’ring. You can now screw the drain cap back in and as stated, it doesn’t have to be too tight.

So here comes the biggy – what sort of oil? I have two modes of thought on this issue. If it’s an old bike that’s a bit of a basher and a bit worn and daggy – mineral oil and change often. Newer bike that you want to keep for a long time, do trips on and want it to last and give years of reliable service? Full synthetic. The common ground between them is go heavy. 10W40 minimum, preferably 10W50. You will find the gearbox works much better with a heavier oil. Remember, the AG200 was designed back when consumer synthetic oil was expensive and/or hard to get and the clearances and design has not changed since that time. Also remember, bike oils only, wet clutches dislike car oils and their friction reducing additives.

Oil fillerThe spec from Yamaha is 1.1 Litres with a filter clean/change. Oil fill3Remove the filler plug and use a funnel or a pourer with a tube that fits into the filler hole. Pour your oil in and use the sight glass to get the level right if needed. Screw your filler cap back (clean around the cases and check the o’ring on the cap) and you’re good to go. The paranoid among us can undo the 10mm oil pressure check bolt (circled at right) in the head to make sure there is pressure up there. You don’t have to totally remove it – just loosen it to the last few threads and if there is pressure it will find its way out. Be real gentle doing this check bolt up…5Nm and no more or it will snap off.

So there you go, wasn’t too hard was it? Now get back out there and improve on that land speed record.



Oil change tips #1

So many people get hung up on oil changes. Not the oil change in itself, but more the oil grade and type. But before we talk about oil, lets look at some of the consumables/serviceables involved. Here are a few things that you need to watch on the AG200…it’s not rocket science, the AG is a simple and basic design so there are only a few simple things to look for.

New style
New design

First lets look at the oil filter. There have been a few different types released over the years with Yamaha upgrading the gauze to increase the surface area. I don’t think the style really matters that much but just be aware that the newer type will take longer to block up. If you are working on your own bike and you follow a regular maintenance regime, then the old filter design wont be a problem. On the other hand, if you’re a bit slack with your servicing or you service farmers bikes, I’d suggest installing the newer ones. Cockies have been known to skip the odd oil change (see my earlier post)!

Older design
Older design

Inspect the filter very closely after washing it out with solvent. No, it doesn’t need replacing at every change, and if you keep the oil changes up to this engine then it may never need replacing. Once you have washed it out and blown it dry with compressed air, carefully inspect the glue holding the edge of the gauze to the filter body. With age, heat and chemicals that build up in the old oil, this glue can become suspect. This is the time to change the filter.

Filter cover
Filter cover

I have found this only on severely neglected bikes where regular oil changes have been constantly skipped. The nature of the AG200’s use means they don’t get thrashed while going about their daily work so I’m more of the opinion that its the chemical build-up in the oil that is the culprit rather than heat. The more the filter is allowed to clog the more strain it puts on the gauze/glue interface as well so if a filter is deformed in any way, swap it out.

While we are on the issue of filters, the genuine one from Yamaha can be used for around the twenty dollar mark, while after-market K&N units can be had for under ten. Other no-name after market units can be had for even less. Choose your poison. I will look into filter specifics in an up coming post.

So that’s the oil filter, the next “Oil Change Tips” will cover all the other consumables/serviceable hardware.



Drain cap destruction

Oil drain cap

The AG200 has a slightly unusual method for draining the engine oil. Instead of a generic old drain plug, it has a drain cap which is also used to hold a spring loaded oil strainer. The AG200 engine has a cool design where it has a big strainer at the bottom of the engine to hold back the big chunks, while the finer oil filter (on the other side of the engine) keeps the rest of the damaging material out of circulation. Now all we need to do is get people to clean them and replace the oil! …but I digress!

The real aim of this post is to guide people on how to not chew up the drain cap. Here is the crux of it; the hex head on the cap is 19mm, if you use a shifter you will wreck it. If you use an open end spanner you will wreck it. If you use a double hex ring spanner you will wreck it. If you use a double hex socket you will wreck it. If you use a cold chisel you will…you get the idea!

AG200 oil drain capThere is one effective way to get it off without damaging the cap – a single hex, 19mm socket. Where do I get one of those I hear you ask, drop into your local tool shop and ask for a 1/2 inch drive, 19mm impact socket. It will be black (black oxide), and have a hex interface to match the drain cap. They are cheap and make your life a lot easier as far as oil changes go.

19mm single hex