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DIY Oil Change Walkthrough

118586 Views 123 Replies 53 Participants Last post by  struv
Hopefully this will help people decide if they want to change their own oil or not.

A few thoughts of my own about doing this and the things I encountered that bothered me a bit: Removing the exhaust requires a bit of finesse because you don't want to put undue stress on any part of the pipes. Having proper tools to do this will make your life easier and won't damage the bike. Ducati oil filters (and aftermarket ones) like to leak and you need to put them on tighter than other bikes. If you don't have a good way to put the filter on tight, beware. The factory torque applied to the side plug that covers the mesh filter and the torque applied to the mesh filter was excessive. To the tune of about 100 foot pounds. You WILL need a 1/2" breaker bar and 14mm socket to remove them. An L shaped Allen wrench will not work without a cheater bar.

OK, that's it. Everything else was straightforward mechanic 101 stuff. Have your bike somehow upright. I use a front wheel chock stand. You may opt to use a paddock stand on the back wheel or some other means.

Start by removing the 5mm hex bolt on the left side of the muffler that attaches it to the hanger. There are two top hat shaped metal spacers in either side of the rubber mount. Don't lose them. In my case they never came out.

Remove the spring that holds the muffler onto the exhaust pipe. I used Vise Grips to remove and reinstall all of my springs. There's probably a proper tool to do this, so if you have one, use that instead.

NOTE: You may want to put a piece of masking tape on the aluminum heat shield of your muffler OR remove it from the muffler so you don't scratch it. I didn't scratch mine, but it was a tight fit removing the bolt here.

Remove the 5mm hex bolt from the right side of the muffler and be ready to support the muffler with your hand. I was wearing leather gloves because the bike was still warm and the muffler was HOT.

Use finesse to wiggle the muffler back and away from the exhaust pipe. It's a double wall pipe fit, so it may be a bit stubborn. Don't bend it back and forth. Sit the muffler aside and collect those metal top hat spacers from the rubber mounting point on the right side so you don't lose them.

Remove the two springs from the exhaust collector pipe section. Note that they are two different lengths. The one closest to you is shorter than the one closer to the engine. I used a rubber tipped hammer to tap (gently) on the upper section to release the collector. This wasn't difficult or stubborn in my case.

If you have installed a belly pan or if it came with the bike, you need to remove it as well as the bracket that lives on the right side of the engine. Point A signifies the 4mm hex screw you need to remove to remove the bracket. The other bolts holding on the belly pan are also 4mm.

Here's what we're after. Oil filter A and mesh filter plug B.

Now get ready to drain the engine oil into a suitable catch pan. There will be 3+ Quarts / Liters of oil splashing out almost immediately, so prepare yourself. Make note that the drain plug is in the middle of the engine. I've marked it in the photo. Don't remove either of the two other plugs. This plug is 5mm hex and I used a 3/8" socket on a ratchet rather than my T handled hex driver.

Let the oil drain. It probably won't ever stop trickling out. Make sure not to lose the copper washer for the drain plug. Mine stayed stuck to the engine and I reused it. You may opt to use a new one if you're a stickler for perfection and want to safeguard against possible leaks. Examine your oil plug which has a magnet on it. Mine had some metal shavings on it which is to be expected.

Remove the oil filter and drain that oil into the drain pan. If you have the factory Ducati oil filter remover tool, use that. I just used a set of oil filter pliers and didn't have any issues. They only worked because I had the exhaust system removed. Not every oil change requires checking the mesh filter on the side of the engine, so you don't have to normally remove the exhaust.

Remove the mesh filter cover plug. It's 14mm hex and I had to use a 1/2" breaker bar with a hex socket on it. It was installed very tight. Make note that there's a thin nickel washer that seals the plug to the engine.

Sit the plug and washer aside and use the same 14mm socket to remove the mesh filter housing itself. It's also installed very tightly. I don't recommend putting either of these items back onto the bike so tightly. I also installed my new oil filter. K&N 153 does fit, but NOTE: It is longer than OEM and the nut on the bottom adds further length. My belly pan is now resting solidly against the oil filter. It doesn't seem to be an issue, but make note of it. Also make note that the Ducati engines seem to prefer the oil filter to be on TIGHTLY, otherwise the filter will leak. Upon refilling the oil and starting the bike, it was leaking so I had to tighten the oil filter more than I thought I would have to.

My mesh filter had a few chunks of unknown debris on it. Nothing worrisome, but I did take the time to clean it carefully and completely for the reinstall.

My oil looked a bit scary. Like a human brain sitting in the oil pan. Lots of metal shavings that look like brass to me. I've kept the oil in a clean container to possibly be sent to an oil analysis firm. I presume this is normal, but I'm not sure, having never owned a new motorcycle in my life.

Now that you have your oil filter in place, the mesh filter and associated cap refitted, and the oil drain plug back in place... Reassemble the exhaust system. It took a bit of finesse to get everything refitted and get the muffler back into place safe and sound. Fill the bike with oil. I'd recommend something like Motul 7100 10W40 fully synthetic. Fill the bike to the full mark.

Start the bike and watch the oil filter for leaks. Mine leaked. I had to tighten the oil filter more to stop it from leaking. (It has not leaked since I did it, 100 miles ago.) Once you're satisfied that the bike is building oil pressure and that it's running right, shut the bike down and let the oil level settle. Add oil to the proper full mark.

Finally, finish by putting the belly pan back on and you're done. Also think about the fact that your dealer may charge you 300 dollars to do all of this, but it may make sense to give you the peace of mind that it was done properly and that you didn't have to purchase all of the tools I already own :)
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How often should one check/clean the mesh filter? Also, anyone using Motul 4T 5100 15W50 Technosynthese for their Scramblers?

From the workshop manual

"Every two oil changes, clean the oil intake mesh filter"
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I had such a hard time attaching one of the springs back I eventually gave up.
Do you have a spring puller? With one it is relatively easy, without it can a pain.

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The motor vehicle manufacturers employ highly skilled engineers and the oil companies do likewise and between the two of them I figure that they know what they are on about so I don't second guess their recommendations. In the overall scheme of things oil is not expensive but excessive changes just creates more environmental waste that is not necessary IMO.
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