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DIY Oil Change Walkthrough

118584 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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YMMV. Real life is that a sealing washer being able to seal comes from it being made of a soft metal and repeatedly torquing down on one will work harden it.

It doesn't add much time to anneal a washer; you can even do it to pass the time while the oil is draining.
Yeah I know, but then it'd be hot. Luckily for me the rules of physics seem to work differently in my world and nothing has ever leaked or vibrated loose. I make copper belt buckles from big gauge ground wire so I've worked copper from soft to hard and back to soft before. The heat the engine makes is enough to work harden copper. I just wanted to put it out there that people parrot a lot of information online as if it's mandatory when sometimes it turns into religion vs real life. There are many more important and subtle steps than copper washers involved in changing the oil on the bike, so people should definitely feel comfortable doing it themselves since I didn't even bother to explain the ritualistic dance you need to do fore and aft.
Like I said, YMMV. I have had cars weep oil from at the drain plug, so doing what I can to avoid it is just something that I do.

The specified torque for the drain plug is 42 Nm (range of 38-46 Nm). *** UPDATE *** It seems that this is too high and that the correct number is closer to 20 Nm.

According to the manual, the torque is the same for the mesh filter cap, but that doesn't seem to be what silverluxe encountered when he took it off.

The oil filter is supposed to be 11 Nm (range of 10-12 Nm), per the manual, but it sounds like that was not tight enough in silverluxe's experience.
Someone warned on the other forum that the drain plug torque spec is too high and I agree. 10 - 12 foot pounds is plenty and 30 would probably strip the aluminum out of the engine case. Also, 30 ft lbs would probably strip out the 5mm hex bolt :)
Did some additional research on the drain plug torque. Looks like the correct number is 20 Nm (a bit under 15 lb-ft). The 42 Nm torque spec is in a lot of Ducati manuals and a lot of people have stripped stuff as a result.

I am going to go back and edit my earlier post.
Speaking of correct torque...
My dealer did my first oil change. Today I was poking around under my bike and noticed this. It looks and feels like an RTV sealant. Anyone ever see something like this? Now I've changed the oil in my cars and bike all my life and I've never used extra sealant on the plug. Anyone else know anything about this? Think they stripped the case?

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Frazier millie
Mine had that stuff on there when I removed the plug. What's weird is that it was totally in greasy form, not solid. I'm not sure it's the same as classic Threebond because it just wiped right off with my finger like grease. Maybe your dealer used the other drain plug, because this is what my bike looked like from the factory.

Good write up & very clear pictures! Thanks! Like you I have been reusing copper washers for years without leaks. I wonder if Ducati engines run more oil pressure than most that might lead to oil filter leaks. I usually go more than 1/4 turn past filter seal contact (hand tightening) and I lube the filter seal really well & thoroughly clean the contact area before installing the filter. Never had a leak. What oil to use gets people going. Like Macs Vs. PCs or Fords Vs. Chevys. I've used Shell's 5W-40 T6 synthetic oil for years in my racing bikes, cars, lawn mower, etc. and never had a problem. The guys around here that drag race cars and bikes use the cheaper 15W-40 Shell you mentioned. The only reason for this choice is that at the end of the day they drain the oil and put in fresh. About the same protection but less money. The Motul 7100, the Shell T6, etc. are all good oils and any one of them would be just fine. You could use Mobil 1 as well. KTM specs Motorex. It is good but I've never used it. Too expensive especially given that on my dirt bikes I would change oil between 4 & 6 hours depending on how dirty racing conditions were. Think stuck behind people in a creek bottom with no airflow and then hitting the throttle hard trying to get up the rutted, slick creek bank.

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I have an oil filter on the way from ducati. Hopefully it is correct then I can list the part number.

A good write up and really good pictures! I've used Shell's Rotella T6 (5W-40 synthetic) in my race bikes for years with great results. Yearly teardowns showed no oil related wear (but definite high rpm screaming to the next corner to beat someone wear). Also hammering up long sand washes or otherwise overheating the oil showed no gear tooth flaking. And then there is the diving in muddy creeks after a long straight and dousing the hot engine issues.... You could probably get away with any quality synthetic oil in the Scrambler. I would not spend the extra money for motorcycle specific oils when the manufacturers cannot specify exactly what the extra money does for my engines over general automotive synthetics.

Silverluxe, great write-up thanks!

I just had my first service at 1000KM (600 Miles) on the weekend and it cost me $260. Definitely a job I would like to pickup myself.

One question though. Do you know how to reset the Service req'd message? I had my service done just under the 1000KM (had it done just before a big ride on the weekend) so it had not come on yet and the dealer said they could only reset after it came on. They will do it for free but I need to bring it back in. Is there a way to reset manually that you are aware of? I'm wondering if there is a way to do it for DIY oil changes or just live with the message always on?

I have an oil filter on the way from ducati. Hopefully it is correct then I can list the part number.
The part number is 44440035A if you're curious. That's the OEM oil filter that's used on a lot of other Ducatis as well, so it's not special. K&N part number is 153, but it's about 1/2" longer than the OEM and rubs on the accessory belly pan if you have one.

Mike, you have to have the Ducati dealer reset the service reminder at this point. Some day hopefully we can do it ourselves with a laptop or our phones using an app hooked up to the computer, but I haven't seen anyone say that something exists for this ECU yet.
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Well, technically, it is 444.4.003.5A ;) It was fun trying to read it off of the filter mounted on the bike.

The break-in service cost me $248. The funny thing is that invoice listed the work done as Panigale service.

If the dealer had been completing the service log for the work that they did, I would probably continue to have them do the work. But they didn't log the PDI or the break-in service, so I will probably start doing the work myself. Just need a way to reset the service indicator.

Speaking of service indicator, I had the work done at 605 miles. My bike was at 608 at the end of the service, but the service indicator had not gone off yet, so the dealer could not turn it off. So, I ended up riding the bike around the dealership until it did, so I could get them to turn it off.
Did the 2nd oil change yesterday by following this thread. Big thanks to Silverluxe for the walkthrough.

Couple comments and observations:

1) I don't often buy bikes new from the dealer so in this case (where I did), i'm been particularly anal when it comes to maintenance. First oil change was done at 1000 km and now that I am at 4000, I decided to dump the oil and refresh it myself mid-season. The oil was quite black when it came out so I actually feel pretty good about having done that oil change, even though only 3000 km had gone by.

2) Since the dealer performed the first oil change, i did not bother taking the exhaust off to check the screen filter. There were no real signs of metal shavings on the magnetic drain plug so probably fine. I did however burn myself to high hell on the exhaust header when taking the oil filter off and I've got an amazing mark from it on my forearm that will remind me to be more careful next time.

3) I replaced the stock oil filter with a KnN equivalent (KN-153) and although it sits taller because of the fastening nut, it still fits underneath the Evotech bash plate (as well as the OEM bash plate from what I have read).

4) For replacement oil, I splurged on some race-grade Motul 300V full synthetic 10w40 (the neon green stuff that smells like bubblegum). I have to say hat this has definitely made a difference Vs whatever the dealer had in it before. There are endless debates about oil viscosity, quality and whatnot so what I'm about to say is purely subjective but the bike definitely revs quicker in my opinion and I spent most of the evening doing wheelies because the thing is just so rev happy now! The stuff is more expensive than most other oils but to me, it's worth it and that's all I will be running from now on.

Did I mention how badly I burned myself on the exhaust?

Anyway. Just some random tidbits of info in case they help any fellow Scrambler'ers.
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Ouch!! Thanks for the warning. And careful with those wheelies!

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The Motul 300V oil really sticks to engine parts. If you have ever taken an engine apart that had that oil in it you would notice that all the parts are still coated. Other oils just run off and do not coat as well. It may well be the "slickest" oil out there and one of the reasons the racers like it. Motul does suggest more often oil changes with this oil and that would be OK with me.

I need a new washer for the oil drain plug, somebody know the size of it? 12 mm?
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