Liquids Vol. 1

Driving a vintage Guzzi must not be recommended to lazy people ignoring service windows.

Why? An old V7 Special has no modern oil system with filtration, just a mesh filtering insects, cats and little puppies out of the engines´ dishwater. So – since I did not know anything of my bikes´ service history – it was time for me to get the liquid change started.

This is what the bike needs in general:

  • Engine oil all 3.000 km; 3 liters; something like mineral 20W50 (no posh stuff)
  • Gearbox oil all 10.000 km; 0,75 liters, I use standard 75W90
  • Drive train oil all 10.000 km; 0,23 liters, only use hypoid oil, 85W140 and the likes

Limited time only allowed for changing the engine oil yesterday – the rest of the bike will be served soon. I bought some Castrol Classic and the proper sealing for the sump some time ago – so was ready to go…!

My former Le Mans had some tricky hidden screws in the middle of the sump which you might forget to unscrew – resulting in frustration and/or violence against the bike, depending on the wrench monkey’s temper. Not this way with my old lady! There were only 8 standard screws holding the sump. So that was straight forward. I disassembled the ram protection on the ground of the sump for some little cleaning action, too. My lifting ramp was a welcome assistance for this job.

Lots of old and ugly debris was found inside – no surprise of course. Luckily, no metal traces were found and I began cleaning the inner side and parts of the oil pump in the engine housing. Removing the used seal was not tricky at all (chemistry helps!) so all parts went back into place soon.

I discovered a strange rubber hose inside my garage some time ago which I could not connect to any project or former vehicle. It was thown inside the drawer saying “Rubber”. However, it just came to my mind again – because it had just the right thread to “screw” it into the filler hole of the sump. I then went for total improvisation and used a chromed wave exhaust pipe from my Le Mans parts stock to extend the filler neck up to an adequate height. Otherwise, filling oil into the sump would have been quite a struggle. This strange construction worked rather well…

So, by the end of the day, Guzzi was treated with love and enjoyed some fresh juices. Nevertheless, it was time to leave the garage because time was running – just after 12 pm at this stage, a 45 km run to Berlin in front of me. All other oils will be changed soon, perhaps tomorrow – because I´m looking forward to enjoying a tour with a bunch of people from Urban Motor on Sunday…

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