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Wet sump


Russell

Website User
VOC Member
Can anyone help an ignorant newbie Vincent owner. My shadow has been standing for sometime and am pretty sure she’s wet sumped. No idea which nut to take off to drain sump and should I drain completely? Also any suggestions on what oil to put back in the tank and how high to fill it?
Any advice much appreciated
Russell
 

BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Dear Russell,
The drain plug is on the left side of the engine. Look under the front of the primary chaincase and you should see a brass plug protruding through the black steel plate.
Everybody has their own opinion about what oil to use. Back in the day straight 40 grade oil was recommended but in general any branded multigrade oil will work well, is readily available everywhere and will be superior to what was available when your Shadow was made.
If you remove the oil filler cap and look down into the tank you will see a stiffening strap running left to right if the oil is low. If you can see some oil in the tank it is safe to run the engine for a while and if you look down the filler tube you will see the oil being pumped back into the tank. If you have drained the sump it can be a minute or so before any oil will start to appear.
Whenever you check your oil level you should do it after the engine has been running for a while. If you top up the oil before running the engine there is always the chance that when the oil that is in the sump is pumped back to the tank you will have too much oil and it overflows from the filler tube and runs all over the top of the engine. (Many of us have done this at one time or other. :eek:) I usually make sure that the strap is covered when topped up.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Russell,

Welcome! Yes. That is the plug at the bottom right.

You need some literature, which I am sure others will mention, but the owner's manual is called the Riders Handbook and Vincent suppliers sell it.

The sump drain is on the primary drive side of the bike, which is the left as you are sitting on the bike. Just below a large bolt that runs fore and aft into the primary cover is the oil drain plug. Eddie has described it well.

If the oil is clean and you have used a clean pan you could simply pour it back in the filler. If it is dirty I would dispose of it and add some new oil. You can always drain the sump completely as it is a place that oil moves through on its way to a storage compartment at the back of the engine. The flywheels fling the oil to this storage compartment which does not drain with the sump.

An oil change is more complicated, so tell us if you get there. It is probably a good time to have a local member have a visit.

From your photo, it looks like you may have a clearance problem with the drain bolt and the prop stand plate?

David
 
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Russell

Website User
VOC Member
Thanks David, I’ve ordered the handbook. Terrified of running it up until I know oil is all good. I’d love to get advice on general maintenance of her so will seek it out.
All the best
Russell
 

Russell

Website User
VOC Member
David when you say clearance problem, I thought it was the one kind of in the middle that’s protruding out the most? But it’s the one below and to the right? Thought that was an engine casing bolt
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Oil Sump Drain.PNG

I think what I see right at the orange arrow is that the hex is up against the hole in the prop stand plate. I am not sure you can get a socket on this.

David
 

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
Not sure what day Big Ed is referring to “back in the day”, but back in my early Vincent days, straight 50 grade oil was recommended. And I don’t even go as far back as many others. These days, I go with 20-50. And there are special oils suited for flat tappet motors like the Vin.
 

BigEd

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Not sure what day Big Ed is referring to “back in the day”, but back in my early Vincent days, straight 50 grade oil was recommended. And I don’t even go as far back as many others. These days, I go with 20-50. And there are special oils suited for flat tappet motors like the Vin.
I was hardly old enough to have even a kiddie cycle in the "back in the day" I was referring to so I'm not talking from personal experience. :)
The riders handbook issued by Harper Engineers lists SAE 40 for most brands of oil when used in temperate conditions. I think Kent falls into the temperate summer conditions most of the time if they are lucky. Interestingly they do suggest SAE 50 for the Vacuum brand. For tropical conditions, the list specifies SAE 50 so Steve is correct depending on where you are located.
Richardson also lists SAE 40 for temperate summer. I don't know how many people use straight rather than multigrade these days. The low viscosity of multigrade when cold can make starting easier due to reduced drag and it should allow the cold oil to circulate a little quicker. Straight SAE 40 is also recommended for the gearbox although I use an EP80 or 90 grade gear oil. In the engine I use whatever multigrade I have on hand, usually 20-40 as that is what I use in my other bikes.
I have put 48,000 miles on this engine although I have to say I have recently fitted a new big-end and had a + 0.020" rebore. (It still clatters like a steam roller.:rolleyes:)
Some of the older oils had additives that were better suited to older designs. Some of these have been removed as they interfere with catalytic converters found on modern vehicles. I think zinc was one of these, not sure if you will find a brand that still lists that, others might know which these might be.
I can see an "oil thread" looming on the horizon.;)

The Oil Thread continues here.
 

ray vinmad

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The Vincent oil pump must have a running clearance (say 1/2 thou). If that was a gap in your c/case mating faces, you wouldn't suffer from sumping. The oil would be on the floor!
I'm sure sumping is more common now due to the lower viscosity of multigrade oils.
Perhaps more importantly, if the engine hasn't been apart or run since `the old days', running it on modern detergent oils will soon remove all the internal build up of carbon deposits into the oil and grind away all the moving surfaces!
Ray
 

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