4: The Final Touch - adding an oil cooler with extra capacity
There was one critical thing still missing from
the project bike -- an auxiliary oil reservoir that would add extra capacity
while keeping the oil temperature cooler for longer stretches of pavement.
I finally received the all-in-one unit from HT-racing.com,
and was excited to get it installed. When I pulled the unit out of the box,
it was a sharp-looking piece. However, there was one thing missing
from the box -- installation instructions. Now while some of you out
there are competent mechanics and don't need such trivial items; I'm not
one, and I definitely need 'em. So I emailed the team at HT-Racing,
and they promptly replied with instructions attached.
Then came the fun process of tackling the
installation. As I mentioned above, I am not a skilled mechanic, and
get a little nervous when it comes to tearing into the internal components
of the engine case. But the directions didn't seem too complicated, so I
garnered up some enthusiasm and made space in the garage.
The first step in the installation process was
to remove the fuel tank and seat. (I love how easy it is to do that on the
EXC!) Once complete, HT's instructions also tell you to remove the
metal feeder line running from the rocker box and lay the bike on its side.
(See pic below.) However, upon looking at the feeder line more
closely, that didn't make much sense to me, as the removal of that line
would mean that oil would spill all over the place when you laid the bike on
its side. So I opted to leave that line on while installing the new
stator cover with the oil reservoir. (That worked very well, by the
way. I recommend waiting on the feeder line removal.)
Here are some shots of the oil cooler
Sans tank and seat
The rocker feeder line
Removing the cover
Installing the new cover
Time to remove the feeder line
Other end of the feeder line
Hooking up the new lines
Removing the stock stator cover was a
piece of cake -- four bolts and you're done. You then have to
remove a couple of retaining bolts that hold the stator inside the cover
as well as a clip that keeps wires from hitting the stator. But
that's all easy enough. Then came installing the new cover with
the oil reservoir attached. The only thing that made this kind of
tricky was that you have to apply gasket seal to the gasket/cover before
bolting on the new unit. But that wasn't bad either.
Once the new cover is bolted on, you can
pick the bike back up and proceed to removing the rocker box feeder
line. Once that's done, you connect the two braided-steel lines to
the holes left by the feeder line. One problem I encountered at
this stage, however... Do you see anything missing in the first photo
above? That's right -- there are only three copper washers sitting
there. Because you need a washer on each side of the banjo bolts
that connect the lines, I was one washer short. That means I have
to visit Ace Hardware tomorrow and pick one up to complete the job...
After picking up the extra washer, the
job finished up nicely. To fill the oil reservoir, you have to hold down
the start button with the ignition switch in the off position.
This cycles oil through the system without the engine running and fills
the reservoir. You then re-check the oil level and fill
accordingly. Piece of cake. This is one of those accessories
that if it's working correctly, you'll probably not notice anything
different. But it's worth the effort to have the piece of mind
knowing that the oil won't break down due to excess heat when running
some highway miles.