FD oil level mystery time.

Woe unto you that bought the first model year of a major remake, perhaps this section can help address any 2014 and later model Ural "imperfections". Here's a special section for folks with the latest rigs to discuss 2014 and later model-related topics such fuel injection, 3-wheel disc brakes, hydraulic steering dampers, spin-on oil filters and other anomalies that don't belong on true Russsian motorcycle ;-P We've gone from using big hammers and greasy wrenches to needing computers and Ouija boards in order to fix our rigs.
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FD oil level mystery time.

Post by dale914 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:14 pm

SO, obviously I'm asking this as a noob but here goes: I topped off (I think, we'll get back to that later) my FD oil at 500 miles and now the bike is at 1000. My commute involves 11 miles of highway, in which I often get up to 70 mph. After every highway commute, my FD is either coated in oil or has some dripping out of the breather, and today I noticed a drop stain on the ground under the FD, saw a drop of oil on the drain nut and tightened it 1/16th-1/8th of a turn, just snugging it up a bit.
Now here's the mystery: Every time I've ever checked the FD oil level, it's perfectly topped (I think, again, more later). So it seems that I'm loosing some, but I always have enough, what's the story? Is the FD loosing so much metal that it's displacing the oil out the top?
How I'm checking the level may also be completely wrong, so PLEASE tell me if I'm off. I of course remove the dipstick and clean it, then I replace it, run it down in the threads to bottom out, then back it out again and check the level, I understand how dumb it sounds, but that's how it's done, right???? The dipstick also comes out with a real thick drop from the bottom line down and a thin film up to the top line. No matter how many times I clean the dipstick, or the FD casing from having oil all over it, the top hash mark/line is always the dead end of the oil but always a thin line, and when I bottom out the threads.
Please let me know if I'm doing something wrong. I'm also assuming/aware that just a small amount of oil steam can make a pretty big mess. SO far, it seems like the engine, trans and FD have leaked no oil whatsoever in the past 500 miles, so that's cool.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by Mr Wazzock » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:44 pm

Stop topping it up and let it drop. Clean up the outside, of course. But see if it levels out at some point where it stops leaking (and keep checking the dipstick!).

I had a very similar problem right from new. Kept losing out the front seal. Level dropped, I topped it up to max. Lost out front seal again. Phoned dealer. He said stop topping it up and let it drop, see if it stops. It did, at the min mark. That's where it's refilled to now. Also helps if thicker ooil is used, currently SAE 85-W140

NB: in my case also dripping off the drain plug, BUT running down from front seal, so NOT leaking out the plug!
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by Trumpetwasher » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:00 pm

This was the advice from my mechanic as well.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by chaos2 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:01 pm

I regard mine as self leveling. i overfill it and it leaks out the vent to bottom line on dipstick (screwed in) and stays there. Occasionally after a long ride I may see a couple drops, but the level doesn't seem to go down. One of the benefits Red Line Heavy Shock oil is it's easy to see.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by Mr Wazzock » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:19 pm

Yes very hard to see on the dipstick unless oil is brightly coloured.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by dale914 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:04 pm

Mr Wazzaock and others, the bizarre part of the mystery is that I've never topped it off. I've filled it when I've changed it, but not since (500 miles). It kicks some out which I understand that it breaths, leaks and so on, but I haven't added any and it's still as topped as its ever been... So is it displaced with metal shavings? Is it that the temperature has changed... Or that a little oil goes a long way? I clean it frequently...
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by ArgonV » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:19 pm

I see the same thing. Just stop topping it off as much. I frequently get on the hwy up to 70 mph. I check it about once every 1000km to be sure there is oil in it. One tell-tale sign the FD is running low, is if the FD casing is super hot to the touch.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by AndyH » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:25 pm

I think you are checking the FD oil correctly.
dale914 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:04 pm
Or that a little oil goes a long way?
Yes it goes a long way - I cracked mine and did 1,700 kilometers before a fix. Lost about 100ml in that time. (topped up along the way of course)

Mr Wazzock had the same issue I did, the input seal leaked which causes oil to run down the underside of the FD making it look like it is coming out of the Output shaft seal and drain plug. Tends to splatter the tire too.

Misting at the breather exit is not uncommon but shouldn't be prolific. To diagnose your FD you need to know where the oil is coming from.
Places to check -
Is it really all coming from the breather or is it just misting?
Try the input shaft bearing nut, Lower casing vent, Output seal.
Is the FD loose? which could mean cracked. Check where the swing arm sits in the FD for leaks.

Clean - take it for a 15 min run - use a mirror and a bright light to see where it is coming from. Urals by their very nature produce turbulence and errant oil leaks tend to migrate all over the place.

Those with pre-2013 bikes will point at the breather and they are normally right but there are changes to the FD from about 2014 onward to address misting from the breather with a larger internal splash plate - so yours shouldn't be suffering like the old clunkers.

Good Luck.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by chaos2 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:35 pm

AndyH wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:25 pm
so yours shouldn't be suffering like the old clunkers.
Hey! Mine's not old, or a clunker! Then again, maybe it is :lol:
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by RC20 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:24 pm

Welcome of the weird world of Ural, where Ural is too busy making them better to let us know whats up.

Oil vapor is like blood, a little bit looks like you butchered a heard of cows.

I am not sure what point mine will equal out, but the right fill is too much and its gotten less and less.

Once it stops I will see if I can even see it and next change adjust DOWN to what is real not the book value.

In my case I even flushed it and left it open to vent and drain really good. First 10 miles what a god awful mess.

I would go with synthetic as you are not running as much oil (eventfully ) as they say you should and not sure it won't affected the FD. Synthetic will protect it from heat better and it seems to get hotter than it should.
Last edited by RC20 on Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by dale914 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:25 am

So Argon, I haven't topped it off ever, that's the mystery.
Andy, it's at least leaking from the breather, I'll see some draining from the breather, but some days the whole FD is wet with oil, so it could be premiating from everywhere???
And RC20, serendipitous as it has synthetic oil along with the tranny and engine too.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by RC20 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:26 pm

Then you are doing the best you can.

You could open up and remove a bit or let her vent.

Its the nature of the beast.

You may have some vapor in there and that is causing an acceleration aspect (had that too).

If you look, the vent is lower than the top of the FD. The original fill on mine was perfect (no vapor) went through 100 degree heat at times, long days in the saddle getting it home etc. Nada.

then the service came do and I had it done in Bham by a service shop. Ok for the first few hundred miles, but then I got into a gully washer down pour. Pulled in vapor and it started to vent even though I was below 60. Hmmm

So, when I got home I diesel flushed as I could see ,moisture on the the dipstick , put in synthetic and then got a huge amount on the wheel. Argh.

then I queries and researched and it was, they vent until it gets down and the factory spec is quite a bit too much.

Letting it self level gets you as much as it will hold and me thinks it needs it all. Synthetic for insurance .

The vent itself really should be on top and the location may lends itself to loosing more than it would at top as well.

Don't ask me why they put it below the top, that is not the way gear box are done (Ural aside) but its a better FD than it used to be so........

You can add some hardware and raise it and stop it.

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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by AndyH » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:03 pm

RC20 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:24 pm
Welcome of the weird world of Ural, where Ural is too busy making them better to let us know whats up.
2017 onwards gets 2 output shaft seals. 2015 has an added O'Ring on the input shaft that no other model has. 2014 saw the introduction of the wider internal splash plate but not all 2014 FDs have them. It is a bit like getting 2014 rims on your brand new 2019 model - lucky dip extreme. This info is 1WD FD's only.

Getting back to the original question, I am sure there is a thread here somewhere about using an M8x1.25 barb and some plastic tube?
It only moves the excess oil - doesn't actually solve the problem (if it is a problem) although it might help with river crossings.
Something like this:-
2016-2.jpg
Disclaimer :- This is not my idea. I saw the modification, liked it and decided to implement it.
I used one on my bike for about 5,000k's but the real problem was the input seal so this breather mod did nothing to change that.
Fixed the seal, put the old breather back on and all is good. I keep the barb and hose in the tool kit just in case I come across a body of water I need to cross.
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by Speedbump » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:03 pm

I have done this mod as well and never had a problem sense.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=29119&p=594615&hil ... er#p594615
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Re: FD oil level mystery time.

Post by Mr Wazzock » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:26 pm

dale914 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:04 pm
Mr Wazzaock and others, the bizarre part of the mystery is that I've never topped it off. I've filled it when I've changed it, but not since (500 miles). It kicks some out which I understand that it breaths, leaks and so on, but I haven't added any and it's still as topped as its ever been... So is it displaced with metal shavings? Is it that the temperature has changed... Or that a little oil goes a long way? I clean it frequently...
Take a bit out?
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(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

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