Changing castrol R oil

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pete.collings
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Changing castrol R oil

Postby pete.collings » Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 am

When I purchased my all alloy VH 2 years ago from the widow of a club member I knew, she gave me a small folder of information relating to the bike.
He was into competition singles, and amongst the notes was a comment that the bike was run on Castrol R oil.
Having eventually sorted out some incorrect details in the V5C via the DVLA (many thanks to the AOMCC club archivist), and a couple of test runs last year, I hope to use it more this year, but want to do an oil change beforehand.
However, I am not sure if the details about the oil type are correct, as I tried heating a small amount of the oil in a pan until it started to smoke, but there was no characteristic small of burnt vegetable oil. I also tried mixing a little mineral oil in, and heated the combination, but there was no obvious sign of incompatability.
Having heard reports of clumping and blocked oilways if mineral and vegetable based oils are mixed, is there any (easy) way of getting a positive identification of the existing oil type, so I can do an oil change without risking any damage to a motor that is in good order, and which I do not wish to strip down.
Would draining all the current oil and using a flushing oil a couple of times be likely to cause a problem? Ideally, I would like to swop to a mineral based oil, possibly (semi) synthetic if appropriate, for ease of availability. I have previously purchased some vegetable type oil in case I have to stick with a Castrol R type oil, but I believe Penrite sell a blend of synthetic and vegetable oil that may be of use.
I don't anticipate doing any large mileages on the bike, so any not too concerned about a bit of cam wear to the (apparently) special cam fitted.

I would welcome feedback from forum members who have experience of using both types of oil, and have swopped between oil types in the same engine.

nevhunter
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Re: Changing castrol R oil

Postby nevhunter » Thu May 23, 2019 2:09 am

Do NOT use a flushing oil under any circumstances. You are likely to start the cam and followers galling in a few minutes It's the most critical lube area of a VH and any competition one will have the initial heavy valve springs.
Remove the oil tank from the bike and clean fully. Shake with metal pellets or small nuts and kerosene to get rid of the grunge on the bottom of the tank Hose out with high pressure hose and dry with an hair dryer and reinstall. I/2 fill with a good comp high rated mineral oil (with friction modifiers).
Remove plate on base of crankcase and clean the centrifugal oil trap (hollow bolt in flywheel rim) Replace cover after cleaning gauze carefully. Remove valve adjuster cap on front of head and pour 1 1/2 cups of the same oil as is in the tank. This is to ensure the engine gets oil to all parts quickly.
Start motor and run at fast idle. It may smoke a bit due to the extra oil in it Observe oil from engine returning to tank. It will be a continuous stream till the excess gets into the tank.( That's why it was only 1/2 full originally). Very little Castrol "R" will be in the engine . The later "R"s have mostly synthetic in it and any that remains will not cause any trouble. Give the bike a couple of good long runs (up to full temp) and observe the return oil for any contamination and that it's operating normally in the oil pump depertment. That is full stream at initial start and intermittent after about a minute. IF you are worried about the rate put the return oil into a bottle (disconnect it and put a longer rubber pipe on temporarily) I can't give you a quantity /Vs time as I don't know what pump is on the motor. The after 49 is the best all round size. I've run bigger and had problems, and so have others over the years. Good luck. Nev

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Re: Changing castrol R oil

Postby john.whiting » Thu May 23, 2019 2:11 am

I have a tin of R ,and just tried it...it has very little smell,less than mineral oil ,for my 2c,maybe if you burnt some you would get the smell..........I have cleaned systems and swapped ,not recently tho.......I note on the R tin it says the oil is a blend of "synthetic esters"......so maybe it isnt made out of weed seeds at all. In any case,with a new bike ,you cant go wrong flushing the engine and oil tank with petrol as a matter of course..........I use the R for a completely different purpose,and IMHO,it does have a familiar smell burnt, a bit like the old roasted peanut smell of R in racing fuel.

pete.collings
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Re: Changing castrol R oil

Postby pete.collings » Sat May 25, 2019 11:20 am

Thanks for the feedback, I'll try using a hybrid synthetic/vegetable oil, and aim to remove as much of the current oil as possible by removing the sump plate as well as draining/cleaning the oil tank, and then keep a good eye on the oil tank return filter to see if anything untoward appears.


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