Oil in my air filter - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Model: Shadow VT1100T
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Oil in my air filter

So today I had some time and decided to pull off the seat and look into where I could attach my brake light flasher but instead was greeted with a nice sized puddle of oil in my air filter and housing.

What could cause this? I don't even know where to begin trying to fix this as I've never had this issue before.

Spoke to the guy at the Honda shop and he told me the crankcase breather will sometimes spurt a bit of oil into the housing but said it shouldn't be much. This has enough oil in it that I need to go buy more because my bike is very low now.

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Last edited by Gymjunkie; 05-24-2019 at 04:50 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymjunkie View Post
So today I had some time and decided to pull off the seat and look into where I could attach my brake light flasher but instead was greeted with a nice sized puddle of oil in my air filter and housing.

What could cause this? I don't even know where to begin trying to fix this as I've never had this issue before.

Spoke to the guy at the Honda shop and he told me the crankcase breather will sometimes spurt a bit of oil into the housing but said it shouldn't be much. This has enough oil in it that I need to go buy more because my bike is very low now.
Clean it out and don't worry about it. Theirs a drain tube at the bottom of your filter housing that should be periodically drained. I keep my oil level towards the top mark and after a long hard run it will put a little oil in the housing. Perfectly normal. If you run your oil level a little lower it's less apt to happen, if it bothers you.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:41 PM
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With the VT750 crankcase foam vents to the air filter housing and then down. On the VT1100 In front of your air filter there should be a small rectangular plastic container that is used for any venting from the crankcase. One tube goes up to the box and one down. The tube going down is capped so if you look underneath and see a capped tube, put a container underneath, remove the cap and drain. There should be only a few drops.

It looks like maybe the tube, the container or both have become disconnected or full and you have vented to the air filter housing. You will need to clean that out and likely replace the air filter.

Typically I have no oil vented from the crankcase so this is an indication you are overfilling your oil causing it to foam and the foam is venting. Make sure you are doing the oil change and fill correctly ie bike upright rather than on side stand. For me the best practice is to measure how much oil I am putting in rather than relying on dipstick.

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Last edited by gdb069; 05-24-2019 at 08:51 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 09:56 PM
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Oops. Didn't see he had an 1100!

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gdb069 View Post
On the VT1100 In front of your air filter there should be a small rectangular plastic container that is used for any venting from the crankcase.
I was unable to find this small plastic container you were referring to but I will take another look tomorrow. Would it be outside/in front of the metal screen that's in front of the filter housing?

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Originally Posted by gdb069 View Post
You will need to clean that out and likely replace the air filter.
I gave my K&N a good couple washes, though it is stained. Think I may need to replace a K&N? I hope not.

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Originally Posted by gdb069 View Post
this is an indication you are overfilling your oil causing it to foam and the foam is venting. Make sure you are doing the oil change and fill correctly ie bike upright rather than on side stand.
Last time the oil was changed was by the techs at the Honda shop (since they were already doing a few other things for me) so I doubt it was overfilled, but it's possible. Pretty sure I checked afterwards anyway and all was good so I am not sure but I will keep an eye on it after I fill it up again.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smilie View Post
Clean it out and don't worry about it. Theirs a drain tube at the bottom of your filter housing that should be periodically drained. I keep my oil level towards the top mark and after a long hard run it will put a little oil in the housing. Perfectly normal. If you run your oil level a little lower it's less apt to happen, if it bothers you.


Got it drained out, thank you. A bit dumb to say, but I've always wondered what that tube was for lol.

From what I have heard though it's perfectly normal for a small amount but there was a good 1.5"-2" of oil in the housing.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Gymjunkie View Post
Got it drained out, thank you. A bit dumb to say, but I've always wondered what that tube was for lol.

From what I have heard though it's perfectly normal for a small amount but there was a good 1.5"-2" of oil in the housing.
A little is normal. When's the last time you had it opened up? If you've never drained it, you could get an accumulation over time.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 12:35 AM
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There is a small liquid separator tank and that drain hose. It should have a plug in the end until time to drain and then re-plug.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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A little is normal. When's the last time you had it opened up? If you've never drained it, you could get an accumulation over time.
While it is absolutely possible since I literally just NOW learned about draining it (the joys of learning things the hard way), I can at least say that my oil was last changed by the Honda shop last year, which they most likely didn't even bother to check this part of it since it wasn't the issue I payed them for.

Honestly until now the only time I ever needed to check the air filter was when I first switched to K&N on my current bike, and before that when it wouldn't crank over on my old Nighthawk....which I found a damn mouse nest hahaha.

To be 100% upfront, I was raised by ALL women and didn't have the "training" some of you may have had. Instead of being a mechanical "genius", I can cook one hell of a damn good chicken breast lmao. I am of course trying to expand my knowledge so I do truly thank all of you for taking the time to educate my dumbass, and for being patient with me on all of this...and I ask that you all continue to show patience as I continue to learn.

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Originally Posted by swifty2014 View Post
There is a small liquid separator tank and that drain hose. It should have a plug in the end until time to drain and then re-plug.
I did find the plug with no issue and got it all drained and wiped out, it's actually something I have wondered about for quite sometime anyway (the hose I mean).

What is the importance of it being plugged at all times and why can't I just leave it open? I completely believe you, I just want to understand the reason why.

Other forums (for other vehicles) I have been on weren't so understanding when I asked "why" so I feel I need to clarify.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Gymjunkie View Post
What is the importance of it being plugged at all times and why can't I just leave it open? I completely believe you, I just want to understand the reason why.

It might have a little bit of oil in it from extended highway driving, and when you pull up to a light and stop, it then drains on the ground right where your rear tire will be after you take off from the light. Now that could be quite the amusing sight as you hit that oil slick...

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