Do you Know your Sludge Trap?

by Kevin Robinson

A s the youngest of our bikes start to turn fifty, something to consider – Sludge Traps! Unfortunately they do require cleaning periodically. I have recently had a motor opened that has never had the bottom inspected despite already having had a re-bore. It had a short life after the re-bore and head work, only 3,000 miles and 10,000 total.

Upon splitting the crank I was rather surprised by what I had found. The sludge trap was so full it was no longer working. There was a slurry rolling around in the ends where the journals get fed oil.

One of the two oiling ports for the right journal completely impacted with same material found in trap. The journals were out of spec and crank had to be reground, the journal and bearing were starting to develop witness mark from contamination being fed to journal. I’m not saying go rip apart your motors but if you are working on your motor and don’t know your sludge trap’s history, it may well be worth it to inspect and clean it.

Adding an oil filter will also have an impact on reducing what can collect, modern detergent oils deliberately create sludge to remove particles in suspension from the oil.

Just thought I would share an ONo moment from the garage – Kevin