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  #1  
Old 09-27-2008, 06:08 AM
bb4l777 bb4l777 is offline
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Default BAD oil leak!

i just bought a 1976 ironhead sportster. i had it straped down in the back of my truck and i was driving on the freeway. i swerved to avoid a 2X4 in the road and shook the hell out of the motorcycle. when i went to unload it there was a huge puddle of oil in the bed of my truck. was going to try to start the bike, but sure enough i was pretty much completely out of oil and it still has a nice little drip goin. this is my first motorcycle! my knowledge is of them is pretty much just riding them. im no mechanic and dont even know where the leak is coming from, where to start looking, or how to fix it. PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!!
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2008, 07:11 AM
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supr2nr supr2nr is offline
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Since you said that the bike was out of oil, it has to be coming from the crankcase or the oil tank.

That being said I would put more that it pulled one of the oil lines free. On the back of the oil tank make sure that all three of the oil lines are there and secure. If those all check out then make your way to the bottom of the bike on the right hand side where the oil pump is and make sure the oil line is secured to the back of the oil pump.

If all of that checks out then just make sure the drain plug hasn't come out of the bottom of the oil pan.

If you still can't figure it out. Put a pan under your bike, and pour one quart of oil into the oil tank and see if you can see where the oil is coming from.

This picture is a very rudimentary drawing but from it you can see how/where the oil lines go on the bike. Ignore the oil cooler, filter part if you don't have one.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by supr2nr; 09-27-2008 at 07:16 AM..
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2008, 06:55 PM
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98glider 98glider is offline
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Sounds like there is a noticable leak that is obivious even when not running. Maybe the oil cap came off from the bumps
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2008, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bb4l777 View Post
i just bought a 1976 ironhead sportster. i had it straped down in the back of my truck and i was driving on the freeway. i swerved to avoid a 2X4 in the road and shook the hell out of the motorcycle. when i went to unload it there was a huge puddle of oil in the bed of my truck. was going to try to start the bike, but sure enough i was pretty much completely out of oil and it still has a nice little drip goin. this is my first motorcycle! my knowledge is of them is pretty much just riding them. im no mechanic and dont even know where the leak is coming from, where to start looking, or how to fix it. PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!!
First, lay the bike over on it's left side so you can clearly see the bottom of the engine.
You should see the drain plug under the bottom of the transmission towards the rear of the case.
See it?
You should also see a drain plug at the bottom rear of the primary cover on the left side. See it?
Those 2 plugs are the only 2 plugs that are removable.

Now, look at the bottom of the crankcase of the engine near the oil pump. There should be a plug there also.
This is not a drain plug! Do not loosen it! Just make sure the plug is not loose.
This plug was put there to fill a hole required when your engine was built. After the machining was complete HD installed this plug to fill the hole. They should have welded it up instead, but a plug was cheaper.
This plug should never be removed. Most people who do remove it, thinking it is an oil drain, are soon sorry they made this mistake. The aluminum is crumbly and strips out easily, so don't touch it. Inside the crankcase there is about 3/8 inch of space and then there sit the crank flywheels. This prevents you from re-tapping the threads, should you make the mistake of removing that damn plug.

With the bike on it's side, spray/brush on some Simple Green grease remover on the bottom side and hose off the grease.
Now upright the bike and put some oil into the oil tank. Fill it to the normal level.
The oil weight you need to use is 60wt. I suggest you go to a dealer and get the oil as Harley sells 60wt.
You can look under the bike if you want and see if and where any oil may be leaking. It will be easy to determine since you have cleaned it. If you see oil leaking out (there should not be a leak that quickly) take a couple of pics of the location and post them back here so we can advise you of what to look for.

So far so good?
OK, put a pan under the engine and get the bike started. The only place oil may come out is from the tube on the breather. The breather tube is located on the timing cover (under the generator's right end). This is a metal tube about 5 inches long pointing backward.
The oil will come out if the bike has not been run in some time, as the oil can leak past the check valve by gravity over time. This breather tube comes from the oil pump breather valve (inside the engine) and the excess oil will be puked out soon as the engine is run. This is normal for an ironhead. Just run the engine and the oil will soon stop. Be sure to check the tank level and top it off if needed.
If you need anything just let us know. Any question you have can be answered here on this forum........pg
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Last edited by piniongear; 09-28-2008 at 12:57 AM..
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2008, 12:49 AM
lucky23 lucky23 is offline
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Buy a shop manual. Seriously.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2008, 04:19 PM
bb4l777 bb4l777 is offline
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Smile Thanks!!!!!!!!

thanks for all your help! after checkin all the connections i finally just took off all the lines and sure enough the one connecting the oil cooler and the oil tank itself had a nice little hole in it. it was resting against a nut and i guess when it shook it just got punctured. THANKS AGAIN TO ALL!
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  #7  
Old 09-30-2008, 07:23 PM
contra costa jim contra costa jim is offline
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Cool to bad oil leak

I have a 74 ironhead, and after having the oil bag changed back to the original type I noticed a really bad leak coming from my brand new oil bag, be sure that when you tighten down your oil cap that you get down and look at itto make sure that it is secure from the top it might look OK but trust me it can be real easy to overlook, also check for loose fittings especially on the lower ends of your hoses, good luck, Contra Costa Jim
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2009, 04:57 PM
odontek odontek is offline
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Quote:
Now, look at the bottom of the crankcase of the engine near the oil pump. There should be a plug there also.
This is not a drain plug! Do not loosen it! Just make sure the plug is not loose.
This plug was put there to fill a hole required when your engine was built. After the machining was complete HD installed this plug to fill the hole. They should have welded it up instead, but a plug was cheaper.
This plug should never be removed. Most people who do remove it, thinking it is an oil drain, are soon sorry they made this mistake. The aluminum is crumbly and strips out easily, so don't touch it. Inside the crankcase there is about 3/8 inch of space and then there sit the crank flywheels. This prevents you from re-tapping the threads, should you make the mistake of removing that damn plug.Now, look at the bottom of the crankcase of the engine near the oil pump. There should be a plug there also.
This is not a drain plug! Do not loosen it! Just make sure the plug is not loose.
This plug was put there to fill a hole required when your engine was built. After the machining was complete HD installed this plug to fill the hole. They should have welded it up instead, but a plug was cheaper.
This plug should never be removed. Most people who do remove it, thinking it is an oil drain, are soon sorry they made this mistake. The aluminum is crumbly and strips out easily, so don't touch it. Inside the crankcase there is about 3/8 inch of space and then there sit the crank flywheels. This prevents you from re-tapping the threads, should you make the mistake of removing that damn plug.Now, look at the bottom of the crankcase of the engine near the oil pump. There should be a plug there also.
This is not a drain plug! Do not loosen it! Just make sure the plug is not loose.
This plug was put there to fill a hole required when your engine was built. After the machining was complete HD installed this plug to fill the hole. They should have welded it up instead, but a plug was cheaper.
This plug should never be removed. Most people who do remove it, thinking it is an oil drain, are soon sorry they made this mistake. The aluminum is crumbly and strips out easily, so don't touch it. Inside the crankcase there is about 3/8 inch of space and then there sit the crank flywheels. This prevents you from re-tapping the threads, should you make the mistake of removing that damn plug.
Hi, my friend and I changed the oil of my bike and he accidentally opened this plug thinking it was the transmission drain plug, a small amount of oil came out from that plug about 1/4 of a liter, how do I remedy this? This is my first HD and a newbie, I'm scared to run the bike for this might lead to a major damage. Please advice We don't have an official Harley Shop in the Philippines.

Last edited by odontek; 02-19-2009 at 05:08 PM.. Reason: added some more text
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2009, 06:22 PM
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piniongear piniongear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odontek View Post
Hi, my friend and I changed the oil of my bike and he accidentally opened this plug thinking it was the transmission drain plug, a small amount of oil came out from that plug about 1/4 of a liter, how do I remedy this? This is my first HD and a newbie, I'm scared to run the bike for this might lead to a major damage. Please advice We don't have an official Harley Shop in the Philippines.
Well, the plug has to be in place to use the engine.
You do not have a lot of choices open to you however.
The first thing to try is to reinstall the plug. Be extremely careful!
If you over tighten this plug (assuming you can get it back in place) it is going to strip the threads in the crankcase. So, if you can get it just snugly in place, consider you have just received a blessing from Heaven and never mess with it again!

More likely the plug will strip out when you put it back in. If that happens, you have 2 ways to go.........
Tear the engine completely apart, split the crankcases, and take the case to a welder and have the hole Tig welded over. This is the proper way to do the fix and is what I would do.

The other choice open to you is to smear some JB Weld, or similar material around the plug and keep your fingers crossed that it holds.
Almost 100% of the people who I have contacted that have this stripped plug choose to use the JB Weld solution.
That may work, but it is not something I would do myself.
My preference is welding over the hole. Harley should have done that very thing instead of using the damn plug.
Good luck with it, and remember, friends you do not need, when it comes to wrenching on your bike. So, Mr Friend........HANDS OFF!
That is a better way...................... pg
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2009, 11:02 PM
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sepixlh sepixlh is offline
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I have wrote this before and with seach option you will find at least 3 topics around this.
Emergency repair for this is as PG wrote use that JB Weld or glue plug back with 2-K epoxy glue. Essential is CLEAN parts absolutely no oil, so you need flush crankcase also from inside.
Then there is possibility that it holds, as PG wrote only correct and permanent way to repair this is to weld it with TIG.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:02 PM
 
 
 
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76, davidson, draining, harley, hole, ironhead, leaking, leaky, oil, plug, pukes, sporster, sportster, tank, timing


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