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  #1  
Old 06-19-2006, 04:43 PM
ptabakaru ptabakaru is offline
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Default Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with using synthetic oil in their shovelhead, My 82 FL has been rebuilt 3000mi ago (new juggs pistons, lower end, and a valve job) with stock components. I have been using SAE 50, My primary oil return appears to be working. Someone had told me that I would have to adapt a total loss oil system from my primary rather than returning the oil to the tank/filter. Any input on this would be helpful, My Oil temp is around 210 to 225 after a good ride. Depending on the conditions and the load.
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:26 PM
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

With a fresh rebuild, you should have no problems using the synthetic, if you so choose. At the very least, dump the straight 50, and run a 20w-50. The motor will last longer, simply because of the better lubrication at start-up.

Time for a term explanation: A "total loss" system means the oil lubricates something, then is dumped on the ground. That ain't what you want in your primary! What they were talking about was to block off the supply and return lines on the primary. Then with the bike sitting on the side stand, dump enough oil into the primary to come up to the bottom of your clutch basket. A lot of us used ATF instead of oil. It lubes the chain just fine, and works great with the clutch plates. Whatever you use, if you get too much in, the bike will shift hard as the clutch plates will stick together by the oil film adhesion.

It isn't necessary to do all this to the primary, but the engine will last longer if you do. No sense letting those clutch fibers and chain wear particles circulate through your motor. Adding a real oil filter instead of relying on that piece o' crap in your oil tank is another good thing, along with a cooler.
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:37 PM
ptabakaru ptabakaru is offline
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

Thanks for the Info, I just installed a new horse-shoe oil tank and installed a remote filter. So I should be ok. What about the oil that remains in the base, as far as being mixed with the synthetic oil?
I've been pretty lucky the old girl doesn't leak any, (never did).

Any idea how much ATF would be enough?

I've been reading the strings on oil coolers here on the Forum, I haven't decided if I really need or want to add a cooler, been looking at the fin kit for the oil filter, i wonder how well that works, the filter that came with the remote kit is chrome but I don't care about that it doesn't bother me in the least to cover it up with some aluminum fins (chrome won't get ya home).
I'm going for the old bobber-esq look (flat black, red wheels trimmed in white, I'm almost done, I'll post some pics when it's finished.

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Old 06-20-2006, 10:36 PM
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

IIRC, it's less than a quart of ATF, after the primary is blocked off. And don't worry about any leftover oil in the crankcase or wherever. There ain't enough to worry about, and it'll mix with any synthetic with no problems. I don't know about the effectiveness of those oil filter fin kits. I used an old Ford (I think) power steering cooler on mine. Made a leather cover for cool weather use.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:54 PM
daryl71bus daryl71bus is offline
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

Switched to Mobil 20-50 Gold Cap after Skips advise. Now it`s hard to tell if I`ve shifted from third to forth as most the vibration has disappeared. I ran dino oil since 82 when I got my 79 FX???? Which I`d of log on to this forum long ago.
Good Luck & Happy Ridding,
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Old 06-21-2006, 05:31 PM
ptabakaru ptabakaru is offline
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

Thanks for the sound advice, I'm glad I joined this forum too.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:41 PM
deepjeep deepjeep is offline
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

To the question, How much ATF or oil in a sealed primary? 8 oz. seems to be just the right amount.
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:41 PM
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Default RE: Synthetic oil in Shovelheads

With the primary sealed off, you're using the same fill-up recommendation for my TC88. I running the SE synthetic oil, and a quart poured in (give or take) brings the oil level right up to where you can see it touch the clutch basket. Of course this is with the bike sitting level, not on the jiffy stand, I believe, ....I'll have to look at my manual again[]

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Old 06-24-2006, 12:41 PM
 
 
 
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