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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Primary oil

So after my prepaid maintenance ran out, I started doing my own fluid changes.

Have a question for the group, looking for thoughts.

I ordered a kit to change all 3 holes with o rings etc. The kit came with 1 quart of Primary oil, which is 32 oz. The owners manual, and youtube videos I watched calls for 38 oz. So I put in a quart and left it. I stopped at dealer, and 2 service guys and the service manager told me they always use just a quart and the owners manual is wrong.

Then I got to thinking. 6oz missing out of 38 oz is a 16% shortage. This is a shortage in the primary, where the compensator is located. Yes, the HD compensator that is known to fail. The same compensator I've already replaced with a baker.

Coincidence? I'm guessing the dealers are all using a quart which is easier than measuring out an additional 6 oz to truly top it off. I'm also guessing this may be a contributing factor to the high failure rate of the compensators.

Just my thoughts. So I went and bought another quart of primary oil. at 6oz per change, this one bottle will cover me for the next 5 fluid changes.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 11:57 AM
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Not all of the old fluid drains out, that's the issue, you should be fine


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 12:50 PM
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Not all of the old fluid drains out, that's the issue, you should be fine


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So what is the risk if we put in 38oz? Is there a downside? When I change Fluids I usually let it drip dry for a while, after I've poured in some clean fluid to "flush".


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 12:54 PM
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I have heard the most ridiculous things from service managers over the years. These guys are full of arbitrates about how to maintain your bike. My mantra is "if it's not written it's not true".
This instance of "just a quart and you will be fine" is a crock of shit. Even wet you need the extra 6 ozs.
Next time you ask advice of an HD employee ask to see it in the manual or service manual.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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I have heard the most ridiculous things from service managers over the years. These guys are full of arbitrates about how to maintain your bike. My mantra is "if it's not written it's not true".
This instance of "just a quart and you will be fine" is a crock of shit. Even wet you need the extra 6 ozs.
Next time you ask advice of an HD employee ask to see it in the manual or service manual.
I figured there is no way 6 oz doesn't drain out, and the owners manual says 38oz so I'm going with 38oz.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bosshogg123 View Post
Not all of the old fluid drains out, that's the issue, you should be fine
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Originally Posted by tazza56 View Post
I have heard the most ridiculous things from service managers over the years. These guys are full of arbitrates about how to maintain your bike. My mantra is "if it's not written it's not true".
This instance of "just a quart and you will be fine" is a crock of shit. Even wet you need the extra 6 ozs.
Next time you ask advice of an HD employee ask to see it in the manual or service manual.
The guy at the parts counter told me the same thing ("not all the old fluid drains out" - "it's 38 oz. if it's dry" - "1 qt. will do it").

This was the same dealer I bought the bike from last year. They showed me the service report showing that they changed fluid in all three holes. When I did all three again two weeks ago (motor was due and had to drain the trans to put in a longer clutch cable, so what's one more), the primary oil was dark grey, almost black, and I had some metal shavings on the drain plug magnet.

I put in a full 38 oz. of synthetic and will drain it again this fall to see if there's an improvement.

It's certainly plausible those missing 6 oz. is what contributes to premature compensator failures. I was thinking that exact same thing.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 03:14 PM
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I was just at the dealership after exchanging my gas cap for the recall.. spoke to the service manager about this thread.. he said he would definitely put in 38oz and got a strange look on his face when he heard 32oz..


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 03:38 PM
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When i installed my Baker Compensator and spring tensioner they recommended 45 ounces of Spectro oil. That is how many i put in the primary and it works just fine so far.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 04:15 PM
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It's certainly plausible those missing 6 oz. is what contributes to premature compensator failures. I was thinking that exact same thing.
The Evo and the Shovelhead both ran the same compensator; the Evo was 1 quart wet, and the Shovel was (vapor) effectively dry ... Yet both lasted just fine.

I think the new compensators fail because they're simply a shit design. Hell they don't really have to move that much, so shouldn't need that much lubrication. There's a bit of flex during takeoff and it's basically done "moving" for the rest of the cruise. And oil level be damned with all the sloshing about that goes on inside a primary during turning, braking, and just running along with the chain slinging oil everywhere...there's plenty of opportunity for it to get just as wet as it needs to be.

Christ the first time I opened the primary on my 10 I laughed my ass of when I saw what they were trying to pass off as a compensator. I'm still waiting to see how the SE comp I replaced it with will hold up.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2017, 10:49 PM
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Correct i agree 100% with tazza56, stealers like to cut corners, i have a friend who is a tech at a local one and he has plenty of stories. I put in 38 oz. as per my HDMC manual.
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