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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Blow by at Air Cleaner

I've searched but didn't see anything on this issue. The issue is oil is dripping from the air cleaner. There are three of us with 2011 - 103's all three have the same issue and equipment. Stage 1, all three are blowing oil out of the Air cleaner. All three have K & N - but also did this with the paper filter. Two were installed by the dealer one by an owner. All three use SE Syn. All three bikes are new this year (March and April) and all three have more than 10K miles but have had the issue from at least 1000 miles.

We have the dealer looking into it and we have talked to a number of service departments most say - haven't heard of that. Local dealer has contacted Harley MC no insight yet.

So???? What's up anyone else having this issue. Any ideas?

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 10:04 PM
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I have been riding Harleys for years and they all do it . When you go to a stage 1 or other open style air cleaner there is nothing to catch it coming out of the crankcase breather that feeds into the intake. if you run your oil level about half way between low and full it will not be as bad . The harder you run it the more will come out .
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 10:36 PM
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First off if your service department has never heard of oil blow by in the air filter RUN !!!! Away from that dealer.
They all send some oil out the breathers. As Oilcan said run your oil level (HOT) half way on the stick. That will eliminate some of the oil spew.
BTY HD has a service note on just that subject.
Also when you run hard or a lot of High RPM decel that will cause more blow by also. If you are still getting a lot of oil even after lowering the level on the stick. Then take it in for a leak down test.
I still can't believe that your dealer told you they never heard of this. WOW!
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Highway View Post
We have the dealer looking into it and we have talked to a number of service departments most say - haven't heard of that. Local dealer has contacted Harley MC no insight yet.

First thing you need to do is find service people that won't lie to you.
The oil in the A/C has been an issue for as long as the Twin Cam motors have existed and to some extent with the Evos. Although, I don't think it is nearly as common as it was in the 2000-2005 or so models.

First thing to do is to check your oil levels. It should be in the middle of the range shown on the stick. When changing your oil, 3-1/2 quarts will get you to approx. this point.

I do find it interesting that all the bikes in your group do this, something is being done the same to all of them.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 10:45 PM
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Hmmpf, I must type slow........
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 05:18 AM
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I have 13000 miles on my 2011 103 and no oil drips. I have stage 1 SE air cleaner also with the K&N filter but ran the paper one for the frist 8000 miles. never had a drip with either. I do my own service and never fill the oil more then 1/2 up on the dipstick between full and add. It has never used any between 3500-4000 mile oil changes. I have a friend who can not force himself from adding oil so it is always at the full mark and he has oil drips from the air cleaner. I tell him to leave it down a bit and says he will but he stops and fills it to the full mark every time he checks the oil, he just can not help himself lol.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 07:13 AM
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The owner of my dealership, who does most of the engine builds in his shop, told me that as long as the oil shows up on the dipstick, you are good. He said his doesn't even show when it’s cold unless you fire the bike up and let it run for 30 - 40 seconds. Mine shows six marks from the bottom when cold and about halfway when hot. Any more than that and she drips.

Be careful, STUPID doesn’t care what direction it comes at you from!!!


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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 08:24 AM
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Agree with all comments above... Blow back is as common on HD as chrome...

Will add however, keep clean your are cleaner and it will help.
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FAT CDN
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 08:31 AM
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Lots of good info on the blowby. Problem has been around since Evo's went to head breathers in 1992 to some extent. I'm not a fan of routing the breathers into the combustion process. I've always plumbed the breathers so the mist, oily or not, is going down and out away from the rear tire. Been doing it that way even when engines were case breathers.

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 09:21 AM
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You say it happened to you and two of your friends. By any chance did the 3 of you service your bikes at the same time? Blow is common when you add too much motor oil. The extra oil needs somewhere to go so it blows through the breather. I'm just taking a shot in the dark at this one.

I'm going to have a difficult time describing my next theory because I can't think of the name of the part I want to describe. When you install a high flow breather there are 2 "screws" which are hollow and have holes in them (can't think of what they're called). The "screws" send oil into your filter. If the screws were not properly installed OR if they somehow used the "screws" from the wrong year bike, you can get blowback too. Since the same dealer installed all of your breathers, they may have messed something up. That said, I'd be surprised if they didn't know how to do a high flow because they probably do at least 10 each week and they're fairly easy to install.

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