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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up a 2019 RGS off a private seller w/1,800 miles on it and warranty good until April 2021. I've put about 1,000 miles on it since purchase and it's been great. Mfg date is Feb 2019 and I heard stories about oil migration issues so today I decided to inspect oil levels. Now the guy I bought it from said he had 1,000 mile service at about 1,500 so it's only been about 1,500 miles since that dealer service. One would assume all levels were correct at that point.

What I found following owners manual for how to check levels:
  • Main engine oil level down about a quart
  • I pulled intake and there was some oil but not super gunked up from excessive blow-by. Eventually I will re-route away from intake like I did with my '02 Twinky.
  • Tranny level not even showing on stick (uh-ohh...this is where I started thinking about the oil transfer issue)
  • I put a pan under derby cover and voila...a sh*t-ton of oil drained from it.
  • I let it drain to proper level on clutch basket and measured 24oz total that drained out of primary.
  • I had to add about 14oz to get tranny to correct level.
In the short term I'm gonna 'manage' this by logging all levels every tank or so but obviously I want to eliminate the issue. I've seen discussions on adding a vent to back side of primary, and also a hydraulic side cover mod by Baker that's over $500. I have not see squat on what HD is doing under warranty for this. I'm going to local dealer tomorrow to ask what they can do under warranty but I'm not expecting much.

Anyone got intel on the 'real' fix?
 

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The dealer is going to tell you to ride 1000 miles and come back. When I did that, my levels were fine but I had transferred about 8 oz in the 3000 miles prior. The vent tube kit costs about $40. It is easy to install. My advice is to just install the tube yourself and it's done.
 

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I told my dealer it migrated and I wouldn't run it dry. Brought it to them full and gave them my redline fluids. They scheduled it and did the work under warranty and had it back in 2 hours. See what yours says. Every dealer is different though
 

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I was told loss of a quart of oil in engine is “normal” when new. It shouldn’t do that anymore after the 5k service. Mine hasn’t.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for input...I called dealer and they knew all about the migration issue. Just like 'geo8866' said above...They scheduled a time to come in and do a 'level verification' check, then come back after 1,000 miles where they re-check to confirm or deny I have the issue. HD mothership makes them go through that to get the 'ok' to install a $40 vent kit that takes about an hour to do (LOL).

Depending on how bad the migration rate is, it seems like a roll of the dice to just follow their guidance. I could be running around with overfilled primary and low tranny for who knows how many of those 1,000 miles. I am not original owner...don't know how much of it's short life of 3,000 miles has been with improper levels. Warranty expires 4/2021 so I will play it by the book and keep a close eye on levels during the next 1,000 miles and see what they come up with. If they determine my rate of migration does not meet the motherships definition, I will buy kit and put it on myself.

I'm also going to do the sumping inspection per shop guidance I've seen floating around (pull crank position sensor and measure fluid)...different issue but I like to know what's going on vs wait and hope.
 
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Thanks for input...I called dealer and they knew all about the migration issue. Just like 'geo8866' said above...They scheduled a time to come in and do a 'level verification' check, then come back after 1,000 miles where they re-check to confirm or deny I have the issue. HD mothership makes them go through that to get the 'ok' to install a $40 vent kit that takes about an hour to do (LOL).

Depending on how bad the migration rate is, it seems like a roll of the dice to just follow their guidance. I could be running around with overfilled primary and low tranny for who knows how many of those 1,000 miles. I am not original owner...don't know how much of it's short life of 3,000 miles has been with improper levels. Warranty expires 4/2021 so I will play it by the book and keep a close eye on levels during the next 1,000 miles and see what they come up with. If they determine my rate of migration does not meet the motherships definition, I will buy kit and put it on myself.

I'm also going to do the sumping inspection per shop guidance I've seen floating around (pull crank position sensor and measure fluid)...different issue but I like to know what's going on vs wait and hope.
You can always "help" those fluids be migrated on the day you bring it in. Just sayin...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's an idea to 'help' the migration...but I'm about 30 miles to the dealer. Maybe I can trailer it in?

Per the manual (all checked COLD), they are all over the place depending on which hole you are checking LOL:
-Engine oil - on side stand and screw dipstick all the way in. Needed 1QT to get to proper level.
-Tranny - bike level and screw in dipstick ONLY to o-ring but don't tighten. Nothing showing on dipstick, took 14oz to get between A and F (cold).
-Primary - bike level. I pulled derby cover off with it on jiffy stand and let it drain til it stopped. Then checked with bike level to verify it was at bottom of clutch basket. I measured about 24oz that drained out.
 

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That's an idea to 'help' the migration...but I'm about 30 miles to the dealer. Maybe I can trailer it in?

Per the manual (all checked COLD), they are all over the place depending on which hole you are checking LOL:
-Engine oil - on side stand and screw dipstick all the way in. Needed 1QT to get to proper level.
-Tranny - bike level and screw in dipstick ONLY to o-ring but don't tighten. Nothing showing on dipstick, took 14oz to get between A and F (cold).
-Primary - bike level. I pulled derby cover off with it on jiffy stand and let it drain til it stopped. Then checked with bike level to verify it was at bottom of clutch basket. I measured about 24oz that drained out.
I believe engine oil is checked hot, or as they say, "At ambient temperature." Also, tranny is checked on the side stand, which means you are probably even lower than you thought.
 

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I believe engine oil is checked hot, or as they say, "At ambient temperature." Also, tranny is checked on the side stand, which means you are probably even lower than you thought.
Here's food for thought...

The manual says to check the trans fluid level on the jiffy stand for all touring bikes. The trikes have the same trans as the 2 wheeled bikes so why do you check them upright? They both use the same dipstick. ????
 

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Discussion Starter #13
LOL...so I go to dealer today for the 'H-D official oil level verification process check'. They told me they need to drain the fluids from Primary and Tranny, replace gasket on derby cover and drain plug, 1/2 hour labor, and cost of fluids. And it's not covered under warranty so it will cost me about $100. Then run it for 1,000 miles and come back to do it again. Seeing the fluids just got changed 1,000 miles ago I told them I'm not interested and rolled out. I also asked about getting the 'vent kit' and doing it myself. The guy said it may not be an available part (BS...it's stock on the 2020's fer crissakes!) and it's a very complicated job (also BS, just remove Primary cover, drill a hole and install the vent).

Bonus...I asked about sumping issue and the 'service guidance' I've read regarding how to check by pulling Crank Position Sensor and measuring how much oil you get. The guy said there's nothing he knows about regarding this check.

Some things never change, the bottom line is I'm gonna do the vent mod and check for sumping myself. If I need an upgraded oil pump I will factor that into a Stage 2 upgrade for a winter project.
 

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I believe engine oil is checked hot, or as they say, "At ambient temperature." Also, tranny is checked on the side stand, which means you are probably even lower than you thought.
Actually ambient temperature is room temperature. In other words, not warmed up....but the stick has lines for both hot and cold anyways.
 

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Here's food for thought...

The manual says to check the trans fluid level on the jiffy stand for all touring bikes. The trikes have the same trans as the 2 wheeled bikes so why do you check them upright? They both use the same dipstick. ????
that's interesting. I have had many bikes and understand if your dip stick is on a pivot you check your oil level on the jiffy stand, if the dipstick is solid (non pivoting) you check it up right. Is a trikes dipstick not solid to make up for it not being on the jiffy stand?
 

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Actually ambient temperature is room temperature. In other words, not warmed up....but the stick has lines for both hot and cold anyways.
I actually had that completely wrong. I'm looking at the 2017 service manual (Section 2.5). It says you can check oil upright or on the jiffy stand. And if you check cold, don't go above the halfway point on the dipstick. Transmission fluid should be checked at ambient temperature on the jiffy stand (section 2.11).
 

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you can also forgo the kit and just buy the vent hose for about $4 you'd have to figure out where to drill the hole on your own, but that doesn't look that difficult as the base of the hose is shaped like the passage in the primary, so you should be able to create your own template.


417188
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Thanks 'skratch'...I hit another dealer today (Hartford Harley) and they knew more about this than the dealer I went to yesterday (Mikes Famous in New London...see post #13, I was not impressed). Hartford Harley gave me the same story about HD requiring fluids drained, new oil, gaskets, blah-blah, verified correct (about $100), then come back after 1,000 miles. If I don't meet the HD definition of 'total volume migrated' they won't put on the vent for free. So why go through all that if I know I have the problem and just want the freakin vent installed?

The good news is they had the kit for $50 which includes the $4 rubber vent hose, a template with instructions on where and how to drill hole and install, a primary cover gasket, derby cover gasket, and drain plug o-ring. I asked if I could just buy the rubber vent hose and the template but all they had was the 'kit' (Part #26500027). Whatever...looks easy and I will put in on after I get a few more miles to understand my current rate of migration. That way I will be able to compare apples to apples and confirm or deny the vent install solved the issue.

By the way...the rubber hose (part #23) in skratch's post above is just one piece. there is no nipple or clamp required. After removing the primary cover, the hole is drilled in the primary case in the area shown above with dotted line. You are drilling a straight shot from inside primary thru to the back side which is external so any shavings generated on the inside you can easily see, clean and remove. After dressing up the hole, the hose just pushes through and you seat it properly.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.
 
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Thanks 'skratch'...I hit another dealer today (Hartford Harley) and they knew more about this than the dealer I went to yesterday (Mikes Famous in New London...see post #13, I was not impressed). Hartford Harley gave me the same story about HD requiring fluids drained, new oil, gaskets, blah-blah, verified correct (about $100), then come back after 1,000 miles. If I don't meet the HD definition of 'total volume migrated' they won't put on the vent for free. So why go through all that if I know I have the problem and just want the freakin vent installed?

The good news is they had the kit for $50 which includes the $4 rubber vent hose, a template with instructions on where and how to drill hole and install, a primary cover gasket, derby cover gasket, and drain plug o-ring. I asked if I could just buy the rubber vent hose and the template but all they had was the 'kit' (Part #26500027). Whatever...looks easy and I will put in on after I get a few more miles to understand my current rate of migration. That way I will be able to compare apples to apples and confirm or deny the vent install solved the issue.

By the way...the rubber hose (part #23) in skratch's post above is just one piece. there is no nipple or clamp required. After removing the primary cover, the hole is drilled in the primary case in the area shown above with dotted line. You are drilling a straight shot from inside primary thru to the back side which is external so any shavings generated on the inside you can easily see, clean and remove. After dressing up the hole, the hose just pushes through and you seat it properly.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.
I put a shop rag under where I was drilling. It caught most of the savings.
 

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if you are going to do the work yourself, be aware that you have to remove a plastic plug on the transmission side. seems that some of the dealerships doing the vent under warranty are not removing that and the migration continues until they do. they don't want to do that because that means that they have to at least loosen, if not remove, the exhaust.
 
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