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Discussion Starter #1
While riding yesterday I noticed a really loud knock coming from engine and also noticed the oil pressure slowly fluctuating between 32 and 5. I figured either my oil pump was going bad or I had a clogged filter.

I checked the oil level when I got home and it was completely bone ass dry? How can these be and the idiot light not come on? it comes on when I turn the ignition on?


I checked the oil level in April and it was good, I have zero smoke coming out of the exhaust and no other indications of leaking oil. I leave it parked in my shed and there is no oil on the floor.

Is there another place this oil could be going? The bike has run great otherwise.

Any ideas or things to look for? I am thinking of just refilling with oil and monitoring it very closely. I changed the oil and filter in November and the bike was sitting till April before taking her out and riding her, so far it has about 3000 miles since last oil/filter change?
 

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Back when I had my first Harley in the 90's they had an issue with motor oil draining out into the primary. Just a thought given the lack of leaks or blue smoke.

Jeff
 

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I'm guessing you should have heard your valve train clicking very loud and seen a drastic drop in oil pressure after being 1.5-2 quarts low. It's strange that there wasn't any indication until you were bone dry. I recommend you carry a quart of oil and a paper cone on your bike until you find the cause of the problem. Keep a close eye on the oil pressure gauge and listen to the sounds of your bike. I'm a novice mechanic so I won't make any recommendation about fixing it.

Just an after thought. You may want to use a motor oil with Zinc in it. It will protect your engine. Look into Brad Penn Oil (Formerly Kendall Oil).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm guessing you should have heard your valve train clicking very loud and seen a drastic drop in oil pressure after being 1.5-2 quarts low. It's strange that there wasn't any indication until you were bone dry. I recommend you carry a quart of oil and a paper cone on your bike until you find the cause of the problem. Keep a close eye on the oil pressure gauge and listen to the sounds of your bike. I'm a novice mechanic so I won't make any recommendation about fixing it.

Just an after thought. You may want to use a motor oil with Zinc in it. It will protect your engine. Look into Brad Penn Oil (Formerly Kendall Oil).
Yeah to be honest I may have noticed a lil more noise than usual but ignored it like a moron. It would come and go and I do have a small squeal somewhere in the back of the bike that I been trying to catch so I was a little preoccupied with that. Harley oil is good, I mean if it ran that far with no oil I am thinking it is good stuff as now that I am aware of it I will not run it that low again.
 

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Back when I had my first Harley in the 90's they had an issue with motor oil draining out into the primary. Just a thought given the lack of leaks or blue smoke.
I wonder if its an inner primary seal or race leak?

motodrummer, you might crack open your derby cover to see whats going on...
 

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I wonder if its an inner primary seal or race leak?

motodrummer, you might crack open your derby cover to see whats going on...
what should I expect to see normally if I open the derby cover? Should I get any fluid out at all on the kickstand?
 

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We're you drinking heavy when you changed the oil in November, and forgot to add the oil ?
How's it running ?
 

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We're you drinking heavy when you changed the oil in November, and forgot to add the oil ?
How's it running ?
While I cant completely rule that out it is very unlikely : ) It seemed to be running the same as always, did not notice any power loss or nothing like that
 

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what should I expect to see normally if I open the derby cover? Should I get any fluid out at all on the kickstand?
Under normal circumstances (with no issues) you should only remove the derby cover while the bike is upright, not on the jiffy stand, otherwise you'll get oil running out of the primary because the normal level is right at the bottom lip of the derby cover opening.

So I would put it on a jack and check, if a lot of oil comes out while vertical, then you might have a problem.
 

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Under normal circumstances (with no issues) you should only remove the derby cover while the bike is upright, not on the jiffy stand, otherwise you'll get oil running out of the primary because the normal level is right at the bottom lip of the derby cover opening.

So I would put it on a jack and check, if a lot of oil comes out while vertical, then you might have a problem.
.
 

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Very unlikely that the oil is going into the primary.
I would think that excessive oil consumption would be caused by the umbrella valve malfunction. The umbrella valves are a major component of the crankcase breather and it they malfunction the engine oil will go into the throttle body and be burnt in the combustion chamber. That is why you see no signs of a oil leak, I would think that checking the oil would be something that would be part of a pre-ride inspection.
The umbrella valves are located in the rocker boxes and they are a easy DIY repair but it may not hurt to do a compression test before you tear the rocker covers off just in case it is a piston ring problem.
I don't think it would be the valve seals because if the valve seals were bad you would see blue smoke when you started the bike after the bike was sitting for awhile
By the way the oil light works on oil pressure so you would have to have almost ZERO oil pressure for the light to turn on.
 

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Yeah I'm going with Mark on this one ..

The issue from the 80's was a very poor case casting process , as I recall ( my 88TG had the issue ) I was getting primary oil into the motor , but I may be wrong that was a long time ago .. I did get new cases though ..

JtB
 

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I am soaking up the knowledge on the oil issue. I can add to your lesser squeal issue. If its squeaking at standing still idle, typically after warming up, Check your rubber exhaust/slip-on mounts. They may be dried.

I had chased that one for months, and ran across the answer on this forum. I pulled them out, light coat of anti-seize. Inside and out... squeal-be-gone.

Best of luck on the oil issue. I heard checking it every know and then helps.....
 

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I have some insight from experience....

1. BDMastiff: I am born and raised in Bradford, Pa- where Brad Penn is made haha.

2. I have a '10 fltrx. At 31k miles I had a leak( easy to believe on my bike.) It was coming g from the stator plug. Then the low oil light came on..... Turns out the main crank seal went bad and all the engine oil dumped into the primary. It also became hard to shift (indicator that primary is over-full.) When the bike was upright on a lift and the derby cover was removed, it looked like Niagara falls pouring brand new Amsoil all over!

3. I agree with Warbootie on the rear end squeal. Spray the rubber exhaust mounts under the bags attached to the slip ons with wd40. I bet it fixes it.

That is all.
 
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