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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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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.
head breather bolts.
 

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... 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). ......
Developed the same problem on my 2000 Deuce. I changed the cams, increased compression and jug size, high flow AC, etc. 110 HP & TQ. SE parts as in the 2000 era High Torque Cumbustion Chamber HTCC or something like that. I Developed a really bad case of it. My wife and I would ride that Deuce full throttle up the mountain from Denver. Starting at 5K ft to over 11K ft. Her jeans and boots would be completely soaked with oil by the top of the mtn. :( I got some fancy replacement hollow screw parts that included a connector between the screws and a one way valve that would dump oil out through a hose to the ground. The HD dealer went into the engine and realligned the cams and the oil pump. This was all a decade ago and I may not remember so well. :eek: After over 55k miles the Deuce still runs great and I don't notice any blow by.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, checked the oil it's full - top of the dots, so I'll lower it as indicated and give it a run.

Bull_Duck is there more informaiton you can give on the screws seams like a bypass system would be prefered. I use a catch can on my SRT8 to keep oil out of the intake, could be a solution for the SS.
 

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I agree with you guys. According to the manual, overfilling the oil will cause the oily mess you describe. I would like to route the breather tubes to a catch can of some sorts as well. I can get stainless steel tubing at work, maybe I'll figure something out.

I have a Ness Big sucker. It came with its own breather bolts which allow the oil vapor to be drawn back into the throttle body, and prevent emissions from venting to atmosphere. The liquid oil drains down the inside of the new backing plate and is caught by the filter media. I used Seafoam spray to clean the breather bolts/tubes, throttle body, butterfly and backing plate.
 
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I've only had it happen once.... running hot and hard on an all day run in 106° ambient.... oil misted out the air cleaner and put a few drops on the front of the saddlebag.... HD says that's normal.
 

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This may sound silly but it is effective. Go steal one of the ole lady's maxi pads and put on the inside bottom of the aircleaner. It helps soak up the occasional drip! ;)
 

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Common

IT does not have to be a 103 any stage 1 or for that matter most aftermarket air breathers will leak oil, moreso if it is hot or your altitude changes during a ride. As for your service dept. I'd find one that has guys that ride. Also if its a lot of oil then your running too much. and remember if your running sin. then a few drops seams like a lot.
 

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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.
+1 on that. all my Harleys have done the same, a bypass will solve the problem
 

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Crankcase Breather Setup

I had the same problem when I changed over to the K&N air filter for the stage 1 Air Cleaner. I like to run the proper amount of engine oil and with this better flowing filter, more vacum is created from the crankcase breather lines, creating this mess. This is how I understand it anyways...

This is what I came up with in my garage, for about $50 and some of my spare time. It works great so far and I'm pretty happy with the setup. This winter I'm going to spend some more time and clean it up a bit, with better lines and routing etc.

The bike runs great with no mess. I had a crankcase breather on my '84 EVO and it ran great also. Anytime you can filter the crankcase to the outside world and not your throttle body, your ahead of the game.
 

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