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Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive Transmission, Clutch and primary or secondary drive problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #21  
Old 29th May 2018
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thanks you guys - been hearing about the "throw-out" bearing for years, mostly applied to cars with manual transmission.

It took a lot more than a quart to get the fluid to seep out of the weep hole, or "oil level plug" as the manual calls it. I have the 1986-2003 FSM in front of me, in Chapter 3 Lubrication, Maintenance and Tune-Up for 91-93 models it says "Oil should seep from the plug hole....When the oil just seeps out of the hole, install the oil level plug."

...but at the end of Chapter 3 it says 24oz for 86-93 models. I'm going with that and forgetting all about the oil level plug. I don't know where I (thought I) read 40oz.

thanks again!
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  #22  
Old 29th May 2018
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Since there are many changes to the specs over the years, it is best to get a manual specific for you YEAR model - Those multi-year books can sometimes be very confusing and sometimes simply wrong in their applicaiton of a procedure or specification - I think you ran into that already...


While the early 90's have an 'overflow' level screw, I would follow the advice given in the later years as represented by this image in the SP:



My 1994 manual (and later manuals) has this warning:
"Do not overill the primary chaincase with lubricant. Overfilling may cause rough clutch engagement and incomplete disengagement (or clutch drag)."

It does say to use 32oz but it also follows that with:
"Verify that lubricant level is even with bottom of clutch diaphragm spring."

My advice: I know with the older primary cover it is harder to tell this level, but I would use the last statement above as the goal - 'level with bottom of diaphragm spring' - which typically is less than 32oz - closer to the 28oz that Reddtigger recommended...

And, remember, there is a difference (even if not specified) between 'dry' fill and 'wet' fill quantity...

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  #23  
Old 29th May 2018
John Harper John Harper is offline
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My FSM has capacity listed from 24 oz to 40 oz in different places. I have the weep hole on my 1991 and 1 quart is perfect on my bike. 4 ounces above 28 ounces does not hurt a thing, don't worry, it will be fine. My bike has lasted 28 years so far with one quart in the primary and nothing has happened. Urban legend.

Like these nutcases worried about "inch pound" screws being tightened with a torque wrench to perfection. And they wonder why they strip them out.

John
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  #24  
Old 29th May 2018
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Thanks IXL - good stuff.

I have the 1991-92 FSM book at work but I'm off today so I was looking at a .pdf of the 1986-2003 and you're right there are discrepancies btw that and the 91-92 book.

It's practically impossible to see the level thru the clutch adjustment hole but I guess 24-28oz is probably right.

I've been using the HD Formula+ stuff for years but after reading so many rave reviews I recently switched to Red Line 42804 V-Twin Transmission Oil. Can't say I notice a difference except the RL seems a bit thicker, more syrupy. I wouldn't be surprised if running it overfilled screwed up the bearing.

Thanks again for your replies IXL they are very much appreciated!
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  #25  
Old 29th May 2018
John Harper John Harper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canoli View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if running it overfilled screwed up the bearing.
No way, that's magical thinking. I've used Mobil 1 75W90 gear oil or Bel Ray Sport Transmission Lube for years in my 1991. One quart, be done with it. No bearing failure.

John
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  #26  
Old 29th May 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harper View Post
My FSM has capacity listed from 24 oz to 40 oz in different places.

John
ha! interesting...I knew I read "40oz" somewhere but couldn't find it in the 1986-2003 .pdf I'm looking at today. I do see 24oz listed at the end of Chapter 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harper View Post
I have the weep hole on my 1991 and 1 quart is perfect on my bike. 4 ounces above 28 ounces does not hurt a thing, don't worry, it will be fine. My bike has lasted 28 years so far with one quart in the primary and nothing has happened. Urban legend.
When I used the weep hole method it took over 1-1/2 quarts before fluid started draining out. I let it go till it stopped and figured all was well but I should've known better b/c the level was almost to the ball/ramp assembly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harper View Post
Like these nutcases worried about "inch pound" screws being tightened with a torque wrench to perfection. And they wonder why they strip them out.
I'm a big believer in using a high-quality torque wrench but only for important fasteners. And a good torque wrench is a pleasure to use...very satisfying. But for derby / inspection cover screws? That's a bit ridiculous imho!
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  #27  
Old 29th May 2018
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I forget where in my FSM it says 40 ounces, but I marked it somewhere when I came across it.

John
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  #28  
Old 29th May 2018
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Hey Canoli,

I'm based in NYC and have done the same job on my 1992 Sportster 1200 - clutch kept coming out of adjustment after every ride, then ultimately burst into pieces and left me stranded a mile from my garage. To actually knock the bearing onto the screw, I used a socket and hammer - wasn't too hard and didn't need a machine shop to help.

I'm not sure your issue is the same though: if you're just having a hard time finding neutral, did you adjust the primary chain tightness at all?

Also, if the bike is creeping slightly in gear: did you adjust the clutch at the clutch side in the primary too, or just on the cable itself? You really need to do both for it to work properly.
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  #29  
Old 29th May 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harper View Post
I forget where in my FSM it says 40 ounces, but I marked it somewhere when I came across it. - John
I don't doubt it - I think we have that listed in the SP from the manual as well...

But what is so different in the 1991-92 design that makes 40oz right for those while the manual says 32oz for 1993 & later - with the additional caveat started in 1994 & later about the level being at the bottom of the diaphragm spring --- Nothing I know of should account for the 1991-92 needing 8oz more primary fluid...

Beyond this specific question...

Many times a spec is given without the source mentioning the detailed conditions (wet, dry, on kickstand, upright, with filter, w/o filter, etc.) upon which the recommendation was made, so it's sometimes inadvisable to simply take the specification as gospel - without applying some good ol' country windage...

There's lots of things 'that won't hurt it' because the Sportster is a pretty tough cookie - but most of the time it doesn't help either to be off the goal - and sometimes, even when that item alone may not be a big deal, when too many 'it won't really hurt' 's are combined together, they actually do hurt...

I read the manual - I also apply my knowledge & experience - They don't always come out the same...

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  #30  
Old 30th May 2018
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My 96, I put in about 30 oz, ride until it's about halfway to a change and put the other 2 oz in. I figure, what the hell.
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