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Rubber Mount Sportster Motorcycle Talk (2004-2006) This area is to discuss issues, problems and anything else unique to the 2004 and above Sportster motorcycles

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derby cover, leak, oil, primary case

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  #1  
Old 22nd August 2011
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Question 06 1200C Primary Oil Leak

I have a 2006 XL1200C. Recently noticed i had some oil spray on the primary cover the other night. I wiped it off to see if it was the main gasket leak or maybe as simple as the derby cover. From what i can tell it is the o ring on the shifter shaft seal, because there is no fluid forward of that point and the O ring looks wet. Doesn't look like i lost much fluid but it was enough that it concerned me. I just had the starter replaced just last week and a whole new gasket set was put in the repair. Does the primary cover have to come off to replace the o ring for the shifter?

How many of you have had leaks and what are the most common spots for this to happen?
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  #2  
Old 22nd August 2011
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Mine weeps in the same place.

IIRC you dont have to remove the cover to replace the seal.
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Old 22nd August 2011
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Who ever did the starter replacement needs to address the seal leak. If they hassle you over it you can pull the shift lever and ad an o-ring or two as needed. the shaft seal is not pressurized so that is all that you need.
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  #4  
Old 23rd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterpaul View Post
Who ever did the starter replacement needs to address the seal leak. If they hassle you over it you can pull the shift lever and ad an o-ring or two as needed. the shaft seal is not pressurized so that is all that you need.
Mine is always getting oily around the shifter shaft seal, and I have replaced it once already without fixing the problem. It stays clean enough for a week or so, but after that the oil starts to build up and leave a black area there. I have another seal, but just don't feel like doing it right now, so it is in my parts pile waiting for the next opportunity.

On another note, Sonny had a major leak at the clutch cable, leaving a puddle below the bike when parked in his yard. I wouldn't think that could happen since the oil level is way below the cable fitting. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 23rd August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wedge View Post
On another note, Sonny had a major leak at the clutch cable, leaving a puddle below the bike when parked in his yard. I wouldn't think that could happen since the oil level is way below the cable fitting. Any thoughts on this?
Even on the jiffy stand?? The 'correct' level (bottom of derby cover) for the tranny oil is when the sportster is upright on a lift, not canted over on the jiffy stand.
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Old 24th August 2011
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Even on the jiffy stand?? The 'correct' level (bottom of derby cover) for the tranny oil is when the sportster is upright on a lift, not canted over on the jiffy stand.
So, if I understand you right, then that oil level is up to the cable when it's on it's stand? If the bike does lean over that far, then that would explain what I saw over at his place. I was just starting to wonder if there was too much oil in it. Mine just seeps from the shifter seal, and also from the cable, but never anything that could be called a leak. Matter of fact, if I washed the bike like most people, I wouldn't even know it seeped at all.

Sorry to the OP "clintbob", didn't intend to hijack the thread, but maybe this info will help you too.
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Old 24th August 2011
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If you check the primary casing and take a good look at the recess for the shifter shaft seal you would probably come to the conclusion, as I have, that the recess needs to machined just a tad deeper. That would probably end that issue, of course that would be to simple for the MoCo! i just add an extra o-ring when I do the seal. Works for me. And Colin is right on the proper fill for that cavity, do make a note- you and run it an ounce or two short without ill affects. Some bikes will spit out the breather tube if the full amount is put in.
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Old 24th August 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterpaul View Post
If you check the primary casing and take a good look at the recess for the shifter shaft seal you would probably come to the conclusion, as I have, that the recess needs to machined just a tad deeper. That would probably end that issue, of course that would be to simple for the MoCo! i just add an extra o-ring when I do the seal. Works for me. And Colin is right on the proper fill for that cavity, do make a note- you and run it an ounce or two short without ill affects. Some bikes will spit out the breather tube if the full amount is put in.
Hi Paul.
Mine has a ring around the shaft (not an O-ring), just looks like a plastic spacer. Are you saying to put an O-ring behind that up against the seal? Actually you said two O-rings.

I have always put a quart in the primary, and I was wondering about putting a bit less, and it looks like you agree?

By the way, 90,000 miles since 06... I have to give you rep for that.
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Old 25th August 2011
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Thanks for that, and I do add an o-ring between the shift lever and the shaft seal, that little bit of pressure keeps my side cover clean and dry. 91,000 now.
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Old 25th August 2011
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Found the leak without a doubt, it was the gasket for the inspection cover. Cleaned up the primary case and started the bike, it was pouring out under that cover. New gasket $4 from HD. Easy fix, torqued to spec.
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