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  #1  
Old 20th April 2018
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Civil War Harley Civil War Harley is offline
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Default Intermittent oil smoke from rear cylinder

I have a 77 XLCH that brought back from a basket. Runs great, and no complaints, other than an occasional smoking condition from the rear cylinder. I cannot put a certain situation on when the oil burn begins, i.e. traffic, or open road. It happens in both cases, and doesn't happen in both cases, again, intermittent. During the build, both front and rear exhaust valves and guides were replaced. Intakes were OK. I also did my best in ensuring the oil passages were clear in the heads and cylinders.

Any advice or experience from you wise and knowing ones that could help me out with this before I tear it down in anger? (this is my first and only ironhead, so far...)
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Old 20th April 2018
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hard to say without seeing it but: they all do it even the evo's. is it actually blue oil smoke or grey/white smoke from incomplete combustion.
hd did not consider it excessive oil burn till it got to 500 miles to a quart of oil.
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Old 20th April 2018
Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
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hd did not consider it excessive oil burn till it got to 500 miles to a quart of oil.[/QUOTE]

Keep a close eye on the tank level for a few days.
High speed consistent running will show a bit higher usage. Run a few tanks of fuel through it this weekend and see what you use. Doesnt really sound that excessive.
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Old 20th April 2018
needspeed needspeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
hard to say without seeing it but: they all do it even the evo's. is it actually blue oil smoke or grey/white smoke from incomplete combustion.
hd did not consider it excessive oil burn till it got to 500 miles to a quart of oil.
Wouldn't incomplete combustion smoke be black? Same as rich? Wouldn't incomplete combustion and a rich condition be the same thing? As in not enough oxygen to completely burn all the fuel?
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Old 20th April 2018
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Its blue smoke, and only from the rear cylinder. I have had to top off the oil tank, but have not done any mileage calculations against oil used. It is intermittent, and inconsistent with type of use. I did a leakdown test of both front and rear, and both are good.

I understand its designed to burn some oil, but this is rear cylinder only, and the front does not create the same amount. Also, for those who may remember, this is not like the mosquito man from the past blowing a cloud of DDT around. In fact, I can only notice it when I am stopped, or at low speed. I do not see the smoke trail in my mirror, as it is not that bad. I do however consider it an embarrassment to be smoking like this, and only from one cylinder when stopped at light, or intersection, or Main street in Daytona.
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Old 20th April 2018
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I had the same problem on my 71 CH with a lunch box style oil tank. Intermittent smoke from the rear cylinder only. No rhyme or reason to when.
I discovered by maintaining the oil level on the full mark of the dipstick I was actually overfilling. I changed the oil, added 3 quarts and marked the dipstick. Now I maintain it on or below that level and I have no more smoke.
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Old 20th April 2018
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" I do however consider it an embarrassment to be smoking like this"

Embarassed? If they see it smoking, they're behind you!
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Old 20th April 2018
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really depends on what is going on. if you are pouring fuel to the excess, then it would be black, but, on the same token, a poor mix although right ratio will not combust right so the fuel comes out like a cloud. not surprising they do not do it more so since the odd intake pulse and short runner.
there are many factors that can add/subtract to the problem. if it is oil burn, should be blue smoke. ever see a diesel smoke white as an example, the injector squirts the prescribed amount but say the compression isn't right, ambient conditions and etc does not allow for a proper burn.
now here is something to consider also, since oil in the cylinder reduces octane, that combination would reduce the combustion effectiveness yet still not enough to produce blue smoke. sportsters will pool oil in the c/c under sustained high speed runs and the rear gets flooded and yep, will huff blue smoke. normal, if i take a 5k run for 50 miles and come to a complete stop with out a cool down run, yep it will huff a little, but if i let her stabilize a few miles, none and that is at 120mph.
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Old 21st April 2018
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What wgt and type of oil you using?
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Old 21st April 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Mike View Post
" I do however consider it an embarrassment to be smoking like this"

Embarassed? If they see it smoking, they're behind you!
LOVE IT! Thanks Mike! And my wife says I better not be blowing smoke out my tailpipe....
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