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  #31  
Old 3rd May 2018
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My analog temp gage I bought from Harley does not pop up. It is also accurate. The dealer guy is full of it as usual.
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A couple of days ago arrived the replacement on warranty...
from Holland...
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  #33  
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The actual dipstick "stick" looks very, very different from the stock Harley dipstick. I bought my bike used and it came with that temperature gauge dipstick (63023-05)....so I can't compare the length of the two dipsticks.
So, where on that chrome "stick" should the oil be? I'm not feeling very confident that I have I have oil at the right level.
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Pardon me for giving this thread a bumpy ride, but I have a solution to the measurement-invisibility problem. You need to etch the shine off the dipstick, something Harley forgot about during the chrazy chromium cha-chingalingabling chrisis.

The stuff:
  • Hydrochloric acid (can be bought from hardware store - I used 30% if I recall correctly)
  • Disposable gloves (nitrile preferred), eye protection (full safety glasses or face shield preferred).
  • Bicarb soda (baking soda)
  • Glass tall enough to contain at least the dipstick.
  • A piece of stiff paper (larger than the glass). A bit of stiff plastic with a hole drilled in may work better.
  • A small torch (optional - helps with process inspection).
The prep:
  1. Make a reasonably large quantity of bicarb soda solution - 5tbsp into 1qt/1L of water. Make sure this is in a container large enough to at least stick your hand in without getting suck, and that you can soak your whole hand in the liquid, should you end up spilling acid on your skin.
  2. Ensure the area is free of contaminants, such as metal shavings, dirt and grease.
  3. Ensure the area is free of complainants, such as mother-in-laws and children, as they may react explosively, causing injury.
The procedure:
  1. Cover the cap in glad wrap leaving just the dipstick exposed. Please note that, as careful as you may be, covering the rest of the cap/gauge is very important, because as I learned the hard way, HCl vapours rise from the acid, mix with moisture in the air and turn the chrome into green. This still may still happen even if you cover it, but it should be mild enough that you can polish it near the end.
  2. Poke the dipstick through the stiff paper and clean the area around the dipstick.
  3. Place the stick in a glass of hydrochloric acid for about 1-5 minutes (be sure you have plenty of ventillation!). Keep watch during the entire duration of this step. If you see a dark strip that runs along the length of the dipstick, remove from the acid immediately and proceed to the next step.
  4. Inspect the result. If satisfied with the etch, remove the stiff paper and glad wrap covering, and wipe the cap using a paper towel soaked in bicarb soda solution. Wipe the stick after wiping the cap.
  5. Carefully run a sharp pin around both upper and lower marks to enhance their visibility.
  6. Quench the dip stick in bicarb soda solution for about 5 minutes.
  7. Wipe the whole assembly with a paper towel that is wetted with just water. Clean and dry the whole cap/dipstick unit.
The end:
  1. Place paper in bicarb solution, let it soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Empty the glass, rinse with some bicarb soda solution. Pour some solution inside it and leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Wash as per your usual glass washing routine.
To summarise, that's roughly how I got rid of the shine from the metal dipstick. I just etched the stick using hydrochloric acid I got from the hardware store, then neutralised it by quenching in bicarb soda solution.

I make it seem like a lot of steps, but much of it is for safety and other little details that are very important. You don't want to end up losing eyes or injuring yourself (we're dealing with acid here, after all), but you also don't want to end up contaminating the oil in your bike.

I initially tried sandpaper to create a "brushed" look, but didn't improve visibility of the oil layer much.

ratiostrain: I have both sticks (the OEM one I got is from a 2014 model, though I think the oil tanks are mostly the same). The two markings on both sticks are exactly the same length, and exactly the same distance away from the start it seems. Just make sure the oil lies in between the two marks on either dipstick and you will be OK.
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