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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 21st March 2016
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Default 79 ironhead oil pressure

So I have read all the forums everywhere and the general consensus is that 6psi off the oil pump is norm. what does it mean if I have higher pressure? I started with 3 quarts of 20w50, I have no filter, oil is returning to the tank so I know it is circulating through the engine, I was reading around 12-15psi at idle, somewhere close to 40 at higher rpm. I drained out about half a quart and checked again and it is closer to 6(maybe around 8-9 cold and 6-7 warm), but still going above 20 when rpm's increase. is this normal to increase with engine speed? I would think so, but how much should it increase? TIA
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exactly where is this gauge hooked into, simply removing oil from a tank does not change the pressure
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Old 21st March 2016
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Try 50 er 60wt
Much better results.
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Hook up an oil light using an oem switch and use the gauge for something that needs oil pressure. An Ironhead is not a pressure lubricated motor. All it needs is flow.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72 Ironhead XLH View Post
exactly where is this gauge hooked into, simply removing oil from a tank does not change the pressure
the gauge is tapped in to where the switch would normally be on the front of the pump.
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Old 21st March 2016
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All the IronHead oil tanks hold 3 quarts except the 1979 to 81 which hold 4 quarts.These quantities are accoding to the Factory Service Manual. It seems to me that 1979, unlike the others, actually holds less than 3 quarts. I think this is because the spout is attached low on the tank, and it is usually filled when on the side stand. So best to check this out. Put in the correct amount and keep it topped up.

A 30 psi oil pressure gauge hooked up directly to the pump, on my bikes, pegged the needle with engine cold, and read about 8 psi fully warmed up. Hooked up to the rocker covers it read zero warmed up.

As already said, you need to have an oil pressure indicator light. The gauge is not really meaningful on these engines.
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manual says 4psi minimum at idle and 10-20 @ 3500rpm
ignore the gauge and go riding, worry when it reads "0"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72 Ironhead XLH View Post
manual says 4psi minimum at idle and 10-20 @ 3500rpm
ignore the gauge and go riding, worry when it reads "0"
That's what I was thinking, just didn't want to hurt the engine with too much pressure. Thanks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
All the IronHead oil tanks hold 3 quarts except the 1979 to 81 which hold 4 quarts.These quantities are accoding to the Factory Service Manual. It seems to me that 1979, unlike the others, actually holds less than 3 quarts. I think this is because the spout is attached low on the tank, and it is usually filled when on the side stand. So best to check this out. Put in the correct amount and keep it topped up.

A 30 psi oil pressure gauge hooked up directly to the pump, on my bikes, pegged the needle with engine cold, and read about 8 psi fully warmed up. Hooked up to the rocker covers it read zero warmed up.

As already said, you need to have an oil pressure indicator light. The gauge is not really meaningful on these engines.
Thanks Mick. I am using a aftermarket cylinder oil tank, not sure of the capacity, I think maybe 4 or 4.5 qt. I like having the gauge so I might try to find a way to hook up both with a tee fitting or something.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbtfan View Post
... I like having the gauge so I might try to find a way to hook up both with a tee fitting or something.
I used first a 45` fitting to get some space away from the engine case, then an F-shaped fitting to attach both lines. Worked quite well. Another forum member has done it without the 45` fitting - i was unable to make that work on my bike.
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