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

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  #11  
Old 4 Days Ago
ferretface ferretface is offline
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Just to add to the confusion, here's a scan from my "1983 OWNERS MANUAL XL Models 1000cc 4-Speed", part no. 99466-83...
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File Type: jpg oil-level.jpg (104.7 KB, 18 views)
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  #12  
Old 3 Days Ago
boomerguy boomerguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke0matiC View Post
To accurately check the oil level, follow the instructions in the manual.
+1. Like the old saying goes, "When in doubt, read the directions."
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  #13  
Old 3 Days Ago
boomerguy boomerguy is offline
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Note that the oil level should always be checked right after the engine is shut off -- before it starts draining from the oil tank into the engine crankcase. (This is another reason for draining the oil for an oil change when it is hot. You won't risk overfilling it when you add the new oil because you will have drained more than you would if you waited for it to cool down.)

You could check it when it is completely cool if you have a reference point. When mine is full at operating temperature, it will always read 1/2 after the engine cools completely down.

Last edited by boomerguy; 3 Days Ago at 03:41..
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  #14  
Old 3 Days Ago
Bigshankhank Bigshankhank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerguy View Post
Note that the oil level should always be checked right after the engine is shut off -- before it starts draining from the oil tank into the engine crankcase. (This is another reason for draining the oil for an oil change when it is hot. You won't risk overfilling it when you add the new oil because you will have drained more than you would if you waited for it to cool down.)

You could check it when it is completely cool if you have a reference point. When mine is full at operating temperature, it will always read 1/2 after the engine cools completely down.
Um, mayhaps I have misunderstood how the oiling in a dry sump engine works, but I thought that it does not hold (much) oil in the crankcase? Which is why you drain the oil from the tank, and not the bottom of the cases like a wet sump Japanese engine?
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  #15  
Old 3 Days Ago
boomerguy boomerguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigshankhank View Post
Um, mayhaps I have misunderstood how the oiling in a dry sump engine works, but I thought that it does not hold (much) oil in the crankcase? Which is why you drain the oil from the tank, and not the bottom of the cases like a wet sump Japanese engine?
You are correct. The total system (oil tank and engine together) holds 3.6 quarts. At operating temperature, the oil tank holds 2.8 quarts and the crankcase still has .8 quarts in it below the oil pump.
The proper way of changing the oil when hot is to drain the oil tank (2.8 quarts) and add 3.0 quarts. Then you open the oil drain line from the oil tank to let it "burp" (get the air bubble out) which sacrifices about .2 quarts.
The oil tank is above the engine sump and makes things appear complicated. If you want to see more complicated stuff, check this out:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...unt_wetsumping
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  #16  
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Another issue is many tanks have replacement stopper/dipsticks that are not application specific.

Set oil level hot and leave at least 1" of air space in the tank, no matter what the stick says.

Oil level is not critical untill you operate in high temps, where more oil in the tank will help with heat disapation.

If you are worried you can do an Indian Larry oil filter to increase capacity. An I always run a cooler.

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  #17  
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My information on oil level, capacity, change procedures, etc. comes from a combination of factory service manual, expert Harley certified mechanics and my own personal experience. My dipstick is not stock but it is an all metal Harley-Davidson dipstick/analog thermometer from the Harley Store for my specific Sportster which is a 2005 883XL. No mechanical issues of any kind. No oil burning, leaking, or anything else.
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