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View Full Version : Ironhead Replacing gear lube with atf???


LEROY
21st May 2010, 04:28
I WAS LOOKING UP SOME OIL REVIEWS WHEN I STUMBLED ONTO A SITE WHERE SOME GUYS PUT ATF IN THEIR OIL ABOUT 200 MILES BEFORE THEY CHANGE THEIR OIL...


ONE GUY MENTIONED THEY (SOME HARLEY GUYS) USE ATF IN THEIR CHAIN CASE CASUE ITS MUCH LIKE A TRANSMISSION....

THIS IS TTOOTTTTAALLYY NEW TO ME IN THE THOUGHTS OF DOOING THAT:geek

IT MAKES SENCE BUT TO DO THAT(AGAINST WHAT MY MANUAL SAYS) DOESNT SIT THE EASIEST WITH ME.....

JUST WANTING OPINIONS :)

LeRoy

Jafa39
21st May 2010, 04:31
Don't mess with tranny oil...period....use what they tell you to and be done with it...

natez1
21st May 2010, 04:39
I know guys who run ATF in big twin primaries, just a chain and clutch, but in a sporty I would want more gear protection.

Ivan RoachCoach
21st May 2010, 05:23
...good IH rebuilders are REALLY hurting in this economy so I'm now going to HEAVILY ENDORSE IT. :chtwo

Besides, it seems that no matter how many times it's laid out S-L-O-W-L-Y and in plain English for the mentally-incapacitated, this brainworm of a notion always finds a method to burrow it's way back into somebody's cerebellum. :whisper

Once this campaign takes off, I'm going to push extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as an alternative to both dino and synthetic motor oil.
I'm hoping it gets me in Rachel Ray's good graces...'cause that Italian girl is smokin' hot!!! :D

Jafa39
21st May 2010, 06:12
So you'd have an EVOO Sportster then eh?

rivethog
21st May 2010, 08:30
I run straight ATF in my wife's '78 Sporty (she bought it in '86), my brother runs straight ATF in his '80 Sporty (he bought it in '90). They shift smooth as silk, go into 1st gear effortlessly hot or cold, and have NO creep in gear with the clutch disengaged.

If you don't think ATF will provide enough "protection", here's something to consider: ATF was the factory fill, and the factory recommended fluid, in ALL Chrysler manual transmissions from around '59 to the early '80's, including Hemi 4 speeds. Hmmm? Chrysler transmissions have straight cut gears, roller bearings, ball bearings, sliding clutches and gears, and bushings. Sounds a lot like a Sporty tranny.

Fe Head
21st May 2010, 08:46
ATF, hmmm ....... does'nt the colour of the ATF fluid need to match up to the bike's colour?

I believe the red, blue, purple and pale yellow's are now covered off. :banana

However, I am not sure if the black, orange and green guys have their colours available in ATF yet.:doh

Cheers;

thefrenchowl
21st May 2010, 11:26
Ivan RoachCoach,

I used to be a bit set up in my own ways like you do, but on the few wet clutch Sportys I've owned, getting sick of this set up, crunches, no neutral, creeping, slipping and not disengaging all at once...

Someone told me to try ATF, did it and never looked back since... Makes the clutch a lot easier to live with, neutral can then be found almost at rest etc... Still left with the heavy lever mind you ;) ;) ;)

I said it before, if it's good enough for a V8 tranny, should be OK in a Sporty one!!!

Patrick

Gone
21st May 2010, 11:43
I modified my V-12 Jaguar, the gearbox came with some gear oil in it, instructions were very clear, for high performance installations replace oil with ATF.

frenchandy
21st May 2010, 13:07
been using atf since i tried it in my 60's Triumph primary 25 years ago ,never looked back,incdently Land Rover used to spec gear oil in their trannys but now design their manuel transmissions to run on atf

silver1
21st May 2010, 13:14
Good topic, ATF IS a Supreme Lubricant no doubt, an auto tranny is a big hydraulic pump with lots of moving parts, have used ATF in my nail guns for decades.

johnnyjellybean
21st May 2010, 13:25
The tremec 6 speed in the Dodge Viper uses ATF. That's a tranny handling 600 ft lbs of torque!!

The only thing that stops me from trying it is the breather between the primary and motor.

Gone
21st May 2010, 13:25
Good topic, ATF IS a Supreme Lubricant no doubt, an auto tranny is a big hydraulic pump with lots of moving parts ...
... and clutches!

silver1
21st May 2010, 13:41
True, I still trust engineers and what they recommend though, they get payed alot of money for what they say. They have an unlimited source and playground to back it up.

GA_Ironhead
21st May 2010, 13:48
I've heard of people running ATF and it's once again validated here. If you do, the biggest issue I see is that the seals need to be tight and no mixing of oil taking place between the primary and engine.

psychodad1961
21st May 2010, 13:54
So you'd have an EVOO Sportster then eh?

+1. Funny Shat right there!

fatty883
21st May 2010, 13:56
...good IH rebuilders are REALLY hurting in this economy so I'm now going to HEAVILY ENDORSE IT. :chtwo

Besides, it seems that no matter how many times it's laid out S-L-O-W-L-Y and in plain English for the mentally-incapacitated, this brainworm of a notion always finds a method to burrow it's way back into somebody's cerebellum. :whisper

Once this campaign takes off, I'm going to push extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as an alternative to both dino and synthetic motor oil.
I'm hoping it gets me in Rachel Ray's good graces...'cause that Italian girl is smokin' hot!!! :D

are all your replies this cocky or just the ones I seem to read, Im not trying to be a dick anymore than you are Im just sayin:smoke

Flame__
21st May 2010, 13:56
I've also heard that it should only be used in case of emergency only, then change it out asap. Personally, the viscosity difference isn't even close, and I've already had cases welded because of a blown tranny. I wouldn't gamble on it.

superwarden
21st May 2010, 14:09
Another oil debate and it is on May...


Try it if you like, I doubt, unless you ride the crap out of your bike, it will hurt anything..

Gone
21st May 2010, 14:26
I've also heard that it should only be used in case of emergency only, then change it out asap. Personally, the viscosity difference isn't even close, and I've already had cases welded because of a blown tranny. I wouldn't gamble on it.

It's not about viscosity, it's about oil film strength and shear strength. This is something ATF is good at.

02883r
21st May 2010, 14:33
Just a question out of curiosity (no disrespect, just question).. To those of you using ATF in your sporty transmissions, what kind of power do your bikes make? How many miles do you have on the transmissions with gear oil? I have considered using ATF, but these are the two questions holding me back. I average 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year and am making over 90 hp. You could probably get 10,000 miles out of a trans and clutch using canola oil if you so chose (joke......) but its the long haul that I'm curious about.

On a side note, every 4th oil change in my truck I substitute a quart of ATF for a quart of oil or if I need to add oil within 1000 miles of an oil change (in truck as well) I use ATF. It has high detergency properties and you wouldn't believe how clean it keeps the engine. It works better than motor flush as far as I'm concerned. As far a longevity, its a 99 Dodge Ram with a 318 and it has 368,000 miles on it and still runs like excellent.

silver1
21st May 2010, 14:43
Recommended oil thickness is all about clearances between rotating parts. My RedNeck interpretation goes as follows..........

Grab a sparkplug and set the gap at .030, next slide an .020 feeler guage in the gap, see how loose it is?...... Now cram a .050 in the .030 gap and see how your main bearings feel with something too large jamming through them...........

Gone
21st May 2010, 14:45
I modified my V-12 Jaguar, the gearbox came with some gear oil in it, instructions were very clear, for high performance installations replace oil with ATF.
These were factory instructions, from Ford, the gearbox itself was something they use for racing, no stock vehicle comes with it. Rated up to 550 bhp with synthetic ATF.

Iron Joker
21st May 2010, 16:09
Good post if nothing else but for academics.

Just a thought, then why the (now) recommended use of harley tranny oil & not ATF with it being so different?

LEROY
21st May 2010, 22:05
Just a question out of curiosity (no disrespect, just question).. To those of you using ATF in your sporty transmissions, what kind of power do your bikes make? How many miles do you have on the transmissions with gear oil? I have considered using ATF, but these are the two questions holding me back. I average 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year and am making over 90 hp. You could probably get 10,000 miles out of a trans and clutch using canola oil if you so chose (joke......) but its the long haul that I'm curious about.

On a side note, every 4th oil change in my truck I substitute a quart of ATF for a quart of oil or if I need to add oil within 1000 miles of an oil change (in truck as well) I use ATF. It has high detergency properties and you wouldn't believe how clean it keeps the engine. It works better than motor flush as far as I'm concerned. As far a longevity, its a 99 Dodge Ram with a 318 and it has 368,000 miles on it and still runs like excellent.

THATS WHY WE PUT ONE QUART OF MMO IN EVERY OIL CHANGE.... BUT IM LYING BY ONLY REFERING TO OUR VEHICALS, CASUE FOR EVERY 1/2 QUART I REPLACE IN MY BIKE ILL DROP 1/2 - 1 OZ OF MMO IN MY BIKE.....

THE LAST TIME I DID THIS I PUT 2 OZ OF OIL IN MY BIKE.... I NOTICED A SINGIFICANT CHANGE IN COLOR AFTER 2 DAYS (20 MILES) MY OIL WAS MUCH DARKER...

FROM THE GET-GO NOW ON IM JUST REPLACING 4-6 OZ EACH CHANGE.......(ALSO SEEMED A BIT SMOOTHER WHEN I USED 3 OZ IN THE PRIMARY) BUT I ALSO HAVE 85-140 IN MY PRIAMRY AND DONT PLAN ON USING ATF HERE IN AZ :banana:banadanc:laugh:clap:smoke:censor

BuckIRyder
24th May 2010, 17:50
Which type ATF works, I see different letter grades?

Ivan RoachCoach
24th May 2010, 18:39
...because I find that my 3rd gear loves the smell of coconuts! :roflblack :chtwo


:banapart

SpartanDen
24th May 2010, 18:46
When I changed clutch pack, the manufacturer suggested to use B&M Trick Shift. Which I did and have not experienced any issues. Changed clutch at 16000 miles and have 21000 on it now. The one oil they DID NOT recommend was Syn3. The said their experience showed this synthetic to allow the clutch to slip. They did not seem to demand that any particular type or brand be used, but they did tell me they used the B&M. which is good enough for me.

Ivan RoachCoach
24th May 2010, 19:23
...of it that the copier/shredder/printer tech gave me about a year ago.
It's slippery, has a funky smell, and a guy wearing fringed chaps at a Bike Nite recommended it because he's used it on his office chair to cure squeaks. :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh





__________________
- SPORTSTER -
Kicking Big Twins in the motherf******g NUTS since 1957

CTFS/QCB
Viva Los Bastardos!!!

83XLX
24th May 2010, 19:37
We should all pay attention when the guy with the fringed chaps speaks...

superwarden
24th May 2010, 19:40
I love your posts Ivan but I gotta ask......Are you this cocky in person or is it just an internet thing?

Ivan RoachCoach
24th May 2010, 20:32
...of questions that pop up on a way-too-regular basis and eat up gobs and gobs of space for no discernible reason other than so everyone can pipe in with their two cents' worth of preference.

My other favorites are:

:dunno What's the best year ironhead?

:dunno What weight oil do you use?

:dunno Which brand of spark plugs create the most power?

:dunno Which is the BEST carb to run?

:dunno Single or dual-fire ignition?

(Apparently, use of the Search function, service manual, or common sense has been shown to cause rectal cancer and should be avoided at all costs) :roflblack

Me, I'd rather look at dancing peppers, cucumbers, cows, and various bananas.
:dpepper:cucumber:danccow:banarasta:banadevi
:banapart

Ivan RoachCoach
24th May 2010, 20:34
...that I'm NOWHERE near as cocky, or good-looking, as rumor would lead one to believe. :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh




__________________
- SPORTSTER -
Kicking Big Twins in the motherf******g NUTS since 1957

CTFS/QCB
Viva Los Bastardos!!!

Moon Wolf
24th May 2010, 20:51
Around here everyone runs ATF in their primaries except me, and they have been doing so for years. The engine transfer valve lets oil out of the crank case, not in, so I it should not be an issue. I have not tried it, and cannot recommend it, but all the indy shops around here use it and have, collectively, hundreds of thousands of miles with good results. They report that the shifting is greatly improved. I am told constantly to run it. I do have dry clutches, though, and am reluctant to try it for that reason.

superwarden
24th May 2010, 21:03
Was gonna give you some rep but apparenly I have to spread the wealth first...

GA_Ironhead
24th May 2010, 22:26
The transfer valve vents the other way. Primary -> crankcase. There's a video on the board somewhere that demonstrates it. The video showed an IH with an open primary using crankcase vacuum to pull oil up a tube from a jar, through the transfer valve and into the crankcase.

frenchandy
24th May 2010, 23:47
The transfer valve vents the other way. Primary -> crankcase. There's a video on the board somewhere that demonstrates it. The video showed an IH with an open primary using crankcase vacuum to pull oil up a tube from a jar, through the transfer valve and into the crankcase.

nah,dont buy it,my bonnie(t140) vents into the primary via 3 holes BUT the primary runs on engine oil(the gearbox is separate).
cant believe that harley put together an engine that vents gearbox oil into the crankcase.Period.

Moon Wolf
25th May 2010, 00:02
Nope, it vents out. Just blow in the valve. You'll see.

rivethog
25th May 2010, 01:03
cant believe that harley put together an engine that vents gearbox oil into the crankcase.Period.
Believe it. From '65 to at least '86, Big Twin primaries were "part" of the oiling system. The primary return oil line was routed to the crankcase breather valve, where it dumped the primary oil into the cam chest and it was picked up by the scavenge section of the oil pump. Clutch dust, chain filings, adjuster shoe debris, all went through the breather valve and oil pump before being filtered. That's the reason so many Shovel owners converted to a sealed primary. H-D finally saw the light and now runs their BT primaries sealed.

GA_Ironhead
25th May 2010, 01:46
If the valve vents from crankcase-to-primary, how do we reconcile the behavior of the oil transfer valve shown in the video in post #11 of http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=774775? I would think a bad transfer valve would have a net zero flow, or at least show lots of bubbles in the oil as the CC exhausts. Sorry, can't find the original post.

johnnyjellybean
25th May 2010, 02:30
...of questions that pop up on a way-too-regular basis and eat up gobs and gobs of space for no discernible reason other than so everyone can pipe in with their two cents' worth of preference.

My other favorites are:

:dunno What's the best year ironhead?

:dunno What weight oil do you use?

:dunno Which brand of spark plugs create the most power?

:dunno Which is the BEST carb to run?

:dunno Single or dual-fire ignition?

(Apparently, use of the Search function, service manual, or common sense has been shown to cause rectal cancer and should be avoided at all costs) :roflblack

Me, I'd rather look at dancing peppers, cucumbers, cows, and various bananas.
:dpepper:cucumber:danccow:banarasta:banadevi
:banapart
Yes .........can you please answer those questions...... in order and in detail. Thank you.:banana

Jafa39
25th May 2010, 03:11
My oil weighs about half a kilo per 500mls..........The best year for an Ironhead is the one someone else owns because it never goes wrong....best carb is the one you understand......the best brand of plugs for giving the most power is unobtainable and any ign will do as long as it works....

ChinCactus
25th May 2010, 03:16
I run ATF in the tranny of my 72 Triumph Daytona. Have for about 20 years. As stated by others, it smoothed out shifting and clutch operation.

Hasn't Blowed Up yet !

Tin Man 2
25th May 2010, 03:46
If your primary oil is high enough to get sucked in the transfer valve, its overfilled!!

ericfreeman
25th May 2010, 04:29
I run KY Jelly in my primary. Little stiff shifting when cold but as the motor warms up everything gets real smooth!!:laugh

Eric

racerwill
25th May 2010, 05:02
I'd rather see people ask questions than just look everything up.......if I have a question and I just look it up then I will learn something. If I ask it on the forum, everybody that reads it can learn something, except of course, those that already know it all and just complain about wasted time and space because they feel compelled to post on a thread that shouldn't have even happened......my computer allows me to not select any threads I don't want to see and even if I read it, I don't have to post if I don't want to........ but I do have special powers

ATF works just fine in primarys with wet clutches..... that's what it's made for..... Harley tells you to use theirs because that's what they sell

Ww

Jafa39
25th May 2010, 05:09
I run KY Jelly in my primary. Little stiff shifting when cold but as the motor warms up everything gets real smooth!!:laugh

Eric

Makes sense, KY is for putting on little stiff things after all.....:laugh

jpironhead
25th May 2010, 19:09
Not to put this back on track, but....

What I'm seeing so far is TrickShift?

Ivan RoachCoach
25th May 2010, 21:13
...I trust Eric's judgement because he's a Rhodes scholar, invented the Internet, and just recently won the Pulitzer prize for tomfoolery.
He's a true Renaissance man!!!
And has a fantastic sense of humor, to boot.
:laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh

BTW, thanks Will.
While I always knew that I "already know it all and just complain about wasted time and space", it's still nice to hear it from others. :banadanc:banana:banadanc:banana

thefrenchowl
25th May 2010, 22:29
Yeah...

And if I ever was that constipated, I'd orally take a good dose of castor oil :doh :doh :doh

Patrick

ericfreeman
26th May 2010, 02:23
...I trust Eric's judgement because he's a Rhodes scholar, invented the Internet, and just recently won the Pulitzer prize for tomfoolery.
He's a true Renaissance man!!!
And has a fantastic sense of humor, to boot.

Hey Ivan, don't forget my Noble Prize. I was standing right next to Al Gore! Something to do with flatulence and global warming or some such nonsense.:D:D

Eric

billeuze
26th May 2010, 08:10
Which type ATF works, I see different letter grades?

I haven't used it myself, but I read in another forum that type F ATF is the one to use.

craneman
26th May 2010, 16:25
In my mechanical experience i use atf in crane gearboxes , lifting eqiupment, they take quite a bit of punishment these gearboxes,, if the clutch doesn't mind it I think it's a go!!

billy bob
26th May 2010, 16:54
ATF works just fine in primarys with wet clutches..... that's what it's made for..... Harley tells you to use theirs because that's what they sell

Ww


Exactly ! :clap

slumchop
26th May 2010, 17:09
I like this thread, but i have a question, what about putting ATF in an EVO trans?? can i do it??

BuckIRyder
26th May 2010, 18:22
Thanx for the feedback Billeuze...

lordlochwood
26th May 2010, 19:03
I've got a 1987 S&S 89-incher, putting out a decent flat curve rate of 100hp/100ftlb through 5400 RPMs (taken just after the 1000 mile break-in, with Barnett Scorpion green/gold spring mix installed) and she still has longer legs that takes her well out to redline at 7800-plus. During break-in, I ran 'dinosaur juices', babe'd her, kept her above 2000 RPM, and always held her reigns below the 4000 RPM AND 60 MPH mark. After break-in, I had to go to the Scorpion, cuz even new stock plates w/barnett aftermarket pressure plate just couldn't squeeze that box enough to hold. At the time I swapped the clutch I also changed over to 20w50 AMSOIL in all holes. During the clutch install, and multiple spring swapouts (to get the plate pressure and hand lever pressure just right...), I contacted AMSOIL because the clutch just wouldn't disengage enough. They also recommmended ATF and showed me their charts on viscosity, described just like others in this posting about various auto trans and what they consisted of, hp outputs of autos/racers/etc. Stuff worked well for another 1000 mile break-in without any hiccups. I have since gone back to running 20w50 in all holes (simple economics...), and shifting is just as smooth as what the ATF had displayed (and may have to do with the fact that AMSOIL 20w50 viscosity is almost the same as ATF anyway!). Best part is only having to change fluids once a riding season (12000 miles)! Now on season three, and she's quite the hand-hold (if ya kno' what I mean!) Happy Trails!
BTW, with gearing changes, 4000 RPM in 4th gear is in excess of 100MPH...

shupe
26th May 2010, 19:33
Believe it. From '65 to at least '86, Big Twin primaries were "part" of the oiling system. The primary return oil line was routed to the crankcase breather valve, where it dumped the primary oil into the cam chest and it was picked up by the scavenge section of the oil pump. Clutch dust, chain filings, adjuster shoe debris, all went through the breather valve and oil pump before being filtered. That's the reason so many Shovel owners converted to a sealed primary. H-D finally saw the light and now runs their BT primaries sealed.

What you say is true, however, the poster said "gearbox oil". On a big twin, the gearbox oil is separated from the primary, and does not mix with engine oil.

rivethog
26th May 2010, 22:48
What you say is true, however, the poster said "gearbox oil". On a big twin, the gearbox oil is separated from the primary, and does not mix with engine oil.
Actually what he said was "cant believe that harley put together an engine that vents gearbox oil into the crankcase.".

I was pointing out that since Harley put together Pans/Shovels/Evos routing/venting clutch dust, chain filings, and adjuster shoe debris through the breather valve and oil pump BEFORE it is even filtered, he can sure believe they would put together an engine that vents gearbox oil with engine oil.

Moon Wolf
26th May 2010, 23:05
The crankcase breather transfers oil one way, out not in. Unless there is significant damage to the breather, oil from the primary cannot get into the motor.

rocketmangb
27th May 2010, 00:07
I sure would'nt do it on a Sporty

and the second question is why do it at all ?

craneman
27th May 2010, 03:24
a synthetic gear oil ,, which i switch to in extreme conditions in crane lifting gearboxes has about same thickness atf,, but atf seems to be better with clutch plates in overload gearbox crane systems,,sooooo
i guess atf would be better,, motor oil being in the same catagory as gear oil i would say , you cant always get what you want!
as an extreme presure lubricant atf wins ,,with clutch.
safe way, use recommened oil and synthetic to improve it (in case of faulty vents or over filling)
My 2 cents
SHOULDN"T WE BE RIDING !!!

xlproject
27th May 2010, 03:45
Found this on the redline web site:


http://www.redlineoil.com/news_article.aspx?id=49

http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=112&pcid=13


...

LEROY
1st October 2010, 22:31
THIS CERTAINLY GOT ALOT OF POSTS :banadanc:banana

I FOUND THIS INTERESTING... THOUGHT ID SHARE IT TO THE SITE.... THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP PEOPLE :smoke





I GUESS BEING ITS HOT... ILL JUST USE WHAT IT SAYS...


LeRoy

racerwill
1st October 2010, 23:00
I've used ATF in my Sporty trans for the last 5 years..... I don't know the exact HP but it's all Buell high compression top end and cams..... and I can't imagine there are too many folks that ride it harder than me

any good ATF is fine... for years I used Mopar atf +4 because I'm a Chry master tech so I could get it for free.... Dexron III is fine too as is type F Ford

Ww