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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 1st April 2012
cajun1957a cajun1957a is offline
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Default Side bag Oil filter

I have never understood how the oil filter in the side bag oil tank works. Given there is low pressure in an ironhead and when the bike is cold, how does it flow through the filter especially if one uses a heavier weight oil? I have at times started the bike and decided to check the oil when running to see how the flow was, only to have it blast out all over the side tank the minute i crack the oil cap. I am running the new style after market filter and i think someone said there is a built in bypass valve to allow flow prior to the oil heating up and flowing though the filter once warm. Given the amount of oil that comes flying out under pressure, either those valves dont work or ive done something wrong. I have an oil cooler with a pressure gauge on top and when cold it will show 30psi. Once warm it drops down to about 8 psi which i think is proper but the hight 30 suggests there is not flow doesnt it?


Can someone explain the workings of those canisters.

randy
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Old 1st April 2012
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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Everyone makes that mistake once - up to 1978 to check oil flow first remove the filter, then start the bike. I have been fortunate in that i learned about that before i got my '78 so i have avoided the splatter all over the workshop thing.

With enough pressure to splatter like that is there any doubt that it will be forced thru the filter? There is no bypass valve in these kidney tank filters.

When i ran an oil pressure gauge it would read about 60 psi on those very cold, near/below 0`C mornings; then, as you have found, it would read about 8 psi once warmed up.
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Old 1st April 2012
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Why in Willie G's name would you put a gauge on the return line?
Did I read that right, a gauge on the cooler?
The oil cooler is mounted in the return circuit...
Any pressure there is coincidental and irrelevant.
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Old 1st April 2012
cajun1957a cajun1957a is offline
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http://www.jpcycles.com/product/740-871 This is the cooler and it works well. Mine has a pressure gaude in the end of it rather than a cap.
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Old 1st April 2012
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Well a old ford power steering cooler wks good no chrome and no gauge but does what it's meant to do.Chrome holds heat so why would you want your coils covered with a chrome case?JMHO
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Old 2nd April 2012
Highgear Highgear is offline
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I've always thought the "Horse Hair " inside the canister inside the tank filters on the '77s I owned belonged in a museum not on an engine I owned . I've always taken them out filter /canister and all and installed the front motor mount type replacement spin on filter from this century . I think the filters I use are motorcycle type Fram PH6022 or CarQuest 85215 . Makes me feel better having a real filter not that goofy thing in the tank .
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Default oil filters

this may be one of my least popular posts because im gonna trash talk that damned pleated paper drop in and praise the orig felt/fiberglass unit.
gonna put coolers in this post too.

filters (and coolers) are good for your bike!!!!!!!!

its up to you to see they dont create more probs than they prevent. thats the root message in this post.

first some backround info on the return system is in order.
because the filts on our bikes are in the return system.

there are two oil pumps. a supply pump and a return pump. the return pump has a larger pumping volume than the supply pump. this is to insure that the motor dont wetsump. in other words it insures that all oil that gets pumped into the motor gets pumped back out because the 'out' pump is bigger than the 'in' pump.

because you cant phyisically pump more oil out of your motor than you pump in, the larger return pumps air too, in addition to the return oil. in order to make up the volume difference.

you will see this if you remove the filter from the tank and with the cap off and start the motor. the return oil enters the tank in spurts. with the air in between the spurts.

this inturn means more volume gets put back into the tank from the return than gets removed from the tank by the supply side. so the tank gets pressurized. that cant be allowed to happen. (unless you like lines blowing off, and caps that leak or get bazooked out of the tank in the case of 70-79 ch).

its the vent line's job is to allow that xtra air volume to exit the tank and go back to where it came from----the cam case.

ok got that? its important. thats the mechanics of handling the 2 different pumping volumes.
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(as an aside to this air & oil thing- think about ur cooler- does it have horizantal or vertical cooler runs? if horiz your top run may be cooling mainly air. taking cooling area away from the the oil. ouch.)
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without forgetting that filters and coolers are good-- lets zero in on the return system as it gets restrictions to the free flow of oil piped into it.

restrictions as in filters and long line runs that go hand in hand with coolers.

in this subject we can gain some knowledge from the way the factory did things. the factory learned about this stuff from trial and error. witness how short the factory line runs are. its something they addressed.

in addition-
to wit:
some of you guys will know when the first oil cooler appeared on a factory bike. but many of ya wont. if you do know then you also know it was piped into the supply side.
not the return.
strange right?
stranger yet that cooler was installed between the top end feed fittings on crankcase and the rocker box supply fittings.
why?
because interfearing with the return system was gonna just add to the prob that the new cooler was trying to fix.

that bike was the 1970 xr750.

thats right-- interfearing with the return side isnt a good idea.

on the other hand nor is running hot dirty oil thru your motor. we arent running evo's here. motor temp has a direct influance on top end life. as does the amount of hard particals that hot oil may carry.

so its balance we need here.
filter and cool vs restriction in return side.
restriction in the return leads to the 'real' wet sump- not the one that pukes oil out of ur breather tube- the one that allows your engine to retain too much oil when running and have to produce xtra power to combat its drag.

liken this to running in a swimming pool. it takes tremendous effort to go that slow.

your engine gets every bit of its effort from heat. from no place else. from heat--peroid. wet sumping is bad for available rear wheel hp and its bad for engine life. both of those thing are bad for your life.

because hand in hand with wet sumping is added engine heat and wear. you need a cooler and a filter.
for 76< pumps putting them in return side is way safer than between tank and supply side of pump.
but putting it in return side makes wet sumping more likely. its a catch 22.

the factory knew it and desinged the orig filter with it in mind. balance. thats what they needed. filltering without being restrictive.

thats why the felt and to a greater extent the fibreglass were used as the elements. fibreglass has superior filtering vs flow ability. dont take my word for it . research it. you will see.

the aftermarket knows balance is important too-- thier checking account balance.

with all that digested heres how the factory filter system works.
this 1st pic shows the filter and the related parts in correct position and orientation.

 
any missing or incorectly installed parts wil render the filter useless. on this filter return oil enters filt thru the gap between outside of element and inside of the canister and flows thru element to the inside of canister.

this is key. because the stock filter uses a 2 psi relief valve. its the key feature missing in the pleated paper drop in. 2 psi keeps the return restriction to a minimum. it opens every time you wind the rpms on. and closes again at cruising rpms. the relief volume bypasses the filter. it goes straight to the inside of filter canister.

the relief valve is shown in the next pic.
its the little cylinder on top of the dipstick.
exploded view is to the right.
 
 
that little part helps keep your bike healthy. 
as i said at the top of this post--
filters (and coolers) are good for your bike!!!!!!!!
its up to you to see they dont create more probs than they prevent. thats the root message in this post.
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  #8  
Old 3rd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR DICK View Post
[SIZE=4][SIZE=2]...
some of you guys will know when the first oil cooler appeared on a factory bike. but many of ya wont. if you do know then you also know it was piped into the supply side.
not the return.
strange right?
stranger yet that cooler was installed between the top end feed fittings on crankcase and the rocker box supply fittings.
why?
because interfearing with the return system was gonna just add to the prob that the new cooler was trying to fix.
At least some of them used a cooler on the return line as well. Those waffle irons ran so hot I remember reading press reports at the time that they were running as low as 6.7 to 1 compression to try to get the pistons to stop seizing due to overheating with the iron heads and barrels.

But as far as filters reducing flow etc, the gerotor and gear pumps are positive displacement, minus a small percentage that leaks past the rotor/gears due to wear, so no matter if a filter provides some restriction, the pump will push the oil through that filter at the same number of gallons per minute, albeit at a higher pressure. The pump still removes the same quantity of oil from the 'sump' per revolution, no matter what the restriction on the filter is. It just uses more horsepower to do so, which would be a concern for racing.

That's why its common engineering practice to put a blow-off valve on oil filters, like the stocker and some of the aftermarket pleated ones have: if the filter is allowed to get so dirty it clogs completely etc, that positive displacement pump will keep pumping until pressure reaches point where it blows a hose, or shears the drive key/pin in the pump, unless there is a pressure relief valve. Same situation might occur with cold heavy oil on start up maybe, or like said at peak rpm for sustained periods with restrictive filter.
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  #9  
Old 3rd April 2012
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what ever filt you use is up to you. just use one. not having them deff takes it toll on road bikes in the long run.

ive used every kind. and i have found that the spin on are too cheaply made and they may have relief valves that didnt allways work. not stuck closed but stuck open. rendering the filter useless. you may get 20 unit that work fine and then one bad unit.

if someone has the mindset that return restristion is small potatoes for the way he rides he very well may be correct. if you have no probs there isnt any thing to fix.

on bikes whos owners were the type who wanted everything on to work as best as they reasonable could attain- well on those we would make up an external relief and pipe it in front of the filt/cooler. so now you wernt rollin the dice on the the operation of what ever filt was gonna be used. made those reliefs from the stock unit.

what i like is a filter i can dismantle ans see what its catching. i used to make little canisters that took the glass elements and the stock relief valve that id mount behind the left rear shock on the fenderrail/frame bolt.

concerning positive displacement pumps.
dont take that term literally. compared to a centrifigal pump gear type pumps use displacement to function. how positive it is depends on what it pumping.

the most 'positive' pump on our bikes may be the master cyl for the disc brakes. you pull the lever and it pumps real good. positive.

unless there is air in the system. than you still get the displacement but not the pressure. because liquid is not compressable but air is.

gear type pumps work by filling the spaces between the teeth with whatever it is that is being pumped. oil in our case.
that oil in the tooth spaces gets squezed out of the spaces when the gear teeth mesh together. becasue a tooth is now in that space.

but there is still a little space left at full mesh. gearotor pumps have a smaller space at full mesh than gear pumps.

now when the mesh breaks a void is created. oil gets sucked into that void. so far so good.

now what if air is in the spaces instead of oil?
its gets sqeezed out to. unless there is pressure (restriction) in the curcuit its trying to flow into. in that case some air stays in spaces. and gets compressed in small space remaining as the teeth mesh.

when teeth unmesh air expands. refilling void that should be gettin oil sucked into it. pump cant make enuff pressure to overcome exit restriction. no flow. and no ability to reprime itself because it aint makin enuff suction due to expansion of the compressed air refilling the void that the oil should be filling.

eventually the press in return line from filter restriction get relased as oil bleeds thru element. while this is happening oil is building up in the pickup sump. oil is building up waiting for return pump to come back online because the supply pump is still pumpin while the return is toggling from air locked to primed and pumping.

think about the state the return oil is in as it collects in the return pickup cavity. its just been thru a 60ci blender. ever get the 1st mugfull from a just tapped keg? your bike lives with that every mile it travels. lots of air whipped into every drop of return oil.

if the restriction in the return is large enuff to reduce outflow from engine to a volume less than the supply pump is feedin into engine you have--- you got it--- more oil going in than going out. welcome to wetsumpville. the town where we work harder to get less done.

you cant tell this is happening riding down the road. but your motor is working harder if it is.

so in my mind the best way to deal with a cold is to avoid putting your self where you might catch it in the 1st place.

the return side cooler on the r models;
if you look hard enuff you will see all kinds of mods to the cooling of the oil.

but the bikes that won races by havin less hp sucked up from the above more often than not had a 2nd oilpump installed where the production bikes carry ignition drive in camcover. feeding cooler and, belive or not, filters in some cases. yes this2nd pump sucked up power. but it didnt restrict the scavenging outflow..

filters and coolers are good!!!

its up to you to see that they dont create more probs than they prevent.

a false sense of security is exactly that.

do you really belive that sifton went to crap and there are counterfiet hi perf part being hocked, and you cant get decent kicker parts, but your filter supplier is run by a bunch of nuns?
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Old 2nd April 2012
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EXCELLENT!!!! great explanation!!
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