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  #1  
Old 11th May 2011
Kudofo's Avatar
Kudofo Kudofo is offline
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Default Checking Primary Oil Level in 87

Now I don't believe I can pull off my cover like you with Allen bolts can.

So what is the best way to check the level of the oil in the primary.

My main concern is that my clutch cable does leak a tad and there are a few leaks around the bike which might be coming from the primary.

A simple check and top up and I would be happy.

So whose got the best way. And if you say pull the drain plug and fill up a bucket and measure it to reuse I say no to you good sir.

I ride my bike every single day to work now and every time I park I get a few drips of oil. Engine oil in the bag is obviously stupid easy to replace but primary oil is a little more tricky.

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1987 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 conversion 1250. Python 3 exhaust, S&S super E Carb, Ported and polished heads, Ported intake manifold, ev3 Cams, Dunlop 401 F, Dunlop K591 Rear, Dual disc front brakes, Progressive front springs, Rear 401 springs/shocks.
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  #2  
Old 11th May 2011
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williamv1203 williamv1203 is offline
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Along the bottom of the cover, but not in line with the securing bolts, is one allen head bolt that is specifically for checking the level. It's just up and to the left of the primary chain adjuster bolt.

With bike upright and no lean, remove this bolt. If no fluid comes out, it's low. If it does, it's okay.

Last edited by williamv1203; 11th May 2011 at 07:12..
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  #3  
Old 11th May 2011
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On the stock cover it came from the factory with a phillips head machine screw in the location descibed by williamv1203.

Yep, standing upright (not leaning on jiffy stand) check the level. If that screw has not been removed in a while, might want to get a good impact driver and bit on it to break it free and avoid boogering up the phillips head.

I used to use sport trans fluid, but now, I guess factory says their synthetic 20w-50 is fine? I just screw the top (pointed snout type cap) from a bottle of differential fluid onto the oil container and add it to the plug that you use to check primary chain tension. (directly abover shift lever/footpeg).

Be careful with the primary plug (chevy symbol) if you dont have the tool, it is easy to chip up the metal when removing/installing. I used just a piece of flat stock aluminum (1/4 thick I think, can't remember) cut to fit in the plug. Then just grab the tab with an adjustable wrench. Worked for years, finally bought the correct socket a few years ago. KD
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Old 11th May 2011
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I got amsoil 20w-50 in it. But cool thanks guys. I was wondering what that Allen head was for (I guess miens been replaced)

I will definitely check it when I get home from work today.

I keep trying to fix my leaks but I swear I fix one... and 5 more pop up. I thought this was an evo not an iron head.


I popped my plugs off with a wood dowel and a hammer. Worked just fine no damage to the metal.
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Old 11th May 2011
silent bob silent bob is offline
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I just replaced the primary cover gasket on my '86 (which was a bit of a pain with having to remove the forward controls). The plugs on mine must have been changed before I got it because they have carriage-type bolt heads with a big (BIG) allen key hole to remove them. So, you should be able to buy the same ones somewhere. The primary holds 32 ounces (1 qt.) which doesn't seem like much. Like the previous post mentioned, if you remove the weep hole screw and some oil comes out, you are good to go. That's really the only way to check the level.
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Old 11th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silent bob View Post
I just replaced the primary cover gasket on my '86 (which was a bit of a pain with having to remove the forward controls). The plugs on mine must have been changed before I got it because they have carriage-type bolt heads with a big (BIG) allen key hole to remove them. So, you should be able to buy the same ones somewhere. The primary holds 32 ounces (1 qt.) which doesn't seem like much. Like the previous post mentioned, if you remove the weep hole screw and some oil comes out, you are good to go. That's really the only way to check the level.
Im sure my gasket needs changing. So does the seal around the shifter and whatever stops the cable from leaking? Might be an O ring.

I still have to tear down my rocker boxes and do a gasket change on them -.-

I mean mild oil leaks are fine by mean I just want the ability to check my oil.

Once I get some free time Ill tear the primary side down and seal it all back up.

Then when I do the rocker boxes I will tear down the cam side and change all the gaskets.
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Old 11th May 2011
silent bob silent bob is offline
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Yeah, I had a few minor leaks also and my plan was to also just add oil to the primary and see how long it could go without doing the gasket change, but it finally decided to blow out and leak out almost all the oil from the bottom part of the gasket. That was the final deciding factor for me to have to do it. It wasn't too bad, but took a couple hours start to finish.
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Old 11th May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silent bob View Post
Yeah, I had a few minor leaks also and my plan was to also just add oil to the primary and see how long it could go without doing the gasket change, but it finally decided to blow out and leak out almost all the oil from the bottom part of the gasket. That was the final deciding factor for me to have to do it. It wasn't too bad, but took a couple hours start to finish.
I dont think mines from the gasket itself though. Its from everything but the gasket. I was just saying since I was gunna rip everything off anyway to change the seal.

I use my bike as my daily driver because I don't trust my car. Im gonna save up $200 and do a bunch of work to fix all my oil leaks, do a valve adjustment, change as much of the gaskets out as I can.


Edit:

I want to buy this
http://www.denniskirk.com/jsp/produc...&mmyId=1600591
and do it all
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Old 12th May 2011
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Alright had my fiance keep the bike level and I pulled the weep screw.

No oil at all. So I popped off the top cover and started dumping in oil... and more oil and more oil... I was a 1/3 quart low.


Guess its time to invest in that seal kit soon huh.
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Old 12th May 2011
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williamv1203 williamv1203 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silent bob View Post
I just replaced the primary cover gasket on my '86 (which was a bit of a pain with having to remove the forward controls). The plugs on mine must have been changed before I got it because they have carriage-type bolt heads with a big (BIG) allen key hole to remove them. So, you should be able to buy the same ones somewhere. The primary holds 32 ounces (1 qt.) which doesn't seem like much. Like the previous post mentioned, if you remove the weep hole screw and some oil comes out, you are good to go. That's really the only way to check the level.
No, it seems too much. The 86 - 90 only takes 24 oz.
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