The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum DK Customs  

Go Back   The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE ZONE > Sportster Motorcycle Era Specific and Model Specific > Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985)
XLF Gallery XLF Classifieds XLF Blogs XLF Shout XLF Arcade XLF Disclaimer/Privacy Statement/Terms Of Use

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

Members Birthdays
collinsb (70), bulldog1200C (56), DrBlond (51), Moonpie (49), mercybeat (44), mogwai (40), Ratster, E.MCCOLLOM (37)
883 Sportster
Bison Motorsports
Superbrace
RYCA Motors

Bison Motorsports
Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 30th October 2010
Baloo's Avatar
Baloo Baloo is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Near Malvern
Posts: 12
Sportster/Buell Model: XLX
Sportster/Buell Year: 84
Reputation: 10
Baloo is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Checking Engine Oil Level

Hi folks, quick question.

I have 2 manuals for my Ironhead, one is a Clymer and the other Haynes. One suggests leaving the bike on the side stand while checking the oil, the other to stand the bike upright.

I am checking with the dipstick placed in the hole rather than pushed in tight.

I presume it will not make too much difference which way I do it, as long as the tank has plenty of oil in it?

Besides spillage is there much of a problem if there is a bit too much oil in. I know with Cars generally too much can be a problem due to the resevior being in the sump. Wouldnt think that would matter so much with an Ironhead as it is a pumped system?

If it makes any difference mine is an XLX.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30th October 2010
BuckIRyder BuckIRyder is offline
Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,463
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1972
Other Motorcycle Model: Heritage Softail
Other Motorcycle Year: 1999
BuckIRyder has disabled reputation
Default

Check oil hot,just after shutdown, with the bike level. Level is good at 1/2" to 1/4" from the fill opening.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30th October 2010
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is online now
Rider Of The Iron Steed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: London, ON Canada
Posts: 27,240
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Reputation: 132728
IronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant futureIronMick has a brilliant future
Default

On my 1980 i checked it one time with the bike level. Then i put it on the side stand and checked it again. I thenceforth used that level, never again going thru the stupid process of getting the bike level.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 31st October 2010
BuckIRyder BuckIRyder is offline
Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,463
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1972
Other Motorcycle Model: Heritage Softail
Other Motorcycle Year: 1999
BuckIRyder has disabled reputation
Default

Bike level means upright as opposed to sitting on the kickstand to get a better look at what level is while riding. To me it is easy to overfill checking oil on the kickstand. FWIW.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 31st October 2010
nedster nedster is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
Sportster/Buell Model: xls 1982
Sportster/Buell Year: 1982
Reputation: 46
nedster is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
On my 1980 i checked it one time with the bike level. Then i put it on the side stand and checked it again. I thenceforth used that level, never again going thru the stupid process of getting the bike level.
+1 on what Mick said
Reply With Quote
Know Thy Hog

  #6  
Old 1st November 2010
just1pepsi's Avatar
just1pepsi just1pepsi is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 93
Reputation: 10
just1pepsi is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

You can do it either way.
You want to do it hot, unless its been sitting broke down for awhile and you don't remember where you were at oil-wise before doing the repairs.
I do it with it on the stand because I'm not screwing around trying to level the damn thing out.

For what its worth after its been sitting awhile either due to bad weather or break down, I'll use a flashlight to look in and make sure I have oil returning to the tank, thats regardless of fill level. I've also ridden a good distance with low oil, (as long as its circulating you're OK)
__________________
- 83' Iron -
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 1st November 2010
83XLX's Avatar
83XLX 83XLX is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Heart of Dixie
Posts: 6,990
Sportster/Buell Model: XLX-61
Sportster/Buell Year: 1983
Other Motorcycle Model: Honda CL350
Other Motorcycle Year: 1969
Reputation: 98476
83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of
Default

You push the cap/dipstick in all the way to check the oil level. As long as your bike doesn't lean waaaay over on the kickstand, you won't get much difference in the reading by standing it up straight. I don't even use the dipstick any more - I can tell about where the right oil level is just by looking into the tank.
__________________
I never wanted a Harley, but I always wanted a Sportster.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it (especially if you don't know what you're doing). Most Sportster problems are owner-induced.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 1st November 2010
piniongear's Avatar
piniongear piniongear is offline
Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,046
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1971
Other Motorcycle Model: FXDL
Other Motorcycle Year: 2003
Reputation: 25604
piniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to allpiniongear is a name known to all
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
Hi folks, quick question.

I have 2 manuals for my Ironhead, one is a Clymer and the other Haynes. One suggests leaving the bike on the side stand while checking the oil, the other to stand the bike upright.

I am checking with the dipstick placed in the hole rather than pushed in tight.

I presume it will not make too much difference which way I do it, as long as the tank has plenty of oil in it?

Besides spillage is there much of a problem if there is a bit too much oil in. I know with Cars generally too much can be a problem due to the resevior being in the sump. Wouldnt think that would matter so much with an Ironhead as it is a pumped system?

If it makes any difference mine is an XLX.
Inside your oil tank there are two stand pipes.
These are for the crankcase vent and the oil return line.
Both stand pipes end about a half inch from the top of the tank.
You most likely cannot see these stand pipes, but just accept that they are there.
Over filling the tank to cover the stand pipes is something you do not want to do.
Easy to avoid that by not letting the oil level get more than 1 inch from the top of the tank.
pg
__________________
Rolling down the highway on two wheels since 1957...
Owner Red/White 1971 XLCH & 2003 FXDL-Silver over Black
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 1st November 2010
83XLX's Avatar
83XLX 83XLX is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Heart of Dixie
Posts: 6,990
Sportster/Buell Model: XLX-61
Sportster/Buell Year: 1983
Other Motorcycle Model: Honda CL350
Other Motorcycle Year: 1969
Reputation: 98476
83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of83XLX has much to be proud of
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by piniongear View Post
Inside your oil tank there are two stand pipes.
These are for the crankcase vent and the oil return line....
I don't think the late model Ironhead tanks are built that way. I believe the return line enters near the top of the tank, and the vent line is attached to the top of the tank.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 1st November 2010
Baloo's Avatar
Baloo Baloo is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Near Malvern
Posts: 12
Sportster/Buell Model: XLX
Sportster/Buell Year: 84
Reputation: 10
Baloo is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Thanks for the advice folks, some of it a bit conflicting, same as my manuals realy. :-)

The "dipstick" on my tank may well be an after market one as it has a temp guage on it.

As a general rule, if I stand the bike pretty much as straight as I can, how far down should the oil be?

I recently had it serviced and didint think to check the oil immediatly after, with the bike up straight the oil is just touching the bottom of the stick. I have only done about 200 miles since the service, my hope is that they didnt fill it correctly, as that seems to be a lot of oil to get through in a short time.

So if you can give me some idea of how much I should see through the hole would be great. I appreciate BukIrider suggested about 1/2" below the filler hole. Is this about right?

Thanks again. Chris.
Reply With Quote
Know Thy Hog

Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


Custom Search

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:24.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
XL Forum - Linson Media LLC