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Old 01-02-2004, 10:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How much primary fluid?

Changed the primary fluid in my 2000 FLHTC today. Poured in 32 oz (per manual) and it was still way low. Added 16 more oz before the level was right (just below the diaphram spring). I asked the HD shop before I added the extra amount if I might have to go over 32 oz and they said sure, but had no idea it would be that much more. I had the bike on the ground with the bike upright like it says to. I have the rear lowered, but that should have made it take less fluid, right? I did have the primary cover off to install a new gasket, but can't imagine why it would take so much more oil than what HD says. Any ideas? BTW, I did reinstall the drain plug!
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Old 01-02-2004, 10:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Something ain't right there. I've changed mine a bunch and serviced lots of other FLT's with the same primary setup. The only way I could imagine the bike holding an extra 16 oz. would be if the rear was higher than the front.

Sit the bike up straight and take off the primary chain inspection cover. The level there should be a little below the lip.
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Old 01-03-2004, 06:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for responding Ed. As I'm pouring it in, I'm thinking, somethings wrong. I'll recheck it again as you said. Have to wait a while, got it on the lift and installing my new handlebars. Putting on one of those EZ clutch do dads when I put on the new cable. What would you say is the most oil you have put into a primary case?
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry L
What would you say is the most oil you have put into a primary case?
You gotta remember that different models take different amounts. At the shop where I used to work, we kept a chart on each model and year bike. The chart just listed the amount of primary fluid for each. The first time we got a bike in that we hadn't seen before, we filled to spec thru the derby cover and made note of the amount. From that point on, primary fills were made thru the "primary chain inspection cover". No need to remove the derby cover unless a clutch adjustment was being done. Remember it's not a rocket science and too much will cause more problems than too little.

On my bike and yours (same primary setup for FLT models for quite a while), I just put in a full quart and that's it.

Some of the older softails (80's and 90's) took a quart and half but that's the largest amount I can remember.
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Old 01-03-2004, 08:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I TOTALLY agree with Ed.....
Something IS wrong........I've NEVER EVER had to put
in any more than 1 quart.....and...I've always put it in
with the bike sitting on the kick ("jiffy") stand.....
I'm really CURIOUS as to why you say it's taking
so hot damn much......it deserves a CLOSER LOOK,
like lookin' in da Sears catalog!!!

I COULD be wrong....but I'd almost bet ya' used
a PINT container, which IS 16 oz, then poured in
another 16 oz, which WOULD make the correct
amount.....I don't see any way in hell that it'd
take 48 oz.....Like Ed said, I always pour my
primary fluid in thru the primary CHAIN inspection
plate....much easier & faster than doing it thru
the clutch cover......

Last edited by 687; 01-03-2004 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 01-03-2004, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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sorry guys but i gotta back jerry on this one ,, i have done this quite a few times on the old bike at 1 quart ,, when the new 03 came home ,,, done it twice on it and it just by god takes more than a quart to look like the picture in the service manuel ,, i dont know why ,,bikes upright with both wheels on the ground.....this one also takes a little more oil in the tank at change time too

i have decided that closer look will be a small light on a flexable stem to see down in there a little better ,,, the flashlight makes a lot of glare on the clutch and is a little hard to see to the bottom

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Old 01-03-2004, 09:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Talking

Jerry, drain it dry and put in just one quart.
I learn't the hard way also.
I put in 2 quarts becouse that is where it looked like it was full, called my dealer and he laughed at me, so I drained it dry and started all over and just put in 32 oz.
I have changed it 5 times so far, so it must be ok

Quote:
by god takes more than a quart to look like the picture in the service manuel
The picture in the service manual is a lot to be desired, my dealer said that picture "sucks" Go with one quart.

Last edited by Markcuda; 01-03-2004 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Have an '01 Ultra. Owners Manual says 32 oz.(1 quart). My MOCO Service Manual says 32 oz. and goes on to say "Do not overfill the primary case with lubricant. Overfilling may cause rough clutch engagement, incomplete disengagement, clutch drag and/or difficulty in finding neutral at engine idle". My '87 FLHTC owners manual called for a quart and a half until Harley finally came out and reduced it to 1 quart on some of the newer bikes in late 80's or early 90's. From what I was told they also felt it was robbing the bike of some of her ponies. I went to 1 quart on the '87 and never had any problems. You only need enough in there to run the lower part of the chain through. Doesn't have to be deep to do that.

Like Markcuda says, go with one quart and ride it......

Last edited by aztriker; 01-03-2004 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 01-03-2004, 02:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Okay, well, I think I will probably drain out and refill with 32 oz. If it was only 3-4 oz over the 32 I would leave it. 16 more might get me in trouble, but it's really not even to the full criteria even now. I don't understand how it can be so far off. I did use quarts (32) so I have 50 oz in it now. Thanks for the help guys. Won't it affect the clutch operation if it's not sitting in the oil? But I am encouraged tho: no one even mentioned it might be off if I didn't use Synthetic oil!
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Old 01-03-2004, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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primary fluid

jerry, i had a rd.king the same year model as your glide. 1 qt. of fluid should be plenty. how did you lower your bike? you can send me the pictures at rbtmhut@yahoo.com . thanks.
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The picture in the service manual is a lot to be desired, my dealer said that picture "sucks" Go with one quart.



nothings wrong with the diagram in the owners manuel and service manuel and it aint rocket science to see it kissing the bottom of the diaphram spring ,,, the book says 32 oz's and also says to the bottom of the spring and it just aint the same ...period ,,,,, it was on my road king ,,,now i sure didnt go 16 oz's over but i did go to the bottom of the spring ,,,,i dont know which is right but i will bet i dont make any difference ,,, ive seen an evo running with 1 qaurt of oil in it ,,,(goofy owner) it was hi milage then and more so now ,, the guy takes trips all the time ,,and by the way ,, the damn things still running today 2 years later !!!!
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Have all you guys been checking the oil level with the bike up straight or on the side stand? THe manual says upright, but it probably would have been way closer to 32 oz if I had left it on the side stand. And easier too.
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Old 01-04-2004, 08:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i always check mine on the side stand. take the derby cover off,fill the primary with oil until it is just below the derby cover opening.that way oil can't seep out when the bike is sitting for any length of time.wipe the o-ring and the primary off with a clean rag, go easy on the o-ring you don't want to stretch it,put the cover back on,your done.i never measured the oil going in.i never replaced the o-ring in 18 years and still no leaks.
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Old 01-04-2004, 08:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've always done them with the bike upright.

Jerry: when you did yours with the bike upright, was someone on it to keep it upright or was it on some kind of lift??
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Old 01-04-2004, 10:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Ed, I placed blocks of wood under the side stand to make the bike almost upright. I did have the lift under the bike but all the way down. The bike had been on the lift and I lowered it to do the oil check. I did not sit on the bike tho. Maybe the shocks were still extended? It is also possible that the lift prevented the rear suspension from going to their "rest" position, altho I did check to see that the bike wasn't hitting the lift after I had the side stand blocked up. I'll have to try taking the lift out, sitting on the bike and rechecking the oil level. If its too high then I'll drain out until its right and measure the amount that comes out (I could suck the oil out with a measuring bottle I have). If the oil level is still the same after doing this, well, I guess I'll have to decide whether to take it out or leave it in. I might call HD customer service tomorrow if I get a chance to see what they say. I still dont have my handlebars on the bike so this will have to wait til I get that done.
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