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Old 06-28-2011, 07:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
00g
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I've inherited a 1976 Shovelhead and know nothing about maintenance on such a machine

It was my father's.

Prior to his passing, (he's had this bike my entire life) he showed me where to put the gear oil, because it liked to leak from the underside of the bike.

It dawned on me yesterday the the same oil has been sitting in the bike for probably close to a year (he passed in October of last year).

I found the oil reservoir(?)/dipstick. Do I get the bike up to operating temperature and have it upright when checking the oil level? Am I correct in assuming I pull the dipstick, then pull out the rubber grommit to add oil? How do I drain the oil to perform an oil change? What weight oil should I be using? I looked around the garage. But, due to the amount of other machines (multiple cars, lawnmowers, weedwackers, pressure washer, etc) there's all different types of oils. I've done some Googling. What I've come up with is: the manual will say 50 weight. But, that oil technology has changed in the last 35yrs and to use 20w50. And are chrome oil filters for this bike readily available locally, or do I need to order them online or via local motorcycle shop?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. If this is in the wrong forum, forgive me, I'm new.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What Model is is it?

The oil tank should have a drain plug on it. This is how you remove the oil.

SAE 50 is what I would use for engine oil.

Primary - Many shovelheads have been modified and need to have oil added to the primary(big round cover in front of clutch). I would use Primary Lube for this. When manufactured the bike would use engine oil to lube the primary. Yours might still be hooked up, might not.

Transmission - Drain Plug on the bottom. Use Transmsion Lube.

Oil Filter - Some have oil filter in oil tank, some have a car type filter. Sounds like yours has a car type filter. You will need to get the filter from a Motocycle Shop or online.

RevTech as all fluids.


Ask around find a Local Independent Shop that works on older bikes. Who did your dad use? Go introduce yourself, tell them your story. Your will need them.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You should probably stop right now and do up the title to transfer it to me. No no, I won't take any cash on top, just the bike is fine. And yes I know, I'm undertaking a great hardship by assuming ownership of the bike, but believe me, its the right decision. I promise to take it on long rides by the beach at sunset, detail it once a week and ensure its running bits stay in tip top shape. Its just not fair to leave you with the burden of owning such machine. Plus I was born in 1976, same as the bike, so its only right that I take it off your hands.













OK, I had to try. Can't blame me, right?

Do yourself a favor and go www.denniskirk.com and get their free catalog. Do the same at vtwinmfg.com. Both catalogs are the size of a phonebook and even if you never order anything, its nice to have a free reference to a whole boatload of parts.

Follow all of Jonas' advice, as its sound, just be careful before you go letting any shop take a wrench to it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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change the oil and filter to 60 weight thats the oil the pans and shovels are supposed to run in summer...50 is what we run in winter....you being in FL run the 60 wt...when I go south in lots of heat I run 70 wt

you can get Valvoline Race 60 WT oil at checker auto or call around get 4 qts add 3 with filter run it a few min. get the bike up str8 off the kickstand.... and add to tank to the full line on stick dont add oil to tank when checking cold...always run the motor then check it

you dont have to run Harley oil Its a rip off ! I would change the oil the tranny oil to a 75-90 or 75 140 bel- ray gear saver is great stuff ...I run Amsoil in my bikes ....check the primary oil...run the bike up to temp....run the bike for 500 miles ...then dump the engine oil and filter and replace it with fresh again ! dont run 20/50 the newer motors were built for multi-grade....not the early bikes 50wt under 60 degrees 60 wt all summer


If you didnt get a repair manual get a Harley one that will get you all the specs on everything for that 76 big twin,,,,,I would get all the old gas out of the tank and dump in some good 93 premium along a few ounces of BG-44K then run it for as long as you can....this will help clean junk off valves, pistons...intake....if the bike has been sitting a while you might want to service the clutch sometimes the discs stick together from non-use.....I use brake clean and clean paper towels all the plates, inside the clutch hub and inner primary let me know if you have anymore ???? I have been riding the older bikes since I was 14.....get em set up and serviced right and there fun to show off and ride.....good luck Jerry

Last edited by 59panhead; 06-28-2011 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll add that unless the primary was sealed it had THAT auto primary chain drip and return system. Motor oil dripped on the primary chain and then returned to the motor. My '79 had it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I like how you guys just jump out there and start giving advice without knowing anything about the bike. The OP stated the year and that's it. We have no idea what kind of mods have been done. For all we know it could have a belt primary and an S&S engine. The OP obviously doesn't know much about the bike.

For the OP, i suggest you find a good Independent shop in your area that works on the these old bikes. Don't take it to a Harley Dealership. Ask the Indy shop to do a general safety inspection and see what (if anything) needs to be done to the bike. They could also instruct you on some general maintenance items - like how to check the fluids. By doing this, at least you'll know the bike is in good operating order and safe to ride. THEN you can start learning how to do things yourself.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesToGo View Post
I like how you guys just jump out there and start giving advice without knowing anything about the bike. The OP stated the year and that's it. We have no idea what kind of mods have been done. For all we know it could have a belt primary and an S&S engine. The OP obviously doesn't know much about the bike.

For the OP, i suggest you find a good Independent shop in your area that works on the these old bikes. Don't take it to a Harley Dealership. Ask the Indy shop to do a general safety inspection and see what (if anything) needs to be done to the bike. They could also instruct you on some general maintenance items - like how to check the fluids. By doing this, at least you'll know the bike is in good operating order and safe to ride. THEN you can start learning how to do things yourself.
I appreciate all the input guys. I'll be sure and keep all this info handy.

It's true that I know next to nothing about the bike.

This is what I know:
This was his pride and joy. His prized possession.

It was painted in California in the late 80's by Arlen Ness' son. (I chipped the paint on the gas tank with a matchbox car within the first week of it being painted. Believe me, I paid for that)

I'm pretty sure it's the original motor. But, it had been bored out about 10-15yrs ago.

It's not belt driven. It has a chain.

It does say S&S on the right side of the bike. But, I'd assume that's just the part being an S&S part.

I could be wrong about the motor. But, I think I'd remember a detail like that.

Since his passing I'd start it up and ride around the neighborhood a bit about once a month. It runs great. It doesn't always start up on the first try. But, it doesn't take too much effort to get it up and running.

Here are a couple pictures if it helps. I've since removed the handlebar tassels and the bags. I didn't like them.


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Old 06-28-2011, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That is a beautiful Bike!!!! Not what I was excpecting.

It looks like it could be a show bike.

Does it have a 4speed or 5 speed transmission? Many people swap out the 4speed and put a fice speed in the 4 case.

I think S&S is for the air cleaner and carb. You will defenilty have to order that oil filter special, I have not seen one like that. Incredible the amount of crome and extras on that bike. What a great way to remember your Dad.
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Last edited by Jonas; 06-28-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedfoos View Post
You should probably stop right now and do up the title to transfer it to me. No no, I won't take any cash on top, just the bike is fine. And yes I know, I'm undertaking a great hardship by assuming ownership of the bike, but believe me, its the right decision. I promise to take it on long rides by the beach at sunset, detail it once a week and ensure its running bits stay in tip top shape. Its just not fair to leave you with the burden of owning such machine. Plus I was born in 1976, same as the bike, so its only right that I take it off your hands.













OK, I had to try. Can't blame me, right?

Do yourself a favor and go www.denniskirk.com and get their free catalog. Do the same at vtwinmfg.com. Both catalogs are the size of a phonebook and even if you never order anything, its nice to have a free reference to a whole boatload of parts.

Follow all of Jonas' advice, as its sound, just be careful before you go letting any shop take a wrench to it.
It can be like it's both ours. We'll just keep it down at my house. (/Friday quote)

P.s. Thanks, Jonas. I'm really exited about getting legal and becoming a Harley owner. It'd make my Dad proud.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00g View Post
I appreciate all the input guys. I'll be sure and keep all this info handy.

It's true that I know next to nothing about the bike.

This is what I know:
This was his pride and joy. His prized possession.

It was painted in California in the late 80's by Arlen Ness' son. (I chipped the paint on the gas tank with a matchbox car within the first week of it being painted. Believe me, I paid for that)

I'm pretty sure it's the original motor. But, it had been bored out about 10-15yrs ago.

It's not belt driven. It has a chain.

It does say S&S on the right side of the bike. But, I'd assume that's just the part being an S&S part.

I could be wrong about the motor. But, I think I'd remember a detail like that.

Since his passing I'd start it up and ride around the neighborhood a bit about once a month. It runs great. It doesn't always start up on the first try. But, it doesn't take too much effort to get it up and running.

Here are a couple pictures if it helps. I've since removed the handlebar tassels and the bags. I didn't like them.


I believe this is the oil filter assembly you have on that bike. I had one like it but hard to tell without a close up.

http://www.jpcycles.com/product/7400120

PS that really is a great bike. I love troubleheads. It isn't exactly my style of bike but you can tell he put a lot of love in that bike everything is perfectly placed and nailed down tight.

Last edited by RowdyRigid; 06-28-2011 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That filter assembly looks close. But, not exactly the same. The current filter is like every car filter I've ever seen (but longer). It's slightly convex on the bottom. The one in the link comes to a point.

Now, it seems rather simple to ditch the old setup and install a new one. But, that'd only be worth it if the new filters were easier and/or cheaper to find.

I think I may go back over to my mom's house on Thursday and look around the garage and see if there are any new filters laying around. (My dad was that kind of guy) If I find one, I plan on changing the oil. Maybe the filter will have a part number on it that I can google.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think it would be best to take that beautiful bike to a local Indy shop for it's first service so they can figure out what filter it has.

Then get the Factory repair manual for it before you start to work on her yourself.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00g View Post
That filter assembly looks close. But, not exactly the same. The current filter is like every car filter I've ever seen (but longer). It's slightly convex on the bottom. The one in the link comes to a point.

Now, it seems rather simple to ditch the old setup and install a new one. But, that'd only be worth it if the new filters were easier and/or cheaper to find.

I think I may go back over to my mom's house on Thursday and look around the garage and see if there are any new filters laying around. (My dad was that kind of guy) If I find one, I plan on changing the oil. Maybe the filter will have a part number on it that I can google.
You should look at his oil while your there. You mentioned there was alot of different there. The lubes for your bike are probally going to be together. Look for SAE50, SAE60 Transmission Lube, Primary Lube. Couple brands to look for Revtech, Amsiol, Spectro, Harley(probally not that simple), Screemin Eagle. Take some pictures of his oil supply maybe somebody here can help. It would be nice to keep running what he was. From the looks of the bike there is no doubt he knew what he was doing.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow. that bike is a beauty. Somehow I was expecting an old beat up FLH.

What JeffyTune said, get a shop manual for that. They are great books and pretty much walk you through everything. Look for an "FX" manual for that era.

and sorry about losing your Dad...

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Old 06-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Holy crap! I almost flipped when I saw your bike. I have the exact same bike I built from a basket case and I've been ridin her for 12yrs. now, right down to the drag pipes.
Whatchya have is a 1979 Lowrider with probably the 80",(1340cc) Shovelhead. Some did come out with 1200cc though. Check the VIN# to be sure. They came factory with the 4spd. tranny but, your dad could have put in the 5spd. conversion.Like was said before, if ya dont know about bikes, have a reputable mechanic take a long hard look at her for ya. Dont bother takin her to a Stealership, they wont even let'er through the door. They only work on EVO's and up now. Maybe a few Indie's out there will take her on.
As for oil, "Ask a dozen guy's, get a dozen different answer's". Here in MO. our weather is so unpredictable, hot one day, cold the next, high humidity etc. and that's just in one week! LOL!
If you need any thing I can help with, drop me a PM. I got all the specks for this bike and if ya send me the vin# we'll see what motor that is. BUT, you also need to find any and all the reciept's/paperwork your dad had so you know of any "aftermarket" part's/work he did to her like punchin the heads out etc.
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