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Old 02-27-2011, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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primary leak

I have a 2005 wide glide. It never leaked a drop until I had all three fluids changed. I noticed a drop of oil on the floor where I park it. It has been about 500 miles since the fluids were changed. I first thought it was the primary drain leaking but after looking closer the oil is coming down from behind the primary and leaking down to the drain plug. All my fluids are still where they should be. Will keep riding it make it worse and will the oil just all the sudden start coming out? So for after about a 1000 miles I have had only 3 drops show on my floor. Frame shows no sign of any oil blowing off while riding. Should I have this fixed soon or can I keep riding until it gets worse. I have read all I could on this forum about leaks so any more help would be great. I only have 1000 miles since my 5000 mile oil change in all 3 holes.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the wind will blow the oil in all sorts of weird directions, so don't panic. It still may be the drain plug. Clean it off and wait a while before you say it's the main primary seal.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I wiped the plug and primary cover off twice. It was still dry each time before I rode it. I only drips after it has been ridden. The plug would leak even if it was not being ridden would't it? This is all new to me. I had a Harley in 1970 and leaks were very common. I never expected this one to start leaking. I am going to keep an eye on it to see if I can determine where it is coming from. Like I said it is a very small leak or drip. Onlt 3 drips in a 1000 miles. Thanks for the suggestion. I will check the pug again.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep an eye on the fluids and ride it until it gets bad. one or 2 drops is nothing to worry about yet.

Last edited by spgtti; 03-01-2011 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Why don't you take it to your local shop and have it checked out ?
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cleaned the area eally good last night and I took your advice. Went to harley dealer and they said it was the transmission seal leaking. There was no drip yet but he could see where it was a little wet. Only had ridden 50 miles but when I got home I could see where the oil was just about to drip. To have it replaced and all other seals while they were in there would run $475.00 parts and labor. I think it will have to drip for a little longer until I can save a little more money for this repair. Pretty big hit for someone retired and on fixed income. Does this sound like a reasonable charge?
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I experienced the same leak and unfortunately over time it kept getting worse, until I couldn't tolorate it. IMO, it is well worth it to pull the primary apart replaced every seal.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckcop View Post
Pretty big hit for someone retired and on fixed income. Does this sound like a reasonable charge?
Your talking to the certified Harley-Davidson repair shop?
They don't have a reasonable rate.
It would dang near be cheaper to go to Vocational college to learn the bike repair trade then go out and buy your own tools. I did some 20 years ago when college was still affordable.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That price did include replacing every seal including shifter seal. No reason not to do all while it is apart. Still seems like a lot of money but I love my ride and don't know how to do it myself. How long did it take for you drip to get worse?
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lubricant collecting bottom edge of the primary near the drain plug is a leaking shifter shaft seal in the transmission.

The seal itself costs around 5 bucks, but to replace it you have to pull off the outer primary cover, remove the compensator, clutch, jackshaft, and unbolt the starter, then remove the inner primary. After this is done you can get to the seal and replace it and then reassemble.

On reassembly you probably should replace two seals and an o-ring on the inner primary, plus the locking clips that go on the inner primary bolts, and the outer primary gasket. The process to replace this tiny seal is a total pain in the ass.

IMO if they replace the seal with another OEM part you will eventually end up with the same leak in another year or two. I recommend using a Cometic seal.

Right now you're leaking transmission oil in very small amounts. Drive the bike until you have the money for the work, just periodically check your transmission oil level.
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Old 03-01-2011, 01:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfalba View Post
Lubricant collecting bottom edge of the primary near the drain plug is a leaking shifter shaft seal in the transmission.

The seal itself costs around 5 bucks, but to replace it you have to pull off the outer primary cover, remove the compensator, clutch, jackshaft, and unbolt the starter, then remove the inner primary. After this is done you can get to the seal and replace it and then reassemble.

On reassembly you probably should replace two seals and an o-ring on the inner primary, plus the locking clips that go on the inner primary bolts, and the outer primary gasket. The process to replace this tiny seal is a total pain in the ass.

IMO if they replace the seal with another OEM part you will eventually end up with the same leak in another year or two. I recommend using a Cometic seal.

Right now you're leaking transmission oil in very small amounts. Drive the bike until you have the money for the work, just periodically check your transmission oil level.
Not necessarily. I had a quad seal go out because the trans main shaft bearing went bad. It was hell to identify the leak. Even took the bike to an indy, and they mis-diagnosed the problem. After they had the bike 3 times trying to fix it, they ended up stripping the lower primary/trans bolt, and fubaring my inner primary cover by over tightening everthing trying to get the leak to stop. I decided to fix it myself, and ended up going to another shop and asking for some advice.

I was using SE synthetic in all 3 (engine, primary, and trans), couldn't tell where it was coming from. The guy at the other shop (ended up being a pretty good friend after) told me of a cool little trick of putting food coloring in the oil. I put green in the primary, and red in the tranny. The leaking oil was red. Pulled the primary to find the oil was coming from the quad seal. I then replaced the quad seal, spacer, and every other damn gasket and seal on the primary and left side of the trans.

The leak went away for several months, until a few weeks ago. This time I had Redline Shock Proof gear oil in the trans, so I knew it was coming from the trans. On the suggestions of a recently banned member (TBONE), I tore it back down, and on closer inspection found the the main shaft bearing was going bye-bye, and causing the quad seal to fail.

It could be as simple as the shifter shaft seal, but then again it could be something else. The lesson I learned was to get the leak identifyed 1st. Then to replace every wear part while it's torn down. No sense in putting it back together only to be tearing it down again, to fix something you could have done the 1st time. I hate learning shiite the hard way, but those are the lessons you usually don't forget.

As far as OEM seals go, I went 5 years without a drop leaking from anywhere, until the bearing started going south. I think that would cause any seal to leak, OEM or not. JMHO. Totally agree 100% on the PITA... but hey, I learned to do it myself, and as many times as I've had that side of the bike torn down, I can practically do it blind folded.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That's a good price for the repairs
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyWider View Post
Not necessarily. I had a quad seal go out because the trans main shaft bearing went bad. It was hell to identify the leak. Even took the bike to an indy, and they miss diagnosed the problem. After they had the bike 3 times trying to fix it, they ended up stripping the lower primary/trans bolt, and fubaring my inner primary cover by over tightening everthing trying to get the leak to stop. I decided to fix it myself, and ended up going to another shop and asking for some advice.

I was using SE synthetic in all 3 (engine, primary, and trans), couldn't tell where it was coming from. The guy at the other shop (ended up being a pretty good friend after) told me of a cool little trick of putting food coloring in the oil. I put green in the primary, and red in the tranny. The leaking oil was red. Pulled the primary to find the oil was coming from the quad seal. I then replaced the quad seal, spacer, and every other damn gasket and seal on the primary and left side of the trans.

The leak went away for several months, until a few weeks ago. This time I had Redline Shock Proof gear oil in the trans, so I knew it was coming from the trans. On the suggestions of a recently banned member (TBONE), I tore it back down, and on closer inspection found the the main shaft bearing was going by-by, and causing the quad seal to fail.

It could be as simple as the shifter shaft seal, but then again it could be something else. The lesson I learned was to get the leak identifyed 1st. Then to replace every wear part while it's torn down. No sense in putting it back together only to be tearing it down again, to fix something you could have done the 1st time. I hate learning shiite the hard way, but those are the lessons you usually don't forget.

As far as OEM seals go, I went 5 years without a drop leaking from anywhere, until the bearing started going south. I think that would cause any seal to leak, OEM or not. JMHO. Totally agree 100% on the PITA... but hey, I learned to do it myself, and as many times as I've had that side of the bike torn down, I can practically do it blind folded.
Ouch! That is why I do all my own work!
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfalba View Post
Lubricant collecting bottom edge of the primary near the drain plug is a leaking shifter shaft seal in the transmission.
I must disagree with this...

It could be any of the seals.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Mine leaks too if I fill the tranny up to the top line. I don't plan to screw with it until next winter. If I run it a little below the full line it doesn't leak. Try losing an ounce or two of tranny fluid and see if it stops the leaking. If you can get away with it not leaking and still be in the safe zone on the dipstick it may buy you some time until you get it fixed. Other than that, park it over a piece of cardboard and watch the level.
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