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Road Hawg
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146 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be old news to some, but I was perusing Harley Hogs site today, and saw a tech tip which apparently originated from the MOCO. It deals with oil consumption on 2005-2006 models. The article states, and I quote

"It would not be unusual for a Twin Cam engine to use one quart of oil in 1500 miles or a middleweight powertrain to use one quart of oil in 1000 miles."

Is it me, or does that seem excessive? I understand all engines have some oil consumption, but I have never had to add a quart of oil to my 2001 model EVER between oil changes. ONE QUART EVERY 1500 MILES? How about one quart EVERY 1000 MILES on a Sportster? Did Harley buy an oil company, or something? Is it just me?

Is anyone out there experiencing this kind of oil consumption?
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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4,369 Posts
I had a couple of old AMF "bowling ball" scooters that used oil like that, but they all did back in the '70's. Today..... NO WAY!! Unexcusable.
 

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txhawg said:
.... Is anyone out there experiencing this kind of oil consumption?
My '05 Dyna was exhibiting more oil consumption than I expected to see although it was not as bad as 1500 miles per quart. The dealer put the new valve seals on no questions asked. Not really a problem for me.

Some dealers may be a PITA to get them to repair a problem with "They all do that" type responses. That's why it pays to ask around for dealer's repair shop reputation.
 

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Banned
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csoday said:
Like he said, there were some valve guide issues with the '05's.
Best I can tell, from reading here and elsewhere (oil comsumption thread here) is that early production '05s had different valve seals than were put on later production '05s. Mine, made in October 2004, has had no consumption issues to date (10K at the moment), no oil consumption at all, but I've heard from others that are using 1quart or more per 1K. Seems to be a difference of opinion on whether some seals are faulty or just "mis-seated" at installation. I would find any measurable oil conumption to be unacceptable.

Lefty
 

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Highly Seasoned Rider!
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4,884 Posts
Lefty said:
Best I can tell, from reading here and elsewhere (oil comsumption thread here) is that early production '05s had different valve seals than were put on later production '05s. Mine, made in October 2005, has had no consumption issues to date (10K at the moment), no oil consumption at all, but I've heard from others that are using 1quart or more per 1K. Seems to be a difference of opinion on whether some seals are faulty or just "mis-seated" at installation. I would find any measurable oil conumption to be unacceptable.

Lefty

Air cooled engines will burn more oil than liquid cooled engines. When you say no measurable oil consumption, that's a high standard. Most any bike will drop a little between changes at 3-4K miles.
 

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01 FXDXT / 75 FLH
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349 Posts
Geezer-Glide said:
I had a couple of old AMF "bowling ball" scooters that used oil like that, but they all did back in the '70's. Today..... NO WAY!! Unexcusable.
Hey now....I have one of those "bowling balls" still...and what you say is true, except it doesn't
"consume" it...it leaks it out.... lol
 

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newultraclassic said:
Air cooled engines will burn more oil than liquid cooled engines. When you say no measurable oil consumption, that's a high standard. Most any bike will drop a little between changes at 3-4K miles.
Neurosis is a terrible thing (mine). I've changed the oil @ 1K, 3K, 5K, & 7.5K with no measurable consumption yet. Now approaching 10K (argh, must change oil, argh). Perhaps Jolene's lack of comsumption is because the oil is not in there long enough. . .plus I ride like the old man that I am. . .

Lefty
 

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Longtime Asphalt Cowboy
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3,291 Posts
sjpr13 said:
Hey now....I have one of those "bowling balls" still...and what you say is true, except it doesn't
"consume" it...it leaks it out.... lol
Excuse me!!! Also have one of those "bowling balls" and it doesn't leak...it's just marking it's territory or spot!

o~\o
 

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Hellbound Train
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5,595 Posts
AHH yes, the bowling balls and oil leaks. That's when the dealers coined the phrase "they all do that".
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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4,369 Posts
sjpr13 said:
Hey now....I have one of those "bowling balls" still...and what you say is true, except it doesn't
"consume" it...it leaks it out.... lol
Right you are, I stand corrected.
 

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0043--Licensed to Doof!
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4,369 Posts
You wanna see something funny? Try to explain the "constant loss" concept of primary chain oiling to a kid on a Harley today. The "cocker spaniel" look is priceless!!!

"Yea kid, they all do that!!"
 

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Premium Member
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141 Posts
My 05 FLHT was built in Feb of 05 and consumes oil. I had the dealer measure consumption: 20oz per 1k miles was the verdict. They would not fix the problem, as the MOCO's policy is that the bike must burn 32oz per 1k miles (this is even more strict then the tech tip's 1 quart / 1500 miles!). I called the MOCO customer service and they confirmed this. I figure there is nothing to do but have it measured again in the summer after some hot rides and hope it burns a whole quart. Why some dealers will fix the seals even though the bike burns less than 1qt is beyond me. I wish I had one of those dealers in my area.

My bike did not burn a drop of oil until my 7500 mile oil change ( I change oil every 2500 miles).

No harm done as long as I keep the oil topped off, but it is frustrating that the MOCO won't help out even though clearly something is wrong.

-bluelab
 

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Premium Member
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290 Posts
My 01 Road King (21,xxx+ miles) never was short even a drop of oil. However, a few weeks back the bike was emitting fumes of a sort that was other than normal exhaust. A check of the dipstick confirmed that oil was beginning to burn. This is no gradual development. Something happened to cause this.

I think the dealer was at first trying to convince me that "burning a little oil is no big deal". And I would agree with that comment in principal. However, the smell and sudden drop in oil signaled that "something" changed and it was nothing gradual.

Bottom line: breather element, piston ring kit and gasket kit solved the problem 100%.

The lesson in my story? Know your bike and all of its idiosyncrasies because a sudden change (sound, smell, feel) can be a signal that something "happened" and you might want to find what that is sooner, rather than later, if it is something serious.
 

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bluelab said:
My 05 FLHT was built in Feb of 05 and consumes oil. I had the dealer measure consumption: 20oz per 1k miles was the verdict. They would not fix the problem, as the MOCO's policy is that the bike must burn 32oz per 1k miles (this is even more strict then the tech tip's 1 quart / 1500 miles!). I called the MOCO customer service and they confirmed this. I figure there is nothing to do but have it measured again in the summer after some hot rides and hope it burns a whole quart. Why some dealers will fix the seals even though the bike burns less than 1qt is beyond me. I wish I had one of those dealers in my area.

My bike did not burn a drop of oil until my 7500 mile oil change ( I change oil every 2500 miles).

No harm done as long as I keep the oil topped off, but it is frustrating that the MOCO won't help out even though clearly something is wrong.

-bluelab
A turkey baster will remove as much oil as you need removed. . . .

Lefty
 

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Premium Member
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141 Posts
I don't know my bike that well. This is my first HD. But it is clear that if it is burning 20oz in 1k miles that something is not right. Getting the dealer to fix it under warranty is the problem.

The dealer taped the dip-stick and marked the drain plug to insure that no one messed with the oil levels. Still, I'm an honest guy and don't feel good at all about removing enough oil to get the MOCO's attention.

-bluelab
 

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Highly Seasoned Rider!
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4,884 Posts
bluelab said:
My 05 FLHT was built in Feb of 05 and consumes oil. I had the dealer measure consumption: 20oz per 1k miles was the verdict. They would not fix the problem, as the MOCO's policy is that the bike must burn 32oz per 1k miles (this is even more strict then the tech tip's 1 quart / 1500 miles!). I called the MOCO customer service and they confirmed this. I figure there is nothing to do but have it measured again in the summer after some hot rides and hope it burns a whole quart. Why some dealers will fix the seals even though the bike burns less than 1qt is beyond me. I wish I had one of those dealers in my area.

My bike did not burn a drop of oil until my 7500 mile oil change ( I change oil every 2500 miles).

No harm done as long as I keep the oil topped off, but it is frustrating that the MOCO won't help out even though clearly something is wrong.

-bluelab
Take a look at Harley Hog's website. There is a bulletin out on the 2005 valve seal issue. It's a well-known problem. I'm suire that another dealer would attend to your problem. If you ever remove the clyinder heads, there is an updated valve stem seal available.

Your dealer is a jerk.
 

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Premium Member
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141 Posts
newultra,

In fact, I called another dealer in the area who said that if my plugs are fouling that they will fix the problem. Seems that fouling plugs are a sign of the leaking seals. This is a better answer than the one I received from the previous dealer.

-bluelab
 

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Lefty said:
Neurosis is a terrible thing (mine). I've changed the oil @ 1K, 3K, 5K, & 7.5K with no measurable consumption yet. Now approaching 10K (argh, must change oil, argh). Perhaps Jolene's lack of comsumption is because the oil is not in there long enough. . .plus I ride like the old man that I am. . .

Lefty
no, you would notice at those intervals. Mine is a "consumer", and I am scheduled to take it in next Tuesday... the drop in oil over 500 miles is obvious and unmistakable.
If you check your oir regulary like I do... I found myself constantly adding a few OZ's to keep it at the "full" level.... then I started reading here and at other forums about the problem. I must say, it is really nice when you walk into the dealer and you know what you are talking about when reporting a problem to them... they have less BS power at that point.
 

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bluelab said:
newultra,

In fact, I called another dealer in the area who said that if my plugs are fouling that they will fix the problem. Seems that fouling plugs are a sign of the leaking seals. This is a better answer than the one I received from the previous dealer.

-bluelab
Yeah, it is... and the front more so than the rear it seems.

I am burning about 1Qt per 1000 (give or take), and Columbia Harley down here in Vancouver is doing the replacment next week.
 
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