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Does Harley use a "special" engine break in oil?

9149 Views 28 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  wyodude
A number of automobile manufacturers are using what they like to refer to as a special engine break in oil in new cars and trucks. Basically it's most likely just a synthetic, or synthetic blend. My Audi came with this (it's a synthetic) and they recommend NOT changing the oil until the first scheduled service so this special oil can do its work.

I was wondering if Harley uses anything like this in their new bikes. I just put 100 miles on my new Road King and I would like to change the oil now to get rid of the metal shavings that I'm sure are floating around in the oil.


Jeffrey Crumpacker
Portland OR
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Thealien said:
Whats the magnet on the drain plug for then ??

Well it won't help with the aluminum chips. It will get any burrs that may come off the crank and bearings eventually.
The magnet on the drain plug is there as a secondary "catch-all" for (heaven forbid) large ferrous objects that may end up in the crankcase and hold them until the next oil change. During an oil change it's normal to occassionally find very small filings and / or metal dust (so to speak) on the plug. The engine uses a pressurized oil system and all oil supplied is filtered such any debris in the engine case and sump should not result in damage from dirty oil being supplied.

In saying that, what does take a beating are the two oil pumps. Any debris in the case has to first pass thru the scavange pump then the main oil supply pump to then be passed on and collected in the filter. Of course if these two parts become damaged from large debris then... well you can easily figure out the possibilities.

:cool: :) :cool:
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I was being fecetious about the drain plug thing. My whole reply was to scr103's claim that you leave the break in oil in for the full 1000 miles because the chips help break in the engine.

Does anyone read a whole thread or just read the last post ???
Yo Alien,

We're both on the same page here. You're also right that some of us (me mostly) didn't read backwards far enough and think 'bout what and where you where coming from.

I've always admitted that sometimes, which is most of the time, I'm just smart enough to be dangerous.

:eek: :) :eek:
No problem, I actually don't let any of this get to me. Its all in fun and a discusion between people with a common interest (motorcycles)!

I have said this before, your opinion is worth no more and no less than mine. We are each entitled to one.

That being said if scr103 would like some additional chips for a quicker break in I would be more than willing to help him out if this is what he truly believes, I am just trying to help here :D
I read the whole thing. Should have put a :D in my reply. I know you know better. LOL

BTW I work in a machine shop and have access to alot of very good metal chips. They break in our tools everyday. We have mostly Inconel, Titanium and Stainless. If there are any you need let me know. You won't have to worry about the magnet sticking to those either. :p
i'm new to this forum and i don't claim to be an expert on oil changing and engine breaking in and i certainly didn't make this up about leaving oil in for the full breakin period! besides after further review this whole concept is a mute point! years ago when machining was in its infancy maybe this oil slurry concept maybe held more water than it does today. maching tolerences and techniques are far superior to yesterdays chiseling and grinding. parts made today are near perfect and the effect of what may or may not end up in the oil during the break in period , and the threads keep refering to "chips", it's more like extremely small particles; is on smoothing surfaces within the engine. yes, chips and chunks of metal will foul oil pumps etc. but we're not saying that! scre
scre103 said:
alien would you like to elaborate on why you disagree! go to posts on breaking in engines with a google search and you will see that even the guys breaking in new engines on airplanes are using this type of breakin! scre
Hmm, well, not exactly. Almost all piston aircraft engines are broken in using a straight weight mineral oil (non-additive oil). The use of mineral oil allows the rings to seat. The mineral oil is kept in the engine until the oil consumption stabilizes at which time the operator's oil of choice (almost always an ashless-dispersant oil as opposed to a detergent oil) is introduced.

I have never heard of metal particles doing anything other than harm in a piston aircraft engine (or any other engine for that matter).

It is kinda interesting to note that, to my knowledge, there are no FAA approved straight synthetic piston aircraft engine oils. About twenty years or so ago Mobil introduced a Mobil 1 synthetic aircraft oil. Man, operators almost p1ssed themselves they were so excited. It sold like hotcakes. And then the problems started. It was an absolute boondoggle on Mobil's part and the oil was quickly withdrawn with a ton of lawsuits on its heels. The fact of the matter is that synthetic oils do not do well at all in any application where they have a tendency to get "dirty" relatively quickly (mainly from combustion byproducts). Piston aircraft engines have relatively large tolerances in the cylinders and the oil does come in contact with a lot of combustion junk. There are some semi-synthetics for aircraft engines and lots of folks swear by them. But the pro-con argument is just as passionate there as it is here.

Hehe, I kinda get a kick out of seeing all the debate on these oils. I don't think it makes a hill of beans difference what kind of oil you use as long as it is a quality oil, you use the proper weight for the conditions, keep the level where it should be and change it often. Hey, if it makes you feel better buying a high priced oil then go for it. You can't please everyone so you might as well please yourself.

Now if you really want to see a gold-plated mess try putting a detergent automotive oil in an aircraft engine after it's been run several hundred hours with an AD oil. Take off after doing that and even the most brazen atheist will feel the need to pray! :)
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Agcatman said:

I don't think it makes a hill of beans difference what kind of oil you use as long as it is a quality oil, you use the proper weight for the conditions, keep the level where it should be and change it often.
Words to live by.

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