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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New bike for me, and I need to know if this is a problem.

Oil and filter changed at start of winter storage in heated garage last November. Bike not started since. Looked at dipstick last weekend. Bone dry. Oil had leaked (?) from the tank into the sump (crankcase). Is this normal or a sign of trouble?

Last bike was Dyna where the tank was level with the sump so this never happened.

Neither owners manual or shop manual seem to mention this at all. I figure there's more experience here than anywhere else. Thanks in advance for input.
 

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OK, just start it with the cap off and look in the tank with a flashlight, you should see the oil returning and filling tank back up. Happens with the gravity systems.
 

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Oil dranage

Malaka! You have a check valve that isnt working. Dont know what model or year you have, but there is a check ball in the oil pump that keeps the oil in the bag. If it leaks, your oil all seeps into the cases. NOT good for startup!
The check ball could be damaged, or some crap could be keeping the ball off the seat. Or, the seat could be dinged. Depending on the model, the check ball should be in or near the oil pump, secured under a spring and a screw cap of some sort. Youll need a magnet to get the ball out. Older models had a cheap cure, but you prob have a newer one, so Id say let a good mech do it, unless you know what youre doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
oil drainage

'03 Fat Boy. I'll look at the shop manual and see if this looks like a simple wrench job to replace the check valve or something beyond my capabilities.

As long as the check valve isn't inside the tank or crankcase. There has to be some advantage besides looks to those exposed oil lines, right?


Thanks. When I start it up next time I'm checking the dipstick first; and if its low or dry, I'm starting the engine while looking into the tank with a flashlight.

The whole dipstick thing is stupid on Softails. Why check when bike upright? Especially a FatBoy where the seat half covers the dipstick anyway? All HD would need is a slightly longer dipstick properly calibrated. Aftermarket?
 

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the old fix...

On the old shovel that I had, the fix was to buy two new check balls, then remove the original check valve ball, and drop in a new ball, and use a punch & tap the ball stiffly down with the punch, thus seating the ball in the seat. That should remove any small scratches in the seat. Then remove the ball, and clean out the chamber, drop a new ball in and replace the spring & cap. Hopefully the leaking will be cured or minimumized. Old Easyrider mag cure.. Worked for me long time ago....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oil drainage

Thanks. I took a look last weekend. Oil level 100% after 3 weeks of inactivity
(don't you wish you lived in Michigan, too???). Started it up. No problem.

Thanks for the replies. I was nervous and was envisioning new oil pump, etc.

The lesson: it is better to ride your HD than to look at it. Even if you think
its good-looking.:harhar:
 
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