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Discussion Starter #21
Ok. Everybody is saying “manual gauge”.
the bike has a manual gauge on the dash in the fairing, as well as an oil indicator light. Why am i putting in a manual gauge if i have one already. My light and gauge are both saying i donot have pressure
 

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I think it is an electric gauge. Meaning the sensor reads the pressure and sends a signal to the gauge. A manual gauge cuts that signal out and reads direct engine oil pressure. Look at your sensor, located right front of the engine cases, right below the front lifter cover. If it has a wire or 2 wires, then it is electric. If there is some sort of plastic or metal tubing coming out of it and going up somewhere inside the fairing where the gauge is, then it's manual. The idiot light gets its signal from the same place.

I never looked into this problem before, but I'm now seeing that there are a lot of problems with wiring for these gauges. You can do the research, there's plenty out there, here and in other VTwin type forums.
 

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I agree with putting a manual gauge on it. Manual gauge means it has an oil line connected to it, not a wire. It may have a wire for a light, but not to read pressure.

Any twin cam that I wasn't sure of the history on, I would pull the timing cover and inspect the cam chain tensioners. If you verify, no pressure with the manual gauge, you are going to need to be in there anyway to get to the oil pump. Also check crank runout while you are there. Crank runout can cause oil pump damage. Don't worry about it if everything else is ok. If you have oil pressure and the tensioners are good, button it up and ride it. You can check runout latter, when you do the tensioners.

I am thinking that you have oil pressure. If you didn't, your lifters would let you know, very fast. You won't know for sure until you use the manual gauge. You can pick up a manual gauge fairly cheap at most auto parts houses. It doesn't have to be permanently mounted to verify pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I put an oil pressure tester on. I used a pneumatic airhose fitting so one end was a barbed nozzle with a hoseclamp to a fuel line with a hoseclamp to the gauge. Its a harbor freight gauge and the ticker doesnt sit at zero it sits at ten. So after all these inconsistencies i did the test. It read 10 (or 0) at idle , 15psi at 2krpms, 22psi at 3k, and 30psi at 4k.
Considering my janky set up , the pressure may be higher?
If its a true reading my oil pressure is about 1k shy. Am i in denial of the probable necessary oil pump upgrade? It seems incredibly crazy to take the exhaust off, cut the pushrods( or take the rocker boxes off) and do all that work just to take a look at my situation.
 

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Here, I'll fix this problem for you. Get a roll of electrical tape. I like to use Gorilla tape, its an inch wide. Cover the gauge with tape and don't worry about it. 99% of Harleys get along fine without an oil pressure gauge. Too much information.

Here's a quote from my shop manual. "To troubleshoot the problem, always check the engine oil level first". I see where you said you changed oil. How much did you put back in?

I'm supposing you took the sensor off your motor and screwed your "janky setup" into that hole. Are those numbers you got for a cold engine? Meaning not run up to full operating temperature. It might take 20-30 minutes to get the engine up to full temps. If you have complete faith in your equipment, you might have a problem. Unless things changed drastically, your pressure should be the same as my 2000. That would be 30-38 psi at 2K rpms, and normal operating temperature of 230°F.

You could always put it all back together and take it to a shop (Dealer or Indy) and get a diagnosis for a nominal fee. They should have known good equipment. If they say its OK, leave the tape on the gauge and just ride. If they say its low, high, fluctuating, etc. then you can start digging deeper. If they say your gauge is bad or your sensor is bad, those are pretty easy fixes. No need to go inside the motor to fix those problems. You're going to have to keep going until you find the problem. Or you could do what the PO did, cover it up in the corner of the garage.

You don't have to do any upgrade to fix a low oil pressure problem. You could get any and every part to make the repairs across the parts counter at the nearest dealership. Or even buy whatever you need online if you know what you need. Plenty of dealerships that sell parts on the internet. Lots of riders use repairs like this to do upgrades, but it's not mandatory.
 

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most harley engines run fine with low oil pressure,,, however i would diagnose and identify the cause,,, take the advice of the posts and carefully check it out... me,, i would decide if the reason the pressure was low was ok to ride or not,,,

i wouldnt cut the pushrods the rocker box top cover is easy enough to get off as are the rocker supports,,, once off you can pull the pushrods,,,
for the price of the gaskets,, and your time,, you will be able to see what the issue is,,, if the pressure is not up to spec...
 

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The gauge in the dash is not to be trusted. If it has 0 oil pressure, the tappets will be raising hell. If it has 5psi, the tappets will be quiet, but you risk doing damage like burning a piston.

Pull the oil sender and attach a mechanical service gauge in its place. If you don't have a service gauge, you can use one of those inexpensive mechanical gauges the auto parts stores sell. See what the gauge says. If its in specs, try a new oil pressure sender. If its below specs, and not low on oil, then you'll need to open the cam chest and see what failed. That's not something for the casual wrench to tackle. But, with a service manual and proper tools, it can be done.
 
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