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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible that the front o-ring on my '02 Softail was missing from the factory? I just removed the 88 jugs and replaced them with 95's. I did the usual crank case packing under the piston with clean shop rags as I pulled the jug. As far as I can tell, there's no sign that the o-ring was ever there. Have physically accounted for every other one. Its never leaked.

In the event the o-ring did make it into the crankcase, is it really something to worry about? I can't imagine so seeing how the motors seem to deal with the chain tensioner material pretty well.

Can the crankcase be drained from the bottom, ie pipe plug in the case bottom? Just curious, but this missing o-ring has me wondering. I like to account for all parts removed and all parts installed...

:huh: DLR
 

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DLRVelocity1 said:
Is it possible that the front o-ring on my '02 Softail was missing from the factory? I just removed the 88 jugs and replaced them with 95's. I did the usual crank case packing under the piston with clean shop rags as I pulled the jug. As far as I can tell, there's no sign that the o-ring was ever there. Have physically accounted for every other one. Its never leaked.

In the event the o-ring did make it into the crankcase, is it really something to worry about? I can't imagine so seeing how the motors seem to deal with the chain tensioner material pretty well.

Can the crankcase be drained from the bottom, ie pipe plug in the case bottom? Just curious, but this missing o-ring has me wondering. I like to account for all parts removed and all parts installed...

:huh: DLR
There is a plug on the right side of the case, but it's difficult to get it out as it's locktited in place. There is no mention of this plug AFAIK in service manual. Some folks take it out to check for wet sumping however.
The o-ring diameter is bigger than the bore of the plug. I would do a diligent search on the whereabouts of the plug, it can do real damage when it gets into the crankcase oil passages and plugs up the scavenging side of the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vienna,

Obviously this is the worst case scenario. Is it possible that the o-ring was never installed from the factory? I did a medical grade removal of the jug, rags, etc. to ensure there's no way the o-ring made it into the case. However, if I did miss it and it's in there, what are the chances that it'll get mulched by the rotating assembly into smaller pieces? Or perhaps just flow around inside the crankcase forever?

Where does the oil go from the crank case? Any chance it'll show up in the filter? What are my chances of having it drain it towards the bottom sump plug hole that you referred to in the bottom right side of the crankcase?

I'm stabbing around for a miracle here...and piece of mind.

I'm also getting ready to install my 37G's. Any chance of gaing further accessability to it or more ability to help myself??

Any suggestions or help you could offer is appreciated.

Thanks,

DLR
 

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Man that would be driving me crazy too. I cant imagine there not being O Rings from the factory and I also cant imagine them just falling into the crank case without getting caught on the rods or something ?? Unless they broke up mine came off all in one piece. I would think if they did break there would be some pretty long pieces you could find. I cant actually remember if they stayed on the jugs or not when I took mine apart. Keep us up to date
 

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Missing o'ring

Are you referring to the large Cylinder base O'ring, or the small drain-back dowel o'ring? n either case, I would have expected there to be leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The small diameter one that seals the drain back/alignment dowels. Thinking about filling the crankcase with Kerosene and draining it from the bottom of the sump. Thinking it may find its way to the drain hole and I can fish it out with a wire hook. I just can't believe it fell into the crankcase to begin with. I would bet it was never there in the first place. No sign on the mating surfaces, (head/block), that it was there.

DLR
 

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DLRVelocity1 said:
The small diameter one that seals the drain back/alignment dowels. Thinking about filling the crankcase with Kerosene and draining it from the bottom of the sump. Thinking it may find its way to the drain hole and I can fish it out with a wire hook. I just can't believe it fell into the crankcase to begin with. I would bet it was never there in the first place. No sign on the mating surfaces, (head/block), that it was there.

DLR

Before you drive yourself nuts, here is one idea to reduce the risk that the ring remains in the crank case. Find a liquid with a density is higher than the rubber o-ring and very low viscosity (some light lube oil for sewing machines and stuff come to mind) and fill up the crank case. If you are lucky, the ring and everything else that lighter than oil should surface. Then drain everything and get your peace of mind back.

If there was no ring to begin with (hard to believe) and there was no leakage (may well be possible if the fir between cylinder bore and the dowel was tight), don't let the MoCo know. They'll make it standard on the 07.

Good luck

PS: Even if the crank/balancer system etc chews up the ring, the debris is the problems. The rubber particles will cause trouble in the piston cooling jets, the cam plate bore and in the lifter holes and in the oiling holes of the top end.
 

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It's real common for those O rings to stick to the cylinder when they are removed (rather then stay on the dowel on the cases), if it isn't stuck to the bottom of the cylinder odds are better then 50% that it just fell off while removing it from the studs and is in the inmediate work area somewhere rather then in the engine.
I would look around the work area really carefully before I started with a strategy of looking inside the cases. They do bounce in funny ways and it wouldn't be unusual if it were 6 ft or more from the inmediate work area.
 

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Sorry man I thought you meant the big O ring around the cylinder.
Any luck yet ?? How about a shop vac ?? Witha sceen to see what you pull out of the block ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Searched the work area, again. No luck. Spent over 2 hours last night looking the bike over for hiding places. Did the 6 ft. radius inspection of the floor. I'm either going to drain the sump via the allen screw in the sump bottom or suck it out with my Mighty Vac hand pump. Once most of the the remaining oil is out, I'll try low pressure compressed air to see if I can expose it. If this doesn't work, then I'll squirt Kerosene around the crank and case to see if I can move it out of hiding. My only fear is not finding an o-ring inside.

Where are the oil pick-up points in the case?

As I plan to do the gear driven cam install next, is there any additional crankcase accessability from the cam chest, or perhaps a oiling passage you can put compressed air in , (after removal of the cam plate), that would help move the ring around?

Trying to take a methodical approach to this recovery effort. Makes you wonder why HD never designed a trap or sump clean-out access plate, etc. into the bottom of the sump....just for such an occasion..

Signed,
Still looking....
DLR
 
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