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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy:

I just bought my 1st HD and don't really know that much about the idiosyncracies of the bike, but...

I'm a pretty fair shade tree mechanic and it seems to me that the oil pressure is too low at idle. Here's what the bike does when warm:

2000+ rpm oil pressure is at +/- 32#'s. If I ride for awhile at highway speed and then come to a traffic signal the pressure drops to 2-6#'s @ 1000 rpm. That doesn't bother me, but when I accelerate away from the stop (after idiling for 30 seconds or so) the pressure drops to ZERO pounds and I get an oil pressure light. It stays at zero for anywhere between 3 to 10 seconds then comes right back up to 30 #'s or so.

It's a 1999 FLTRI w/ 95" kit, flowed heads, gear drive cams, Power Commander II, White Bros 2-1 exhaust and I'm running HD 20-50 oil. Ambient temp doesn't seem to affect the issue.

The bike also has fairing lowers, but I'm pretty sure it's staying cool as It's around 60 degrees here in Las Vegas now.

I've asked the dealer mechanic, and of course, he said "bring it in and we'll test it" I have the service manual and read the section on testing the pump. As I've said, I do have between 30-38 pounds at 2000 rpm, it's the coming off idle that worries me...

Any input would be appreciated

Thanks
Dan
 

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Not normal.

32 psi is OK, 6 or 8 at hot idle is OK, but the attitude of the gauge and lite after that is not.
More then likely it is the sender or electrical, easy to verify with a mechanical gauge hooked up temporarily in place of the sender.

I think on the 99's there is a little sensor subharness that includes the wiring for the oil sender and the plug is by the right lower frame rail, might want to check it and clean it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Hippo, I was thinkin electrical as well as I'm not getting any lifter rattle or other signs of oil starvation. I've had folks say this is normal for a twin cam motor, but I have my doubts.

And thanks too, Broken Spoke. I had one HD guy explain to me that HD motors oil pressure is less important than the flow. Just troubles me a bit that I have ZERO oil pressure at idle...
 

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My oil psi stays at no less then10-12 psi at idle. I would say 2 lbs is to low. I seem too remember reading the psi should stay above 7 but cant be sure. None the less if both oil gauge and light say the same thing at the same time Im inclined to belive there is a oil pump problem on the horizon. I know Ive read about the pump gears gulling the pump housing, the metal flakes can then cause the sensor to get pluged causing the light to come on . Closely inspect the oil sensor for any metal flakes.
 

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first step is to screw a mechanical gage into that motor and see what its really doing.

if it really doesnt have any oil pressure coming off of idle you can then conclude you have a problem.

reference: my 01 has about 30 to 40 psi hot at hiways rpm's, about 15 at idle hot.

I had a problem with the gage on my evo, it tended to 'wander", I cleaned the orfice in the pressure sensor with some carb cleaner and a small wire, end of problem. evidently some crud got in sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I need more advise before I head to the dealer or start yanking the oil pump out myself...

Actually, I need someone with a simular bike to go for a ride and see if they can duplicate (or not duplicate) the following condition:

As I previously stated, I have a low oil pressure condition when coming off of a stop. While this is true, it appears I have a drop in oil pressure when the engine is under power (load). For example, I went for a ride tonite and when I roll on the throttle hard at 60 mph in 5th gear the pressure drops to around 16 pounds. It will keep droping as long as I keep the throttle at or near WOT. When I back off, the pressure comes right back up to 30-40 pounds.

As long as I'm at cruise, the oil pressure is at or over the 32 pound mark. At idle it's on the first small dot on the factory gage. (I assume the gage is not linear, so this is around 8-10 pounds?)

I pulled the sensor prior to the ride, cleaned it and the connections and replaced it. Did the electrical tests as outlined in the service manual, all passed ok. Oil level is fine.

Soooo, who wants an excuse to go for a ride tomorrow and watch their oil pressure gage closely???

btw, I'm new to this site and pretty darned impressed! You guys are doing a GREAT job on it. I'm also gonna try attaching a photo of my bike. No reason, just for fun...

Thanks again
Dan
 

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When was your last oil change? For me with the simtoms your incuring I would take off the oil filter cut it open (or just drain it) & check for metal. Check the drain pulg too. It is possable its not a failure but rather the pump coming lose and not sealing properly. Maybe the "o" ring was left out or something. I would not cut the filter if I just changed the oil, seeing how when you drain the oil fitler you can see metal in the oil then too. How long ago was the 95" instaled? Thats when the oil pump was tuched last I would assume. At any rate I would fix this problem for 2 reasons.

#1 save the engine.
#2 peace of mind.
 

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Don't need to ride the bike, ride dozens of them every month, it's definitely not normal.
You still need to verify the condition with a mechanical gauge before you go any further, it could be something as unrelated as the charging system or a circuit breaking down under load. Voltage tests are useless unless you have a hard inoperative fault. Battery cables and the cable that goes from the starter solenoid to the main breaker are always suspect on these bikes unless they have been replaced with good quality cables. They break inside the insulation.
If you have the same thing with a mechanical gauge tear the cam chest down, could be anything from a scavenge problem to a O ring problem to which these bikes are very sensitive, to wear or a cavitation problem in the oil pump and even a pressure relief problem in the camplate or defective piston nozzles.
If the bike had this symphtom for any lenght of time and the problem is not electrical one would expect a relatively quick worsening of the condition if the problem is a wear problem with the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, changed the oil and filter thinking maybe the oil was the wrong weight. Didn't help. Rigged up a mechanical gage and went for a ride. Mechanical gage showed same condition, so it's not a sender/gage/eletrical issue.

Read the procedure for pulling the oil pump and realized it's over my skill and tool level. And it appears it's getting progressivly worse, just like Hippo suggested it might.

So, took the bike to the dealer for their apprasial. Next question is what's the best guess that I've done any engine damage runnung with low oil pressure? How resuliant is a twin cam motor to oil starvation? I know it has roller rather than plain bearings, so that gives me some hope that I haven't hurt the motor. Don't have any rattles or unusual engine noises. Yet...

Thanks for the input from everyone!
 

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Ill take credit for being the 1st stating I thought the oil pump was the problem , sorry I was right. If you hear no nose & was not running it hard I dont see a problem with the amount of oil srarvation you may of had. Im thinking you did not run it hard after the trobble started?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I'm not too happy that it had to go to the dealership. I was really hopeing it was the sender. Hopefully, it's something like the bypass valve or an "O" ring like Hippo mentioned. That was one reason I decided not to tear it down myself. Wasn't sure what to look for...

One good thing the mechanical gage showed was I really never had complete 'zero' pounds. Lowest it got was about 2#'s. Add to the fact that at least there was some pressure, and the fact that it would stay low for only a few seconds before coming back up makes me think the motor is still healthy inside.

Only time will tell...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, the bike is in the shop and they got it torn down today. The service writer said all the "O" rings look good, as does the oil pump. I asked her what the wear on the lobes showed (as outlined in the service manual .0004" is max limit) and she didn't know. Did say the overpressure valve and the ball in the cam support plate were both ok.

She did mention that the 1999 oil pump has been superceeded with a new part number. Also, apparently the tech that is doing the wrenching is at a loss as to the cause. Said he called several of his associates who are also HD techs and they have never heard of this kind of problem either.

So now, what's the difference in the old vs. the superceeded oil pump? Any ideas as to where else the tech should look?
 

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LOL the house has been down and this guy never missed a beat. LOL! God bless um. ! LOL!
 

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How about the PSI releafes to the cooling jets? They are supose to close to allow more oil for the engine when idleing. Everthing that has to do with the oil system now has to be checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, the Glide has been in the local HD "authorized" shop for almost 2 weeks now. They tore down the cam chest and inspected the oil pump. Said it looked "OK" but the 1999 had an older oil pump that has been superceeded with a new and improved oil pump so that was "probably" the problem.

It wasn't.

Got the bike back together, and guess what??? It's doing the exact same thing...

Waiting for a call back from the service manager now to see what they are gonna do next.

The good news is while the were in there they changed out the old ball style cam bearings to the new style under warranty.

Needless to say, I'm moderatly annoyed:mad: :mad: :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Had a 1 on 1 with the service manager tonight (Tony) at Las Vegas HD...

Bad news is they are still at a loss as to what the problem is.

Good news is they installed a new (superceded) oil pump, cam support plate, cam bearings and all the associated paraphernalia under warranty.

Keep in mind that after 41,000 miles the bike is still on the old cam bearings with no problem... Surprising to me due to the fact that it's an early 1999 bike.

So, after 2 weeks I'm still at zero $$$ with the new cam bearing kit HD refuses to replace unless it detonates the motor...

Next step is dropping the oil pan and looking for restrictions in the baffle.

I'm a bit pissed that my bike is still in the shop after 2 weeks, but fairly impressed that they actually seem to care about finding the true cause of the problem.

Say what you want about LVHD, but they seem to be taking care of me, if ever ever so slowly...

The Saga Continues,.........
 
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