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Discussion Starter #1
After much research and investigation, I changed from HD Syn3 to Amsoil 20W-50 in all 3 compartments of my Ultra earlier this summer. At the same time I replaced my rear tire by myself for the first time. After getting back on the road I started to hear a high whinning noise coming from what sounded like the back end of the bike when I rode at 50+ mph speeds. Over the next few weeks I paid special attention to the sound to see if I could pin-point exactly what was causing the sound. It sounded like the drive belt was rubbing against the belt guard.

When I finally got time to put the bike up on my lift, I found there was no wear on the belt guard... and I was stumped. Still continued to ride, and still had the sound. Then recently I read an article about oil in American Iron, and it made a comment about whinning sounds coming from the transmission if the oil is too thin/light/wrong. It was like I got hit in the head with a rock...immediately I thought about the new oil I'd put into the tranny. It had never crossed my mind that it might be the oil, all along I thought it was somehow tied to me pulling off the rear wheel and perhaps not putting it back on exactly correct. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't be running the Amsoil 20W-50 in the tranny, but perhaps using something a little heavier or a different brand.

Anyone experienced this?? I don't think that it's so much an Amsoil problem as it is perhaps just the wrong grade of oil. Any thoughts from anyone? George?

I ride an 03 ElectraGlide Ultra. Thanks for your comments.
 

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I used to run Amsoil 20-50 in all 3 with no whining.
Not sure exactly why but I decided to switch to
Amsoil gear lube in the tranny. Could be imagination
but I think it shifts better.
I think George still supports 20-50 in all 3 but told me
if it makes me more comfortable, try the gear lube.
 

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Well theres one way to find out if it is the oil change it out to what you had in there before. I know lots of them are running the 20W50 in all three holes with no problems. Are you sure your belt is not to tight? I know what they say but I personally think a transmission needs a transmission oil. On the Road King Custom I use to have I put Amsoil 75W90 in the trans it was a little quiter and shifted smoother. On the one I have now I have been using BelRay trans. oil they have for the BT's and it is smoother shifting with this oil.
 

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I run the original Harley tranny oil in the tranny, the original Harley Primary chaincase oil in the primary and SYN III in the engine. Sounds quiet and runs good to me at over 80k.
 

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Ya know YoDa, I've ran Amsoil several years now (in all three bikes) and have done so in my '02 Ultra since it was brand new. Use it in all three holes and never noticed any whine com'n from the trans. Got back from my yearly August 8000 miles trip, dumped all three holes and for some reason went back to Amsoil's Sever Gear 75/90 lube in the tranny. No reason, no whine just a bottle setting there in the cabinet when I grabbed my 20/50.

Guess I really never did feel all that good about running motor oil in my tranny. Back in the '70's and '80's we ran a Jr. fuel and top fuel dragster and we use to add STP to the rearend....don't know if it did any good but the Summer's Brothers gears and set up never the complain, not once.

Guess it's a "the thicker/slicker the better feeling".

o~\o
 

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Discussion Starter #7
lschultz said:
Are you sure your belt is not to tight?
I checked the belt tightness when I checked for wear on the belt guard, and the belt was exactly within spec, so I don't think it would be the belt. Unless the Owner Manual is incorrect. But good suggestion though.
 

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YoDA said:
After much research and investigation, I changed from HD Syn3 to Amsoil 20W-50 in all 3 compartments of my Ultra earlier this summer. At the same time I replaced my rear tire by myself for the first time. After getting back on the road I started to hear a high whinning noise coming from what sounded like the back end of the bike when I rode at 50+ mph speeds. Over the next few weeks I paid special attention to the sound to see if I could pin-point exactly what was causing the sound. It sounded like the drive belt was rubbing against the belt guard.

When I finally got time to put the bike up on my lift, I found there was no wear on the belt guard... and I was stumped. Still continued to ride, and still had the sound. Then recently I read an article about oil in American Iron, and it made a comment about whinning sounds coming from the transmission if the oil is too thin/light/wrong. It was like I got hit in the head with a rock...immediately I thought about the new oil I'd put into the tranny. It had never crossed my mind that it might be the oil, all along I thought it was somehow tied to me pulling off the rear wheel and perhaps not putting it back on exactly correct. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't be running the Amsoil 20W-50 in the tranny, but perhaps using something a little heavier or a different brand.

Anyone experienced this?? I don't think that it's so much an Amsoil problem as it is perhaps just the wrong grade of oil. Any thoughts from anyone? George?

I ride an 03 ElectraGlide Ultra. Thanks for your comments.
When you do several different things at the same time it is sometimes harder to find the cause, especially when you try a new product. I encourage you to find the problem and act like you never heard of Amsoil or did the change out. The only thing that you did to get a whinning problem is change out your rear tire. Work on that until you figure it out. To make a noise with the belt drive, it doesn't necessarily have to show any signs of wear. Have you done an alignment check after replacing the wheel?
 

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Hey, YoDa,

Thought of something last night. I get a whining noise every now and then from my belt. I cure it with Harley PolyLube. Most of the wernches at the dealerships have a partial tube laying around. If not I think I paid $4.00 for a new tube. Put a couple dabs on your finger and smear it on various spots on your belt and sprocket. Ride it around the block a couple times and see if that helps. Just a suggestion.

o~\o
 

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Discussion Starter #10
george douglas said:
The only thing that you did to get a whinning problem is change out your rear tire. Work on that until you figure it out.
George, I've already "worked on it" and "figured out" that the belt/tire is NOT the issue. However, to be double sure, I will put a little PolyLub on the edge of the belt and sproket, and test things again just to make sure. Good suggestion Texan!

So to continue to "figure it out" I'm now moving on to what I anticipate could be the cause of the whinning sound, and that's the transmission. And the only thing I've changed in the tranny is the oil to Amsoil. Therefore I can't help but question putting in the 20W-50 grade. I'm not bashing Amsoil George, so don't take offense, what I am questioning is 20W-50 grade in the tranny. Have you had anyone else bring up this issue or is it just me? I think I should order some Sever Gear 75/90 lube from you and give it a try. If that doesn't resolve the whinning sound, then it obviously isn't the probelm, and I'll have to keep looking elsewhere for the source of the sound.
 

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YoDA said:
George, I've already "worked on it" and "figured out" that the belt/tire is NOT the issue. However, to be double sure, I will put a little PolyLub on the edge of the belt and sproket, and test things again just to make sure. Good suggestion Texan!...
Not just the edge YoDA....put a few dabs on the surface of the belt too. Also on the sprocket.

o~\o
 

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You said you adjusted the drive belt to spec. IMO, the MOCO's spec of 3/16"-1/4" cold is wayyyy tight to begin with. Then factor in that when the pulleys heat up and expand it get's even tighter. It can get so tight you can't hardly flex it. And you can pluck it like a guitar string. It's no wonder people out there snap belts prematurely with that kind of preload.

Is what your hearing more pronounced on decel? Does it make more of a droning sound? Like the sound an empty beer bottle makes if you were to blow across the neck of it? Or like the sound a wine glass can make if you run your finger around the rim? If so the belt is just too tight. I don't care what Harley says. I adjust my belt tension to 5/8" cold. That way when the pulleys heat up the tension on the belt will be just right. Not too loose, not too tight. Works for me. You shouldn't get on the bike hard anyway until it's warmed up completely.

Give it a try. 5/8" - 1/2" max cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good suggestion Timbo, I'll give that a try too. Thanks!
 

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YoDA said:
George, I've already "worked on it" and "figured out" that the belt/tire is NOT the issue. However, to be double sure, I will put a little PolyLub on the edge of the belt and sproket, and test things again just to make sure. Good suggestion Texan!

So to continue to "figure it out" I'm now moving on to what I anticipate could be the cause of the whinning sound, and that's the transmission. And the only thing I've changed in the tranny is the oil to Amsoil. Therefore I can't help but question putting in the 20W-50 grade. I'm not bashing Amsoil George, so don't take offense, what I am questioning is 20W-50 grade in the tranny. Have you had anyone else bring up this issue or is it just me? I think I should order some Sever Gear 75/90 lube from you and give it a try. If that doesn't resolve the whinning sound, then it obviously isn't the probelm, and I'll have to keep looking elsewhere for the source of the sound.
Your complaint is the first one concerning tranny whinning when using a 20w 50 in the transmission. I have used and sold the 20w 50 for tranny's now for nearly 3 years in hundreds of bikes and not a complaint like yours, but let me know and we can certainly get you some 75w 90 to try to isolate the tranny from your whinning sound.
 

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whining sound

I had a 'whining' sound coming from what sounded like the back seat on my '03 Ultra so I turned my head and said "shut up or I'll give you something to whine about" and the whining stopped...........(Hehehehe):woohoo:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
:roflback:
 

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Whinning Noise

When you changed your primary fluid; did you adjust the tension on the primary chain? I have overtighted mine in the past and have gotten a whinning noise.
 

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too much

Too Much tension on the belt or chain also causes more stress on the bearings and early failure. Like Timbo, I er on the side of minimum rather then maximum tension. a simple guide for those without a gauge and no buddy to sit on the bike when adjusting is to just hold the center lower strand of the belt between your thumb and forefinger and twist it sideways. if you can twist the belt up to half way point or the top side with tension but not any further without really reafing on it, it is good. If you can't turn it past 1/4 it's way too tight!
 

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george douglas said:
Your complaint is the first one concerning tranny whinning when using a 20w 50 in the transmission. ... but let me know and we can certainly get you some 75w 90 to try to isolate the tranny from your whinning sound.
George, correct me if I read this wrong, but this link over in BobisTheOilGuy indicates that the viscosity of a 20W-50 engine oil is pretty much the same as the viscosity of a 75W-90 tranny oil. Did I misunderstand? (ya kno, like with the PSID in the filter? ;^) )
 

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gdkenoyer said:
George, correct me if I read this wrong, but this link over in BobisTheOilGuy indicates that the viscosity of a 20W-50 engine oil is pretty much the same as the viscosity of a 75W-90 tranny oil. Did I misunderstand? (ya kno, like with the PSID in the filter? ;^) )
motor oils and gearlube viscosities are rated different, but they are actually very close to being the same thickness at operating temperatures. So you did not misunderstand, but just surprised perhaps.
 
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