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Engine oil light on and off?

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Brendan

Posts: 120

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:54 pm

Engine oil light on and off?

When cold, the oil light stays off. Around 15 minutes later the oil light comes on at idle and In-between shifting.
Also a slight grey smoke comes from the oil tank when I open it just after stopping. Is this a problem. I am going to remove the return line and attach a hose so I can see the flow of oil when the oil light comes on. Is there an easier way to see the oil flow?

I read different accounts concerning the oil light activity.

Thanks
Brendan

Getting used to riding now. Still have problem with pulling into garage in between 4 cars(foot wants to go on the ground)
Left turn from uphill stop turned out to be a challenge as predicted by (I think, knucklebolt)
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knucklebolt

Posts: 295

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:39 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Sounds like it would be good to hook up a pressure gauge, temporary, to where your oil sender is. A grey smoke, or more likely "mist" in the oil tank does not sound unusual. But really, if in doubt, get a gauge on it and see exactly what pressure it's producing. Would you believe I still haven't hooked up my oil light, 2000+ miles later??? I trust the oil pump pretty much, not so much the oil sending units. As long as my oil tank gets warm, I know its circulating, and don't really expect a good working pump to instantly up and quit. !!!! But yeah...it could happen.

What weight oil are you running?

You are a braver man than I to drive into the garage, between cars...!! I usually shut her off outside the garage, and push in, or pop it in neutral and coast in. (and my clutch won't stay pushed in/disengaged) Rarely drive it in, as I don't think I'd ever live it down, crashing in my garage! But that brings up the issue, that if you get into trouble with a foot clutch, you just put on the brakes and stall the bike, and forget about the clutch. Better than dumping it. But I've seen plenty of guys get flustered, and dump the bike when they could have just stalled it, and remained upright.

Yes...the uphill stop turn. Sometimes you just have to let out the clutch, hang on, and let your instincts pull you through. :)

ken.
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Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4901

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:46 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

It is pretty difficult to find an oil pressure gauge which will read such low oil pressures as a 45 puts out. Is you oil sending switch oem or aftermarket ? It sounds like the oil sending switch may be faulty or your rpm to low at times. Just something more to think about.
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Brendan

Posts: 120

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:57 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

I am using 50 wht oil.
Aftermarket sending unit.
The RPms are good. Only after really warmed up is when the light comes on and off between shifting.
I have a pressure gauge and when cold or warm I read 5 to 6 lbs. I will hook up the gauge and ride it around until it is hot and check it. I have a long hose on it so I will be able to velcro it to the handle bars. I just have to keep it away from the pipe since it is plastic.

I guess flow is more important than pressure.
I read somewhere that the aftermarket sending unit is not as sensitive and has a wider pressure hysteresis error.

I'm not going to ride it through the cars into the garage anymore. I got lucky the first three or four times.
The last time I did it, I just stalled it like you said. Brakes full on. Like sopping a horse.
One of the few times I was greatful to stall a bike.

I have to tell you, it is fun to ride

Ok, really stupid question,,,,,,,, you guys shift with your right hand or left?
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37ULH

Posts: 691

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:01 am

Location: somerset, oh usa

Post Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:12 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Yes, if not using my right foot or left! :lol: But i have rides that from the factory are both what is considered conventional and unconventional in both hand and foot selection.
But i'd make a fair guess that most that have handshift bikes effect shifting with the hand the matches the side the shifter is on whether it shifts on the left or right. I guess the exception might be a bike that has the throttle on the same side as the shifter which would typically not be a good idea.
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45Brit

Posts: 1494

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:14 am

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but the majority of British bikes with hand shift, have the throttle, front brake and hand shift on the right side.

It's quite simple; you take your hand off the throttle (which self-closes without a hand on it), declutch with the left hand and shift with the right, then put your hand back on the throttle. For a faster change, you quickly back off the throttle, reach across with the left hand, change gear and resume riding as before. British hand shifts usually work in an up/down direction rather than the American fore-and-aft fashion, it's quite easy with practice.

Throwing in a 1914 reference, contemporary pictures of the 550cc Triumph commonly used as a DR bike often show the gear lever bent down to somewhere near the riders knee, to provide a crude hand/foot shift

The other main difference is that by the 1930s, the front brake was usually quite good; you could stop the bike reliably on either brake and stop with either, or both feet down and hold the bike on either brake.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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45Brit

Posts: 1494

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:28 am

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Don't mount an oil pressure gauge using a long, flexible line, you won't learn anything. Use metal tube, or better, don't bother. 45s make very low pressure and a good sender is more use.

I'm another adherent to the principle that if the tank is warm and it's leaking everywhere, it MUST be circulating....
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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ohio-rider

Posts: 244

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:26 am

Location: Ohio

Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:46 am

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

My guess is it would be that the aftermarket sending unit is your only problem. It’s not uncommon for them to turn the light on at low rpm’s. With the bike running, peek into the oil tank and look for oil returning to the tank. If it is your fine and you just need to ignore the light. I’m assuming that you don’t have the idle set to low which will also make that damn light come on and which also doesn’t do your engine much good either. Long story short, “They all do that.” Don’t sweat it.
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knucklebolt

Posts: 295

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Ah ha...yes, you are getting hooked on the foot clutch! It almost seems illogical, but I sure did miss it when I traded off the knuck. Sometimes I would even fantasize about converting my BMW...!!! But that would have been weird. I'm glad that you "get it", many would not, and could not.

I would agree that your oil light issue is just that...the sending unit, or an oil light issue. However, if you just took the bike for a ride, got it good and warmed up, then put the gauge on in the garage and fired it up, it would reassure you that you have enough pressure. I don't think you would have to actually ride it with the gauge on it. Makes one love roller bearing lower ends even more. !!!

Shifting with the throttle hand makes no sense to me, even though some bikes were set up that way, back in the day. I'm sure one could get used to it...but...!!! Of course with my set up, I'm not sure how I could get my right hand down low behind me on the left side. :) I guess if I let go of the bars with both hands I could contort myself enough. :)

Oh yeah, I forgot about the leaks. Yep, when I see a drop or two under my primary case, I know my oil is circulating, and the front chain is getting enough oil. Two for one.

ken
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45Brit

Posts: 1494

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Personally, having ridden both, I prefer the foot clutch/hand shift set-up to hand clutch/hand shift.

The foot operated clutch was sometimes used on big v-twins for the "colonial" markets, usually on sidecar outfits as an option. That said, the hand shift was obsolete by the mid-1930s on British nachines and largely superseded by 1939 - none of the machines supplied to the military by Norton, Matchless or Norton were so fitted.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Brendan

Posts: 120

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:48 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Laughing to myself. I made a stupid question even more stupid. I didn't consider the other bikes with the shifter on the right. Thanks 37ULH

Well, a couple of things.
I detached the return and hooked a hose ti tha end and fed into the tank. Oil flow is the exact same warm or hot. When I it, it spurts further. At idle it is like a faucet on low with no interruption in flow. After it warms up the light changes it's ( on off) characteristics, but the flow stays the same. I am happy.


I have been shifting with my right hand, reaching over the tank and away from the throttle. I am going to start using my left. I beleive I could be on the clutch and throttle faster using my left instead of right. Using my right hand, I find myself coasting to slow by the time I get back on the throttle.


Oh yea, one to three drops of oil from the primary a week on the ground. I took the floorboards off and the primary cover back off to see how much was coming out when riding. All is good.

A couple more illegal practice rides before I go down and get registered.

I hope they don't make me ride it around making turn signals with my hands. Maybe I should practice that.
I'll have my wife video it for your entertainment.

This bike is so much fun.

Brendan
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45Brit

Posts: 1494

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:39 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Shifting a tank-shift Harley with the right hand, sounds like hard work!
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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knucklebolt

Posts: 295

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

I've heard of guys shifting that way, reaching over with the right hand, but I think it was only when they were holding the bike on a hill with the front brake, hand brake, when said hand-lever was on the left handle bar. Otherwise, I would think that you would want to "stay on the throttle" with your right hand. One can shift very fast when you get used to what speed and engine RPM the tranny "likes" to snick into gear. Also for down shifting, one can get a better down-shift by blipping the throttle, getting the RPM's in synch with the tranny.

I have always found, with the front brake operated from the right side of the handlebars, that I can roll the throttle and release the hand/front brake at the same time leaving my left hand free to shift, or hang onto the bars with both hands during awkward turns.

But, I know that on your guys very original bikes, you will be keeping the front brake on the left handle bar. However, I did recently find something for my left handle bar. See pic. !!

ken
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Brendan

Posts: 120

Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:59 pm

Location: Orlando

Post Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Jeez, adding another instrument to what is all ready a packed one man band. That horn is Probably a lot louder than my Harley horn . If I tried to squeeze that with my skills at this point , it wold be the second to the last thing heard. The last would be the crunch of a mailbox.
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knucklebolt

Posts: 295

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:40 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

I've always considered a horn as pretty useless on a motorcycle. Don't see where anyone has time to honk a horn, by pushing a button or squeezing...before making the wrong sort of contact with something. Time better spent braking, dodging, weaving and trying to stay alive. And seeing as how 4,000 pound car or truck wins over 600 pound motorcycle in a road-rage contest, I'm not seeing that honking a horn after the fact could turn out so well either.

But, I do remember the one on my 45 being a great hit, got lots of smiles and all the girls wanted to honk it. !! :) At any rate, I believe it makes the bike a little more legal, as I had no horn before, and the State Patrol inspection never caught it. They sure were big on the turn signals though. Bummer that I didn't tighten them down good, and they fell off. After all that work of retro-fitting them.

ken.
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Samsup

Posts: 13

Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:35 pm

Post Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:56 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

The oil sender has some sort of pressure membrane inside of it, at some point it may become a bit weaker, so the pressure light should go off at lower RPM, whereas a new unit has a stiffer membrane inside, causing the indicator to go off at a bit higher RPM. If your sender is new, dont worry, it will break in after a some time.

if its old and it started doing this while never doing this, check with new sender, if that does not work problem is somewhere else
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2736

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Samsup wrote:The oil sender has some sort of pressure membrane inside of it, at some point it may become a bit weaker, so the pressure light should go off at lower RPM, whereas a new unit has a stiffer membrane inside, causing the indicator to go off at a bit higher RPM. If your sender is new, dont worry, it will break in after a some time.

if its old and it started doing this while never doing this, check with new sender, if that does not work problem is somewhere else
Unless, Samsup,..

It is a modern unit that has a very high threshold to begin with.

I tested a handfull from Dixie, and no two were the same, and all were far above the 4psi ideal.
SENDTEST.jpg


....Cotten
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woody

Posts: 519

Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2002 12:01 am

Location: Wa, USA

Post Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:32 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

The best oil pressure gauge that I ever found for a stock flathead (45 or big twin) was the gauge from an old John Deere combine. It was 0 to 15 psi with a large travel distance. At hot idle it was between 0 and 5 and was built to handle vibration.
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knucklebolt

Posts: 295

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Location: Six miles East of Cheney, Wa.

Post Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Same thread size? If so I'll be on the look out...as I still haven't hooked up my oil light.

k.
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Samsup

Posts: 13

Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:35 pm

Post Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:27 pm

Re: Engine oil light on and off?

Cotten wrote:
Samsup wrote:The oil sender has some sort of pressure membrane inside of it, at some point it may become a bit weaker, so the pressure light should go off at lower RPM, whereas a new unit has a stiffer membrane inside, causing the indicator to go off at a bit higher RPM. If your sender is new, dont worry, it will break in after a some time.

if its old and it started doing this while never doing this, check with new sender, if that does not work problem is somewhere else
Unless, Samsup,..

It is a modern unit that has a very high threshold to begin with.

I tested a handfull from Dixie, and no two were the same, and all were far above the 4psi ideal.
SENDTEST.jpg


....Cotten


You are right, the dixie ones are rather stiff, so the light did not go off that easily, but that is what I ment to say, after a while it should kind of "break in" and start working properly, in theory at least... There is only a problem when it suddenly your lights stay on or off at all times xD
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