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Trans Oil Volume/Level

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BenE

Posts: 25

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:01 am

Location: Upstate NY

Post Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:03 pm

Trans Oil Volume/Level

About how much oil should it take to properly fill a 4-speed trans? Is filling it so you can feel the level with your finger an accurate enough level measurement?
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krazy loop

Posts: 646

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:01 am

Location: Detroit

Post Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:29 pm

No.

Remove the trans filler plug. Stand the bike up level.
Full equals the oil level just reaching the bottom of the filler hole without pouring out. Too much will pour out. Too little won't reach the bottom level of the hole.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!
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Plumber

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Location: S.Calif.

Post Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:55 pm

With no offense intended to Krazy Loop for the factory maintenance instructions :
Actually, with the machine upright, if you can see the oil sitting at the bottom of the trans, it's enough.
If you fill it up with oil to the bottom edge of the filler hole (while the machine is upright) and you have a worn mainshaft bushing, the oil will leak out while parked on the jiffy stand, until it empties down to just below the lowest point of anywhere it can run out. :lol:
With a trans filled to the bottom edge of the filler opening, oil will also exit the starter shaft bushing if it's worn, but the aftermarket bushing with an O-ring is better than the old OEM cork bushing.
From Vol. 2. - "The factory was aware of the wear pattern of the (mainshaft) bushing and created the (35159-39) oil slinger in 1939. The deflector slung oil that escaped the bushing, out and around the inside of the primary. Without the deflector, the oil would have proceeded down the mainshaft and into the clutch shell; drained down and fouled the innermost friction and drive discs and any other discs that gravity might chose, while the motorcycle was parked on it's side stand".
Last edited by Plumber on Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Andrew J. Hester

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Location: Roxboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Post Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:02 am

I'm in agreement with Plumber. I only fill to about an eight to a quarter inch below the filler hole threads. Sooner or later, the lube will find a place to leak out, on the drive side. This slows/prevents premature leaks, and with the bike in the upright position, there is plenty of lube to be picked up by the gears. A long time ago, I made a habit of inspecting the trans lube level often. Daily, on road trips.

Jack
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mbskeam

Posts: 26

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:49 pm

Location: sultan WA

Post Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:08 pm

drain and fill with 1-1/2 pints, just like the manual says. cover fill holes do very, but a measuring cup dont lie.
trust me on this, I found out that if you over fill it WILL leak, even after changing out a good seal....LOL

mbskeam
"life is hard......it's harder if you're stupid"
http://www.geocities.com/mbskeam/
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krazy loop

Posts: 646

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:01 am

Location: Detroit

Post Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:38 pm

The head wrench at Downtown HD in Detroit told me that in 1972. I never had a problem using that method.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!
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krazy loop

Posts: 646

Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:01 am

Location: Detroit

Post Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:18 am

Plumber, I hate to beat this to death but if you look at page 12 of the early pan manual at about the middle of the page it says fill to the level of the filler hole. Elsewhere the lubrications specs say 1 and 1/2 pints. They most likely equal the same amount. Whenever I do a trans I pay particular attention to the main drive gear bushing and the kicker shaft bushings. Main drive gear bushings aren't that easy to install without machinery but you can cut a brass "drift" large enough to maintain the ID of the bushing for installation and then ream or otherwise size the bushing. A time or two for me it wasn't necessary to size the bushing to the exact spec due to mainshaft wear. Alternatively a machinist with average skills should be able to R&R the main drive gear bushing. How much is too much? I am not looking at the book right at this moment but I believe the bushing spec is on the order of .001. As long as it doesn't leak like a sieve .002 probably would not be a disaster.

Andrew & MB, what old HD doesn't leak? It would concern me more if mine stopped for an unknown reason. A lot of so-called trans leaks are due to a primary chain adjuster opened to much.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!
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Plumber

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Location: S.Calif.

Post Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:35 am

I am not looking at the book right at this moment but I believe the bushing spec is on the order of .001. As long as it doesn't leak like a sieve .002 probably would not be a disaster.

It's .001, which is fine, but the problem, and Harley knew this by 1939, is that there is a constant whip-action on the mainshaft from the primary drive torque, that acts on any freeplay between the mainshaft and bushing. The more you drive it, the greater the freeplay becomes. Yep, alot of the oil that lands on the ground is from the chain oiler and the impossibliilty of a stable needle-metering-ability, and the fact that the primary chain needs gobs of oil or it will stretch prematurely. ( I use to have my S&S pump needle on my '59 Pan dialed in to where I would only have two quarter size drops drip to the pavement, if I left it parked for a few hours on the jiffy stand, which is nice, but I would go through primary chains every 3.500 miles! :lol: )
What we did was to change the MDG bushing to needle bearings. So when we spin the needle bearings on the mainshaft, they spin like a roller skate wheel. There are two sets of needle bearings now for lineal support that the bushing didn't provide.
As far as the 1-1/2 pints of oil, that's okay. If 1-1/2 pints of oil doesn't cause the oil to drain out past a worn MDG bushing when the machine is parked on it's jiffy stand, great. If oil does drain out when on it's side stand, no big deal either. Set the bike upright and check the oil. If you can see the oil pooled down at the bottom of the trans, your okay too. Like Jack said, "checking the trans. oil level before a ride is part of what you do".
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krazy loop

Posts: 646

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Location: Detroit

Post Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:43 pm

Plumber, let me ask you this: for needle bearings in the main drive gear did you do anything special to the inside gear surface, i.e., where the OD of the old bushing contacts the gear? Like size or polish it maybe?

I never heard of your method before but it doesn't sound like a half bad idea so long as the inner surface is smooth and concentric, but sooner or later the inner bearing surface of the gear itself is going to wear. As for leaks, '65 and shovel gears do have a thin oil seal. One of my pan boxes has 1974 gears in it which work fine. Another trick I like is using an aluminum inner pirmary type trans case for pans and knuckles after I remove the 4 studs that bolt the primary to the trans. Locking up in two gears always seems to crack the case right in the main drive gear area with the early boxes. Maybe I am fooling myself psychologically but I like the idea of extra case meat in that area which you get with the later cases.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!
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mbskeam

Posts: 26

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:49 pm

Location: sultan WA

Post Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:18 pm

or you can try this....

Image

its 1/2 way between 0 and 100

mbskeam
"life is hard......it's harder if you're stupid"
http://www.geocities.com/mbskeam/
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Plumber

Posts: 1536

Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 12:01 am

Location: S.Calif.

Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:15 am

for needle bearings in the main drive gear did you do anything special to the inside gear surface, i.e., where the OD of the old bushing contacts the gear? Like size or polish it maybe?

The MDG was bored on a lathe with big cutters (or the cutters will "walk" when they're deep inside the bore) and then i.d. ground. It's a stepped process that finishes the bore to a specific diameter so the bearings get compressed inside the MDG for an exact fit on the mainshaft. Stett has a part number for it. 4SPDMDG/1.248
http://www.stettsironhorseranch.com/ If you want one, email him and tell him you heard about it here. The process is outlined completely in Vol. 2.
You need the MDG and the mainshaft your going to use. I used a "Sifton" mainshaft and "Sifton" MDG because I wanted the parts combo that's possibly the least un-hardened as a test case. Andrews was out of stock with MDG, but if he has any, use his gear and shaft and get some Rockwell 60 that's 0.040" deep with the MDG.
"Mr. Andrews" concern with boring out the MDG was the distortion factor after removing some of the hardness through boring, but removing material from the inside does not necessarily remove hardness from the outside. This is for a 74 cu. in. motor. Max.

mbskeam: I'd like to see some more info or installation reality of the mainshaft nut w/ bearing. I guess you have to hone the seal to your particular mainshaft? Will the 1/2" or so width of the roller bearing support a flopping mainshaft that's still in a worn bushing? Maybe. We used a Duo-Nut with Hylomar or silicone on the nuts O-ring to finish mine. The silicone acts like grease to the O-ring when the nuts being tightened.

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