Harley Davidson Oil Change

Q: Hi there, I’m a customer of yours (a few dvd’s). I’m hoping to get your valued opinion on a recent issue…

2005 Screamin Eagle Electra Glide. Last service, dude left it low on oil. In a rush, I mistakenly dumped an entire quart of oil in it, (thinking it’d be ok even if 1/4 qt too much). Well, I was wrong, because after a long-ish hi-rpm ride, the back of the motor, brakes, rear wheel, etc were soaked. So, I cleaned everything, then changed the oil (and filter) with 4 fresh qts of Syn3. Thought problem was solved, but after another ride, clean fresh oil making a puddle on top of the transmission case, and of course, back of bike (brakes, wheel, etc) are soaked again. I even pulled off the air filter. There was a sheen from oil, but no real mess at all. I was under the impression that overfilled crankcase oil would come out the breather (which is fine), but now that it’s got exactly 4 quarts again in it, why is it still blowing out oil? Could I have ruined some seals or gaskets elsewhere, (kind’a like having too much blood pressure?).. Any clues. Really nice bike…I’m nervous now.

Thanks VERY much in advance!
Dave L

A:Dave, if you are still dumping 4 entire quarts into your bike; you may still be over filling the system. You need to purchase 4 quarts of oil for a Harley Davidson oil change on a 2005 Electra Glide, but rarely will you need to use more than 3 1/2 or 3 3/4 quarts for only an oil change. Usually, like you said, an over filled system will leak from the top breather (or sometimes blow out your fill plug). As for where this oil is coming from; you are going to have to play a little detective. Remember: the oil will always be making it’s way from top to bottom and front to back. However, first thing we would check is to see if your transmission is overfilled. An overfilled Transmission will leak out of the transmission vent and will make the area you described wet with fluid. See if the vent line is wet at the end. Good luck.

Related Question:

Hi my 2010 fatboy had oil change done and has been over filled by half a litre picked up from workshop and did a 300 km ride when I got home checked it over and its overfull.

A: That is not really a big deal. However, it can be messy if oil begins to push by your oil fill plug while riding. Remove your oil drain plug and drain out what is necessary to have the correct oil level for your bike.

Related Question:

I know we have videos on oil changes, but this question seems much more specific. “hi guys,…thanks for this website it’s fantastic. I think i’ll take you up on the offer of asking a question, so here goes. I recently purchased an 07 softail deluxe. it only had 9,200 mi on it when I bought it and now that I’ve put 800 miles on it I decided to change my oils. I changed the engine oil and checked the plug magnet and it was clean and I completed that change. I next changed the tranny oil and found the oil to be fairly clean but with a little bit of cloudiness in the oil from what seems like very very fine metallic shavings, not a lot but just a mist of it in the oil and some on the magnet in the plug. next I changed the primary oil and found that to be the dirtiest of all the oils and some metallic shavings on the plug magnet, not very much but just clustered around the magnet. also strangely, the primary plug magnet seems to be chipped or corroding away about a 1/4 of the way. I have heard that some ware is to be expected but how much is ok and what is bad enough to do something about thanks, tom r

A: Nothing you describe is cause for concern. If you have chunks of steel, or aluminum; you have a problem. But you would typically be aware of the problem before draining the fluid.

Related Videos:

Oil Change

Oil & Tranny fluid


Find Your Model Here To Do Your Own Oil Change: Maintenance
Discussion
  • (will not be published)

38 Responses to “Harley Davidson Oil Change”
  1. Kerry
    Kerry

    The other day I was changing oil in my 08 low rider, I had the dipstick out so it would drain good and I got to doing something else while it drained, My little granddaughter told me a bug got in the oil hole, So after I flushed it out about 3 times I never seen a bug. So I guess I’m going to have to remove the oil pan and check I don’t know if a bug got in there or not. My question is does the Dyna low rider have a screen or something in the oil pan to keep foreign matter out of the engine,just in case something does get in it when checking the oil.

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs
      Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Kerry. No. There is no screen or filter in the oil pan. Any foreign debris will likely get stopped in the oil filter, but, only after it passes through the engine. Fortunately, bugs (even Beetles!) are soft. These motors are just not that delicate. “Forget about it”.

      Reply
  2. Matt
    Matt

    Hello All, this is my first posting anything.
    I have a 2008 Street Glide and I am planning on changing my oil for the first time, on my own. My question is this, at what mileage do I need to change the primary and trans? I’ve put 5000 miles on the bike since I had the local dealer do the 10,000 miles service oil change.

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs
      Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Matt. The service manual suggests changing your primary and transmission fluids every 10k miles, after your 1st 10k service. If the motorcycle sits for any long duration; should start with fresh fluids regardless of the mileage. Condensation can be a factor.

      Reply
    • Commander J
      Commander J

      If your running non synthetic oil your motor oil is way over due. Th primary and trans on my 06 touring get changed at 10 thousand and oil filter and motor at 2500 I don’t like synthetic so it’s straight 50 for motor . It’s been good to me since I put all the SE pistons cams and upped the carb. Pretty spunky for a 96.. . .

      Reply
    • Customer Service Techs
      Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Jerry!

      1. Remove both the engine oil and transmission lubricant drain plugs from the oil pan. Drain the fluids into suitable containers.
      3. Remove rear wheel. 4. With a long 3/16 inch ball hex socket driver (Snap-On stock number FABL6 or equal), remove the twelve socket head screws from the bottom of the oil pan. NOTE Holes in the frame crossmember allow access to bolts which would not otherwise be accessible. CAUTION Remove the engine oil dipstick before attempting to slide the oil pan rearward. Contact with the oil pan will result in damage to the dipstick. 5. Slide oil pan rearward and remove from underside of transmission.

      Reply
  3. Kerry
    Kerry

    Has anyone tried Scavenger total oil change system, Is there a video of it on fix my hog. Thanks

    Reply
    • Ralph Parks
      Ralph Parks

      There is 28 to 32 ounces that stays in the engine sump when tank is drained, change the tank oil, put on the scavenger, start bike & run until fresh oil runs out of the scavenger & bring tank oil to full. I use the scavenger on my Road King & Heritage & change all the oil in my bikes, not part of it, http://www.rouge choppers.com, will show you.

      Reply
    • Mike zaloudek
      Mike zaloudek

      I have used one on a deuce since 2001 and I love it. When done the oil looks new unlike when changed normally. The old oil left in the motor on a normal change is old oil and you have a new oil change with almost a quart of contaminated oil left in the motor. I would highly recommend use of the product. On some bikes with an oil cooler you can do the same thing by removing a oil line but the scavenger is much easier and will last a lifetime.

      Reply
  4. chris
    chris

    I need help replacing my crankshaft oil seal. Is there any way I can get the seal out without buying the special tool? Plus how do I get the new seal back in place?

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs
      Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Chris. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make, year and model of your motorcycle?

      Reply
  5. Rob
    Rob

    I recently bought a ’94 Road King and can’t even find the oil tank! Is there somewhere that I can download the relevant manual?

    Reply
    • Customer Service Techs
      Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Rob. The oil pan for your year & model is under the transmission, on the bottom of the m/c. The best service/repair reference for your motorcycle is the factory service manual specific for your year & model. Nothing else comes close.

      Reply
    • Roy Kovach
      Roy Kovach

      there is not an oil tank on your 94 RK,it has an oil pan,the filler is on the passenger side of bike.

      Reply
  6. Craig
    Craig

    Just purchased 2003 Fatboy. Not sure where oil drain plug and tranny drain plug is located.

    Reply
  7. Pat
    Pat

    Hi I overfilled my gearbox on my softail i went for a quick ride and when I got back I noticed it was dripping oil so when I pulled the oil plug out there was not much oil comn out can u tell me why

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Pat. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make/model/year of your motorcycle?

      Reply
  8. George
    George

    I enjoy this site immensely It has kept me out of trouble with my bike by watching and seeing what I don’t feel I am capable of doing with my limited experience mechanically with the bike. I recently watched your video on ” the baker oil pan up grade” I have always changed the oil with a Scavenger oil change system My question is this is the scavenger oil change system compatible with the baker oil pan?

    Reply
  9. scott harteau
    scott harteau

    I have a 2007 flhx and my oil pressure is good running at 32 my temp is good but no oil in my oil filter

    Reply
  10. Ronnie
    Ronnie

    2007 street glide and I think my inner primary is leaking not bad but I do see a drop or two after sitting a while. Is this a major concern and fix or just worrying too much? My first bike and I’m not a very good mechanic? Please help Thx!

    Reply
  11. Rogue T.M/C
    Rogue T.M/C

    Last sept on my way to Denver my oil plug popped out going down the highway somewhere around 90 mph (Utah speed limits are 85) and gave my wife a nice set of second and 3rd degree burns, I thought maybe the rubber on the dipstick might have been bad and so I replaced it or that maybe I’d overfilled the oil bag. Tonight coming up on Memorial Day going for an evening putt. The dipstick popped out again and again spraying my wife with oil. We’ve put well over 60000 miles on this bike together and never had this problem. It’s an 08 FXSTC stage 1, v&h pipes power commander etc etc. the only thing motor wise done recently was I had cams, lifters, adj pushrods, and changed the cams from chain drive to gear drive. All cam and valve train parts are s&is. The cams are the 585ez starts. Needless to say the wife is getting alittle gunshy and we leave for tombstone and Mexico day after tomorrow. Any tips hints suggestions would be appreciated. I’m about ready to bolt the oil plug to the bag.

    Reply
  12. Dustin Joyner
    Dustin Joyner

    Trans oil is going into the primary. Change the oil and ride 400 miles or so and the trans will be low and the primary will be over full. Had a new trans installed, case and all. Bike is still doing the same thing.

    Reply
    • Rudy Hasselhan
      Rudy Hasselhan

      harley calls this problem a fluid transfer they offer a kit to ventilate the trans and inner primary your dealer should have this kit available.It is a problem the motor co. does not like to talk about especially since it is still happening in even some of the new 2019 M8 models they keep this problem very low profile which I feel is very unfair to new harley customers.

      Reply
  13. Frank
    Frank

    found the plugs for the primary and trans thought I found the crankcase plug but when I pulled it very little oil came out and ive looked everywhere only seen that plug . dipstick was out.. I have a 2007 fatboy now not sure if I drained something else the oil tank is still full

    Reply
  14. carl
    carl

    ive got a 08 rocker thought starter and batt went outpushed started reved high for 30 sec,then started sputtering and died. thought some1put suger or smthing in gas and oil so i drained tank and new gas cleaned plugs drained oil and about 2 shotglasses came out and tank is full. changed oil several times never this happend wtf?

    Reply
  15. bobby.mckee
    bobby.mckee

    Hey fellow riders I’m new to this site so I figured I would try it out Q: I have a 1991 heritage soft tail have had it 26 years oil changes no problem but I recently purchased a 2005 cvo electra ultra classic SE and am ready to start doing service myself but this idea of bikes having a oil pan blows my mind call me old school I guess anyway do these newer bikes have separate drain plugs for engine oil and trans thanks and keep dirty side down

    Reply
  16. John Pablo
    John Pablo

    I have a 17 RK I got the clutch recall done now I have a oil leak, shop has not been encouraging. Bringing it in for 2nd time. Any suggestions?

    Reply