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Keeping the motor oil in the motor on a 77 FXE.

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  • Keeping the motor oil in the motor on a 77 FXE.

    So... Harley Davidsons have a problem with oil carry over from the crankcase vent.
    This is caused by the 45 degree motor sharing a single crankpin without adequate space inside the motor for an oil trap that actually traps oil.
    On the old chain drive bikes they turned this into a "Feature" running the vent hose to a point on the swingarm, just above the drive chain.
    And they put a port on the oil pump with an adjustment screw in case you wanted to add even more oil to the chain.

    So this only became a problem when they switched to belt drive.

    On the early belt drive bikes they ran the vent hose to the air cleaner. (Where they dripped oil all over the right side of the bike)
    And everyone promptly took them off and ran them under the bike with (Or without) a little air cleaner to keep large rocks and sticks out of the motor. :-)
    But they still dripped oil.

    In 93 Harley switched to a "Top Breather" system that has umbrella valves in the heads and vents to the airbox thru hollow bolts.
    And they still drip oil.
    So... I set out to fix this.

    The first thing I tried was using an improved Evo style rotary crankcase breather valve, And these little Evo oil baffles.
    I dunno, It may have made a difference, But it still leaked oil.

    While surfing the web, I ran into a 360 degree British Bike forum where they were using cans and stuff to trap the oil and return it to the motor.
    And one fella used the backbone of the frame.

    Well I didn't want to use the Backbone, Because there is no telling what is in there on an old AMF bike. But the FXE uses the frame from the FL and has an unused "Seat post tube" that is open ended top and bottom and just the right size for 1" NPT plugs.
    I used a 1-14" boiler tube brush to clean the tube, Used a tapered pipe reamer to size the hole, then tapped the tube for 1" NPT.
    Drilled, reamed and tapped two 3/8" NTP holes and one 1/8" NPT hole.

    The oilified air enters the tube near the middle, The air exits the tube from near the top and goes to the back of the air cleaner, The oil returns to the motor via the old primary chain case oil return. (This bike has a sealed primary)
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    I made an oil baffle from some 1/4" stainless threaded rod and some fender washers and nuts. Not sure if it was needed or not but, "Anything Worth Doing, Is Worth Overdoing."
    I used 1/8" fuel fittings from a Mercury outboard for the oil return. The one in the bottom of the tube has a check valve built into it.
    If I had to do this again, I would use rubber expansion plugs instead of tapping the tube.
    That was hard. :-) (The bottom one almost kicked my butt.)
    Official HERD Member #00187

  • #2
    Click image for larger version  Name:	DSC02246.JPG Views:	0 Size:	549.3 KB ID:	1252496 These are some of the things that didn't work so well. :-)
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    The original steel breather valve next to the EVO breather valve.
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    The EVO valve before "Improvements."
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    The EVO valve after "Improvements."
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    Plastic EVO Breather baffles.
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    Plastic baffle installed in breather tube. I drilled and installed a roll pin to keep it in place. There was no way it was gonna stay in there, but it looked as tho someone had hacked off the end of the tube with a hacksaw. (And not very straight)
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    The result! Yup, Still blowing oil.
    Last edited by Spiny Norman; 02-01-2020, 04:58 PM.
    Official HERD Member #00187


    • #3
      Making this a STICKY. Thanks Spiny!
      2010 FLHX - Street Glide
      HERD MEMBER #00003


      • #4
        Heck Man, You should have said You needed a brush to swab out the post seat tube. I got one setting right here waiting for someone to neeed it. I hadda swamp out the post tube on the 76 FLH that I had years ago, after running a non post seat for a couple of years, it got some durt, rocks and possibly even a prairie dog or two stuffed in there.
        Ear Tag no. 00030


        • #5
          This is brilliant! Way to go!

          I'm fuzzy on the Shovel era tech, but could follow along. (All the seat of the pants stuff I've scooped up has to do with "early Twinkie")

          I can commiserate on doing stuff like drilling holes in the home shop, especially tapped holes, etc. It's one thing for a manufacturer to do, and shops to re-work stuff where they have pieces chucked up on a Bridgeport, etc. And thickwall tubing, no matter what- DOM welded, or seamless, has been heavily worked into shape and cold-rolled, causing work-hardening. Tough to work, in the home shop!


          2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

          Official HERD Member #00192

          "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman


          • #6
            So.. This all started because the bike was "wet sumping."
            Wet Sumping is usually caused by poor sealing between the check ball and the seat in the oil pump.
            So. I tried all the usual fixes:
            Smacking it with a hammer.
            Welding a ball onto a rod and using valve lapping compound.
            Welding a ball onto a rod and burnishing it with a high speed drill motor.
            None of this stuff worked for me, So I replaced the oil pump.
            And it still would wet sump if I let it sit for a couple of weeks.
            Well my bike has an "OIL Cooler Kit" HD part # 62571-77 that mounts just below the triple tree. and this sucker holds a lot of oil.
            And this was the cause of the wet sumping all along.
            HD didn't put a seal between the return (Scavenging pump) and the Cam chest. This leaves the oil cooler and lines wide open to the cam chest. With only the clearance between the oil pump drive shaft and bushing to slow it down.
            So I live in the desert S.W. so getting rid of the oil cooler was not an option. So I moved it down.
            Click image for larger version

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            Clamped it to a "Highway peg" bracket I put on years ago.
            This cured the wet sumping, but it did not cure the oil carryover (Blow by) . :-)

            Official HERD Member #00187


            • #7
              Wow, so that's what was causing the we sumping on My 76 FLH. I`ll remember that if it happens that I am able to get that one from Mikey.
              One thing I do know, that I found out, never leave the vinyl cover over the oil cooler, even when the temps are getting down there, it`ll melt the crap outta them things.
              Ear Tag no. 00030