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Thread: Oil Leak - 1957 Pan. Help Diagnosing

  1. #1

    Oil Leak - 1957 Pan. Help Diagnosing

    My 1957 Pan is a great running bike and getting even better now that I have replaced the bearings on the front fork, put in new manifold seals, and just recently, replaced the primary chain. The old primary chain was so stretched, I could no longer tighten it. Anyway, this bike has a tendency to leak more oil than it should, and that is something I would like to try and fix. The oil tends to come out over longer periods of time. For example, it was on a lift all winter and it leaked about half to 2/3 of the oil into the catch pan I had underneath it. When I ride it somewhere and park it, I'll usually find a nice reassuring silver dollar size oil spot, but it won't puddle up or leak too excessively over short periods or during rides. Thats good! On the margin, it leaks a bit more overnight or during the course of a week than my other pans, but its really when the bike gets parked for a long period of time (weeks/months) that it noticeably loses oil. Its coming out of the bottom end - no visible leaks up top. To me, this sounds like a problem with the automatic chain oiler, the oil screen on top of the cam, or the oiler and scavenger lines at the primary drive. Given the slowness, I'm guessing that there is a consistent oil drip going 24/7, and over time, the oil just flows right out the bottom end. In any case, does it sound like I'm on the right track? If anyone has any other thoughts or some proper fix ideas, let me know.
    "A bike on the road is worth 2 in the shed"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beautiful Northern NM

    Re: Oil Leak - 1957 Pan. Help Diagnosing

    Dean ,
    it sounds like a simple case of "sumping", where the oil in the tank slowly drains into the engine and eventually leaks out into the primary side and onto the ground. It is very common in all models of H-D and can be as simple as replacing the check balls in the oil pump to having to do a little more work involving the oil pump seats. Or just ride it more, as it is a function of gravity and time. When used often they tend to not do it (unless of course there is a seat issue) but when left to sit it occurs. There is plenty of info on here and at the Hydra-Glide forum on it. Just do a search.
    And always remember to run it a while BEFORE you refill the tank since a fair amount can be in the crankcase and will return when running, causing an overfull situation.

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