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Thread: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

  1. #1

    Question disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Hello together,

    I rebuilt the transmission last winter. Added around 16 fl. oz. of gear oil. Then changed to regular motor oil (10W40), because transmission and primary are combined on my 1946 Indian Chief. It took around 16 fl.oz.

    After driving around (300 miles) I noticed that there was only around 7 fl. oz. left after draining it.

    I have problems with slippery clutch and from shifting from 2nd into 3rd gear. And there are many cuttings inside the case. I have a magnetic bolt which attracts the cuttings and I was surprized to see those.

    Does anybody have an idea where the transmission/primary oil disappears? Can't be normal that I have to refill it all 300 miles. There must be a mechanical problem or something.

    Thank you very much in advance for help.

    Rudy

  2. #2

    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Does anybody have an idea where the transmission/primary oil disappears?
    You have oil leaks, look under bike for traces of oil.

  3. Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Hi,
    As 1950panhead mentions, oil under the bike (literally on the bike - or on the floor) is a sure sign of a leak. Oil can be spread around, so it may not be obvious. Oil may leak more when the bike is moving down the road, so it may not end up as a puddle under the bike. Oil can leak out of the inner primary where the generator drive shaft exits the case. Oil can leak out of the transmission where the sprocket driver gear exits the transmission case on the right side. A really wet drive sprocket or rear chain can be a clue that excessive oil is leaking out of the case on the right side.
    There is a cork seal behind the main engine sprocket. If this seal is missing, there is a chance that transmission/primary drive oil could enter the engine cases. It is hard to predict which way oil might move across a missing engine sprocket seal. There is a small transmission vent hole at the top of the transmission tower on the left side. Make sure that this vent hole is open. If the vent hole is plugged-up, it could be forcing a leak somewhere.
    If you are finding slivers of metal in the drained oil - something bad is happening. A common source of metal slivers is a poorly aligned primary chain shoe - or a shoe that is at the end of its service life. You could also have a bearing that is failing, and this could produce metal slivers/flakes. To me, it sounds like you may want to consider pulling the outer primary cover and take a look around in there. If you put 16 ounces of fluid in the primary/transmission - you should get close to that much out when draining both sides (you did drain both the primary and transmission - right?) - two separate drain plugs.
    If your clutch is slipping - either the friction discs are too thin (need replacing) - or the clutch springs are too weak. It is also possible that the gear oil you originally used as a fluid, isn't compatible with your friction discs. Modern friction discs might tolerate gear oil - original Raybestos discs would slip if they became contaminated with gear oil.
    Yes, you shouldn't lose more than half of your oil after just 300 miles. Something somewhere isn't quite right. Please post your repair findings to this thread.
    Last edited by Yellow53Chief; 06-19-2017 at 07:30 AM. Reason: spelling errors

  4. #4

    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Hello together

    Thank you very much for the input. I will post what I find out. There are no oil stains on the floor.

    Best regards

    Rudy

  5. Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Hi,
    Another common leak point on the primary drive is the clutch lever worm seal. A leak here will usually be easily seen. If the tool box area is getting covered with a film of oil - this usually means that leaking oil is getting caught in in the wind-stream and getting blown back from the primary drive/transmission area. Another source of a leak is the gasketed surface between the inner primary cover and the transmission. A thorough cleaning of the primary drive and transmission, and then refilling the cases to the proper level, might allow for the leak to be more easily seen. If using the outer primary cover fill-level check hole, the fluid should be checked with the bike on the center stand. 16 fluid ounces total should not be overfilling the system (when the transmission and primary drive share fluid), but should the system be over-filled; it will tend to leak more easily.

  6. #6

    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Oil leaks where the oil is new or fresh, is sometimes very hard to spot because it is almost transparent. A neat tip is to knit a piece of paper (of course where possible) around the area you suspect, and go for a ride.
    Charlie 101

  7. #7

    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    You might look into the generator drive bushing, my '47 was blowing a lot of oil out past the generator drive shaft due to the bushing being worn. After a ride, there would be a light oil mist all around the top of the tranny, seat post, etc and small oil spots after sitting... it didn't seem like a lot at any given time, but it adds up. Changed to a new Greer's bushing and she's oil tight now.

  8. #8
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    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    A friend recently had same symptoms on his 47. He was thinking possibly cork seal behind engine sprocket because no obvious leaks but it turned out to be too much slop on the main transmission shaft to bushing on output end. It was leaking at the sprocket while riding and being dispersed without being obvious. He was also having a slight issue with hard shifting into 3rd gear. When he restored the clearance issue fixing the leak, he said the shifts to 3rd are now smooth
    Jason Z - S.W. PA
    48 Chief

  9. #9

    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Hello

    Thank you very much for the info and your help, really appreciate that. At the moment I am pulling the primary cover off and I will also check if there is too much slop on the main transmission shaft.

    Will let you know as I work further on it.

    Last Sunday went for a ride together with other old Indians and some Harleys, was quite a lot of fun and great weather, except the thing with the slipping clutch.

    https://www.harley-indian-club.ch/ga...teisenfahrt-HP

    Best regards and have a nice week

    Rudy
    Last edited by CH-Knucklehead; 06-20-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  10. #10

    Re: disappearing transmission/primary oil Indian Chief 1946

    Hello Jason

    The transmission oil disappeared without obvious oil leaks. I had problems with hard shifting into 3rd gear and the transmission started to sound strange. And as I drained the primary + transmission oil there were only 7 fl.oz. of oil left. (I put the bike on center stand and filled until the oil came out, it took approximately 27 fl. oz). Now I have taken the primary cover out and also the transmission tower is out now. I saw that the countershaft gear bushing (bronze) were damaged (worn). What do you mean with "too much slop on the main transmission shaft to bushing on output end"? How did your friend fix this and where is it located? Has this anything to do with the engine crankcase and how did he repair this? I've already checked the cork seal and it seems fine. Thank you very much for more input. Best regards Rudy

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