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Thread: Oil loving Harley

  1. Oil loving Harley

    Hello everyone, I have a 1929 Harley series 30D 45 inch and I would like to know much oil is too much in the crankcase. As we know the oil system on early bikes is constant loss were oil isn't returned back to the oil tank from the crankcase. I have followed the original guideline where the manual states that the sump is emptied and refilled by 2.5 strokes of the tank priming hand pump. What I don't know is how much oil is allowed to sit in the sump after that because I think the oil pump is over working and delivering far too much, even though it has been set on the scribed marker line set by Harley?

  2. Re: Oil loving Harley

    Hopefully this will help. First disconnect the oil line from the checkvalve connection and give your normal number of pumps into a coffee cup or similar. Then reattach the line and fill the crankcase as normal (if it had been drained) and go for a ride. When you return, drain the crankcase into a cup like before and compare the levels in both cups. If they are the same then the pump is dispensing the correct amount of oil for the engines needs. If it's significantly more then adjust the pump for less and vice versa. Also remember that with modern rings (oil control etc.) the engines requirements will be less than they were back in the 30's when the technology was not like it is today. Modern oils also do a better job so a little less than recommended back then may well be ok. Excessive smoke and seepage from around the valve covers would indicate that too much may be in the crankcase. Good Luck. Smitty

  3. Re: Oil loving Harley

    Thank you
    One other observation, I'm using a slikolene straight 40 which looks oil colour however if I prime the crankcase the oil in no time turns dark blue and this is without the engine running, any idea?
    Regards Karl

  4. Re: Oil loving Harley

    As I'm not familiar with that oil I cannot even guess. I use H.D. straight 60 wt. in my VL for the summer months and will use 50 wt. in the colder weather. These are the recommended oils for my bike and they work for me, so if it ain't broke ... don't fix it!! Smitty

  5. Re: Oil loving Harley

    Thanks again. I will certainly check the oil level as you described. On another subject, the bike has an 1 inch M16 Linkert carb, the bike is running very rich, so much, the low speed needle adjustment is wound completely down, shut and it's still very rich. Can you offer any advice to enable weakening of the air fuel ratio?
    Question - if you're familiar, the carb bowl can be removed by loosening the nut directly beneath, once undone you will find a spring which supports the main Venturi jet. How important is this spring as it looks the right length but I am not sure about compressive force. I know the spring is required but does it play another part from supporting the jet?
    If I lower the fuel level in the carb bowl will this help control the mixture?
    Regards Karl

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beautiful Northern NM

    Re: Oil loving Harley

    Is your low speed needle assembled correctly? Spring on top of the needle? And the main nozzle spring just hold it in place, no other function. Float level definitely affect richness but it would have to be very high. 1/4" from bowl edge is normal height.
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  7. Re: Oil loving Harley

    Sorry about my explanation, yes the low running needle is assembled right. The only reference to the spring was for the main nozzle, and you have now confirmed my understanding that the function of the spring is just to support the nozzle.

    I can't understand what's going wrong as the spark plugs are very black, the bike does smoke although I keep the sump oil down to its minimum limit. If I raise the low speed needle off the bottom stop, which should be the weakest setting, the engine doesn't like it, the effect is similar to putting choke ON. I've tried to determine or differentiate whether it's too much oil getting up into the combustion chambers or its too rich a mixture. Help...

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