2004 FLHTCUI Low Oil Pressure

Discussion in 'Oil' started by SJPhil, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. SJPhil

    SJPhil Banned

    A couple weeks ago I noticed that the oil pressure went down dramatically from it's normal 32 to about 16 PSI. I immediately stopped and checked the oil level...all was good. Running Amsoil Synth with about 7k miles on the current fluids. As I lowered the RPM's, I noticed the PSI going to zero. Not good I thought. But, I wasn't hearing any unusual engine noise that should go along with low or zero pressure, right? I thought maybe the gauges are wrong? I HAD to continue my ride cuz there aren't good HD mechanics in (EDIT) Egypt. 350 miles later I went the the HD Dealer. Typical Harley dealer (HOT) counter person sold me a bill of goods suggesting that I order a Oil Pressure sensor ...had to buy a 1 1/16" crow's-foot wrench for the replacement. That wasn't the problem, but maybe good to start with the lesser expensive repairs. Now, I started talking with a real HD mechanic who's suggesting my oil pump is the problem. 36k miles (on a 2004) and I need a new oil pump??? I bought the bike from someone who put only 10k miles on it over 9-years. Is this what happens to a barn-find bike that's not ridden enough?

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2015
  2. Dan.1977P

    Dan.1977P Active Member

    If it had been sitting that long, it may have some sludge that could be clogging up the pump or anywhere else in the path of the oil. I don't know enough off the top of my head to tell you exactly what to do but I would be thinking along the lines of finding any screens, filters, ports in the oil path and getting them clean as well as looking at a new pump. If the 'real' mechanic is someone you trust, I see no reason to doubt him yet. I would just do all the other stuff I mentioned (Seafoam in the oil may be enough) in addition to putting in a new pump. And if you are doing it, spring for a higher output one and consider a new cam plate with gears over the chain since you will be taking all that stuff out anyway to get to the pump.
  3. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    The worst thing for something with moving parts, gaskets or seals is to sit for long periods of time. Gaskets, seals tend to dry out and leak and create all kinds of issues.

    I don't know if this has anything to do with your issue (probably not) but if it we're my scoot I'd be concentrating my time on the oil pump going south on me. Pumps are cheap compared to any damage you may incur if you keep running it with 16 psi. IMO the Harley stock pump leaves a lot to be desired in the first place.
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

    First things first. You now have a new sensor but the gauge could be suspect. Connect a pressure gauge directly to the sender and verify that the oil pressure showing on the gauge is accurate.

    If so, I agree that you should check the oil pump. Get the service manual for your bike and DIY the project. 2004 model with 36k miles warrants opening the cam chest anyway to check the cam chain tensioners. If those are disintegrating, some of that material could be contributing to the problem. You need to replace those tensioners and perhaps the oil pump as well.

    The MoCo has increased the price of the early pumps; no up to near $300. A smart move to force owners to purchase the SE Hybrid kit (PN 25284-11) for about $500 retail or $400 if purchased from an online discount dealer. The kit includes a billet cam plate, hi capacity oil pump, hydraulic tensioners and roller outer chain; the inner Morse chain is retained to operate early cams.

    Once inside, you may discover that the oil pump is OK and a replacement of the OEM tensioners is all that is required to address the issue. There is an aftermarket replacement for the OEM tensioners made by CYCO but I doubt you can purchase from your location; they may not ship there, not sure.

    In any event, I would not delay opening up the cam chest and checking everything out.:s
  5. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

    SE Hybrid kit referenced in my previous is attached.

    Attached Files:

  6. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    2004 with 36,000 miles is due for cam chain tensioners inspection. Bits 'n pieces could be clogging the oil pickup. 7k between oil changes is a long time, especially when storage is involved.
  7. trickydoc

    trickydoc Active Member

    did your low pressure light come on? If your light does not come on, you don't have low oil pressure. just lower than the gauge will report. quit looking at the oil pressure gauge and ride. If you want pressure all the time, increase your oil weight. HD's are notorious for low pressure when hot and at idle. I run heavier weight oil in summer than winter. My old EVO, I ran 60 weight, sometimes I would even add a little Lucus oil. old EVO would show zero on the gauge, but the light never came on. put 30k on it and sold it to a friend who is still putting miles on it. my current bike is a T/C and I also use heavy oil in the summer. With 30k, I would check the cam chain tensioners. Check your idle speed also. low idle speed will kill your bike. It should idle from 950 to 1050, anything lower could ruin your engine because of no oil pressure.
  8. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

    Whatever you do, ignore the advice to "ignore the oil pressure gauge and just ride". If pressure has dropped 50%, there is a reaon and you need to find out what that reason is.

    Refer to my previous post and don't delay running down the problem.:s