Engine Oil in tropic climate

Discussion in 'Oil' started by ThaiTed, May 9, 2010.

  1. ThaiTed

    ThaiTed Banned

    Dear all!
    I drive my Electra in Phuket, Thailand with temperatures around 35 C (95 F). When the engine gets hot, the vents start to "knock" when putting a bit of load on the enginge. Could this depend on the viscosity of the engine oil? I currently use SAE 20W/50 (HD brand).

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    ThaiTed, welcome to the HDTalking forum...while others may weigh in shortly, may I say that knowing the traffic conditions in Thailand, I would say that peace of mind is number one so you can concentrate 100% on your traffic skills. I would opt for an Oil Cooler...HD or Jagg...approx. $250 USD but you may find alternatives or "reasonably priced" alternatives. The other thing is to use 100% Synthetic oil in the Engine is a cooler running long life oil, a better alternative to HD Syn 3 which is just an overpriced partially synthetic blend, promoted by Hugo Chavez of CITGO with his anti-USA bent.
  3. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    Have you checked out the "oil suggestions for harleys" thread yet. That may answer some of your concerns. For myself, I agree with using a quality synthetic formulated for air-cooled motorcycle engines.
    Oil Suggestions For Harleys - Harley Davidson Community
  4. 59Panhead

    59Panhead Member

    Hi Ted 1st of all I would not be running stock HD OIL or there SYN 20-50 EITHER! You should be running a redline full synthetic, or the V-Twin Amsoil 20-50 !

    Both products perform way better then anything Harley has bottled for them!

    OIL COOLERS! with the right one installed , will bring the oil back to a safe temp.

    We did some real life testing in the desert last year @ over 100 f with an oil cooler called UltraCool!

    Now as we all know Twin Cams motors run very very hot....the rear cylinder heat is off the charts....poor design! Like all Air Cooled Engines... they all need to be moving to stay cooled...All oil coolers do also! Untill now!

    Ultracool units have a little fan that will run untill the oil is back to a safe Temp, then shut off and be on stand by until the Temps get over a preset max oil temp! Around
    217F I believe !

    This unit also is mounted right where Harley's Voltage Regulator is and has a very good looking cover that can be painted to Match the OEM Color http://www.ultracool.com
    Check them out! So far there making models for the Softails and Glide series bikes!
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  5. ThaiTed

    ThaiTed Banned

    Might be a good idea!
    What about the SAE value. Shoul I go for a higher SAE value in my climate?
  6. biscuit

    biscuit Junior Member

    I'd imagine our climates are somewhat similiar regarding temperatures and humidity.

    We run Mobile Vtwin engine oil in our 96 Twin cams.This is a 20w-50,fully synthetic oil made especially for ancient,slow revving industrial engines.(Harley-Davidsons,mate.)

    We also have Harley oil coolers fitted-there are others which work just as well- and our temps are nice and moderate.

    I wouldn't change the viscosity.Stick to a 20w50,but make it a full synthetic MOTORCYCLE oil.
  7. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I am in the Houston, Texas area, and our climate conditions are similar to yours. I use the following in my '03 UC:

    Engine: FULL synthetic vtwin engine oil 20W-50 (Mobil 1 VTwin 20W-50)
    Tranny: FULL synthetic GL-5 75W-140 gear lube (Spectro Heavy Duty Platinum 6-speed Transmission Oil)
    Primary: fit-for-purpose wet clutch chaincase lube (HD Formula + or Spectro Heavy Duty Primary Chaincase Oil)

    There are other premium quality synthetic engine oils and gear lubes, but HD does not have one. Their Formula + is a good option for the primary however.

    Oil Suggestions For Harleys - Harley Davidson Community

    With respect to the "knocking", what vents? If you are getting "knocking" this may be pre-ignition associated with the octane rating of the gasoline you are able to get. Try for at least a 91 octane - 93 is better. Aviation gas is too high. In the mean time, try down shifting before rolling on.

  8. Jonas

    Jonas Junior Member

    The manufacture of your bike recommends(degrees f)

    10W50 if the lowest temperature is below 40

    20W50 if the lowest temperature is above 40

    SAE50 if the lowest temperature is above 60.

    SAE60 if the lowest temperature is above 80.

    I run SAE50 Dino. It quiets my bike down, I have no heat problems. But I have a good tune and Andrews 26g cams. Stock the bike had heat problems, I ran 20w50 Synthetic Amsoil. I know a few guys who have gone to SAE60 AMSOIL and other synthethics.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    The only thing regarding the use of single weight oils is that SAE60 is pretty heavy when the clutch plates are sticking and cause additional drag on the starter motor when turning over cold, Also the oil circulation will be sluggish for the first few minutes, which can be hard on parts. But your ride you decide, and you know the conditions you are going tranistion to whn riding...
  10. ThaiTed

    ThaiTed Banned

    I have thought about that as well, and I only use 91 octane fuel. Unfortunatley higher ocane values are not available. I think I will change to a full synthetic oil 20/50 for starters and see what happens. I don't think Spectro oils are available in Thailand, but I will do a search.
    Thank you all!