Foam in oil tank

Discussion in 'Oil' started by Billbo, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    ALL, I just bought my 2001 Heritage - the dealer changed out all the fluids and used reg HD oils. I have no idea of any mods that may have been done. I believe its pretty much just pure stock. Anyway, I read a post by glider to check the oil HOT - well mine has so much foam in the tank that it hardly sticks to the dipstick. I have a couple of questions; 1) is the dino oil supposed to be that foamy? 2) how do I check the oil levels - COLD maybe?

    I have one of those neat little oil temp gauge dipsticks - HOT engine only shows about 180-200 degrees on that temp gage - after riding for about 40 miles or so.

    Bill
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Your oil should be hotter than that unless the outside air temps are frigid. Try checking it cold and see where it reaches on the stick. Is the foam just bubbles or does it have a milky color to it indication moisture in the oil?

    Possible it could be a bad choice in oil too.
     
  3. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I suggest changing the engine oil out to a FULL synthetic (Group IV) 20W50 vtwin engine oil. Tranny should also be changed to a FULL synthetic (Group IV) 75W90 or 75W140 gear lube (GL-5). The Primary can probably be left if they put the Primary fluid or Formula + in it. See here:

    Oil Suggestions For Harleys - Harley Davidson Community

    TQ
     
  4. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    Sorry - my bike has 43k miles. Should I be considering changing to engine oil to full syn - Mob 1 or RP? and the Primary to some dino 20w50 and the tranny to 75w90/140 Mob 1 or RP?
     
  5. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    glider, the foam does not appear to be milky looking. the foam just does not "stick" to the chrome dipstick to show a good accurate level. I wipe it off and put it in and I just can not READ the level. I am old and I do wear glasses - but I can see the oil levels on a dipstick :))) this foam just makes it almost impossible for me. COLD it just covers about 1/4" of the bottom of the stick. Then HOT - I can almost make out where it may be half way up between low and full marks. That foam just does not help the measurements.

    Bill

    I honestly did NOT let it sit but maybe 1 minute before I checked the level. Perhaps I should wait about 10 minutes or so - but I wanted to check it HOT - right after riding.

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2009
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Mobil 1 engine oil and gear lube are very good oil and lubricant and used by a number of the folks on here (see the survey below). I use M1 VTwin 20W50 engine oil, Spectro 6-speed gear lube, and Spectro Primary.

    But any quality FULL synthetic engine oil intended for use in vtwin engine (air cooled) and any FULL synthetic gear lube with a GL-5 rating and 75W90 or 75W140 (depending on ambient temps) will do well in the engine and tranny respectively.

    Engine Oil Poll - Harley Davidson Community

    Trans Oil Poll - Harley Davidson Community

    Primary Lube Poll - Harley Davidson Community

    TQ
     
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    The oils have an anti foaming additive, has it always done the foaming bit or just after the last oil change?

    SOME foam isn't a problem but a lot of foam will cause a problem not only reading the stick but if it is foaming in the engine it could effect the lubrication of the engine parts, that's what I would be concerned about mainly.

    If you had this oil change done recently , you may want to wait a while but I would replace the oil with a known good quality oil of your choice and see if thios problem continues.
     
  8. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    I have not checked the oil temp gage for accuracy. It may be wrong - but my oil temp so far has not gone over 200 deg. I will check it using a candy or frying thermometer - I fry turkeys - that one should work to test the gage with.

    Bill
     
  9. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    You can also boil a pot of water. The water will not go above 212* and test the gauge in that to find out if it is accurate or not. I have a feeling NOT! :s
     
  10. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    thanks so much for all your help --- the Dealership changed out all the fluids prior to me purchasing the bike. I have only put about 250 miles on it. The oil looks nasty. I am about to talk myself into changing it soon!!! Should I go with a full syn - with no syn history to go by and 43K miles?

    Bill

    very good and clever idea - i have done that testing old auto thermostats - boil in water.

    will do

    Bill

    and my question -- is changing to FULL SYN now - with 43K miles - a good or bad thing - for the engine and trans.?

    Bill
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2009