leaking softail shocks

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by ghost.england, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. ghost.england

    ghost.england Member

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    i was cleaning my bike the other day and when i looked under it i saw a light
    layer of oily dirt on one of the shocks.im bringing it back to cheltenham harley
    for warienty inspestion.has any one heard of leaks before ? my bike has done 7500 miles and is an 08 model .
     
  2. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

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    Softail shocks don't usually leak, your probably seeing some oil left over from a service, oil can get inside making it look like it's coming from the shock and even drip on the garage floor. Softail shocks do have a small amount of fluid in them and it is possable one could leak, but it would be a small amount, I have never sen one. I have spoke with tech support in Milwaukee about it, I had a service writer tell a customer his shock was leaking so, for customer sadifaction, I did get pre-aproval to send the shock to them for inspection but they told me they get a few a year that dealers warranty but have found oil from services in them only. If your dealer disassembles, wash, dry and reinstalls the shocks I'm confident it will solve the problem, if the dealer performed the last service they should have no problem cleaning up after themselfs. Or if they want to install new ones under warranty that works also.
     
  3. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    I assume that you mean the rear shocks based on seeing the dirt on the shock "when I looked under it". Being that the shocks are under the bike on the softails and can get oil on them from a number of sources, I would clean off the bike VERY well using lots of soap or a degreaser to make sure then is no oil on the underside of the bike. Then watch the shock carefully after every ride to see if you can tell that the shock is leaking. If so, and the bike is under warranty, by all means have the Dealership fix it.

    TQ
     
  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    oil can migrate a fair distance on an air cooled motorcycle and usually the point from where it is dripping or gathering is only there to fool you
    so follw advise fromTQ and thoroughly degrease and clean the whole lot then go for short hops on the bike untill you can discover the source

    Brian
     
  5. Adamal47

    Adamal47 Active Member

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    I agree with that but if the dealer is going to do a free inspection then you may be better safe than sorry. If something were to really be wrong and fail while riding then...well you know the consequences.
     
  6. Deluxeman

    Deluxeman Member

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    If the shock is damp on the left side, it is usually the trans seal leaking at the front drive belt pulley. Check to see if this is your case. Get under the bike with a flashlight and see if the trans housing is damp at the front belt pulley. If this is the case and you are using a thin oil in the trans like 20/50 try a thicker trans fluid like a 85/140W and this will slow down or stop the leak usually.
     
  7. ghost.england

    ghost.england Member

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    thanks for the replys,i took the bike to the dealers and discovered the source of the problem was not the shocks but a washer on the gearbox drain plug.this was defective
    or was not seating properly causing a small amount of oil to leak out and be deposited
    on the shocks.the drain plug was removed ,the washer changed and new oil put in.
    cheltenham harleydavidson sorted this with no fuss .
     
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Glad to hear you got to the source of the problem and i hope they cleaned the oil from the underside of the bike

    Brian
     
  9. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Good deal Ghost.E, just one of those "gentle" reminders to all of us why it pays to keep your bike in the neither regions clean, so you can catch failures rather than just be on a merry chase by something simple.
     
  10. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    It would be really helpfull if the oil dripped straight from the point of leak but on an air cooled engine its unusuall it takes a long complicated path just to confuse us

    Brian