Must be a better way to check Tranny Fluid

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Aerodawg, May 13, 2010.

  1. Aerodawg

    Aerodawg Member

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    Alright, have been checking everything by the book on my 2010 fatboy lo, I check my oil every couple days and manual said to check tranny fluid monthly, I have 450 miles on the bike. Today bought a allen wrench and went to check the fluid hot, bike temp was about 180 and I burned my hand and fingers on the exhaust too many times to keep track of.:newsmile100:
    Well the dipstick is so bright(chrome) and the fluid so clear could not tell what the fluid level was, at least it was on the bottom of the dipstick, later when it cooled down went back and checked and same thing. Tried to explain this too the wife when she got home and warmed the bike up to 150 just by idling and got to burn myself some more.:newsmile100: to show her what I meant. I have went thru the post on here for hours the last week. gonna go back to the dealership tommorow and have them look at it cause I feel its low, plus im gonna try to buy the dipstick that you can turn by hand. My questions are this.. is the fluid suppose to be so clear? and whats your secret for not burning your self on the exhaust?:D and by the way i have a burr mark on the dipstick gonna show that to them as well. I read about that from the post about the clutch sawing the dipsticks in half. This is a great site.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    The trans oil never really gets dark like engine oil . As far as not being able to see the oil on the dipstick, if you use some fine sandpaper and scuff up the part where you read the oil level it will make it easier to read. Just clean the stick before reinstalling it.
     
  3. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    :newsmile100: Aerodawg; That's funny.:newsmile100: Next time, just tell her, don't demonstrate.:D Engine oil gets dark because of combustion byproducts that get past the rings. Transmission oil just lubricates, and only gets minute (hopefully) particles from the gears and shafts so it stays cleaner longer.
     
  4. BOWHIKER

    BOWHIKER Junior Member

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    I know what you mean about trying to check when hot very hard not to burn yourself . Lay a couple of oven mits over the exhaust so you don't burn your hand also a good fitting leather glove to reach in to pull the dipstick out . I have a softail night train so have figured out a way to check without the burns .
     
  5. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

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    Just Me spouting off.

    Once My bike is up to date (full) after oil changes.
    I Don't check it every time I go out for a ride. esp. the tranny oil and chaincase oil..

    ?Where does the oil go in 50/200/500 mile rides? No leaks, no drips under my bike.

    I've ridden for many years then I get into reading here of the Problems New Bikers have with all this checking!

    Just Wiping the stick off is going to cause a shortage of oil in a lot of bikes out there.

    Way Overboard, IMHO.
    Think how often you check your tranny on the car? or its rear end... Any drips/leaks then Yes, Check often.

    These units on HD are made to Hold Oil. Especially the newer models. The days of HD marking Its Spot are gone and if it happens today, it needs to be fixed.
    If leaking It would Show and I would fix it and check it More often until fixed.. Even then, most leaks are Not going to require twice a day checking..

    I got used to a visual check of my bikes and looking for a drop of oil or a loose fastener is my way, every day.

    A pattern gets into play Here and "over indulgence" in Checking & Worrying, to me would spoil the ride.

    Like Some say here, It is Your ride do with it what You may!


    I had a drip leak on a bike from the primary outer seal area and It never needed addition of oil added. I changed it at a normal intervals and it never showed low.

    Bran-New bikes getting worn-out oil check plugs and side covers screws and worried Thinking, "Oil must have gone some place" it is a 1/16 of an inch lower this time when showing full and full and full.

    I check my oil weekly on the engine "Just to See".
    My tranny/chaincase shows "No Drip" So "no check".
    Most of the time I have Never have added oil between changes. (.)

    My older bikes with 45/50 K on them still Never needed any big amount of oil so none added after normal 3,000 miles of riding.. I would check for "drips n leaks" daily before going thru the unnecessary-excessive "in and out" oil plug and primary cover off thing-e that wasn't needed for the "To often" just to see.


    Now that is MY Way.. Thanks for my chance to spout off.


    Now I off to check My oil, My way and Go Ride.

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  6. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

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    I agree w/Bubbie on the tranny - no leak/no check until changing. Other than the sawing dipstick scare (thanks again HD Talking) there sould be nothing running out/burning off so keep it sealed. As far as not burning the hands - I always wear Mechanics gloves when working around hot parts - get a set & your hands will thank you. Didn't your ride come with a HD tool set - the lg hex/allen wrench should be good for your tranny & it's fairly long.
     
  7. cossak

    cossak Member

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    I noticed how hard it is to see the tran oil level on the chrome dipstick; took my smallest drill and drilled two holes through dipstick, one at full and the second at the add mark, Now it is easy to read. I also only check when changing engine oil, (every 4K miles).
     
  8. Aerodawg

    Aerodawg Member

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    Well just came back from the dealer and they said the tranny fluid was fine, they didnt charge me anything for it either. In another 500 miles they will do the 1st service check and replace the fluids, so hopefully what ever they add will be better to see when I have to check it again. Thanks for the ideas will definetly try some of them next time. Also when i got down to check the tranny I found a drilled hole near the dipstick and doubled checked with the dealer to make sure a bolt hadnt came loose. They said the hole was predrilled for a diffrent exhaust.
     
  9. Aerodawg

    Aerodawg Member

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    Does a toolkit come with the bike? nothing in the manual about a toolkit. If so wheres its on the bike? wow never even thought of oven mitts. My wife still smiling at me when I talk about the check.:D What a difficult place though to put that dipstick, maybe one day they will put a filler window or something to make it easier.:newsmile100: My wife is already calling it a prima donna, she likes the fact that with her bike you just check the oil and coolant at each fill up. But I am going to start checking the oil only at each fill up and with the tranny if I see no leak then no worry just stay within the warranty guidelines. I guess im a little paranoid after having the factory defect with my brakes on my first ride so I ve been looking at each sound or check with an eagle eye. Time now to move on and ride it like I stole it!! Atleast I was able to get my 500 breakin done quick with the trips back to the dealer:D
     
  10. FLST

    FLST Active Member

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    I rode Honda's and Kawasaki's for years before getting a Harley. I was younger then and dumber. I never checked my engine oil, much less the tranny. I couldn't even tell you how to check it on either bike. lol. Never had a problem with any of them. I will probably do likewise on the new HD except will likely check trany and primary every season unless I see a leak. Depends on how many miles I get too, I should think.