Primary Leak

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Stu4500, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Stu4500

    Stu4500 Member

    5
    11
    0
    My primary is leaking from where the starter contacts the inner primary housing. I bought the starter from rare electrical about 15 months ago, no problems until now. I recently had to replace my stator and noticed my compensator was coming apart, so I installed a Baker compensator and rotor. All seals/bolts replaced per manual. Leaked during first ride, so I guessed it was the starter and replaced the starter o-ring, no luck. So I figured it must be the main shaft seal, so I tour it all down again, replacing all seals/bolts, double checking my work. Still leaking, so now I put dye in the primary and the oil is definitely coming from the starter, so I tried replacing the starter o-ring AGAIN, still leaking.

    I noticed that the required oil level of 38 oz would ride much higher in the case with the new compensator, so I tried reducing the amount of oil in the primary. I got down to 22 oz in the case and it was still leaking. I wasn't comfortable going any lower. Not knowing what else to do, I put the old compensator back in with the required 38 oz and still leaking. Does anyone know if it could be that the connection between the starter and primary case is too loose? It is an aftermarket starter (Rare Electrical). The reason I bought that starter was because it was much cheaper than the HD starter. HD wanted over $400.
     
  2. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    1,911
    83
    245
    Not following. Provied year, model and a couple of pics to clarify.
     
  3. Stu4500

    Stu4500 Member

    5
    11
    0
    Picture below shows the inner primary from a 2009 Ultra Classic. The red circle shows where the primary fluid is leaking from. This is the mounting hole for the starter and is sealed with an O-ring. I have replaced the O-ring three times and it is still leaking. Any ideas? IMG_20170110_201802sm1.jpg
     
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

    1,911
    83
    245
    OK, trying to get a handle on this leak. So, you are saying that primary chain case oil is getting slung up past the clutch assembly and getting past the starter o-ring but not getting into the starter and leaking down into the inner primary and leaking out between the inner primary case and the motor/trans case??
     
  5. Stu4500

    Stu4500 Member

    5
    11
    0
    Yes, as the primary chain is turning the clutch basket, oil is slung up to the starter. Oil does get into the starter but the jack shaft seal in the starter prevents oil from leaking through the starter. In the previous picture, you can still see a faint oil track that goes down on either side of the main shaft hole and then it drips off the bottom of the case. Of course, the wind helps spread the oil nicely all over the back of the bike.

    I am going to try putting a bead of silicone on the starter along with the o-ring. I smoothed out the bead so that it is tapered toward the inner primary case. I have tried this already, but maybe I didn't make it thick enough. I am also letting it dry overnight before installing the starter.
     
  6. Stu4500

    Stu4500 Member

    5
    11
    0
    Well, I think that fixed it. Did about 50 miles today and not a drop.
     
  7. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

    1,456
    68
    86
    Hopefully that cures it. However I'm curious, you have replaced the o-ring twice and the starter was an after market one, per your first post. Perhaps did you get both replacement o-rings from the starter mfg. or some other source. There could be a difference. Seems funny not to leak for 15 months, then start after other work.
    tourbox
     
  8. Stu4500

    Stu4500 Member

    5
    11
    0
    Yes, I bought the starter from Rare Electrical (through amazon) and then I bought the replacement o-rings from HD dealer. I tried to get an o-ring from Rare Electrical, but they couldn't sell me just the o-ring for some reason.
     
  9. Keep in mind not to alter the surfaces of the covers if you can help it, the mating surfaces should not require any sealer unless they are damaged or cracked, Hylomar is a good sealer
     
    RibEye likes this.
  10. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member

    1,456
    68
    86
    Good enough.
    tourbox