primary oil loss

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by ridingagain, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. ridingagain

    ridingagain Member

    6
    0
    0
    Have an odd situation since a last season removal of outer and inner primary to replace a bad stator. Prior to the repair had a noticeble oil leak in the primary drain plug area, it was always evident whenever it was parked for a few minutes. After the repair and new seals and gaskets the leak is gone however I'm losing almost all my primary oil within 500 miles but cannot find oil anywhere on the underside of the bike, none on the ground while parked, I've asked around and no one has a clue.
     
  2. Slapp

    Slapp Junior Member

    458
    28
    3
    Search harder, that much oil is leaking out or into another space within the system. Not to mention the lack of oil may cause severe damage to the clutch pack within the primary drive system. Check around where the starter enters to ensure you do not have a leak in or around there. The point is as the primary system is a closed loop sysytem it has to be going somewhere? Good luck and keep us informed.
     
  3. ridingagain

    ridingagain Member

    6
    0
    0
    Checked everywhere underneath several times during the summer. No sign of oil under the crankcase or the back of the primary.... no oil showing up on the back of the bike. If it was coming out starter jackshaft it would show up down the backside of the inner primary. I have it dismantled now to find out where it could be going. No evidence of leak anywhere. Have been wondering if it could be vacummed into the crankcase but it doesn't seem to be gaining oil in the tank. Have 83,000 miles on it. Have been keeping a close eye on the level now and need to add about 18 oz. every 500 miles....it holds 26 oz. according to the book. If it is dripping out somewhere it's not showing up on any parts, or when parked.
     
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    What year bike. Stock air cleaner?
     
  5. ridingagain

    ridingagain Member

    6
    0
    0
    One other issue. After tearing it all down to find the leak I noticed the recently replaced stator showed signs of heat; the four windings closest to the plug wires were considerably darkened. Is the discoloring normal and if not, was wondering how much overheating is tolerated by the stator, I know it's still working, but will replace it since it's open now if it's questionable. I've only got 6000 miles on this new charging kit.

    '99 evo stock air cleaner.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2011
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    That's a single phase stator and is made up of 1 long continuous strand of magnet wire. The color of the wire should therefore be the same from 1 flux concentrator to the next and it is not normal to see just 3 or 4 concentrators darker than the rest. That is not a good sign.

    The amount of heat it can take is a direct function of the enamel rating that was used. Unfortunately it is very hard to tell what rating was used unless you ask the vendor who made it. Normally what takes out a stator is a shorted regulator or a very weak battery which makes them work overtime.

    Man, 18oz per 500 miles is a bunch. Have you actually had to add this 18oz on more than 2 consecutive occasions? The only way you could get rid of that much oil in 1000 miles would be to burn it. Have you done anything to or changed the breather on the crankcase?

    I don't know how the Evo breather system works but if my "96" was gaining oil in the oil tank, it would work it's way up to the air cleaner and I would start burning it. But the air cleaner filter would be telling me so because it would be full of oil.

    I would be tempted to add 1/2oz of florescence oil to the primary and then shoot the bottom of the bike along with the crankcase oil w/ a black light.
    I have a ton of the stuff if you need some.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2011
  7. ridingagain

    ridingagain Member

    6
    0
    0
    Sounds like I'm listening to someone worth listening to. Thanks for the info on the stator discoloration, will replace now. Don't know what would cause the overheating other than a higher output headlamp than stock. New regulator and battery.

    =================================================


    The die solution did cross my mind and will be trying that. Like I said in the first post it only started this issue after a primary teardown to replace a burned out stator caused by a bad battery. Before that I had known oil leak. First trip of 1400 miles left the primary empty but no sign of oil anywhere. Everything you said about that amount of oil showing up somewhere has been running through my head for the last 6 months, that's why I'm on this site in the first place??? But thanks for the input!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2011
  8. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    7,198
    0
    34
    Well you have to realize that even though the primary oil temps will go above 200*F, that is cooler than what the magnet wire gets to be when charging. Therefore without having any forced air cooling, the "hot "oil does cool the stator windings.

    Maybe the low oil level in the primary caused the overheating of the magnet wire. If you were at 6 oz of primary oil, my guess would be that very little oil would reach the stator for cooling. (just a guess)
     
  9. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    4,959
    83
    113
    *************************************************
    I really HOPE you have put in oil Before it was as LOW as you say by MOST being gone within 500 miles..

    IF NOT you probably have done NUMEROUS damage to your bikes Primary JUNK...

    The primary Is Not supposed to be run LOW,,, Never....

    It needs a FULL complement to lube and COOL things down.. As for the stator color,,,, I think OVER Heat from Lack of oil.. It May probably be going bad again.

    I would suggest IF you can't find a leak,,,, Take it in and ask Your shop to find it. Oil definitely is going some place.

    IMO, The bike will NOT be the same IF RAN as LOW on oil and as Long as you say it has..

    SORRY

    signed....BUBBIE
     
  10. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    5,456
    133
    196
    First welcome to the forum and sorry about your trouble. With the help of some really smart people here on the forum I'm certain you will get an answer. Since you just changed the stator, I would think that this is the place to start looking. With that much oil going somewhere if it was leaking outside the case you won't need dye. 18 oz of oil will cover anything behind the leak and some parts in front of it. I really believe that the only place that can hold that much oil is the crankcase. I don't have my manual here, but I think I remember a seal behind the stator. I'm going down to the garage to get my manual and I let you know if this is a possibility