Update on 09 FLHX Leak

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by SprChkn, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. SprChkn

    SprChkn Member

    28
    11
    0
    So here we go again. At 500 miles, countershaft needle bearing leaking - trans pulled apart. At 2300 miles, leak at interface of case halves right behind rear cylinder - cases split. Now, at 2850, I noticed a lot of oil at the inerface of the engine and trans, underneath the bike. Hoping it was risidual from a 2500 mile oil change, I cleaned it thoroughly with contact cleaner. Now, at 2900 it's confirmed - its seeping / eaking from the engine / trans seam.

    I am at my wits end with this thing. I like my dealer - they have done everything I have asked, and I have the utmost trust in the tech who split the cases. One of two things seems to be the case:

    1. I got a lemon (which IL law doesn't cover) and I want a new bike, or;
    2. HD's are poorly engineered and designed, and I want my money back.

    I did not pay $20,000 so that I could have three major problems in less than a normal oil change interval, basically have a re-built bike at this point, and have absolutely no faith the bike. I do not want to spend the next ten years riding 100 miles and then playing "find the leak."

    I do not even know where to go from this point. Any suggestions are appreciated. I also think I deserve a special award for not using any profanity in my post, because my Lord do I feel like letting the expletives fly.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    I would contact customer relations and express your concerns and problems and ask for a factory rep to oversee the repairs or replacement of the units involved.
    It sounds like you got more of a lemon dealer than a bike.

    Also thanks for no expletives so we don't have to remove your account.:s
     
  3. SprChkn

    SprChkn Member

    28
    11
    0
    What makes you think it is the dealer and not the bike? I am hesitant to go to customer relations without going through the dealer, because I don't want to throw them under the bus if its not their fault. They have always been polite; I spoke personnally to the tech who seemed to genuinely listen and care (and he had 15 plus years experience). The service manager and chief operating officer were both involved in the last repair and agreed he was one of four guys they wanted to do the job. I can't imagine the dealer wants anything other than my bike to run well and cause no more problems, and I have no reason to believe they have not done their best to try to make that happen. It is fustrating, but all the dealer can do is play the cards they are dealt. If the bike is fundamentally screwed up, I hate to place blame on the tech and dealer when they are just trying to undo the soup-sandwich.

    I'm willing to try another dealer if necessary, but I'm not sure I have any evidence that that is going to help.
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    25,464
    108
    44
    From what you posted the cases have been split and other things disassembled like the trans. They should be able to find the cause let alone repair it if they are on top of their game.

    The reason I buy a NEW bike is because it is assembled under tight guidelines at the factory and once it's "redone" at the dealer level by a "tech" that in a lot of cases don't know much about troubleshooting a problem let alone the level of experience that the factory personnel have in assembly of engines and other components. Possible the cases are damaged or warped because of the leaks that keep returning.

    If I were to get a bike like yours with repeated problems every thousand or two miles with the same leaks , we would be taking replacement and not repairing the components/bike.

    I would have a ticket number from customer relations already but that's just me. If I pay $20K+ for something and it leaks and cannot be repaired properly with minimal effort, there's a serious problem for somebody then.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  5. Mdbtyhtr

    Mdbtyhtr Member

    8
    1
    0
    Rather than cast aspersions, lets try and fix the bike. I would be looking for a crankcase ventilation problem, something pushing the fluid out at the path of least resistance. There could also be a porosity problem in the castings, and if you don't use a dye test with ultra violet light, you will always find the results and not the cause. I helped a friend of mine that is an Iron Horse dealer with this once, kept replacing the oil pump, and it turned out to be a porosity problem in the block, right by an oil galley. We did the dye test, took digital photographs with the ultra violet lamp on and the shop lights out, showed up as a bright green dot, than a dribble. S & S had to replace the engine, but could have just replaced the block.

    Hope this helps,

    Scott
     
  6. Thorns

    Thorns Active Member

    205
    26
    0
    Talk to the Harley Rep. Be professional, and be nice. He can authorize a loaner bike to use while yours is being repaired. The Harley Rep won't replace the bike without just cause, and usually without a litigation fight, and they have a lot of lawyers. The most he would do is replace the component with a new component which will assume the warranty left on the bike if he can prove that it is defective (he has a supervisor and auditors watching his expenditures). If the dealer's prior repair is the fault, like poor workmanship, the Harley Rep won't authorize a replacement part, but will make sure the repair is correctly. You are under contract with the warranty agreement you signed when you purchased the bike. Be nice, get your bike repaired, ride.

    Thorns
     
  7. larryjmiller

    larryjmiller Junior Member

    448
    26
    0
    I agree with Glider. A shop is just that. Good for swapping out components like brakes, master cylinders, lights, etc.

    When it comes to splitting a brand new engine, I'd want that done back at the factory especially since it has happened twice. I don't think that is an unreasonable request. The dealer has the factory crates, they can crate it up and ship it at the factory or dealer's cost back to the factory. And, give you a loaner as I'm sure shipping and repair times would probably add up to a month.

    Getting a brand new bike might be a stretch.
     
  8. Doug_09ultra

    Doug_09ultra Junior Member

    439
    26
    0
    In my opinion, it is highly doubtful that you would get a new bike out of the deal. If you feel that the dealer is treating you right, then go to them and ask "what would you do if you were in my shoes? If they truly have confidence in the work they've done, given the fact it's still leaking, they should tell you to contact the MOCO. If they're not sure of their work then...CONTACT THE MOCO! What I'm getting at is, you have given them their shot. They were not able to rectify the situation (maybe not for lack of trying) so it's time to protect your investment.
     
  9. B-1B_Guy

    B-1B_Guy Junior Member

    556
    28
    1
    I remember a similar post by spring chicken when he had the same problem at least a month ago so it sounds like this is an ongoing issue.......I think it's probably time you ask your dealer for a replacement bike or contact Milwaukee. Obviously this repair is beyond your dealers capability. JMO
     
  10. SprChkn

    SprChkn Member

    28
    11
    0
    Well, I talked to HD customer relations, and was told to take it to the dealer. When I even lightly explored replacing the bike, the rep got a little fired up, and explained, "HD repairs motorcycles, we do not replace them - If you are looking for something other than that you will have to pursue other options." It took me a few minutes to calm the conversation back down.

    My dealer, who has been in contact with the regional service rep, recommends I put a few more miles on it to make sure it is not residual oil left over from splitting the cases that accumulated in the castings outside the sealed gasket area between the engine and trans. I called another dealer who said this does occur. I contend that 600 miles with multiple heat cycles is alot for residual oil to still be coming out, and my dealer agreed - but they want to make sure before they take my bike for a few days and tear it apart again. Although it adds to my frustration, it is hard to argue with the logic, "Lets make sure before we take it apart again."

    I do now have reference number and the issue has been documnented at HD. I think my game plan is as follows: Allow this repair to run its course with the dealer. If all is not well afterwards, I am going to request a meeting with the Chief Operations Officer of the dealer, the HD rep, and the tech, and request the entire bike be taken back to the factory for inspection / re-assembly as is necessary to have NO MORE PROBLEMS. When I mentioned this to the Chief Operations Officer he agreed that this would not be unreasonable should my problems continue.

    It appears that there is no good solution to my woes:
    1. HD will not replace or refund bike (absent litigation which I would probably lose and would cost even more money)
    2. Their legal responsibility is only to fix the bike under warranty, which they are doing.
    3. Because its a different problem each time, I really can't say they haven't been able to fix it. They fix it, but then another part breaks.
    4. NOW I HAVE BEEN RUINED, BECAUSE I LIKE RIDING IT ENOUGH I CAN'T GO BACK TO THE JAPANESE ONES WHICH DON'T HAVE THESE PROBLEMS.

    I don't think I really have any choice but to go with the process and see what happens. I keep hoping persistance and politeness will at some point win the battle.