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Thread: Primary oil in engine

  1. #1
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    Primary oil in engine

    A while ago I thought my primary sounded a bit noisy so I checked the oil which had only been in there a few weeks and the case was completely dry. I hadn’t had any oil on my garage floor so I was a bit baffled. Anyway, I bought some new oil and put it in. I rode the bike for another month or so and then when I checked everything before going out for a ride last week, the primary was dry again. When I checked the oil tank, it was full to the top, all the oil from the primary case was now in my oil tank. I thought it might be the crankcase oil seal but a forum I came across had a write up where somebody else had the same problem and it turned out to be the holes for the screws that hold the cable clamp for the alternator cable go right through the crankcase and if they’re not sealed with loctite or similar, the vacuum from the crankcase when the engine is running, sucks all the oil from the primary into the engine through the screw hole! Somebody at HD Maidstone told me that the hole doesn’t go right through the case but on checking, it does. This oil problem only happened after I fitted new alternator so it does make sense that it could be this screw hole.
    I’m waiting on a new clutch pressure plate at the moment but hopefully I’ll have everything back together at the weekend so I’ll find out then if I’ve solved the problem or not. Has anybody else had this problem.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    I have to say that in 20+ years of reading mechanical woes on the web and in magazines and hearing them in person, I've never heard of this particular pathway to a dry primary. I've changed out 5-6 stators (stator + rotor = alternator) on my own bikes in that time, and the clamp screws too...... I will follow this with interest.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    Which model and year do you own

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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    Never had this on any of my Evo's (from '89 to '97).

    What year is your bike..?

    EDIT: just seen Army has already asked that
    1989 FXST Softail Standard

    1988 FLHS Electra Glide Sport

    Living well is the best Revenge...

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  5. #5
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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    Don't get this on the shovel. Mind you, not much else goes wrong with them either.

    I used Loctite purple on my stator screws. Could it be that one of them has come adrift and that's causing the oil loss?
    Time out of mind

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  6. #6
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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    When you say alternator I presume you mean the stator ring behind the rotor? I might be wrong but didn't think the Evo Big Twin had a cable clamp for the stator?

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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Army View Post
    Which model and year do you own
    It’s a 1996 Evo out of a Softail Custom. The bikes a chop I built 7 years ago. I need to put a new pressure plate on the clutch which will hopefully be here tomorrow so I hope to have the bike back up and running at the weekend. I’ll see what happens then.

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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    Quote Originally Posted by dodgyloner View Post
    When you say alternator I presume you mean the stator ring behind the rotor? I might be wrong but didn't think the Evo Big Twin had a cable clamp for the stator?
    It’s the complete alternator I replaced, rotor and stator. It does have a cable clamp where the cable exits to the regulator beneath the oil filter.
    I don’t blame anybody for being sceptical about this but it seems feasible so I’ve gotta give it a go.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    This is a copy of the post on Harley-davidsonforums.com
    Originally Posted by snag498
    I had the same problem on my road king. After tearing it apart numerous times, I found that it was the two screws holding the stator wire clamp on. Apply lock tite to the screws and rtv on the clamp. 40000 miles later it is still holding.

    I know this is an old topic, but I have the same problem in present ... actualy this answer above has solved my problem! .. Two screws on the terminals, in my case were released and under negative pressure in the crankcase, oil is asd into the crankcase ... the problem is solved by Loctite, which I again put on the stator screws ... just in case!

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    Re: Primary oil in engine

    Quote Originally Posted by paulspice View Post
    It’s the complete alternator I replaced, rotor and stator. It does have a cable clamp where the cable exits to the regulator beneath the oil filter.
    I don’t blame anybody for being sceptical about this but it seems feasible so I’ve gotta give it a go.
    Thought you meant inside the case like. HD always advise the use of new stator screws which come coated with a thick loctite type substance.

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