Hot or cold oil level

Lubrication System (oil feed pump and scavenger pump, reservoir, filter, and lines)
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thebeast
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Hot or cold oil level

#1

Post by thebeast » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:41 pm

I've never seen mentioned if the Pan oil tank level should be checked hot or cold. I know the more (gasp!) modern bikes require the tank level to be checked after being run up to operating temperature and after idling on the jiffy stand for a minute or two like my softail.
Which is it or am I overthinking this?
Thanks,James



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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#2

Post by Bigincher » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:39 pm

You're overthinking it. The level isn't critical, it just needs to be there...!
It's normal to consume a little oil, the Service Manual says something like a quart in 500 miles as being excessive, something like that, I'm not sure exactly.
So therefore, you just need to check it occasionally, and fill to the mark if required. Just stand the bike upright when checking, and don't overfill.

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#3

Post by PanPal » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:10 pm

In addition to what bigincher said... If the bike has been sitting for months, be sure to start it before adding oil to the fill line. You may sump enough oil that it could overfill your tank when it scavenges the oil and returns what has sumped into the belly and pumps it back into your oil tank.

thebeast
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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#4

Post by thebeast » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:16 am

When I did the first oil change after purchasing the 49, I put in 3 qts. which put the level above the refill line. When up to operating temperature, it's even higher.
At what level on the dipstick do you fellas call good and whether hot or cold?
Thanks, James

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#5

Post by Bigincher » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:47 am

Whenever I change the oil on anything, I hold back the last half-quart until after I warm up the motor. Then top it off, right to the line.
It can be a little overfull, the oil level just can't come up to the return spout. There needs to be a little breather room.

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#6

Post by RUBONE » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:55 am

Basic rule of thumb is an inch below the filler. That allows expansion room. Can't say as I've ever paid attention to dipstick marks.

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#7

Post by 58flh » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:48 pm

AS Rubone said!----You olny need a 1 to 1-1/2 inches from the bottom of cap!.My pan never took 4-qts. of oil.3 & a half & shes good to go.You need the space for expansion as she warms-up to temp.Thats why you seen more on the stick!.Its more IMPORTANT to have the expansion room in the tank then pouring 4qts. because it says to!.If you dont have enuff room for expansion & are using a push-in oil-stick ,It will shoot out & cover your bike in fresh hot oil!.I also am not using a OEM tank!, But a sidefill tank & the dimentions are VERY close to oem.Going by memory I think its a 1/4-inch shorter.-----Respectfully----Richie

thebeast
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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#8

Post by thebeast » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:13 pm

Thanks for the quick responses. So when needing to top off the level, how far do you guys let it drop before you figure you should add oil?
I guess what I'm trying to get at is how low can the level drop, and still be safe for lubricating and cooling? The minimum level you can safely run your pan before becoming concerned.
Thanks, James

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#9

Post by Bigincher » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:30 pm

The lower the oil level, the less the cooling. You decide.
If the oil stops sputtering out of the return tube, get ready for loud noises.

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#10

Post by 1962FLH » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:56 pm

Oil is the life’s blood to any internal combustion engine. On your Panhead; your engine does not know how much is in reserve (OIL in tank) it only knows when the reserve has run out. The key to long engine life is good clean oil and lots of it. Top off before you ride and while you are at it I recommend to check the rest of the bike over before you kick it to life; the life you save may be you own.

John

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#11

Post by john HD » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:39 pm

thebeast wrote:Thanks for the quick responses. So when needing to top off the level, how far do you guys let it drop before you figure you should add oil?
I guess what I'm trying to get at is how low can the level drop, and still be safe for lubricating and cooling? The minimum level you can safely run your pan before becoming concerned.
Thanks, James
That would be the "Danger" mark on your dip stick.

john

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Re: Hot or cold oil level

#12

Post by 58flh » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:40 pm

Also remember to check level before every ride!/If your using your chain-oiler & you SHOULD if using Chains to drive your bike!.--I lose 3/4s of a QT. every 4 to 500 miles!/It depends how fast i been running it & if I been on Alot of dirt & stone roads in that time.Then I flush & clean MORE OFTEN!---Respectfully----Richie

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