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View Full Version : Too much of a mess to know if I should be concerned - glad I found this though



Lance Mark
04-22-2021, 10:00 AM
I'm glad I decided to dig in a bit and do a deeper cleaning. A lot of parts have come off the bike, and so far, the bike is in great shape.

Last night I pulled off the cover on the coolant pump and found this:

Here is the coolant pump.

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Behind this and underneath the bike I found an oily mess.

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I have a theory. I'd be surprised if I have a leak. I've never seen one drop of oil beneath the bike and it get's ridden quite a bit. I've had issues with the oil in the past and I keep a pretty close eye on it. Immediately above this area is my oil filter. If it's not removed carefully, oil can come out and run directly into the area above. I nearly have the bike stripped and ready for cleaning and after I do the wheels, this will be the first area I hit. I want to get the bike up on the lift to get really good access to it. I'll start by carefully wiping it down. I can't flood the area with water or a degreaser as these are electrical connections. Once I get the area cleaned up, I'll have a better idea of whether I have a leak or a careless service guy.

As much as I hate to find something like this, I'd rather find it and address it than not know it's there.

2black1s
04-22-2021, 10:51 AM
That is not a careless service guy and it's most likely not a leak. It's inevitable when changing the oil filter I don't care how careful you try to be.

When I change my filter I always punch two holes in the end of it to allow it to drain into a tin foil trough before unscrewing it. Then I shove paper towels beneath the filter and push them as far under the filter as possible. Even with all of those precautions I still end up with the mess you show.

fly07sti
04-22-2021, 11:44 AM
I agree with 2black1s. It’s just kind of a shitty design and there will always be some oil left over.

Lance Mark
04-22-2021, 12:39 PM
I've not changed the oil myself, but have done enough homework to know the situation. I wasn't super concerned. 2Black's advice to dry and drain it by drilling it out is the best strategy I've seen.

I appreciate you guys chimin' in. I'm a worrier. :(

2black1s
04-22-2021, 03:17 PM
I've not changed the oil myself, but have done enough homework to know the situation. I wasn't super concerned. 2Black's advice to dry and drain it by drilling it out is the best strategy I've seen.

I appreciate you guys chimin' in. I'm a worrier. :(

For clarification, I don't "drill it out". The exact process I do is as follows...

- Start to unscrew the filter to break it loose but not far enough to break the seal
- Fashion a tin foil trough to direct the oil to a drain pan
- With a long pointed punch and a hammer, punch through the end of the filter at 6 o'clock (for drainage) and 12 o'clock (for venting)
- Allow to drain into disposable tin foil trough and drain pan
- Remove tin foil trough
- Insert paper towels under filter - with a screwdriver or similar tool, push the towels as far under the filter and up to the mounting flange as possible
- Unscrew the filter
- Watch in disbelief as oil runs and drips onto the motor mount, frame, and wiring even after all the precautions
- Install new filter
- Fill a spray gun with mineral spirits and spray down the area to clean it up
- Wonder why Harley hasn't addressed this yet
- Swear that you're going to look into a filter relocation kit
- Repeat it all the next time around

Lance Mark
04-22-2021, 03:39 PM
I considered DK Custom's relocation kit. I used their extension kit on my tour pack. Raises it up about an inch and sets it back 3". Makes a bit more room for two pierogi stuffed Polocks. :)