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Discussion Starter #1
I came across this thread on another Forum while doing some research on possibly changing to a different Transmission Fluid in my new '17 Road King. Very disturbing info here. Don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but after reading the thread, I went out and checked my Transmission Fluid level and there was none on my dipstick!! I just got back from riding a little over a 1000 miles over the last few days in Northern California, pulled into the garage with the Odometer reading 4979 miles and figured that I would change out all the fluids in all 3 holes this week before I ride that bike again. Like I was saying, I was thinking about going with a different Trans Fluid other than the Formula+ that the dealer had put in at the 1000 service when they did all 3 fluids. Apparently, this is a thing! The Fluid from the Transmission is transferring over into the Primary!? I admit that I have not drained and measured both fluid levels yet because I came across this last night just before I went to bed and I'm headed to work right now, but you can bet I will be measuring the amount of oil in each box when I get home tonight and will report what I find. Anyhow guys, read this thread and check your fluids!! I'm interested to hear what anyone else has to say about what they find.......... :frown

https://www.hdforums.com/forum/milwaukee-eight-m8/1175678-who-s-been-having-to-add-transmission-fluid.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK, so this is what I found when I drain both, the Transmission Fluid and the Primary Fluid this evening.......

Transmission- 18 Oz where there should be 28 Oz.
Primary- 48 Oz where there should be 30 Oz.

Now, if you do a little math, I had a total of 66 Oz. of fluid where there should be only 58 Oz., so somewhere along the line, I picked up an extra 8 Oz. So, I seem to be experiencing this little oil transfer phenomenon that these guys on the other forum are talking about. I'm going to the dealer tomorrow, (on the '03 RK, not the '17), and see if I can't make a documented report of this finding so I have something on record with MoCo. I also need to pick up 2 Qt's of either Formula+ or SE Syn 3 20W-50 to fill the holes with THEIR OIL! I don't want anyone coming back at me with any crap about not using the correct fluid and then telling me that that's what caused this whole thing. I will report back on how that whole experience goes, but I don't have high hopes.

I really don't like this and I know that there was the possibility of something like this, or worse, happening to my bike because it is a brand new motor/tranny model, and that I took a chance at being a guinea pig, but this does blow. Checking the Tranny Fluid level and topping it off is the easy part. I then need an easy way to get the extra fluid out on the Primary Case on a regular basis too.

Has anyone else noticed this little issue on their M8, or am I just the chosen child here on this site?
 

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Looks like your the chosen one!! Interesting...haven't heard about this until now. I was looking at a M8 but stopped short for that simple reason. I won't buy a new design until it's proven and all the bugs are worked out.

Thanks for posting the follow up and would appreciate you keeping us posted on this. I do have friends that have the new M8 Road King and I let them know about this problem.
 

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.

I really don't like this and I know that there was the possibility of something like this, or worse, happening to my bike because it is a brand new motor/tranny model, and that I took a chance at being a guinea pig, but this does blow. Checking the Tranny Fluid level and topping it off is the easy part. I then need an easy way to get the extra fluid out on the Primary Case on a regular basis too.
You can use a turkey baster or a syringe

 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can use a turkey baster or a syringe


Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. A syringe with little clear tubing on it. It's just taking the Clutch Cover off/on all the time is gonna cost me a few Cover Seals. Guess I'll find out how many times I can re-use those Seals before they start to weep, huh?
 

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I have been following the trans/primary oil transfer thread on the other site. For $8 I would go to Advance Auto and get some oil dye. That should help prove one oil is transferring. I feel your (insert noun of choice).
 
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It's just taking the Clutch Cover off/on all the time is gonna cost me a few Cover Seals. Guess I'll find out how many times I can re-use those Seals before they start to weep, huh?
I've had several Harleys over the years and do the regular service on them in my garage. I have NEVER had to replace that seal because of a leak. I just reuse them waiting for a leak that has never come.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, todays update......

Ironically, the service manager from my dealership called today, but only to tell me about Oil Cooler Hose Clamp Recall. (more on that in a second) While I had him on the phone, I started to explain the Transmission Fluid issue and told him that I was going to stop by today and talk to him about it. By the time I got there, he had talked about it to the Tech that built my Stage IV and the Tech said that there is a seal between the Transmission and the Primary that needs to be changed out and that's all it needs. I've heard of this issue on earlier models, but I don't know about the M8. The other Forum is talking about the Clutch Push Rod being the issue, so I'm not sure what the real fix is. The point is, it's scheduled for the repair and more importantly, documented, like I wanted. The Service Manager told me to go home and refill both cases that I had drained and measured the fluid from, and ride it until my appointment next week. Of course, I need to keep an eye on th levels, but they just want to double verify what I, and he, believe has happened already. So, that's what I'm gonna do.

Now, for the Hose Clamp issue...... Apparently, it's just that some guy/girl on the assembly line didn't crimp the clamp on the hose quite tight enough for a while and they just look at them to make sure they're crimped tight. If not, they just crimp it tighter while it's still on the bike. They said they've looked at about 50 so far with no bad ones found yet.

So, still no one else experiencing this issue yet? Weird.......
 
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I would do as the serv. mgr. suggested. I'd use the lightest oil recommended in the trans, so that it would migrate easier. Also, reports I've read indicate that rpm's above 3,500 are where it happens more.
So keep the rpm's up as much as possible and ride it a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would do as the serv. mgr. suggested. I'd use the lightest oil recommended in the trans, so that it would migrate easier. Also, reports I've read indicate that rpm's above 3,500 are where it happens more.
So keep the rpm's up as much as possible and ride it a lot.

The lighter oil is a good suggestion but he said to use their Formula+........

It's their game now, I'm just a player in it.

And you are correct about those RPM's sir......... keep 'em up!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok.... time for an update. The dealership has had my bike since Tuesday evening when I dropped it off for a Wednesday appointment for this very issue. I told the Service Mgr my history (see previous Post) of transferring at least 10 Oz of fluid out of my tranny and into my primary. Told him I drained both cases completely and added exactly 32 Oz to each hole. Rode the bike for 640 miles and it is now in their hands to tell me what they find, determine how much fluid moved over into the primary, and what the issue is.

Fast forward to this evening while at dinner with the wife...... Got a phone call from the dealer with an update. He told me that MoCo is sending them a BRAND NEW transmission! They did checks, they took measurements, but most importantly........ they put dye in the tranny and ran it for 10 miles or so and VOILA! dye in the primary! He said between that, the testimony that I gave them, and the checks that MoCo had them do, it produces a new tranny! So, with that being said, how long until the recall starts is anybody's guess. I just hope that they, MoCo, were able to determine exactly what the problem is, (or maybe they have already known), and have a permanent fix for this problem. Like I said, maybe they are already aware of all this and are being real picky about who get's a new tranny? It'll be next week before the new tranny gets here and then they'll need to install it and do some more testing I'm sure, but after that, I'll be all over that dipstick for a while. (I know, I saw it right after I typed it....... ). Stay tuned!

What it seems to me is, if you take your bike back to your dealer and explain what you have going on and suggest a dye test, or maybe do your own, there should be a new transmission in it for you for a late Fathers Day gift! Or at least I hope so!

Luckily I still have the 03 RK to putt around on while it's in the 100*-110* temperature range here so I can still go ride it this great weather!

Good luck fellers! Let's get these dealerships woke up and busy!
 

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I had the same problem. I have a 2017 RG and just put 10,000 miles on it. (cross county road trip) Discovered that the primary was over flowing and the transmission almost dry. Diagnosis, oil transferring from transmission to primary. The local dealership could not fix, so Harley flies down their lead regional tech. He spends two days on it consulting with Milwaukee and making some modifications. After some test runs, they have the oil transfer to just trace amounts. They are wanting me to ride it for 1000 miles then they will recheck to see if any transfer. If there is, then we will have to be discussing a replacement. Apparently this is a know issue, but does not have a real fix at this time. Harley engineers are working on it. So we wait.......
 

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Discussion Starter #16
These were some of the posts that I made during this last week on another thread, the thread that I posted the link to in this thread. So if the days and times sound a little off, it because they're almost a week old. To be honest, I didn't think this particular thread was going anywhere so I wasn't keeping it updated. I'll leave this here and see where it goes......


Saturday, 7/1/17
Ok..... quick update.... not a happy update, but an update nonetheless.

Dealer dropped off my bike at work at 5:30 yesterday as I was getting off work. Climbed on it and rode it 47 miles home. Pulled it to the shop, kissed the wife and pulled the tranny dipstick out, wiped it off, and checked the level........ DRY!! Checked it 2 more times and found the level just barely touching the bottom of the stick. Drained the oil and measured 23oz. Put in the recommended 28 oz. of oil back in, (Mobil 1 Syn 20w50 V-Twin was all I had on the shelf), and rode it 56 miles. Checked the level and it was still halfway in the "X". While I was out, I picked up a bottle if Oil Dye for the tranny. I had asked the service dept if they had put any in and they said no, but I could if I wanted, so I did, along with about 2 more oz.'s of oil in the gearbox to make sure the level was at the top of the "X". So, what I saw was, either the dealer didn't put enough oil back into the gearbox and I read that level when I got home even tho there was actually no transfer of fluid, or there was transfer in only 47 miles. If there was transfer on the way home after work, why would there have been little or no transfer in the 56 miles I rode after changing out the oil? I don't know........

So this is where I am. I have a full tranny with dye in it. I have a weekend of riding planned at Hollister. I have a qt of oil in my saddle bag and some wrenches. I'll let you know what I find out on the trip when I get back. And, I have a bad taste in my mouth after this recent tranny swap, which as I stated earlier, came to the dealer in different shipments.


Monday, 7/3/17
So, after I put the oil dye in the tranny, we took off the next day for our little trip. I checked the tranny level about a half a dozen different times throughout the weekend and no loss of oil. Rode to work and back today for a total of 550 miles since I put the dye in. Still no signs of loss. As a side note, it seems that my service tech at the dealership shorted me some oil the other day, huh? How else would you explain a 5 oz loss in the 47 mile ride home and then none for the last 550? (The service manager and I will chat about that on Wednesday when they open again.) Anyhow, I haven't pulled the derby cover to peek inside the primary until tonight. Luckily I still had a UV penlight at work so I was able to check it out properly. As you can see in the picture below, there is a thin film of dye floating on the oil. I would have felt better if there was a shit-ton of it in there or none at all, you know what I'm sayin'? This little bit makes me wonder if it's just some residual dye left over from when it was transferred during the dealers test or a small trace of my dye actually leaking thru. I really doubt they did a nice thorough flush of my primary, soooooo hell, I don't know. At this point, I'm going to just run this thing as it is and keep checking the tranny oil level and amount of dye in the primary. I mean, I guess I could flush the primary myself and start all over, but I think if there is any leakage between the two cases still there, the dye will start to accumulate more and more and I'll be able to see that eventually.

So whatever mystical magical difference there is between my old transmission and this one, I don't know, but I can say that if there is still any leaking going on, it has been DRAMATICALLY reduced. The dealership either doesn't know what it is or isn't saying, and although I had a missed call the other day on my cell, I don't think it was Willie G. calling to let me in on the little secret. So until someone somewhere figures this thing out AND comes forward with the actual problem/fix, we may never really know for sure........

I realize that my Repair Order doesn't show the Transmission Case listed on it, but I was told a few different times by the service dept that they did replace the case. The case was the first thing that arrived at the shop and at the time, they thought it was the complete setup and called to tell me that it was there and they were going to swap it out right away. That's when they realized their mistake and told me that the gear set was coming separately at a later date. It may have not been typed onto the RO, but it's there.

Bottom line......... I'll keep checkin' levels and checkin' in.......

Today,7/6/17
I rode over to the dealership yesterday after work to show THEM what I have found so far and discuss the fact that I was NOT happy to roll into the shop and find my tranny fluid so low that it didn't show up on the stick. I explained that after I dumped it, measured it, refilled it, and rode it, that although the level was still up in the "X", I am STILL losing oil and I believe, because of the Green Glow in the primary, that that is where I am losing it to......still. They agreed that the bike must have left here short on tranny oil and apologized for that and also said that they were going to call Tech Services first thing today and see what they suggest as the next step. We all agreed for me to ride the piss out of this thing and keep an eye on the levels, which is exactly what I plan on doing. They said if there is any failure on the tranny, they'll just put a new one in under warranty. I explained that that is all well and fine, but after investing more than 36K into this this bike, I really don't want it to sit in there shop all summer, I want to ride it!

Just went out to the shop a minute ago and pulled the dipstick........ 830 miles since I refilled the tranny and I am now only showing enough fluid to fill in the lower quadrant of the "X" on the stick instead of all 4 quadrants. Like I told the service guys, it's MUCH better, but still not right.

I'm hearing (reading), more and more that indicates that the Mother Ship is very aware of this situation. IMHO, I think they are not going to speak out until they have completely nailed down the cause so that they can then know what the permanent fix is. I get that...... I try not to bring a problem to my boss without having at least one possible fix for the situation. So, I don't think that they are sitting there with their fingers in their ear, eyes shut, and singing "Lalalala" while we are presenting all this info to them. I'm sure that they're on it, they just haven't gotten to a point where they can/will commit to anything yet. This thing is real and not going away until THEY fix it for good. They have big sales on the line here and they don't want the bad press, know what I mean? It would be nice to have a Mole in Milwaukee to help keep us informed, lol.

Anyhow, I'll let you know what happens after my Service Dept calls the Tech Service.......
 

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Just curious, what is the build date on your bike? Maybe they had a bad batch of seals


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I realize this thread is several weeks old but ...unless some specs have changed radically the 6spd trans gets 32 oz. and the primary gets 38 oz..
I would venture a guess as to how oil would be getting from the trans into the primary via the clutch pushrod. Plugged up trans vent ! No other way for oil to transfer from the trans into the primary. The trans mainshaft is the only trans part that goes into the primary and the clutch pushrod goes through the center of the mainshaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
mikey- my build date is 8/16. In that now 83 page long thread on hdforums.com, there is no hardcore correlation found between hide and seek transmission fluid and build dates. I do wish I knew more of the history of the "new" tranny that they shipped out here for my dealership to install. What's supposed to be different/better? I mean, it still leaks, sooooooo.

The MoCo has sent my dealership an email, that I understand is like 2 pages long, with a whole list of tests and checks that they want my service guys to put my bike thru to help determine what is allowing the fluid migration. I know that other dealerships around the country have received the same, or similar, email and are putting other bike thru testing as well. I have not personally seen the email, and doubt that ever I will, but from what I'm being told from my techs and other guys who are having their bike tested, Schmidty isn't too far off on some of his thoughts. I was told they will be doing some pressure and vacuum tests along with paying attention to venting. A guy named Steve on the other forum has been tearing down a few trannys and swapping out different bearings with different types of seals on them. He has done quite a bit of work independently on his own and gotten some very good results at this point, but still no definitive cure yet. A lot of focus on the clutch push rod......

Again, this issue IS escalating and gaining ground in Milwaukee, but they're not going to go public with it until they have a fix. Why would they? It would only cause their sales to drop even faster than they are right now...... Most people who own these new M8's haven't had them long enough to do their own 3 hole oil changes yet. And then, unless they have been reading about this issue on a any of the many HD forums that are out there, why would they measure their old tranny/primary fluid when they do do their oil changes? Just pull the plugs and the filter and then refill to the proper levels. I never measured my dirty oils until now!
and
If you have an M8, I'd look into this and monitor your tranny fluid closely........

PS- From the owner's manual, the tranny gets 28 oz's at first and then add to top off. The primary case takes 34 oz's if you have yanked the cover off and 30 oz's for a drain/refill from just the drain plug.
 
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Thanks for the response. I recently traded my 15 sgs in for a 17 roadglide ultra and as a rule of thumb check my fluids (except primary) before every ride as i had a leaking yamaha in the past and just got in the habit. I have read on another forum that hd has changed the part number of the clutch pushrod although i cant confirm that as i dont know the original part number. I have attempted to attach a screenshot of the page if it you are interested. In the meantime i wish you only the best of luck on a resolution as i can completely relate to the frustration and anger these things can cause a person. Obviously there are a pile of pages to this post so the part number change may have been mentioned prior and i didnt see it.



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