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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received a HD Shovelhead. From what I know it's a custom build 72 shovelhead motor on a custom frame with a 4 speed transmission. I'm chasing leaks at the moment. Have the tank off and going to get the broken brackets repaired. Cleaning the air filter. The oil tank is empty (looks like a decent leak due to the puddle below the bike), bu can't seem to find it. Transmission has a couple small leaks by gaskets is what it looks like to me, no gear fluid in the kickstarter case. I guess can anyone give me a place to start to inspect for usual problems. From what I gather it's a always repairing type of bike which is okay, i'm pretty mechanical. I picked up Royal purple gear lube for the transmission, and 50W Valvoline Oil to refill the oil once the leaks are repaired. Also can anyone tell me if the primary needs fluid or is it self lubricating?

Thank you, New Shovelhead Owner!
 

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Retired citizen
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Oh ya baby, you got a good one there ! I've had those before ! Currently working on a 1974 74ci Super Glide that looked like yours when it showed up in my shop a year ago !
That puddle of oil is most likely due to sumping. The high mounted oil tank above the oil pump and gravity causes the oil to seep past the oil pump check valve and drains into the crankcase. When you crank the engine over the pump doesn't have time to get the oil back into the tank and the rest goes out the vent hose... and there's your puddle of oil !
Oh ya, if you have the stock primary setup it's dry. A vacuum hose at the back side of the inner primary sucks the oil out of the primary housing and returns it to the oil tank.
 

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Sorry for your loss.

The primary needs primary oil.

Good looking starter bike. Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would the oil seep out due to sitting. It hasn't been started in a few weeks. I'm ripping more into it and looks like oil is seeping out below the head by the rear exhaust. Also I have no idea if its a stock primary. How is the best way to check?
 

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Dirty Member
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That is not an oil leak. It is sweat from all that horsepower.
Good luck. Sounds like a fun project.
 

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Would the oil seep out due to sitting. It hasn't been started in a few weeks. I'm ripping more into it and looks like oil is seeping out below the head by the rear exhaust. Also I have no idea if its a stock primary. How is the best way to check?
This article will tell you if your primary has been isolated. If it has not been done, it is usually a good idea.

Your engine cases are aftermarket.

If your engine has sumped (oil tank has drained into the crankcase), after a couple of kicks, you will hear a gurgling sound and then oil will start to come out of the crankcase vent line. It is usually because of a worn or dirty check ball and seat. The ball can sometimes be reseated or the seat can be lapped and a new check ball installed. Mine will sump if I don't ride it for a week or so, but as long as I ride it every couple of days, it won't spit a drop.

There is an oil check plug on the kicker cover. Oil should be up to that plug with the bike level.

The rocker boxes are a common source of a leak. If the leak is between the head and the jug, you need a head gasket, but the head has to come off to get the rocker box off anyway. Pulling the heads is an easy job.When you put them back on, it is important to go through several heat/retourqe cycles and "clock" the heads for good intake alignment.

Your trans is a "cowpie" so it is from about '78 or later.

The heads are early.

It looks like you have a late-model CV carb. A lot of people realy like those.
 

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Long time rider
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sounds like a lot of fun, I would buy a service manual, and a three ring binder, and some sheet protectors and tear the book apart and reassemble it in the binder. So you don't ruin it while useing it.
 

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Comfortably Numb
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Looks like the trans leak is from the mainshaft seal. Also check to see if your primary chain case has been isolated (has its own oil) or if the primary chain oiler is operational and the oil gets scavenged back into the motor.
 
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