Harley Davidson Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Eastbound and Down
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well I was hoping my first post wasn't going to have to be a question. My uncle Bill was the original owner of a 1988 softail springer fxsts. He passed away last year and the bike sat in his living room because my parents didnt know what to do with it. I decided to buy it from them and just got the bike back to my house. I trailered it home and when I went to start it up I noticed a large pool of oil leaking from the breather. The bike probably sat for at least 6 months.

Does anyone know what may be causing this and what I can do to stop it. Like I said I just got this bike so I'm a novice when it comes to parts/nomenclature/function. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I've included a pic of the part that where the oil is coming from.
 

Attachments

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
22,051 Posts
That's from a "sumped" crankcase. With the oil tank higher than the case and the pump oil can seep past the pump check ball and get into the case. Fire the engine up and run it for a while and the pump will evacuate the oil from the case back to the tank. Don't add oil to the tank until the engine is run for a while or the tank will over flow.
 

·
Eastbound and Down
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ill give it a try and let you know. Thanks
 

·
Eastbound and Down
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The leakage has slowed dramatically. More of a drip now. I thought that maybe all the oil drained out so I gave a look. There is still oil in it, but it has lots of bubbles. Is that normal?
 

·
Eastbound and Down
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Perfect. Thanks a million. Everything else seems to be normal then. One more quick question. My uncle had a thermostat dipstick. There are no markings on it like low or add oil. Looks more like the end of a meat thermometer. My question is how do I know if there is enough oil. Right now the oil is maybe a 1/8 inch up on the stick which is 4" long
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,340 Posts
Perfect. Thanks a million. Everything else seems to be normal then. One more quick question. My uncle had a thermostat dipstick. There are no markings on it like low or add oil. Looks more like the end of a meat thermometer. My question is how do I know if there is enough oil. Right now the oil is maybe a 1/8 inch up on the stick which is 4" long
There's nothing on there? Not even two lines?

When checking the oil, you need to know whether that model is checked upright or on the jiffy stand (kick stand) It's in the owner's manual if you have it. I honestly don't know which it is on a model that old, but it makes a difference.

Also, the bike should be warm when you check it. In your case, I would probably want to ride it 15-20 minutes first to make absolutely certain that all of the oil on the case has been pumped back up in the tank. If not, you can overfill the tank and you'll really have a mess. Been there. Done that.

Careful checking the oil then. it will be very very hot.
 

·
Just Ride
Joined
·
3,035 Posts
Being that you just got it change the oil and filter. 3 quarts is what your bike requires. Make your own mark,hot and cold. On the kickstand for convenience.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

·
Señor Member
Joined
·
19,582 Posts
Too many bubbles maybe mixed viscocities. Did you drain entirely before the fill?

That would also explain the leakage. Overfill will cause that. Once it leaks out, you're not over filled anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
Don`t worry about bubbles.

The proper oil level on your Softail is about 1/2 inch below the bottom of the filler neck on the tank, with the bike held upright. Just eyeball it and forget about the dipstick (I don`t know why they even put a dipstick on the old Softails, because there were no markings) and you will be fine. Don`t fill it any more than that or it may just blow out the breather.

When you do your first oil change, run the engine a bit to make sure the oil is scavenged up from the crankcase. When you refill the tank, only put in 2-1/2 quarts and then run the engine for a minute or so, then check the level, but don`t overfill the tank.

The manual will tell you that the bike takes 3 quarts of oil, but in reality it only will take about 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 quarts.

The filter on the end of the breather hose will just be a place for road grime to accumulate, I would toss it into the trash and just run the hose open at the end. Nothing will get sucked up into the hose.

Here`s how I ran the transmission vent and engine breather hoses on my `89 Softail, simple and clean, and has worked fine for 24 years.
 

Attachments

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
22,051 Posts
You can also replace that breather with an automotive PCV valve. Originally your breather hose attached to the rear of the stock air cleaner back plate.
 

·
Eastbound and Down
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the advice. It's tough since my uncle is no longer with us and I can't ask him about everything he's done on the bike.
 

·
Eastbound and Down
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Don`t worry about bubbles.
The filter on the end of the breather hose will just be a place for road grime to accumulate, I would toss it into the trash and just run the hose open at the end. Nothing will get sucked up into the hose.
You're sayin to toss the filter itself?
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top