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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
my buddies oil light started coming on tonight when we were stopped at red lights and stop signs, wasnt on any other time.

No knockin or weird sounds coming from the engine but the bike is sidelined to this gets sorted out.

Im thinking either a short in the wire to the oil pressure switch or just a failing switch all together.

We are going to pick up a oil pressure gauge tomorrow and check pressure, my book says 7-12 psi is this correct?

There was signs of oil circulation in the oil tank, lots of bubbles.

Can anyone give me a heads up on what to look for? any help is appreciated.

02 1200 sportster,, stock

Thanks
 

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Señor Member
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How's the oil level?
 

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On the loose
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The oil pressure gauge should narrow it down for you , if it reads in spec his sending unit may be at fault , this would be the best scenario obviously.
 

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Poser Member # 99
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Check the oil to see if it smells like gas might be thinned out due to excess gas running threw carb or injection . Would recommend changing oil and filter after checking with manual gauge and go from there . What was the temp that day also when light was coming on had you been idling in traffic for a long time what was temp at the time ?????. When was the last time oil changed , Was oil level low ??
 

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Retired citizen
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What's the idle RPM set at ? Should be idling at 1000 RPMs. Low idle equals low oil pressure.
 

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What Schmidty said. Low idle combined with heat from low speeds, or very high speeds = lower than normal oil pressure. There's a fair difference, in oil pressure, between 750-800 rpm and 1000 rpm. A lot of people idle Sportsters way too low, because they like the sound, besides low oil pressure, the engine response from idle up is poor.
 

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If your gonna idle down your engine to get that wonderful Harley sound you must first install a better oil pump or at least one of those heavy duty springs . Screaming Eagle makes a couple so does S&S also Jim's !
 

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where did he go . hey man did you find out what the problem was. I hate waiting........
the suspense is killing me........................
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi
to answer some questions

@ schmidtys, On his tach the rmp's are just a bit above 1000- more like 1050-1100.

@big john Yes i was freaked out at how high the oil level was in his tank, and it wreaks of gasoline and feels really thin compared to new oil.
outside temp was 75 and we had been riding bout an hour or so around town not sitting at stop lights for more than a minute or two here and there. oil light came on immediately at idle.
he said he had oil changed back in may and hasnt put more than 5- 600 miles on it since.

@ciscokid, lol sorry pal, its hard for the two of us to find time to work on a bike with kids and jobs and all. im hoping this is something simple to fix.

so our plan of attack is just to change a few simple cheap things and then check oil pressure with a quage, im open to help, suggestions and things to look out for.

we have new oil, filter and a oil pressure switch, im really wondering about the high oil level in his tank and it smelling so bad of gasoline, something is definitely wrong there.
and i was incorrect on the year of his bike its a 1990, dunno what i was thinking on it being a 02.
 

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I had fuel in the oil do to a bad petcock on my Vulcan with a full tank forcing fuel past the needle and flooding the cylinder leaking into the crankcase as it sits.

Does he smell fuel where it's been parked?
 

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The gas in the oil is the problem. Drain oil re-fill, find why gas is leaking into engine. Just about has to be a bad needle and set in the carburetor, or a stuck logged float.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi

Sorry to leave you guys hanging, had a fishing trip to do.

So we changed the oil out and filter and replaced the oil pressure guage while we had the filter out just in case it was bad.

The gas in the oil problem got us thinking so we unhooked the hose from petcock and turned gas off and it did leak a little bit, not much but obviously enough to send gas to the carb all the time, so that must have been how gas was in the oil.
after doing all this we went out riding and for a half hour or so all was good and it did it again, oil light on at idle.

But after reading the replies on here and what idle for a sportster is supposed to be I automatically looked at his tach and it was idling at 800.
Quick idle adjustment in a parking lot up to 1000 and all is well.

Im thinking we should have looked at his rpm's long ago after the bike was warmed up for a long time and not just a few minutes after it running.
At least we did find the cause of his bad oil condition because of the gas.

Anyways thanks everyone for your time and suggestions.
 

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