Harley Davidson Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have to start this thread by letting you all know I'm not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. I'm an artist, so treat me like a moron and I may be able to fix this problem.

I have a 2001 1200 Sportster that I've put about 4,000 miles on since I bought it. Late last Fall I had some starter problems that put the bike away for the year. I've since replaced the starter. Now what I'm experiencing is that my oil "idiot" light goes on after I put about 15 miles on the bike. This is about the half way point on my way to and from work.

I've read some of the forum posts about a similar problem, clogged lines, worn oil pump, air in lines, but no one ever posts the resolution to their problems. I'd prefer to do this as cheaply as possible since I just dropped of 2 bills to on the starter issue and I have kids to feed. What's the most likely problem here? If it is the oil pump, that's what most people around work think, how difficult is it to rebuild? Is a rebuild something a novice should even attempt?

Some more needed info...I have 17,000+ miles on the bike. Oil was changed about a month ago with 20-50. New oil filter. New sensor. Oil bag feels hot to me, but no temp readings for that.
 

·
Maddog
Joined
·
394 Posts
Oil pumps rarely "fail" by themselfs. I would put a guage on it and see what that tells
you. You probably have debris in the screen or something along those lines.

2 cents..
 

·
Maddog
Joined
·
394 Posts
I looked at the parts list, theres no screen in the cam chest or at the pump. So that's not the issue. Was it doing that before the oil change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,340 Posts
At some point before you start disassembling anything, you need to verify that you actually have a drop in oil pressure. The sending unit that triggers that light could just as easily be the problem. It could be failing when it gets hot.
 

·
Hit it she goes boom
Joined
·
5,114 Posts
At some point before you start disassembling anything, you need to verify that you actually have a drop in oil pressure. The sending unit that triggers that light could just as easily be the problem. It could be failing when it gets hot.
What he said, if that is the problem its gonna take about 20 bucks, blue locktite and a pair of channel locks and yes this is something you can do.
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
23,190 Posts
Agreed. Install a pressure gauge where the sender screws in to get an accurate psi reading before tearing everything apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
Make sure that the gauge you use is of low enough pressure for a Sportster. Factory oil pressure spec is, hot: more than 5 less than 50. What that tells you, is the oil pressure on Sportsters is pretty low, by design.

Also, did this problem just start, after the recent oil change? If so, I'd change the oil and filter, using top notch oil, and a factory oil filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Back at tackling this problem.... To answer the question about when this started, it started last Fall just before I changed the oil. I changed the oil and filter, thinking I had a clogged filter, and the problem continued. I put in a new sensor last Fall, the problem persisted. I had some starter problems so I put the bike up till I could change out the starter. In May I changed out the starter and changed the oil and filter, not with HD brand. I still had the intermittent oil light issues so I changed the oil to HD brand and HD brand filter...Still have the problem. I just replaced the oil pump with a used, rebuilt one...Looks like I still have a problem. Seams like oil is not getting to the motor because it is tapping when the light goes on. Next cheap step is to replace the oil lines and see if one has something in it. Any other ideas?
 

·
Retired citizen
Joined
·
23,190 Posts
With the engine running pop the oil filler cap off and look in the tank to see if the oil is circulating. Rev the engine up and the oil should circulate faster. That'll indicate the pump is working and the lines are clear.
I suggest removing the sending unit and put a pressure gauge in it's place to get an actual reading. If the pressure stays above 5lbs warmed up it's normal.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top