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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed a small allen plug on the bottom of the crankcase on the 2010 Deluxe and 2014 Heritage.

I always wondered why I could only get about 2.5 qts back in after an oil change and it would register full and the oil would never be quite clean after changing. I decided to remove it today on this oil change and I got a full 1/2 qt of nasty looking oil out.

Why isn't this plug ever mentioned on the oil change procedure?
 

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plug............

Be very careful reinstalling as from what I have read you are not supposed to remove it and can crack the crankcase reinstalling it.
Colt.45
 

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I noticed a small allen plug on the bottom of the crankcase on the 2010 Deluxe and 2014 Heritage.

I always wondered why I could only get about 2.5 qts back in after an oil change and it would register full and the oil would never be quite clean after changing. I decided to remove it today on this oil change and I got a full 1/2 qt of nasty looking oil out.

Why isn't this plug ever mentioned on the oil change procedure?
Because you are never to remove that plug is why. :spank:

Put some thread sealer on it and screw it in until it is JUST flush with case .

Now would be a great time to buy a MoCo Service Manual . It will save you lots of trouble in the future . :)
 

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Why isn't this plug ever mentioned on the oil change procedure?
Cause if people remove that plug and install it too deep, it will plug the oil return passage to the oil pump. If that passage is plugged the crankcase will fill with oil.... Then the owner will put more oil in the oil tank cause its reading low, thus even more oil will be filling up the crankcase till something gives in an expensive way...


Its not meant to be a drain plug.... Its just there for machining purposes.


Before you do an oil change, run the engine up to operating temperature. And when you shut off the engine, do it while still upright. That way the oil pump can evacuate as much of the oil as possible as the oil pickup for the pump being located on the right half of the engine.


If you check your manual, it specifically states "Do Not Remove".
 

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Thats what is great about this site and you guys that give advice

When I bought my softail I also ordered a manual

But I couldn't wait to start learning about basic maintenance

I figured one of the first things I would do is oil change

Did a search and all info was there

I think someone posted how to remove one of the oil lines and putting a hose on it and a whole procedure for removing every drop of old oil.

I also remember someone saying that wasn't necessary if oil change when supposed to
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay.got it. Screwed up. Won't remove it again. I still don't like the 1/2 at of old oil left behind.
 

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There should not have been 1/2 quart of oil drain from that plug. Typically only a half cup or less oil would drain from the crankcase plug. A couple shot glasses is all.
Are you sure it was 1/2 quart ?
 

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Just Ride
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I think the plug that is in question is only on the soft ail models.
Nope, it's on all twin cams. It's the one they tell you not to take out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There should not have been 1/2 quart of oil drain from that plug. Typically only a half cup or less oil would drain from the crankcase plug. A couple shot glasses is all.
Are you sure it was 1/2 quart ?
Yeah I'm sure, close to a full 1/2 qt. maybe 1 oz shy. I will be more specific though. The bike sat all winter and rather then fire it up to circulate and warm the oil which would be a must changing it the manufactures way with only draining the reservoir and not the engine I drained it at room temp about 80 degrees knowing all the oil was in the lower end.

I'm a automotive tech for over 40 years not bikes, cars and light trucks. I know all the ins and outs and possibilities of things breaking on specific makes and models.

My take on this plug whether it be a casting plug or not is that Harley probably originally intended it to be a secondary drain to remove the crankcase oil but due to the close proximity to the outer edge and the thinness of the case in this area and the fact that they literally cemented these things in is that they started seeing broken cases when the plug was removed for the first time many still under warranty and decided to eliminate the removal to cover themselves.

This plug was not easy to remove and at first I hesitated. I decided to take a look at my new Heritage and could see the plug had a pliable sealant on it so I tried to remove it and it loosened normally. Maybe they have changed the way they install these things so they can be removed now? The 2010 had no visible sealant and it was tight. I needed a cheater to break it loose. I know now that I was very fortunate not to have broken the case.

I am not suggesting by any means that anyone tries to remove this plug unless they have years of mechanical experience and a good feel for a wrench. You mostly will know when something needs to be left alone and not to exert too much force.

The installation is the same. this is a tapered pipe thread ( the same type GM has used in its rear diffs for 50 years) and over tightening will act as a wedge and expand the case threads and possible crack it also. It was mentioned earlier in this thread to put the plug in and tighten it until flush. In my case this would have been extremely over tightened. I have about and 1/8" exposed the same on the new Heritage.

To sum up though I got all of the oil out, added three full qts to get a reading on the dipstick 1/2 way between the cold and hot fill while it was cold and a reading smack on the hot mark when hot. This is what it should read which is another reason why I suspect Harley originally intended the crankcase to be drained. Thy need to change there specs to both a dry refill (3qts) and a drain and refill (2.5 to 2.6 qts.)

I realize that if you change the oil at Harley's specified interval leaving some oil behind would be acceptable but when you get a used bike for instance that has been neglected as in my first purchase changing the oil with some left behind just doesn't do the job. You need to get it all out and the stuff in the bottom of the crankcase is the dirtiest.

A half qt doesn't seem like much but on a 3 qt system it is a lot. I couldn't imagine leaving a qt behind on a customers vehicle say a 5 or 6 qt system. Years back Ford had a oil pan design that dropped down the front and rear of the rack and pinion where the front section held about a half qt. They though it important enough to add an additional oil plug to get it all out.
 

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My take on this plug whether it be a casting plug or not is that Harley probably originally intended it to be a secondary drain to remove the crankcase oil
No, they didn't.

Because you did not run the motor before changing the oil is the reason there was 1/2 qt of oil in the crankcase.


With the oil tank being above the crankcase, some oil was allowed past the check ball and collected in the crankcase.

The bike sat all winter and rather then fire it up to circulate and warm the oil which would be a must changing it the manufactures way with only draining the reservoir and not the engine I drained it at room temp about 80 degrees knowing all the oil was in the lower end.
If you had warmed up the motor prior to changing it, the oil would have been evacuated from the crankcase.
 

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Yeah I'm sure, close to a full 1/2 qt. maybe 1 oz shy. I will be more specific though. The bike sat all winter and rather then fire it up to circulate and warm the oil which would be a must changing it the manufactures way with only draining the reservoir and not the engine I drained it at room temp about 80 degrees knowing all the oil was in the lower end.

I'm a automotive tech for over 40 years not bikes, cars and light trucks. I know all the ins and outs and possibilities of things breaking on specific makes and models.

My take on this plug whether it be a casting plug or not is that Harley probably originally intended it to be a secondary drain to remove the crankcase oil but due to the close proximity to the outer edge and the thinness of the case in this area and the fact that they literally cemented these things in is that they started seeing broken cases when the plug was removed for the first time many still under warranty and decided to eliminate the removal to cover themselves.

This plug was not easy to remove and at first I hesitated. I decided to take a look at my new Heritage and could see the plug had a pliable sealant on it so I tried to remove it and it loosened normally. Maybe they have changed the way they install these things so they can be removed now? The 2010 had no visible sealant and it was tight. I needed a cheater to break it loose. I know now that I was very fortunate not to have broken the case.

I am not suggesting by any means that anyone tries to remove this plug unless they have years of mechanical experience and a good feel for a wrench. You mostly will know when something needs to be left alone and not to exert too much force.

The installation is the same. this is a tapered pipe thread ( the same type GM has used in its rear diffs for 50 years) and over tightening will act as a wedge and expand the case threads and possible crack it also. It was mentioned earlier in this thread to put the plug in and tighten it until flush. In my case this would have been extremely over tightened. I have about and 1/8" exposed the same on the new Heritage.

To sum up though I got all of the oil out, added three full qts to get a reading on the dipstick 1/2 way between the cold and hot fill while it was cold and a reading smack on the hot mark when hot. This is what it should read which is another reason why I suspect Harley originally intended the crankcase to be drained. Thy need to change there specs to both a dry refill (3qts) and a drain and refill (2.5 to 2.6 qts.)

I realize that if you change the oil at Harley's specified interval leaving some oil behind would be acceptable but when you get a used bike for instance that has been neglected as in my first purchase changing the oil with some left behind just doesn't do the job. You need to get it all out and the stuff in the bottom of the crankcase is the dirtiest.

A half qt doesn't seem like much but on a 3 qt system it is a lot. I couldn't imagine leaving a qt behind on a customers vehicle say a 5 or 6 qt system. Years back Ford had a oil pan design that dropped down the front and rear of the rack and pinion where the front section held about a half qt. They though it important enough to add an additional oil plug to get it all out.
Yep , my then new 1991 Thunderbird with the 5.0 had that twin drain plugs & I had to argue with the mechanic's at the oil change place to be sure to drain both front and rear oil drains to remove ALL the old dirty oil . :bikerguy:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No, they didn't.

Because you did not run the motor before changing the oil is the reason there was 1/2 qt of oil in the crankcase.


With the oil tank being above the crankcase, some oil was allowed past the check ball and collected in the crankcase.



If you had warmed up the motor prior to changing it, the oil would have been evacuated from the crankcase.
So what your saying is it runs with a basically dry sump?
 

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So what your saying is it runs with a basically dry sump?
Yep. Separate oil tank = dry sump. No oil pan on engine = dry sump. I believe all air cooled Harley's are dry sump.
 

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Yep. Separate oil tank = dry sump. No oil pan on engine = dry sump. I believe all air cooled Harley's are dry sump.
Correct.
 

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I'm sure glad I've only ultra's...no check valve leaking oil to worry over, even tho the Evo has one . :)
 

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Ok , so we know the Softail's are dry sump because of the oil tank being separate & above but what about the Dyna's ? Is that a wet sump system ? I know ,I know ...dumb question but I'd like to be straight on this .
 

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Nope, still dry sump. It's just the Dyna's tank is under the motor.
 
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