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Premium Member
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2,992 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Interesting...I now believe that the V-ROD factory dipstick is incorrect as it's too short. When Crash and I changed the oil/filter while performing the 5K service, I filled the crankcase with 4.5 US quarts as called for in the manual. After a warm up ride, I checked the oil level and it read "add" as the level was below the crosshatch lines on the dipstick. I brought the level up to the crosshatch lines by adding 1/3 quart. After a few hundred miles, it's still at that level.

In the past, I'd top the oil level to the top of the crosshatch lines and in a few hundred miles, I would get a reading just below the crosshatch lines which clearly indicates the OEM dipstick is too short and that the engine was siphoning off the overfill...not a good plan for the engine or the wallet since I run Syn3.

PS. I check the oil at normal engine operating temp, while the engine is off and the bike is upright and level. After cleaning the dipstick, I insert it and turn in to the fully seated position before removing it to check the level.
:banghead:
 

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Craig Fehr
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2,506 Posts
You're sure trying hard to get your point across, aren't you - three posts of the same thread! Just giving you a hard time ;)
Thanks for the tip.
 

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SNAFU
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13,094 Posts
I don't think the dipstick is too short, Note in the attachment the comment that you should wait 3 minutes after adding oil (no mention is made regarding re-running the motor) to make sure the oil has drained into the sump or you might get a false reading possibly causing you to add too much oil. Seems counter intuitive but it's there in black and white.

BTW, I use the cold method when changing the oil, it eliminates the issues of waiting for the oil to flow down into the sump. If I check the motor warm all I do is make sure it's within the crosshatch.

PS. the other 2 posts have been removed. One is enough.
 

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Premium Member
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2,992 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback. I wait about 5 minutes before checking. It takes about that long to move the car out of the garage, roll the bike in and commence the athletic manuvering of stradling the bike, reaching down and removing the dipstick to take a reading. How tough would it have been to install a site glass like HD did on the oil bag of my '92 FXLRC or on my friends new Bonneville?
 

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SNAFU
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13,094 Posts
danafwelch said:
Sorry about the 3 NEW POSTS. I thought it made sense to enter the message in those 3 separate areas but did not know it would appear as 3 NEW POSTS.:hmm:
No Problem :thumb:

BTW, Since I just did an oil change Friday night I rechecked my work Saturday morning after reading your post. My bike took exactly 4.8 quarts to get the cold measurement to the very top of the crosshatch.

I obviously changed the oil and filter. Since the filter is set at a 90 deg angle I couldn't preload the filter with oil (damn those engineers) so I put in 4.5 quarts and ran the motor jsut long enough to build pressure in the system (thus filling the filter) I then added another .3 quarts to get to the full mark. I then rechecked the cold measurement the next morning, it was spot on the full mark.

The warm / hot measurement was exactly 1/16" below the top crosshatch which is exactly what I expected. There's nothing magical about the V-Rod's wet sump system. If you take a cold motor, drain the oil then fill the crankcase with X amount of oil you will end up with X-Y amount of oil in the crankcase after you run the motor until ALL of the oil routed through the oil galleys returns to the sump.

As to why it takes 4.8 rather than the 4.5 stated in the manual???????? Probably has a lot to do with the way the filter sits and the way oil drains back into the sump. It could also be that the factory measurement puts it in the middle of the crosshatch????????
 

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Geezer
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13,343 Posts
If you buy one of the aftermarket dipsticks, I was advised to keep the old one with you if you plan to leave the bike anywhere unattended. They are easily removed (and won't set off the alarm). You'll need it to get home.
 
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