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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a 2012 anniversary edition nightrod (my first vrod) and after the changing the oil to Screamin Eagle SYN3 20W50, I noticed the smell of oil burning for a few seconds after starting the bike and then it seems to stop. I know that I over filled the bike by ~1/4 a quart - does anyone know if that might cause some oil to burn on startup or if this is just normal with this engine? I didn't notice the smell before and I haven't driven it enough afterwards to notice a reduction in the oil level but I am wondering if this is something to worry about.
 

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I just picked up a 2012 anniversary edition nightrod (my first vrod) and after the changing the oil to Screamin Eagle SYN3 20W50, I noticed the smell of oil burning for a few seconds after starting the bike and then it seems to stop. I know that I over filled the bike by ~1/4 a quart - does anyone know if that might cause some oil to burn on startup or if this is just normal with this engine? I didn't notice the smell before and I haven't driven it enough afterwards to notice a reduction in the oil level but I am wondering if this is something to worry about.
Get rid of the Syn3 for starters. It's use in big twin transmissions has caused some issues and HD no longer suggests it's use in the gear box. Not sure it's best to run it in a shared engine / trans application like the Revolution based on that. Generally and engine will smoke on startup if the valve seals are bad. It will also smoke on long decels, which is a dead give away to the condition. Can't see a 12 with enough miles to point to valve seals so go with a real syn oil, not the HD stuff and drop the oil level to no more then 5 quarts to possibly 4.5 . Syn3 is not a full synthetic and classed as a group3 oil. For the same money, you can get a better oil for the job. Most common are Amsoil and Mobil1, as well as 7100 Motul, all 20/50 weights.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ron! The bike only has 3000 miles on it and the last oil change was at 1600 by an HD dealer but I suppose valve seal damage could still have occurred.
 

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Thanks Ron! The bike only has 3000 miles on it and the last oil change was at 1600 by an HD dealer but I suppose valve seal damage could still have occurred.
I can't see it. Not at 3k . Not a common issue with them, even at high mileage. They just don't run hot enought to kill the seals . Now the airheads, that's another story. If overfilled, the crankcase breathing area for the air volume in the case drops. This loss in buffer effect from less air space will cause a lot more oil to enter the breather area from the more then normal huffing and puffing of crankcase breathing. This might be part of the problem . Dyno oils, which Syn3 mostly consists of will also smoke. Syns rarely do. Mind you, it shouldn't smoke even with HD regular dyno oil so first thing I do is look into the breather box for excess amount of oil in there. If there is, drop the oil level to between 4.5 and retest the situation. Just to be clear here. You are seeing whiteish blue smoke out of the exhaust on startups or from the breather area?
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't see it. Not at 3k . Not a common issue with them, even at high mileage. They just don't run hot enought to kill the seals . Now the airheads, that's another story. If overfilled, the crankcase breathing area for the air volume in the case drops. This loss in buffer effect from less air space will cause a lot more oil to enter the breather area from the more then normal huffing and puffing of crankcase breathing. This might be part of the problem . Dyno oils, which Syn3 mostly consists of will also smoke. Syns rarely do. Mind you, it shouldn't smoke even with HD regular dyno oil so first thing I do is look into the breather box for excess amount of oil in there. If there is, drop the oil level to between 4.5 and retest the situation. Just to be clear here. You are seeing whiteish blue smoke out of the exhaust on startups or from the breather area?
Ron
No visible smoke from the exhaust or the breather, just the smell and it is gone in under 10-secs. Thanks again.
 

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No visible smoke from the exhaust or the breather, just the smell and it is gone in under 10-secs. Thanks again.
Ok, now we are getting somewhere. In that case dump the Syn3 as that's likely the cause . I ran Kendal oil for 2500 miles as a test. The funky burnt oil stink drove me nuts. Smelled like a 300k mile worn out clunker. Oddly enough, no smell with the 360 HD 20/50 the bike was shipped with new and never a hint of smell with Amsoil in 7 years.
No idea why some oils will cause that stench but some do.
Ron
 

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Remove the air box cover, ( aka "gas tank" cover ) take off the upper air filter box cover and see if there is pooled oil in there inside of the air filter area - more than likely as Ron says the engine has been breathing a lot of oil vapor and it's contaminated the intake tract, hence the oil smell. Change the oil, or if fresh just get the level to the proper height by sucking some oil out & clean up the airbox area of oil, remove, clean & reinstall the breather junction outlet ( the top pops off the standpipe ) and start over. More than likely all will be fine. At your earliest conv. change the oil to Mobil 1 or even better yet Amsoil MOTORCYCLE SPEC 20/50 oil and never look back - your Revo engine will thank you ! (y) ;)
 

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Your Wecome ! That breather standpipe in the airbox has foam inside it that half ass separates the oil from the air that comes out of the cylinders - you can carefully remove the top, clean and/or add to the amount of foam inside it ( use only nylon plastic coarse style foam that doesn't break down with oil ) and reassemble- seal the top cover with oil resistant RTV and your intake tract will stay much cleaner - later add a small air/oil separator available from Summit racing is the best setup long term. I still need to do mine. Also check oil level on a level surface with bike upright only, per your manual you'll be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks again! Good call Ronand streetrodracer, oil in the airbox. What keeps the top of the oil breather junction box in place? I pulled up on the two tabs but it doesn't want to come off and I'm afraid I will break this thing. I took the hoses loose and nothing ran out but as you said, I suspect the foam inside is saturated. Also, any ideas where I can get the foam?
606136
606137
 

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Jumping on the breather comments...
Since owning HDs starting 2006 I found it best to vent NOT going back into my engine. You can use a catch can or vent to ground.
When I had my '06 SE2 Turbo V-Rod, I vented to the ground. Over 20K miles before I sold and never a problem.
With my touring HDs I use a catch can because those breathers spew some oil.
My current DX vents to the ground. Nice to keep out the oxygen depleted oily air and only put in clean fresh air into the TBs.
DK Customs has a few videos on this subject on the youtubes.
 
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There are two slots in the cap above those tabs. Push in with screw driver, lift one side, then do the other. Quite a bit of oil in there. There will always be some over the season but that seems a lot. Most likely from being overfilled and as per previous explanation, more then normal carried into the breather box. Extra foam in the canister, may or may not help much. The canister lids are notorious for making a popping sound at idle or low rpms. Clean surfaces and a light smear of O2 sensor friendly rtv will bond it well enough for the task. Some have used an o ring looped over the top of cap tabs and under the can tabs. Speaking of Orings, your rear stack oring is not pushed down to the correct spot. It acts like a lock for the bolts , should they back off.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jumping on the breather comments...
Since owning HDs starting 2006 I found it best to vent NOT going back into my engine. You can use a catch can or vent to ground.
When I had my '06 SE2 Turbo V-Rod, I vented to the ground. Over 20K miles before I sold and never a problem.
With my touring HDs I use a catch can because those breathers spew some oil.
My current DX vents to the ground. Nice to keep out the oxygen depleted oily air and only put in clean fresh air into the TBs.
DK Customs has a few videos on this subject on the youtubes.
I will check that out, prefer to avoid carbon buildup the pistons.
 

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I will check that out, prefer to avoid carbon buildup the pistons.
Venting into the breather is an EPA thing only. Like you mentioned, venting away from the breather is the best method to avoid carbon build up. There are no positives to venting oil fumes into the intake tract.
Ron
 

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I had the problem w/ oil in air box when it was new (2012), proper engine break in is also crucial as well as type of oil used. I have NO oil in ar box now. So if u dont get them rpms up often enough to seat everything properly, oil in box is blow by. I also used the syn 3 one time and it used it. Scared the sh**t out of me when I went to check my oil level. I was barely on the stick.
 

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I had the problem w/ oil in air box when it was new (2012), proper engine break in is also crucial as well as type of oil used. I have NO oil in ar box now. So if u dont get them rpms up often enough to seat everything properly, oil in box is blow by.
Pretty much the same for me. In a season, maybe 1/4 teaspoon at most. None would be best but too lazy to route in remote canister.
Ron
 

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I packed mine with a kind of ball shaped non abrasive chemical resistant hand cleaning pad I got from the grocery store - coarse loose see thru construction cut & packed just the right amount to squeeze it together enough to slow down the expelled breather air - then packed the OEM pad in on top then cleaned up the whole air box, used sea foam with long forceps and a ball of towel on the end to clean intake tracts and valves carbon buildup when closed - this is at about 12K miles & it really needed it - just don't turn the engine over to close the other cylinder valves with the throttle plates open & looking in there - big loud surprise ! I rode the hell out of mine with Rpms and it sealed up the rings- still going to a JLT 3 Oz oil catch can soon - dumping the vent tubes overboard is an option, long as no oil gets on your back tire or makes a mess but I'd put a small inline see thru fuel filter in the O/B line to keep any dirt or bugs out between cylinder breathing pulses. I'm going with the catch can mounted in the airbox or better yet behind the horn area ( I'm going to relocate the horn ) and I may run the suction hose up into where the OEM breather standpipe will have been ( almost no oil vents ) or just overboard with a see thru fuel filter on the outlet to make me feel better about breathing reversion contamination - I'm ordering that damn JLT 3Oz universal fit can now since you got me thinking about it - about $ 150 - Thanks ! (y):D
 

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Been using Amsoil Synthetic with a HD OEM filter for many years on my Harley(s). Oil gets changed before the bike gets put away for the Winter.

I'd be surprised if even a cap full of oil gets burned during the season. But then again, I'm well below the recommended oil change interval based on mileage.

I'm going to vent the breather to the ground (as mentioned above) come spring.....
 

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I just picked up a 2012 anniversary edition nightrod (my first vrod) and after the changing the oil to Screamin Eagle SYN3 20W50, I noticed the smell of oil burning for a few seconds after starting the bike and then it seems to stop. I know that I over filled the bike by ~1/4 a quart - does anyone know if that might cause some oil to burn on startup or if this is just normal with this engine? I didn't notice the smell before and I haven't driven it enough afterwards to notice a reduction in the oil level but I am wondering if this is something to worry about.
I am Surprised no one commented on overfilling with oil. In most cases overfilling will result in oil being sucked into the breather and saturating the air cleaner and or drawn into the intake or throttle body. Something to check. Don’t overfill. Good luck!
 
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