Oil Change Tips Required

The old Harley Davidson stock Iron head Sportster owner’s manual covers changing oil in the engine section under lubrication. It tells Sportster owners that after a new engine has run its first 500 and 2500 miles, and, at 2500-mile intervals thereafter, completely drain oil tank of used oil and refill with fresh oil. This shows that Harley Davidson thought that the oil change is important. The fresh oil would help the engine last longer. The manual says the stock oil tank contained 3 quarts for 1979, four quarts for 1980 and 1981 and three quarts for 1982 and later. Many custom made Sportster oil tanks contain three and a half quarts. That just shows how much less oil is carried than the average car. Sure a motorcycle doesn’t have a radiator. The engine is just air cooled. This actually shows any custom motorcycle owner why changing the oil as called for is fairly important. Why should the motorcycle engine wear out faster than some pickup truck?

Oil Change Tips Oil Grades

There is one small requirement that makes an Iron head Sportster pay close attention at changing the motorcycle oil as the seasons change. They don’t wait until mileage calls for it. The Harley Davidson Iron head Sportster owner’s manual, under Fluid Requirements, Harley Davidson Oil, says at 20 to 90 degrees F one should use Power Blend, Super Premium. Below that it says above 40 degrees F  use medium heavy, at below 40 degrees F use  Special light, at severe operating conditions at degrees above 90 F use regular heavy. Use 60 weight during the summer and switch to 20-50 for the winter. Here is why most Iron head Sportster riders have to do an oil change on a regular basis. That is because if the Sportster has an electric starter it will hardly turn over with 60 weight in it when the weather gets around fifty degrees. That also hits the kick starter. When the fall starts hitting some of the Sportster riders have to put an electric heater beside their chopper to get the engine warm enough to start. Why shouldn’t Sportster riders be able to ride year round?

Harley Davidson Sportster Oil Change Tips and Tricks

Oil Change Tips Oil Petcocks

The Iron head Sportster oil tank has three petcocks on it The one that feeds the oil pump usually isn’t directly on the bottom. Most of the custom motorcycle one of a kind oil tanks have that feed petcock on the side of it about a half an inch or more up from the bottom. That is to make sure nothing like bits of metal get drained down into the oil pump. An Iron head Sportster usually didn’t have an oil filter between the oil tank feed petcock and the oil pump. This makes an oil change a bit of a challenge. The oil filter on a custom motorcycle usually is on the oil hose running from the engine back to the oil tank. The oil return petcock is usually on the side of the oil tank near the top. One just has to be careful because of it and never fill the oil tank higher than an inch or so below that petcock. The third one near the top has an oil tank breather hose hose clamped to it. Why does the oil tank push in oil tank cap have to get pushed out when the oil tank is filled too high?

Oil Change Tips Drain Tools

Since most custom motorcycle owners tend to work on their chopper themselves. It helps to have a few tools for every oil change. The oil tank has to be drained out. It helps to slide a cat litter box right underneath the Sportster before any hose clamps get loosened. That is about the cheapest and most convenient thing that can get used for a motorcycle oil change. Another tool has to be used because the oil feed petcock isn’t directly on the bottom of the oil tank. To find one of those all the chopper owner needs to do is go to the grocery store and buy a turkey baster. This can be used to suck out most of the oil that doesn’t drain straight out. Chopper riders should also own an oil filter wrench to work on the oil filter with. It also helps to have a bucket with a lid on it. That can be used to empty the cat litter box in and store the oil until it can be taken someplace else. These tools will get clarified as the oil change goes along. Why does oil have to get spilled every time an oil change is undertook?

Oil Change Tips Oil Drainage

To make an oil change one has to start by draining the oil tank. The trick is to take the oil feed hose off of the oil feed pump. The oil will start draining out rather quickly. It helps to angle the feed hose right over the cat litter box and let the oil drain into it. It also helps to drain the feed line running to the oil filter. One just has to try and drain out all the oil that may still be in the hose so when the grade is changed it will fully be the new grade. One the oil tank drains down as far as it can because of where the oil feed petcock is located the trick is to use the turkey baster. Here is one of the ways a small bucket helps in an oil change. It helps to sit the bucket by the oil cap and put a rag over the rear exhaust pipe so no oil gets spilled on it. A custom motorcycle shop says that the oil tank doesn’t need to be completely drained out every time. It’s just that some bikers go ahead and use some old socks to get all the oil out of the oil tank every oil tank so the oil grade stays pure. Why shouldn’t sixty weight oil be as strong as it is supposed to be?

Oil Change Tips Oil Filter Removal

Here is a motorcycle part that must be changed during every oil change. When the mechanical routine is done according to mileage it is a given fact that the oil filter probably is too dirty to filter the oil out quick enough. When the oil change is done because of seasonal change it doesn’t matter if the minimum amount of miles have been ridden. The idea is to get a pure grade of oil weight and some of the old weight will be left in the oil filter during every oil change. The trick is to use an oil filter wrench to loosen the oil filter enough to unscrew it off. If the oil filter is mounted upon something like the left foreword control some other parts may have to get removed in order to give one enough room to get this important job done. One might have to push the cat litter box foreword so the oil filter can also drain into it. Why does every automobile on the road have to use an oil filter?

Oil Change Tips  Hose Clamps

The oil hose on an Iron head Sportster uses hose clamps to keep the ends upon all the fittings. There is just one problem with this part. Hose clamps get where they easily come back loose after they have been used again after every oil change. The Sportster can easily start leaking oil out of the oil feed hose where it is clamped to the oil tank fitting and the oil pump right after the oil change. It doesn’t matter if the hose clamps are tightened perfectly right or not. The Harley Iron head Sportster vibration tends to make the hose clamps vibrate loose real easily. The trick is to use new hose clamps and some lock tight during every oil change. Why should some chopper leak oil like an antique pickup does?

Oil Change Tips Oil Filter Change

In many cases it speeds things up to go ahead and screw the new oil filter on before the oil tank gets re-filled. The oil change trick in this is to put some oil onto the rubber bushing on the oil filter. That makes it a lot easier to hand tighten the oil filter up as much as it can be. If an oil filter wrench is used the oil filter gets scratched and bent up. One just has to watch out so nothing else gets messed up as the oil filter gets tightened down by hand. Why should the new chromed oil filter ever get scratched up?

Oil Change Tips Tank Re-fill

On an Iron head Sportster the oil feed hose runs directly to the oil pump. That is where the chopper rider has to be careful. It helps to go ahead with new hose clamps and hook the other hose ends up to which ever petcock they were removed from. Make sure the feed hose end from the oil tank petcock gets clamped like it is supposed to. Then it’s time to hook the oil feed hose end to the oil pump. Since the hose doesn’t already have any oil in it the trick is to sit the hose end against the oil pump fitting and let some oil drain out of the hose before it gets slipped on fully. It helps to light the hose up closely. That way a whole lot of oil doesn’t get drained out before the hose gets slipped where it is supposed to be. That cat litter box helps a lot at this point. No one really wants to get a lot of oil on the ground right under their chopper. Why weren’t motorcycle engines designed to use air instead of straight oil for lubrication?

Oil Change Tips Used Oil

After the oil change to person that has done it ends up with some used oil. The kind that mechanics usually don’t recommend using in the Sportster oil tank again. In several parts of the USA bikers have to pay someone to take the oil from them. The trick is to find some place that allows you to drain your bucket into some thing they have to hold oil in. Several bikers have some mechanics for friends. Some others even know someone who owns a repair shop. Others know of some auto parts shop that also has a large bucket filled with old oil. It really helps an oil change when the motorcycle owner has some place to get rid of the old oil at. Why isn’t used oil made into some high octane motorcycle gasoline?