engine sumping

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by mleblanc, May 6, 2013.

  1. mleblanc

    mleblanc Member

    I have a 2004 softail that sat for the winter. When I drained the oil to get it ready for the new riding season I noticed not much oil came out, which I thought was weird but just moved to the the back of my brain. I refilled the bike and when I started it up it was shaking allot and it was smoking. I couldnt understand what was going on. In trying to determine what was wrong I decided to take it for a ride down the street to see if I lost power (which I did), and as I was riding oil was "puking" not dripping, out of the air cleaner and all over the side of the bike. So I have determined that the bike was sumping after having sat and I probably have way too much oil sitting in the motor. I was thinking of getting the scavenger oil system to try and pump out some of the oil from the motor, but I am not sure if this is the best way to go about it? I also thought about unhooking the return line and running a hose to a bucket and running the bike to get as muh oil out as I can, but I am not sure if this is the best answer either? Would I fill the tank 1st and if I did would it create a much bigger problem? Any ideas here would be helpful, I am at a loss. Thanx! Mike
  2. 89stroker

    89stroker Active Member

    A good thing to do when a softail has been in storage is to check the oil in the tank, if it is low what I do is pull the plugs out of the cylinders, ground the wires then crank the engine over with the starter to pump the oil back into the tank. Once I know most of the oil is back to the tank I reinstall the plugs and fire it up to warm it up before changing any oil.

    What I suggest to you now is: check the oil level in the tank, is it right full? If so, drain it 1/2 down, pull the plugs and ground the wires and crank it over watching to see if the oil level rises, if it rises, drain some more off if needed. If the oil level does not rise then top off tank, reinstall plugs and away you go. JMO
  3. hardheaded

    hardheaded Member

    should have run bike before hand to warm engine up before changing oil. just up sucking some oil out of tank and then running it until you get the right level in tank. no big deal except you have dirty oil in with the fresh now.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    ANY harley with a raised tank (not below or even with motor) HAS the problem of GRAVITY. Sitting for any length of time, Oil Gravitates into the Sump (engine crank-case).

    ANY bike like this will show LOW or NO Oil in the tank after sitting...
    My 06 sport does this......

    You added BEFORE you FULLY subtracted ALL the old oil by changing it, using the IMPROPER Way.... ALWAYS change after oil is warmed by running the bike long enough for oil to get hot and fully up into the tank...........

    You Should have started the bike and allow it to idle for a full two minutes With-Out blipping the throttle.Just to get the sumped oil up and Back into the tank THEN you can Check Level close enough for a ride...

    IF NOT lower than the add line, RUN it for a Ride out for 20 or so miles THEN Check and add oil ONLY IF Necessary.

    Oil is there and NO Leaks under that bike should have told you OIL Is There.

    Now you Know...

    Sumping and running the bike COULD cause a problem Besides the mess... A seal could have gone and then major repair needed.

  5. mleblanc

    mleblanc Member

    I ill try this, thank you!! I have been riding softails since 1996 and I have never heard of this problem, or have I experienced it. NOW I KNOW!!! Thanx for the input, I am going to go stand in the corner now... :(
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Prior to draining the oil it is good practise to fully warm up the engine this will ensure that the oil has fully gone through the engine and picked up most contaminants from the inner parts of the engine
    It will also assist in the draining of the oil as it will flow really well when the drain is opened
    Just ensure you take care working on a hot engine

  7. FerrousBueller

    FerrousBueller Junior Member

    Sounds like you have already determined that you have too much oil in your bike.

    This may not be the easiest method, but, it may be less messy.

    Take a turkey baster and suck out oil from tank until dipstick shows 1/2 to 3/4 full.

    Start bike and let it idle like Bubbie suggested. After bike is completely warmed up, recheck oil level. Fill as needed.

    I don't know how to suggest checking for engine seal damage, I think I would find out before I went out on a ride. Perhaps an oil pressure check at the sender with the proper gauge.

    Hope this helps a little.

  8. Taildraggerdave

    Taildraggerdave Active Member

    My '05 Fatboy will empty the tank in a month or so. The first time I saw it, I knew the oil had to be in the case so I started it for a few seconds and then shut it off. Did that a couple times and the oil tank was full.

    I've always wondered if that was hard on the bottom end to start it with what must be a couple quarts in it but so far no problems. I may try what 89stroker said and pull the plugs next time before I crank it.

    Hope all is well with your engine.

    Take care,
  9. mleblanc

    mleblanc Member

    I installed an oil guage today and I will keep an eye on it when I start it, thank you. I did crank it over a few times and the oil level "did" go up slightly, however not that much. I think I am going to start it and let it idle tomorrow and see if there is any change.

    Thank you Dave, me too!
  10. mleblanc

    mleblanc Member

    So to follow up, I ended up draining as much oil out as I could and refilling it with only a half a tank of oil. Once the bike was running the oil tank did keep filling up and I had to keep draining some out until it finally evened out, it took a few times to get it done. The oil was pretty nasty if I do say so, but the last drain was nice and clean. Now I am gonna order up some bike oil and a new filter. Now... which oil do I want to go with... haha! :p
    I want to say thank you to everyone that chimed in to help me, it is greatly appreciated!! Thank you for the help and thank you for allowing me to join HDTALKING!!!