My First Harley Oil Change

Discussion in 'Oil' started by ricm, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. ricm

    ricm New Member

    I hit 980 miles on my 2014 FLHTCU, so I did my first change today. It took quite a bit longer than I expected, but I wanted to do it properly.

    Just looking for any 'ya screwed it up' or 'yeah, that'll do, donkey' to a couple questions.

    After reading tons of oil threads over the past month, I settled on:
    SYN-3 for the Engine
    Formula Plus for the Primary
    Red Line V-Twin with Shockproof for the Transmission.

    The transmission oil was the one I struggled with most (as far as what to use). I am not in the least bit afraid to throw in something I get at WalMart as long as it'll do the job. But also, $16 as opposed to $8 on a once-every-5000-miles change is not going to break the back.

    Here are my observations and experiences.

    When I was buying the oils, the parts guy says 'Throw one quart in the primary, one quart in the tranny, and 3 quarts in the engine'. Both my service manual and owners manual say 38 oz "wet" in the primary (45 oz dry).
    Significant difference, percentage-wise, between 32 and 38 oz - and both manuals say to be careful and NOT overfill.
    I put in 38 oz - followed the manuals.
    3 quarts was good for the engine and the one quart of Red Line was right for the transmission.

    Would it have been OK to just throw in one quart in the Primary? As I read about it, it seems that this is not a very demanding lube job. So maybe one quart is fine? In any case, it's not a lot of money to add 6 oz.

    For the 3 drain plugs, I've read that it is very easy to over-tighten them. So I tightened them with a normal 3/8" drive socket wrench just very snug - like I do on my Cummins. I think the o-rings are very nicely seated. Should that be OK?

    Each of the three drain plugs had darn near nothing as far as metal shavings. Just a touch. So that looked good.

    But something I found odd... They all had edit of thread sealer. It was white, so probably the LocTite 565 - something like that.

    None of the manuals said anything about using thread sealer. I am wondering if I should on my next change. Thoughts?

    Road test was fine. No leaks. Had a couple drops burn on the exhaust from where the funnel probably dripped when I took it out, but that cleared up in about a minute.

    All in all, took longer than I thought. I was surprised to NOT see much metal on the plugs, and TO see a lot of thread sealer.

    Have a nice rest of the weekend, folks!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2014
  2. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Do not cheap out on your fluids. You spent a giga-ton of money on your bike. Quality fluids are worth every penny. Follow the manual as far as amounts of fluids, not the jack leg behind the counter. Thread sealer with a teflon/pipe dope is a good idea. Just snoug on the plugs is also a great idea.
  3. Harttoo

    Harttoo Senior Member

    Doesn't the engine require 4 quarts? Add 3 quarts then fill to full mark on dipstick.Run the engine till warm and check oil level.Won't destroy it if not full,but I would want to have level correct.
  4. ricm

    ricm New Member

    Thanks, guys!

    I definitely am not worried about the cost of the fluids. I bought the HD stuff for 2 fluids, and Redline for the other. Was just saying that, if there were something OEM'ed and under a house-brand name, I'd be OK to use it. After all, I think that's what SYN-3 is anyhow, right?

    I did check the oil level after a 3-mile ride, and it seemed OK. I'll re-check cold in the morning as well.

    Also, I forgot to add my thoughts on the Redline. I "think" the shifts are a touch more crisp. Definitely the clunk when shifting is still there. And I seemed to be able to find neutral a bit easier as well. But that could just be that I am getting better at finding neutral, and not have anything to do with the Redline.

    All in all, a good learning experience. And I saved a lot of cash at the same time.
  5. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    I believe 32 oz. in the primary will not harm anything. Can I do it? NO, I put the recommended 38 oz. back in. I also put in a little more than 3 1/2 qts., but less than the full 4 qt. I also tighten the drain plugs with one hand and a grunt. My '07 still has the factory orings on the plugs. Make sure you rinse any oil off the front motor mount that may have come out of the filter.
    Good job, now buy yourself a case or bottle of adult beverage, and shop for goodies with all the money that is still in your pocket.
  6. ricm

    ricm New Member

    I'll be double-checking the oil level this morning cold, and add if needed. I paid for that funny little HD oil filter funnel/trough thingy (you slip it under the filter wen you spin it off, and the oil drains into it and through a tube), and it seemed to work!
    Yeah, the o-ring thing kind of had me scratching my head. I am on my factory o-ring on my '05 Cummins as well. $6 for 3 o-rings and the Primary cover seal. Not sure if it's just throwing away $6 or not. I may see if I can find the o-ring specs and get a bag of them for just a few pennies.

  7. hillbilly81

    hillbilly81 Active Member

    My 09 dyna glide was the standard 1 3 1 when I did a service... but this 14 road king holds a little extra in all 3 holes good half quart extra in the motor I guess because of the oil cooler
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    With the bike up right the primary fluid should be @ the bottom of clutch basket? Least that is the old way of checking. The 3 quarts of oil should be OK as there is always some left in the case that does not drain JMO Welcome to The forum
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    [​IMG] Try this, get ALL the old stuff off first
  10. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Here's some orings that fit the drain plugs.
    #41 9/16 x 7/16,1/16 thick. #8 Danco faucet orings fit, but need to stretch on.
    Neither of the above are oil rated, but will work for at least one change interval. Best bet is #013 auto industry std., available at most auto parts.