Oil Pump Locked Up

Discussion in 'Oil' started by BlueBike, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. BlueBike

    BlueBike Member

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    I've never seen this before but my oil pump locked up. THe previous one also did the same thing and I thought it was just a bad pump but the one I replaced it with did the same thing. Now I know I have a problem somewhere that is causing that to repeat. The oil drive gear that is attacked to the flywheel axil and powers the oil pump shears itself to the bone and the oil pump shaft locks. I pulled it out and can't turn it whatsoever. I assume that I have some really bad oil that is passing through the pump and is leaving something behind that jams it up. Has anyone had this problem before and how did they fix it?
     
  2. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

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    Need some background; year and model of bike and any modifications.
     
  3. joel

    joel Senior Member

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    Can the cover be removed to see what is in the gears?
    Had a customer's Dodge big block that the pump seized, took it's cover off and found silicone in it.
     
  4. flusher

    flusher Active Member

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    Welcome
     
  5. BlueBike

    BlueBike Member

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    2011 Harley Sportser superlow XL. No modifications.

    I did remove the cam cover and I there was some metal debris that was from the gears that were ground up. I removed those but the second pump did the same thing. Could there be some garbage that is in my oil that is causing that. THe reason I ask is because my piston had to be replaced because a valve slammed into it. I never did find all of the piston remains so I wonder if it could be floating around in the crankcase oil somewhere.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2017
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

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    OK, now that we know what we are working on, a little more information would help. What was the chronology of the events, i.e., did the valve to piston contact event occur before the first oil pump failure? What repair was made to repair the damage from the piston to valve contact? Was the connecting rod bent/replaced. Do you know what cause the piston to valve contact event?

    Having said all that, I would bet for sure that there is some metal debris floating around that is causing the damage. You might consider ordering an oil sampling kit from Blackstone (free) and send them an oil sample for analysis. Unfortunately, the only way to clear all the metal from the lubricating system will be to pull the motor, split the cases and clean which is a major operation on a Sporty. You could try pulling the top end and flushing with diesel but there is no guarantee that you remove all the metal that way; a crap shoot.

    Use a magnet on the metal you have found to see if it is all ferrous or aluminum but the Blackstone test results will confirm that as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  7. BlueBike

    BlueBike Member

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    I believe that that the piston damage occurred at the same time as the oil pump since I had to fix both problems in the same operation. I simply replaced the piston with a new one and replaced the oil pump with an non-harley one. I did the best I could in locating the debris from the blown piston head but I don't think I got it all since the hole in the piston was greater than the amount of debris I found. I hoped/assumed that whatever debris was left would sink to the bottom of the crankcase and never enter into the system again so that I would not have to split the engine to hand pick the garbage out of the crankcase. I wish to avoid this if I can.

    I assume this is the cause of the oil pump failure for the second time but what would cause the same oil pump failure the first time is beyond me. The only thing I can think of is when the piston blew the debris went through the crankcase and into the oil which resulted in a locked oil pump. I didn't realize the oil pump was locked until I started to work on it and noticed that the cams were not pushing the push rods up and down as they should. I took off the camshaft cover and saw that the oil gear was stripped and the pin that held the cam gear in place was worn. I decided to replace those but then that is when I noticed that something was wrong with the oil pump.

    The first time the locked pump simply stripped out the oil gear on the flywheel shaft. I didn't notice that it was locked until I had everything in place. I then noticed that it wasn't spinning as it should. At that time, I assumed it was just a bad pump and ordered a new one but the new one also locked which leads me to believe that this is a reoccurring problem in which has not been resolved in the engine which is why it repeated twice. I believe that it is caused by debris floating around in the crankcase which makes it to the oil pump but the problem with the locked pump is that I can't dissassemble completely in order to see what debris is in there in the first place.

    Lets assume that the problem is piston debris floating around. Could I run the engine without the pump so that I can flush out the bad oil and debris with it? That is what I have been considering because taking the engine off and splitting the case is the very last thing I want to do.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  8. tourbox

    tourbox Senior Member Contributor

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    If you don't have the pump on there what will cause pressure to circulate the oil/ cleaner to clean the oil passages?? Splitting the cases is what needs to be done. Do you have a service manual for that year & model? Very tricky to split the cases on a XL due to tranny. I would try to get the old oil pump apart also.
    tourbox
     
  9. BlueBike

    BlueBike Member

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    I was hoping the internal pressure of the engine would somehow push it out but I think I h ave a way of getting the old oil out without splitting the case. The real problem I have with splitting the case is that I can't think of away of doing it without having to take off the motor and that is something I really don't want to do.

    However, I think I might have a problem with the flywheel shaft in that it might be out of balance or something and the more I think about it the more that theory makes sense. I've notice some uneven wear around the axil inside the cam gear box where there shouldn't be any at all.
     
  10. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

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    With serious valve to piston contact the crank could have easily been tweaked. Since the oil pump drive gear is driven by the pinion shaft, this would explain the oil pump failure and lockup.