Question on Transmission Fluid

Discussion in 'Oil' started by Haywire, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Haywire

    Haywire Active Member

    Just a quick question to get opinions on the following.
    I was changing out my oils on my 06 Ultra Classic on the weekend to synthetics and when I emptied the transmission oil (I measured it) it only drained out a shade under 20 oz. I know this bike is to have more than that in the tranny.
    I did not check level before draining
    My question should I only be putting 20oz back in and checking when hot for levels or should I be putting in what the Service manual says.
    For now I have only put 20oz in but have not taken the bike out yet. I want to be sure I will not do any damage.

    All imput is appreciated.


  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    I go by mark on dip stick reading rather than actual .oz's added. When you check the level w/ 20oz, does it read on the trans stick at all. If no, you must add more fluid. Once you get a reading that is within stick range, you can warm it and add what you need to read full line.
  3. Haywire

    Haywire Active Member

    Are you saying I should get a reading on the stick "cold" Cause when I checked after adding the 20oz and on the side stand there was no sign of oil on the stick.
    Or should this cold reading be with the bike upright like you do when checking hot?
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    On my '09 the level is checked on the jiffy stand. I will add fluid to a very close reading on stick. Then ride till at operating temp, give it a few minutes to settle down the oil and check once more. May have to add a little bit at this point. But when cold, I would say you Must have at least a reading on the stick.

    The '06's may be different as far as jiffy stand or up-right when checking. That I don't know.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member


    I would put the amount it Says to use in the trany in your HD book. It is the correct amount to use in your bike..

    I have found IF a small amount Over filled, the vent tube will get rid of excess amount over a few rides.. My Trany sometimes will spiel oil out to fine the full IT Requires.. I had a bike that took 28 oz by the book and it would only Keep 24 oz. in the tranny.. I could see the oil around the bent rubber vent tube after a long ride so IT set its own level so to speak...

    I'm not saying to over fill the trany But any amount the tranny doesn't like Will vent out the tube at cruise speeds.

    Just because the trany had Less oil when drained, Doesn't mean that is the correct amount.. ALWAYS go by the HD book/recommended amounts for your bike...
    that's the way I go!

  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I have an '03 UC. Both the OEM 5-spd and the SE 6-spd I installed on the bike indicate that the tranny takes 20-24 oz. of gear lube measured on the dipstick hot with the bike UPRIGHT! So make sure you are looking at what YOUR Owner's Manual or HD Factory Service Manual for your bike's model and year tell you to do to check the level.

    Friday when I changed out the Formula + the Dealership had put in the tranny when they did the rebuild, I measured out 20 oz. when I had drained out all I could get. I put back in 20 oz. of Spectro Heavy Duty Platinum 6-speed Transmission Oil. This registered to the "cold Full" line on the dipstick with the bike upright. I have not had the chance to run the bike enough to heat up the tranny and check the level hot. At most, I would expect it to take another couple of oz. if that.

  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Simplest way I think is to check all fluids HOT and set them to the desired level. Much easier to keep track of things IMO.
  8. Haywire

    Haywire Active Member

    I agree Glider.

    My problem is this is the first time oil change on this bike for me, and like a dummy I did not check the oil level (cold or Hot) prior to draining. That is why I measured the amount that I was draining to get a feel for what was in it.
    When the measured amount was less than the Harley manual stated should be in it that is when I thought I would ask some of the more knowledgeable people here.
    Just want to make sure I do not do any damage to the tranny by running it too low or by over filling it.
  9. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    add what hd says then check .. and hoop the touring bikes are check different than other
  10. Nuke99

    Nuke99 Member

    Haywire, all of the advice given is here is great. If you did not stand your bike upright during the draining process, you will still have maybe an ounce or two left in the tranny, so that will change your measurement. We changed the tranny fluid on my friend's 03 RC yesterday and I saw what appeared to be an ounce or two more come out when he stood it up following the initial drain.