Question about Harley Davidson FXSTS - FXSTSI Springer Softail Motorcycles

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Oil light stays on my fat boy and won't start

The oil light comes on when I switch on my bike but it won't start but the oil stick says full?

Posted by Anonymous on


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  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 41,895 Answers

Hi Anonymous, when checking for spark the CKP needs to measure the compression bump in order to send the correct signal to the ICM/ECM so always check for spark with either a third plug grounded or lift the end of the plug boot 1/2 " off one of spark plugs that are in the head. and the usual suspects are:
1. Fuel tank empty
2. Fuel supply valve turned off.
3. Fouled spark plugs.
4. Engine flooded with gasoline as a result of over use of enrichner.
5. Fuel valve or filter clogged.
6. Vacuum hose to automatic fuel supply valve disconnected, leaking, or pinched.
7. Discharged battery, loose or broken battery connections especially the negative cable at "BOTH" ends
8. Loose wire connection at coil, battery or plug between ignition sensor and module.
9. Spark plug cables in bad condition and shorting, spark plug cable connections loose,
or cables connected to wrong cylinders.
10. Ignition timing incorrect due to faulty ignition coil, ignition module, or sensors " Manifold Absolute Pressure" "Camshaft Position Sensor" "Crank Position Sensor" "Brake Apply Sensor
11. Engine lubricant to heavy ( winter operation )
12. Sticking or damaged valves or push rod wrong length.
13. Primary cam sproket spline sheared or missing spacer.
14. Security alarm system not disarming.
For a primary suspect please visit the website below. Good luck and have nice day.
Big Twin Carb EFI DTC Intructions codes Harley Davidson Forums Harley...
Set Change Override Transport Harley Security Alarm PIN Code No Key Fob...

Posted on Jun 23, 2015


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 22 Answers

SOURCE: oil come out the air cleaner

Too much crankcase pressure or the breather pipe is split/dosconnected. The crankcase breather goes into the rear of the air filter and the crankcase gasses are drawn in to the cylinder with the gas/air mixture and burned

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

  • 2712 Answers

SOURCE: oil come out the air cleaner

Too much crankcase pressure or the breather pipe is split/dosconnected. The crankcase breather goes into the rear of the air filter and the crankcase gasses are drawn in to the cylinder with the gas/air mixture and burned

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

SOURCE: gear box and crankcase oil amounts

You have THREE oil 'compartments' on your particular year&model bike.

---( which holds 3 to 3.5 quarts or liters of oil).
---On the right side of the bike, and at the rear of the ENGINE OIL TANK, you should notice a Hose that is connected to the oil tank. Follow that Hose downward.
The other end of that hose will either :

----A: Be connected to the bottom of the frame,
----B: Have a Metal Plug in the end of the hose. That 'plug' will be held in the hose via a hose clamp, and also will be secured to the frame via a 'clip' that is actually part of the frame).

-- IF(A): the Hose leads from the tank and is attached to the frame, you will notice a hex-head plug (that also has a hex-cutout in it's center for insertion of a hex or allen key) underneath the part of the frame that the hose is attached to. Remove/Unscrew that Hexplug from the frame to drain the engine oil.

--IF(B): the hose that leads from the Oil Tank has a "HosePlug" that is inserted into the end of the hose, remove that plug to drain the engine oil.

*Removal of the Enging Oil DIPSTICK, located at the mouth/fill area at the top of the Tank will aid in a faster flow of oil from the tank. When done draining, re-install the drain plug.

-When changing the engine oil, also remove and install a new Oil Filter.

*Put in no more than 3 quarts/liters of oil into the Engine Oil Tank.
*Ride your bike for min. of 10 minuets, then park and shut down the engine, wait for about 2 minuets, and check the level via the Dipstick. Proper oil level will be at or just below the 'FULL' mark of the dipstick.


On the right side of the motorcycle, the
TRANSMISSION OIL FILLER PLUG/DIPSTICK is located on the foward facing side of the Transmission End Cover. The Trans End Cover is the cover that the Clutch Cable goes into. The Trans Fill/Dipstick has a Hex/Allen cutout in it for insertion of a hex/allen key to remove it.

The Trans DRAIN PLUG is either located either:
A: -Located on the Transmission Case, JUST BELOW the Trans End Cover. If here, the "Drain Plug" will be a TORX fastener. Remove that Torx fastener to drain the Trans Oil.
B: -Located UNDERNEATH the Trans Case, in between the two Shock Absorbers. If here, the 'Drain Plug" will be a HexPlug that is the same type drain plug as described earlier for the engine drain.

** 600 ml. for a 5-speed transmission.
** One Full Quart/Liter for a 6-speed Transmission.

******Use the Trans Dipstick to verify that the level is correct. Between the FULL and ADD mark, or at the FULL mark.

ALSO NOTE: Drain, and Check your Oil when the bike is level. Have a friend assist you if needed. You don't want the bike falling, and/or landing on you.


Located on the LEFT SIDE of motorcycle, the PRIMARY HOUSING connects the Engine Crankshaft TO the Transmission Output Shaft via a Primary Chain, which is lubricated by an oil bath.

(Make sure the Engine Run/Stop Switch is in the STOP or OFF position).

Remove the DERBY COVER (the Large round cover, with 5 Torx Fasteners. With the bike level, you should note that the oil level come to approx. just past the bottom of the Clutch Basket.

The Primary DRAIN PLUG is located: either at the

(A) Left Face of the Outer Primary Cover, below the Derby Cover.
If so, it will be a TORX or HEX/ALLEN fastener. It is NOT the same as the Hex/Allen fasteners that surround the Outer Primary Cover securing it to the Inner Primary Cover.


(B) Located UNDERNEATH and ON the Outer Primary Cover, just below the Derby Cover area. It will either be a HEX FASTENER, or a Torx Fastener.

-Remove the Drain Plug to drain the Primary Oil.
-Reinstall the drain plug and fill (thru the Derby Cover Area) with ONE QUART/LITER of PRIMARY OIL.

****** BE SURE to clean and coat the threads of each Drain Plug with Teflon Paste thread sealant. NOT THREAD LOCKER.


If you are unclear of anything I wrote, please dont' hesitate to get in touch with me through here.
Good Luck , and THANK YOU.

Posted on Feb 03, 2009

  • 469 Answers

SOURCE: 2006 Screamin Eagle Fat Boy- tach, speedo, blinkers not working

You've blown a fuse, check the fuse block. it should be an accessory fuse.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009

  • 5 Answers

SOURCE: how to change oil on 2002 fat boy

The drain plug is a hose that comes down to a sprung clamp on the frame behind the gear box on the right side of your bike. Remove from clamp then undo the screw-ring round the hose to allow the plug in the hose to be removed, take lid off oil tank and turn engine over a coupla times to clear engine oil into drainage tank. Replace plug- etc before refilling with half the oil, turn engine over coupla times then add remaining top up oil. Drainage for your primary oil is at the rear inside near the gasket joint and can be removed with a Hex spanner, taking the large outside cover off your primary with star drive sockets to allow airflow for drainage and then to pour new oil in through after replacing drainage plug in the bottom. Buy a Manual Mate, its worth it eh considering the value of your bike?

Posted on Jul 04, 2009

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2005 fat boy oil change

Stand the bike upright. Remove the dipstick from the oil tank. Remove the drain plug on the bottom right side of the frame. While the oil is draining, replace the oring on the drain plug. Remove and replace the oil filter, after filling the new filter half full of oil. Replace the drain plug. Put 3 quarts of oil in the oil tank. Replace the dipstick. Start the bike and check for leaks. No leaks, you're done! I use HD Syn 3 synthetic oil in my '04 Fatboy, but you can also use a conventional 20w50, as long as it's made for use in and air cooled motorcycle. Don't use car oil!

Nov 04, 2012 | 2003 Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat boy

1 Answer

Were is dip stick

Hi Anonymous, the engine oil dipstick on Softail and Sportster models is located on the right hand front side of the oil tank and the Harley Bible says, engine should be at normal operating tempurature, let idle on jiffy stand for two minutes. Shut off engine and hold bike straight up and dipstick all the way in, correct engine oil level will be at the top full mark. Do not overfill oil tank as this will cause engine breathing issues. On Dyna and Touring models The engine oil dipsticks are located on the right front top corner of the transmission and the engine oil pan is underneath the transmission. The engine oil level is checked in the same manner as Softails and Sportsters. If you are having oil carryover or breathing issues (dipstick launch) try running oil level half way between the add and full marks, running the engine at this oil level will not harm normal operation. Good luck

Apr 04, 2012 | 2001 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

1 Answer

1998 fat boy oil filler plug blew out of tank on startup 2x's

You may have overfilled your oil tank. Always check your oil level with the engine at full operating temperature. Avoid the temptation to "top it off" when you check it cold. As long as you can see the oil on the dipstick, start the engine and run it until it's warm. Then only add oil if it's below the lower line. Check the oil level of your Fat Boy with the bike on the side stand. Your Harley has a "dry sump" type oiling system on it as it pumps oil into the engine that lubricates things and then pumps it back out into the oil tank. It does not carry the oil in the crankcase like other machines. It will run fine with as little as one quart in the tank but this may not give the oil sufficient time to cool and I don't advise that. On the other hand, don't overfill the tank as you leave too little air space in the tank for the crankcase to vent the pressure. The only other thing I can think of is to smell the oil and see if there's gasoline in it. If so, you may have a leaking carburetor diluting your oil with gasoline.

Good Luck

Aug 23, 2011 | Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat boy Motorcycles

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Can i boost my motorcycle with my 4 cylinder car?

Yes you can but anytime you jump start your bike with either another vehicle or one of those "booster" battery chargers, you are risking damaging the electronics on your bike with a voltage spike. I'd prefer to use a slow charge battery charger overnight to build the battery up to the point where it will start the bike. If the battery is over a year old on your Fat Boy, take it out and have it load tested. The Softail bikes are extremely rough on batteries due to the heat and vibration they are subjected to inside the horseshoe oil tank.

Good Luck

Jul 31, 2011 | 1993 Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat boy

1 Answer


Your bike is equipped with hydraulic tappets. If you don't have any oil pressure, the tappets will rattle like a can of rocks. If you're still in doubt, there is a plug with a large "screwdriver slot" in it on the engine case just up from the oil pump. Take the spark plugs out and remove this plug. There is a spring and a screen in the hole. This is the tappet oil screen and it's purpose is to keep any trash that might be in the oil out of the tappets. Now, turn the ignition on and spin the engine just a bit. If you see the oil PUMP out of the hole, this is telling you that the oil pump is indeed pumping. I'd replace the oil pressure switch and see if that helps.

Good Luck

May 08, 2011 | Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat Boy...

2 Answers

How do i change my oil in my 1999 Harley fatboy

From the right side of your bike, look for a large hose coming out of the backside of the oil tank at it's lowest point. Follow the hose down behind the transmission on down to a clip on the lower tube of the frame behind the exhaust pipes. There is a metal plug in the hose. Simply take the hose out of the clip and reroute it below the frame. Remove the plug and the oil tank filler cap and the oil will drain out. Refill with three quarts of 20W50 oil.

Good Luck

Mar 12, 2011 | 1993 Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat boy

1 Answer

I changed a bad starter. The oil tank is full of oil the gas tank is full of gasWhen you crank it it sounds like its out of time. it coughs but wont start. the fuel pump comes on and all the fuses are good

got spark? it's air, furl, and spark, most bikes don't go that far out of time, and you need a good battery, or the stater will pull all the voltage, robbing it from the plugs!!!

Mar 12, 2011 | 2002 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

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While warming up the bike in the driveway I heard a sound of metal slapping metal....( only one time ).the oil can indicator comes on when the bike is in neutral...the light is located on the dash...when...

I don't like the sound of that on two counts. The oil pressure warning lamp should come on only when the engine is not running and stay on until the engine is running, whether in or out of gear.
The metal slapping sound is possibly, due to the cold weather depending upon the high mileage, piston slap. That is not too serious in the case of an Iron Head, (like my 1963 XLCH1000) as they have done many miles but a newer machine it is somewhat worrying.
A good friend of mine has a 1200 Sportster. His problem was oil pump. The pump couldn't keep up with the engine revs and he finished up on one piston, the other was in the sump.

Make sure the oil pressure is good and check for dirty oil. If the bike has not been started for a while, the dry sump fills up with oil and that causes odd noises until it clears ina minute or so.
Check that oil warning lamp!!!

Jan 11, 2011 | 2005 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

1 Answer

Can't get my oil port open/off on my Fat Boy....To check it.

lightly heat the dip stick, then use a rag and longer pliers to gently but with power twist off = twist parallel to threads and be careful not to scratch. b blessed

Aug 01, 2010 | 2003 Harley Davidson FLSTFI Fat Boy

1 Answer

When starting oil shoots out breather tube on air cleaner. what causes that?

It sounds like you have a condition we call "oil sumping". This is common on Softails and the old Shovelhead bikes. What is happening is when the bike is allowed to sit up for an extended period of time, the oil in the tank seeps past the check valve in the engines oil pump and collects in the engine cases. When the engine is started, the crankcase pressure blows the excess oil out of the vent which is in the air cleaner. The reason it does this is because the oil tank is higher than the engine. I thought Harley would have figured out a way to prevent this from happening in the new Twin Cam engines but I suppose they didn't.

Now, on the older Evo engines, you could reface the seat in the oil pump and stop this most of the time, but I don't know how to stop it on a Twin Cam since they've got a completely different oil pump.

On an Evo, there is another thing that would cause this as well. If you had something come through the oil pump and it locked the scavenge gears up and sheared the drive key, all the oil in the tank would be in the engine. This would cause oil to blow out of the air cleaner as well.

Check the level of the oil in your oil tank. The stick has two marks on it. The top mark is "FULL HOT" and the lower mark is "FULL COLD". Do not overfill your oil tank.

Good Luck

Jul 27, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

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