Question about Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster Sport Motorcycles

1 Answer

Have a 1980 Sportster XL 1000 that leaks transmission oil when it warms up don't know where the oil is coming from without ripping the whole side of the engine off and it is cold

Posted by on


1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points

    One Above All:

    The expert with highest point at the last day of the past 12 weeks.

    Top Expert:

    An expert who has finished #1 on the weekly Top 10 Fixya Experts Leaderboard.


    An expert that got 20 achievements.

  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 46,556 Answers

Hi, Jack I can help you but I will need some pics for this scenario you will need your service/owners/parts manual if you can not find the first and best tool you ever bought for your Harley, despair not, for a mere zero $ you can download another one. For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the links below and for more specific information or questions at no charge please feel free to contact me at Good luck and have a nice day.
How 6ya Works 6ya A must have !!! Totally "FREE"

Posted on Dec 26, 2016


6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

A 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
The service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.
Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 379 Answers

SOURCE: how much work is it to take off the cover on a

Not too much, if you are a fair mechanic. You probably should get a service manual tho. Basically, you remove the foot pegs and anything in the way, remove shifter, clutch cable. Drain the trans oil, then pull the cover. A couple parts may fall out, that's why I suggested a service manual.

Posted on Jul 08, 2009

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: need information on the changing of engine,

Drain the oil tank by taking the hose loose that plugs onto the frame on the left side of the bike right behind the engine down low. Look underneath the engine and you see a small plug that screws into the primary cover from the bottom. This plug uses a Torx wrench to remove it.

Change the oil filter. This is a messy job as oil pours out of the filter as you unscrew it from the engine. Install the new filter and tighten. Add three quarts of oil to the oil tank of the engine and one quart of primary/transmission oil to the primary. The primary and transmission are lubricated by the same oil. I think the later model bikes came with Syn3 oil in both places.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009

Tim Owyang
  • 23 Answers

SOURCE: oil change cold or warm engine

Cold oil will take longer to drain versus hot oil. This subject can go around in circles till time ends.The most important concern is really regular oil/filter changes. A good quality filter will remove the harmful particulates that can damage your engine. If you choose to change your oil when it's hot I highly recommend that you wear insulated gloves.

Posted on Apr 04, 2010

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: specs and oil capacity

Most owners of the old Ironheads try to use the oils that were used when they were built. They use straight 50 weight when the weather is cold and 60 weight when temps are hot. But, one could use 10W50 oil in them. I would not use synthetic as any oil leaks will intensify with the use of synthetic oil. The XLH, XLX, and XLS tanks hold three quarts with the exception of the XR1000 which hold two quarts.

Posted on Jun 20, 2010

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: Can't get 1980 Harley Sportster to idle. New

My guess woud be that you either have not got the timing set correctly or something to do with the intake/ carb.

Since you say you replaced the advance weights, this tells me that you removed the breaker plate. I hope that you replaced the entire mechanical advance unit unstead of just the weights. The problem is that the pivot pin wears and replacing the weights does not replace these pins. I always use the needle bearing equipped units.

Now, to check the timing, connect a timing light to the front cylinder and start the engine. Remove the timing plug from the left side of the engine and shine the light in the hole. Bring the engine up to about 2500 RPM. You should see a "dot" in the middle of the hole. If not, you'll have to move the breaker plate to change the timing.

Intake and carb. I've seen brand new intake clamps with new "rubber bands" leak. I always pressure test them. To do this, you must make a plate that replaces the carb and bolts on to the intake. In the middle of this plate, there should be a hose nipple. Rotate the engine until both intake valves are closed and apply about 5 PSI pressure to the intake. Spray soapy water on the intake and clamps to find the leaks. Once the leaks have been stopped, work on the carb.

If you're using the original Keihen carb, you'll probably find that the slow speed jet or the idle port is plugged up. I'd disassemble the carb and soak it in carb cleaner. Make sure all the air and fuel passageways are clear. If the idle mixture adjusting screw is frozen up, trash the carb and get another one.

Good Luck

Posted on Jul 08, 2010

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

1980 sportster 1000 slips mid throttle in 2nd gear undefined every thing else works great

warm the engine to normal riding temps and while riding place trans in any gear above first and roll into the throttle, if the rpm's come up and bike doesn't move very well suspect your clutch... if nothing happens in any other gear besides second might want to get a mechanic to open up the transmission

Oct 20, 2014 | Motorcycles

1 Answer

1980 xl treans level

Hi Anonymous, there is a small screw in the side front lower section of primary cover, remove screw and with bike standing upward pour in Sportster Chaincase Lubricant through the inspection cover hole untill it starts to run out of level screw hole. Good luck

Mar 28, 2014 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

When idling in nuetral my 1980 sportster XL 1000 drops in gear without mashing in the clutch

Hi Anonymous, you need your transmission overhauled. Good luck and have nice day.

Jul 14, 2012 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Oil change xl 1200

Warm engine up to operating temp. Remove plug in bottom of oil tank. Be ready the oil comes out fast and is difficult to catch. Allow to drip into catch container while you remove
oil filter and install new one. Reinstall tank drain plug and fill with oil. Start but do not tach up allow oil pressure to come up. Shut it down and check oil again.
Good Luck and Ride Safe O yes do check for leaks

Feb 04, 2011 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

1980 xlh blows oil out exhaust after warm up,fouls new plugs

Sounds like a broken oil control ring on the piston! needs to be serviced!

Jan 12, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Oil line routing for 1980 xl 1000 with oil filter next to oil tank

I can provide you with a routing map but you'll have to contact me directly. This forum will not allow me to send a file any larger than 150kb and the drawing is larger than that. Send me an e-mail directly at and remind me of what you want.

Good Luck

Oct 17, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

How to do a transmission oil chage on a 1980 sportster

There is a drain plug under the back end of the primary cover. Drain the oil and refill through the primary chain inspection hole. There is a "fill level plug" on the outer primary towards the front. Remove this plug and fill until oil runs out of the hole. Should take almost a whole quart when bike is standing straight up.

Good Luck

Sep 04, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

2006 1200 sportstsr leaking oil

If I understand you, the leak is coming from the inspection cover for the primary chain. There should be an O ring on that plate. If the cover is leaking when the bike is off you have way to much oil in the primary. The primary only takes 1 quart of gear lube, I use Mobile 1.

Jul 17, 2009 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

2 Answers

How much work is it to take off the cover on a 1980 ironhead sportster 1000 cc side where the shifter is

Not too much, if you are a fair mechanic. You probably should get a service manual tho. Basically, you remove the foot pegs and anything in the way, remove shifter, clutch cable. Drain the trans oil, then pull the cover. A couple parts may fall out, that's why I suggested a service manual.

Jul 08, 2009 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

Not finding what you are looking for?
Motorcycles Logo

Related Topics:

16 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Harley Davidson Experts

Arnie Burke
Arnie Burke

Level 3 Expert

4571 Answers


Level 3 Expert

4345 Answers


Level 3 Expert

77947 Answers

Are you a Harley Davidson Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides