Question about Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom Motorcycles

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I have an oil leak it looks like it could be coming from a hose behind the oil tank on my 2001 sportster. It's not a lot but it lands on the swing arm and belt guard. What might be the cause?

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Sounds like the oil tank ..if the battery is mounted to the oil tank like the older sportster they were noted for the brackets cracking were they were welded to the tank it will not usually be a big leak as it is a fine crack but annoying pull the battery out get a good light ..clean the back side of the tank with some brake clean where the brackets mount to it ..push down on the battery bracket watch on the oil tank for cracking you have to look close ...had this same problem with a 1988 sporty...hope this helps

Posted on Aug 02, 2009

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I have the same problem and found out today what it is. Its a recalled hose that has a P shape to it and the oil is getting stored in the dip area of the hose then will get blown out leakin on the areas you stated.
I asked how to fix it and the dealer didnt have an answer other than to cut it about 3" or move it around so the oil wont get stuck in the dip area.
I havent tried to move anything yet, as I just tore it down and put it all back together before going to the HD shop and asking.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009

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1 Answer

We drained the oil on my 2001 harley sportster 1200 and when I put the new oil in it didnt seem to take that much before it almost overflowed. We then went to drain a little out and nothing comes out the...


No, you're probably draining the small amount of oil that was in the crankcase. All Harley-Davidson engines other than the V-Rod (which I know nothing about) use a "dry sump" oil system. This means that it does not carry it's oil in the crankcase like other motorcycles do. It carries it's oil in a remote oil tank much like a NASCAR racing car. The oil pump pumps oil from the tank to the engine. Once the oil settles to the bottom of the engine, the pump's scavenger stage pumps the oil back to the tank. The oil drain for your Sportster is a piece of hose that plugs onto the frame down low on the left side of the bike back behind the engine. It plugs on just below the pivot for the swing arm. Pull the hose off and the oil will drain.

Good Luck
Steve

Sep 14, 2011 | Harley Davidson Burgman 125 G Motorcycles

2 Answers

I have a 1999 sportster 883 it's leaks oil out


Sounds like you're overfilling the oil tank. Always check the oil with the bike on the stand. There are two marks on the oil dipstick. The upper mark is "FULL HOT" and the lower mark is "FULL COLD". Keep the oil level between the two marks and never "top off" the tank when the engine and oil is cold. As long as you see oil on the dipstick, ride the bike until the engine is at full operating temp and the only add oil if it is below the lower mark. Never fill it to the top mark. Your Sportster holds three quarts of oil that is pumped into the engine and then back out. The 1983-1985 XR1000 Sportsters, the hot rod Harleys as they were called, on held two quarts of oil. I've seen hill climbers that had custom oil tanks on them that only held a pint of oil. As long as you can see oil on that dipstick, you have enough oil. If you're getting so much crankcase blow by that your blowing oil out of the tank breather tube, you need to run a compression or leak down test on the engine to check for ring wear. Also, I've seen bikes do that when the needle and seat in the carb was bad or the accelerator pump diaphragm bad. Smell of the oil. Does it smell like gasoline? If so, you have carburetor problems and gasoline is running into your engine diluting the oil and adding volume to it.

Good Luck
Steve

Jul 22, 2011 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

1 Answer

OIL LEAK ON FRAME BUT NOT FRON ENGINE


You didn't give me much information. If it's not from the engine, the only other thing on the bike that has oil in it is either an oil line or the oil tank. Sportsters are notorious for developing a leak on the backside of the oil tank, If you take the battery out and look at the bracket that comes from the oil tank to the battery tray, you may find your leak.

If the oil tank is leaking, purchase a new tank. I saw one guy try to stop the leak by coating the tank with "Creme" fuel tank coating. It did stop the leak but after a while the heat from the oil turned the coating brittle and it chipped off and stopped up his oil pump.

Good Luck
Steve

Apr 22, 2011 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

1 Answer

My 04 sportster 883 is a converted 1200, seems to leak a quite a bit of oil from the vent tube on the left side of the bike. I get oil residue on my rear rim, belt guard, and unsightly drips and residue...


Unless Harley has changed something, I'm not familiar with a vent tube on the left side of a Sportster. I've always seen the vent tube coming out of the cam chest on the right side of the bike. Even the transmission vent came up and over to just behind the oil tank.

On your Sportster, make sure that you're not overfilling the oil tank. There are two lines on the dipstick. When checking your oil, the top line is 'FULL HOT" and the lower line is 'FULL COLD". Keep the level between the two lines when hot. As long as you can see oil on the dipstick, ride the bike far enough to heat up the oil and then check the level.

Otherwise, trace the hose back to it's source and tell me exactly where it comes from.

Good Luck
Steve

Oct 09, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Oil leaks caused by crank case ventillation. Need to know how oil / ventilation lines should be routed????


Ok, you have two ventilation hoses on the bike. First, the oil line from the tank goes to the inlet side of the oil pump facing the rear of the bike. The return line comes off the front side of the pump and goes to the oil filter. From there, the return line goes to the return fitting on the oil tank.

Now, there is one crankcase vent hose that comes out of the cam chest behind the front chain sprocket cover and runs to the backside of the oil tank. Then there is another one that comes from the top front of the cam chest and goes to the backside of the breather.

Now, the older Sportsters were notorious for shearing the scavenge gear drive pin. When this happened, the pump would pump all the oil into the engine but the it couldn't pump it back out. The engine would be full of oil, literally. Oil will come out of every seam on the engine. Look in the oil tank and see if it's dry. If so, the oil is all in the engine.

If this turns out to be the case, I can tell you how to replace the drive pin but it's not a job for the faint of heart as I recommend pulling the engine out of the frame. It can be done with the engine in the frame but in my opinion, it's a lot harder.

Good luck.
Steve

Aug 17, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Were is the plug on a 2001 sportster 1200 xl custom to change the oil


On most Sportsters, there is a large diameter hose that either plugs onto a lug on the frame or that has a tee in the hose to drain the oil through. They are usually located on the left side of the bike just below the battery box or down low near the swing arm pivot. Most of the time they have one of those clamps that you use a pair of hose clamp pliers on. I hope this helps. Good Luck, Steve

May 03, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

How do you drain the engine oil on a 2001 883 sportster? Can not find drain plug.


look on the left side of the bike back underneath the battery. You'll find a large diameter hose back there with either a plug in it or the hose connects to the frame. It will have one of those spring type hose clamps on it. Take this hose off and drain the oil out of the tank.

Mar 01, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883...

1 Answer

How to drain oil from 2001 harley sportster


The drain hose comes down the back of the frame and looks like it attaches to the frame.

Apr 07, 2009 | 2001 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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