Question about 2000 Harley Davidson FLHTCUI Electra Glide Ultra Classic

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89 Harley FLTCU oil coming from the crankcase breather tube and

Oil coming from the crankcase breather tube and dripping out the breather

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This is an age old problem for the Harley engine. In you 89 model, the crankcase breaths from behind the oil pump through a tube that runs to the backside of the air filter assembly. Most people that I know, simply remove the tube coming up to the air filter and block the hole in the air filter assembly backing plate. At the breather, they run a short hose to just behind the transmission and cut it off there. This is similar to the earlier Shovelhead engine and the way it breathes. In 1994, Harley went to the "head breather system" which was better but it still gets oil into the air filter assembly.

There is one thing I saw on the aftermarket assessories market once called a "CatchCan". The breather tube ran to it and it seperated the oil from the air and the held it in a small container to be emptied on a regular basis. I have never used one nor have I ever seen one so all I can tell you is what the book said. Matter of fact, I cannot remember where I saw it now. Custom Chorme catalog, maybe. Good Luck, Steve

Posted on Apr 30, 2010

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There ae a number of things it could be. What it sounds like to me is that the oil is not being pumped back into the oil tank and is collecting in the cam chest. It should be blowing out of your crankcase breather tube as well if your crankcase breather tube is open. Behind the oil pump, there are three holes. One is behind and above the oil pump. This is where the breather tube from your oil tank and the primary comes into the engine. The hole directly behind the oil pump in the middle is the oil return line from the very back end of the primary where the oil from the primary is recirculated back into the engine. The bottom hole behind the oil pump is the crankcase breather. It should have a hose that runs back around behind the transmission and just dead ends in a bracket pointed towards the final drive chain. This hose should be open to vent the crankcase pressure. Have you checked to see if oil is being pumped back into the oil tank? If not, the scavenge gears of the oil pump may not be pumping the oil out of the engine and back to the tank. If this is the problem, you may not have the drive key properly installed in the scavenge gears of the oil pump. Still, oil should be pouring out of the crankcase breather hole. But, this is what it sounds like it's doing to me. The oil is building up in the cam chest for some reason.

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1 Answer

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Your 04 Electra Glide does indeed have a wet clutch. Your primary case holds between 36 - 42 ounces of oil. Stand the bike straight up. Remove the derby cover from the primary cover. The oil level should be just up to the bottom edge of the outer clutch shell, the shiny aluminum ring. Do not over fill as the clutch will drag and you will not be able to get the transmission into neutral with the engine running. Now you said that you have oil coming out of the breather tube. What breather tube? The transmission has a breather tube but that's the only one. Your engine's crankcase breathers are located in the heads and exhausts the crankcase pressure into the air filter. This is required by the EPA. After a while, oil mist will build up in the air cleaner cover and begin to drip out. You have to clean this out from time to time. Your transmission holds 20-24 ounces of oil and you fill it through the chrome end cap on the transmission on the right hand side of the bike. There is a plug that takes a large hex key or Allen wrench to remove. It has a dipstick on it. With the bike standing straight up, the oil level should be between the two lines.

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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and with the V50 I thought I'd achieved my ambition. It was oiltight to begin with but not long after I'd done a bit of maintenance (oil and air filter change) I started noticing drips underneath - coming from the pipe that dangles from the air filter unit (yes it still has the original [expletive-deleted] item). For a while I ignored it as there were so many other jobs needing to be sorted, but it has just got worse. After a long trip, parking it is embarrassing - especially as everyone knows that Guzzis are oiltight . . . Now it seems to me that the oil could have come from one of three places - the crankcase, or either of the rocker boxes, as all of their breather pipes go to the underside of the air filter chamber. I therefore detached the existing pipes to the rockerboxes, stopped up their ends, and ran new breather pipes from the rockerboxes to vent under the bike. I reckoned that, with three pipes dangling underneath (Sherlock Holmes' three-pipe problem?), I should be able to see which part of the machine was responsible. With me so far? Did a 21-mile trip this morning, put it back up on its stand and waited. Result - oil drips from all three pipes! Thinks: when bought, the oil level was only just above minimum on the dipstick. When I changed the oil, I filled it to the max level - and someone has suggested that this is the cause of the problem. I therefore drained some oil out, and it's now at the half-way mark though without any effect on the oil drips. I'm reluctant to drain more, though that might be the next step. If it does effect a cure, would that point to some other, underlying problem? Any ideas or suggestions welcome, as at the moment this machine is not living up to the Guzzi reputation.,The breather system on the V50 works in a peculiar way. The two pipes from the rocker covers are the main engine breathers. They go into a chamber in the air filter housing, and the tube from there to the crankcase is actually a return pipe, to get the oil recovered from the breather back into the sump. On mine, I am sure the breather then goes into the air box behind the carbs, and I didn't think I had another pipe dangling down. Certainly too much oil in the sump can cause problems in most Guzzis.,,,

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1 Answer

Oil leak


and with the V50 I thought I'd achieved my ambition. It was oiltight to begin with but not long after I'd done a bit of maintenance (oil and air filter change) I started noticing drips underneath - coming from the pipe that dangles from the air filter unit (yes it still has the original [expletive-deleted] item). For a while I ignored it as there were so many other jobs needing to be sorted, but it has just got worse. After a long trip, parking it is embarrassing - especially as everyone knows that Guzzis are oiltight . . . Now it seems to me that the oil could have come from one of three places - the crankcase, or either of the rocker boxes, as all of their breather pipes go to the underside of the air filter chamber. I therefore detached the existing pipes to the rockerboxes, stopped up their ends, and ran new breather pipes from the rockerboxes to vent under the bike. I reckoned that, with three pipes dangling underneath (Sherlock Holmes' three-pipe problem?), I should be able to see which part of the machine was responsible. With me so far? Did a 21-mile trip this morning, put it back up on its stand and waited. Result - oil drips from all three pipes! Thinks: when bought, the oil level was only just above minimum on the dipstick. When I changed the oil, I filled it to the max level - and someone has suggested that this is the cause of the problem. I therefore drained some oil out, and it's now at the half-way mark though without any effect on the oil drips. I'm reluctant to drain more, though that might be the next step. If it does effect a cure, would that point to some other, underlying problem? Any ideas or suggestions welcome, as at the moment this machine is not living up to the Guzzi reputation.,The breather system on the V50 works in a peculiar way. The two pipes from the rocker covers are the main engine breathers. They go into a chamber in the air filter housing, and the tube from there to the crankcase is actually a return pipe, to get the oil recovered from the breather back into the sump. On mine, I am sure the breather then goes into the air box behind the carbs, and I didn't think I had another pipe dangling down. Certainly too much oil in the sump can cause problems in most Guzzis.,,,

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