Question about 2000 Harley Davidson FLHR-FLHRI Road king

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Oil leak -between inner primary and transmission . Changed broken belt and now I have this leak. I put new mainshaft seal and jackshaft seal. Help!!!

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There are several seals that can leak in this area. You say you replaced the mainshaft seal in the back of the primary. I've seen a lot of people replace this seal only to have it start leaking immediately. The reason was that they didn't know you must lubricate the seal before you reinstall the primary cover. When you put the primary cover on with the seal dry, when the engine starts up, the mainshaft immediately goes to 1000 RPM or higher with no lubrication on the seal. The friction burns the lip of the seal up before the lubrication in the primary can get there. It only take a second, literally.

Other seals that can cause leaks in this area are the large final drive gear seal in the face of the transmission behind the front belt pulley and the "Quad" seal that is inside the transmission. The Quad seal is almost like an O-ring. It's purpose is to prevent transmission lubricant from seeping out through the splines of the final drive gear. If the front sprocket splines wear and the sprocket gets the slightest bit loose, the compression on the Quad seal will be lost and the tranny will leak. The tale tell sign on this leak is that the transmission will leak a spot of oil about the size of a quarter or a bit bigger when you park the bike. If you wipe up the spot, it won't leak anymore until you either ride the bike or simply start the engine. Then it'll leak that quarter sized spot and stop. Check your lube level in your transmission.

Whenever I pull the inner primary and the belt on a Big Twin, I replace ALL the seals. Make sure you lubricate the lips on the seals so they don't cook before lubrication can get to the seal.

Good Luck

Posted on Jul 13, 2010


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I have leak from what seems to be from behind the primary case.

sometimes the mainshaft leaks.. ****** ..or I have seen where shifter exits the ****** behind the primary that seal leaks ,, look under & from above ..anyway youll pull the fix good luck..check out our info at

Aug 16, 2011 | 2000 Harley Davidson FLSTC Heritage...

1 Answer

Inner primary seal keeps leaking replaced three times all other seals replaced to rode another 1200 kms leaking out inner primary seal still which brand off equitment do you reccommend to use or why is it...

There are several places that could be leaking in this area. First let's talk about the seal that goes in the backside of the inner primary. I always use the James double lipped seal in this area. When you install the seal, put some sealant on the outside circumference of the seal. It must be installed to just below the surface of the primary and it must be straight. Before putting the inner primary back on, lubricate the inner bore of the seal as well as the surface the seal is going to seal against. If the engine starts up and seal has no lubrication on it, the friction will burn the delicate sealing lips and they will be damaged. Your leak could also be the large seal in the face of the transmission behind the front belt pulley. Everything I just said about the inner primary seal applies to this seal as well. The last thing is the pulley could be worn in the spline area in the center of the pulley. You didn't say what year model your bike was but over time, these splines wear and the pulley becomes loose. When this happens, the tension on the "quad seal" behind the spacer on the transmission main shaft fails. Transmission lubricant seeps down between the mainshaft and the spacer and out of the splined area of the front belt pulley. Take the lock plate off the front pulley and check to see if the large nut is tight. If it isn't tight, this could be the problem. The large nut has LEFT HANDED THREADS. Retorque the nut to 150 Foot Pounds. You'll need a special socket and sprocket locking tool to do this job. Take the pulley off and check the splines and replace the quad seal. Make sure you check all the areas whenever you have the inner primary off.

Jul 17, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXDL Dyna Low Rider...

1 Answer

Thanks wd4ity, your instructions helped. I checked everything. But after changing 4 seals of different makes, its still leaking after a quick run round the block. The leak is not as bad but get a small...

Ok, usually when I give information on things like that, I tell them everything that I know so that they get their problem fixed the first time. I don't allot it out piece at a time. So, undoubtedly, there is something amiss here, not just the normal leaky seal.

If you are positive that the leak in coming from the backside of the inner primary at the mainshaft. There is a starter seal up just a bit higher that can leak as well. You should have already checked the inner bearing race position on the mainshaft, 0.100" from the face of the final drive gear and that the race is between 0.9950" and 1.000" (25.27-25.40mm) long. The race is free of burrs and deep scratches. The new seal should have a tension of about 0.5mm (0.020") between the seal and the bearing race. If you measure the inside of the seal with a caliper and then measure the outside of the race, the race should be a bit larger than the seal.

When you installed the seal, did you inspect the recess where the seal goes in to make sure there are no cracks? Did you use the sealer on the outer edge of the seal ( I like non-hardening Permatex) and lubricate the seal where the bearing race runs with Lubriplate or oil. When you install the seal, make sure the lip of the seal where the bearing race runs is pointed INWARDS towards the clutch, not the trransmission. The "Lip" of the seal always faces against the direction of oil flow and is seated about 0.050" below the surface of the backside of the primary. The seal must be straight as well. If you get it in crooked in won't seal. If you can't get an OEM seal, try to order a James Gaskets seal.

Double sealing does no good as no oil gets to the outer seal and it burns up very quickly even if you pack grease between the seals. This used to be used on the old Shovelhead with the sealed bearing. It does keep dirt away from the seal though.

Now, it still sounds to me like it's your quad seal behind the front drive pulle. The quad seal keeps the transmission lubricant from running underneath the spacer behind the front pulley and then down between the front pulley splines and the final drive gear. When it drips off, it will drip onto the mainshaft and run down the backside of the inner primary.

Next time you have the inner primary off, take the lock plate off the front pulley and check the large nut. If it's loose, this could be your problem. Usually the nut is loose enough to turn it by hand. It has left handed threads in the nut. The front pulley is made of cast iron and is softer than the final drive gear. This is by design so that the relatively simple and cheap to replace front pulley wears instead of the expensive final drive gear. Without taking the final drive belt off, you probably won't feel any movement in the front pulley.

Well, I hope this helps again. For the life of me, that's all I can thnk about. I've even included some information that I never check in most cases, like the length of the inner race.

Good Luck and Ride Safe

Jan 18, 2011 | 2004 Harley Davidson FXSTD - FXSTDI...

1 Answer

I have a 2004 Duece FXSTD. Drops of oil was found on the floor under clutch area of the primary. After some inspection, I found that it was streaming from the inner primary.Got a seal set from Motor...

Did you check your front belt pulley? These pulleys are made of relatively soft cast iron as compared to the final drive gear. This is so that the easily replaced and relatively inexpensive front pulley wears before the difficult to replace and expensive final drive gear wears. The pulley will wear in the splined inner bore and will get loose on the final drive gear. Then transmission oil will run out of the pulley and down the inner primary. This is because of the lose of pressure on the "Quad" ring behind the pulley spacer. This may be your problem.

Another mistake a LOT of people make when replacing any seal is putting the seal up dry. On the inner primary seal, you want to put a bit sealer compound around the outer edge of the seal where it goes into the case. Although there are a lot new sealants out there, I still prefer good Permatex non-hardening. Once you get the seal in and straight, oil the inner seal surfaces and the bearing race. If you put the seal up dry, you start the engine, the mainshaft turns about 1000 rpm. This will burn up the delicate rubber lips on the seal almost instantly because of friction before the oil can get to the seal. You MUST lubricate the seal or it WILL burn up before you can blink an eye.

Also check the position of the inner primary bearing race. It must be 0.100" from the final drive gear. If it's way out of position, the seal may not be riding properly on it.

If you are in doubt about whether the transmission is leaking or the primary, refill the primary with a quart of automatic transmission fluid, the red stuff. It will work long enough for you to determine whether it's the transmission leaking or the primary leaking. If it's the transmission, check the front belt drive pulley for wear, You'll usually find that the large nut that holds it on is loose.

Good Luck

Dec 27, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson FXSTD - FXSTDI...

1 Answer

Oil coming from behind the primary case cover

There are several places that the oil could be coming from. And, it could be either engine oil, primary lube, or transmission lube.

First, check for a leak at the cylinder base on the rear cylinder. I've seen that area leak badly enough to make it look like the primary is leaking.

The primary could be leaking from the seal that mainsaft runs through or the starter jackshaft seal.

The transmission could be leaking from the large final drive gear, or the front belt pulley could have become worn allowing the quad seal behind the pulley spacer to leak.

To repair these leaks is not difficult but you need a few special tools. Especially if your going to remove the front belt pulley. You need a device to hold the pulley while you put the 150 foot pounds of torque on it with the special socket you'll need for the nut. You'll also need a torque wrench that will torque in the reverse direction since the threads are left handed.

If you wish to tackle this job yourself, please repost and I'll give you step by step instructions but I would suggest you purchase a service manual for a job of this size and nature. A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words.

Good Luck

Sep 13, 2010 | 1993 Harley Davidson FLSTF Fat boy

1 Answer

Leaking primary

If the primary is leaking on the backside, you must pull the entire primary drive to gain access to the backside.

Start by draining the primary. Disconnect the battery, remove the outer primary cover, jackshaft for the starter, the engine sprocket nut, remove the circlip and remove the clutch rod adjuster, remove the mainshaft nut to get the clutch off (left-handed threads), primary chain adjuster.

From the right side of the bike, remove the exhaust system to gain access to the starter. Remove the starter.

Go back to the left side and remove the bolts that secure the inner primary to the engine and transmission. Once you have all the bolts out, the primary cover should come off easily. If it doesn't, look for a bolt that you may have missed including on the backside.

Now that you have the inner primary cover off, you can replace the seal on the backside of the cover. Install the seal but before you put the cover back on, you must lubricate the inner lips of the seal where it rides on the mainshaft. Many people don't do this and they destroy the seal in the first five seconds of running. Without lubrication, the mainshaft turns so fast that friction will build up heat and damage the seal within the first few seconds of operation before oil can get to the seal. Lubricate that seal.

Now , Since you've got the inner primary off, there are some seals in the transmission that should be replaced as well. I always replace every seal back there everytime I go into that area. Replace the large final drive gear seal as the thin seal between the mainshaft and the final drive gear. I also replace the Quad Seal behind the spacer behind the belt pulley. This will require the special tools necessary to remove the pulley. If you have those, I'd recommend doing this job as well.

As you can see, this is not a job for the faint of heart. It's a complicated job and a lenthy job. This is why the dealer charges so much to do the job. Now, my experience on doing this job is on the earlier Evo and Shovelhead models but the Twin Cam can't be that much different. I'll help as much as I can via this medium but I must recommend that you purchase a service manual. This medium does have it's limitations.

Good Luck

Aug 05, 2010 | 2001 Harley Davidson FLHRCI Road King...

1 Answer

How to replace inner primary seal

Replacing the inner primary seal is a major job. You must remove all the primary drive components such as the primary chain and the clutch assembly. Then the exhaust system so you can get to the starter to remove it. Then you must remove the inner primary itself from the engne and the transmission. The seal is on the backside of the inner primary. If you replace the seal, remember to lubricate the lips of the seal as well as the mainshaft before you reinstall the inner primary. If you install the seal dry, when you start the engine the mainshaft will burn up the seal in about three seconds before the oil gets to the seal. Put some oil on that seal.

Now, once you're in there, you may find that it isn't your inner primary leaking at all. It could be a transmission seal. One of the worst culprits is the Quad Seal behind the spacer that is behind the front belt pulley. You'll need some special tools to remove the pulley and replace this seal if it's leaking. It looks like a standard O-ring but it isn't. Both the compensator sprocket nut and the front pulley nut require a LOT of torque. The compensator nut takes 150-165 foot pounds and the front pulley nut takes 150 foot pounds. Also, the mainshaft nut that holds the clutch assembly on takes 60-80 foot pounds of torque LEFT-HANDED. You will need a way to lock the front pulley and the primary chain in order to apply these levels of torque to the required fasteners.

This is a complicated job. That's why Harley charges so much to do it. I would suggest that you purchase a service manual as there is far too much involved in this job for me to type it in step by step here.

Good Luck

Aug 05, 2010 | Harley Davidson FXDWG - FXDWGI Dyna Wide...

1 Answer

Oil leaking from the back of primary case

There are several things behind the inner primary case that could be leaking. There is a seal behind the inner primary where the transmission mainshaft goes into the primary. This seal sometimes starts to leak. Also, there are seals in the transmission in that area. The final drive gear seal is the big seal right behind the front final drive belt pulley. Somethimes this pulley wears on the splines of the final drive gear and it loses tension on the "quad seal" on the final drive gearshaft.

You'll nee some special tools to get to this area. You'll need sockets to fit the compensator sprocket nut and the clucth nut. You'll need an airwrench, a primary locking bar, and a torque wrench that will pull 150-165 ft. lbs. torque in forward direction, 68-80 ft. lbs. LEFT-HANDED on the clutch nut, a primary locking bar, a final drive sprocket locking device, a mainshaft nut removal tool, and some seal pullers and installers. Good Luck.

Apr 22, 2010 | 2004 Harley Davidson FLTRI Road Glide

1 Answer

06 dyna super glide innerseal leakage & sharft seleter movement ?

I am not completely sure how the shifter shaft on you newer '06 FXD is set up but this it how the mid mounted shifter lever is set up on an older version.

The shifter shaft goes through the inspection cover on the outside of the outer primary cover. If you take the shifter off and then the cover, there is a tube that runs through the primary that the shifter shaft runs through. This tube has O-rings on either end of it. There is a clamp (for lack of a better description) on the inside of the primary that holds this tube in the primary. Take the bolt out of the clamp and the tube will come out. To work with this, you may have to remove the outer primary cover to gain access to the bolt holding the clamp. Replace the O-rings with new ones. If possible, try to find one that is the same size but made of slightly thicker stuff so you get a tighter fit. This may solve you oil leak on the backside of the inner primary if this is the problem.

But, I think I've answered this question before. There are several other things behind the inner primary that can leak. One thing is the mainshaft seal in the backside of the inner primary. Another is any one or more of the seals at the final drive belt front pulley on the transmission. Harley had some major problems at one time with the "quad seal" behind the final drive belt front pulley.

If you still have the leak, notice whether it is near the middle of the primary or nearer the back end of the primary. This will help a lot in attempting to diagnose your problem.

Oct 16, 2009 | Harley Davidson FXD Dyna Super Glide...

1 Answer

Have devolped a small leak on 2005 road king. drips from bottom of primary cover at drain bolt. running down from above. back of primary cover has slight oil dampness around transmission and starter shaft...

Spray it off at the car wash to remove all the oil , then spray Right Guard (Yes, that Right Guard) on the area of the leak. It will show up, but you may not be able to see exactly where. There are a couple spots where it can leak. The jackshaft oil seal, as you said, transmission output shaft (clutch shaft) on the trans itself, the inner primary seal where the trans shaft runs thru, the engine sprocket shaft oil seal, inner primary O-ring, the bolts that hold the inner primary to the engine/trans, the primary chaincase gasket and the drain plug. Hopefully when you get it apart, you will see which seal is leaking. If not, replace them all. Still want to fix the leak? LOL

Jun 30, 2009 | 2005 Harley Davidson FLHR - FLHRI Road...

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