Question about 2000 Harley Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic

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I have an oil leak from the primary chain case. What do I need to do/replace? Thanks. Eddie Fowler

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  • wd4ity
    wd4ity Sep 29, 2010

    it depends on where the leak is. If the outer primary is simply leaking around the gasket, not a problem at all. If it's the inner primary leaking from behind it, it a bit more to that. If you'll be more specific as to where the leak is coming from, I can give you better details of what is involved in the repair.




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There are 6 places that oil can weep/seep/leak from on a Softail primary chaincase. The drain plug, the inspection cover gasket, the cover's gasket, and 3 "interior" seals. I'd thoroughly clean the entire area (under the bike as well) and go for a good test ride. Park on a clean surface so I could properly identify the source(s) of leakage. Remember, oil can "travel" while riding at speed. Hopefully you'll be better able to see if your leak is coming from the cover area itself or from the "inner" primary to engine and transmission interface area.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010


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I have (2) questions. 1 is the dip stick on my S&S 107" Big Dog. It has two notches/grooves. (1) is at the bottom of the stick, and (1) is at the top towards the rubber cap. Are those the add...

Well, I don't know about a Big Dog but I do know how the dipstick on a Harley is set up. You have two marks on the stick. The top mark is "FULL HOT" and the lower mark is "FULL COLD". Since the S&S engine is just like a Harley engine in that it is a dry sump type engine. When you check the oil when the engine is cold, as long as the oil is touching the dipstick, you should be OK to ride. Once the engine comes up to temp, then check the oil and bring it close to the top mark. Do not overfill. Never add oil to a cold engine unless you cannot see oil on the stick.

Now, for the leak on the left side of your bike. Now you said that your Big Dog is a custom chopper and your replaced the main seal. You did not tell me whether your primary drive is a standard chain drive primary or an open belt drive as so many "custom choppers" run. If you replaced the main seal, did you lubricate the inside lip of the seal before you installed it. If not, when the engine starts up, the friction will burn up the lip of the seal before the oil gets to it. It only takes a half second to burn the lip of the seal. Always put oil or light grease on the seal lips when you install a seal.

If your primary drive is a standard chain type, the leak could be a bad engine to primary O-ring that goes between the engine and the inner primary cover.

Another place that the oil could be coming from is the nosecone. If the oil is leaking out of the bottom of the nosecone, it can leak down to the centerline of the cases. When you put your bike on the kickstand, the oil will then run across to the left side and drip off. The best way to find the leak is to clean everything off as clean as you can get it. Then go for a short ride and come back and look for the leak.

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Now, the oil is coming from behind the inner primary cover, the inner will have to be pulled off meaning you'll have to take the engine sprocket, clutch assembly, and starter off. To get the starter off, you'll probably have to pull the exhaust system as well. That's a pretty good job.

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