Question about Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster Motorcycles

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What oil line going into the motor is feed and what line is for return 1959 900cc sportster

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You need a piece of 3/8" clear hose. Jack the bike up and shift the transmission into fourth gear. Remove the spark plugs. Fill the clear hose with oil and plug it onto one of the fittings on the pump. Now, turn the rear wheel in the direction of normal rotation. Watch the oil in the hose. If the oil moves toward the pump, this is the intake fitting. If bubbles are blown into the oil in the hose, this is the output of the pump.

At the oil tank, the hose coming off the very bottom of the tank is the feed line to the pump. The nipple at the top under the tank filler cap is the return. There may also be a breather nipple on the tank somewhere but I don't think these early models had that.

Is your Sporty an XLH model or an XLCH model?

Good Luck

Posted on Oct 10, 2010


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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1996 sportster oil tank has 3 hose fitting the 1984 got 4 fitting how do you hook up hose ? from 84 to 96

Hi, Onebob yesterday I sent you a free service manual that covered both oil line routing systems but I guess that wasn't good enough and since we are thousands of miles apart I can't hold your hand to open the manual the best I can do is tell you that your Sportster oil tanks have:
1. Feed line from the bottom of the oil tank to the oil pump 3/8"
2. Return line from the oil pump to the top of the oil tank 3/8"
3. Vent line from the top of the oil tank to the gearcase 5/16"
If you have an aftermarket oil tank with 4 ******* I can't help you. You will need to do some R&D on your own.
You are welcomed to send me photo's of your tanks so I may be enlightened to your dilemma.
Good luck and have a wonderful day.
FAQ oil line diagram

May 03, 2017 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

1 Answer

Just installed an oil pump on my 2005 harley davidson sportster and im still not getting any oil to my motor please tell me why n how to fix

HI,did you verify if the feed line is coming from the tank ,then goes to the in Pump?
Check your oil line first!

Mar 12, 2015 | 2005 Harley Davidson XL 883L Sportster

1 Answer

How do I install oil lines for my 1992 fatboy, which line goes where ? Iim doing a rebuild and forgotten which way they go , if you could help it would be much appreciated .

Oil feed line goes from bottom of oil tank to lowest engine fitting
Oil return line goes closest to oil filler spout and then inboard of oil feed line on engine
Breather goes next to return line but inboard of it and then to highest engine connection near lifter cover.

Oct 18, 2014 | Harley Davidson Motorcycles

1 Answer

Which pipe is the feed from the oil tank on 2000 evo 1200

The way to tell on Harleys is as follows (with explanations).

If you pull the oil lines one at a time, the following will happen:

On the oil return, and the vent line, oil will not flow out (except maybe a little residual oil).

On the feed line (oil tank TO oil pump), oil will flow out, especially it the oil cap is removed!

NOW, if you\'re asking because you want to install an inline oil filter or oil cooler, the feed line IS NOT the one you want to install this on!!!


The feed line is gravity fed to the oil pump, and there is no pressurization in this line, and the line could cavitate (suck air), especially if the filter/cooler are mounted too high!

The RETURN line is where you want to install these items, as this line is pressurized with the engine running, forcing the oil through them on the way back to the oil tank.

So which is the vent, and which is the return?

Pull the two lines you have already identified as NOT being the feed line (as described above), start the bike and run for ONLY about 5-30 seconds (or however long is needed), and see which line has oil coming out of it under pressure.

THIS is the line to install an oil filter and/or cooler.

Nov 29, 2013 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Need diagram for oil lines 1973 sportster

Hi Anonymous, for more information about your question please visit the website below. Good luck and have nice day.
Need diagram for oil lines 1973 sportster Google Search

Jun 01, 2012 | Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster...

2 Answers

I have a 2006 harley sportster custom and have been told my oil pump has gone out and am wondering where the oil pump is located.

Follow the hoses from your oil tank There are 3 ports on the bottom of the oil tank. The feed, vent and return. The feed hose routes oil from the feed port at the lower right front corner to a fitting on the oil pump. The return hose comes from the oil pump back to the return port on the tank. The vent hose vents out the bottom of the frame.

Sep 27, 2011 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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1989 Harley Davidson Sportster not getting any oil to the top of the motor, but is circulating back to the oil tank..

Blocked feed pipes are a common cause of this. Remove the pipes and blow them through with an air line.
I came accross one engine with oil starvation and the cause was gasket sealer stuck in an oil way!

Mar 07, 2011 | Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Hugger...

1 Answer

I need a oil line routing diagram so i can connect up and compleate my rebuild mainly, feed to pump,returnfrom pump where filter is in line and any other returns thanks john

I can send you a drawing but not via this forum, you'll have to contact me directly at . I'll send you a drawing of the slightly later model but if you have a 1979 model bike, the drawing will show you what you need. A best as I can remember, the '79 model did not have an oil filter on it. Harley did offer a "kit" with which to add the filter but it didn't come stock. Still contact me off forum and I'll scan the pic and send it to you.

Ride Safe.

Feb 13, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

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