Question about Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide Motorcycles

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What is the best way to remove stuck oil pump check valves in a 1973 Harley Davidson Shovelhead?

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  • wd4ity
    wd4ity Oct 17, 2010

    The check valve in the oil pump is a round ball. Are you talking about the "relief valve"? It's a cylinderical "slider". If you've got either the check valve or the slider stuck, I would be wary of the entire pump. What does the rest of the pump look like? Have you checked the clearances in the feed and scavenger gears?




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  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 42,960 Answers

Hi Wiseat, try a magnet. Have nice day.

Posted on Jun 15, 2015


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: reinstalling oil pump and cams on a 2003 Harley Davidson FLSTC

Absolutely!!! Have you replaced the stock cams with gear driven cams? On almost all cams there are "dots" or "circles" to mark where the cams should be. Additionally if using gear driven cams depending on who makes them there may some additional installation considerations, grinding for clearance, etc.
Also refer to the cam documention on piston position when installing. Hope this helps.


Posted on Sep 07, 2009

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: how to remove and replace oil pump on a 2000

To remove the oil pump from a Sportster. First drain the oil tank. Disconnect and mark all hoses. Plug the hoses to keep oil from leaking out and contamination from entering. Remove the four bolts that hold the oil pump into the engine and allow it to drop down.

Now, I don't know if they've changed anything since the early '90's on the bikes but they say you can get the oil pump out without having to remove the engine. I've found this not to be true. I didn't have to completely remove the engine but I did have to take the engine loose from the frame at both the front and rear to get the pump out of the engine. I couldn't even get the two rear bolts out without doing this. Hopefully they've made it to where you can get the pump out.

Now, comes a question. Why do you want to take the pump out? On the late models, they've done away with those aggrevating pins that kept shearing. The only late model pump that I've had to deal with had trash in the inlet fitting and stopped the oil flow into the pump. Someone had tried to stop a leak in the oil tank by putting "Creme" fuel tank coating in the oil tank. Never do this. The "Creme" coating is not effected by the oil but it is by the heat. Hot oil is not good for the stuff. It gets brittle, flakes off, and plugs the inlet of the oil pump. Just pull the bottom plate off and clean it out.

Good Luck

Posted on Jul 29, 2010

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SOURCE: manual engine harley davidson shovelhead

The book you need it either an OEM Harley-Davidson manual, part #99482-69 or a Chilton's M420 manual. Both are good manuals and readily available.

Good Luck

Posted on Jul 31, 2010

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SOURCE: 1972 shovelhead harley-davidson engine rebuilt

Thirty over is nothing. I just finished a rebuilt on a 1970 model and we went 0.050" over on it. It was already at 30 over and the pistons scored.

Anyway, don't use one of these cheap Chinese made bendix's. Get an ACCEL. They may be made in China but they're better. You can't get good Shovelhead parts anymore.

Now, before you put the outer primary back on, use your hand and operate the fork that shifts the bendix into engagement with the ring gear. Does it engage like it's supposed to. You'll probably have to turn it just a bit. Now, do it again with the outer primary on. Does it still engage smoothly?

Now, here's the cause of most starter grinding problems on a shovel. The starter, ring gear, and outer primary are all out of alignment. The starter housing, the one with the big gear in it is supposed to have alignment pins in it as well as the outer primary. These pins are to ensure that the starter drive and the ring gear are properly aligned with each other. With the starter and outer primary on, you should be able to pull on the plunger of the solenoid and the starter drive engage fully and smoothly. Also don't forget the large brass washer. This keeps the drive from going too far.

If you're worried about low voltage, take the battery to an automotive parts store and ask them to load test the battery. If it drops below 10 volts, buy a new battery.

Posted on Aug 18, 2010

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: trying to find correct method

If your Shovelhead has solid lifters, you set them exactly like you would set the tappets on an Ironhead Sportster. With the engine stone cold, Bring either piston to top dead center ON THE COMPRESSION stroke. Both valves on that cylinder should be closed and the tappets on the heel of the cam at this point. Now, adjust the pushrods longer until you can no longer turn them with your fingertips. Now, back them back down until you can barely spin them with your fingers. Lock the locknuts down. Then bring the other cylinder to TDC COMPRESSION STROKE and adjust those pushrods.

You are adjusting for Zero backlash just like on an Ironhead Sporty. As the engine heats and the cylinders and head expand, they do so away from the cases which gives you more backlash the hotter they get. If you get the pushrods too tight, when the engine cools down, they'll hold the valve open just slightly making the engine difficult to get started.

Now, if you have hydraulic tappets, with the engine cold, back the pushrods off until they are loose. Bring them back down to zero backlash and then come down four additional turns and lock the locknut. Wait until the tappet bleeds down and you can spin the pushrod before you turn the engine.

Good Luck

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

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Hi, Lonnie if you just replaced tappet block gaskets they may be upside down or backwards look inside your oil tank for bubbles and fluid movement while the engine is running that's a good sign the return side of the pump is working you may have wet sumping or breather gear issues otherwise the usual suspects are:
1. Oil tank/pan empty.
2. Oil pump cavitating due to air in the system and needs to be bled.
3. Restricted/pinched oil lines or fittings.
4. Restricted oil filter.
5. O-ring damaged or missing from oil pump/crankcase junction.
6. Return gear or pump body damaged or shaft key sheared.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the links below and for more specific information or questions at no charge please feel free to contact me at Good luck and have a nice day.
Shovelhead oil pump removal
Harley Wet Sumping Explained
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Oil line routing diagram 1980 shovelhead

Hi Anonymous, for more information about your question please visit the websites below. Good luck and have nice day.
diagram oil lines 1980 shovelhead Google Search
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Having problems with hooking the hoses for the oil pump on a 1973 shovelhead.

Contact me directly and remind me of what you want. I'll send you a drawing.


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1 Answer

Is the primary wet or dry for a 1983 harley davidson fxrs?

The 1983 came with the Shovelhead engine and the primary case was Harley's "dry" primary. Look to see if the hose on the bottom back side of the primary is still on it and it runs up to the engine behind the oil pump. If it is, it's the dry primary. Since people have so many problems with the dry primary, they often convert them to wet primaries. Doing so eliminates a lot of the hoses you see on the Shovelhead.

Good Luck

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My 1989 electraglides cases have filled with oil . i have replaced and resetted the check ball in the oil pump. now how do i get the oil out of the cases so the starter will turn the engine over fast...

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I have a 72 shovelhead engine and I want to know what type of spark plugs can I use in it instead of harley davidson and also what would be the best oil to use in it instead of harley davidson also? About...

try this for your plugs - might give a couple of options. maybe a later one will do?
Amsoil 20w-50? Depends where you are and what you can get. I think there is a rev-tech oil to suit your shovel, but can't remember the spec off hand. Havoline 20w-50? Oil debates seem to rage on forever on most H-D forums around the world. Have found for me the H-D stuff is about the same price as the rest, and just as good/bad as them.
As for quantity, I'm thinking it is about 31/2 to 4 quarts, as you said.
Check these guys out - maybe better answers than mine mate.
Hope this helps you.

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1972 shovelhead engine needs spark plugs and oil!

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Oil is coming out of my exhaust?

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