By Allanfox
Really do appreciate this has been covered to death but........

2008 Electra X, I have the head and barrel off for some work and noticed the oil in the crankcase looked deep, so put a rod between the crankshaft flywheels and the oil was 100mm deep, is it me or is that quite deep for a bit of wet sumping? I am just trying to figure where so much oil can come from?
By Daiwiskers
Hi Alan
I have been giving this a lot of thought
I have asbo 30 in bits the engine is back together I still have to sort the forks
What I am planning to do this time is fill the tank with 2.2 litres of oil then see where it settles out without starting it then using that level when topping up
My thinking is That the level drops after running when we top up we are overfilling the system if we top up to the upper mark on the stick
Please note that my garage is not a nice place at the minute and I am not planning on going anywhere near it in the next week or two
Cheers Dai
By Daiwiskers
Hope that makes sense

The other thing I have been thinking is using the quill bolt as a level for topping up
My reasoning for this is that 2.2 litre's is a lot of oil for a 350/500 low stress cool running engine
My Harley 109cubic inch (about 1800cc) run's 2.5 litre
I think my wet sumping comes from the oil running through the quill not through the oil tank and sump gasket as I have noticed the oil level seems to be above the quill bolt
Like I said though I won't be getting to the garage till the weather warms up a bit
Cheers Dai
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By stinkwheel
Thing is, assuming they are similar to the bullets in respect of the oil circulation (and the di differ, I'm just not sure how), the quil bolt will be submerged anyway, regardless of what level you fill the oil tank to.

The timing chest is full of oil to around 1" below the level of the filler neck (roughly 2.5" above the level of the crankshaft) under normal operations because that's the level the return hole is drilled at. You can see the return hole on this picture, I know this is a bullet, perhaps electras are different in this respect?


Do electras breathe through a hole between the crankcase and the oil tank like late bullets? Could oil somehow be getting into the crankcase through that breather hole? Seems improbable if it's positioned as high as the one on a bullet but it is a direct connection. Not got a very good picture of one but it's at about 11 o' clock on this picture.
By Daiwiskers
Typical me getting mixed up again
So that won't work

And I thought we were talking about Bullets

The pictures above show my thinking is wrong

Here was me thinking that the Harley being a similar design (oil tank in crank case casting) having hot and cold levels on dipstick could give a clue

Looking at the above pictures (I have just put the timing case on and missed the point) my idea will not work and to be honest I can't see anyway to stop wet sumping through the quill

But does the oil sit at that level or is it taken up by the timing gears I seem to remember Paul having lube problems with a race engine fitted with a crank mounted ignition system and not running timing gears
By Allanfox
Thanks Guys, think first stage is now I have it all drained off is to do as Daiwiskers suggests and refill the oil tank and see what happens over a couple of days with crankpin at TDC, just worried that it may be an internal leak between tank and sump and the 100mm I found is it levelling off with the tank level after leaking, just seems a lot of oil, i didn't expect to a 4" mark on the rod I used!!!! You would assume (yes I know!) that the mid mark on the dipstick is the correct level tank level and does take account of any oil in the timing chest and a little bit of wet sumping.

With engine not being run and the crankpin at TDC any oil can only get into the sump via leaking through the pump (quill/gears) or an internal leak?

We will see!

Quite a bit of sludge in the bottom of the tank, whats the best thing to rinse it out with?
By Daiwiskers
Diesel parrafin brake cleaner
Now that I am sure on
Cheers Dai
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By stinkwheel
I generally use paraffin for cleaning that kind of stuff. Unlikely to do any harm to seals etc. Or el-cheapo thin grade engine oil if you're flushing . Or one then the other.

Yes, that strategy seems good though. If it's all drained (including the timing chest) then you put oil in, the only way that oil could get into the crankcase is by a direct connection between the oil tank and the crankcase. You could probably even leave the crankcase drain bolt out with a pan under it.

If that's all ok, I suppose stage 2 would then be to pour some oil into the timing chest through the tappet cover with the engine at TDC. If that leaks, it's the crank seal (or somewhere else in there. Crack round a cam spindle?). If it's OK at TDC, then try at BDC which would show it's the quill seal.

If it doesn't leak at BDC then we have a real head scratcher. Maybe start checking the pump outputs.
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By stinkwheel
It does occurr to me that it might only leak when the oil is hot and thin? Especially if it's a small crack/gap. I wonder if it would be worth doing that test with a low weight oil?
By Allanfox
Good idea, just a shame to miss the chance to test it while I can assess everything.

Would it be too harsh to fill the oil tank with paraffin to mid mark (post flushing) and see where that goes, should be thin enough to find any passage to sump easier? Stress I won't be running the engine! :-)

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