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Changing the oil


Since I have nothing better to post, I'm going to show you how to change the oil on a '94 Hugger.


First, get your supplies - 3 quarts oil, 2 spark plugs, oil filter (the chromed one is optional and costs $3 more), filter wrench, latex gloves and instruction manual (because I'm so old I can't remember slag). 

Start the engine and let it run a few minutes to warm the oil up.  It drains better.
You have to put a 2x4 block under the kickstand to level the engine so it drains properly. 
Look at all the oil stains on the cardboard.  Poor Heartbreaker has a leak.  Ah well, like the saying goes - Harley's always mark their spot.

Down on the floor underneath the bike, is the oil drain hose.  I have never seen a bike that had such a stupid way to drain the oil. 
The hose is just pushed onto a metal plug on the frame to stop it from leaking. 

I use an old kitty litter pan for the nasty oil.  I guess you're supposed to turn in old oil somewhere, but I throw it on my firepile. 
That skinny little hose to the left is the battery acid overflow.  Which reminds me, I never checked the water in my battery. 

Pop the cover off the oil tank, otherwise a vacuum is created and no oil will come out.
Unscrew the doohickey, pull the hose off the frame and let the oil drain into the pan.

I wedge another block between the drain hose and the transmission case so the oil drains freely. 
Oil is hot, so be careful.

While that's going on, take your big-ass plyers and wrench on the oil filter, situated behind the front wheel.
Righty, tighty, lefty, loosey.  (Thank you, Rick!  Best thing he ever taught me.)

Oil usually drips out of the old filter while you are doing this, so I put the pan underneath before I take it off.
Old filter in the box, new filter (yes, I spent the extra $3 this year for a chrome one) gets a light coat of oil on the gasket.
Plus, pour a couple ounces of new oil inside to soak into the filter stuff inside. 

Screw new filter on - not too tight or you'll have a bitch of a time getting it off next time you change the oil.
Once you feel resistance, rotate another half turn, only. 
Ooh, look at that dirty engine block.  I did wash her last weekend, so it's not so bad now.  That's where the leak is, I think my gasket is shot, but it'll cost me about $500 to get it fixed.  I'll probably get it done this winter, because I'll need a new front tire put on for next year.   I can't do it myself, I take it to Gowanda Harley. 

Over to the oil tank on the opposite side of the bike, and fill'er up! 
Check the dipstick, too full is very bad.
And, I learned the hard way to make sure the cover is properly attached.  I once forgot to put it back in, started the bike, and oil sprayed all over.  What a mess.  I only made that mistake once. 

I also hadn't changed the spark plugs in 2 years. 
The rubber cover just pops right off. 

You need a special small engine plug remover wrench to get those babies out. 
Sorry for the blurry pic.

Wowie - look at the difference between the old and new plugs!

And put new ones back in.  You buy these already gapped, so I didn't have to dick around with a spark plug gapper.
Again, don't screw in too tight or you'll never get them out.
That happened to me once with my Honda.  It had to go to the shop because the plugs were in so tight.  I didn't do it!

And that is just about all the maintainence that I know how to do, besides washing and polishing.
Oh, another handy little tip - a leafblower works really well to get rid of the water on the engine after washing.  I love my leafblower.  Best tool I own.  Second best is my electric chainsaw. 

But, Heartbreaker did run a bit better after changing the plugs.  She had been popping very badly at the end of last summer, and when I started her this spring.  I don't hear pops much anymore, just when I first fire her up.  I think it's because I give her too much choke, and there is an excess of gas on the plugs.  I have to experiment and only choke half when I start.  Harley's are funny with the gas, that way.

Thought you might get a kick out of seeing my keychain. 

I'm working on trying to attach my video camera to my helmet.  Or somewhere, so I can take you guys on a ride. 
Don't hold your breath.





( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 14th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
You realize I totally ship you, right?
Jul. 15th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
Well, I ship your awesome writing and people skills. So I guess we're even!
Jul. 14th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
It had to go to the shop because the plugs were in so tight.

Mmmmm, sounds kinky. :P Nice pics!
Jul. 15th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
I like that in a person!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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