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Discussion Starter #1
Got an oil leak on my 2006 Classic. It appears to be on the left side around the gear shift lever. It leaves just a drop or two after riding and none while idling. However, I must be losing more than I thought. Just a half block from my house the bike quit with the oil light on. After the oil drained down in the engine, the light went off, the bike restarted, and I rode the other half a block home. Where is this oil going ? Or rather, where is it coming from ?
 

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Did you look under the bike to see it there was more oil there (drain plug, filter, etc.)? What was the oil level before you started out on your ride? If it was between the lines in the sight glass then I can't believe a drop or two after riding would be causing the oil light to come on. Perhaps the oil was low to begin with and losing more created the oil light warning. Either way, the leak isn't a good thing and the oil light coming on is another way of telling you that something's not right. When was the last time the oil was changed?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did you look under the bike to see it there was more oil there (drain plug, filter, etc.)? What was the oil level before you started out on your ride? If it was between the lines in the sight glass then I can't believe a drop or two after riding would be causing the oil light to come on. Perhaps the oil was low to begin with and losing more created the oil light warning. Either way, the leak isn't a good thing and the oil light coming on is another way of telling you that something's not right. When was the last time the oil was changed?
There is a drip or two near the allen screw that is next to the drain plug. I checked to see that it was tight and it is.

I just bought this bike and thought I had checked the oil level. I guess the sight glass fooled me. The tire pressure was very low and that should have been an indicator the check the bike over more thoroughly. I mean everything. The previous owner told me everything was topped up and OK. He said the oil had just been changed.

Anyway, I know better. I should have checked it over really really good after I got home from the seller.

I bought Valvoline 10w-40 motorcycle oil and a filter. It was on sale. So i'll do an oil change and try to see where the leak is coming from
 

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It mite help to give a good cleaning of the underside after changing the oil.
 

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Just make sure you have the bike straight up and not on its stand when checking the oil level. There's a big difference.

Another question --- are you seeing any smoke from the exhaust? If so, perhaps that is a sign of where some oil may be going.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The underside is oily but not grimy. I've wiped it off with a clean rag several times.

There is no smoke coming from the pipes.

I added 1/3 of a quart of oil and it made no difference in the sight glass. I set the bike level with some scrap 4 X 4s I have. I kept adding oil a bit of a time but there was no change in the sight glass. I stopped at three quarts since I didn't remove the filter.

I rocked the bike back and forth. Let it lean to the other side. Still no difference in the sight glass. I went a mile down the road to fill up with gas. When I got back, the bike was dripping quite a bit of oil. It doesn't seem like much but if it's leaking while running down the road, it might not take long to run out of oil.

I have an 82' 750 Virago that has a sight glass. It's a pain too. I do not like these sight glasses they put on bikes.

All I know now to do is drain the oil and see how much is in there.
 

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BOTM Winner, May 2015
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it's maybe to full and the clean oil looks like you don't see it.. just a thought
Exactly, do a oil change and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought about the clean oil and not being able to tell about the level but why did the oil pressure light come on and shut the engine down if it's over full ? Why is the engine leaking ? it won't leak at idle, only going down the road.

Strange......
 

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BOTM Winner, May 2015
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overfilled, it can blow by out your airfilter, and drip down,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's a thought but the engine is clean on the intake side. Also, there is no engine oil between the cylinders leaking down to the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, here's what I'll do.......

I drain the oil and measure it. I know three quarts were added. Anything over is what was in the crankcase.

Second, I'll look for the other threaded plug. It's actually a cap. Behind the cap is a spring and filter along with a couple of o-rings. Seems folks like to take these out when they do oil changes. I'm hoping to find my leak there. That area is where the oil is showing up and dripping.
 

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Clogged filters? It's good that you are going to remove the other plug. You can check the screen to see what it's captured.
 

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it's maybe to full and the clean oil looks like you don't see it.. just a thought
Exactly, do a oil change and go from there.
+1


Also check the screen plug bolt to see if its tight. I actually change my oil from there instead of the drain plug. Much easier.
 

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When you changed the oil did you check the crush washer on the drain plug? Was there a crush washer?

I changed oil once and didn't notice the crush washer had fallen into the old oil, just happen to find it when I was transferring the oil from the the collection tub to bottles for disposal. I am sure I would have had a drip, drip leak if I didn't install the crush washer.

Warm oil can travel a long way along the bike frame etc before it drips making the source hard to find. I would suggest you remove the rectifier and check for leaks around the oil filter as well. If the PO did not lube the filter gasket before installing it it may be leaking. Based on what you have said it looks like the PO may have been pretty slack on the maintenance.

I had a leaking car engine once and the dealer used some kind of dye in the oil that showed up when exposed to a black light, you may need to look at doing something like that if you can not find the leak easily.
 

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Get a rag and get everything very clean, all old oil off. Change the oil and replace with the correct amount of the correct viscosity and grade of oil (motorcycle specific or, at the bare minimum, JASO MA rated oil; 10W-40.) The oil light is a pressure light, so it won't come on or off with fluid level, only when pressure is low. It IS possible the oil can be low and the sight glass can fool you. Replace filter when you change the oil and don't forget to prime the filter. Report back with what you find and where you notice leaks (and how much) with fresh oil and a clean bike.
 

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The sight glass can be a pain. I use a mechanics mirror with an extension handle. I can sit on the bike and see it fine in good light. If I am in the shop I use a light to illuminate the glass, works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all of the input.

I didn't change the oil, I just added some oil because it was low.

Glad to know the oil warning light works off of oil pressure. Not like my old Virago that just senses oil in the sump.

I like that the engine shut down when the warning light came on. I'm just hope I didn't ruin my engine. When I went to get gas last night, it seemed to running fine even though I know it's over filled a bit.

It will be a day or two but I'll drain the oil and remove the screen for cleaning and inspection. I'll put the current oil in and if there are no leaks, I'll do a complete oil change. I put three fresh quarts in last night but I'm sure it's contaminated now. Not sure if I should just run that for awhile with a fresh filter or just do a complete oil change.
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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Not sure if I should just run that for awhile with a fresh filter or just do a complete oil change.
I would do a complete oil change. That way you KNOW it's at the correct level. And I would also do as Romans suggested and make sure the bike is clean underneath as well as making sure the crush washer is in good shape and/or replace if necessary. Then see if it leaks anywhere. If not, problem solved, if you see oil dripping still, should be easier to find the source if there is no longer old oil under the bike to confuse you.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I couldn't sleep, so I went out in the garage and started investigating the problem. I decided to take a break and report what I found so far.

I removed the main drain plug and let the oil take it's sweet time draining out. I then carefully measured the oil. There were 7 quarts and 8 ounces. I added three last night so there were 4 quarts and 8 ounces in the bike.

Now that I see what the sight glass looks like with no oil in in the crankcase, I now know that the sight glass showed over full when I first checked the oil. So that means I lost oil pressure and the engine shut down with the engine full of oil. (Or over full in this case.)

The gasket or "crush washer" was missing from the drain bolt. Part # 92065-097. It was not stuck on the engine or in the drain pan.

I'm going to remove the current oil filter and replace it. Then I'm going to remove the screen filter to see what's up with that.
 

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Buy a few washers and keep them in your toolbox. They're supposed to be replaced with every oil change. A trick I use to keep the bike upright is to slide an auto ramp under the bike from the right side to trap the frame and keep it from tipping too far to the right. Works well when I don't feel like messing with the Jack.
 
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