Instructions on How to Change Oil and
Fluids in Harley-Davidson
(Engine, Primary, Transmission)
Timely oil changes are crucial for the performance and smooth operation of your
motorcycle but going for that service to a dealer can put a dent in your pocket. You can
save some money by doing this simple service yourself.
It is always a good idea to read your owner?s manual specific to your model year.
It is better to change the oil after a warm-up. Ride your Harley for 10-15 miles to bring
the oil temperature up to operating temp to keep it in suspension mode.
Softail and Dyna Models Engine Oil Change will take about 2.5 to 3 quarts of oil.
Makes sure your motorcycle is in vertical position. If don?t have a stand just put a
wooden block under your kickstand to bring the bike close to a vertical position.
Remove the plug on the bottom of the oil pan and drain all the oil into a container. It will
take a few minutes. Please dispose of the used oil properly.
Inspect the O-ring on the oil plug and replace it if it is torn. After draining, ?re-install the
Add 2.5 quarts of oil and start the engine. Now, stop the engine and using the dipstick
add oil as needed to the top of the level. Notice that some of the newer model?s oil
level should be measured on the side stand. Please refer to your owner?s manual.
Softail Harley Primary Oil Change.
Stand the bike straight up. Drain the oil (primary fluid). You will need 14-16 oz of oil
(primary fluid). Open the clutch inspection cover and fill with primary fluid to the bottom
of the clutch basket. Make sure you don?t overfill or you will have trouble shifting and
Softail Harley Transmission Oil Change.
Transmissions vary so it is hard to come up with a universal method of changing
Harley transmission oil. Some information you may want to know: most transmissions
take 1 quart of oil (transmission fluid). Make sure that you use the best oil you can find
because you don?t need to change it that often and a better grade oil will keep your
transmission running smooth and problem free longer. Your bike needs to be straight
up for a proper oil level measurement and oil change. On some newer models it has to
be on a kickstand so please see your owner?s manual. The drainage ?screw on a
Softail is usually located on the bottom of the transmission between the shocks.
Touring Harley Models.
Engine Oil Change
Touring models are quite different. These engines take more oil. 3.5 to 4 quarts. So
put in 3.5 quarts first and then add oil as needed and make sure not overfill. Drain
screw is facing front and located on the leading edge of the oil pan. Use your dipstick
to determine the oil level when the oil is hot. If you overfill, ?oil will spew into your
aircleaner and needless to say you don?t want that to happen.
Touring Primary Fluid Change.
Most primaries use 1 quart of oil and newer models use 38oz. Please refer to your
owner?s manual. Motorcycle should be in straight up position and oil (primary fluid)
should be filled to the bottom of the clutch basket. Going over that level will result in
some troubles with shifting and finding neutral.
Touring? Transmission Fluid Change.
Check oil levels in straight-up position. Use 1 quart of high quality transmission oil
(transmission fluid). Drain screw is usually located facing down on the bottom of the
oil pan. Use new O-ring with transmission oil change. Torque the drain screw
correctly. A steel bolt may damage the aluminum oil pan if over tightened.?
One more thing here.?That is?to not to be tempted?into removing the plug in the bottom
of the engine sump (case) It has been tried by some and in a few cases they have
cracked the engine case doing it.?
The plug is there from the manufacturing process for the case and is installed with