no oil pressure

Classic short-frame models

no oil pressure

Postby Richie E » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:49 pm

Thought I finally got my 68 xlch all together. I was told the engine was rebuilt years ago by a Harley dealer but the engine was never reinstalled in the bike. From what I could see there are new 30 over pistons and new valves. Engine turned over fine. Shimmed the cams, rebuilt the mag, checked breather timing and generally checked it out, but did not check the oil pump!! I installed a remote Harley oil filter assembly which mounts to the left front motor mount, pre lubed the oil lines, and filter. Removed plug from oil pump to purge air and started the engine which sounded healthy. Problem is I can't seem to build oil pressure and no return oil back to tank. Took the ball and spring out of the pump,checked spring length and ball and seat,forced oil in pump. Do I remove the plug all together? Or just loosen it to vent air. When I filled the return line with oil that seems to be the only oil that returns back. Am I purging this pump correctly? Or should I eliminate the filter and see if it works that way. I'm just hoping its not a broken key on the pump shaft, I know what that means! Any advice will be well appreciated. Thanks Richie E
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Lisa » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:07 pm

Throw the filter away you really don't need it. put about 1/4 qt to 1/2 qt of oil in the timing plug hole fire it up and let it run a while it should be all right and continue flowing into the oil tank - if not remove motor and reinstall one of my oil pump 's that are guaranteed to NOT wet sump and your problems will be over. If you don't do this you will have a wet sumper if you r&r it
and you can enjoy kicking it over with a lower end full of 60 weight oil and then wiping up the mess you made on the floor. K models and ironheads are a flow system don't expect to have oil pressure on them except for start up 15 lbs and at about 65 miles per hour about 5 lbs hot if your lucky. Oil pumps can be r&r without removing the cam cover. I can explain how if needed.
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Mayday53 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:40 pm

As for the check spring and ball, I believe you (Tom) advised me previously that it should be tightened all the way, is that correct? I recall you saying there is not enough pressure to worry about it and it will help prevent seep down...I am old though, so correct me if I am wrong please (anyone). :-)
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Lisa » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:40 pm

On one end you have a check ball or a check valve if it has a stud with a screwdriver slot and a acorn nut you tighten it down tight then tighten the a corn nut. on the other end you have a spring and valve or ball and this is pre set when assembled to seal properly. Done deal Again if you don't have a gear housing or inner cover seal your pump will in fact WET SUMP...
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Mayday53 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:48 pm

Roger that...copy all thanks
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Ferrous_Head » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:34 pm

With a new pump in an engine you need to bleed the pump.

All you need to do is remove the pressure switch at the front of the pump and allow about an oz of oil to dribble out of the hole. Re-install the switch and your good to continue checking. It might be a couple of minutes before this begins. If you see nothing in a couple of minutes kick the engine over a couple of times and check again.
If you cannot get oil to dribble out of that font hole something is wrong. Stop.
If it dribbles out you need to check oil flow from the pump.
reinstall the pressure switch (set screw)
Take off an oil line feed to the rocker box.
Turn the engine over until oil starts coming out of the oil line.
If you can't get oil out at this point stop.
If you want to be 100% certain that oil is getting to the entire top end remove the set screw at the front of the front rocker box and check for oil flow. Won't be a lot but there should be some.
If that all checks out you need to turn the engine over until you can see oil returning from the engine into the oil tank.
With the plugs out you need to get around 60+ times for that to happen. I no longer kick because I have electric rollers to do that for me. It does take a long time kicking.

When you do finally see oil returning you will notice it's coming in spurts and not a steady stream. That's normal, don't worry. It will also have a "milky" appearance and that's normal as well.
Now you can start your engine.
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Richie E » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:19 am

Thanks for all the good advice. I'll try it all out as soon as I can and report back.
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Noot » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:00 pm

You may have an incorrect oil filter? - One type feeds through the center, and out the edges - and the other is just the opposite.
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Richie E » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:36 pm

The oil filter came in the Harley external filter kit [#63795-77]. Ran a hose from the return right elbow on top of the crankcase to the outer hole of the filter housing as instructed. Center hole got piped back to the oil tank. So far I got oil dripping out the pump when I removed the front plug, but can't get oil to come out from the lines to the top end. I poured some oil in the crankcase and finally got some oil to return to the tank. Could it be that the scavenge part of the pump is working and not the pressure side?? I know that this engine has been sitting around for years after the rebuild, what I think was only a top end job. Again,thanks for all the advice!! Richie E
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Re: no oil pressure

Postby Lisa » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:35 pm

Call 4137834045 oil pump specialist.
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