View Full Version : In search of oil
05-29-2003, 07:57 PM
Rumor has it that Nitro 70-w made by Kendell is going to be discontinued in the very near future. Fact being no one has any here in Florida. Does anyone have knowledge of any manufacturer of a 70-w oil for bikes. The warm summer days here will turn 70-w to look like 10-w in my panhead with running an oil cooler. Any help will greatly be appreciated. Don P.
05-29-2003, 08:10 PM
Did it ever occur to you that the heavier oils are denser, and therefore hold more heat?
Do you really think an oil cooler doesn't slow down the flow on a vintage pump, and doesn't make the oil cook faster?
Is your pan really loose as a goose to accommodate that thick of oil?? (It might be by now.)
If it really is that tired of a farm implement, then Oilzum 70 wt is still available in cases at a reasonable price, and still in cardboard cans!
05-29-2003, 08:47 PM
« Reply #2 on: May 27th, 2003, 2:15pm »
Why risk your motor? The first 50 miles are the most important as well as the oil that is used to lubricate the internal parts when the motor is first started. Harley oil is designed for air-cooled motors, to prevent the roller bearings from skating on the surface of the bearing's race. If the bearing slides, it will create a flat spot on the roller and a memory that will force the roller to return to that spot. A thin film of oil is the only protective cushion the bearing parts have. The worst thing about using Harley oil is having to drain it and throw it away after the first 100 mile oil change, and then after the 500 mile oil change. In the late 70's Shovelhead owners began reporting valves sticking on hot motors while waiting at traffic signals. The heat generated while idling would increase the temperature of the piston rings and exhaust valves to critical levels. When the oil broke down from heat, carbon formed and lubrication decreased, and without warning, the valve would stick. The problem became more severe as petrol formulations changed to meet stricter environmental regulations. Sun Oil made Harley an oil with an experimental additive. In testing, the new oil earned a rating of 240, which meant the motor ran continuously for 240 hours. The testing was stopped at 240 hours before the minimum of test criteria was checked. This rating was three times superior to conventional motor oils. Two things affect the performance of an oil: the additives and the base oils. The quality of base oils vary widely. some of these are good for use in motor oils and some are not. H-D oil is formulated using crude from a specific area that gets refined, receives added polymers, and is tested to see how it performs in H-D motors. No other company has the H-D oil formulation, nor can they duplicated it. Harley uses an oil rating system developed by H-D engineers. The system uses the prefix HD, followed by the average number of hours the oil ran sucessfully in the test. A poor quality oil is rated HD40. A top quality automotive oil would be rated HD80. Harley's oil is rated HD240. The recommended viscosity grade for use in ALL temp. conditions is SAE 20W50 Harley oil. The SAE 50 and 60 grade is satisfactory is temps 60-100 F. The SAE 60 grade, in ambient temps from 80-over to 100 F. Use H-D's SAE 60 grade or cheaper Kendall 70W in 1936-64 transmissions.
Note: The SAE 20W50 H-D oil contains the same additives as the SAE 50 and 60 grade H-D oil. The difference is the ploymers added to 20W50. Both oils offer the same skid-protection to roller bearing/race surfaces. Aviation oils are not recommended because these oils do not contain an important additive that is required for good wear protection. All motor oils wear out. 1. The additives become depleted 2. The oil molecules undergo a chemical reaction with oxygen and break down. 3. Contaminates, like water, gasoline, carbon, and dust tend to get mixed with the oil. Change the oil every 2,500 miles (use an external filter). Don't put additives in Harley oil, it doesn't need any. Stett told me I could alternate at oil changes between 20W50 and 60 grade and since I knew he could rebuild the motor if it popped, I run my Panhead hard. I don't wind the snot out of it, and I've run H-D's 20W50 for 30,000 + miles in the hotest conditions...testing Harley's 20W50 exclusively, in a rebuilt 74" Panhead, trying to burn it up (my theory being that a lighter viscosity oil in a new motor would reach the top end faster when cold, and then I just kept using it)... Like out to Borrego Springs where it gets over 100 F. daily. I think about Harley's oil claims when I start the motor, after getting gassed-up out there... out there where you can fry an egg on the sidewalk....I think about the rings,valves and bearing races, when I kick the slobbering beast over and I feel good knowing that I have anti-skate protection. It took more than a year to get my motor back, and in the machine and on the road and I beseech of youse's, not to think about how much the oil costs, just buy a case, take it on home and use it. Put some between your fingers. Feel that tack? Rub it into your hair and scalp. Check out how much "cling" is left in the bottle. That's HARLEY OIL!
05-29-2003, 09:30 PM
I appreciate the info on the 20-50w oil something to think about. only going by the repair manual on viscosity of oil to use. in refrence to me runnig an oil cooler, i have seen a 20' drop in oil temps at the oil tank, and no the engine is not worn like a barn tractor. If you think about it running an oil cooler adds more oil to the system, maybe only a 1/2 quart or so but more oil, more cooling power. K.Perry, looking forward to receiving your book in the mail, was able to find one on amazon.com
05-29-2003, 10:07 PM
Sorry, but more oil does not mean more cooling power, 1/2 gallon of boiling water is just as hot as 1 gallon. Tom... settle down, the man just asked a question.
05-29-2003, 10:20 PM
Sorry if my reply seemed terse, but I didn't want to type volumes of babble.
(Short attention span, y'know)
The last time I ran 70 weight (mid 1970's), I broke a valve spring. Musta been a coincidence.
05-30-2003, 07:36 AM
In reply to Tom, I know I don't have all the answers but I really don't see a problem running an oil cooler with the older oiling systems. Harley did offer a oil filter assembly part # 63800-48 and it fit 40 to 57 - 61", 74" & 80" twins. To me it is the same thing with the exception of the reduction in heat. The oil cooler has bin on my bike for two seasons now and in mid-summer I can place my hand on the oil tank and keep it there without loseing the skin off my hand where as before the oil cooler that would be impossible to do. The cooler must be doing something. Harley repair manual page 57 states,105 regular heavey oil when temps are 75 F or above and reduction in viscosity as temps drop. Is the book wrong or right ?
05-30-2003, 08:25 AM
As far as the book question, remember that HD 105 was not 105 wt, but comparible to 50wt. SAE qualifications are confusing in themselves.
And about the filter, don't forget that it has a ballcheck: If the oil is cold and thick, it won't even see the filter!
The idea of a cooler for oil after it has left the motor is a mute circumstance. The destruction of the oil occurs in hotspots and from mechanical shear inside.
Consider this about your oiltank temperature:
Although the gearpump appears to be positive displacement, it is actually pumping a lot of compressible gases. The resistance of extra piping and the cooler may well reduce the flow sufficiently to where the heat is being kept within the motor!
And that tank radiates heat away faster when hot than warm. Like the coffee cup experiment in grade school: Put thermometers in two full cups, one hot and one warm. The hotter one will get cooler quicker by "driving force".
If your cooler (a heat exchanger) does not feel hot, then it's worthless.
Remember above all, the motor depends upon air to cool it, not oil. The oil prevents friction, a cause of heat, but if the oil is too thick, it doesn't do its job.
You could pump hot oil through a non-operating motor all day and not bring it up to temperature, but trying to pump cold or thick oil will make a running motor starve for lube, and get hot fast.
Been there, done that.
05-31-2003, 06:55 AM
I operate in conditions that rarely exceed 95 degrees. My Sport Scout goes out year round and has about 12,000 miles on it now. It still has plenty of power, but getting a little louder internally. The rule I've used on determing the proper weight oil is by the tailpipe reading. A wet reading means too thin, a dry reading is too thick. The sumps in the Indians bubble the oil back into the tank. I used detergent oil once and the oil turned foamy. Typically I use 30W below about 60, 40W most the time and 50W when it gets in the 90's. Most the time I use one quart of oil and change weekly. The amount of oil I use is temperature related. As long a the oil on the bottom of the tank is relatively cool, a quart is fine as long as you change it frequently.I have no experience with the harsh conditions that are spoken of. But considering that the engine has gone 12,000 miles with no air cleaner (gasp!) and still runs great, it works for me.
05-31-2003, 09:06 AM
Hello Chums, how's it going out there? Take a minute and go to one of my favorite web sites. Donny Peterson's www.hdcycles.com When you get to the site click onto Technical TECQ. At that point surf his site and check out the many oil topics. Lot's of information, tips etc. See if your own opinions are in agreement or differ. Maybe learn something or two, perhaps dispell a myth or enforce your own ideas about oil! As for me, over the years I've used everything from 70 wt Valvoline Racing oil to the Castrol 50 wt Racing oil I'm currently running in the Sportster drag bike project. (Seems I always have to have the word 'Racing' or 'HP' in there somewhere on anything I buy for my bikes or cars. Like Linus' blanket from the Peanut characters...just makes me feel better!) Must work cause I've never broke anything internally on any of the bikes I've owned. Always changed oil the first 500 miles or less and about every 1000 miles after that. Never used an oil cooler, so I can't speak for their value to motorcycles. Probably not as important though as keeping the bike moving in traffic. Even an automotive oil cooler has a fan continueally blowing air across the fins to dissapate heat. Well, got to go, Harmony's just a week away. Let's hope the weather stays clear and mild all weekend!...Later...:cool: ...Hrdly-Dangrs
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