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Thread: Oil change

  1. #1

    Default Oil change

    I am changing the oil on my 1948 chief ,what convential oil should I use thanks jerry

  2. #2

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    It doesn't matter as long as it is motorcycle oil which has EP additives for roller bearings.

  3. #3

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    High-zinc conventional oils work well. I use 50W, either Brad Penn, Valvoline VR1, or Joe Gibbs Driven. You can order the VR1 from almost any auto parts store. For any of them, make sure you get the dino and not the synthetic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
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    941

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    You won't go wrong with Harley-Davidson 50 weight or 60 wt, depending on the state of your engine. Readily available at any Harley Boutique by the quart or the case, and designed for Air-cooled internal-combustion engines exactly like yours. Valvoline Aircraft 50, available at any private airport is the other that will never harm your engine.

  5. #5

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    Do folks use 50W for both the engine and the trans? I've heard some people use 50W for the trans, and others use 15-50 or 20-50. What's the consensus?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    S.E.N.Y. State American side of Hudson River
    Posts
    487

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    I have only used straight weight oils for a long time in multiple motorcycles from fours to twins of both Indian and H-D. Oil is cheap, motors are not.
    D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

  7. #7

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    "W" is not weight, it's winter: the oil viscosity when it's cold = 23 F.
    Just a rumor: "The 1st number in the oil viscosity is the time it takes, in seconds, for cold oil to reach everywhere in the engine. 10W30 = 10 seconds. 50 weight = 50 seconds".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
    Posts
    354

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipdog View Post
    Do folks use 50W for both the engine and the trans? I've heard some people use 50W for the trans, and others use 15-50 or 20-50. What's the consensus?
    Primary and trans share oil unless it's been modified to separate them which some have been. 50 is too heavy for a combined primary and transmission. If primary and trans is separated, 30 can be used for the primary and 50 or even 80/90w would be fine in the transmission.

    I run Penngrade1 50w in the engine which is another oil specifically designed with old flathead air cooled engines in mind. If I was riding regularly in 85 plus degree ambient temps I'd run 60w. I don't run a Kiwi tank filter but opt to change it every 500-600 miles.

    HD Sportster oil in the shared primary/trans is used by many.
    Last edited by Skirted; 09-24-2019 at 08:25 AM.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  9. #9

    Default

    Because it's an oil thread. Lubricating oil has constantly improved the last century and reason they didn't use multi-vis in the 40's was because they didn't have it. All modern motorcycles use multi-vis and in absolutely no way does it harm a Chief engine. I've ran it and makes kick starting much easier. Asked a Penn Grade (Brad Penn) representative why they continue to market straight heavy oils if multi vis is better and he replied for old guys my age that refuse to change. In the eighties I did the 3 oil separation by sealing primary to trans, the light gear oil didn't help shifting and the trans fluid made no difference in clutch, pulled the seals out and now use cheap sae 30, drop oil every year or no more than a thousand miles. What brand oil to use is over debated, it doesn't matter.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbalowe View Post
    Because it's an oil thread. Lubricating oil has constantly improved the last century and reason they didn't use multi-vis in the 40's was because they didn't have it. All modern motorcycles use multi-vis and in absolutely no way does it harm a Chief engine. I've ran it and makes kick starting much easier. Asked a Penn Grade (Brad Penn) representative why they continue to market straight heavy oils if multi vis is better and he replied for old guys my age that refuse to change. In the eighties I did the 3 oil separation by sealing primary to trans, the light gear oil didn't help shifting and the trans fluid made no difference in clutch, pulled the seals out and now use cheap sae 30, drop oil every year or no more than a thousand miles. What brand oil to use is over debated, it doesn't matter.
    So what weight oils do you use in the engine, primary, and trans?

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