Primary Leak

Primary Gasket Leak (1996)

by Paul Rako
Even my newest Harley leaks oil.  At about 12,000 miles a leak developed at the primary cover gasket.  I had degreased and hosed the bike down the week before and driven it just a couple of miles before pulling over to look for the leak source.  This is what it looked like after a weeks driving.
A3/4 inch wrench takes care of the drain plug at the bottom of the motor.  You might want to stand the bike upright after it has mostly drained out to get the oil that is sloshed into the primary cover.  Harley never bothered to make the drain plug at the lowest point when the bike is on the side stand. They assumed you would have a powered hoist like they have in the engineering garage.  Even with the bike dead level the design of the primary gasket always traps some oil that will make a mess when you pull the cover.  It's been this way since 1953 so don't expect any changes, just buy a lot of shop towels. 

If you want professional results act like a professional.  Bring the tools to the bike or vice versa.  Why do you think they call it a "roll around" anyway?  You should make every effort to "work out of the box" which means you replace tools right after using them.  That way you'll know where to find it as opposed to sitting in a little pile of tools scattered all around you like 5 year old in a sandbox.  Leaving a 60 dollar Snap-On wrench in the cowl area of a customer's car cured me of leaving tools laying around.  I would watch the big dollar Porsche mechanics on the other side of the shop.  They put every tool back immediately after they used it.  I said "But your going to use it two seconds later".  Tim said "Yep, and I know right where it will be." 
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