By: chesshirecat

Sep 12 2009

Category: Uncategorized


The oil tank has been repaired. They are installing oil lines as I type this. Bad news though. In the process of re-routing the lines, they found the belt drive sprocket for the final drive to be almost toothless. I ‘ve been so proud of that belt drive, about 160K on it and no problems….damn it, always happens with these older bikes.

Open em up, you open up a can of worms.  NEW SPROCKET: $250.00.  Sigh…OK replace please.

Still no concrete answer to my noise problem in the engine.  Is it a collapsed lifter or or pushrod?  They haven’t gone there yet…but suspect it is from the initial diagnostics they have done. Nothing further until they tear down the heads….
Yes…I want you to know, I HAVE been kicking my ass…I knew I shouldn’t have left the shop with the bike. No excuses will do. An explanation of my thoughts will be helpful though.  I don’t have a car.  My Mom can’t drive to the shop to pick me up, she would get very lost getting here, if not in an accident.

My MR. is the GM of a fast food business.  He works with idiots, can’t leave until a less incompetent idiot comes in at end of day shift….I would have been left waiting at the shop for almost 5 hours.  Well now, of course I see the benefits of sitting around bored out of my skull waiting for my MR. to get off work…but think of all the great adventures I would have missed out on?….Yeah I know…I’m delusional.   

My Sportster has over 150K. It’s a 1993 XLH 1200. I bought it in 2004 with 1200 miles on it.
You can read…I’ve put a lot of miles on this bike. Over the last few years, I’ve had a new top end (jugs, pistons, rings, ect)….but that’s really about it. The clutch needs freshening, but I guess that will wait once more…you see…I’ve now got some new problems….

1. The bracket that holds the oil tank to the frame broke. Oil leaking all over because of it.
2. The front sprocket on the final drive belt is almost toothless. Discovery when mech. was routing the oil lines again for the re-welded tank.
3. Now there is a hell of a racket in the engine. We feel the problem is a collapsed lifter or push-rod….

Now…how many of you have ever experienced the bracket breaking on you oil tank? My guy says it’s not uncommon… I’ve been around HD for 40 years… rode hard tail pans… and shovels for most of those years. I’ve worked in HD shops as service writer for several years…and still have never heard of it. I mean, the first thing the service manger did was go and lift up my oil tank when I told where it appeared the oil was leaking from. He was not at all surprised…so I guess he’s not exaggerating…. I just want to know…how many others have had this problem?



  1. I've never heard of the oil tank bracket breaking before, then again, I'm no mechanic either. I'm glad when the oil dumped, it didn't hit your rear timer and make you wipe out.Hope your problems don't cost you a fortune, so you can get that thing back on the road.

  2. correction. tire, not timer.

  3. So sorry to read this about your ride. I have never heard of that happening to a stock oil tank before. After market ones yes, stock ones no. But it could have been stressed at some point from gear being tied on and vibration made a small weld crack that got worse over time.I had a rattle one time in my other sporty back in 1984. Thought it was the top end but turned out it was the worn out tensioner and so worn primary chain was whapping the inside on the cover.

  4. Sorry to hear about the expense that you are incurring Chessie. I admire the longevity of the belt though – 160k seems very admirable in terms of service life. Mine is chain, and I am told to expect about 25k before a change is in order.Also, I wanted to compliment you on your choice of saddlebags!

  5. I am amazed at the mileage – wowa – don't see many bikes so well travelled! We feel your pain – hopefully no so much so on the pocketbook -;0)

  6. Well, well let me be the first to tell, I have had a oil tank mount tab break. Long time ago on my 68 FLH. The front mounting tab that mounts to the downtube, it even has a rubber mount. Lucky the tab broke just before the weld to the tank, easy fix. Good luck on your repairs, but I do smell money.

  7. chessie, im a former mc shop girl too. oil tank tabs were a somewhat common fix on high mile or hard tail bikes. it happens, not everyday but it happens… im sorry to hear about your bike. im always sick without mine so i can just imagine. you did good, you tried to her home, you got her safely to the shop, and all without further incident. bravo chessie. that is fabulous high miles. you clearly love that bike. hang in there and let us know…

  8. Hate to hear your Sporty is having issues… but wow, that is a lot of miles so to be expected I suppose. BTW, our UHaul place has a bike trailer too. Most people dont know about it but it is a great, cheap alternative to buying a trailer. At least for as much as I use one.

  9. Hope you get your baby back soon!

  10. I have not heard of this issue before but then again I drive a Honda and don't have a tremendous amount of experience with Harleys. I wish you the best with your old friend.

  11. Soppy to hear that your bike is in the shop. You are lost without it.

  12. Chessie, I would have left the shop too if I had to wait 5 hours…so I understand your train of thoughts…

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