CHECKING ENGINE OIL LEVEL

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Here's a question I've been pondering for a long time; perhaps our Norton panel of experts can answer this one.

What is the proper method for checking the engine oil level on a '75 Commando? Specifically, should the bike be on the center stand or side stand when checking?

Mute point some may say? Quite the contrary. If the oil dip stick reading indicates full with the bike on the side stand, it will show over .5 quarts low with the bike repositioned on the center stand.

I know someone out there has the "official Norton answer".

Thanks and regards,

Jason
 

Jerry Doe

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Oil Level

On my 73 I always check it on the center stand.

I have a breather tube running out to the back of the bike. If I fill it to the top on the stand, it blows a little bit out the back.

For me the perfect place is 1/2 to 3/4 full while the bike is on the center stand on level ground. It does not blow out the back then.

Jerry

http://jerrydoe.com
 
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Of course the oil must be fully hotted before a check some times these bikes are evil task masters. norbsa
 
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Jason,

I am sure most owners will know that the oil can "wetsump", that is drain down from the oil tank to the sump while left standing. Therefore you do need to run/ride the bike for a few minutes if you are checking the oil level.
The oil will then be pumped back into the oil tank where it should be. You may get a false reading if you don't do this.

Jerry has then said "For me the perfect place is 1/2 to 3/4 full while the bike is on the center stand on level ground. It does not blow out the back then."

Having had 7 commandos myself over a 30 year period, I would say Jerry is spot on with his "1/2 to 3/4 full while the bike is on the center stand on level ground" otherwise oil seems to want to blow out.

Reg.
 
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Thanks for the feedback on my oil level question. If I've interpreted the responses correctly, filling and checking the oil with the bike on the center stand results in an overfilled tank (asuming the level is at the FULL mark). Perhaps checking the oil with the bike on the side stand would be more accurate?

Jason
 
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Jason,

Old saying......
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink"

So, I guess it is your decision how you check your bike.

Another tip...
Check the definition of "mute", then "moot" in a good dictionary.

Just a suggestion of help, nothing else intended.

Reg.
 
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Nortonfan,

Ok, bad question. I was hoping someone would respond by saying:

"Back when I worked at the Norton factory, we would check the oil by first..."

Or, perhaps: "On page 72 of the Norton factory procedures manual, it says to check the oil this way."

Better question next time.

Jason
 

ILLF8ED

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Commando oil level

Jason,

The responses are pretty much what I've found. Check oil on the center stand after a ride. The level should be just above the lower dip stick mark. Filled to the top mark will cause overflowing from the tank. Experience is the best teacher, so play around with the level above the lower mark. The Commando will let you know when it has too much oil.
 

ILLF8ED

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Commando oil level

Jason,

The responses are pretty much what I've found. Check oil on the center stand after a ride. The level should be just above the lower dip stick mark. Filled to the top mark will cause overflowing from the tank. Experience is the best teacher, so play around with the level above the lower mark. The Commando will let you know when it has too much oil.
 

Ron L

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>Ok, bad question. I was hoping someone would respond by saying:

>"Back when I worked at the Norton factory, we would check the oil by >first..."

>Or, perhaps: "On page 72 of the Norton factory procedures manual, it >says to check the oil this way."

Well, if that's what you want, on page 9 of the 750 Riders manual it says..."Before filling fresh oil, run the engine for three to four minutes to clear excess oil in the crankcase, observing the oil circulating through the cap in the oil tank filler orifice.

Allow the oil to settle in the tank, then fill sufficient oil of a recommended grade until the correct oil level is shown on the dipstick. The oil level should not exceed the "H" mark or fall below the "L" on the dipstick. It is most important not to exceed the "H"."


Real helpful, huh? Keep in mind the oil serves two purposes. Lubricating the bearings and help keep the engine cool. As long as there is oil in the tank, it will lubricate. However, if allowed to run for extended periods below the "L" mark, it will get pretty hot. If filled above the "H", it will spit it out the breather and make a real mess.

Ron L
 
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Jason,

Further to the private emails you have been sending me.

Apparently the new 2005 model Softail Harley Davidson Oil Dipstick Design allows the rider to check the oil level with the bike on its' sidestand.

I was at our local HD distributors shop yesterday test riding a Heritage & asked the oil question.

So at least the 2005 softail owners won't have to chock up their harleys to check their oil anymore.
 

Anonymous

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Hey these things run with a dry-ish sump so don't need
much oil in tank to keep her oil pressure up. Do to losing
2/3 my oil d/t oil filter working lose - only revealed by
the unfun handling entering the fun twisties - I rode
it back to twon 20 miles watching my oil temp and speedo
and it ran the same 120 F oil entering motor as it did prior
so I just ran on in around 80-90 for 15 min and began
to wonder about just how much oil is really needed-
plus the amount to save a motor if it spring a leak.

I can not tell you how much your Commando life will improve after you install a big fat oil sight and drain tube.
Allows level and color judgement at a glance and no
tool no mess renewal.

I put an temp sendor in front bottom of tank but in
crashes it has caused a tire oiling leak, I wonder if there
arn't just some glue on temp sendors that could fit
for this?

hobot
'72 Combat minus some stuff.
 
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