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#1339643 - 01/12/09 07:35 PM Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead
Jeff_D Offline


Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 56
Loc: none of your business
Hello folks, a new guy here.

I've an early '84 Harley FLH Shovelhead. I'm currently using Amsoil's straight 60w synthetic oil(AHR)in the motor.

I live in Northern Mn. where temps are on the cooler side, but rarely ride it when it's below 50F.

I'm using this weight oil due to the fact Amsoil has it as their first pick(over their motorcycle 20W50) for use on Harley's pre Evolution motors.

I've been asked, and don't know the answer, why I wouldn't run 20W50 instead. I have read that synthetic straight weight oil's do act somewhat like a multi viscoity dino oil, ei they thicken less when cooled, but not sure to what extent. Shovelhead's have roller bearing's in their lower end's and generally tolerances are much looser than on most modern engines, but still?

Will a synthetic 60 weight provide adaquate protection on cold start-ups @ 50F in this type of motor?

Does it's ability to hold up better to the higher shearing effect these motor's have on an oil outweigh the cold startup protection a multi viscosity synthetic 20W50 would provide?

I figured I'd ask the experts, and thanks for any input!









Edited by Jeff_D (01/12/09 07:36 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#1339727 - 01/12/09 08:26 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jeff_D]
LargeCarManX2 Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 2279
Loc: Up here in the NorthWest
The Amsoil 60w starts around in the 30w area. With NO VII's I think your on the right track.
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#1339746 - 01/12/09 08:43 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jeff_D]
Pablo Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 46658
Loc: Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
A couple things, Amsoil's MC recommendations are good and the SAE 60 is basically a 25W-60. The oil is very shear stable and has a fairly huge HT/HS of greater than 6.

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#1339825 - 01/12/09 09:34 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Pablo]
Jeff_D Offline


Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 56
Loc: none of your business
Thank you Gentlemen for the replies.

So if I understand correctly then:

Having no viscosity index improver's means an oil will remain it's intended viscosity (60 in this case) longer than one with VII's added, such as most multi viscosity oils?

Amsoil's AHR 60 acts similiar to a 25 weight oil when cold? This is adaquate protection, in my case, with >50F cold start-ups?

Pablo, what does the term HT/HS refer too?

Thanks & Sorry so many question's, still learning.

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#1339914 - 01/12/09 10:37 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jeff_D]
Pablo Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 46658
Loc: Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
 Originally Posted By: Jeff_D
Thank you Gentlemen for the replies.

So if I understand correctly then:

Having no viscosity index improver's means an oil will remain it's intended viscosity (60 in this case) longer than one with VII's added, such as most multi viscosity oils?

Amsoil's AHR 60 acts similiar to a 25 weight oil when cold? This is adaquate protection, in my case, with >50F cold start-ups?

Pablo, what does the term HT/HS refer too?

Thanks & Sorry so many question's, still learning.


Yes. Very shear stable.
50F will be no problem.
High Temperature/High Shear = High Temperature/High Shear Viscosity cP, XC, X s-1 (ASTM D4683)

http://www.astm.org/Standards/D4683.htm






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#1355820 - 01/28/09 11:26 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Pablo]
PT1 Offline


Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 5746
Loc: near the mistake
That 60w in that engine is a great combination. Just don't start it under 50*F and all is good IMO. When you do start it at 50*F just let it warm up for 2-3 minutes before you ride away.


Edited by PT1 (01/28/09 11:28 PM)
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Oils well that ends well...

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#1356304 - 01/29/09 02:43 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: PT1]
tmorris1 Offline


Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 2038
Loc: MN
I watched an episode of American Chopper where they filled a new engine with 60 or 70W oil from a bulk barrel sitting right next to the garage door in the winter. The engine almost was ruined because Pauly started revving the thing right away and the oil was so thick that it wasn't getting to the top end. They are great fabricators, but don't know much about an engine.

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#1356878 - 01/30/09 12:01 AM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: tmorris1]
Jeff_D Offline


Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 56
Loc: none of your business
I with you guys on letting the engine warm up first.

I read somewhere to let a Shovelhead warm up until the rocker boxes get warm to the touch, and even then don't rev the snot out of it, or work it hard, until the oil tanks warm too.

That's what I try to do.

FWIW, I've never been one to rev an engine just to hear it rev, anyways. ;\)

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#1368155 - 02/09/09 12:21 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jeff_D]
PT1 Offline


Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 5746
Loc: near the mistake
 Originally Posted By: Jeff_D
I with you guys on letting the engine warm up first.

I read somewhere to let a Shovelhead warm up until the rocker boxes get warm to the touch, and even then don't rev the snot out of it, or work it hard, until the oil tanks warm too.

That's what I try to do.

FWIW, I've never been one to rev an engine just to hear it rev, anyways. ;\)


Good habit to get into. On my TC88 I wait until the rear jug is warm as well.
_________________________
Oils well that ends well...

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#1380995 - 02/21/09 09:04 AM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: PT1]
Jack Hester Offline


Registered: 02/17/06
Posts: 21
Loc: Roxboro, North Carolina
I typically run Amsoil 20W-50 in all my old machines. My habits have always been different from my peers, in that I pay attention to the hot operating pressure of my engines. I always do a warm-up of my engine, running at lower speeds (around 45 mph in high or drop it down a gear and run at 35 mph). Even my high mileage engines. Treat 'um just like new. Now, I have moved over to the Amsoil 60W over the past few Summers, as they have been 100+F. With night-time temps in the 70's. My '59 has been pressed into service as my primary road machine, since totaling my '76 in '04. It has always been a high mileage, tired old machine until last Summer when it finally gave up. It's on its way back, along with the '76.

Anyway, I have no qualms about 20W-50 in these machines. Also, 75W-90 gear lube in the transmission. It is equivalent to about a 30W-60 in engine oil weight. Some say more like a 20W-50. But, it pours a bit thicker than that. I run both in Flathead 45's, and Big Twins.

Jack

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#1385959 - 02/25/09 07:47 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jack Hester]
Shovel Head Ted Offline


Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 80
Loc: Morgan Hill,CA
I ride a 79 FXS I use MCV 20/50 most of the year,until it gets real hot in the summer. Then I switch to AHR 60 wt. I switched to amsoil about 7 years ago from Harley dino oil. its been great, bike runs cooler and uses less oil between changes. I also use 75/90 svg in my tranny.

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#1393120 - 03/04/09 07:48 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jack Hester]
ZGRider Offline


Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 534
Loc: North Texas
You gotta wonder about a motorcycle that would even need straight 60 weight oil in the first place, I don't even use straight weight oil in my Massey-Ferguson tractor that is 40 years old and Massey recommends 10w-40 in that tractor -- 40 years ago they didn't even recommend oil that thick in a farm implement. Hhmmm..... You know those bikes have roller bearing rods, roller bearing crank, roller lifters, [censored], they could nearly lubricate with splash lubrication -- why do they need straight 60 weight oil? To slow down the leaks? Which parts are going to shear the oil with all the roller bearings?
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#1394427 - 03/05/09 09:08 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: ZGRider]
Jeff_D Offline


Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 56
Loc: none of your business
 Originally Posted By: ZGRider
You know those bikes have roller bearing rods, roller bearing crank, roller lifters, [censored], they could nearly lubricate with splash lubrication -- why do they need straight 60 weight oil? To slow down the leaks?
ZG, I'm under the impression these engines are designed for a high volume/flow of oil rather than pressure. I know the hot oil pressure is considered good if it's 2psi.
 Originally Posted By: ZGRider
Which parts are going to shear the oil with all the roller bearings?
I'm curious to that answer myself? What normally shears an oil? Gears?
Can oil be sheared in a roller bearings?

For whatever reason , gears, bearings, loose tolerances, being an air cooled engine, the UOA's I've read do seem to show oil's go out of grade faster on engines designed like this than on other designs.

Anybody have ideas?

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#1395145 - 03/06/09 06:06 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: Jeff_D]
PT1 Offline


Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 5746
Loc: near the mistake
 Originally Posted By: Jeff_D
 Originally Posted By: ZGRider
You know those bikes have roller bearing rods, roller bearing crank, roller lifters, [censored], they could nearly lubricate with splash lubrication -- why do they need straight 60 weight oil? To slow down the leaks?
ZG, I'm under the impression these engines are designed for a high volume/flow of oil rather than pressure. I know the hot oil pressure is considered good if it's 2psi.
 Originally Posted By: ZGRider
Which parts are going to shear the oil with all the roller bearings?
I'm curious to that answer myself? What normally shears an oil? Gears?
Can oil be sheared in a roller bearings?

For whatever reason , gears, bearings, loose tolerances, being an air cooled engine, the UOA's I've read do seem to show oil's go out of grade faster on engines designed like this than on other designs.

Anybody have ideas?


Yeah...Shovels are shear monsters with very loose tolerances. Oil shears anywhere it gets pumped or squeezed. Crank bearings especially.
_________________________
Oils well that ends well...

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#1395418 - 03/06/09 10:54 PM Re: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead [Re: PT1]
wileyE Offline


Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 1967
Loc: Kitsap, WA
heat and fuel dillution make it worse, Something most harleys get plenty of.

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