What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead? - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 07-27-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
Bugman
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Default What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I searched and didn't really find the answer I was looking for. I've got a '77 74 CI Shovelhead, fairly recent rebuild(I'd say no more than 4,000 miles ago), and solid lifters. Most of my riding is at highway speeds. I've always used Harley brand 20W-50(cause I worked at a dealer and it was cheap). Now that I have to actually buy my own oil, I was wondering if there was something I should be using instead. It leaks a bit(and I'm a cheap bastard), so I don't want to use a synthetic. Are there any brands you'd recomend? Should I use the "specifically formulated for air cooled engines" stuff, or will regular oil do? What weight should I be using? Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

50w.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I use 60w, but that is just what i have used on my shovel and its been working out good for the last 2 years.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Amsoil 60w.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Different weight for different conditions. The service manual breaks it down. Readers Digest version, 60 wt. when it's hot, 50 Wt. when it's not. Even thinner oil when it's too cold to ride. ;^).
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugman View Post
I searched and didn't really find the answer I was looking for. I've got a '77 74 CI Shovelhead, fairly recent rebuild(I'd say no more than 4,000 miles ago), and solid lifters. Most of my riding is at highway speeds. I've always used Harley brand 20W-50(cause I worked at a dealer and it was cheap). Now that I have to actually buy my own oil, I was wondering if there was something I should be using instead. It leaks a bit(and I'm a cheap bastard), so I don't want to use a synthetic. Are there any brands you'd recomend? Should I use the "specifically formulated for air cooled engines" stuff, or will regular oil do? What weight should I be using? Thanks for the help.
i see your across that big lake from me so i would guess your weather conditions are more or less the same as mine.
shovels are not that friendly with multi weights except for winter use or short trips.
synthetics just heat up and turn piss thin.
synthetics may lube better but if it's to thin to pump...
my 70 hated synthetics after about 10 miles.
i run 50W Valvoline in cooler temps and 60W when it's hot like today.
for extended highway use maybe a small shot (only a few ounces) of that Lucas oil goop at high temps.
if you had hydraulic tappets that shovel would tell you when the oil is to thin.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I run 60w Valvoline in summer and 20-50 all other times of the year.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

ive been running 20-50w in my ironhead. whats the difference between that and a straight 50w? i cant find the straight 50 anywhere anyway.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Live in Vegas (super hot) 60w Amsoil synthetic.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

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ive been running 20-50w in my ironhead. whats the difference between that and a straight 50w? i cant find the straight 50 anywhere anyway.
Try NAPA.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I have a 73 and 78 ,both with oil coolers and have run Valvoline 50w racing oil for the last 15 years with good results. And their both stroker motors.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

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ive been running 20-50w in my ironhead. whats the difference between that and a straight 50w? i cant find the straight 50 anywhere anyway.

you got your bike on the road?
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Straight 60w Amsoil.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Drag Specialties 20W-50 in Northern Virginia in a 75 Shovel. Drag gets their oil from the same guys that supply Harley, or so I'm told. Same oil but 1-2 $ cheaper by the quart.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I've always run straight 50W (Pennzoil) in my shovels, and now the Pan. Getting hard to find here now ...
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:48 AM   #16
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I agree the drag specialties oil is just as good as the harley oil. I would stick to the 20w-50. I have been using that in my pan for the past 3 years. My thoughts on the full synthetic oils are concerning the inhibators. I can't explain to myself how the anti-foaming or moisture inhibators are different in the two types. As long as acid doesn't develope in the mineral oil the oil dosen't go bad, but the inhibators do.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

60w valvoline racing oil...autozone.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigassbike View Post
you got your bike on the road?


yup yup yup. did the shake down this weekend. had a buddy lay it down, vibration broke the headlight mount off at 2 in the morning... all the usual.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

Straight 60 Kendall here in Florida.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:37 AM   #20
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Default Re: What weight and brand oil for a Shovelhead?

I live in Md. Straight 70w in summer 60w fall&spring and 50w winter.
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