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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious question.
What kind(not brand)of Oil are you guys using in your shovelheads and why?
I always from the 70's till the 90's ran straight weight aircraft oil in my shovels between 50 and 70 weight.
The guy who rebuilt my motor who has a good reputation and has been wrenching bikes at Harley dealers and his own shop now for 30+years and a avid drag racer said I should run the newer multi-viscocity stuff like 20w50, like the dealer sells for new bikes.
What about for my ratchet top trans also?
I am no oil scientist so, What do ya all think?
 

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Curious question.
What kind(not brand)of Oil are you guys using in your shovelheads and why?
I always from the 70's till the 90's ran straight weight aircraft oil in my shovels between 50 and 70 weight.
The guy who rebuilt my motor who has a good reputation and has been wrenching bikes at Harley dealers and his own shop now for 30+years and a avid drag racer said I should run the newer multi-viscocity stuff like 20w50, like the dealer sells for new bikes.
What about for my ratchet top trans also?
I am no oil scientist so, What do ya all think?
I always run 60 wt in the summer and 50 wt in the winter in anything with iron cylinders.
But that's just me.

BTW, Harley still sells straight 50 and 60 wt oil. The service manual for my FXR (84-90) still recommends straight weight oil if the temp is 80 degrees or above.
 

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Curious question.
What kind(not brand)of Oil are you guys using in your shovelheads and why?
I always from the 70's till the 90's ran straight weight aircraft oil in my shovels between 50 and 70 weight.
The guy who rebuilt my motor who has a good reputation and has been wrenching bikes at Harley dealers and his own shop now for 30+years and a avid drag racer said I should run the newer multi-viscocity stuff like 20w50, like the dealer sells for new bikes.
What about for my ratchet top trans also?
I am no oil scientist so, What do ya all think?
Is your bike kick only?

I ran 60w since April and on the cold mornings in the 40's, it was a BITCH to kick.

For that reason, I'd like to try 20w50 also. From all the old school shovel dudes, they say the same.

60w in summer
50w in winter
 

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Have been using 20W50 since 1985. Only difference I have seen is the rebuilds are way farther apart.
 

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Yup.

Ever see 20/50 when it's hot, like after a ride in the summer? Watery and thin. No thanks.
Isn't the basics of multi grade oil, let's say 20w50, at colder temps, it acts as a 50 weight oil, as it warms, it's more of a 20w oil right?

Have been using 20W50 since 1985. Only difference I have seen is the rebuilds are way farther apart.
Have you switched back to straight grade oil? Curious if the engine was any noisier between straight and multi grade oil.
 

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I run 20w-50. I've got a pressure gauge screwed right to the top of the pump, even with the oil good and hot, I still have 15 LBS of pressure at idle.
 

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Once again, an oil discussion divides a room.

You said the guy who rebuilt your motor recommended 20/50? Then that's what you run.
 

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Guess oil is like women every one likes different types. My old bikes I use 60w they are only ridin in the summer. My new one has 20/50 but the service book from Harley says is the temp is over 85 use 60w. Also read some where that if Harley oil was not available to use rotela 20/50 to make it home then change it out. So like it was said above everyone has a opinion.. Good luck Ride safe.
 

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Have you switched back to straight grade oil? Curious if the engine was any noisier between straight and multi grade oil.TheSandman........... Couple of Shovels and my 85 Evo lowrider on 20W50. I do still use straight grade 70 in my 49 pan and 75 Sportster. The Shovel run stock hydraulic lifters and are quiet 'cept for the pipes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Once again, an oil discussion divides a room.

You said the guy who rebuilt your motor recommended 20/50? Then that's what you run.
You say once again!
I did do a search Dr. Benway and did not find anything on the topic(I never have a lot of luck with the search function)
Only one guy mentioned trans oil!
 

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They probably got deleted...just about any bike board has an oil weight pissing match somewhere.

Trans I use 80/140 gear lube. Lots of guys like Redline; good stuff but it will find any leaks you have.
 

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I've run 20/50 since new in my '81, always H.D brand , powerblend, hd 360 or whatever it's called now. Stock cam goes back in every rebuild as it still shows no wear. I'm sure just run quality oil and keep it clean, shouldn't be any oil related problems with either.
 
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