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Thread: Shovel oil.

  1. #1

    Default Shovel oil.

    Quick one because I know there's a million threads about it.

    I see 60W being recommended all the time. I live in California so cold isn't too much of a concern.

    Here's my problem, straight 60 is a pain to find and kind of expensive. Is there a cheaper and easier to find weight that would suffice? If not, I'll just deal with it but if I can run say....15-50 syn that I run in my Evo, that would be cool. Or a conventional weight oil that I can pick up at Walmart or local parts store would be cool too.

    I appreciate any input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peglegpeete View Post
    Quick one because I know there's a million threads about it.

    I see 60W being recommended all the time. I live in California so cold isn't too much of a concern.

    Here's my problem, straight 60 is a pain to find and kind of expensive. Is there a cheaper and easier to find weight that would suffice? If not, I'll just deal with it but if I can run say....15-50 syn that I run in my Evo, that would be cool. Or a conventional weight oil that I can pick up at Walmart or local parts store would be cool too.

    I appreciate any input.
    I only run 60w in my Shovels but it's your bike...

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    A few comments in this thread: Straight 60 weight in a Harley Shovelhead

    ZGRider posted:
    "Gears are the main cause of shearing, hence the problems with shared-oil trannys. Since Shoveheads don't share oil with the trans and use dry sump lubrication with lots of oil capacity, I restate my doubts about Harleys needing 60 weight oil other than some superstitious reason or limiting leaks. As all of you know mono-grade 60 weight doesn't cool the engine any better than a multi-grade oil. I would have to see some UOAs from a Shovelhead using monograde 60 to believe the shearing reasons. But I would believe excessive heat breaking down the oil prematurely. Any BTW, roller bearings do not produce much shearing as they distribute the forces well and oil is free to circulate freely around the balls. Why do you think they were used in early engines with splash lubrication and primitive oils? I've seen oil in tractor transmissions that hadn't been changed in years and the bearings and gears looked new. Shearing is a product of the amount of pressure the oil must support.
    Ball bearings were used in early Harleys just because proper oiling could not be produced and hence high-pressure plain bearings could not be considered. They have been carried over by tradition rather than superiority over plain bearings, and they are much more expensive to use as the increased work to produce the same parts (build-up cranks vs. machined one-piece cranks)
    I can absolutely guarantee that a high-quality, synthetic 20w-50 oil would withstand any abuse that a Shovelhead could make. It would be much better for any air temps under 80 degrees. As an owner of old Nortons and Triumphs that are also air-cooled, produce much heat and have loose tolerances, I stand by my recommendations as they serve my ancient machines very well. I would never consider monograde 60 no matter what some "old farts" say."


    JackHester comments include:
    "...My point is: 60W is a must for the OEM hydraulics to perform properly, when the engine and oil are hot. Other than that, I've proven that 20W-50 gives excellent protection in both Shovels and Pans..."
    http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...ht_in_a_Harley

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    ^^^^ Yep like I said above and like he said above^^^^^ Run what you want it's your motor... I run the same thing I've been running for 40+ years with zero problems and I ain't changing....

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    Check with your local oil distributor. I get Kendall 60W from Merit oil co in the Inland Empire. Most distributors ( Chevron, Shell ETC ) carry other brands. Valvoline 60 is available through Amazon.

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    i think straight 50 and 60 is such a pain in the ass to find that its not worth running. i run regular 20w50 its easy to find and asking for an oil recommendation is like asking about religion or politics. i was running 50w in my ironhead / shovelhead but going across town to buy oil or god forbid order oil online. my shit leaks and likely burns a bit of oil so its a constant maintenance item.
    Last edited by FatChibs; 06-15-2018 at 12:37 PM.

  7. #7
    SamHain
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    I always ran 50 or 60 weight vr1. Never had issue finding it at local auto parts chains. always kept a couple cases on hand anyway......

    Now these so called Chevy points on the other hand I have never fucking found in stock at auto parts stores.

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    I use synthetic 20/50 in my Pan/Shovel/Evo and pound them mercilessly with no problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHain View Post
    I always ran 50 or 60 weight vr1. Never had issue finding it at local auto parts chains. always kept a couple cases on hand anyway......
    Like you, I've never had any problem finding it... It's in every auto parts store on the shelf...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbqbiker View Post
    I use synthetic 20/50 in my Pan/Shovel/Evo and pound them mercilessly with no problems.
    LOL Now now what about the ones you blew up???

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    You won't find any better crud oil in the world than ...

    Last edited by Dragstews; 06-15-2018 at 2:41 PM.

  12. #12
    SamHain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post


    You won't find any better crud oil in the world than ...

    I run it in my triumph,but figure I can save a couple bucks on the shovel that has more, you know, bearings.

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    60 weight is easy to find and after a one-click order cases show up at my house. Fuck looking for anything I don't have to look for, or driving to get anything I can have conveniently delivered in advance.

    I use Valvoline but they are all made to SAE spec and IMO what really matters with oil is "clean, cool and plenty of it".

    I use multigrade dino oil too with no hassles. I change it every 3000 miles either way to flush out the crud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    LOL Now now what about the ones you blew up???
    My Pan holed a piston running on the hiway at 80mph....was using 60wt don’t think that was oil related..just old motor and too much speed

    My S&S EVO ate an oil pump and was running 20/50 syn. Random failure.....

    I run 20/50 Syn in Davetune’s old Shovel and it takes a dirty beating and begs for more....just like his mom....

    I have several qts of 70wt on standby.....
    Last edited by Bbqbiker; 06-15-2018 at 6:36 PM.

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    I donít know where you live but I use 50wt and every indie and HD dealership around here carries it. Not a problem

  16. #16

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    I don't know why this got moved to the Sporty forum but whatever.

    Indy shops do have have 60W and I know VR1 is available but like I said in the OP, shit is expensive. Like $12 or more a quart for oil that's going to get burned or mostly leak. Conventional 20-50 is going to do it for me. Fuck it, it's mine. If it blows I'll fix it.

  17. #17

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    Orange County, CA. Have shops all over, jut not trying to pay $12+ a quart. Fuck that, my bike is my daily, I go through oil.

  18. #18
    SamHain
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    Quote Originally Posted by peglegpeete View Post
    Orange County, CA. Have shops all over, jut not trying to pay $12+ a quart. Fuck that, my bike is my daily, I go through oil.
    $12? I got vr1 at oreillys for $6 not long ago, sure it was on sale.

    Hell even Brad penn is only about $8

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    Here's my take on multi weight oil (ex 20w50)
    It starts as a light base (20w)
    Chemicals are added to make it heavier as it heats up. (W50)
    The additives are what gets burned out of them with heat and over time.
    So if the "additive package" isn't designed to work with in the heat range of our air cooled Motors...
    You end up with a straight weight oil in short time.
    Unfortunately it's the lighter end of the spectrum.(20w)

    Straight weight oils on the other hand, start as one weight and stay that one weight even if it gets toasted.

    Most water cooled Automotive oils are not designed to run as hot as an air-cooled motor needs.
    Diesel oils on the other hand fit the bill nicely.

    While I don't recommend supporting Walmart for socio-economic political reasons.
    They do carry Rotella 20w50 diesel oil in the 5-quart jug for like $14.

    Note: wet clutches and gear boxes have different needs and deserve different oils (and specific additive packages) than a dry sump air cooled engine. Fill accordingly.

    And just to muddy the oily Waters...
    If you know someone at an airport or who has an airboat.
    You can get straight weight "ashless" oil for like six bux a quart. Great for breaking in rings!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peglegpeete View Post
    Orange County, CA. Have shops all over, jut not trying to pay $12+ a quart. Fuck that, my bike is my daily, I go through oil.

    Cool yep like I said it's your bike.... It's also great to know you know someone that can rebuild your motor for $12.00....... Since that's what your saving...

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