How To Change Oil On A 1974 Harley Sportster
Learning how to change the oil on a 1974 Harley Sportster is not hard at all. Changing your own oil will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction along with saving you a bundle of money! Most Harley shops want to charge a small fortune for a simple oil change, these instructions will have you done and back on the road in no time, and with a lot more cash left in your wallet.
To change the oil in your Harley Sportster you will need:
- Medium or small flat tip screwdriver
- Oil filter wrench
- New oil filter
- Fresh oil
- Container for old oil
- Clean rags
- Take your Sportster out on a short ride to warm it up and get the oil warmed up and moving. This will help it to drain more completely and not leave as much old oil in the engine to mix with the new clean oil you are putting in.
- Using the screwdriver, loosen the clamp that holds the oil drain plug hose in place. Remove the hose and position it so that the oil is draining in to the used oil container.
- Next using the oil filter wrench, remove the oil filter. Make sure to keep the open end of the filter up when removing it until over the used oil container to avoid spilling old oil where you don't want it. Using one of your rags, clean off the area of the housing where the oil filter goes and make sure that the seal from the old filter did not remain stuck on the housing.
- Remove the oil fill cap. To aid in the oil draining out completely.
- Take your new filter and apply a small amount of new clean oil to the gasket on it. Using the new oil, fill the filter with the oil and then screw it on to the oil filter housing. Tighten the oil filter on to the the housing by hand only.
- Put the oil drain hose back in place. Tighten the clamp securely back down using the screwdriver.
- Refill with clean oil. Should take around 3 quarts (less what was put in the filter) and put the oil filler cap back in place.
- Go back and loosen the oil drain hose and let a little of the oil run out. Put hose back in place and re-tighten the clamp. This removes any air bubbles that might have formed in the system.
- Start engine up and check for leaks. Make sure the oil check light goes out.
- Shut the Sportster back off and check oil levels and add more if needed. Check again once engine is hot and add more oil if needed.
Now that you know how to change the oil in your Sportster, how often to do it is the next question. The Harley owners manual recommends inspecting the oil at 2500 miles and changing it every 5000 miles. Some Harley owners change it more often then that. How often to change the oil is up to each Harley owner and is depending on their riding style can vary. No matter what you decide is right for you and your riding style your going to save money doing it yourself.