An Oil Cooler On A Harleydavidson Motorcycle

Extended engine life should be at the forefront of any biker’s mind. Adding an oil cooler to your Harley Davidson is a simple way of getting the most out of that engine you just spent so much money on. Engine heat and daytime temperatures can kill an engine; adding an oil cooler to your Harley Davidson can save money and headaches.


1. Drain the oil. It’s best to time the oil cooler installation to coincide with your oil change.

2. Remove and discard old oil filter. Use the 7/8 socket to loosen the oil filter adaptor, gently removing it from the bike. Clean the assembly well, using a clean rag and some brake cleaner.

3. Place the new gasket onto the new oil filter adaptor assembly. Make sure the gasket fits snugly, and there are no burrs or dents on the plate the oil filter will fit to.

4. Install the new oil filter adaptor assembly onto the bike using the 7/8 socket. A little Teflon tape on the threads is a good way to ensure there are no leaks and it will come out easily. A torque wrench is a good idea here, as this is supposed to be torque to 160 in pounds, then 190 in pounds. If you don’t have a torque wrench handy, remember not to over tighten.

5. Check the gasket on the oil filter adaptor assembly, making sure that it is not bulged out anywhere around the assembly.

6. Check for any wire harnesses that need to be disconnected or removed before installing the oil cooler assembly. The instructions that came with the oil filter assembly will be of use here, especially if they are model specific.

7. Install the oil cooler. Hopefully, your oil cooler came with model specific instructions since the oil cooler’s location will be different depending on your bike. You will have to remove an existing piece of equipment, such as your stator, reposition it, placing the oil cooler in the space created. You may need to reroute some of the wires; use your wire ties to hold them securely.

8. Inspect the alignment of all parts, making sure they sit firmly on the mounting studs and brackets. Tighten all fasteners.

9. Lubricate the new oil filter gasket with a light coating of clean oil. Install and hand tighten. Factory specifications recommend tightening another ? turn with your oil filter wrench, but many people prefer to do this by hand.

10. Install the hoses from oil cooler to oil filter adaptor. Slide your hose clamps onto the hoses first, making sure they are loose and will slide easily along the hose. Lubricate the inside of the hose with some silicone lubricant. Slide the hose onto the nipple, slide the hose clamps down and tighten them.

11. Fill the bike with oil. If this is your first oil change and are unsure how much oil your bike takes just refer to your owner’s manual.

12. Crank the bike and let it run until warm. The oil cooler should warm up as the bike does. If it does not, you will need to disassemble the cooler and hoses and check for blockage.

13. Turn the bike off, and check the oil level. It may be somewhat low due to the oil filter filling with oil. Top off and ride. Recheck and tighten hose clamps and fittings after a few hundred miles of riding.