Install An Oil Cooler On A Harleydavidson

Heat will break down your engine before its time.

Heat and friction are the enemies of engine parts, no matter what the vehicle. If you own a Harley-Davidson, you want to keep your engine as cool as possible, so one weapon is an oil cooler. Adding one to your bike will help save on wear and tear as time goes by.


1. Remove the oil plug and drain the oil.

2. Remove the old oil filter using the oil filter wrench and throw the filter away. Take the oil filter adapter off the bike with the 7/8-inch socket.

3. Put the new oil filter adapter on the bike with the 7/8-inch socket. If your interface was dirty after removing the old filter, clean it with a rag. Cover the threading with some Teflon tape.

4. Disconnect any wire harnesses. This will vary depending on your particular Harley-Davidson model, so check the instructions with your oil filter.

5. Install the oil cooler. The precise location will vary depending on your specific bike model and on the particular cooler. Your installation kit will come with any necessary brackets for you to attach to the bike frame, and once you’ve attached the brackets, you’ll just slide the cooler into place and tighten the proper screws. For many models, you will need to change the routing of some of the wiring, so use your wire to hold them in their new places. You may also need to remove your bike’s stator to install the cooler.

6. Tighten any loose fasteners with the socket wrenches. Give the new oil filter gasket a coat of clean oil; Harley-Davidson generally recommends using 20W50 oil. After you’ve installed the gasket, give the filter another quarter-turn with the filter wrench.

7. Connect the oil cooler with the filter adapter by putting the hoses on. If you put the clamps on the hoses before beginning this step, it will be easier to tighten them later. Fit the ends of the hose onto the nipple and tighten the clamps.

8. Add oil to the bike’s crankcase. The amount will vary, so check your manual. Turn the engine on and wait for it to warm up. Feel the oil cooler to see if it is warming up, too. If it doesn’t, there is something keeping the oil from reaching it through the hoses.

9. Check the oil level one more time after you’ve turned the motor off. If it’s low, this is probably not a leak — initially the filter will soak up some oil after installation. Add oil as needed.