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well guys/gals I changed my oil and filter for the first time on my 2001 vl800 ...I put in 3.6 qts of oil I have the bike standing as straight as possible without help but I still don't have an oil reading yet ...the sight glass is empty ...my question is

What's my next move???

I don't want to overfill my crankcase. ...plus I want to be worry free of low oil issue

thanks
 

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did you put the drain bolt back in? :)

try leaning it over and see if you can see it.
or have someone look while you tilt side to side
new oil can be almost too clean at times to see.
 

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3.6 quarts will bring you up to the MIDDLE of the sight glass, if you are holding the bike perfectly vertical (I used to prop mine up with some scrap 2x4 to check it). You should at no time add more than 4 quarts to the crankcase as this will overfill its capacity and cause other issues.
 

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As Skrap pointed out, a 2x4 is actually great to level the bike out. Just put it under the kickstand so that the stand is 2" above the ground. It may not be perfectly level, but if you're on level ground, it's close enough.

As mdram pointed out, new oil can be so clean that if it's actually above the sight glass at the top, it'll look like there's no oil in there. Lean the bike over and see if you see a line, then have someone else slowly tilt the bike up while you watch and see if the oil goes up above the glass. If so, the oil may just not be distributed yet and it looks overly full but isn't. Start the bike and let it distribute a bit then check the level and see if it dropped to the middle of the glass where it's supposed to be. If it's still above, you might want to drain a bit out.

** Hopefully that helps, but my advice is worth exactly what you've paid for it. ;)
 

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take it for a ride around the block...my c90 does that all the time. You know theres oil in there and at 3.6 you haven't overfilled...try the short ride and then check...I use a lift to keep it straight...its amazing what a slight lean does to the reading.
 

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Jens got a great item if you're alone. A cheap enough part at any auto parts store and well worth it against running low on oil and ruining your engine.
 

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Once I fill mine after changing it I always start it and let it idle for 5 minutes or take it around the block. This let's the new oil circulate through the system. It should then show up in the sight glass and you can add anymore if needed.
 

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Get this, works great, don't leave home without it (wish it worked for my Stryker too, but they made that impossible to see).


Now you're talking! Wheel chocks work great, and an assistant is fantastic, but with a good ol' mechanic's mirror you can check that oil by yourself whenever and wherever you need to.
 
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