Oil Line to Tank Connections

Just documenting the location of the oil lines on the 1990 Sportster for replacement. The oil lines are in pretty bad shape (cracked and leaking at fittings) and all of them need to be replaced. Also going to replace the oil tank (the chrome one is UGLY).

Main Oil Feed Line (GREEN) 3/8″ ID oil line which runs from bottom outlet on the oil tank to the feed on the oil pump.
Oil Return Line (BLUE) 3/8″ ID oil line which runs to the connection on the back of the oil tank.

Vent Line (RED) 1/4″ ID oil line which runs from the case to the connection on the top of the oil tank.

The image below is the back of the oil tank and shows where the oil lines connect to the tank.

That big line coming off the tank is the oil drain line which will also be replaced.

The lines to and from the oil pump to the filter will also be replaced.

Not ready to replace them yet, will probably be a couple weeks before I get into that. Since everything is tore apart it was easy to get my eyes (and camera) on them to document the locations to make it easier to get them all back together.

5 thoughts on “Oil Line to Tank Connections

  1. My 1997 Harley Davidson 1200 is missing all the oil lines and the oil tank. ( just got new tank ). Now i need all the correct measurements and oil line conectors to complete the build. There is NOTHING ON THE MEASUREMENTS / LENGHTS FOR THE OIL LINES ANY WERE ON THE WEB.Can you or ANY one help me out with this major problem. I WANT ONLY RUSSELL PRODUCTS FOR MY BUILD. I HAVE USED RUSSELL FOR ALL MY BUILDS FROM 1975 TILL NOW. A LONG TIME, MANY DOLLARS. Brakes and every thing. Thank You Very Much for your Time Terry Elliott Sr

    1. Terry,

      Thanks for stopping by. I cut my oil lines to length, just used 3/8″ ID oil hoses I picked up from the local auto parts store. Think it took around 4 feet total (with a little left over) for the 3 lines from the oil tank: feed from the tank to the oil pump, return from the oil pump to the tank, vent from the case to the tank. I use Russell products for my brake lines and fittings, good stuff, but I have not used them for oil lines. I did find these Russell Oil Lines at JP Cycles, but you would need to figure out the lengths you need. I guess if I was going to use these lines I would pick up some 3/8″ oil line from the local auto parts store, cut them to fit, measure them, and then order the Russell oil lines to match the lengths. The 3/8″ hose shouldn’t cost more than a couple/few dollars a foot. Hope this helps.


  2. 97 has different oil line connections, lengths and changes to the mounting. I am switching a 93 over to the tank that came out in 94, was still used through 97. Bracing added in design, to the oil tank to frame mounts. Also 3 mounting points, instead of 2, from the battery box to the oil tank. Prevents the cracking of the battery mounts on the tank,, and eventually the tank on the that older style. I’m eventually going to add the oil drain line plug, to to the bottom, off the newer battery box. For now, just clamp a plug in it, and zip tie it up out of the way. A more permanent fix for that oil tank design fail. Love your documenting of your work.

  3. Rebuilding on a 1992 sportster Xlh1200.I forgot where the outlet on the upper case above transmission is installed. I’m sure it’s a vent for the transmission so I’m not sure if I run the line to the back of the case and down for an open unattached line or ? Thanks for your help

    1. If it is the outlet just under the starter then it is a vent and can just be vented to atmosphere. Just run a hose out and down to vent it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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