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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 6th December 2021
SFF41 SFF41 is offline
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Default Oil coming out of top of cam cover

Hi all,

New to the whole twin world and ironheads. I've got a 75 ironhead that I've been playing with to try and get running. So, I pulled the cam cover, the generator and primary cover to paint. I made a mistake of releasing the pressure on the cams prior to removal but managed to get the cover back on without issue...None of the cams fell out on removing the cover.. all I thought was good...

Today I tried to fire it up for the first time. It ran but there was oil coming out from around the top of the cam cover. Nothing was coming out of the breather at the front. Its as if the cover was becoming pressurised.

I checked my oil lines and they all run as per the diagram, bottom of oil tank runs to oil pump, the line that runs by the sprocket runs to a vent point, the second line on the engine case runs via an oil filter to a vent hole.

I don't want to go pulling the cam cover again if I can help it and I'm hoping someone has a simple fix/check...
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  #2  
Old 6th December 2021
Captain Johnny Captain Johnny is offline
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Did you put a new gasket on the gear case cover?
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Old 6th December 2021
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If it's coming from the area where the long slot is at the top in the pic below, that is the main oil pressure feed galley from the oil pump.
If you used the wrong gasket or somehow covered that hole will sillycone, you'd have pressurized oil backing up and out the cover.

edit:
Is that where the oil is coming from?

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Last edited by Hippysmack; 12th December 2021 at 03:27.. Reason: relabeled and moved pic, changed link
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  #4  
Old 7th December 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFF41 View Post
... I made a mistake of releasing the pressure on the cams prior to removal but managed to get the cover back on without issue...None of the cams fell out on removing the cover...
Releasing the pressure is necessary. The mistake would be in not releasing the pressure. Perhaps no cam fell out but may have been pushed back into place incorrectly. You may want to remove the gearcase cover again and check the alignment of the cam timing marks.

The procedure to re-install the cams may be a bit tedious, but it is simple and easy to do ...

Do not use the ignition timing hole mark. Proceed as follows ...
  1. Position the pinion gear mark at approximately the 11:00 position by rotating the engine using either the rear wheel or the kicker
  2. Install cam #2 so that the mark lines up with the pinion gear mark. This may require moving the pinion gear mark a bit so they match perfectly
  3. Temporarily, partially uninstall #2 while you install #1
  4. Install #3, then #4 and finally the generator idler gear

When checking for the marks matching get down low and look straight on. Looking down at an angle may result in marks appearing to be correctly aligned when they are not.

The idea that installing cam gears is difficult or risky or to be feared even is an internet myth. It may be based on installing cam gear #1 first simply because it is #1. It is important to start with #2 so that it and the pinion gear can be lined up before installing any other cam gears.
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Old 7th December 2021
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Just in case, here is an oil line drawing and tank hookups (if you are using the OEM tank).
Link: http://www.sportsterpedia.com/doku.p...htalk:ih:oil04



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  #6  
Old 7th December 2021
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Man I love a step by step list and a Helpful Diagram.
Great forum. How can you not nurse an old bike with the sum of all knowledge at your fingertips?
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