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leak, leaking, primary

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  #1  
Old 14th June 2016
bsaman bsaman is offline
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Default Primary leak from up on high

Well, I've got about 400 miles on my 72 XLH rebuild and I've got a pretty good size leak from the primary. It seems to get worse the more I ride, like it's nothing after wrenching on it and cleaning everything up, then it's a single drop here and there, and eventually a small puddle after a ride.

First thought was the kicker shaft (it's got a aftermarket kicker kit) but I've tried the oem "band" seal, a single o-ring, and now double o-ring and it's still dripping.

It's really impossible to see anything in that area of the motor, so next I pulled the starter and solenoid as I thought maybe it was coming from higher. Seemed a little wet there, but starter gasket and solenoid "foam" ring looked dry. Because I really had to put pressure down on the started when I was mounting it (to fit over the oil lines) I decided to replace the oil return line with a newer, more flexible line.

I also got a new gasket for the starter housing and put it all back together (starter was much easier to install with the new return line routing). But it's still dripping. I cram a paper towel in the space between the end of the swingarm and the cases, and I get a couple of rides out of it that way, but I would love to track this down as it's more than just a few drips here and there.

I figured three different attempts at the kicker shaft sort of rules that out, and it's practically impossible to see that area with the motor in the frame. Any other places this oil could be coming from? It's definitely primary fluid, and it seems like it's much more than I would expect up in the starter housing. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 14th June 2016
Hopper Hopper is offline
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Default

Do you have a rubber hose connected to the transmission breather fitting on top of the tranny? It is one of the battery box/e-start mounting bolts, that is hollow and has a fitting on top for the rubber hose. Hose should run up under the seat someplace then back down to around the swingarm pivot area. This stops oil coming out and water getting in.

Other than that, maybe try Iron Mick's patented trick of spray can talcum powder all over the area and then short rides and watch for where the first beads of oil appear.
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  #3  
Old 14th June 2016
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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Default

When i had that leak i put red food color in the primary to confirm that that was the source. It was.

I checked each of the things that you mentioned - kicker shaft, starter motor, solenoid and starter housing.

One time it was the hose that Hopper mentioned, it was not a tight enough fit on the fitting and leaked from there.

I am unable to take credit for the baby powder trick as another forum member suggested that one. I prefer stuffing paper towels into the suspected places.

The worst one was a leak along the seam between the two case halves - and you know what that entails
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  #4  
Old 14th June 2016
doodah man doodah man is offline
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Default

that trans vent isn't found on a '72, though.
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Old 14th June 2016
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I had a bad crank seal once caused the crank pressure to force oil in the trans and past the new seals there. I only figured it out after having checked the primary and it had grown oil.. so I installed a new seal and checked the fo fo valve.. problem solved ..
not sure what you will find but good to check the oil level in the primary see if it grows ..lol..
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  #6  
Old 14th June 2016
Hopper Hopper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post

I am unable to take credit for the baby powder trick as another forum member suggested that one. I prefer stuffing paper towels into the suspected places.
I did think that sounded a bit hi-tech for you when I wrote it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
The worst one was a leak along the seam between the two case halves - and you know what that entails
Umm, trying to glue strips of shim on the outside of the engine with JB weld?
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Old 14th June 2016
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I once saw a bike with sponges glued to the case to soak it up..
The nice old man said he was trying to keep people from telling him he was leaving spots.
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  #8  
Old 14th June 2016
bsaman bsaman is offline
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Default

Yes, no transmission vent on the 72, and I'm fairly certain it's primary simply based on the fact that it is so clean (4th primary fluid change, one for every attempt at addressing this)

I'm wondering if there's any other "thru way" out of the primary... the pin that stops the kicker from going all the way around, does it go thru? Any possibility of leak there?
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