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Sportster Motorcycle Motor - Top End Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Top End issues. Rockerboxes, Valves, Cylinders, Pistons, Rings, Lift Rods, etc...

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  #1  
Old 30th September 2019
PBR Street Gang PBR Street Gang is offline
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Default Front Cylinder Gasket Leaks

1991 Sportster 883 Deluxe

Hi All - My front cylinder base gasket has always leaked, but now the front cylinder rocker cover gasket is ruining every pair of pants I own. Good timing as winter will soon be here. I know, I know....shush with that sort of language.

Anyways, I have never torn apart a Sportster engine, but I do have the service manual. A few very green questions to get the ball rolling :

1. The bike was sold to me as an 883 bored out to 1200. To date, this is all hearsay. I assume before buying gaskets, pulling everything apart and measuring first will be the sanest route. I assume a calipers on the cylinder is all I need? Or are there other indicators that I can use?

2. The rear cylinder is tight as a drum, no leaks. Can I assume it's Ok to only service the front cylinder this time around?

3. Any tips or tricks that anyone has to offer regarding gasket replacement, I'll all ears.

Thank you in advance for any replies.
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Old 1st October 2019
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just buy a top end kit they are cheap change both sides .
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Old 1st October 2019
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Default

Never assume anything inside a Sportster engine.
Take plenty of pics of everything before, during and after a teardown and post them of the areas you have questions.
We just had a member replace the top end only to find he may have rod bearings to replace.
Tools?
Entirely depends on what you have to do.
You should replace gaskets on both cylinders together.
New gaskets on the front leave the weakest link to be the rear gaskets.
Generally you may find more than a just a gasket problem when going into a used engine.
Questions like 'why is it leaking' are just as important as replacing the gasket.
A caliper isn't used to measure a cylinder. That'd be a telescoping bore gauge and usually the gauge is measured with a caliper.

Diagnose before during and after a teardown.
Do a compression test before removing anything. If it reads low, you'll have other things to address during teardown.
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...:ref:svcproc20
A leakdown test will give you an idea of what to look for during teardown if the compression test fails.
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...:ref:svcproc21

You can remove the upper and middle rocker box sections by removing 4 bolts.
Replace the umbrella valve on Both rocker boxes while your in there.
However, do not remove the lower box sections before reading this... and your manual.
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...evo:engmech04a
Do not remove the cam cover until you've removed the lower rocker box sections.
Here is the section in the Sportsterpedia on removing the cam cover.
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t..._the_cam_cover

That's a primer anyway. And keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 1st October 2019
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Default

Thanks all for the info. Once I start digging in, I will repost.
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Old 1st October 2019
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Good deal.
Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 2nd October 2019
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3” VS 3.5” bore

A ruler or tape measure is enough to tell the difference between an 883 or 1200 bore.


To accurately measure cylinder wear or oversize requires an inside mic or bore gauge.
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  #7  
Old 2nd October 2019
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How are your breathers routed? Stock? Aftermarket with hoses/filter? Is it plugged? Replacing the umbrellas is a good idea like Hippy said. Too much pressure because of any of the above can cause leaks. Be nice to verify the cause whatever it may be. Could save you going thru the same thing again.
Just things to look for.
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Old 9th December 2019
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Hi All - For users doing the same work, I detailed the job in the below link. Hopefully this is helpful to others.

http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53946

Thank you.
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Old 9th December 2019
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I find it interesting you ask for help here and posted your teardown at Chopcult.
Well, as long as you got it done, congratulations.

edit:
Well, what was the diagnosis of the oil leaks?

Last edited by Hippysmack; 10th December 2019 at 05:42..
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