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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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Old 11th August 2019
RoadsterMike RoadsterMike is offline
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Default Front Exhaust Valve Leak

I took my exhaust off and this what I see in the chamber. Please correct any and all nomenclatures. I have the head off and am thinking of doing the work myself. Can anyone give me a valid reason to not do the work myself? I will have the valves out soon and will continue on this post. Thx, Mike

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Old 11th August 2019
Maxeffort Maxeffort is offline
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What you are looking at is the exhaust port.
(the combustion chamber is where the spark plug is..and the controlled fuel/air explosion that forces the piston down)

What I see is oil running down between the valve stem and valve guide.
IIRC... most ironheads don’t have valve seals so there will be some of that. The more worn the inside of the guide and the valve stem, the more oil that can pass by.

It also looks as some oil is running down between the guide and the head, I don’t think that is normal. The guide may be loose in the head.

Why did you take it apart? Just because of the oil you saw, or is there a low compression or other issue?

If the valve guide is worn out, the valve seating areas are going to be worn out too.

If the guide is loose in the head, it will have to be replaced with an oversize OD guide.

None of the valve, seat and guide work is DIY unless you have the equipment and experience to use it.
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Old 11th August 2019
Maxeffort Maxeffort is offline
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The valve guide (35) presses into the head. If it’s loose, it will have to replaced with an oversize guide. HD listed several oversize guides. The problem is the hole in the head has to be round. If it’s not round (oval, bell mouthed or hourglass shaped) just pressing in the next oversize guide doesn’t usually work for long. The hole has to to be reamed or honed so it’s round and straight and a couple thousands smaller than the new oversize guide (so there is sufficient press fit)

Then it will need a new exhaust valve (34) and possibly a new valve seat ring (32). Even if it doesn’t need a new seat, a valve job needs to be done.

If for some reason oil isn’t draining back from the pocket in the head where the valve /spring/guide is (17) , that would cause more oil to run down the valve stem.

Last edited by Maxeffort; 11th August 2019 at 12:43..
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Old 11th August 2019
RoadsterMike RoadsterMike is offline
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Thanks for the info, I bought this basket case and once I fired it up noticed all the oil leaks. The front cylinder was leaking oil. I only disassembled what was necessary plus the rear cylinder. I was pumping oil out of three locations. Turns out one of the cam bushings were spun and I my replacement cam cover is arriving tomorrow. I was planning on doing what I could and will know more soon.
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Old 12th August 2019
RoadsterMike RoadsterMike is offline
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Old 12th August 2019
RoadsterMike RoadsterMike is offline
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Can anyone tell me what I am looking at? I have another set of heads off of a 75 and the guides do not look knurled on the inside. Correct me if the wording is wrong. Thanks
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Old 12th August 2019
Maxeffort Maxeffort is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadsterMike View Post
Can anyone tell me what I am looking at? I have another set of heads off of a 75 and the guides do not look knurled on the inside. Correct me if the wording is wrong. Thanks
Yes there is a spiral in the guide. Someone may have knurled it before. Or a guide with spiral ID was installed .
You can buy aftermarket replacement guides that are plain or spiral for many engines, but IDK if for an ironhead.

Knuring to try and restore clearance in a worn guide is a short lived repair.
But some people will knurl a good/new guide to create the spiral.
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Old 12th August 2019
RoadsterMike RoadsterMike is offline
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Thanks for the reply, with the valve in it, the stem has side to side slop that I have not measured but seems excessive.
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Old 12th August 2019
Maxeffort Maxeffort is offline
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I think the stem guide clearance spec is on the loose side with those. Something like .002" to .004". See if there is more slop in direction the rocker sweeps the valve, vs 90' from that.
Mic the valve stem and compare the part with wear vs the part that doesn't run in the guide.

In the first photo there is oil on the outside of the guide and the roof of the port. You could block the drain hole, put some mineral spirits in that pocket and see if it runs down the out side of the guide.
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Old 12th August 2019
RoadsterMike RoadsterMike is offline
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I bit the bullet and dropped the heads off at the local indie shop a mile from my house.
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