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  #1  
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Russian-Spy Russian-Spy is offline
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Default Gasket kit recommendation?

Hey guys, i just bought my first ironhead recently, a 74 xlh (possibly xlch, it currently has an electric start, but has has had a kicker installed, po said it was converted. Is there a way to identify the model from the vin? Anyway, back to the topic at hand, just by poking around when purchasing the bike i found leaks. Not just one, but quite a few. Rocker box gasket, oil lines to the rockers, the primary, and possibly more. I also noticed the use of rtv, or some kind of create a gasket in a few areas, so i plan on replacing a good portion of gaskets right off the bat. When sitting cold it leaves a small pancake every few days. Anyway, what complete gasket kit would you guys recommend?
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that is typical for the vintage, they always mark their spot. you can stop it but it will return, nature of the beast. i have used cometic in the past with caterpillar gasket cement for the longest no leaks, but remember, it is cement.
adding an electric foot was a common thing, did it to my 1974ch. if you install an electronic ignition, it will cut down on the need for the electric foot, reason i installed it was the ole cough and die at the worst times.
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Default Gaskets

I've had good luck with James gaskets, also check that there are no stripped thread's especially for the primary cover. When people see a leak the first thought is to tighten the crap out of everything in sight. I have seen bolts glued back in the hole with rtv to give the illusion that it's tight. On a 46 year old bike you will find some unique repairs.
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If your vin start with:
3A = xlh
4A = xlch

The only place my ‘75 leaks from (currently) is the breather tube!
Some things I have done in the past to staunch leaks...
Double up on primary gaskets with 3bond 1184 on outsides of gaskets.
Removed rocker gaskets completely and used 1184 in their place.
Never really had a problem with stock type gasket on cam cover.
Make sure shift fork shaft still has the metal plug in the right case half behind the sprocket cover.
Coat cylinder base gaskets with anti seize - not for stopping leaks in particular, but to allow the cylinders to turn a little when aligning the intake manifold. Also helps them not stick and tear so they can be reused several times.
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James makes a gasket, seal, and o-ring set for the 77-90 that has a nice primary cover gasket with a .030" silicone bead on the gasket. Mine was replaced last year and hasn't leaked a drop yet.



They probably have a set for your '74 as well.
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Another big +1 here for James. I also usually coat both sides of my gaskets with that copper spray-on RTV. Helps the seal and makes them easier to remove.
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Thanks for the input guys, turns out its a xlh that someone added a kicker to. I think ill be going with the james kit, still have a bit of work before she's on the road. Thanks for the help guys.
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copper spray on rtv sounds interesting.where do you get it? i've been using the regular copper spray on head gaskets ever since mrmom9r recommended it to me.
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The blue goo(rtv), is fine if properly applied. General rule is good on primary side not on cam. As stated earlier, James gaskets and cometic are good with Cometic being the top.
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brucstoudt, that's the stuff I use. "Copper Spray-A-Gasket" is what the can says. I think it's a member of the RTV family, but it doesn't say on the can so I don't know for sure.

brianbbs67, I think the blue RTV is for water pumps. Black or copper would be better for sealing oil. At least, that's what the labels say. I like the spray better than the goo because you get a really thin layer and it won't escape into your engine.
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