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

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  #51  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nychopper View Post
... correct me if i'm wrong: once the engine gets hot enough after 7-8 miles the head expands enough to let pressure escape from the defunct head gasket?...
I have not heard of this before, certainly not as a general principle or something to be expected.

I have had three head gasket leaks...
One was extremely obvious by the loud, squeaky sound of air escaping thru the space, in this video...

Head Gasket Leak


This was caused by some very bad machine shop work done to prepare that cylinder head for dual plugging. It was done by a shop that I should have been able to trust. My bad mistake

The second was a very interesting mystery. The leak was exactly adjacent to one of the oil drain holes, and on the inside edge of the hole. So the leak was entirely contained within the head. I really did not discover it until I had the head off. If I recall correctly there was excessive oil consumption or some other symptom, but I did not suspect a head gasket leak until I removed the head for whatever reason.

BTW, never clean up the oil on the cylinder head, gasket or on the cylinder itself before bringing it to a machine shop or other for examination. The oil etc patterns contain important information.

The third was the brother to #2 - the leak was adjacent to the oil hole, but on the outside. No air leakage sound like #1, but there was actual oil leakage - which is rare in head gasket leaks since the oil holes are such a small % of the leakable area.

This one required extra work because the head gasket is directly behind the middle pushrod tube seal. So that had to be eliminated as a possible source of the leak before calling it a gasket leak. For this I made a sandwich of two slices of paper towel with a slice of aluminum foil between. I stuffed that between the cylinder/cylinder head and the pushrod tube.

The oil migrated around between the fins and appeared on the cylinder side of the sandwich.

QED

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  #52  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
nychopper nychopper is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
I have not heard of this before, certainly not as a general principle or something to be expected.

I have had three head gasket leaks...
One was extremely obvious by the loud, squeaky sound of air escaping thru the space, in this video...

Head Gasket Leak


This was caused by some very bad machine shop work done to prepare that cylinder head for dual plugging. It was done by a shop that I should have been able to trust. My bad mistake

The second was a very interesting mystery. The leak was exactly adjacent to one of the oil drain holes, and on the inside edge of the hole. So the leak was entirely contained within the head. I really did not discover it until I had the head off. If I recall correctly there was excessive oil consumption or some other symptom, but I did not suspect a head gasket leak until I removed the head for whatever reason.

BTW, never clean up the oil on the cylinder head, gasket or on the cylinder itself before bringing it to a machine shop or other for examination. The oil etc patterns contain important information.

The third was the brother to #2 - the leak was adjacent to the oil hole, but on the outside. No air leakage sound like #1, but there was actual oil leakage - which is rare in head gasket leaks since the oil holes are such a small % of the leakable area.

This one required extra work because the head gasket is directly behind the middle pushrod tube seal. So that had to be eliminated as a possible source of the leak before calling it a gasket leak. For this I made a sandwich of two slices of paper towel with a slice of aluminum foil between. I stuffed that between the cylinder/cylinder head and the pushrod tube.

The oil migrated around between the fins and appeared on the cylinder side of the sandwich.

QED

I appreciate this! Well i think I'm throwing in the towel and bringing it to a shop. This is beyond me at this point haha.

thanks for all the help everybody! I'll update when I hear back from the shop
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  #53  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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You didn't even pull the heads yet according to the posts I see. Why would you give up before starting? It's not rocket science, it's just top end work, and you have the entire forum here ready to help as you go about it.
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  #54  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Also most part houses loan tools if you don't have what it takes.
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