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  #1  
Old 24th August 2011
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Default Yes, yet another oil leak question.

After reading every thread and sticky I can find about unusual oil leaks, I need some help narrowing down this problem on my e84.

I have had issues with my bike over the last couple of years. Since I finally got it home, and got the CV 40 tuned and working, it has been leaking oil out of every place it can. It is weeping oil out of the rocker bolt seals, puking it (excessively from the breather) while riding, and when I park it. Lastly, when I took a mirror and flashlight trying to determine where it was leaking from underneath I could see where it looked like it was weeping from the tranny bolt holes too.

Using the plug chop method to tune the carb, and using brand new plugs for each circuit it is perfect. The plugs are becoming oil fouled, and the motor only has 18k miles on it.

I am wondering what the symptoms are if the oil filter is plugged, or if the Indie shop I formerly allowed to touch my bike used the wrong oil filter on it. The filter on it has no exterior numbers for me to check.

The obvious puking oil would be from a stuck check valve, but before I start tearing into things, I would like to hopefully be pointed in the right direction.
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  #2  
Old 26th August 2011
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Old 26th August 2011
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Originally Posted by Razdog View Post
puking it (excessively from the breather) while riding, and when I park it.

The plugs are becoming oil fouled, and the motor only has 18k miles on it.
Sounds like blow by to me. Did you check the compression?
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Old 26th August 2011
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Check compression. It does sound a little like a check valve, but remember, they can puke a fair amount of oil through that tube. As for the oil filter, they can plug, it is possible, but it is not very likely, try changing the oil and filter........Those rocker shaft seals are notorious for leaking, try getting O Rings from NAPA, tell them you want to look at their O Rings for Caterpillar Equipment, those O Rings are a little stouter, not much but a little. As for your tranny leak, you should have a vent on an E84 if I remember right, could it be plugged ? It is in such a spot that it is almost impossible to get to without removing the starter. How is your oil pressure ? Is your light coming on ? That is usually a given when the check valve starts going. If you can't get the leaking stopped, look at the positive, your tools and your driveway won't be rusty.
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Old 26th August 2011
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Thanks Bruley. I am going to change my oil this weekend, and go from there. I think a plugged or incorrect oil filter is they cause of this after searching this.

My oil light is not coming on, and my front rocker was rebuilt last year. My bike has been at an indie shop essentially since spring, and did not do any of these things prior to dropping it off there. I asked the oil be changed, but since I did not do it myself, I can't say whether they used the correct filter (80-e84), or even changed it at all.

The whole thing behaves as though the oil pressure is very high. Now, to track down a new filter.
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Old 26th August 2011
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Originally Posted by Razdog View Post
The whole thing behaves as though the oil pressure is very high.
Or crankcase pressure is high.

You said your plugs are oil fouled. That's oil in the combustion chamber and is a sign that the rings are not doing their job. Does the bike smoke at all? I'd check your compression.
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Old 26th August 2011
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I think that year has an umbrella valve inside the cam cover that takes the place of a foo foo valve (which is mounted externally in the breather pipe). If that umbrella valve is not soft, it may be restricting the exhaust of crank case gasses and not sealing against reverse flow. The action of that check valve actually creates a slightly negative (average) pressure in the motor, which facilitates keeping the slippery stuff inside and the elimination of condensation. An 84 does not have a breather valve on the oil pump, the umbrella or foo foo valve replaces the breather valve function. If you cannot find a replacement umbrella/foo foo or provisions for it do not exist in your cover an aftermarket breather check valve can be installed in the vent hose. Only one vent hose is needed and if you have the option it should not come out of the bottom of the cover as that postion will let excessive oil escape.

Another scenario is,
1. the motor is overheating (detonation or late timing) or
2. there is gas in the oil or
3. the motor has not been assembled correctly
4. the motor is damaged

Rocker shaft seals leaking #2 & #3

#4 Un-necessary prolonged idling to "warm up" the bike will kill your pistons as oil starvation from the lack of sufficient rpm to distribute cold oil lets the piston skirts dry out and smear themselves up and down the cylinders which wears grooves in the cylinders and kills ring seal. Fire it up and run it at a fast idle until the plugs are warm enough to not stall then ride it away, take it easy until the oil comes up to temp. DON"T LET IT SIT THERE AND CHUG IN THE DRIVEWAY!!!!!!!

Todays gas does not color the plugs like it used to, chances are if you are seeing color on the plugs it is oil not gas or you are way rich. Todays gas will leave the plugs with a light grey color. Look for the heat to color the threads about 3 threads from the end.
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  #8  
Old 26th August 2011
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If your oil pressure light isn't coming on, I would say chances are real slim that it is a check valve.
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Old 27th August 2011
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There are no signs of detonation with the plugs, but before I dialed in the CV40 carb I installed it looked as though it was a little retarded. Checking it will be on the short list of things to do.

My bike does have a crank case valve built in, and if memory serves me right it is a reed type. I thought about replacing it to be sure, but I cannot find a replacement for it.

I have never changed the oil myself, done lots of vastly more complicated things to it, but the last time I know without a doubt that it was changed was about two years ago when I also had a tire changed at Iron Pony in Columbus. With all of the other shady things that have happened, it would not surprise me if I did not receive all of the oil changes I purchased with other work I had the indie (whose employees were formerly allowed to touch my bike) do.

After all of the other issues I have had this summer I bought a bike lift, and came home today with 20w-50 oil, and a couple filters. BTW, the parts guy at Centennial HD told me that Harley is not making the filter for 80-e84 Sportsters anymore (63782-80).

No big loss since it says, "Made in Taiwan" on the side of the box just like the Custom Chrome premium filters.

Changing the oil will be my first course of action, and will hopefully fix the problem if the oil and filter is roached, it has gas in it etc.

It may be time to add another sticky to include "quality" oil filter equivalents.
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  #10  
Old 27th August 2011
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Thank you very much for your insights.
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