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  • New head gasket leaking: Looking for suggestions.

    There's some oil dripping from the head gasket mating surface on front of the front cylinder, just behind the rectifier. I used a new head gasket, and I've already re-torqued the head bolts; it's leaking less but still there. These gaskets are a multi layer metal sandwich, with a copper layer in between; would it be a good / bad idea to add a layer from the old gasket. What about gasket sealant? The manual calls for oiling the head bolt threads and washer surface, could too much oil cause a false torque and the leak? And yes, I criss crossed the bolts in the right order; mating surface is clean, etc. I did the rear cylinder too and it's fine.

  • #2
    Order a new gasket. Clean the top of the cylinder head mating surface and the head mating surface with rubbing alcohol so they are completely oil free. Also, flush the head so There's no oil in it. When reinstalling the head, make sure no oil gets on the head gasket. Instead of using oil on the studs, use a dab if grease.

    Gaskets are funny sometimes. If spots get oil on them, they don't compress the same as the dry areas when torqued.

    Of course you could always pop the head clean the surfaces and gasket and apply a super thin layer of high temp silicone on both mating surfaces except around the the edge of the cylinder with a plumbers flux brush. I am guilty of doing this with a stubborn leak. I have done it with either the old gasket and with a new one. I feel like a hack when doing it but it works every time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Doc, How much oil is leaking, and are you sure it's from the head gasket?

      The new head gaskets should be installed dry, no sealant used. If you were to any type of sealant at all, then I'd use spray Copper Koat by Permatex. It is made for head gaskets and works really well. I would not use a layer from the old gasket. If you have to remove the gasket, then do a very close inspection on the gasket, and both head & jug surfaces.

      Comment


      • #4
        OEM gasket? was there any leakage before the new gasket?

        Comment


        • #5
          OEM and definitely coming from the head gasket. It's not squirting, but enough to drip down the motor after a short while. I just pulled the head and noticed a very fine scratch. Possibly from one of the studs when installing? I can't even feel it but I'm wondering, if under pressure, it's enough for the oil to leak? What about getting some 1500 grit sandpaper, (or maybe even metal polish?) placing it on a glass surface, oil it, and gently rotate the head in a figure eight? I also have an extra gasket they sent me by mistake that I'm going to use. Or should I just clean everything really well and put it back together with the extra new gasket?
          Last edited by Doc_V; 1 week ago.

          Comment


          • #6
            I had the same issue with my valve covers. Spray the gasket with Permatex copper gasket spray or similar. Two or three coats. This seals very well.
            signature

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            • #7
              Just noticed in the 1700 service guide supplement [in a table no where near the section on the head] the torque requirement for the four large head bolts is 43 ft lbs., not 36 like on the 1600. Could 7 ft. lbs. be enough of a difference to allow it to leak?
              Last edited by Doc_V; 1 week ago.

              Comment


              • roadiemort
                roadiemort commented
                Editing a comment
                Lol, Yamaha thought so.

              • Doc_V
                Doc_V commented
                Editing a comment
                Why, do you use Clymer's?

              • roadiemort
                roadiemort commented
                Editing a comment
                I have both, Yamaha & Clymers but both bibles lie sometimes lol.

            • #8
              7ft.lbs. by itself may not sound or be much but, 43ft.lbs as opposed to 36 ft.lbs is a big difference. If you are going to torque to 43 ft.lbs loosen the bolts and then torque to 43 ft.lbs. That is to say, don't add to the existing torque. Start from scratch. You may want to consider the Permatex copper gasket spray. Have fun.

              Comment


              • #9
                Why do you think that simply torquing to the correct spec would be an issue?I would just consider it as a part of step torquing and would torque up to the 43 ft lbs. Then I would pull the cover on the back head and retorque that one also to 43.

                Back in the day it was common to run an engine thru a heat cycle and retorque when using steel gaskets

                Comment


                • Doc_V
                  Doc_V commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Shit, you're right... Oh well, looks like i'm pulling the rear again.

                • davej
                  davej commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Pull it for what? just torque it.

                • Doc_V
                  Doc_V commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes, pull the valve cover and rocker cradle to re-torque / step-torque the head bolts.
                  Last edited by Doc_V; 1 week ago.

              • #10
                I would do the sandpaper trick before. A fine scratch can leak when using metal gaskets. And do the copper spray. I do on every head job i do at work and i never had an issue. Youre correct on the 1500 grit and figure 8 motion. That should be plenty, no need to polish.

                Comment


                • Doc_V
                  Doc_V commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Finest they had locally was 600, will that be a problem? Check the photos below.

              • #11
                You could get both surfaces machined (and know they're perfect) maybe a little more compression too...

                2000 Roadstar 1600 - BAK, Pumpless, Curt's manifold, Mikuni HSR42 Freedom Combat Pipes Jumbo Strong bags, PPG 'HellFire' Paint.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I ended up doing the sand paper, but finest I could find was 600. I started with 320. Turns out i had some slight warping that wasn't apparent until I started doing the 600 grit paper. It's a little out of focus, but you can see the shadow here:

                  Click image for larger version

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                  This one is in focus, but harder to see:

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Here's the before for comparison. You can see the scratch that I'd originally thought was the cause.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Unfortunately, I didn't take a final photo but it was all but gone when I was done. I've got the bike back together now, but I'm having a hard time getting it to start. It will turn over with some starter fluid, but that's it... Not sure if I'm getting fuel to the cylinders, but the battery died so I put it on the charger and I'll save that one for tomorrow.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Doc, please forgive me, I mean NO offense... but, in all my time here (I've been a member since Sept. '07), I do believe that you may have more experience with the Road Star... UNintentionally, than anyone else on the forum ever!!! Is this just my perception, or, could it be said of you that if you didn't have bad luck, you wouldn't have any luck at all?!?!?

                    Comment


                    • Doc_V
                      Doc_V commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No offense taken, I'm well on my way to becoming R* Master Technician. I can tell you this much, I've learned a metric shit-tonne in the process.

                  • #14
                    It could of been re-torque to proper spec with it is currently installed at 36 up to 43. Step torque like davej said. Oiling the threads is old way of using anti seize on them. On my XS 650 I used some Yamabond at key spots known to leak and no leaks at all on my XS rebuild.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by Jclevesque View Post
                      I used some Yamabond at key spots known to leak and no leaks at all on my XS rebuild.
                      I am a super huge fan of Yamabond. Won't use anything else when buttoning up case halves. I have actually ripped gaskets and applied it at the rip on on other parts of motors and it "never" leaks at the rip.

                      Comment


                      • Jclevesque
                        Jclevesque commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I think I got the threebond 1104 if I am not mistaken. It is great stuff. I had a small leak next to the main output seal due to p.o. poor seal removal and nicked the side of the case. I added some threebond to it and no leaks. That stuff is a great sealant.

                    • #16
                      While re-torquing the rear head, I pulled the lifters to put some more assembly lube on the cams. I noticed on of the liters had a small shiny spot from where the cam made contact. Is that normal to happen so quickly? I haven't even run the bike for more that a couple seconds.

                      Comment


                      • #17
                        Yes, it will show a wear spot where the lifter is contacting the cam. It should have a circular pattern on the bottom, which tells you that the lifter is spinning in the lifter bore as the cam is rotating.

                        Comment


                        • #18
                          This was rectangular, clearly it wasn't moving, but like I said, it only for a couple seconds. Right now it will only turn over with the enricher all the way out and I squirt the accelerator jet a few times, but my battery keeps dying, so I can only try a few times before I have to charge it again. I'll figure it out eventually. Next I pull the float bowl and check the jets.

                          Comment


                          • #19
                            Charge the battery and leave the carb alone. The carb didn't go bad because you had the heads off the bike.

                            Comment


                            • Doc_V
                              Doc_V commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Exactly my thoughts, so why the starting issues? ...but that's another thread. And I've charged the battery at least 5 different times now.

                          • #20
                            I'm beginning to think Murphy is with you on a full-time basis, friend!!!

                            Comment


                            • Doc_V
                              Doc_V commented
                              Editing a comment
                              You and me both buddy.

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