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Old 08-03-2005, 10:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool The dreded Rear Cylinder Leak - Evo

Have a 97 FLH TPI, bagger, which developed a rear cylinder leak last year. Paid a local guy to do the repair then - which lasted until one long hard ride this year. Developed the same leak and decided to fix it myself, with the desire to do a better job. Checked a popular local shop for the best gaskets, went with James double sealed base gaskets and all James new rubbers, head and steel gaskets. Got it back together started it up and within 4 minutes saw a wet oil line at the rear and a clear oil/air pop on the left side of the cylinder base. Made some calls to the shop where I bought the gaskets and got varying advise from what one guy told me to another. The first guy said the studs were fine, at 40k miles, not to worry, just use them. Another guy said it was time, they're stretched. Also suggested to check the base and case for straight.

Got it apart and removed the old studs. When checking the case, it tested reasonably flat. Put a level gage across it and a small pen light behind. Very little light breaks the line all the way around. Not so on the cylinder base. Had a gap of about 2 or 3 thousands showing a lot of light coming through at precisely the point of leakage. Seems to me that the cylinder has developed the gapage over time and would require machining to correct it. Took it to a local machine shop for only the necessry shaving to flatten it.

Between the new James double sealing base gasket, new studs, and machine work I think I'll have it fixed to last.

I'd be interested to know if others had similar leaks and problems in getting their leaks fixed, or need my information to fix their leak. Seems to me that Harley would have developed a recommended fix complete with a great sealing gasket instead of the stock one offered since this is a well known problem for the Evo. Cause: (According to my first repairman) failing to warm up the motor sufficiently before putting the bike into a ride.
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i got a 90 with both cylinders leaking ever so slighty. just some wetness, no runs or such but i plan on redoing mine this winter, wanna upgrade the stock form ever so slightly but build for reliability. and at 40,000 i would have had the studs swapped anyway. those base gasket are much like a head gasket on cars, the do tend to leak, hell ford 3.8 liters have been horrible bout that until i think 99 or 2000 when they figured that 20 years a of the same setup and same common failures that they oughta change it, much like hd when they went to the tc. i have heard numerous complaints bout your problem on the evo. by the way i only got 36000 miles on mine.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I picked up a '85 FXST last year with God only knows how many miles on it. Both base gaskets were leaking. I read about the Hayden Oil Fix and for the price, figured I had nothing to lose. It comes with a set of base gaskets that look puny, but work. Almost 3k miles and no leaks!! I don't even bother to warm the bike up before riding off.
Here's a link

http://www.parts123.com/PartFrame.as...E=JIREH_CYCLES

Not affiliated with any of these companies. I just wanted to pass on a tip that worked for me.

George
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Anyone ever tried the "PigTail" kit to stop this problem? I think I am going to give it a try this winter.

http://psndemohd3.com/eshopprod_cat_...AIL174_KIT.htm


Last edited by mudphish; 08-05-2005 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this? HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudphish
Anyone ever tried the "PigTail" kit to stop this problem? I think I am going to give it a try this winter.

http://psndemohd3.com/eshopprod_cat_...AIL174_KIT.htm

This was a bandaid on the problem....this PigTail when installed restricts the return oil flow from the top end which causes oil carry over and several other problems. Most of the oil that leaks around the base gasket is from an untrue mating surface and the windage of oil being slung up in that area from the flywheels. The Factory say to lap the cylinder base area before installing it. This will insure the surface is true and it will seal. You can get the cylinder base lap tool at any aftermarket Co.
Correct torque proceedures are a must also.

Last edited by HDMD88; 08-05-2005 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What about the Hayden Oil Fix ? it uses restrictor jets to control the flow of oil down the jug, is this recommended?

I also read you can O-ring the cases, this seems like it would be expensive as well...
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ducati 2 valvers use a dowel like the Hayden Fix and they don't have any problems with oil leaks. They don't even bother using head gaskets.

George
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this? HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudphish
What about the Hayden Oil Fix ? it uses restrictor jets to control the flow of oil down the jug, is this recommended?

I also read you can O-ring the cases, this seems like it would be expensive as well...
Any thing used to slow the oil return I wouldn't use in my bike.
The vacuum in the lower end is used to pull the oil out of the top end....if you restrict that flow you are going to fill the rocker boxes up with oil and that will cause oil carry over into the air cleaner and posibably down the valve guides if there is a bad seal, that will give you a smoker.
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudphish
What about the Hayden Oil Fix ? it uses restrictor jets to control the flow of oil down the jug, is this recommended?

I also read you can O-ring the cases, this seems like it would be expensive as well...
The small dowel they use is not to restrict the flow of oil, but to make a seamless passageway between surfaces. Lots of other manufacturers use this method to mate oiling routes. In a perfect world, on finding this to be a problem with their top ends, the MoCo would've added one more step to the machining and countersunk a hole for a captured o-ring in the mating area.
Of course, that would've cost them a few extra dollars for each bike, as opposed to the millions it must've cost them in warranty work.

George
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am going to give the pigtails a try this winter, I will document the process with photo's and a brief summary, I will then report my findings to this group....
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this? HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudphish
I am going to give the pigtails a try this winter, I will document the process with photo's and a brief summary, I will then report my findings to this group....
I guess you don't understand the restriction those give.....Every one I ever saw had to be taken out because of it but if you got to have it go for it. Just don't ride too hard for too long.....
Some times I wonder why I sit here giving advice on the things I experienced....I see its a waste of time. Well after you drill out the cylinders for that fitting and make a bigger spot for a leak how do you fix that.....let us know when you figure that out, I did it already but I'll keep it to my self for now.

Last edited by HDMD88; 08-06-2005 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I hear ya, I would probably change my mind once I had seen how restrictive the tubes are, the problem is I have not ever seen one and I was under the impression that the inner diameter of the tube would be the same as the channel in the jug.

Thanks for your advise I would not install them if they cut off the life blood of the engine thats for sure.
Thanks again...
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this? HDMD88 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudphish
I hear ya, I would probably change my mind once I had seen how restrictive the tubes are, the problem is I have not ever seen one and I was under the impression that the inner diameter of the tube would be the same as the channel in the jug.

Thanks for your advise I would not install them if they cut off the life blood of the engine thats for sure.
Thanks again...
Sorry Mudphish...some times an old man gets grumpy! Don't want people to make the same mistakes I did thats why I get a little pushy at times.
Again sorry for being a bit rude.
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Old 08-07-2005, 09:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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No problem I get a bit grumpy as well... Check this out it is a good read, I have drawn the conclustion that lapping the cases or swapping them out for a set of delkrons would be the best thing to do...

Read on!


Weeping Base Gaskets
This has driven at least a hundred thousand Harley riders ballistic!
Harley tried the succession of 6 different material base gaskets to correct the problem over 16 years.

This was a Band-Aid approach to a symptom…the oil leakage….not the cause of the problem.

Aftermarket Base Gaskets

They didn’t even do this well as the aftermarket came out with silicone base gaskets, as well as copper and aluminum ones that all worked far better than Harley’s feeble attempts.

Harley has never addressed the actual engineering design problem itself.

The oil comes from the return oil passage from the top end, which must transfer from the cylinder into the engine block via a hole in the base gasket.

It is easy to correct but the Factory never got around to it in 16 years of production.

O-Ring Solution

O-ringing the oil passage where the cylinder meets the engine case works well.

This requires machining an o-ring groove into the engine case around the oil return hole. Enough but not too much rubber must protrude out to but up against the cylinder base.

There are many variations of performing the above fix but it requires skill, time and energy.

O-ringing the whole surface between the cylinder and engine case would also solve the problem.

Merch Performance did this first with production run engines.

This is what HD also did with the TC88.

Pigtails

Putting an insert up into the cylinder oil passage that would also fit into the engine case passage is another solution.

There is a unit called a "Pigtail" that is a screw in hollow insert with a tube attached.

The engine case oil return hole is tapped out to accept the screw in insert. The tube protrudes upwards. The cylinder is installed over the tube. The tube is a snug fit within the cylinder so that the oil now runs through this tube down into the engine casing with no contact with the cylinder base gasket.

Machining the Gasket Surfaces

Trock makes a double-sided machining plate called an Evo Lapping Ring, (Chrome Specialties #400304), that works extremely well.

Quite often a cylinder base will leak because of a machining deficiency or abnormality. Maybe one of the three surfaces consisting of two case halves and the cylinder base has warped.

Sometimes the engine case halves do not mate correctly with one side being a little higher than the other.

Maybe there is gasket residue or a bump on one of the mating surfaces that prevent and a leak-free union.

The lapping ring is used with a lapping compound. It works fast and with minimum effort once everything is ready to be worked on.

If ever rebuilding your Evo get one of these fixes done as a preventative measure even if you have never had a problem.

It is very little effort and expense while rebuilding but if the engine must be taken apart for this purpose only it becomes expensive.

There are over 1,000,000 Evos still on the road.

Harley never corrected this problem.

Compare this inaction with how vigorously Harley attacks Twin Cam problems.
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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As a note:

Cylinder-head clamping pressure created by the different expansion rates of the steel studs and alloy cylinder is lowest when the engine is cold. The base gasket relies on this clamping pressure to prevent leakage. The cylinders grow faster than the studs and distortion occasionally pulls it out of shape. A warpage depression of as much as 6 to 8 thousandths of an inch can develop along the mating surface of the cylinder where it bolts to the case. That much gap just makes the 0.020 inch base gasket’s job that much harder. The base gasket has to survive constant shape shifting when hot and high oil pressure when cold.

One of the simplest ways to avoid a blown base gasket in Evo engines is to warm your bike up thoroughly before running hard.

Keep
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