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Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65332
05/30/06 2:29 pm
05/30/06 2:29 pm
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
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jangg Offline OP
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jangg  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2004
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Norway, just south of Oslo
Hi, all!

A nightmare has seemingly occurred - cyl top got micro cracks - oil shovering (lightly) over the front part of primary and my left boot! Boot seems spray painted after some hour under load - 4.500-5000rpm (when engine's really warm).

The jointing faces cyl/cyl-top are dry. Cyl base is dry. Both sides. Front part of cyl-top between exhaust ports dripping oil (between the two/three lower cooling ribs). I have used a dry cloth to eliminate/capture the dripps by wrapping around different part of the cyl environment.

SO - have any of you guys any experience regarding such a painful incident?

The engine is running great - idles well - plugs' perfectly clean. So far I just acts as it is dry, wiping off the oil spill and just have fun!


regards
jangg


'73 Commando Basket - new aluminium cyl
'93 Ducati 900 SS

"Better lit a light than cursing the darkness"
(Confucius)
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Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65333
05/31/06 10:15 pm
05/31/06 10:15 pm
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8
Vista,Ca.
S
Steve F Offline
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Steve F  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 8
Vista,Ca.
Hello,I had the same problem with my Norton N15,and it turned out to be porosity in the casting of all things.I picked up another head,rebuilt it,put it on and my problem went away. As I understand it it,it isn't all that unusal,hopefully it is something else on yours.

Best,Steve


1965 Norton N15CS
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65334
06/01/06 9:02 am
06/01/06 9:02 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
J
jangg Offline OP
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jangg  Offline OP
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J
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
Thanks, Steve !

I guess it is some cracks - in all other ways it is quite perfect. Valve guides are tight, spark plugs dry, engine functioning "better than ever".

Well, again thanks.

regards
jangg


'73 Commando Basket - new aluminium cyl
'93 Ducati 900 SS

"Better lit a light than cursing the darkness"
(Confucius)
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65335
06/01/06 11:47 am
06/01/06 11:47 am
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 87
Sweden
FullThrottle Offline
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FullThrottle  Offline
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Posts: 87
Sweden
Hi Jangg.
Capillary LocTite (290) might be worth a try. I have once cured a leking gas tank this way and on another occasions failed. Its a shot in the dark but well worth the (small) effort if it works. bigt


Classic bike: 1957 Triumph TR5 Trophy
Modern bike: 1971 Norton Commando Roadster
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65336
06/01/06 12:05 pm
06/01/06 12:05 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 38
adelaide....south australia..
mr britsh Offline
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mr britsh  Offline
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Posts: 38
adelaide....south australia..
hi jangg, could it be your top end headsteady mounting bolt threads leaking ? maybe vibration , age.? just a thought.....mr british..

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65337
06/01/06 12:11 pm
06/01/06 12:11 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 38
adelaide....south australia..
mr britsh Offline
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mr britsh  Offline
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Posts: 38
adelaide....south australia..
whoops sorry jangg, didnt read your post properly ,need some sleep..apologies..mr british..

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65338
04/25/07 3:26 pm
04/25/07 3:26 pm
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 76
UK
M
mitchp Offline
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UK
Jangg

Did you ever resolve this? I now have the same problem on my 850 Mk 2a, i.e. oil is appearing between the exhaust ports on top of the third fin. Only a little oil is leaking, but it definitely is not coming from any of the gasket joints.


Minds are like parachutes - they only work when they are open.
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65339
04/28/07 10:27 pm
04/28/07 10:27 pm
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 70
Colorado
6
67AtlasDave Offline
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6
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 70
Colorado
Jangg,
I had the same problem with my 750 all I did was take ever cover off (i.e. rocke and valve covers) and put new gaskets on then on thoes gaskets I put stuff called Hondabond and it pretty much stopped leaking.


1967 Norton Atlas (Hope to soon be my daily rider)
2004 Moto Guzzi Breva 750 (Father-in-law's but was my daily rider)
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65340
04/29/07 11:51 pm
04/29/07 11:51 pm
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,106
McKellar,Ontario
Kommandokenny Offline
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Kommandokenny  Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
Quote:
Originally posted by mitchp:
Jangg

Did you ever resolve this? I now have the same problem on my 850 Mk 2a, i.e. oil is appearing between the exhaust ports on top of the third fin. Only a little oil is leaking, but it definitely is not coming from any of the gasket joints.
I just put 250 miles on a fresh motor [850]and I look at this same spot you speak of, and low and behold I've got oil on the same fins. Now I have owned the bike since new and don't have one of those porous heads yer talkin about, so what gives??
None of the gaskets are leaking,that I can see anyway.


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65341
04/30/07 12:19 am
04/30/07 12:19 am
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,106
McKellar,Ontario
Kommandokenny Offline
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Posts: 1,106
McKellar,Ontario
OOPS I lied.
It's coming from the right rear spindle gasket, and working through the inner cooling fins and out the front lower fins above the head gasket between the exhaust headers.
Might be worth noting if you have a leak in the same place, it dosn't necessarily mean it's coming from that spot.


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65342
04/30/07 9:19 pm
04/30/07 9:19 pm
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 76
UK
M
mitchp Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 76
UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
OOPS I lied.
It's coming from the right rear spindle gasket, and working through the inner cooling fins and out the front lower fins above the head gasket between the exhaust headers.
Might be worth noting if you have a leak in the same place, it dosn't necessarily mean it's coming from that spot.
Thanks KK

Wish mine was that simple...... Oil is indeed working through the inner fins & out the front - problem is where it's coming from!




Yellow arrow points to a little puddle of oil between the first & second inner fins. You might expect this to be coming from the oil feed banjo, exhaust rocker cover or spindle gasket, but these (and all other gasket joints) are dry. Rear wall of the exhaust rocker box is wet behind the inner fins (see photo 2) and I can't see where it can be coming from other than through the casting itself. This is certainly not a big leak (yet...) but I've put a lot of effort into getting the bike oil-tight, so this is a real bummer. Any suggestions for a fix gratefully received. (Head is an RH10, btw)

Regards

Mitch



Minds are like parachutes - they only work when they are open.
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65343
04/30/07 10:28 pm
04/30/07 10:28 pm
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 706
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beltdriveman Offline
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I can only assume that few ever heard of the leaky head problem caused by porous head castings..........Bet someone (an ac****ant??)found another company to do the casting cheaper..or were all the guys at Birmid Qualcast about to be redundant so no one gave a monkeys?? I believe you will find that heads were vacuum impregnated to cure the problem. Somewhere I seem to remember I have the name of the company that did it for Norton.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65344
05/01/07 1:44 am
05/01/07 1:44 am
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,397
New Zealand
J
johnm Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,397
New Zealand
I understand the problem with vacuum impregnation on an older head is that the oil in the aluminium prevents the material setting.

But I think it might be worth a try to boil the head in hot water for a few hours, maybe trying to hook up some sort of pressured hot water or steam pressure feed through the oil lines ?? Just an idea.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65345
05/01/07 1:46 am
05/01/07 1:46 am
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,106
McKellar,Ontario
Kommandokenny Offline
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Kommandokenny  Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
Mitchp,,Yes I see the problem . I was under the impression the porous head was rare, but possibly, no one really new they had one, and chalked it up to leaky gaskets.
FWIW very minor stain. Looks like you take care of it. You can clean it up with a little degreaser when you wash it.


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65346
05/02/07 11:49 am
05/02/07 11:49 am
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 76
UK
M
mitchp Offline
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UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:

FWIW very minor stain. Looks like you take care of it. You can clean it up with a little degreaser when you wash it.
A very valid point which helps me keep a sense of perspective. I admit to being a hopeless perfectionist, which is probably not a Good Thing for a Britbike pilot!

Thanks & best wishes

Mitch


Minds are like parachutes - they only work when they are open.
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65347
05/03/07 1:38 pm
05/03/07 1:38 pm
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Posts: 706
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beltdriveman Offline
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Sorry but I guess you boys were not around in the leaky head days.......In the good olde days I would of shoved a head in the tricoethalene degrearer tank a few hours...that I guess would of de oiled anything but as usual, probably because pratts would fall in them as they breathed the fumes for a bit of a lift, health and safety banned such things.....
I also guess few have ever had the fun of trying to weld to the crap air holes they left in the castings.....Yee gods you should of seen the state of the castings on the big pile of new 850 heads that once resided in a Birmingham cellar....ones they had rejected for various reasons such as drilling the return oilway with it breaking through into the inlet port...broken taps drills and fins. . Bargains at 20 cash each.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65348
05/03/07 1:55 pm
05/03/07 1:55 pm
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 706
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beltdriveman Offline
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Do wish my bloody computor would not send things before press on send. That would then give me a chance to check the spelling of tricoethylene.......
I was also going to say that you young uns were clearly not around when Norton finally went pop and in a Birmingham celler there was a pile of reject 850 heads at 20 each for cash. They had things wrong such as oil drains that had broken through into the inlet tract....broken taps, drills stick in them, broken fins which showed the alloy had more air holes in it than a chocolet Aero bar.Great fun was had shoving fins back on, boring and sleeving inlets.......Well at that price.... New 750 RH6S boxed heads were 45 for cash....... Wonder if that Yank who bought the Motor Cycle Shops' big pile of new head castings ever did anything with them???? When I looked into having them machined well over 25 years ago it was for 50 heads well over 100 per head. Dread to think what it would cost these days.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65349
05/03/07 3:01 pm
05/03/07 3:01 pm
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Posts: 706
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beltdriveman Offline
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According to one of my excellent sources of info the leaking head problem began when cylinder head casting was taken in house at the Wolverhampton factory and they never managed to get through the learning curve before they went to the wall.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65350
05/03/07 5:28 pm
05/03/07 5:28 pm
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Posts: 82
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beagleplex Offline
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Wonder no more! Yes I did do something with them, I cleaned one up and use it as a doorstop. These had the BIRCO casting mark and the 063807 part number.

Say hello to Matthew if you make it back to MCS.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65351
05/03/07 6:44 pm
05/03/07 6:44 pm
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Posts: 706
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beltdriveman Offline
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Well just how many door stops do you need???? there must of been 50 unmachined heads down there at one time and they all went overnight so you must have them all!!!. Did you get a shock at machining costs???? Ted Bloomfield was so shocked when I told him his hand went to his back pocket to check the thickness of his wallet and the fag hanging from his mouth drooped noticably!!!!
Was looking at pretty picture of oil leak......I wonder how many people realise that the tooling for the IN THEORY rocker spindle lock plate was so worn out towards the end that the locking ears pressed out that were suppossed to stop the rocker spindle rotating DONT.........Mind you they keep one friend busy repairing the spindle holes for customers!!! For a laugh get an olde Dommy one and compare it .......
Personally I used to get lumps of stainless milled and cut out to give solid one piece ones that do actually lock the spindles in place. I believe someone in the USA makes and sells such things. Cannot be difficult to make in vast numbers and cheaply with lost wax process.Been trying to get someone in the UK interested in doing so for decades. Always check that they actually do lock the spindle and if not its amazing how with just the slightest tad of skill the ears can be bent further without distorting the plate.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65352
05/05/07 12:16 am
05/05/07 12:16 am
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 49
Cambridge, Ont.
zotz Offline
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Cambridge, Ont.
I've read through this topic from the beginning and thought I might toss another iron in the fire. I also had a problem with my cylinder head weeping oil in around the same area that seemed to go on forever. I finally tried an automotive PCV valve on the breather as per the Norton tech digest to create a slight vacuum inside the engine and voila the leak was gone never to return. If there's negative preassure in the engine then stuff shouldn't be trying to escape.

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65353
05/07/07 5:58 pm
05/07/07 5:58 pm
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Posts: 76
UK
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mitchp Offline
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UK
Hey Zotz, that's a pretty smart idea......

Thanks

Mitch


Minds are like parachutes - they only work when they are open.
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65354
05/07/07 7:00 pm
05/07/07 7:00 pm
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
J
jangg Offline OP
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jangg  Offline OP
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J
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 557
Norway, just south of Oslo
Quote:
Originally posted by mitchp:
Jangg

Did you ever resolve this? I now have the same problem on my 850 Mk 2a, i.e. oil is appearing between the exhaust ports on top of the third fin. Only a little oil is leaking, but it definitely is not coming from any of the gasket joints.
No - I sold the bike (not being dead certain what it was).

For the sake of my new project I've thoughtfully and thankfully been reading you guys' postings. I actually got the part for the vacuum idea but lost the initiative (not trivial).

We'll see - thanks cool

regards
jangg


'73 Commando Basket - new aluminium cyl
'93 Ducati 900 SS

"Better lit a light than cursing the darkness"
(Confucius)
Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65355
09/04/07 9:10 pm
09/04/07 9:10 pm
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 221
Port St. John, FL USA
J
Jim Clausen Offline
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Posts: 221
Port St. John, FL USA
I was getting ready to junk the head on my 72 Combat. I've been trying to cure an oil leak in the head. The leak is at the 5/16" studs. Appears at the third fin in the front. As an afterthought I pulled the Mity-Mite brake check valve in the breather hose. I started the bike and about a cup of oil flew out the breather hose. This was with the bike setting for less than a day and with a anti-sump check valve installed. I replaced the Mity-Mite valve with a new one. I've got a dry head now.

I'm interested in the BMW breather valve. Does anyone have a pic or drawing of the fixture?

Re: Oil leak in cyl top - Where, Why, How #65356
09/05/07 2:01 am
09/05/07 2:01 am
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 221
Port St. John, FL USA
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Jim Clausen Offline
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Posts: 221
Port St. John, FL USA
Stop the presses! Checked the head again about four hours after I shut the bike down. Oil on the third fin. I'm going to remove the Mity-Mite valve completely and try once again. This is starting to get to me. The head is FLAT. Did a leak check with Marvel Mystery oil with the head in the hot Florida sun for a day. I've sealed the 5/16" studs. Sealed surface around pushrod tunnels. All to no avail. Only consolation is that I'm getting pretty handy R&Ring the head.

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