This page was last updated on 10/08/14.
A Trip Through Horizontal Hell - Or at least Purgatory
"Where did I put that dang thing?... Dag Nam It!... I know I had it here just a minute ago... Let's see, ... The last time I saw it was.....Nah, it had to have been over there near the..."
May 2011 Primary Crankcase Oil Seal Failure...AGAIN
Well, after returning from a cross-country trip from Texas to northern Indiana and back, my oil seal decided to spin/fail on the first post-trip day run. I had just changed the oil and ran ~250mi. that day. Some of it was sustained at above the speed limit for about 30 minutes and I think that contributed to the failure since my previous "fix" was to Loktite the oil seal in place. I got ~12,000mi. out of that fix. My entire cross-country trip was with continuous rain and very cool temperatures (even freezing temps when leaving Indiana) so I believe that the cooler ambient temperatures helped keep the motor at a lower temperatures even while doing +8hr/500-600mi. continuous daily runs. Below, you can see that the oil seal has been cocked at an angle, spun and lost the spring that grips the rubber seal to the shaft. A minimal amount of metal shavings were collected by the drain plug magnet since this had only happened within the last ~250mi. or so. What keyed me onto discovering the problem was checking my motor oil level EVERY TIME I get on the bike to ride. I started doing daily oil checks after the first oil seal failure in March of 2009.
If you look closely, you can tell the Loktite has rehardened after slipping/spinning (bubbled area around the orange colored outer seal and the silver aluminum).
November 14, 2009 Blown Head Gasket Having Too Much Fun (below)
Out with my biker buddies this past weekend and discovered a blown head gasket after a long speed run to our "next" stop. Had to nurse it home 50 miles. Got lucky after pulling the head and finding all I needed was the $7.00 gasket. Had it back up and running in less than 48 hours and a big sigh of relief! Now running two different thickness of head gaskets between front and rear, resulting in 190psi front and 180psi rear. Close enough.
March 2009 Primary Crankcase Oil Seal Failure (below)
Around Jan. 2009, when I finally got around to changing my primary lubricant for the first time since my March 2007 rebuild, I discovered 3 quarts of oil in the primary where there should have been ~1 1/2 quarts. This was my first clue that I had a leak in my crankcase/primary oil seal. Upon pulling the primary drive chain I also discovered another problem. I discovered that the 0.095" spacer inside the rotor was missing, and this moved the rotor closer to the casing and shear off one of the screws on the stator wire clip. The broken screw lodged in one of the stator coils before ending up between the magnets of the rotor (images #1 & 2 in first row below). While I had the stator out, I noticed one of the lead wire's insulation had deteriorated and fallen off so I added some E6000 silicon adhesive sealant (#3 first row below). Worked like a champ. No further problems with charging (had problem with charging since near new, +10yr).
Once I got the rotor off, the oil seal parts just fell out. I can't believe that the seal had parted out so much. I had wrongly assumed the very early lose of oil during my first 200 miles post rebuild was due to new piston rings sealing/seating. I just topped off the motor oil a couple of times and eventually the motor oil level stabilized. I did not know at the time that my primary had flooded due to the failure of the oil seal to seat firmly. Looking at the seal parts (images below) it is apparent that the entire oil seal spun in place until the harder T6 aluminum filed the steel seal down and eventually cut the disc off of the cylinder portion of the seal. I had inadvertently driven 6700 miles with this cut seal spinning/cutting away at the aluminum housing of the left crankcase housing. No odd noises cued me though my mileage dropped to ~32mpg. I had thought the mileage drop was due to the new EV51 cam installed.
The above picture of the housing/stator does not show just how polished the seal housing became but I can assure you it looked like a mirror. Upon replacing the seal, I noticed that I could spin the new seal in place with just my fingers (NOT good!). I had a choice of either another complete rebuild with new crankcase OR try using Red Loktite and a lot of luck. Before applying the Loktite to both the crankcase housing and the seal, I first cleaned the entire area with paper towel and isopropyl alcohol to remove all traces of oil and to create a clean surface for the Loktite to adhere. I then very carefully applied Loktite to both the housing and the outer portion of the oil seal using a small artist's paint brush being very careful to miss the crankshaft and the main bearing. After inserting the seal, I noticed that it wanted to back out maybe 1/16th" so over the course of the next hour, I kept pushing the seal back inward against the foot of the housing. After about an hour, the seal finally stayed completely in/seated against the housing. I then let things completely set/cure for the next 48 hours before finally reassembling and filling the primary. So far, +700 miles and a month later, it appears that the Loktite'd oil seal is holding and I may be the luckiest dog out there. Only time will tell and I now know that a sudden drop in the motor oil level means trouble. BTW, my mileage is up 8-10mpg since my primary is no longer flooded (getting ~40-44mpg highway) and this is with my hotter cam and running +65-75mph.
UPDATE 5/27/2011: The Loktite fix above lasted ~12,000 miles, 2 1/2 yr. Just discovered the seal leaking (motor oil level down ~1 qt. and primary up 3/4 qt. measured). Time to revisit the fix and consider an alternative.
March 2007 Complete Motor Rebuild (below)
(Below) EVO Motor stripped and completely rebuilt with all new bushings, bearings, rings, seals and added additional performance parts.
(Below) Re-worked Jugs-N-Heads, New Andrews EV51 Performance Cam, New Performance Valves in Branch Heads
(Below) New Valve Guides, New Screamin' Eagle Roller Rockers, Re-Brushed/Honed Jugs