Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions 45 Flatties 1946 Oil Leaks

1946 Oil Leaks

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:12 am

Posts: 97
Starting a new thread for a new topic.

So as previously discussed the bike leaks a lot, I understand it will leak some but I think we have passed the point of normal. Being that the motor was rebuilt by previous owner a long time ago, then not run, I am guessing some of the seals/gaskets are just shot.

I am not looking to take her off the road or do anything major, just hit some of the easier obvious leaks to see if we can slow the leaks down. To that end I bought new gaskets for the scavenger pump, oil pump and left case sprocket shaft seal. I think the scavenger pump is the actual culprit but the oil pump looks easy enough while I am there, which leads me to my question:

1- oil pump, just take it off scrape off the remains of the old gasket and reinstall new gasket? Sealant?
2- scavenger pump, I have read some talk about "timing" etc, same as above or is there something I need to know? This one looks more complicated from the schematics.
3- Left case seal will be my last stop. How doable is replacing this seal with the motor still int he frame? Is it just a matter of prying out the old one and pressing in the new?
4- last question, do i need to drain the oil before any or all of this procedures, I am thinking yes.

Thanks in advance.

Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:42 am

Posts: 265
1- oil pump, just take it off scrape off the remains of the old gasket and reinstall new gasket? Sealant? Paper gaskets are your best choice imho
2- scavenger pump, I have read some talk about "timing" etc, same as above or is there something I need to know? This one looks more complicated from the schematics. Yest there is timing, you will need to remove sidecover to do this properly, requires another gasket. both scavenger and sidecover are paper gaskets.
3- Left case seal will be my last stop. How doable is replacing this seal with the motor still int he frame? Is it just a matter of prying out the old one and pressing in the new? I think you must take out the flywheels, so better take out the ocmplete engine and to a total visual inspection while you are at it. It can be done in just 24 hours if you have the tools and are handy. When I shot my cylinders I had removed engine block, dissassembled completely, cleaned and checked all pumps gears and cavities and rebuilt it with new cilinders in 36 hours ( maybe 12 consecutive hours of work)
4- last question, do i need to drain the oil before any or all of this procedures, I am thinking yes. Yes drain oil or somehow block your oillines for the procedures at hand.

I am sure there are people with much better ideas out there, but if I was in your position I would take the longer way and be sure that the engine is the way I want it to be..

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:15 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5673
Location: Ohio USA

I agree with everything Samsup has stated.

Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:20 pm

Posts: 97
Great responses. In the same order:

1- So this seems straight forward and I read up on gasket thicknesses in the Palmer book. New gaskets in hand from 45 Restoration, will check them out before attempting the work.
2- Removing the side cover, talk to me. Can this be done without disturbing the cams? I would be willing to go the extra distance to remove it and replace that gasket as well, couldn't hurt, but it looks to me like I will have a hand full of cams if that cover comes off. Please explain.
3- OK that is a winter project not anything we are going to tackle right now. I was hoping the seal was similar to the transmission clutch side seal, I could just pull it off and put a new one in. Again what you describe is winter project, and yes I may go all the way. Friend of mine loves to tell me how much faster the bike would be stroked!?!??!
4- Understood, oil out.

Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:05 pm

Posts: 265
Architect wrote:
Great responses. In the same order:

1- So this seems straight forward and I read up on gasket thicknesses in the Palmer book. New gaskets in hand from 45 Restoration, will check them out before attempting the work.
2- Removing the side cover, talk to me. Can this be done without disturbing the cams? I would be willing to go the extra distance to remove it and replace that gasket as well, couldn't hurt, but it looks to me like I will have a hand full of cams if that cover comes off. Please explain.
3- OK that is a winter project not anything we are going to tackle right now. I was hoping the seal was similar to the transmission clutch side seal, I could just pull it off and put a new one in. Again what you describe is winter project, and yes I may go all the way. Friend of mine loves to tell me how much faster the bike would be stroked!?!??!
4- Understood, oil out.


Dont worry about the cams, they might fall out, but if you follow your instruction manual you will see that there is only one way to align the cams correctly ( according to stripes on the cams). I just say its better to do complete engine, because doing some gaskets is fine, but since you will have to take the cover off to align returnpump its little extra effort to also check the rest of the engine for tolerances on all the bushings, sideplay and rollerbearings.. better have them nice n good than rambling loosely around your engine..

The camcover might take some work to take of, its kept in place by 11 screws if I am not mistaken, you will have to take off the generator aswell to properly get into it. The camgear cover is also held by 2 or 3 " pins" that are rather tight. The book states you need a mallet ( leather hammer) to GENTLY slam the cover off. I have seen too many crankcases and covers destroyed by morons trying to be smartass with a screwdriver... You WILL destroy the aluminum. Use leather or rubber hammer only!!! and just tap around every side untill it pops loose.. Then you will have a hand full of camgears, that you will haveto place back according to the book. There is a whole chapter on how to do that, just follow instructions and you cannot fail.

Once you are at it, dont forget to clean out the metal mesh filter that sits in bottom of crankcase right at the shaft of return pump. Dont forget to put it back either!!! Its all really simple and doable if you just follow the book and dont need to
replace all bushings and rollers etc.. if its just cleaning procedure you should take one weekend tops..

Also about the cams, it works best with your cilinders taken off the engine, otherwise there is always one valve pusing in, and then its a B*tch to get the camgears in, and even more to get them properly alligned to the busings in the sidecover..

Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:16 pm

Posts: 97
While I am waiting for parts, I was looking into the oil leaking issues. Figured I would go around and give everything a turn and see if I could stem the tide. Looking at the oil pump, I have quite the steady stream coming out of the TOP. Take a look at the pictures, the top of the casting appears to have something jammed into a hole!?!?!?

Is the casting supposed to have an opening at the top? Is it supposed to be a thread plug???

IMG_0604.JPG


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Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:01 pm

Posts: 32
I agree with all the other posts however I'd make sure you know where the leak is coming from before you get started. Clean it up, put a piece of newspaper underneath and see where its leaking.

If your WL is wet sumping, then you can do all of the things you've mentioned and nothing will change. How much oil does it drop in 24 hours? If I leave my WL for a week I get a saucepan full of oil underneath it and if i leave it for long enough it will empty the oil tank completely. This means that its always a little wet underneath. I've replaced oil pumps, springs, balls, burnished the seats and it still wet sumps. I've been told that for bikes like mine that are chronic wet sumpers the issue is in the camchest but who knows. Another thing to look at is how much oil is getting to the primary chain. A freind thought he had a big leak on his 45" and it turned out he had the chain oiler on too hard. Not to mention the valve spring covers might be weeping too

1) Feed pump removal and installation is easy but dont tighten the nuts too tight when putting it back on.

2) As the guys have mentioned, the scavenger pump is a bit more tricky and needs to be timed. I think it eaiser to do with the cams out but make sure you get dont mix up / lose the shims behind each of the cams.

3) Personally I wouldnt be pulling a motor apart for an oil leak. What until something major needs done and then worry about it then. There's a reason why there's so many half done motors on ebay.

4) Oil comes out.

Good luck and kee us informed

Dave

PS: that pump shouldnt have a hole in it

Post Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:25 am

Posts: 42
Location: Finland
Scavenger pump.

Why can't you just lock the engine from rotating (primary side)
take the pump bottom half out,mark the direction of gear/key slot.
Pull pump out and insert it back so that markings match again ???

Post Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:23 am

Posts: 97
Dave

PS: that pump shouldnt have a hole in it[/quote]

Not only does it have a hole but it looks like someone jammed a piece of metal into the hole to stop the leak!?!?!? I am very leery about pulling on whatever is protruding from the pump as it may be the only thing keeping the oil in the bike. I was looking thru Pa's build and other sources trying to see the top of the pump to see if that casting had a purpose or as stated previously a threaded plug. Guessing a little bit of silicone for now but unless you guys think that could be welded back up, I may be in the market for a new pump.

Thoughts?

Post Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:40 am

Posts: 265
Architect wrote:
Dave

PS: that pump shouldnt have a hole in it


Not only does it have a hole but it looks like someone jammed a piece of metal into the hole to stop the leak!?!?!? I am very leery about pulling on whatever is protruding from the pump as it may be the only thing keeping the oil in the bike. I was looking thru Pa's build and other sources trying to see the top of the pump to see if that casting had a purpose or as stated previously a threaded plug. Guessing a little bit of silicone for now but unless you guys think that could be welded back up, I may be in the market for a new pump.

Thoughts?[/quote]

Originally there was a hole to make channels for the pump, its factory plugged though. there should be NO hole.

On the idea of pulling the scavenger and marking everything, you can try that, it will most likely work, but if the person before you placed it in wrongly you will never know.

Post Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:05 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5673
Location: Ohio USA

Exactly how much oil is lost in a week of sitting. Have you poured the oil into a measuring vessel to gage the amount of oil loss ? You might be better off leaving the leaks if the volume of oil loss is low. Besides, your engine is getting additional fresh lube each time you add oil.

Post Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:02 am

Posts: 97
Pa, trust me I am not looking to do anymore work than necessary. Last time she was out though, she did a little more than mark her spot. I would guess about a 2" x 5" puddle under the bike. You can see in the second picture, with the bike sitting it is just constantly leaking. I had wiped it off right before that picture.

That said based on my investigations last night, the only thing I currently want to tackle is closing the hole in the oil pump. That is sketchy as hell, it honestly looks like after if somehow got a hole, someone stuck a rat tail file in the hole and broke it off, maybe with some sealant. Real backyard mechanic stuff. It would get you home but not something I would like to keep.

So for now we are going to try and put a silicone band aid on it just to keep riding. A buddy of mine might have a spare pump that we can use for a permanent fix.

But for now, yes lots of nice clean oil, good for the motor. I used own a car like that, so much new oil going in, never felt the need to change the oil. :D :D

Post Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:05 pm

Posts: 97
Fully investigate issue today, what appeared to be a piece of metal is actually a piece of WOOD!!!!!

Yes, someone fixed a hole in the pump by sticking a wood dowel in the hole. Very professional.

Put a big ugly blob of RTV on the opening, hope it holds for the time being while I source a new pump. I have a line on a bunch of used parts, unknown at this point if a pump is in the stash. Otherwise it comes off and we try to find someone to braze it.

To be continued.........

Post Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:19 am

Posts: 639
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Your oil pump could be easily repaired with a steel plug as original or drilled and tapped to be fitted with a set screw. Assuming the rest of the pump is serviceable.

Post Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:39 am

Posts: 1019
Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA
I think I would screw a wood screw into the wood and pull the wood so I could see the bore of the hole with out the wood before I would do anything else. I'm not a Hardly guy so someone who is will have to tell us where the hole goes so a better decision can be made but if the hole is fairly smooth I would turn up a slip fit plug with an o-ring as low as I could get it then carefully stake the top of the hole so the plug couldn't work out if it holds intake or very low pressure. If it holds any pressure I would drill for two small screws to hold a plate over the hole.

If the hole isn't round enough to hold a o-ring it would re plug the hole to keep the grindings out and file the top flat make a plate with a gasket or o-ring and again the two small screws.

Some where there is a VT Honda running around with a hand made plate that lays over casting ridges and a curve with 6 number 6 screws covering a crash hole in the bottom of the sump. I saw it again about 10 years after I patched it and it was still fine.

I apologize for the first sentence I wouldn't do it again unless the voices told me too.
Dusty

Post Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:17 am

Posts: 97
Well the RTV/Silicone did almost nothing to slow the leak. Did go for a 15 mile ride and the bike is very happy but still leaking. I was looking at replacement pumps on Ebay, but between the $130 price plus I will need to spend money to make sure it works, I want to do something with the one I have that I know works.

Two current thoughts are to find someone who can Braze the hole closed, or as a stop gap I may try some JB Weld. Nobody freak out about the JB, but it actually might be the ticket to get me through till winter. Right now waiting for machine shop to open to see if they are interested in trying to braze the hole.

Post Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:15 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5673
Location: Ohio USA

JB Weld will probably work but you got to make certain there are no remnants of oil left behind when you apply it. You could look into what are known as soft plugs as well. Soft plugs are used in many applications such as automotive engine blocks and water pumps. They come in several sizes and are tapped into place and you don't need to worry about a very clean oil free surface.

Post Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:57 pm

Posts: 329
Location: north central Ma.
Grind in flat then Drill and tap for a screw, McMaster has screws with O-rings under the head.
"Sealing Pan Head Phillips Machine Screws"
heres a 6 x 32 screw
http://www.mcmaster.com/#93802a525/=ygenwp
"Smok'in the competition NOT Tobacco"
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Post Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:05 am

Posts: 97
A friend and great source for all things antique motorcycles thinks he can braze it for me. Pump came off last night, the wife is mailing it out today. We are taking a two week vacation, doing a motorcycle tour of the West coast starting this Friday so the timing is actually good for once. The pump should be waiting for me when I get home.

I think the JB would have gotten me through the season, but when you get an offer to get it done right the first time, who am I to say no.

44dwarf: the hole on top also had a concurrent gap down the side. Hard to see in the pictures, but I did not have a good flat surface to try and do your method. Had the hole just been at the original casting location, it probably would have been a good move.

Post Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:58 am

Posts: 97
Well the brazing was a no go, the housing itself also had a crack in it from when they pounded the piece of wood into the pump. In the interest of riding for the rest of the season, I sourced a reproduction pump, should get installed tonight and then I will be back on the road for the holiday weekend. Perhaps over the winter months we can try and find a NOS pump.

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