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Engine case leaking oil?

1079 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  John Hopkins
Hello guys. I own a 1983 Honda Shadow 750 and it runs pretty good. I'm getting 60 mpg and it has been a good bike. The only issue is that is seems to leak oil. I think it is leaking from the bottom of the engine from what I have seen and it will be empty from sitting all winter. Last spring it was bone dry. Can I take the side cases of the engine off and reseal them without yanking the motor out? I think the gaskets have just gone to hell down there. The rest of the bike doesn't seem to be leaking.
Any links or step-by-steps with precautions would be great. I have a lot of automotive knowledge, but never ripped a bike apart, nor do I want to go broke doing it. I just want to stop the leak and enjoy the summer.
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That bike must be filthy underneath, as a first step a small household steam cleaner will bring it up spotless and then wipe it dry with some kitchen towel, look for a clean dry spot to park it or put a sheet of plywood or hardboard under the bike with some clean kitchen towel under the sump. watch for drips and when you find the general area use some clean kitchen towel and a flashlight to trace the snail trail of oil back to its highest point, because gaskets are held between two almost flat surfaces under pressure they don't just go to hell and you may find something simple to repair under all the grime.

If it were my bike I would fill the bike with kerosene instead of oil for a few minutes, I know it sounds crazy but here is my reasoning..

If the bike is dry of oil due to leakage then all the residue is sticking to the sides of the engine and inside the small oilways, that could cause blockages and restrict the flow, the kerosene will scrub the walls and also be a cheap way of finding where the leak is.

If you have to strip the engine when you find the leak you will drain all the kerosene from all the nooks and crannies and no harm will be done, if the leak is something like a loose filter gasket you can fill with the cheapest engine oil and run the bike for 100 miles to dilute the kerosene and then change the oil for the good stuff.

I'm not telling you to do this, I'm just saying what I would do..

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