Honda Shadow Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just looked into my Clymers book to see what kinda disaster this is going to be.............UGH!!! Got to pull the motor, and tear into it. Yuk, this isn't going to be a weekend project :mad:.

I might call local Honda dealer to see what they'll rape me to do it? I was gung ho til I started reading the manual. I can work on just about anything, but I just don't want to deal with it. I was hoping I could just pull the rocker covers and get to it..........nope.

Oh well......:shock:

(I thought Hondas were suppose to be all that? 17K miles and it's broke already).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
Sorry to hear that bro. Just curious, how do you know the head gasket is blown?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's seeping oil badly. Between it running down the back, it also gets swept down the side of battery compartment, then drops on exhaust. Also leaves small drops on the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,785 Posts
Do you have any radiator anti freeze in your oil?
You might just want to confirm that it's a head gasket. Stick around and see what others chime in at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, the fluids have not interacted with each other. It still runs okay at this point, but the oil leak is slowly getting worse and worse. It now leaves small puddles when parked. Before it just seeped enough to get oil on the starter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,861 Posts
Might just need to re-torque the heads. It's worth a shot!! You it's not some other gasket, o-ring, cam cover gasket, etc????????

Try to clean the motor (water sprayer, car wash) and IF you got a little food coloring at home (you married??) add a little bit to the oil than find the weeping areas. Try RED.

Bullzeyet

Mmm, you over-fill the oil??? Just changed oil/filter??? Just asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
This could be simply a valve cover gasket issue. Suggest you:
(a) Paint thinner / toothbrush the suspect area and dry it.
(b) put a bright light on the area, start the engine and watch. Check the breather port, valve gasket, etc.

(my last oil leak was because I forgot to tighten a single cover bolt after a valve adjustment - talk about feeling dumb!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Is the engine overheating at all? You mentioned that there is no interaction between the oil and coolant. As stated above, start with the easy stuff first. Nail down where the leak is coming from and then focus attention on that area. If your bike is running good, not overheating, and not mixing fluids, I would approach this problem as repairing a simple oil leak until proven otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,785 Posts
This could be simply a valve cover gasket issue. Suggest you:
(a) Paint thinner / toothbrush the suspect area and dry it.
(b) put a bright light on the area, start the engine and watch. Check the breather port, valve gasket, etc.

(my last oil leak was because I forgot to tighten a single cover bolt after a valve adjustment - talk about feeling dumb!)
+1 on the valve cover issue. If you are not over heating, steaming from the engine, it is unlikely it's a head gasket, especially after on 17k.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, it's very noticable it's the headgasket. It's wet, the engine fins are weeping oil from that point. It's actually coming out enough to really get the back side of the block wet after riding to work today. I sprayed it off this morning before I left to get rid of the existing oil that was all over the chrome battery cover and running down the pipes. It's all back after a 34 mile trip.

It's dry up around the rocker covers, maybe I'll try to get a picture of it. I did change the oil this spring(like usual). No drama there. It's at the high side of the full mark.

It has always smoked out the rear bank on decel, I'm assuming it's got valve stem seal issues? That pipe is black/sooty on the tip while the front cylinder is perfectly clean. I bought the bike with just over 10K miles.

BTW, you can't remove the rocker covers to retorque anything, as the first thing in the book states you have to remove the motor to work on it. Something along the lines you have to tip the motor on it's ends before removing rocker covers to eliminate loosing small parts that will fall out. No win situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, a small update on the situation.

As of a week ago, it puked bad. One trip to work and back and it was done. I got home to find oil pouring down the side of the bike. I restarted the bike to find the source. Seems it was just from the rocker cover--NOT the head gasket. Seems it has been seeping down and weeping around the headgasket area making it look like a headgasket problem.

With the motor running, it was literally running out of the back of the rocker cover(ugh). I then put it back in the garage and made plans for the tear down. I spent one evening pulling it apart, it took about 1.5 hrs at a leisurely pace. I was able to drop the motor out myself(another ugh). It will definitely take 3 people to get it back in(one to hold bike upright, one to work the jack and one to insert driveshaft into tranny).

I've got the rear cover off, nothing looks awry or damaged. It only uses grey silicone for gasket. It's a metal to metal fit. I've spent some time with the Clymer manual to get familiar with all the crap inside this swiss watch(geez). Hopefully in a few weeks it might be on the road again, just in time for some fall riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
748 Posts
Coulda' been worse! Let's hope this solves the problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,476 Posts
It only uses grey silicone for gasket. It's a metal to metal fit.


What bike is this? just curious. Also, do you really have to pull the engine to get the valve cover off?

Clymer might tell you to, but its usually included in the head removal section and will always tell you to pull the engine even if not truly needed. I'd try pulling the valve cover first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,594 Posts
The front cylinder on my 83 vt750 is acting like a leaky head gasket but now I'm curious about this rocker cover solution. I guess I'll have to do a little more research. I still kinda think it's a head gasket for the following reason. When I bought the bike the engine had been sitting for at least a year with no love. When the bike first started running you could see a tiny spray of oil (at idle) which appeared to be coming from between the two parts of the head and at the level of the gasket. But after a couple weeks of running the tiny spray was gone (at idle) but I think must still spray a bit at higher rpms because the radiator is still getting some oil coverage. The theory is that the head gasket was dry and cracked and sprayed much oil at first and now the gasket has swollen a bit so it's not spraying as much but at least still obvious leaking. But maybe it's just a rocker cover after all and I won't have to pull the engine... although I was going to pull the engine this winter anyway and check everything over.

Anyway, great thread. It's always interesting to me to see how one thing seems to be the obvious source of a problem but then in the end the source turns out to be something completely different. These machines always keep you guessing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
You MUST pull the motor to get rocker cover off. If you read your Clymer book, you'll see that the automatic adjusters and the shims will fall out and get lost, etc, etc, etc. You need to lay the engine over to the side to keep things in the cover while it comes off.

I did this, but still one set of shims fell out of their place. I'm pretty sure where they go, but I'm going to recheck all three valves to make sure. I'm not going through all this trouble to screw it up and have to pull it apart again. Another hour checking things is worth it.

I'm still concerned with the light smoking out the rear bank, worse when it gets hot. The pipe looks sooty compared to the front cylinder. I was hoping the oiling was the issue, drowning the exhaust valve and causing the smoking. I don't want to put it back together and still have that problem.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top