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Mysterious leak when crank case cover is loosned

1552 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BuckeyeShadow
Ok, well I discovered this on accident I guess. I wanted to bleed my clutch and went to remove, what I thought, was the cover on the left crank case to access the slave cylinder. I loosned 3 bolts from the wrong cover which is the one directly to the right of the round clutch basket. Once I had these loose and realized I had removed the wrong cover I was getting a drip from the bottom of the bike that looks like milky oil coming right off the rad hose connecting to the water pump. I immediately thought my head gasket was toast but my coolant level looks good and when I check the oil on the dipstick it looks normal. Bikes runs fine and doesn't seem to be smoking at all. I should mention that when i tighten these three bolts back up the leak stops. I'm pretty confused on this.

The bike is a 94 vt1100c with 30k miles.
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is that the sort of triangle starter gear cover you are talking about?

the milky colored oil can be from condensation.... I got that a bit before going synthetic oil (took a while to clear after changing)

A pic would help :)

Yes it is s triangle shaped panel. I'll take a picture when I get home.
Took off the wrong cover? I'm guessin' either you didn't look in or you don't have a service manual? Milky oil is contaminated with water.

I know I took the wrong cover off. I could see the slave cylinder under the adjacent panel as I started to pull the wrong one off. I'm just not sure where this milky oil is coming from unless I have a super small hole in my head gasket, but as I stated above I have no signs of a blown head gasket other then this leak that isn't constant.
Ok this is what I'm talking about.
Auto part Fuel line Engine Vehicle Muffler

This is the right cover with the slave cylinder under it.
Auto part Automotive lighting Headlamp Automotive exterior Bumper

The leak only occurs when the bolts from the triangle panel were loose. The leak is constant at about 2 drips per second. Starting to wonder if somehow the oil is mixing with brake fluid from the clutch but my clutch seems fine and the fluid level is good, just dirty hence why I was going to bleed it and put on fresh fluid. I know brake fluid absorbs moisture pretty well so maybe it has something to do with that.
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If you don't see moisture in your oil, oil in your coolant, or white smoke out the exhaust, I doubt you have a bad head gasket. Not familiar with your bike, but are you near the water pump? Pictures? Are you using a manual? Edit: I see coolant lines in your pic.

No manual regrettably, but yes I'm right near where the lower Rad hose connects to the water pump. The "substance" looked to be coming from inside the panel and leaking over the top of the lower rad hose. I'm not real worried about this as everything seems to be working as advertised. More curiosity then anything else at this point.
As you can see behind the cover there is an area the oil just sits, to much condensation in the motor could quite easily lead to milky oil in that spot

When I did my starter the first time it had crappy colored oil there but not that time

Starter gears sit in there

Thanks for clearing it up. I'm not worried about anything now. Who knows how long that oil has been sitting in that little valley since it would never be able to drain out of the engine on an a standard oil change. Thanks Leathel.
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