Author Topic: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair  (Read 4747 times)

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Offline flhs90

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1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 07:26:27 AM. »
Evos:

I am pretty sure my front rocker gasket has a minor leak from the square breather hole at the top. It stains the area around the front spark plug with a little oil. The other place it seems to be leaking from is the front and it is getting the very front at the bottom of the engine cases a little greasy.
I think for now I can just use a little gunk or solvent and a rag or brush and clean the area and keep a close eye.

My question is with the bike running so well, I'd rather ride than tear it down. If I'm not mistaken, I'll need to run the tank dry or drain it of gas. Then disconnect the hoses, and mounting bolts. Take off the tank then I should be able to work on pulling the rocker covers. both James and Cometic Gasket sets are similarily priced at approximately $27-$30 bucks at J & P cycles. Perhaps Harley would have a decent set as well.

Also, I have the manual, so can do the work myself to save and learn.

Is it possible to just tighten re-torque the rocker cover screws as an alternative.

Not planning on a head rework or valve reseat at this time. Bike runs well, has passed both compression and leak down tests, has a mere 64K.

Please advise, the leak is something I an live with for a while.
Thanks in advance for all input.
Oh and how much time should I allow to do a quality repair?
Any difficulties I might encounter along the way?

FLHS 90

Rode to Pacific City yesterday along 101 here in Coastal Oregon. sunny, temp was 63.9 degrees in the afternoon.

Yahoo!, Not Arizona or Florida, but warm and enjoyable.
1990 FLHS, 2006 FLSTS
Western Oregon

Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 07:37:50 AM. »
Evos:

I am pretty sure my front rocker gasket has a minor leak from the square breather hole at the top. It stains the area around the front spark plug with a little oil. The other place it seems to be leaking from is the front and it is getting the very front at the bottom of the engine cases a little greasy.
I think for now I can just use a little gunk or solvent and a rag or brush and clean the area and keep a close eye.

My question is with the bike running so well, I'd rather ride than tear it down. If I'm not mistaken, I'll need to run the tank dry or drain it of gas. Then disconnect the hoses, and mounting bolts. Take off the tank then I should be able to work on pulling the rocker covers. both James and Cometic Gasket sets are similarily priced at approximately $27-$30 bucks at J & P cycles. Perhaps Harley would have a decent set as well.

Also, I have the manual, so can do the work myself to save and learn.

Is it possible to just tighten re-torque the rocker cover screws as an alternative.

Not planning on a head rework or valve reseat at this time. Bike runs well, has passed both compression and leak down tests, has a mere 64K.

Please advise, the leak is something I an live with for a while.
Thanks in advance for all input.
Oh and how much time should I allow to do a quality repair?
Any difficulties I might encounter along the way?

FLHS 90

Rode to Pacific City yesterday along 101 here in Coastal Oregon. sunny, temp was 63.9 degrees in the afternoon.

Yahoo!, Not Arizona or Florida, but warm and enjoyable.


Rocker box and base gasket leaks are very common on these motors. retorquing won't usually help, but can't hurt to try. After that, replacement with better new style gaskets and procedures will take care of it. And for that info, I like to leave it for my friend Classic, who has a great write-up on it already about the cure for both. I'll not steal his thunder, as I'm sure as always, he'll be happy to help! It's all yours Tim! :wink: :up:

Hoist! :smiled:
"I just want to be free! Free to ride my machine and not be hassled by the man!"

Offline flhs90

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:08:35 AM. »
Classic and Hoist:

Thanks for helping me locate this thread. I'll see if I can get my camera working. That might help pinpoint the leak.

Regards,

Old evo, runs like a new one!

FLHS 90
1990 FLHS, 2006 FLSTS
Western Oregon

Offline Snuff™

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 07:08:07 PM. »
FLHS90,

I had a '91 FLHS for over 10 years. Sold it to my step-son.  The bike starts to leak every 2 or so years at the rocker boxes.  Years ago I heard when the rocker boxes were cast, the middle ring was cast with too much zinc, cause different expansion rates. I've tried cork, rubber, cork with special Loc-tite sealer, rubber with special Loc-tite sealer. Never tried new middle ring. Maybe that might be the fix. :beer:

-Snuff
Every day, I'm one day closer...  WTF!  I'm not near 70 yrs. old!

Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:44:24 PM. »
Tim must be busy today. Hope you don't mind Tim. This is copied from a thread he answered:

"Helllo everyone.....

Well I was rereading some old threads and thought this information might help someone in the future, as I had to replace all the way down to the rocker "cover" / "base" gaskets in my 1999 FXR2 in June of 2005 after first purchasing my bike:

I too have incorporated the one piece metal James gasket with the bead for the location of the rocker cover gasket or as some refer to it as the rocker base gasket.  I haven't been all the way down to the cylinder base gasket but if I were to I would also use the james metal base gasket.  I might turn to a metal MLS cometic gasket for the cylinder head perhaps using either a .030 or .040.  I however have read good things about the Geninue James metal cylinder head gasket as well.   Where I would deviate from the James Genuine Gaskets back to the OEM gaskets would be located within the rocker boxes themselves, the rubber (neoprene) upper, lower, and inner rocker gaskets along with the washers which are used to keep the rocker covers secured.  Personal experience with the Geniune James "rubber / neoprene" gasket resulted in a upper rocker gasket failure, although I will say that James did stand behind their product and provided a complete replacement kit for both cylinders free of charge and even asked me to return the "failed" gasket so they might determine the reason....never heard anything from them.  I will just say that I have to agree with the historical comments that I have read on other web sites on this topic that the OEM "rubber / neoprene" rocker gaskets seem to be better designed to fit the "channels" that they must align with inside the rockers.  I specifically and individually found this too be true as well. Also "historical" evidence points to making sure one should place "hylomar" or "aviation gasket cement" very lightly covering the metal cylinder base gasket, the cylinder head gasket and finally the rocker base / rocker cover gasket.  When I did my "gasket" repair in 05 I at the location of the rocker base/cover gasket it I placed "hylomar" upon it and I have had no issues.

UPDATE 08-10-08:
If you like simply click view, and read, this Thread will introduce one to the merits of Aviation Gasket Cement:

http://groups.msn.com/HarleyTechTalk/tc88fathead.msnw?action=get_message&ID_Message=1344736&ShowDelete=0&CDir=-2

A Photo of aviation gasket cement is provided below an EXCELLENT product as well, it can be found at NAPA.  I use this product often times in place of blue loc tite and have done so for over 3 years now....just an excellent product....I use it to keep screws/bolts from gnalling, it never hardens or get's "stringy" always remaining flexible"

"You may find it helpful to have a factory authorized service manual available to you for this project, I believe this topic will be specifically addressed within the service manual......if you have one follow the suggested steps if you don't have one you can acquire them on ebay.  Elvislee under a recent thread has now provided the HD part numbers that are each associated with the parts book, service manual, and owners manual for each of the three "CVO" FXR's. You will want a "factory" "authorized" edition of the Service Manual specific to your bike.   You are going to need a service manual for the rest of what you are doing as well...."

"Alrighty 2 hours of research later and another hour to figure out how to put this accurately in text, here we go.......lol.....I "too" sat down with my FXR2 & FXR3 Service Manual and now I remember why I felt it was so poorly written.  To digress here a moment, when I brought my FXR2 home after purchasing it [I purchased mine in June of 2005] I had some issues with rocker box gaskets leaking as well as a rear cylinder head gasket leak since the bike obviously hadn't been ridden that much....so the gaskets were most likely "dried out".....anyway my point is I had to go into both rocker boxes and I replaced all of the gaskets all the way down to the cylinder head gasket as well for both cylinders even though the front was having no issues....with manual in hand it really wasn't that much help.  So now that I have sat down with the manual and processed how I did it....here is what I would do....there of course may be a better way....but this is at least my way...

The FXR4 supplement will not be of any benefit to you for this "particular" project/task, as the supplement addresses primarily the wiring changes for the speedo/odometer, as well as the front fork changes with the dual discs, and brakes since they are different as well. So the supplement is addressing those issues.....what you are experiencing is that the "Tech" writing for the cvo FXR's was poorly written in some areas....but I suppose they are assuming that if one is working on these bikes they must have some know how....however, I still have a 2003 Dyna Low Rider Service Manual [which while I no longer own the bike I have found the manual to still be valuable to in some practical applications for both the FXR and my RKC] as well as my 2002 Touring Manual for a 2002 RKC [which I still own] to be much better written and detailed in explaining certain aspects....much more so than the FXR2/FXR3 Service Manual.  So rest assured it's not you missing something within the Service Manual, it's that it's not in there.....and in fact if you read carefully the only way they really review working on the rocker boxes is with the "ENGINE REMOVED FROM THE BIKE" what the frick is that all about....lol...as if that is "PRACTICAL"......ok so enough venting....onward....."

(continue)
« Last Edit: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:59:58 PM. by Hoist! »
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Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:45:18 PM. »
(continued from above)

"At the time of me doing this work, my buddy took his FXR3 in to our local indy mechanic to also have a cylinder head gasket replaced. So I know what I am about to say has a different methodology as well, but I am not familiar with it.

1) You don't have to but I strongly suggest removing the gas tank...I say you don't have to because the indy mechanic said he didn't remove my buddies to repair his rear cylinder gasket leak.....The indy also owned an earlier model FXR at the time and told me that he drilled his bike's frame area just above the rear left cylinder 3/16" hex head screw to remove it more easily apparently this is what some FXR owners do...I am not sure how often it has been done in the past but obviously it was something that indeed was done...must have been "old school"...lol....well of course I "ain't" drillin into my frame....just because it's quicker to do so....but I bet you know what I am talking about seeing the room that you have. Ok so I say remove the tank.....for a couple of reasons, if you aren't an indy mechanic...and I know your not or you wouldn't be asking these questions....we have more of a "visual" interest in "seeing" things compared to those guys since it's always about speed for them.  So remove the tank, this will give you a wider and more direct view to what's going on....it will add time to the job and so forth....you could prop up the tank by putting a tennis ball underneath the rear of the tank where it bolts below the seat to the frame but you still won't be able to see directly "into" what you are working on which may not be a good thing since we need all the help we can get, right? lol....well @ least I do.... Once the tank is removed now you have more room to work.

2) remove your exhaust system especially if you are going to be around the cam chest for any reason.

3) As RedFXR2 mentions remove the the front engine mount as well....it rotates the engine just enough to provide a bit more room for the rear cylinder upper rocker arm cover 3/16" hex head screws.....once the engine mount is removed now you have all the access you are going to get....BUT BUT BUT...lol before removing the engine mount and lowering the engine via the jack, make sure you get a substantial rag to protect your frame when the engine moves and will eventually rest against the front of the frame as it is lowered.

3) There is NO PAGE reference for addressing how to remove the rear cylinder upper arm rocker cover, it doesn't exist. They don't talk about what tool to use or anything.

So here are your options:

You either cut down a 3/16" hex head wrench until there is barely a curve and enough straightness and depth remaining to fit into the hex head screw hole. This however does not provide you the opportunity to actually torque upon tightening.....I must admit though you may just be happy to get it removed and tightened and practically decidiing that you will "estimate" the torque value for this particular upper rocker arm cover screw based upon all the others you will use the torque wrench with and not worry about "torquing" it precisely.....I am sure many have subscribed to this action over the years...lol....so you wouldn't be the first....but if you are determined to properly "torque" here is another option.....One of the techinicans @ my local Harley Davidson Dealership actually designed and machined a "tool" that has a 16mm [I think the mechanic must have been messin with everyone to make the outside diameter 16mm instead of 5/8" lol] outer 6 pt head with a 3/16" hex head machined into the bottom of it which allows it to "drop" on to the 3/16" hex head upper rocker arm cover screw.....which then allows you to get a open end 16mm wrench and to loosen it that way, BUT because of the depth of a regular open end 16mm wrench you might find that you would need to also "thin" the depth of that wrench as well....essentially when you get this "tool" you say great now I can get it on the 3/16" hex head screw but now how do I get the open end 16mm" wrench in the limiting space you have between the top of the upper rocker box arm cover and the botton of the frame to remove the 3/16" hex head screw.  So you "may"  find that making the tool a bit thinner could prove to be beneficial.  NOW, then to tighten what can you do...the open end 16mm" wrench that you have modified to loosen the upper rocker arm cover screw to begin with doesn't afford you the ability to actually use it to torque....unless you take the other end of that open end wrench and weld on an adaptor to attach to your torque wrench... OR you could get a 16mm" open end crows foot extension to be able to properly torque the hex head but it too would need to be long enough to give you room to properly work your torque wrench and it would need to also be thin enough on the other end to fit properly as I just mentioned above.  At the end of the day it's complicated....and when you don't do it as often as the every day mechanics it's even more cumbersome.  I have worked with this particular tool that I mentioned above...and found that I had to thin the tool a bit more as the outer hex head was a bit too tall....so with some quick grinding it worked....So like I said, you have a couple of choices....and they are quite limiting...."

(continue)
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Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:46:27 PM. »
(continued from above)

"Another option which might be available to you and would take you in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION would be to check into the feasablity of whether or not the rocker box upper arm cover screws for a "Twin Cam" are the same thread design and length (although if the "Twin Cam" screws are actually longer in theory you could cut to length if needed to properly fasten within the design of the evo engine).  So you might ask WHY would I even suggest this as a "potential" option, well that's because the "Twin Cam" upper rocker arm cover screws have a 7/16" 6 pt outside head [remember the evo upper rocker arm cover screws have a "rounded" outside diameter] and also have the 3/16" hex head center hole as well.  Now what this does is afford you to use a particular tool made by Snap On which is a 2" extension with an adaptor at one end and a 7/16" closed end wrench on the other end it is part # FRDH141, this tool is pretty expensive I think it's like $25.00 or so....it's expensive for how little it is lol.  So now if one were to decide to use the "Twin Cam" upper rocker arm cover bolts you have two ways for either tightening or removing them via a 3/16" internal hex head as well as a 7/16" inch outer 6 pt head.  This could obviously provide another solution for those pesky and difficult upper rocker arm cover screws [side note: Just remember if you do opt for this method anytime you add an extension to a torque wrench as long as you are able to put that extension/adapter 90 degrees to the torque wrench there is no "multiplier" involved however if you have to do it straight on then you have to consider that extension is acting a "multiper" and you have to account for that....]

As you can see it's a bit of a delima.....and the Service Manual is no help.....heck all I can tell you is each bolt you remove when going into the rocker boxes you better write down their sizes so you know what the right torque values are when you put everything back together because of the "criptic" nature of the Service Manual...shaking my head the Service Manual is no help with this....as far as I can figure there are 13 bolts/screws per cylinder down to removing the cylinder head and that I can only figure by looking closely at the FXR2 Parts Manual but the FXR3 Parts manual would acknowledge the same thing as well as the FXR4 since all of these bikes have the exact same engine...the differences in these bikes is obviously not the power plant.

If you decide that you want to call the local Harley Davidson shop and order the tool I described above....the hex head 3/16" with 16mm outer 6pt diameter I will provide the name of the dealership and the part number they ascribe to it and their phone number along with price.  But before I do....there is another tool they make that will definitely work very well....and I have used it with success with no alterations lol...you know on our evo's we have that Oil Screen Plug you will be able to see what I am referring to if you look in your parts manual  under the "crankcase" -gear side page of your FXR4 parts manual.  That "Oil Screen Plug" has a thin screw driver slot attached to it...it's really an akward size and with it being a "regular srew driver" type of slot there is no way to torque or really tighten it properly....so either the same technician or one of their other technicians machined a tool with the proper slot size on one end and @ the other end there is a hex head 6 point diameter area that allows you [with this tool] to remove as well as secure this "Oil Screen Plug" while using a socket adapter....it's really a pretty slick tool....but also expensive for what it is....so you can decide if you are interested or if anyone else is for that matter....I hate advertising for this dealership lol rolling my eyes but I don't know of anyone else doing these two tools which have some merit....oh and this is by NO means a 20% Discount Dealership.....lol not in this lifetime.....I do very little buying from here....but they are local to me.....

here is the information:
Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson
Loveland, CO
(970) 493-3137

They have ascribed their own internal part number for these tools and these tools aren't HD made as I said they were designed by one of their technicans....and they offer them for sale...

SW-4   $9.95  rocker Box 3/16" Hex Head Tool  <~~~ my description not theirs
SW-5 $10.95  Oil Screen Plug Tool  screw driver slot with hex head bottom <~~~~my descripton not theirs

Even though I have provided the descriptions they will know what you are talking about...you can always ask for the Part's Manager whose name is Dave Wheeler...he will know what you are talking about, but most of those guys "SHOULD" know.....lol.

So I am really not sure what real assistance I have provided here......but I tried...lol....since this is obviously something you are currently working on right now....PLEASE come back and post what you actually did and what RESULTS worked best for you....as you may come upon another solution that could benefit us all....and please feel free to keep asking any questions as well if more assistance or further ideas are required.....

Regards,


Tim"
« Last Edit: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 09:00:32 PM. by Hoist! »
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Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:49:14 PM. »
"I am going to cut and paste from a few threads I have read in the past that have always made sense at least to me:

QUESTION:
(Original Message) Sent: 5/16/2001 
Ever notice that when they start leaking AGAIN that it's in the same place?
Just for the hell of it I put mine on a layth, and guess what.The bottom of the jugs
WERE NOT FLAT! Base gaskets compress to 5thou.( acording to the big guys)
The left rear corner of my rear jug was 7thou.different than the 3 other corners.
the front jug was concave on the left side between the front and rear corner by
5thou.


ANSWER:
From: AlphaSamuel Sent: 5/16/2001  (well known contributer on HTT has sense passed away, but his opinions I valued)
That's what happens when you have castings made overseas by unskilled workers, then ground down by robots.  The Factory has tried just about everything from different gaskets, to 0 rings and still they leak.  I know people who have invested in expensive tools to "square" off the bases as you have done and the damned things still leaked.  I finally gave up in disgust, went back to the basics of assembly of aircooled engines with aluminum jugs w/steel liners, started using avaition gasket cement on all my gaskets and, viola!  No more leaks.  Sure a little squeezes out, but my trusted finger tip and a rag and mineral spirits clean it right off.  It also can be used on bolts where installed into aluminum housings to prevent annealing of dsisemiliar metals.   They will never sieze, nor gall your aluminum threads.  Worked for me.  Samuel 

Samuel refers to "AVIATION GASKET CEMENT WITHIN HIS RESPONSES, IF YOU WILL REFER TO REPLY #5 ABOVE WITHIN THIS "THREAD" YOU WILL SEE A REFERENCE TO THE PRODUCT OF "AVIATION GASKET CEMENT" ALONG WITH A PHOTO OF THAT PRODUCT.

QUESTION:
Evo 1340 : Leaking cylinder gaskets        03-13-2002
My base gaskets were repaired a while back, based upon what I am hearing, should I expect these gaskets to start leaking again, or is the thicker gasket a permanent fix??

ANSWER:
From:  AlphaSamuel 
There have been some reports of reoccurring head gasket problems.  However, I have redone my base gaskets and not wanting to have to repeat I decided to coat the cases where the gasket mounts w/aviation gasket cement, then applied the gasket (james) to the base then applied another coat to the top side of the gasket, then installed the cylinders.  When I replaced the engine at 73K the base gaskets were still not leaking.  I did the same thing to my wife's FXR and she had more than 64K when I changed her engine.   Samuel

QUESTION:
Evo 1340 : Weeping Oil Problem       12-31-2001
29000 miles on the Evo engine and I'm noticing oil weeping at the base of the rear cylinder. . . . . is this the failed "base gasket" problem I've read about recently in one of the cyclemags and if so, what is the best way to fix and with which gasket?  Thanks, Huck

ANSWER:
From:  AlphaSamuel
There are several different so called cures for this problem caused by the heating and contraction of the cylinders to the cases.  HD engines, including the Evo have an oil gallery that runs down through the heads, the cylinders and into the cases.  In addition, you have the oil being slung around by the movement of the internals.  Each time the metal stretches under heat and contracts when cooling some of the oil gets in and around the gasket at the base of the cylinders.  There is one school of thought that says when the gasket gets totally saturated with oil it begins to weep, the weep becomes a seep, then a genuine leak.  You have many gasket cutters that say their product will correct this.  You have the factory "new" design where they now use an 0 ring at the base to correct this age old problem.  And they still leak.  I can tell you what I use.  I install a good gasket coated on both sides with a coating of aviation gasket cement.  I've used this method on air cooled engines that use no gaskets between sections of the cases.  I've used this product on out board engines that have the same basic design/construction as our engines and for me it works.  Others will tell you that some other system works.  I can only tell you what has worked for me after putting more than 180,000 miles on evo engines.   
 
I also use this product on my case bolts, side cover bolts, etc and have NEVER had one gald the threads, never had one seize, never had one deform the threads where they need to be chased with a tap.  Even installed iron bolts into aluminum and returned months later and removed them with ease.  I only know it works for me.  Samuel
 


Cylinder Base Gasket Photo & Part #:

[NOTE: Please remember that putting your cursor next to the paper clip icon below the photo will allow you to enlarge the photo plus save it to your computer if you desire OR if you merely wish to see it enlarged simply put your cursor on the photo and "LEFT" click and it will enlarge]"

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Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:49:53 PM. »
(continued From Above)

"JohnS_  Roasamond_CA is someone I also value with regards to his opinions on EVO's, he too is a well known contributer over at HTT so I feel his comments deserve review:

John was asked a question, I merely pasted the answer as the answer is clear all by itself:

12-15-2005  From:  JohnS_Rosamond_CA
I have seen leaks with the paper gaskets (especially earlier Harley paper gaskets), and I've seen leaks with the metal gaskets as well.  I have come to the conclusion that if you want to be leak free until the cylinders need to come off again, then you need some kind of gasket dressing.  I prefer hylomar.  I have had good luck in assembling base gaskets with this dressing, otherwise you're taking your chances on future leaks.   

The hylomar that I use is put out by Permatex, and only comes in one flavour.  The tube says "Hylomar HPF - high performance formula"  item number 25249.  On the base gaskets and rocker cover gaskets, I squeeze a little dab onto my index finger, then squeeze it between my thumb and index finger.  Then I rub it on both sides of the gasket as I'm holding it.  Easy to do with a metal gasket. The idea is that you don't goop it on like silicone.   John S,


From:  anotherhdrider
I buy the Hylomar at Auto Zone. It comes in a tube such as silicone. Like I stated in my blurb...a little goes a long way! I place several dabs around the perimeter and smear it around with my finger. This stuff is amazing for sealing. It is like silicone, but silicone is "RTV", meaning Room Temperature Vulcanizing, it vulcanizes (hardens) at room temp...Hylomar does not EVER vulcanize, therefore it stays sticky forever, and not leave rubbery strings in the engine (that seem to wreak havoc with oil pumps).

(So as you can see there are two alternative options being recommended here, ie: AVIATION GASKET CEMENT or HYLOMAR, both are incredible products and I would recommend using either one, ultimately one will discover that HYLOMAR has been "discontinued" within your typical "autozone" or "NAPA" stores leaving one to only find the product perhaps on EBAY for reference purposes)

QUESTION:
Evo 1340 : base gaskets     05-19-2004

From: bagman  (Original Message)
any suggestions for base gasket replacement? can't seem to make mine stop leaking.

ANSWER:
From:  JohnS_Rosamond_CA
Harley's OEM base gasket has never really worked well, and has gone through several revisions.  I have seen many of the "oil fix's" and didn't care for them.  Cometic and James are both good (better than paper for sure), however, I have had some trouble with both (even where the mating surfaces were true).  However, I personally use the James metal base gasket with a thin coating of Hylomar on both sides.  On bikes where I know that there is a sealing problem, this combination has not yet failed. Dry 'till they come apart.

The base gaskets do have a tendency to leak.  I second the use of the James aluminum base gasket, but with one caveat.  I use a thin layer of hylomar on both sides of the gasket.  My mechanic buddy has since stopped using James base gaskets due to a series of "come backs."  However, after I began using the hylomar, I haven't had one premature failure.  One of the bikes that I used this set up on was a habitual leaker.  Couldn't get it to stay for more than a few thousand miles.  It's been dry now for more than 30,000m.  Hylomar is available at most general automotive stores, made in the U.S. by Permatex.
John S,


I FOUND THIS POST IN ANOTHER THREAD AND I FEEL IT'S WORTH MENTIONING HERE:

From: Harleyguy5731 Sent: 3/20/2008 2:41 PM
Evo's have base gaskets, Twin Cam's have "O" rings.  The reason that base gaskets leak on EVO's is that the heads were either not torqued down properly when they were installed either that or the rider does not warm the engine up sufficiently before getting into the throttle.  The aluminum heads grow as they get hot and as they grow the seal the thin base gaskets.  If the heads were torqued down beyound spec's as the jugs expanded they would tear out the bolts.  When a rider gets into the throttle before the jugs have expanded sufficiently, the head gasket will get trashed from pressure being built up in the cylinder, Twin cams tend to require less warming up that the EVO's, however they also do require some warming up to allow the jugs to grow and to seal the "O" rings,  I hope this helps!  Harleyguy5731 "
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Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:50:31 PM. »
"QUESTION:
Evo 1340 : Changing heads   06-21-2004

From:  evorider007  (Original Message)
I'm getting ready to install a set of screamin eagle heads on my '91 Fatboy, I'm trying to think of everything before I tear it apart. My question is about gaskets, the set I have picked out is a James head set, .045 head, .020 base and rubber rocker gaskets. Anybody been down this road? I dont want to do the job and find out I should have used brand X instead. Thanks  Charles

ANSWER:
From:  JohnS_Rosamond_CA
I really like the James gasket for the base gasket, the head gasket and the rocker cover (and sometimes referred to as the rocker base) gasket.  There are only two caveats:

1. On the base gasket, use some "hylomar".  It's a blue sticky gasket material (Not like silicone).  Every once in a while I will have a James base gasket leak on me for no apparent reason.  Or on cylinder will seal and the other wont (where no known problem existed before).  So, use a little hylomar and you'll be okay (I got mine from the local auto oparts store.  Just a very thing coating). 

2. On the rubber-like rocker gaskets.   I have never had good luck with the aftermarket rubbers.  They don't always sit in the seal groove well, and due to that will sometimes pinch, or just not seal.  I always use the Harley rocker-rubbers and paper discs for the rockers top screws

Yes, 'tis true.  Remove the front motor mount and you'll have enough room to get the left rear rocker bolt out.  I usually shorten this bolt by just a few threads - makes it easier to remove next time due to frame interference. 
John S.


QUESTION WAS ASKED BUT NOT RECORDED AS ANSWER CAN STAND ALONE:
Evo 1340 : new base gaskets?           09-01-2005

ANSWER:
From:  JohnS_Rosamond_CA
I use the James metal base gasket with a think coating of hylomar - works good every time.  However, let me wax philosophic about base gasket leaks.  The oil "fix" says that it's the oil return hole that causes the base gasket to leak oil.  Oh really?  Then why is it that it's primarily the rear cylinder that does it.  Why isn't it more centralized around the oil return hole then?  My theory is that it has something to do with pressure in the case pushing oil in between the cylinder spigot and the case - then pushing it outwards under the gasket.  Since the flywheel spits most of it's oil towards the rear cylinder - that's the cylinder that gets the most oil up in between the cylinder spigot and case (so that's the one that shows the leak).  That's why the hylomar works.  It never hardens and makes it much more difficult for oil to migrate.  That's why a paper gasket alone isn't enough.  But what do I know.  John S,



QUESTION:
From: Johnnyo  (Original Message)
I need to replace the head gaskets on my Evo, my question is will I need to replace the cylinder base gaskets also? I really don't want to break the ring seal since I don't need pistons.

ANSWER:
From: JohnS_Rosamond_CA
My experience with the original paper base gaskets is that it's almost impossible not to break part of the seal when removing the head.  If the head gasket melted (like it's supposed to), then any sideways tapping you do breaks the base gasket seal first before the head gasket lets go.  Think of it this way, would you rather just do the head gasket now, and then have the base gasket leak shortly after?  You really don't want to get any kind of sealant inside the case.  The oil return hole is very small and you wouldn't want it to get plugged up by stray silicone - (it's not that it would starve the engine, but it could significantly slow the rate of oil return to the pump and "sump" it while you were riding.  Anyway, my best suggestion is that I have been using the metal James base gasket and then coating it with a very thin layer of Hylomar.  I have not had a premature leak, and the gasket comes off so easy there's hardly any cleanup.
John S,
"
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Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:51:34 PM. »
Cylinder Head Gasket Photo & Part#:

[NOTE: Please remember that putting your cursor next to the paper clip icon below the photo will allow you to enlarge the photo plus save it to your computer if you desire OR if you merely wish to see it enlarged simply put your cursor on the photo and "LEFT" click and it will enlarge]


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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:52:47 PM. »
Rocker Arm Lower Gasket Photo & Part#:

[NOTE: Please remember that putting your cursor next to the paper clip icon below the photo will allow you to enlarge the photo plus save it to your computer if you desire OR if you merely wish to see it enlarged simply put your cursor on the photo and "LEFT" click and it will enlarge]

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:53:37 PM. »
"From:  JohnS_Rosamond_CA
The black neoprene rocker box gaskets are superior to the cork in my opinion, though truthfully any gasket material should work if it's installed correctly.  If the rocker box is leaking really bad, then either the rocker boxes are warped (when they look right when you put it together but then slide on each other as the bike is run) or you are bearing down on the top rocker bolts too hard and the gasket material is breaking (both the cork and neoprene will break if it's tightened too much).

I have never had any trouble with the neoprene rocker gaskets from Harley, but I have had trouble with the neoprene gaskets from just about everybody else.

And for further information when dealing with umbrella valves they were not used for model year 1989, even if the rocker box had a place for the umbrella valve, one would not use it.  The 1992 and earlier cases breath out of a hose that comes out of the bottom of the case.  Starting with model year 1993, all bikes had the crank case breather that vented out of the cylinder head and into the air filter.  The umbrella valve was supposed to help separate liquid oil from the air stream. John S, Rosamond CA


From:  JohnS_Rosamond_CA
It's always a good idea to replace the umbrella valves when you R and R a rocker box.  It's a poor design that tries to eliminate oil droplets from the air stream.  The "Cure" is a good investment, but I'm not sure that the "plus" is worth the extra penny - though I haven't tried the "plus" version.  On the rocker gasket giving up the ghost, it could be a warped rocker tier.  I had a rear (centre) rocker that warped and within about 150 miles it would shift over to the left and blow oil all over.  Eventually the only permanent fix for me was to replace the whole rocker set.  However, the rocker gasket is very soft and if you pinch it or over torque it - the gasket will split.  Using an X-pattern when tightening the rocker will help avoid excessive tight spots. John S,
"

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« Last Edit: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 09:01:13 PM. by Hoist! »
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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:54:12 PM. »
"Alrighty then....so there you have it......if you choose to want to go through a 20% Discount Harley Davidson Dealer for the above parts then you will need to have the Drag Specialties part# to give to that person, I had the DS# for one of the gaskets above but not all of them.  You can always contact JAMES GASKETS by doing a "GOOGLE" search and give them their part number and ask what the Drag Specialties part number is....that's what I do when I need it....if anyone cares to follow up on the applicable DRAG SPECIALTIES part numbers that I am missing above feel free to e~mail me and I will modify the photo to reflect such number to make it easier for others....

When it comes to the Cometic Head gasket's just remember if you oversize your cylinder jugs then you will need to oversize your cometic gasket as well....by the way "MLS" as used by Cometic stands for Multi-Layer Steel.

So there you have it....the above would be the actual gaskets I would use on my EVO engine....and actually I am running some of them right now....just not the James Base Gasket as I haven't been that far down.

An update on the "HYLOMAR" apparently late last year Permatex the maker of "HYLOMAR" quit manufactuering it, you can sometimes find this on EBAY....so that's why I would recommend as an alternative the "Aviation Gasket Cement".....Hylomar is extremely tacky.....you don't put it on like you are doing a bath tub seal between the tile and the tub....you put it on EXTREMELY light....and it works EXTREMELY WELL....A tube of that stuff will last awhile....  JUMP TO THE REPLY BELOW #34 HYLOMAR IS NOW AVAILABLE AGAIN!
Mikey, if you follow what was offered above you will never have a leak on your evo engine...after I did mine I have never had a leak, I know others will say if you have to add a gasket sealant then you got other problems....but Samuel (one of the person's I referenced above was into Aviation, well he was into a lot of things and had a lot of wisdom to offer....if it's good enough for him as well as John S. then it's good enough for me and it HAS PROVEN to be GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME)

This is also a pretty good thread on this topic as well, if you would like click, view, and read:

BASE GASKET WEEPING  <~~~~CLICK, VIEW, & READ

So hopefully this is helpful to you or someone else down the road.....

Regards,

Tim"
« Last Edit: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 09:01:30 PM. by Hoist! »
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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:54:46 PM. »
"I talked so much about "HYLOMAR" up above that I thought I should provide a link and price for it as well as a simple description, turns out that of Februrary 2009, the price is $30.00 for a 3 oz tube and this particular product is the same product that one use to acquire at your auto parts store under the permatex brand....

SIMPLY, CLICK, VIEW, & READ:
HYLOMAR ADVANCED FORMULA

Hylomar® Advanced Formula
 
Hylomar Advanced Formula is a solvent free, low viscosity  version of the standard Universal Blue. It is ideally suited as a gasket dressing and it will enhance the sealing capabilities of all types of gaskets and can assist with gasket alignment during assembly. It is designed to seal closely fitting flanges against most lubricants and automotive fluids. Like all the Hylomar formulations, the sealant is re-sealable, non-setting and non-hardening which provides excellent resistance to vibration and thermal expansion of parts.
 
 
▪ Solvent free, low viscosity version  of Universal Blue.

▪ Same formulation as the Permatex version "Hylomar HPF"

Regards,

Tim"
« Last Edit: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 09:01:46 PM. by Hoist! »
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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 08:56:41 PM. »
The effort Tim puts in to put these things together for us is unreal! JohnS_Rosamond_CA needs to be commended for his efforts here as a lot is his info! You guys are awesome!!! :up:

Hoist! :smiled:
« Last Edit: Wednesday, February 04, 2009. 09:02:02 PM. by Hoist! »
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Offline Snuff™

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #16 on: Thursday, February 05, 2009. 01:58:59 AM. »
Wow! Hoist,

I guess I'm a guy of short words. "Give me the drill & get me another beer." :beer:

-Snuff
Every day, I'm one day closer...  WTF!  I'm not near 70 yrs. old!

Offline Hoist!

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #17 on: Thursday, February 05, 2009. 04:02:06 AM. »
Wow! Hoist,

I guess I'm a guy of short words. "Give me the drill & get me another beer." :beer:

-Snuff

HeHe!!! I wish!!! Tim get's ALL the credit for putting this together to help someone doing their top end right now. I'd just give the job to Vern! :teeth:

Hoist! :smiled:
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Offline flhs90

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #18 on: Thursday, February 05, 2009. 08:15:45 AM. »
 :up: :beer: :gob:
1990 FLHS, 2006 FLSTS
Western Oregon

Offline ClassicRider2002

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #19 on: Thursday, February 05, 2009. 08:17:47 AM. »
Actually the credit goest to John S. along with Samuel....all I am is a "cut and paste" engineer..... :up:

Howie....thanks for posting that information above and I hope it helps flhs90....

and also a HUGE thumbs up to Howie  :up:...I mean your awesome for posting the information above and directing flhs90 to the information in the first place....and yes yesterday I was "decarbonizing" my piston tops on my 2002RKC, so I wasn't at the computer until later last nite....lol and if anyone wants some tips on that....lol I can throw forth some input on that LOL....

Regards,

"Classic"
MIGHTY MOUSE CAM
LOW END TORQUE JUNKIE 2

Offline fxr4mikey

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #20 on: Thursday, February 05, 2009. 05:38:56 PM. »
Actually the credit goest to John S. along with Samuel....all I am is a "cut and paste" engineer..... :up:

Howie....thanks for posting that information above and I hope it helps flhs90....

and also a HUGE thumbs up to Howie  :up:...I mean your awesome for posting the information above and directing flhs90 to the information in the first place....and yes yesterday I was "decarbonizing" my piston tops on my 2002RKC, so I wasn't at the computer until later last nite....lol and if anyone wants some tips on that....lol I can throw forth some input on that LOL....

Regards,

"Classic"

which, staying up late on the phone    :hyst:

or working on your pistons   


you know how I did my pistons ...... dropped them off at the Indy's place and let him bead blast the tops of em ........ quick and easy   
80" EVO - FXR4
SE Heads w/Adj pushrods
.030 HG Wood W6 Cam HSR42 Carb

Offline ClassicRider2002

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #21 on: Thursday, February 05, 2009. 09:37:04 PM. »
which, staying up late on the phone     :hyst:
or working on your pistons   

you know how I did my pistons ...... dropped them off at the Indy's place and let him bead blast the tops of em ........ quick and easy   


LAUGHING......THAT'S RIGHT.....lol......don't get me started.....some of us work in our garages....and some of us....model....which one do you do Mikey?

LOL   :hyst:

 :potstir:

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Offline fxr4mikey

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #22 on: Friday, February 06, 2009. 07:12:15 AM. »

some of us work in our garages....and some of us....model....which one do you do Mikey?



I've been known, recently, Thanks Tim, to do a little bit of both  :hyst: :hyst:
80" EVO - FXR4
SE Heads w/Adj pushrods
.030 HG Wood W6 Cam HSR42 Carb

Offline ClassicRider2002

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #23 on: Friday, February 06, 2009. 07:22:54 AM. »
 :hyst:

too funny......

Regards,

"Classic"
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LOW END TORQUE JUNKIE 2

Offline flhs90

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Re: 1990 Evo Rocker Box Leak Repair
« Reply #24 on: Friday, February 06, 2009. 06:42:58 PM. »
Classic:


Great archives for us newbee Evo Riders.

Bike runs sweet, just trying to keep the oil off it. Every time I wash, and wax it I look it over real good.
Seems to need nuthin, just trying to plan ahead.
Putting new front pads on over the weekend.

Yahoo, FLHS 90

Just wanted the appreciation for the tips to be known. Helments off to Hosit and you, Classic. Great thread, keepm it in the new archives forever!

Long love the Evo.

 :beer: :gob: :rtfb:

1990 FLHS, 2006 FLSTS
Western Oregon