Finally, I can make the final entry to this repair journey. Saturday, I took the tank off again and removed the left cam case side cover. At first glance the gasket had looked symmetrical, but I should have looked closer. I must have been getting tired when I installed this gasket backwards.
The way the gasket was installed:
The way the gasket was supposed to be installed:
It didn't help having these flimsy gaskets that came with the set. I took some gasket material I had left over from the oil pump and cut a new gasket.
This material had a sticky back. You pull a white back sheet off to expose the cement. I stuck this side against the cam case and on the other I smeared Hylomar on both gasket and backside of the cover for extra measure. This gasket material is probably twice as thick as the flimsy thin one that came with the kit.
So, then I reset the valve clearances on the right side again and reinstalled the tank. Removing and installing the tank is the worst part of this process, because no matter how well you drain it, fuel pours out of the crossover line and all over your hands and the bike.
I rolled Old Faithful out onto the driveway and started her up. Sounded good and no leak from the left side case. But I was not goign to get off that easy, no sir. Now I could see that the left side case was leaking, too. I tried to loosen the back of the tank and lift it up as high as possible, but the access was still bad. (In a pinch, though, this does work; I have adjusted my valves in a north Florida McDonald's parking lot before doing ti that way.)
So, off goes the tank once more, and off comes the side cover. This one required me to pull the points plate and advance mechanism, which means it would not only need valve readjustment, but retiming, too. The points case proved very difficult to remove. I got it just a crack off the cam case and then used a two arm puller to ease it off the rest of the way.
I cut another gasket for this side from the same material I had used for the right, using the Hylomar again, and reinstalled the cover and its innards, readjusted the valve clearances for the third time, and finally adjusted the points and timing on Sunday morning.
Once again, I rolled her out into the drive and fired her up. Success!!! Started right up and ran smoothly. I rode to Fuzzy's and back, a six mile round trip and had no leaks. The head gasket on the right side looks a little "moist" but that may be left-over oil from the side cover leaks, but it is not dripping oil. Besides, after running this tank and half of another out I will changed the oil and retorque, and that should be the end of it.
Now, to break in the rings. There is so much conflicting advice on how to do this that I have decided on just riding her normally and not wringing her out completely. Every so often I will give her a good burst, then release the throttle and let her engine-brake down. The rest of the time I just ride like I always do.
Feels good to be back on Old Faithful, a very different ride than the Virgin Whore, my '86 Savage. Next up, the cam cover comes off the Savage and I attempt to fix the very typical oil plug leak in the cam case. At least the motor does not have to come out. It's supposed to take aboiut four hours; we will see.
"Ride Your Own Ride"