Annoying leak from primary cover - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Annoying leak from primary cover

I recently replaced my primary cover gasket due to a leak. I did everything by the book, including using a torque wrench and following the tightening sequence. I even let the engine cool down after I drained the oil and removed the cover, before reinstalling the cover w/a new gasket, and used Loctite and even let that set 24 hours before I ran the engine.

I rode the bike yesterday for the first time since the repair, about 100 miles, and saw no leakage, so I was happy ... until I noticed a small oil spot under my bike when I got home from work today ... I am not a happy camper ... all that work and trouble for nothing ... the only difference is the oil is cleaner. It's not a bad leak, maybe one small drip per 24 hours.

The drip is located at the bolt closest to the drain plug (and it is not leaking from the drain plug - I used good quality teflon tape on that).

Any suggestions? I really don't want to pull the cover again, especially since a new gasket is $30.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Must Be An Evo

Evos Will Mark A Spot Get Use To It Or Split The Case $ Bud
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did you replace the primary cover gasket or the clutch basket (derby cover) gasket?

I suspect your leak is coming from somewhere else, maybe the primary shaft seal.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Did you replace the primary cover gasket or the clutch basket (derby cover) gasket?

I suspect your leak is coming from somewhere else, maybe the primary shaft seal.
I replaced both the primary cover gasket, and the derby cover gasket. I will have to get my inspection mirror and flashlight and take another look to see if the oil is coming from somewhere else.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Evos Will Mark A Spot Get Use To It Or Split The Case $ Bud
I have a Twin Cam, not an Evo
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a Twin Cam, not an Evo
More likely the inner primary main shaft seal is leaking . Take your light and mirror and look up the back of the inner primary where the drive sprocket is located . When that seal leaks it leaves a trail of oil down the back out the front and drips near the drain plug as that's the lowest point when the bike is on the side stand . Very common leak !
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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More likely the inner primary main shaft seal is leaking . Take your light and mirror and look up the back of the inner primary where the drive sprocket is located . When that seal leaks it leaves a trail of oil down the back out the front and drips near the drain plug as that's the lowest point when the bike is on the side stand . Very common leak !
Yes.... but also make sure the hole for the drain plug doesn't have a crack in it. You'll see it (if there's one) if you look really close, with the plug IN.

As well..... if you look at the inner primary vent tube, at the top, between the primary and the trans, it may be venting a bit, which is why i run slightly less then a quart, vs a whole quart of primary fluid.

If it's venting, it'll run down the back of the inner primary and show up where you're talking about too.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I keep tracing my own leak and cannot see or feel the vent hole, its a 2007 ultra, i was wondering if i blew some lightly compressed air into the filler if that would help me find the hole or if that would clean it out accordingly??? any suggestions or pics of the location of the vent??? I do have the manual and it looks like it oughta be right next to the starter but i cant see it without dissassembling the case yet again...
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I keep tracing my own leak and cannot see or feel the vent hole, its a 2007 ultra, i was wondering if i blew some lightly compressed air into the filler if that would help me find the hole or if that would clean it out accordingly??? any suggestions or pics of the location of the vent??? I do have the manual and it looks like it oughta be right next to the starter but i cant see it without dissassembling the case yet again...
... DO NOT blow compressed air into the vent , you'll blow the main seal out .
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