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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, this past weekend after washing my bike (and being able to see the engine more clearly) I notice a small oil leak at what seems to be the base area of the pushrods/pushrod cover’s. After warming the bike up after the wash and going for a short ride I noticed the oil was leaking from the XXX, it was kind of bubbling out slightly but I can actually see the oil coming out. I wiped the oil away and went for another ride & the same thing happened.


My questions would be what does this issue most likely point to, how serious is this problem (do I need to address this right away), what might a repair bill on something like this cost? Any other insights would be greatly appreciated.


A little background on my bike: 1989 883 Sportster – Recent work that’s been done to the bike is that I had my head gaskets replaced (I think the base gaskets were replaced too I can’t be for sure my memory is fuzzy) due to gasket leak and also exhaust gaskets replaced.



 

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Is it leaking at the "tube" or the lifter guide. Your arrow is pointing at the guide. The guide has a o-ring that seals to the case. The tube has o-ring that seals the tube to the guide.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is it leaking at the "tube" or the lifter guide. Your arrow is pointing at the guide. The guide has a o-ring that seals to the case. The tube has o-ring that seals the tube to the guide.
Thank you for the response, it's leaking where you can see the black oil in the first picture (I circled the area in red). Basically where the pushrods are bolted to the bottom of the engine (please excuse my ignorance I hope that helps).
 

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And unless you have collapsible tubes and adjustable pushrods... You'll at least have to loosen the rockers to change any of those to pass them over the push rods.
 

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Thank you for the response, it's leaking where you can see the black oil in the first picture (I circled the area in red). Basically where the pushrods are bolted to the bottom of the engine (please excuse my ignorance I hope that helps).
I'm betting that "they" did not replace the Orings with new ones when "they" did the head gaskets change . You might try to rotate the tubes some , see if it'll seal off . New Orings are the fix to the leak .


:biker:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm betting that "they" did not replace the Orings with new ones when "they" did the head gaskets change . You might try to rotate the tubes some , see if it'll seal off . New Orings are the fix to the leak .


:biker:
Thanks for all your responses guys.

Webco2: I'm really starting to wonder if "they" replaced them as well. If they are an honest shop then this should be covered. But to be honest I'm already getting a bad feeling about going back 2 months later and telling them to fix the oil leak free of charge, they are either going to deny it or give me some resistance is my initial gut feeling (I think I feel a headache developing)

So when you say try to rotate the tubes some to seal it off do you mean just hand rotate that tube with everything installed and bolted into place? I'm going to try this on my lunch break.
 

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Hala; If you really don't want to take it back to the shop, you can try reseating it yourself (takes moderate, mech. ability). Look your model up on the att. link below, then open "rocker assembly w/pushrod" line.
You are only concerned with #33, 34 and 37. If the orings are not new, it's possible they are too brittle to reseat, but worth a try.
Let us know if you want to try reseating the oring, and I or others will try to walk you through it. I bet Youtube has a video about Harley push rod tubes. They are all the same in how they work.



Ronnie's Harley-Davidson's 1989 Harley Davidson XLH SPORTSTER 1200 (CA) | ROCKER ARM ASSEMBLY W/ PUSH RODS AND COVER Parts List
 

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Thanks for all your responses guys.

Webco2: I'm really starting to wonder if "they" replaced them as well. If they are an honest shop then this should be covered. But to be honest I'm already getting a bad feeling about going back 2 months later and telling them to fix the oil leak free of charge, they are either going to deny it or give me some resistance is my initial gut feeling (I think I feel a headache developing)

So when you say try to rotate the tubes some to seal it off do you mean just hand rotate that tube with everything installed and bolted into place? I'm going to try this on my lunch break.
Yes, turn them by hand, "wiggle'em some" ...it may reseat them, or not..either way it's worth a shot . :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hala; If you really don't want to take it back to the shop, you can try reseating it yourself (takes moderate, mech. ability). Look your model up on the att. link below, then open "rocker assembly w/pushrod" line.
You are only concerned with #33, 34 and 37. If the orings are not new, it's possible they are too brittle to reseat, but worth a try.
Let us know if you want to try reseating the oring, and I or others will try to walk you through it. I bet Youtube has a video about Harley push rod tubes. They are all the same in how they work.



Ronnie's Harley-Davidson's 1989 Harley Davidson XLH SPORTSTER 1200 (CA) | ROCKER ARM ASSEMBLY W/ PUSH RODS AND COVER Parts List

Breeze3at thank you for your response! I think I would first like to try and fix it myself before going back and talking to the mechanic. I searched for some video's first because I dont want to waste your time but I cant find any about reseating the o-ring. If you dont mind helping with some directions or point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Someone above recommended turning the push rod cover tube to see if that fixes it, I figured I would let the bike warm up and try that after work is that a waste of my time or worth trying?
 

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Will try this after work, gonna warm the bike up a bit and then try this with some gloves on. lets see if it works!
This vid will show you one easy way to undo the covers . Pop them loose, reseat onto the Orings , retighten them back . :)

 

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The 1st pic showed up today. Don't know why it didn't yesterday. It appears to be leaking between the guild and case. Fing with tubes won't do a thing for ya. Should be a o- ring on the guild that seals to the case. You might try removing the bolt. Pry the guild up a little bit, clean the surfaces, rtv it. Other wise you have to take the rocker box off if you don't have adj. push rods.
 

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One other thing. My 79 the bolt hole goes all the way thru into the cam chest. Pull the bolt. Take a small wire to see if your hole is open. You might have oil getting thru there. Try a little Teflon tape on the bolt. Also make sure the hose (in 2nd pic) is clear. That is the vent for the can chest.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One other thing. My 79 the bolt hole goes all the way thru into the cam chest. Pull the bolt. Take a small wire to see if your hole is open. You might have oil getting thru there. Try a little Teflon tape on the bolt. Also make sure the hose (in 2nd pic) is clear. That is the vent for the can chest.
Thank you for your advice, I'm a bit of a novice mechanically not based on ability just based on lack of experience with bikes. I want to try and fix this myself, could you a little more slowly explain what I should try? Basically dumb it down for me!? I was getting confused when you said run a wire etc.... What is the most simple way to approach this first? Your saying taking off the pushrod covers wont do a thing correct?
 

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Correct. If the leak is at the case and guide, what the pic looks like. Take the bolt out that holds the lifter guild in. Put a wire in the hole to see if it bottoms out. Or if the hole goes into the cam chest. Which might let oil migrant up through the threads. Other wise the o-ring on the lifter guide could be bad.
 
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