Crankcase oil leak after front tire change
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bucknutz's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Lower Hudson River Valley of The Communist State of N.Y.

    Crankcase oil leak after front tire change

    I purchased a 95 Tw earlier this year. I immediately changed the oil using shell rotella 5 w 40 and my base gasket developed an oil seep. I decided to run it like this until my next oil change where I planned to go back to Dino oil to see if that cleared up the seep. Yesterday, I lifted the front end of the bike, while my son placed a small wooden bench under the bike to support it for a front tire change. When I took the bike off the bench today, I noticed perhaps 2-3 ounces of oil on the bench. I thought that was odd, but attributed it to the base gasket seep. I was out of the 5 w 40, but topped it off with 5 w 30, and planned on changing the oil again tomorrow. ( 2000 miles since the first one )

    I went for a 20 mile ride, and while gassing up, noticed that there was quite a leak primarily on the right side of the bike, along with oil on the right side of the rear tire. The oil level was ok, so I drove it home, a I took off that worthless skid plate to try and determine where the leak had developed. It appears that it is coming from a lower bolt that holds the case together. I tightened that bolt about 1/4 turn ( and one on each side of it turned in perhaps 1/3 the amount of the first one ) and the drips slowed, but did not stop. I drained the oil, and plan on putting in 10 w 40 Castrol oil tomorrow, hoping that it may clear up the leaks. ( I have my doubts )

    The left side of the bike rear of the engine is also wet with oil, but I'm pretty sure it is originating from the right side. My questions are: is it probable that I may have compromised the seal when we loaded ( or unloaded ) the bike from the bench? Do you think that going back to conventional oil will stop the leak, or should I just bite the bullet and remove and re-seal the case cover. It is my understanding that there is not a conventional gasket on that side (rear brake lever side ).

    My thoughts are to try the oil change first, then go from there, if necessary. Any and all thoughts and recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Ephrata, WA
    I don't think there is anyway you could have compromised the gasket by putting the bike on the bench, unless the engine covers were loose to begin with, and putting it on the bench shifted the covers. I doubt it though.

    Is the bike leaking from where the two halves of the engine meet or where the engine covers meet the motor? I'm assuming you're talking about the engine covers. I'd bite the bullet and replace both covers. Being a 1995, you may want to check your counter sprocket seal (looks like a thick o-ring) and your shift shaft seal (also looks like a thick o-ring). Both are cheap and easy to replace (I used a small hook and stabbed them and yanked them out).

    You may want to look at your sprockets and chain while you have the left engine cover off. If you need new sprockets and chain, now would be the time to do it while you have the left engine cover off. When you reinstall the left cover, WATCH OUT FOR THE WIRES! You don't want to pinch them.
    If you can't find it, grind it

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  3. #3
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Forestburgh, NY
    I have seen your leak from the lowest screw points on the right rear side. My question would be, Is there a gasket we could replace between the side cover and engine? If there is a gasket I think that would solve the leak. How extensive is the procedure of removing the right side cover to replace the gasket is my next question?

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  5. #4
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Pleasanton, CA
    The right side cover (clutch/rear brake pedal side) does have a gasket. Removal of this cover is not difficult. You will need to drain the oil (although it is possible to do this without draining the oil by laying the bike down on its left hand side). You will have to remove the kickstarter lever and the rear brake pedal.

    Then remove the bolts holding the side cover. There are several different lengths of bolts so I keep track of them by punching them into a piece of cardboard in the pattern that I removed. Carefully remove the side cover without prying it off with a screwdriver or something like that. There is a spot on the front upper portion of the side cover where you can lightly tap with a long rod or bolt from the opposite side of the engine to help persuade the cover to come off.

    The biggest problem you will probably encounter will be removing the old gasket cleanly and without damaging the cover or case. I lightly wipe some oil onto the new gasket prior to installing it to ease future removal. Replace the side cover, gradually tightening the bolts in a criss/cross pattern. Replace brake pedal and kickstarter, fill with oil, check for leaks and you should be good to go.

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