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Discussion Starter #1
Will I have to drain my oil to pull off my left case to change my sprocket? In the Sprocket Replacement sticky someone mentioned it was not necessary because only a small amount of oil will leak out.



I just want to confirm one way or another before I do this? Sopping up oil puddles can get old.



Thanks
 

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Yes. You'll lose quite a bit if the bike is upright. If you can lay it down or lean it way to the right it can be done, but not very practical. I've done it in the field. Needs to be leaned about this much:







Let it sit there to drain into the crankcase for as long as possible before cracking the cover and there won't be much mess. Frankly if you're at home I find it's a bunch easier to just drain the oil and work on it upright or even leaned slightly left. You're bound to get some doodoo in there if the gasket doesn't come off in one piece.



Break the sprocket retaining bolts loose with the bike in gear, the rear wheel on the ground and the chain still hooked up if your sprocket is that type. If they're stubborn to remove that will keep the countershaft from turning as you try to unscrew them.



RE: the gasket. Loosen all the bolts a few threads and bounce a rubber mallet lightly on the cover until everything rings hollow. Then back the bolts off some more until you get just enough daylight to tell that the gasket is loose all the way around. If not, bounce it with your mallet, eyeball it again. Usually you can get it off in one piece and reuse it if you never allow it to tear. (The same also applies to the valve cover and oil cover o-rings. If the covers are stubborn, don't force them. Loosen the bolts slightly and bounce them a few whacks and you'll probably spare the o-rings).



When you reinstall it or replace it put a barely visible film of RTV on the gasket surfaces of the COVER only. The gasket will be more likely to come off with the cover in one pice next time and less likely to tear. If you can, do the mallet drill anytime you remove the cover thereafter and you may get a few reuses out of the gasket.
 

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I never have drained the oil and don't understand people who do. I've changed clutch plates as well by doing what Liz says - just lean the bike over. Even if a little drips out just top it up. You do lose more oil on a TW than most because of the sprocket support bearing feed tho.
 

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When you reinstall it or replace it put a barely visible film of RTV on the gasket surfaces of the COVER only. The gasket will be more likely to come off with the cover in one pice next time and less likely to tear. If you can, do the mallet drill anytime you remove the cover thereafter and you may get a few reuses out of the gasket.


be wary about the amount of RTV used...i used too much...after seeing the photo i pulled it back apart and scraped all the RTV off and put a fresh gasket in, now i have a small oil leak, nothing major though...the below info is from my bike thread in my signature...



used a high-temp gasket seal to put the case back on cause it prevented the gasket from shifting when putting it back on...probably make a mess if i ever have to crack it open again, but whatever...the bolts from the bolt kit worked great...used blue loctite on each one...

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Permatex-3-oz-85-g-tube-high-temp-red-RTV-silicone-gasket/_/N-25a0?itemIdentifier=526939_0_0_





anyone familiar with this issue with RTV gasket seal?



from another forum...

I'm not totally familiar with the TW motor . But I am with RTV . If there is oil circulating under the left motor cover , you'll want to remove the cover and get the RTV out immediately . Oil can turn RTV into snot like stuff that breaks off and plug oil passages , rendering them useless . It doesn't take long for an engine with little or no oil movement to become a bit of a problem .

Definitely check the oil strainer on the left side as well as the filter .



This is what it looks like in a 1000cc oil pan :

 

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I can vouch for that!!! It killed a 1980 kawasaki kz750 I had. The previous owner used that stuff on one of the side covers and turns out that junk balls up and gives the engine a heart attack. You never want to hear that screech. I threw the only tube I had of that stuff out after that. The ONLY good thing that came out of that crap is that I traded the dead kz750 for my Tdub. I would never use that junk, ever.



The girl I traded with thought "what good will this guy ever get out of that crappy little dirt bike?"....best trade ever!
 

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Note that I said "barely visible film". If you got bad vision, don't use sealants.



A tube of RTV lasts me a lifetime.



There's nothing wrong with RTV or any other sealant used PROPERLY. The pics above are blatant examples of improper use.
 

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When you reinstall it or replace it put a barely visible film of RTV on the gasket surfaces of the COVER only. The gasket will be more likely to come off with the cover in one pice next time and less likely to tear. If you can, do the mallet drill anytime you remove the cover thereafter and you may get a few reuses out of the gasket.


Different strokes for different folks. The last time I used a new gasket was 3 or 4 cover "removeings" ago. I cleaned the engine side very well with spray carb cleaner on a paper towel. I placed the new gasket on the engine -- held in place with the dowel pins. I then put a thin film of white grease on the cover side and bolted it back together. When I remove the cover now the gasket sticks to the engine and cleanly separates from the cover. When I reassemble I re-grease the cover side. I have reused the gasket at least 3 or 4 times and plan on using it indefinitely! BTW, not a leak anywhere.



I also use a rubber mallet to loosen it as lzrdbrth described.



And just change the oil when you do it. No harm in changing the oil to soon.



I used hex head bolts (and Blue Loctite) instead of Allen bolts. Different strokes............



 

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You're correct, Tony. Anything that makes a gasket favor one side of its mating surfaces over another ensures that it won't tear upon removal. Not to be condescending, but I think a lot of us old farts may be more accustomed to the little tricks to working with paper gaskets because virtually everything had them back in the day.



Marketing aside, on a gasketed surface sealants are NOT to be used as gasket substitutes or fillers for half-destroyed gaskets. Think of them as low-grade glues and apply only enough to make the gasket favor that side on removal. Greasing one side as Tony does is another excellent way of dealing with it. Doing both is even better.



Colored sealants such as orange or blue RTV or yellow rubber cements are a great way to learn how to gauge how much is enough. Within reason if you can see strong color after the parts have been assembled and the gaskets compressed, you've used too much. The excess will eventually break free on the inside, potentially finding a home in an oil passage.
 

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Note that I said "barely visible film". If you got bad vision, don't use sealants.



A tube of RTV lasts me a lifetime.



There's nothing wrong with RTV or any other sealant used PROPERLY. The pics above are blatant examples of improper use.


exactly...i put way too much on the first time i tried it...then i saw the damage it can do...it may be high temp but i guess it's not chemical resistant...didn't know that...live and learn
 

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Will I have to drain my oil to pull off my left case to change my sprocket? Thanks


I've done it three times without problems just by leaning it over onto a pillow. Twice I did it without a new gasket, no problems. (It was nearly new then.)

No leaks, no loss of oil, no RTV. The only difficulty is making sure the little spacers stay where they belong (use a dab of heavy grease), and not pinching the stator wires. It took about 20 minutes to swap sprockets. I do have a spare gasket for next time, as the older the bike the more likely to tear the gasket on removal.



Tony's idea on using white grease on the cover side of the gasket is a good one, I'll do that next time. (If there ever is a next time, I'm pretty settled on the 13 tooth sprocket after 6,000 miles.
 

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It's chemical resistent as a hockey puck once it sets up. That's one of its qualities, and it's also why it gets a bad rap. I'm not picking on you, just explaining.



The problem is that when you overdo it the excess hardens into long ropes on the inside, just as it has on the outside in your pic. Those "ropes" of draping excess eventually fall off into the crank case. After a few hundred passes through the tranny gears most of the pigment takes a hike and it looks like the glop in the sump of your 1000 pic.



The same would happen with any form of sealant or glue.
 

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It's chemical resistent as a hockey puck once it sets up. That's one of its qualities, and it's also why it gets a bad rap. I'm not picking on you, just explaining.



The problem is that when you overdo it the excess hardens into long ropes on the inside, just as it has on the outside in your pic. Those "ropes" of draping excess eventually fall off into the crank case. After a few hundred passes through the tranny gears most of the pigment takes a hike and it looks like the glop in the sump of your 1000 pic.



The same would happen with any form of sealant or glue.


no worries liz...i'm just wondering why it comes off if it's high temp and chemical resistant...you don't see krazy glue break down like that...but it's also not used in the same conditions nor made to...i stole that 1000cc photo from another forum to share with people so they don't overload like i did
 

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In another life as a troubleshooter I used to get payed to figure out why relatively simple but critical systems were suddenly failing. I can't tell you how many times I'd have to inform a large corporation that the reason their operation was down was because some otherwise competent technician a mile downstream was unclear on the use of sealants or the proper use of Teflon tape. Corporate mentality being what it is that meant that I'd have to bring all their seasoned techs in 30 at a time and give them classes in their proper use, which they of course viewed as a waste of their time. Being an outsider they viewed this as if I was treating them like children. Not something I particularly enjoyed, but it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gentlemen, thank you for all the prompt information . I can see the pros and cons to doing it both ways. Gosh, what a great forum.



Since this is my first time removing the cover I was leaning toward emptying the oil anyway but this is the comment that firmly persuaded me to drain instead of leaning the bike:

... if you're at home I find it's a bunch easier to just drain the oil and work on it upright or even leaned slightly left. You're bound to get some doodoo in there if the gasket doesn't come off in one piece.



I also want to thank you for the mallet tapping suggestion. I have never tried that before but it worked very well. I love learning new tricks.



Thanks everyone. Now that I have done this once, I have enough confidence that I feel I could do this without draining the oil if I had to (like Purple’s poor bike).
 

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In another life as a troubleshooter I used to get payed.....


Boy, if I'd ever gotten paid for all the troubleshooting I've done in 50 years I'd be a millionaire!!!




It's always been more like: "Honey, the #&%(@ isn't working..." or "uh,oh, the #*^*@* just quit and I'm out here 40 miles from the nearest road."
 
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