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Hangetsu
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2017 - 10:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So, some months ago I wrote a post about an oil leak my poor beast has sprung, a leak I have yet to fix. Itís a leak that doesnít seem to affect my oil levels to any great degree. I donít have to top up the tank any more frequently than I ever have, and until recently, other than the occasional scent of burning oil, the bike hasnít exhibited any concerning symptoms.

Several months ago, I was out for a ride when the bike gave a good stout back fire while starting out at an intersection. This backfire was a bit more violent than the other rare times this has happened, and shortly after the pop I began to smell burning oil. I pulled over at my soonest opportunity and gave things a look. Alas, there was a splooge of oil on the front fender, a but of splatter on the header pipe, and the cooling fins around the front cylinder header pipe were coated with oil.
I looked around as best I could without pulling the bike apart, and I couldnít find any possible source for the oil. So many places had fresh oil splatter, no logic I could muster pointed to any particular source. I wiped everything down as best I could, and continued on my way hoping I would get more fresh splatter that might point to the source. Nothing materialized. However, as I continued to ride over the past few months, I would sometimes catch a whiff of fresh burning Amsoil, and most of the engine seems to have slowly collected an even, thin coat of oil mist which is usually pretty dry to the touch. There are no drips and no specific places where oil seems to accumulate more than anyplace else Ė except the fins around the front header pipe. These remain moist and shiny with fairly heavy buildup.

In my last post, I asked whether it could be a head gasket, and is was pretty unanimous among you all that this was unlikely the case Ė particularly since the beast runs quite strong. Many suggested the rockerbox covers, a possibility I havenít excluded from all possibilities. But in a recent conversation with the techs at Latus Motors, after I explained the full nature of the problem, they said it was also not likely to be the rocker box covers. I was told that when the rocker boxes leak, liquid oil would be much more prevalent, to the point oil would most likely be dripping from the bike. There is, in fact, no liquid oil buildup anywhere except in the cooling fins right around that front exhaust port. Everyplace else looks like itís been sprayed, over time, with a light mist, it is so light that it dries immediately. Therefore, the tech suggested that the oil is most likely coming from a ruptured breather hose Ė which would be welcome news to me, as I have absolutely no desire to undertake an engine rotation and rocker-box gasket replacement. I am not equipped for an operation like that, and I really donít want to drop another $600+ bill to keep this thing on the road.

So, after reading of the symptoms that the bike exhibits and the process of inquiry Iíve been through, do any of you have any experience based or educated opinions on this matter. I need to dig into this soon, as my cooling fan recently quit, which I assume was caused by a blown fuse. But before I do, the more data and beta I can approach the task with, the better.

Again, as always, I greatly appreciate all your input.

Best regards.

Alex
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Griffmeister
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2017 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Unless I'm overlooking something in the description, the only breather hoses for the engine are on top of the rocker boxes. This would still result in oil coming from high on the engine. If you have a catch can then that would have some extra hoses that might show oil in different places. Just for the hell of it, you could remove the air box completely and have a look from the top of the engine. I agree with you, oil leaks suck. If it's not obvious right away, the more you ride the more oil gets blown around by the wind until you have no idea where it's coming from.
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Etennuly
Posted on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 - 03:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Clean it off as well as can be done. Get spray leak detector powder. Coat every thing up front, ride it a bit then check it out. Make sure to coat the oil cooler and hoses.

Post up some pictures if you can.
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Cyclone8u
Posted on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 - 08:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Back when I was paid to twist wrenches, this was my go-to for most any leak.

http://www.autobodydepot.com/HBF-TP3405_3.html?gcl id=Cj0KEQjw-ezKBRCGwqyK0rHzmvkBEiQAu-_-LMDMh0RgTHb fSWWKtM_TmsEQVVLFT0Uk9dmGJMBkv40aArtl8P8HAQ
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Ratbuell
Posted on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 - 08:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Your fan may have been killed by oil. If the mist is so prevalent, it could have soaked the fan motor.

Coming from a backfire is weird. Definitely check airbox and breather hoses. It *could* be a breather valve but it would have to travel forward (against the wind) to reach the front exhaust port. I still say check rockerbox gaskets. They could leak as the bike sits, and the oil burns off when riding. Front exhaust port isn't downwind from ANYTHING when you're riding so it almost has to be a bike-off leak that burns off when riding.
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Etennuly
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 - 09:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Could have blown PCV out of it's hole. That could make intermittent spray out front top of engine area. Take off air cover base to see t it.
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Brother_in_buells
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Could have blown PCV out of it's hole. That could make intermittent spray out front top of engine area. Take off air cover base to see t it.

Don't know how much space there is on the ulysses ,but on the xb S and R the pcv,s can't pop out without tilting the engine!
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Hangetsu
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 - 09:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

All worth checking into. It looks like the top layer of bike is coming off this weekend when I do my wheel bearings.
Is rotating the engine the nightmare my imagination conceives it to be, or is it not so bad?
Thanks!
A-
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Steveford
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2017 - 10:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

It takes a little bit of doing but it's not all that horrible. Just take your time and follow the manual. You'll need good stands and a jack.
Hook up the plug leads at the spark plugs before you raise the engine, that will help a little bit.
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Xbimmer
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2017 - 09:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

PCV my first thought too. If the backfire wasn't an extreme coincidence I guess it could have cracked it.

Pretty sure I replaced my cracked front one without rotating the engine. IIRC it came out in pieces which could have really sucked but all the pieces were accounted for.

I was able to squeeze the new one in there but you can't install it with the gasket in place, you roll them both in together then push the gasket down into the hole.

If I had to redo without rotating the engine I'd try a partial drop: front bolt, y-frame, maybe top tie bar, you don't need much room.
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Arry
Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2017 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I agree with points already made. The initial leak could have been rocker box cover gaskets. This would be a slow leak that makes a mess, and can lead to fan failure. Oil gets on fan, gets caked with dirt and dust. It no longer spins freely and can fail. When it backfired it might have blown a breather hose or PCV, that is causing a bigger leak.
You can get a better look by removing the air box and base. You might end up doing a rotation, to replace the fan, clean things up, and fix or reroute the breather hoses/PCV (if that's the leak).
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