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Electra Head Oil Leak

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Well, my happiness at getting my Electra running after it's 25+ year rest has been interrupted by an oil leak from between the fins on the right head.  A search of more than 20 pages of "cylinder head" posts on this forum revealed only one other similar problem from an owner who said:

"My big concern is the right hand cylinder head, after running it leaks from what appears to be between the fins at the front well above the head gasket, I cannot see any oil leaking from the rocker covers or the oil feed pipe. Is it possible the casting itself is leaking. Any help would be most welcome."

Like this poster I have resealed the exhaust valve cover, checked the tightness of the rocker oil feed banjo nuts and looked everywhere in search of the source of the leak.

Any suggestions?

Jack 

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Jack, I own a Jubilee but my experience may be relevant. I too had oil leaks from the heads. So far I have tracked down and fixed leaks from the rocker banjo oil feed bolts using new, imperial size,  annealed copper washers and a bit of silicone sealant. And, I fitted new rocker cover gaskets, smeared with silicone sealant, as new gaskets alone would not seal despite the mating surfaces being flat (warped covers?). Lastly, I fitted a clear tube in between the metal and rubber oil feed to the rockers so that I could see the oil flowing. This is because someone had drilled out one of the banjo bolts to fit a larger bolt, probably having ruined the threads originally. I wanted to check that oil still flowed as the bolt was a home made affair and may not have allowed oil to pass - it did.

Some have reported leaks from the metal rocker oil feed pipe, particularly at the solder joints, due to fatigue.  Oil gets everywhere on a hot engine so I wipe everything down and then blow talc onto suspect areas to see the track of any leaking oil.

Dennis

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Dennis,

  Thanks for your reply.  I've already done the things you suggested and still have the leak.  The problem is I can't find its source.  I've sprinkled some talc about on the head and all I can see is the oiling coming through the top fin on the right hand front of the motor,

Jack

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It seems the thread hole in the the head, to which the valve cover is attached with an Allen head bolt at the front of the valve cover, goes all the way through the head.  This leaves a hole beneath the bolt holding the valve cover just above the fins on the front of the head.  This, in turn, allows oil to wick its way down the bolt threads and onto the fin area and eventually out the front of the head and down the motor.  I've tried to use thread sealer on the bolt but that didn't work.  Today I squirted some silicon gasket-maker down the bolt hole and put a sliver of wood beneath the hole between the head fins to catch it at the bottom and form a "plug."  I then covered the bolt threads with the same silicon and torqued it down.  I'm going to leave everything for a day or two to let the silicon set up before starting the motor again to see if I've stopped the leak.

Jack

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Well, after all that, I learned the leak isn't coming from the valve cover bolt.  Oil is still running out from between the fins on the front of the head.  But I can't spot where it's coming from.  I hate to think it's from a cracked cylinder head - especially since the right side head doesn't seem to be available anywhere.

Jack

 

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