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Oily maiden ride

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I registered my Navigator yesterday so it is street legal for Germany!

Today I made a 10 mile test ride. Stopping for a nice photo spot I noticed oil all over the bike. So no photo but going back to my workshop.

Oil is coming from the cylinder head ( I guess). I used a cooper head gasket and it needs more annealing.  I torqued the heads already after some  enigne idling till it was warm.

Will pull the headsand birng the gasket to the local blacksmith for heating so it gets softer.

I wanted to take the bike to a meeting on Sept 21th so ordering a new composite gasket through NOC will take too long.

Now I know what the styling panels are good for: preventing the oil from splattering over the rear of the bike. Clever engineering!

Oily navi

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Hi Ulrich, you have my sympathy after all that hard work but don't be put off, once it is sorted and run in a Navigator is a lovely bike - and yours is looking immaculate despite the film of oil!   I seem to remember you have had head gasket blowing problems in the past so it is natural to suspect the oil leak is from the gasket - however I would carefully check the rocker oil feed pipe, it's banjo joints and the rocker box gaskets first - they are all prone to leaking.   In my experience a leak from any of those areas can trickle down between the heads and then appear to be coming from the head gasket.   I apologise if that is stating the obvious but it might just save you a lot of work and the cost of another head gasket!    Good luck with finding the source and cure - it may take time but it can be done!

Warm regards

Nick 

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Hi Uli,  good to see it’s nearly there, I echo Nicks comments about checking the source, it took me ages to find where mine was coming from, which was a combination of the rocker covers and banjo bolts. 

All the best 

dan 

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It was the same for me on my Jubilee, leaks from the banjo bolts on the rocker feed and the rocker covers. I needed gaskets AND silicone sealant on the covers. Also, i found one or two new stainless cap screws on the rocker covers were bottoming out before they pulled tight on the gasket. Either they were a thread or so too long or the threaded holes were plugged with dirt. I used a parallel tap to clean the hole threads and a washer under the cap bolt heads where necessary.

I agree that a head gasket leak is unlikely to be the source of so much oil and I would look at banjo bolts and rocker covers first.

Dennis 

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I gave the copper head gasket away to someone with a big torch to have it annealed and softened.

Today was a beautiful sunny day in southern Germany but the Norton Navigator owner was heading to his workshop armed with the head gaskets and black silicone sealant. He carefully cleaned the sealing surfaces , smeared the silicone around the tappet holes on both sides of the gaskets and tightened the heads according to the manual. He fitted the exhausts and footrests, also the left hand styling panel. You  cannot get the carburettor off woth the panel in place. Tank and seat back on the bike. Bike started after a few kicks but louder than before. After three hours of work the frustrated owner noticed some blowby from the front of the heads. So back to the start. Heads off, etc..

The owner drove back to his home listening to AC/DC and thinking of the meaning of life and riding and restoring english motorcycles in general.

The owner now awaits for a delivery with a complete gasket set including a composite head gasket for his Navigator.

Here are some pics of the tragic afternoon:

The head gasket after pillung the heads, oil all over and the rest of the Loctite which I firstly used as

a sealant- hard as a rock!

oily head gasket

underside of heads

The heads after a treatment with abrasive paper on a glass surface

 

I applied the sealant aorund the tapped holes. I guess my fault was putting it on the gasket and not on the protrusions on the underside of the head pressing against these holes. So some sealant  was not in the right place.

sealant applied

 

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