Push rod o-ring leak

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by airdrie, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. airdrie

    airdrie Member

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    Noticed a slight misting of oil coming from the lower o-ring of one of the rear push-rods. I checked with my local wrench that recently did a 95" upgrade and head porting for me and he mentioned there may be crimp in the o-ring. He can fix it but mentioned the engine has to be cold. The fix (as described) sounds easy enough for me to tackle myself, but I'd prefer some step by step pics of popping off the push-rod covers and re-seating the o-rings along with reinstalling the cover. Anyone have pics out there?

    The attached pic shows the misting on the rear exhaust.

    Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you have a HD Factory Service Manual that covers your bike model and year? Should get one.

    If the mechanic that did the work is worried that there may be a "crimp" in the oring, he probably knows there IS. He should have fixed it at the time he did the work originally.

    Do you have adjustable pushrods? If not, changing the lower oring is a big job. You have to pull the top end apart to get the pushrod out in order to put in a new oring - not worth it IMHO.

    If you do have adjustable pushrods, changing out the oring is easier. If you just want to try and put the current oring in where it goes and hope it works, that is the easiest of all. Using a screw driver with flat sides on the shaft, place a flat side above the spring cap and push down enough to take out the spring cap retainer. Let up on the spring cap and push the lower pushrod cover up to uncover the oring. Look at it carefully to see if you think it will seal if in the right place. Retrace your steps to reinstall all the stuff.

    If you have to replace the oring, bit bigger project. You may want to consider what else you want to do before collapsing the pushrod to change out the oring. At least readjust ALL the pushrods and replace ALL the orings - top, middle and bottom.

    TQ
     
  3. airdrie

    airdrie Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I was going to try to re-seat the original o-ring to see if that solves it.
    I've got the manual. It helps.

    The mechanic has offered to fix it. He has also offered to come by the house to fix it as it needs to be cold. He did the build in February. It is difficult to road test engine builds in February in Alberta. In the shop there was no visible problem. The roads have only been clear of ice for the past 3 weeks. It mists when I'm running the engine hard for more than a couple of hours.

    If cleaning and re-seating the original o-rings does not solve it, I'll have the mechanic put in adjustable push-rods along with new o-rings.
     
  4. Sensiblepete

    Sensiblepete New Member

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    Had similar problem once on my FLHR and eventually I had to change the o-ring.
    Thus I suggest you save yourself some time and worry by getting the mechanic to change the o-ring under warranty straight away.
     
  5. airdrie

    airdrie Member

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    I think I found the source of the problem. The middle o-ring has a small nick and the washer that sits above was more wavy than flat. I cleaned the o-rings as best I could and straightened up the washer. I'll take it out for a spin later this afternoon to see if it was enough to solve the problem. I'm going to get my mechanic to replace the o-rings under warranty.

    Thanks for the tips TQ. The assembly figure in the service manual was invaluable seeing how it comes apart and goes back together.
     
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Manuals are the best investment folks can make in maintaining their bikes!

    Unfortunately any of the three orings on the pushrod covers require removing the pushrod to change the orings out. If you are gonna do this and currently have one piece pushrods, invest in adjustable ones. No need disturbing the top end and adding more opportunities for problems to the mix. The adjustable pushrods are good time savers, but not without their own set of issues. Important is ensuring that the lifter covers are centered to minimize the chance that the pushrods are tapping against the covers.

    Oh well. It's only time and money!!

    TQ