An oil-slick motocycle wheel can only spell trouble. Great piece of advice for those avid riders out there who might be tempted to skip basic, albeit critical steps. I'm glad this is one Sherlock story that has a happy and safe ending.
Stuck, decayed, or disintegrated gaskets are the bane of the old car and motorcycle tinkered. The problem is not just limited to gaskets. Take any old vehicle and you'll have frozen bolts, rust, all sorts of things getting in the way of repairs and maintenance. There'd be a real materials market for an anti-Locktite that worked as well as a blowtorch at freeing frozen nuts and bolts, especially since that latter solution is not usable in most non-shop (aka street repairs) work environments.
I like that idea of an anti-Loctite. I'd really like one that works on my car wheels' lug nuts. You know, when your mechanic puts on new tires and they're so tight that you practically break the wrench--or your wrist--trying to loosen them up for a tire change.
Several manufacturers market an anti-sieze compound which usually consists of a high-temperature grease with fine aluminum and/or copper particles in suspension. I've sucessfully used it on lug nuts in the past, but I'm not sure it's recommended. Living in Michigan, I was more concerned with rusted lugs breaking off when trying to change a tire, than with the nuts accidentally becoming loose over time. Not sure if that would happen, but it does seem like a possibility.
Anti-sieze was also great for the connector on those old sealed-beam headlamps. The corrosion on the connection occasionally caused the blade connector on the headlight to break off in the plastic receptacle. When replacing headlights, I always coated the blade connectors with anti-sieze compound.
Most recently I've used the copper anti-sieze (which is very electrically conductive) to make bus bar connections and ensure good contact between large gauge wire and lugs.
But that doesn't help with stuck gaskets. Anyone working on older vehicles knows that the fiber gaskets behind fuel pumps, carburetors, etc. usually leave a residue that has to be scraped with a sharp blade. There are gasket removing chemicals, but I'd be very, very afraid to spray them on an engine where they may get into the engine or onto painted parts.
There are suitable gasket materials available that will withstand temperature and chemical (motor oil, fuel, etc.) exposure, but it all boils down to cost.
Thanks for the info on anti-seize compound. Lug nuts are not something you want to get loose over time, so perhaps grease is not the answer. I'd like to think there's something out there more like Formula 409, temporary but powerful.
I have found that PB Blaster is the all around best penetrating lubricant (anti Loctite) for use on just about any fastener. I had a 1990 Ford F150 that had seen a lot of salt from Pennsylvania roads that had basically eaten the undercoat. Long story short, I had a lot of rust on all off the fasterners. PB was the only thing that did the trick in loosening the fasteners.
Thanks, Tim. I'm definitely going to give PB Blaster a try. Still, I think there are some situations where you have to apply, er, more than elbow grease (or grease in a can). My brother-in-law was telling me about changing the tie rods on his van, and how he had to jack it up and use a blowtorch to heat things up so he could remove them.
That reminds me of a favorite trick that I used many times to remove very stuck theaded plugs from the engine blocks when rebuilding them: Take a small propane torch and softly heat both the stuck plug and the surrounding area of the monobloc, just enough to get it hot, but nothing more. Then quickly spray penetrating oil with the thin plastic tube mounted on the spray nozzle, directing the penetrating oil or WD-40 EXACTLY to the edge of the threads, strongly cooling the plug... the repentine contraction usually breaks the bond and allows one to easily unscrew the plug out, instead of trying to use brute force and completely round the square hole in the plug and damaguing the tool at the same time!
Yes I had the same problem from the main drive seal on my '79 sx650 Yamaha. And I did a poor replacement job. After that I used aircraft permetex on the seal. And in WA you know it was raining both times.
Well, I can't say that this particular article pertains to "Made by Monkeys" but perhaps falls under the categorey of "Fixed by Monkeys". However, I am completely sympathetic, having done the EXACT same thing on my 2004 super-charged mustang GT. I lost about 4 quarts of synthetic oil (at $6/qt) just driving the car of the ramps and back into the street before I noticed I was leaving a big trail of oil. Interestingly enough, when I installed the new oil filter and gasket, I did kind of feel that something was a little different when I tightened it down, but I thought it might have some grime or metal splinters in the threads. I should've looked closer. On a good note, it's definitely one the of those mistakes that only make once in your lifetime. :)
Sorry Rob... but it has quite a bit of 'Monkey Design' indeed: Who can claim that a defective or damaged filter will NOT leak EVER???
A truly good design would avoid placing the filter (or any other part that contains oil) just in front of the rear wheel of the motorcycle. PERIOD!
And if anyone dares to say that the typical motorcycle layout with its space and size constraints has to place the oil filter ONLY in that place, a simple solution wasstill available: just place a sheet metal "catch pan" with a tubing line to divert any oil dripping AWAY from the rear tire! (That would be called a truly failproof design! :)
The VERY fortunate couple was extremely lucky to end up in one piece after that scary drive! (I can easily see from here the big smile of the driver and hear his presumptuous tale narration, saying something like this: "...But thanks to my huge motorcycle handling capabilities, I was able to regain the control, even with the rear tyre completely covered in top quality, very slippery Synthetic oil" :)
Might not be "made" by monkeys, but posting it here might prevent some "monkey-ish" tendencies in others. Next time I change my oil, I'm going to start looking at that myself. I never would have thought to check it. Thanks for posting!
Since an oil filter is applied with a thin film of oil rubbed on its seal, I think everyone can be forgiven for failing to notice an occasion where the gasket remains stuck to the block. It shouldn't have, but did. Having had the problem myself with a car 25 years ago, I have always remembered to look for the old gasket when the time comes around again. It did, 1 year ago. I was paying attention and caught it. Ah! nothing like experience!
When all else fails and a smoke wrench isn't available a good thing to try is jumper cables and a carbon rod sharpened to a pencil point. Connect the jumper cable to the positive terminal of your battery, put the carbon rod in the other end, touch the tip of the carbon rod to the part you want to heat and in seconds the part is white hot. A caution here, once you have freed several frozen parts you will likely have a dead battery, so a battery charger is appropriate. I get 1/2" carbon sticks 1' long from a local glass blower, but many welding supply places have copper coated carbon rods for cutting using an arc welder, same effect. Never sieze in its many forms is great to prevent galling during installation of high torque parts (the chatter you feel/hear when tightening) but it will not prevent water intrusion on lug nuts, a better substance is 242 locktite (honest - it is removable, seals the threads and prevents water intrusion and lubricates during assembly). Cycles of PB blaster and heat have never failed to aid removal of severely rusted bolts. The carbon rod trick keeps the heat local where it won't do damage. Repeat after me, "Hot metal and cold metal are the same color!".
Changed the oil filter - no problem. Then while cruzing a remote part of Lake Don Pedro, CA, heard a squeek. Those were my main bearings, that was my engine, and oil was all over the engine compartment. First seal stuck to the engine, ended up with two seals, which blew out.
The rules of most motorcycle racing leagues require the bodywork under the engine to act as a catch pan for leaking oil. This is mainly to prevent oil spilling on the track which can cause accidents if it accumulates. They also have banned any coolants besides straight water. Ethylene glycol is very difficult things to clean from a road surface completely.
I've always been told to inspect the sealing surfaces prior to re-assembly. At the very least take a glance at the old filter and make sure it is intact.
Good point, Flogge. Since the effect of an oil spill can be so devastating, you have to wonder whether there is a design that could prevent oil leakage from reaching tires. If the racing bikes can do it, perhaps street bikes could as well.
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