Help finding oil leak

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Timbo
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I ride: Vulcan 500

Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:07 am

I have been trying to find an oil leak on my 06 Vulcan 500. I first thought the main gallery plug was leaking and ended up replacing the gallery plug and O ring. Next I started the bike and let it run for 15-20 minutes with no leaks. Then I rode the bike on the highway for approximately 15 miles, when I got home there was the same leak I originally had. Does anyone have any suggestions that will help me locate this leak on the right side of bike?

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Triangles
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Triangles » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:50 pm

The only place I can think of is from a leak in the clutch cover gasket? Wash off the oil and then go for a ride and see where it's coming from. I would think it would be easy to tell. Give us some pictures.
ImageImage

Timbo
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:04 pm

Is this repair fairly easy to do by myself or is this something that should be taken to a mechanic?

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Triangles
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Triangles » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:47 pm

It's only mildly more difficult than changing the oil. 4 simple steps, 1) remove bolts, 2) gently pull and tap cover till gasket lets go(there are two locating "pins" that should stay with the cover but keep an eye that you don't lose one either in the engine or on the ground), 3) remove old gasket material, 4) reinstall cover with new gasket. The hardest part is making sure you have removed all the old gasket material with out damaging the soft aluminum mating surfaces. Below is the clutch cover removed. You can see the majority of the gasket stuck to engine and didn't come off with the cover.
Image
I suggest using a plastic scraper, something like a credit card so you don't gouge the aluminum when you scrape off the gasket. about 90% of mine came off with just my fingernails. The original gasket on mine was the paper/adhesive type. The new gasket I got is graphite! IMHO graphite is a far superior gasket material. It's also much more delicate so be careful.

I almost forgot, you need to unhook the clutch cable and remove the lever by rotating it 90 degrees and it pulls straight up to remove it. It's fairly straight forward and should not require any significant force. I forgot to do this and then realized the clutch lever was holding the cover on after I got the cover loose.

If the gasket is really difficult to get off you can do what I did on my old Suzuki. I would not have been able to get the old gasket off without Permatex gasket remover I don't remember what the instructions said if it was 15 min. or an hour. to let the gasket remover soak but, on my Suzuki I had to let it soak overnite in order for the gasket remover to soften up the gasket enough that I could remove it.
ImageImage

Timbo
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I ride: Vulcan 500

Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:11 pm

Thanks for all your help. I will order the part and take on the job.

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Triangles
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Triangles » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:11 pm

FYI I use a piece of cardboard with a sketch of the cover on it to keep track of the bolts. When I remove a bolt I push it thru the cardboard in the corresponding part on the sketch. That way I get all the bolts back in the right hole. IIRC not all the bolts are the same length.
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Timbo
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:30 am

That is great advice, thanks.

Timbo
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:57 am

I do have one more question since you have tackled this job before. In my manual it says to apply silicone sealant at approximately 3 and 9 o'clock where the cover goes back on, did you do this and if so what type of sealant did you use?

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Triangles
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Triangles » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:18 pm

I have not put it back together yet gonna do that this weekend. The reason for the sealant @ 3 and 9 is that is where the upper and lower case halves come together. If your case halves don't line up well it's possible for a leak to develop here. Maybe that is where your leak is. I probably would have forgotten had you not reminded me. I honestly don't remember what I did on my Suzuki, I don't think I used any sealant as the new suzuki gasket had a bead of what looked like sealant already on it.

Any RTV gasket goo, silicone... whatever you want to call it should be fine. There is no pressure here and I don't think this part of the engine gets too hot. I'll use whatever RTV sealant I have laying around the garage. The best gasket goo I've ever used is called "the right stuff." Yes "the right stuff" is what it is called. It's pricey but I'd swear by it. The beauty of it is that it is cured before you can clean up and put your tools away so you don't have to wait. I had thought about using "the right stuff" instead of a gasket since I already have some. However I don't know how hard it is to remove (everything I've used it on has never needed to come apart). I figured it might be harder to remove than an old gasket. IMHO this product is overkill and I wouldn't recommend using here unless you were using it as the gasket.
ImageImage

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Triangles
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Triangles » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:13 am

I put my cover back on last nite. I mis spoke above, on my bike one pin stayed in the engine and the other stayed with the cover. I suppose it's equally possible for them to stay with either side or simply fall out when you pull it apart. Also the manual says 95 inch pounds for the torque spec which is about 7.5 ft-lbs so don't crank those bolts down too tight!
ImageImage

Timbo
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Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:22 am

I am still awaiting my parts to arrive but I will use a torque wrench while installing the cover. Hope this cures my leak. Thanks for all the great advice,

DaBasher
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:24 am
I ride: Red 2002 vulcan 500

Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby DaBasher » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:31 am

Triangles wrote:It's only mildly more difficult than changing the oil. 4 simple steps, 1) remove bolts, 2) gently pull and tap cover till gasket lets go(there are two locating "pins" that should stay with the cover but keep an eye that you don't lose one either in the engine or on the ground), 3) remove old gasket material, 4) reinstall cover with new gasket. The hardest part is making sure you have removed all the old gasket material with out damaging the soft aluminum mating surfaces. Below is the clutch cover removed. You can see the majority of the gasket stuck to engine and didn't come off with the cover.
Image
I suggest using a plastic scraper, something like a credit card so you don't gouge the aluminum when you scrape off the gasket. about 90% of mine came off with just my fingernails. The original gasket on mine was the paper/adhesive type. The new gasket I got is graphite! IMHO graphite is a far superior gasket material. It's also much more delicate so be careful.

I almost forgot, you need to unhook the clutch cable and remove the lever by rotating it 90 degrees and it pulls straight up to remove it. It's fairly straight forward and should not require any significant force. I forgot to do this and then realized the clutch lever was holding the cover on after I got the cover loose.

If the gasket is really difficult to get off you can do what I did on my old Suzuki. I would not have been able to get the old gasket off without Permatex gasket remover I don't remember what the instructions said if it was 15 min. or an hour. to let the gasket remover soak but, on my Suzuki I had to let it soak overnite in order for the gasket remover to soften up the gasket enough that I could remove it.



I've got an oil leak as well. I noticed oil is dripping off the black bolt you can barely see in your pic. Not sure if it's the bolt leaking or leaking out of the clutch cover. It's hard to tell as the foot peg and brake assembled is in the way.

Timbo
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:46 pm
I ride: Vulcan 500

Re: Help finding oil leak

Postby Timbo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:03 am

Mine also looked like it was dripping off the black bolt but was actually running down from the clutch cover. It is hard to see because the foot pedal assembly is in the way. Be careful if you try to tighten the black bolt (oil passage plug or also known as the main gallery plug) because it only requires 13ft. pounds to tighten and you will break if you over tighten. Unfortunately speaking from experience.


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