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Cylinder Head Gasket

Davy

Tuned and Synch'ed
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
31
Location
Scotland
My 2004 Titanium (hydraulic) has started leaking oil from the right cylinder head gasket (sufficient to wet my boot).
It's a while since I delved into an engine to this extent and never a Moto Guzzi. I have the tools, checked the torque requirements etc., but I wondered if there are any tricks of the trade or surprises I may encounter. I'd be grateful for any advice. Thanks in advance.
 

V700Steve

GT Reference
GT di Razza Pura
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Messages
1,221
Location
Atlanta area, GA
On a Hydro engine you will need a slug to put in place of the hydro lifter to reset the gap on rocker when you reassemble the head.
I had one last year that leaked oil & not compression and it was the orings on the cylinder studs. They are directly under the rocker tower on the 4 long studs.
You will still need a slug to reset the rockers.
I would do a compression test, leaky head gasket will be down a bit.
 

Davy

Tuned and Synch'ed
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
31
Location
Scotland
The bike is running fine, so you could well be right about the o rings. Thanks for the advice. I was wondering whether to tackle the job myself or get a shop to do it. I've still got a few inquiries to make on that front. Thanks again.
 

john zibell

Moderator
Staff member
GT di Razza Pura
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
8,619
Location
Huntsville, AL
Steve, If you lift the hydraulic lifters out with a magnet stick and press in the check valves to release the oil then put them back in wouldn't that reset the clearance when the lifters refill?
 

V700Steve

GT Reference
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Dec 8, 2008
Messages
1,221
Location
Atlanta area, GA
I couldn't get enough play in rockers to get the pins out on the one last year so I loosened the lock nuts to get enough play. I don't have the whole tool kit, but got an extra lifter and filled it w/epoxy. Getting rocker pins out & in are a PIA. I would think you could do it like you say if it's loose enough to get pins out & in.
 

john zibell

Moderator
Staff member
GT di Razza Pura
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
8,619
Location
Huntsville, AL
I couldn't get enough play in rockers to get the pins out on the one last year so I loosened the lock nuts to get enough play. I don't have the whole tool kit, but got an extra lifter and filled it w/epoxy. Getting rocker pins out & in are a PIA. I would think you could do it like you say if it's loose enough to get pins out & in.

Once the pins are out and the lifter collapsed it shouldn't be hard to get the pins back in. I had to replace a failed lifter on a hydro and it was fairly simple
 

Davy

Tuned and Synch'ed
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
31
Location
Scotland
I have consulted both the workshop manual and a well respected Guzzi mechanic and both say the same. T.D.C. so that the valves are closed, take it to bits, release the oil from the hydraulics, put it back together. It should clank a bit (couple of seconds) until the hydraulics a full again. Dead easy if you say it quickly. My problem is that the last time I pulled an engine to bits (a ducati bevel drive) I was in my 20's and full of youthful confidence, now in my sixties that confidence seems to be left behind. I'm still toying with the idea of getting a shop to do the work, but that worries me because I have had far to many bad experiences with so called shop mechanics, which is one of the reasons why I like to do all my own maintenance.
Decisions. Thanks for all the replies.
 

scottmastrocinque

🤣 Helpful Curmudgeon 🤣
GT di Razza Pura
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
2,317
Location
Findlay, Ohio
I’m sure you will figure out what works best for you however, that being said…

I hate it when people bash shop mechanics. Why?

If you aren’t happy, go about your merry way.

There are poor, average, good, excellent, and Godlike mechanics just as there are in every profession.

I have found that great mechanics cost $$$. If you come into my shop, the meter runs at $100/hr for my time and I have 5x more work than I can possibly do.

FWIW: The very fastest way to get literally thrown out of my workshop, is to come in bashing your previous mechanic.

When they finish their tirade, I tell them that I am unable to help them with their motorcycle.

Invariably, they have a shocked looked on their face and ask me “Why?”.

“Simple”, I reply, “I’m not interested in being the next mechanic you bash and malign in the next shop you wander into. Goodbye!”.

The look on their faces is PRICELESS!

Funny thing is, I know EVERY reputable mechanic for 100 miles in all directions. (Most mechanics do in their respective geographical areas).

We share our “Customers from Hell” lists.

It’s amazing how many names we all know very well!

:fubar:

PS: I know that in a place like LA, or another major metropolis, burning bridges to a mechanic may not be a big deal, but here in Northwest Ohio, where people come from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, Michigan, Indiana, and even Illinois to get into my shop, burning bridges will get you into a world of hurt, left out in the cold with no professional mechanic or tools to help you with your motorcycle. Our local dealers absolutely refuse to work on ANYTHING older than 10 years! Imagine that for a moment! Everything >10 years old MUST go to an independent mechanic around here and there are only 4 in my locality, and 2 of them are 95% Harley-Davidson and Indian only shops.
 
Last edited:

Moto-Uno

Cruisin' Guzzisti
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
469
Location
Burnaby,B.C
Hey , if you could get a bevel head Ducati to run in your misspent youth , then the Guzzi should
be a pleasure to correct . Peter
 

Davy

Tuned and Synch'ed
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
31
Location
Scotland
I’m sure you will figure out what works best for you however, that being said…

I hate it when people bash shop mechanics. Why?

If you aren’t happy, go about your merry way.

There are poor, average, good, excellent, and Godlike mechanics just as there are in every profession.

I have found that great mechanics cost $$$. If you come into my shop, the meter runs at $100/hr for my time and I have 5x more work than I can possibly do.

FWIW: The very fastest way to get literally thrown out of my workshop, is to come in bashing your previous mechanic.

When they finish their tirade, I tell them that I am unable to help them with their motorcycle.

Invariably, they have a shocked looked on their face and ask me “Why?”.

“Simple”, I reply, “I’m not interested in being the next mechanic you bash and malign in the next shop you wander into. Goodbye!”.

The look on their faces is PRICELESS!

Funny thing is, I know EVERY reputable mechanic for 100 miles in all directions. (Most mechanics do in their respective geographical areas).

We share our “Customers from Hell” lists.

It’s amazing how many names we all know very well!

:fubar:

PS: I know that in a place like LA, or another major metropolis, burning bridges to a mechanic may not be a big deal, but here in Northwest Ohio, where people come from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, Michigan, Indiana, and even Illinois to get into my shop, burning bridges will get you into a world of hurt, left out in the cold with no professional mechanic or tools to help you with your motorcycle. Our local dealers absolutely refuse to work on ANYTHING older than 10 years! Imagine that for a moment! Everything >10 years old MUST go to an independent mechanic around here and there are only 4 in my locality, and 2 of them are 95% Harley-Davidson and Indian only shops.
I get your point, and maybe I didn't express myself very well. It's probably the dealership problem as opposed to a mechanic problem. The pressure to finish a job in record time to make a bigger profit. I take my car to a local self employed mechanic/garage and always get a far better job than with the bigger dealerships and at a better price. The dealer I bought my B11 from new, did an excellent job and I was willing to pay the extra for servicing. Unfortunately he has long since closed down. I'm more than happy to sing the praises of the good guys and just as quick to to vote with my wallet for the bad. It's probably the unknown quantity and the bad experiences that make me a bit reticent and unsure as I'm sure you'll understand.
 

scottmastrocinque

🤣 Helpful Curmudgeon 🤣
GT di Razza Pura
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
2,317
Location
Findlay, Ohio
I’ve said this before and it’s the truth.

Nobody involved in a small or family business motorcycle shop, does it to get rich. It is a labor of love.

You can make much more money in other activities.

I despise mega motorcycle dealers and I will never buy from them. I abhor their entire business model.

Unfortunately, dealer bashing became all the rage over the last 40 years, and so many good shops simply folded up because customers would not support them, or even worse, manufacturers wouldn’t support their mom and pop shops. They want rich dealerships who they can pressure to take lots of motorcycle inventory onto.

It never ceases to amaze me how people will go to a restaurant and cheerfully pay $3.75 for a glass of sugar water pop or $5.50 for a beer, or $15 for some tacos, but then begrudge a shop the price of oil filters, oil, and spark plugs because they can “get it cheaper” online.

You cannot get a good mechanic online!

The internet and YouFoolTube is full of BS and very wrong information, by people who have little if any idea what they are talking about. I have repaired many self-induced disasters done by owners who thought they could do something because they read or saw it on the internet.

The problem is, when you kill your local dealership, or independent repair shop, you have shot yourself in the foot!

Lots of great information and help is available here on GuzziTech, but it will NEVER take the place of a competent mechanic and a friendly and supportive dealership.

I guess I have an axe to grind on this but I’ve been, on both sides of the counter, and I respect both sides and realize that it is a symbiotic relationship.
 
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Davy

Tuned and Synch'ed
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
31
Location
Scotland
I spoke to the dealer today and had, what I would call, a good exchange of words. Apparently their mechanic has no experience of models as old as this, so would prefer not to do the job. Perfect, straight answer to a question. I now know exactly what I have to do and the dealer goes up in my estimation.

Parts ordered, now it's time to roll up my sleeves and prepare my work area.

Thanks all.
 

scottmastrocinque

🤣 Helpful Curmudgeon 🤣
GT di Razza Pura
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
2,317
Location
Findlay, Ohio
I spoke to the dealer today and had, what I would call, a good exchange of words. Apparently their mechanic has no experience of models as old as this, so would prefer not to do the job. Perfect, straight answer to a question. I now know exactly what I have to do and the dealer goes up in my estimation.

Parts ordered, now it's time to roll up my sleeves and prepare my work area.

Thanks all.
Ha! 😆😆😆

If this dealer is like most dealership nowadays, the mechanic has barely had pubic hair for a year or two…. This is the real reason they cannot do the work most times

There is nothing terribly unique about a 1969 V700 or a 2022 V85TT.

They are both, 90 degree, transverse mounted twins. Their basic functionality are the same with some technical differences which are not hard to understand if one is a real mechanic.

Good luck with your repairs!
 

Moto-Uno

Cruisin' Guzzisti
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
469
Location
Burnaby,B.C
Well , they both have valves and angled cylinders :) .
Time and experience have allowed us to remark on these basic similarities , but to
someone new to this trade , not so much . I'd truly forgotten what it was like to
be an apprentice . But a few goes at some larger dealerships in the last
quarter century was a bit of a bitch slap .Remembering how daunting it could be, 'cuz all they had
under their belt was college training , was the wake up call . Started circling the shops to
try and reduce their stress with a few helpful suggestions . Kinda liked being the old guy .
Peter
 

Davy

Tuned and Synch'ed
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
31
Location
Scotland
Job done. The bike fired up first time as expected and no oil leaks. I'll take for a short run tomorrow and if all goes well, which it should, then my Cali Stone which has developed a similar, but not as bad, leak on the left cylinder is next on the list. Thanks again.
 
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