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How often to tighten valve cover bolts?

Discussion in 'BNS12 Chat & Tech' started by JJ Eckerman, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. JJ Eckerman

    JJ Eckerman Just got it firing!

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    Hi folks! Admin, please redirect as necessary!

    My 08 Norge 1200 2V attempted suicide today on my way home from work by letting the oil out from the right valve cover, and lighting up the maintenance icon in the process!

    My question is twofold: one, how often does vibration walk valve cover bolts out, allowing oil to escape, and two, how often should I be digging out the torque wrench to tighten them?

    Oh, the manual that I have doesn't list torque specs, so that might help as well!

    P.P.S., as a new owner of a used Norge, naturally I'm experiencing a bit of trepidation.
     
  2. Android

    Android Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    Not unusual for the gasket to crack leading to oil leak in the older klingerite material gaskets, it's because of the movement due to the heat cycles of the cover.

    You can get silicone gaskets that work or the latest ones from the dealer are coated metal shim which I now have on my 1200 Sport ......not a drop escaped in the last year.

    Best check the error codes to see why the "service " warning has lit up.
    I get it a fair bit because of the oil pressure switch needs replacing.
     
    JJ Eckerman likes this.
  3. Brian UK

    Brian UK GT Reference

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    I've used the old green gaskets for years now, and never had any problem. I coat each side with a smear of grease, and then use them time and time again.
    Never used a torque wrench on them, just tight with a standard allen key has always worked for me. Never known the bolts to loosen off, but be careful not to overtighten them as you can easily distort the cover. It is possible this has happened in the past which is why you had the leak. Take the cover off and put it on a flat surface and check. If there is slight distortion get a piece of plate glass, some grinding paste and grind down the high spots carefully. You could try the same very carefully with a fine file, but lapping it in on plate glass is safer and better.

    However that leak on yours could not have caused any service warning, something else did that. Are you sure it was the gasket which failed? There is an oil pressure feed to the rocker box.
     
  4. JJ Eckerman

    JJ Eckerman Just got it firing!

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    Hi Brian, thanks for the info and the "hack"! I've a wealth of plate glass to work with; I'll just need to source some lapping compound. The seals on the valve covers are green - I honestly believe that either vibration or my own naivete may have caused this. Once I got oil into the crank and verified little to no leakage, I was able to ride home. Any additional leaking that I noted may be attributed to oil that I was unable to remove from the fins heating up and making their way down to the edges, so I'm cautiously optimistic that the seal remains intact. Time will tell in that regard. In the meantime, I am carrying a jug of Motul in one of the panniers (a lesson learned from my Honda that I'd forgotten)!

    Since I bought the bike two months ago (almost to the day!), I did call the dealer, so I'll be taking it in for them to scan it.

     
  5. JJ Eckerman

    JJ Eckerman Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for all the information, guys!

    How many of you use a service-grade thread lock on owner-accessible fasteners that are subject to engine vibration?
     
  6. Android

    Android Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    No thread lock used here
     
  7. Brian UK

    Brian UK GT Reference

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    I have used thread lock on things like the brake disc holding bolts, but not on engine components.
     
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  8. JJ Eckerman

    JJ Eckerman Just got it firing!

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    UPDATE: I've pinpointed the issue!

    Whoever last worked on the bike used a green seal on the left cylinder valve cover, and a black seal on the right! Now to find out why someone would do such a thing, and replace the still-leaking valve cover seal!
     
  9. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Both were stock colors at one time. Gasket used probably isn't the issue. It is best to tighten valve covers in a cross pattern and the screws don't need to be very tight. I use just finger tip pressure on a T handle Allen wrench to snug them up. If that isn't done, the cover may be on unevenly and may leak.
     
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  10. JJ Eckerman

    JJ Eckerman Just got it firing!

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    I learned about why we cross torque fasteners the hard way on my Honda when I replaced that valve cover gasket. I wish that was the problem, but thank you just the same! In this case, I believe it was a faulty gasket that, when the fasteners became loose, the gasket cracked. It mostly disintegrated when I pulled off the valve cover to replace the gasket (turns out the dealership didn't know the difference between a head gasket and a valve cover gasket either, so I'm still waiting for the new gasket, too).

    In the future, I suppose I'll just have to check the bolts every week on that side.

     

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