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Leaking valve cover?

cog2803

Tuned and Synch'ed
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Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
34
Greetings

I've got an 07 Griso with about 8,000 miles on the clock. There has been an off and on again issue with the right side (brake side) valve cover developing a leak. I've tightened the bolts - including the two hidden under the plastic cover and that has succesfully addressed the issue a time or two. However, at one point the valve cover gasket gave way and it began to really blow oil out the side.

This happened right around the time for the 6,000 mile service and the dealer replaced it during that visit.

It's leaking again. I got home and saw oil on my show and oil on the cooling fins so I tightened the bolts. They were a bit loose but nothing drastic, but the two under the plastic cover were the most loose. I cleaned everything up and figured I was good for awhile. I totally get the idea that an air/oil cooled big bore v-twin might have a leak or two.

Sadly, after my short ride to work this morning (less than five miles) it was leaking even worse. I was going to ask the clan here if a dab of red loctite on the cover bolts might do the trick in keeping them tight . . . but I think I might have another bad gasket. That seems like a very bad run of luck on gaskets though?

I recall seeing some silicone gaskets that claim to last much longer and work better than the paper/textile stock gaskets. Are they any satisfied customers of that gasket on the forum?

Bottom line - is this one of those "charming" characteristics of a Moto Guzzi? I've only owned inline four japanese bikes up till this point so my point of reference is a bit different.

Thanks for any thoughts or input . . . it is appreciated.

Bill Buchanan
 

john zibell

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Don't put loctite, especially red on the screws. With the red you may never get them off again.

It sounds like the valve cover may not be true or has a significant gouge in it. Also possible is a defect with the head, but doubtful. Check the valve cover for true, if you don't know how, take it to any good machinist.

The silicone gaskets may be what you need, the web site is here: http://www.realgaskets.com/files/motorc ... #motoguzzi

You will want the late style square head.
 

GuzziMoto

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I use the silicone gaskets and am very happy with them. You do need to torque them to a low value properly. An inch/pound torque wrench is a good idea.
It is not normal to have oil leaks, especially in the same place over again. As suggested, check for defects that might cause the cover to leak and check to make sure your breather is not blocked or pinched. Something is not right.
 

uncle

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Oct 28, 2008
Messages
89
Gaskets are cheap enough - I'd just get one and replace it. While the cover if you can take a look and see if you can spot anything suspicious. If it leaks again then you may have a defect somewhere. It's a good idea to have a couple gaskets around anyway....
 

RJVB

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I just read the other day about a guy with a 1200Sport who's on his fourth set of gaskets, with recurrent leaks on both sides. So, leaks do occur under the head covers, but as said, they shouldn't (and that's the way it is on most all bikes I know)
 

cog2803

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Thanks for the information. I'm going to order up a set of the Real Gasket Silicone gaskets and give the cover and head a close inspection for defects, anomalies, out of true, etc when I swap them out. It seems to go for around 2000 miles and then it starts seeping on the right hand side.

It is definitely at the valve cover fitting. There is no oil seepage at the head assembly/cylinder location

By the way - what is the specified torque settings for those bolts? I looked in the shop manual and it's not mentioned anywhere - at least that I could find. Being that they are either M6x35 or M6x50 bolts and other M6 bolt torque settings are listed at 10 Nm I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that these are also 10 Nm. Would that be a reasonable guess?

Guzzimotto mentioned to "torque them to a low value properly" and I will be using a quality torque wrench - are you suggesting a value lower than 10 Nm?

Again, thanks again

Bill Buchanan
 

cog2803

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Nov 7, 2008
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Guzzimoto - I just reread your post and you mentioned to make sure the breather is not pinched or blocked. I'm familiar with a breather on a valve cover on an auto engine but don't find a similar item on the Griso. I wouldn't think you are referring to the air breather as that seems illogical.

Would you mind elaborating please?

Thanks

Bill
 

NeroGuzzi

Cruisin' Guzzisti
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
224
Location
Virginia, USA
Torque is 88 inch pounds (10nm). I suspect there may be old gasket residue on the head or valve cover mating surfaces. When you take them off, take your time to clean both thoroughly. Be careful not to use a tool that will scar the surfaces. I use a plastic scraper. For tough areas, I gingerly use a small putty knife. If you find a high spot or bur on the mating surfaces, remove with a fine stone. I use a small knife stone that has never been used for sharpening knives. In other words, it is still square.

I would reinstall the valve covers with new gaskets, torque to 88 inch pounds, run the bike for a few days and re-torque. Let us know what you end up seeing under there.
 

john zibell

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cog2803 said:
Thanks for the information. I'm going to order up a set of the Real Gasket Silicone gaskets and give the cover and head a close inspection for defects, anomalies, out of true, etc when I swap them out. It seems to go for around 2000 miles and then it starts seeping on the right hand side.

It is definitely at the valve cover fitting. There is no oil seepage at the head assembly/cylinder location

By the way - what is the specified torque settings for those bolts? I looked in the shop manual and it's not mentioned anywhere - at least that I could find. Being that they are either M6x35 or M6x50 bolts and other M6 bolt torque settings are listed at 10 Nm I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that these are also 10 Nm. Would that be a reasonable guess?

Guzzimotto mentioned to "torque them to a low value properly" and I will be using a quality torque wrench - are you suggesting a value lower than 10 Nm?

Again, thanks again

Bill Buchanan

Leave the torque wrench in the tool box. The only time I've seen these damaged is when someone used one. Just use a 5mm T handle Allen and use only finger tip pressure. You just have to hold the valve cover on, those aren't the screws that keep the bike from falling apart. A little wrench art can go a long way.
 

GuzziMoto

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The silicone gaskets have a different (and much lower) torque setting then the stock gaskets. I forget what it is but it is low and it is important to do it right. I would use a torque wrench with the silicone gaskets. Torque wrenches are good.
As for the breather, there has to be a crank case vent (breather) to allow air to escape as the pistons fall. If it is blocked or pinched you will get an increase in crank case pressure which can and will cause oil leaks. The breather is likely at the back of the crank case.
 

SMChris

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Oct 28, 2008
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Santa Maria, CA
Being paranoid about leaks from previous issues I can say with first hand knowledge that the cure to a valve cover leak is not overtightening. I purchased the real gaskets and tightend them too far. If you tighten them anywhere near the spec for the oem gaskets it will cause the silicon to tear. I just ordered my second pair to try and will try to be more gentle :blush:
 

GuzziMoto

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Yep... sorry to hear that.
That is why I said it twice in this thread, the silicone gaskets have a lower torque value then the OEM gaskets. But if you follow the directions (I know, hard for a guy to do) I think you will be very happy with the silicone gaskets. I have had a set on two of my Guzzi's for a few years now with no issues. I have gotten used to tightening them by hand but I still use an inch/pound torque wrench to be sure they are evenly tightened.
 

SMChris

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Got my second set of real gaskets, this time finger tight with the small end of the wrench. All seems good so far, no leaks.
 

sn0winSaskatoon

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Feb 8, 2009
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77
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Saskatoon, Canada
Searched the forum and found this thread so I thought I would re-open it. Sorry to waste time if the exact right answers are already here.

I was all ready to get going with my new PC-V/AT setup, but figured I'd adjust the valves and do a little stuff first. When I pulled the valve covers, the gaskets pulled apart and stuck to one side or another. Annoying when I didn't have another pair and the closest dealer is 450 km and I really wanted to ride the first 14C day. But then it snowed again, so I didn't feel so bad at the lost time! :(

Quick question - the cover gaskets are completely cooked on. I figured I'd use a little grease and that might make removal easier next time ? Does someone here have a better approach to avoid this gasket adhesion problem in future ?

It's really hard to get at and clean the hardened gasket at the top of the mating surface on the head - right under the frame rail on my B11 - difficult to get at even with the tank off. I didn't want to spray the thing with permatex gasket remover... Anyone have any better ideas ?

What about these silicone "real gaskets" ? Will they have the same issues getting cooked onto the cover and head ?

And how perfectly smooth does the mating surface on the cover have to be. I've made very small scratches trying to remove this cr@p!!

I just want to ride this darn thing!

thanks for any help,

Ian
 

ghezzi

High Miler
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Brisbane
Well I have a Bellagio, the standard rocker cover gaskets were very thin black paper (approx 0.010") and tore when removing the covers.

My cylinder heads are the same shape and size as any old square fin, and the 2V Breva's etc should be the same. Get new gaskets of the old style which are light green in color and would be 0.040 - 0.050" thick. Never break, never leak. I have never had to replace these before on any old Guzzi's, they last for years and multiple services. Cost $6 each in Brisbane.

Same goes for the old sump gaskets for those of you who still have the oil filter inside the sump pan.
 

jdelv

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Nov 17, 2011
Messages
81
Location
Rochester, NY
I need some help. My 07 Griso has developed a leak from the left valve cover gasket apparently. I did the valves a month ago and all was good until this week. So I figured that when I hand tightened the cover, I caused the leak. So next I gave the bolts more tightening hoping that would stop leak. It didn't.

So I removed cover yesterday. Noticed the gasket was deformed. Figured it was due to my good-n-tight torque technique. I replaced with a new gasket. I cleaned both surfaces with a razor blade. I put a light coating of oil on the gasket mating surfaces. Criss-cross tightened to 10 Nm. Left the bike overnight on the side stand.

This morning there is still a leak! :cry:

I heard Permatex lightly applied to the gasket might do the trick. I had some on hand to use yesterday, but figured I found the smoking gun when the gasket was deformed and didnt use it. BTW, the right cover is not currrently leaking.

So I'll take any advice you have.
 

Pascal

Cruisin' Guzzisti
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
305
Location
Orlando FL
FWIW. The factory gaskets are junk.
Had the same problem on the wife's bike...
Bought gasket material and made my own. It's a win/win.
 

jdelv

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Nov 17, 2011
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81
Location
Rochester, NY
I'm an idiot. When I put the new gasket on using a torque wrench to 10 Nm, I"lubed" each side of the gasket with motor oil (stupid move apparently). Over night, the squeezing of the gasket made the oil drain and drip. So it was residual oil collecting in a small drip, which resembled the original leak on the floor.

So it's all good. No more leak! :D
 

northernguzzi

Just got it firing!
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
12
did you find the source of the leak or are you assuming its coming from the valve cover gasket. could be coming out of the breather portal that is located between the fifth and sixth cooling fin down from the cover. Back pressure, too much oil, high rpm and plugged filter going into thr breather. This system is the same as a PVC system on automobile, guzzi had to this, as well as harley, ducati etc etc in order to meet california emission spec's. California sets the standards for all manufactures selling through the US.
If it is coming from the breather portal then you have a valbe cover bolt gasket leaking. they are paper on all the guzzi except thr NTX which are rubber.
Lay on the ground shine a LRD light up between the fins and you'll see what I'm talking about regardless of the leak problem.
 

Penis Rotor

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Oct 28, 2008
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northernguzzi said:
did you find the source of the leak or are you assuming its coming from the valve cover gasket. could be coming out of the breather portal that is located between the fifth and sixth cooling fin down from the cover. Back pressure, too much oil, high rpm and plugged filter going into thr breather. This system is the same as a PVC system on automobile, guzzi had to this, as well as harley, ducati etc etc in order to meet california emission spec's. California sets the standards for all manufactures selling through the US.
If it is coming from the breather portal then you have a valbe cover bolt gasket leaking. they are paper on all the guzzi except thr NTX which are rubber.
Lay on the ground shine a LRD light up between the fins and you'll see what I'm talking about regardless of the leak problem.

What on earth are you rabbiting on about?

What 'Breather portal'?

'Back pressure'? Please explain what exhaust harmonics have to do with an oil leak?

Too much oil will result in oil being expelled into the airbox. The higher the engine speed the greater the chance of oil being expelled.

PCV systems are not anything new. Vented gas re-breathing systems have been around since the very early 1980's, even on Guzzis. It is not some vast conspiracy by the clean air brigade to limit the performance of our machines.

There is no 'Filter' in the breather system. Why would there need to be, it is part of a closed an 'Clean' environment.

Where the idea that only the NTX has 'Rubber' gaskets cones from God only knows?!? All the early Hi-Cams and the 4V smallblocks use neoprene o-rings to seal thir rocker covers. Also all the 'Nuovo Hi-cams' use neoprene gaskets for the rocker covers, early ones use o-rings to seal the plug tubes, later ones use a combination of twin neoprene gaskets and o-rings, the o-rings are Viton. Note also that the ONLY NTX's that use 'Rubber' gaskets are the recent 4VPC Stelvios. None of the Smallblock NTX's use anything more complicated than standard Smallblock gaskets. These nowadays are infinitely better than those sold 'Back in the day' and YES! You can use them on old motors!

Sorry. I may of misunderstood but this post is a prime example of why this site needs better moderating if it wishes to be 'Guzzitech' rather than 'Gibbering idiocy with Guzzi content!'

Pete
 
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