Saturday, May 31, 2008

Resolving oil leaks

Gotta tiny oil leak . . .

Ted overfilled the tranny oil he said and my engine developed a tiny leak. Ted believes that the small leak is due to the excess oil coming out or worst-case-scenario it's the rear hub seal has gone bad. When visiting the painter on Thursday a very small puddle had formed.

I emailed Christopher Markley and asked him for advice. This is what he told me:

"If it was way overfilled, it would have developed excess pressure and blown out the breather, and also could have blown out the hub seal. You can replace the hub seal easily if that's the problem. All Vespa engines leak some oil. The old joke about old motorcycles is the customer calls the garage and says, "Hey, I don't know what you did when my bike was in the shop, but it doesn't leak any oil anymore!" The mechanic screams, "Don't ride that bike, it must mean that the engine is bone dry!"

After you clean off the cases with denatured alcohol, blow some chalk dust on the cases all around. You can get this at Home Depot where they sell levels and plumb bobs. You can get the chalk dust in white or colors. After you've sprayed the chalk dust on the cases, it will be very easy to identify where an oil leak is coming from. It is very unlikely to be coming from between the case halves. The gasket and the gasket sealer usually prevents all but the tiniest weep from this joint. But good news -- if it is from there, you can just drain the oil bone dry, ultra-clean the case joint where it is leaking, and then get Yamabond gasket sealer in silver, and carefully apply it to the section of case mating area that is leaking, and voila, no more leak. If you apply it CAREFULLY, nobody will ever even see it."

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