Valve cover leaking - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Valve cover leaking

Hi!
I have a 2001 V-Star 100 Classic.
Since I got this bike, the front valve cover has leaked.
I have replaced the gasket 4 or 5 times with a new one from the dealer.
I have tried different sealants with the gasket.
Every time, it lasts about 300 miles and then starts to seep. Of course, it is above the exhaust so it does not take long and I smell burning oil.
I have gone as far as replacing the chrome valve cover itself, and the leak continues.
I have inspected the machined surface for nicks or any imperfection, and found none. I have checked it with a straight edge and it looks great.
Still, it leaks.
Has anyone else experienced any issues like this??
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 08:58 AM
KCW
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not familiar with the valve cover on the 1100

is it a pressed formed dome or a cast metal part?

If its cast it could be warped, and that would be hard to measure with a straight edge.

some cars use a silicon glue for the valve cover gasket - there is no gasket, its like the stuff you seal the edge of the bathroom tub with.

the only other thing i can think of: maybe the return oil passage is plugged and the oil pump is building up pressure inside the valve cover and blowing oil thru the gasket? Is the oil breather tube to the carb airbox, plugged by any chance?

Last edited by KCW; 08-14-2018 at 09:04 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
not familiar with the valve cover on the 1100

is it a pressed formed dome or a cast metal part?

If its cast it could be warped, and that would be hard to measure with a straight edge.

some cars use a silicon glue for the valve cover gasket - there is no gasket, its like the stuff you seal the edge of the bathroom tub with.

the only other thing i can think of: maybe the return oil passage is plugged and the oil pump is building up pressure inside the valve cover and blowing oil thru the gasket? Is the oil breather tube to the carb airbox, plugged by any chance?
Thank you for your response.
It is a cast piece. I have replaced it with a new one. (An expensive little piece of chromed aluminum)
Yes, the breather was checked.
Also of note, the rear cover has never leaked.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 01:16 PM
KCW
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what did you inspect it with?

a hairline crack would be hard to see - you might need a 10X stereo microscope

the interface between the chrome and the alum could be letting the oil get thru the alum in one place, and channeling it out further down the edge, making you look in the wrong spot for a crack.

Also (I hate to type this) maybe the cover is ok but the surface of the head is warped, or has a micro crack?

Maybe its not the right cover for the front cylinder and it does not seat correctly?

It has to be something simple that we are missing. If you have already tried Permatex, then something else is going on.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 03:33 PM
KCW
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Ok.. .one more idea:

maybe the bolts are too long, or you are missing a washer, so the bolt is bottoming out when you torque it correctly, but its not putting the right amount of pressure on the cover to hold it to the head and compress the gasket?

Or maybe you are missing a washer / spacer / standoff under the cover, and when you torque it down its deforming the cover and pushing the side out?

Last edited by KCW; 08-14-2018 at 03:35 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 03:37 PM
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Be careful not to over tighten and break bolt in head. Ask me how I know. 😩
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Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
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