Question about 1984 BMW R 65 LS
It's become increasingly clear why the last person to work on this bike used gasket goo to seal the valve covers. The problem with the short stud was quickly remedied (thanks barryg) with two nuts and minimal effort. The stud came right out. I cleaned the stud and threads, applied a bit of thread-lock, and screwed it back in leaving enough to install the cover with a washer under the center nut. Life was good! After installing the tank, battery and adding gas it was time to see if my many months of amateurish mechanics would pay off. Sure enough, the bike started and I was able to take a short spin around the neighborhood. After parking the restoration project, I noticed quite a bit of oil leaking from around the valve covers (on both sides). I let everything cool off and attempted to tighten all fasteners. No significant improvement. So, do I forget about the stock gaskets and go with RTV or is there a trick to installing the valve covers that I have missed?
The OEM gaskets have adhesive built on to them. This is always the side with printing on any BMW gasket. Clearly the head has to be clean when installing a new gasket for the adhesive to adhere. I have a similar leak problem on one bike, and it appears the surfaces aren't smooth enough to seal with oe gaskets. My solution is aftermarket "silicone" gaskets, which do the trick, but are a bit tricky to use. No glue with these. http://www.rockypointcycle.com/Merch...ategory_Code=B It appears a lot of times previous owners are taken by surprise that there are outboard studs on the valve covers and try prying the cover off after only removing the center nut. This hurts the sealing surfaces, of course. When the bike was new, the OEM gasket was installed with the factory adhesive adhering it to the cylinder head only, and it didn't leak. Subsequent leaks were caused by incorrect procedures by various previous owners, untrained mechanics, etc. A lot of times the threads in the cylinder head for the center stud get stripped. This occurred especially with the too-short studs, as they didn't get threaded into the head enough.
Posted on Nov 20, 2008
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