Question about Yamaha SR 400 Motorcycles

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Oil is leaking between the cylinder head and block.

Can't overhaul because i'm afraid there are no parts are avialble. Pls. help. It's a nice bike.

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  • Jim London
    Jim London May 11, 2010

    Hi, The SR400 is pure Japanese and the parts are hard to find. Sounds like you need a new cylinder gasket. Are you going to do the job yourself? If you are then the way you could do it is with a gasket repair or gasket forming material. I have done this with old tractors. If you aren't then use a google translator to find a Japanese site for parts. If you need help with gasket material let me know.



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If it was a valve cover I would say go ahead and try the RTV or other gasket forming material. For a head gasket, you are looking at a gasket that usually has copper or aluminum and other sealing material. Anything else just won't cut it. The internet is a wonderful place to find obscure parts and minutiae.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009


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You need to do a block test. Sounds as if, most likely, a cylinder head gasket or intake gasket has not been sealed properly or possible crack. Go to your local autoparts store and buy a block tester with fluid and all. Sometimes you can rent the tester from Autozone or Orielly's. If this test comes up positive then I would rent a leak down tester to pin point where the leak is. Hope this helps.

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Hi i have 98 camry it blow white smoke not only on 1st start, but only sometimes.driving up hill and it is rattling and blow white smoke and the car have not enough power.pls any help suuggestion is very...

Sounds to me like the head gasket is blown, but there may be sealant in the system which is making it intermittently leak antifreeze into the cylinders.

A bad cylinder head gasket will also cause a compromise in compression, which will cause a lack of power.

Time to overhaul or replace the engine's head gasket, or replace the engine with one that doesn't have a blown head gasket.

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New exhuast plugs wires jetted carb stilll getting smoke from one pipe ,from front jug ,but bike runs excellent. any ideas

What color is the smoke? If the smoke is white, it's oil smoke. If it's fuel, it'll be black smoke.

Generally, black smoke from the exhast indicates a too rich mixture for one reason or the other. You said you rejetted the carb. This could be part of the problem. You also said that it's only out of the front pipe. If you rejet the carb, it effects both cylinders. If you have a vacuum leak on the rear cylinder, this could cause the front cylinder to run rich.

If the smoke coming from the front cylinder is white smoke, you may have a oil problem. It could be rings, a valve stem seal, or a head gasket leak. But, unless the smoke is heavy and the bike runs good, I wouldn't worry about it. If it bothers you, have a leakdown test run on the engine. That should tell you where the problem is. Or, just do a top end overhaul on the engine and be done with it. Have a new set of rings installed or have it bored and new pistons if needed. Also have a valve job done on the heads. This should solve the problem as you'll have to replace the intake gaskets when you take the intake and heads off.

Don't just keep throwing money at the problem. That gets expensive and is only successful part of the time. Anytime you have a problem with one cylinder only, whatever is wrong is confined to that cylinder. Anything that you do that effects both cylinders is usually useless. I would suspect a valve stem seal on your bike. You didn't say how many miles you have on the engine nor what type of carb you're running.

Good Luck

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In its simplest terms, the head gasket is the spacer/insulator between the cylinder head and the engine block. When the piston (in the block) moves upward to compress the air/fuel mixture (against the cylinder head), tremendous pressure develops inside the combustion chamber. The pressure will find any easy means of escape to expand. If the gasket is defective, the pressure will pass through that gasket and enter the water jackets (where the collant flows through). The pressure/air bubbles will ride the coolant flow and eventually end up inside the radiator and would then be visible as you have posted.

Incidentally, the gasket may be OK but the cylinder head could be warped and the same fault would also be exhibited. This is especially more so on aluminum heads.

Both the gasket problem and/or the warped cylinder head could have resulted from a prior overheating problem.

Corrective procedure on the air bubbles would require top overhauling wherein only the cylnder head is removed. Of course once removed, your mechanic would be able to inspect the pistons and its sleeves and could decide if a general overhaul is required or stick to the cylinder head work. A top overhaul also requires cylinder head gasket replacement.

Unto the overheating problem, you may want to check the water pump, thermostat, fan, fan relay and fan clutch. It may also be to your added advantage if you would have the radiator flushed/cleaned as well as the water jackets. Some mechanics especially in warmer regions opt to completely remove the thermostat and permanently wire the fan to always be on.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Thank you for using FixYa.

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