Chrome Valve Cover

A few weeks ago the seal on my valve cover started leaking a bit of oil. It was very minor at first so I ignored it. Eventually it started leaking out on to my exhaust (headers) so I’d pull up to a light and notice a bit of smoke rising off my front end. That’s about the point when you can’t ignore the problem any more.

Replacing a seal is pretty easy especially a dry seal like the valve cover seal. I’ve been planning some upgrades though so I took the opportunity to blow some money. There’s some back story here though: this was my first bike and I learned to ride on it, the hard way. In my first summer I laid it down once on each side. The bike survived with minimal damage but the engine cover on the clutch side looks like someone went at it with a file. The alternator and valve covers got off easy but still got chipped up. Over time the hard coat on them started cracking noticeably.

Since I had to remove the valve cover I might as well replace it, right? Might as well get a chrome one too šŸ™‚ I even managed to track down the chrome replacement on ebay for pretty cheep so that’s always nice. Now I really screwed this one up though: I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have. With that in mind here’s the before shots with the tank removed.

When the valve cover is off the cam shafts are exposed. It was all I could do to keep from grabbing my laptop and ordering some more aggressive replacement cams. One step at a time. First replace the seal which actually wasn’t in bad shape. It was a bit frayed at the edges but there wasn’t any serious wear that I could see.

This is the point where I got excited, threw the camera to the side, replaced the seal and threw the new cover on without taking any pictures. I’ll learn eventually. I did it by the book (well by the Haynes Manual). I put a bit of grease on the seal, fitted it into the cover and replaced the bolts at the specified torque. Here’s what it looked like after it’s all back together.

Sadly it’s still bleeding a bit of oil. Nothing as bad as it was so I’m thinking the gasket may just need to get seated. Also the grease I applied may be running out a bit. For now I’m just carrying a shop rag with me and hoping for the best.

I ordered the rest of the replacement covers in chrome from British Customs along with a bunch of other stuff. My next post largely depends on what arrives in the mail first.

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