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Thread: DIY Fix: Fan fuses blowing/Rocker Boxes leaking! *BIG*

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  1. #1
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    OK here goes.
    1)- This is a Do-It-Yourself repair thread for leaky rocker box gaskets that cause your fan to blow fuses from dripping oil all over it. This is one way of many to repair this problem. Follow what I did or not, but use common sense and you should be fine. I wouldn't recommend you attempt this if you haven't done any mechanic work yourself before.
    This repair is for the experienced.

    2) - Read this ENTIRE TUTORIAL before you proceed on your own. I may have left things out or put things in the wrong order here and there, and it helps to read it all once first at a minimum before you begin work.
    this was a huge DIY and I put a lot of work in to it, but it's far from perfect.

    A leaky rocker box gasket may manifest itself as oil seeping down the parts surrounding your engine. Most likely, in the back cylinder, near the fan, which was blowing fuses. Mine happened to look like this from outside the bike without tearing any parts off:

    Egad! an obvious oil leak and some sort of problem with the fan blowing fuses and getting oily! Time to investigate further! Can't be riding our bike around overheating, now, can we?! Nope! Not if we can help it!

    Disclaimer:

    Who am I? I've been riding sport and super sport motorcycles since 2005. I've done many adjustment valve jobs for a lot of people on one of the Ninja forums I used to visit as well as Suzuki GSXR forums and BARF as well and have accounts with both back to 2005. I've opened lots of motorcycle engines and have never ruined one of them. I've owned over ten bikes, most of which were GSXR's, one Yamaha, one Ninja and now this Buell XB12R that I bought used with 14,000 miles on it for $4500 about 2 months ago. I've always done all the work on all my bikes by the manuals since I am good with tools and mechanic work. I have worked as a real mechanic before in a garage, but now days I work as an Electromechanical Engineer for Lam Research in Tualatin, Oregon.. building silicon wafer fabrication machines for the semiconductor industry. I've even worked for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory building particle accelerators. You could say I've been around the block.

    But at the same time:
    3)- My practices here could be somewhat controversial. If you don't like the way I did something here, don't follow it.
    I did things the way I did for reasons, and I'm not perfect. I'm not responsible if you ruin your bike's engine. I can't control everything on your end of the screen, and have no idea of your mechanical aptitude to work on your bike. For all I know, you could be a monkey with a wrench and have no reason to be holding a tool to your motorcycle. In such case, please... put the tools down and step away from the vehicle!

    "There is a proper tool for every job, and if it's too hard, you're doing it wrong." Please remember this while working on your motorcycle. It's a good mantra to have with the rest of your electro-mechanical devices as well.
    Use tools that fit, or you'll be buying more tools, replacing broken parts and stabbing yourself with screwdrivers left and right! "Ask me how I know!" :D

    Also, when you remove a screw from a part, put the screw back in the part after it has been removed so you don't lose it. Very simple idea behind this one and helps greatly. You'll never be looking for another lost screw again.

    OK OK enough is enough. Don't chew me out if you don't like the way I did things. They're working just fine for me!
    I have about 100 miles on this rebuild so far and will report when I have more.

    So here we go. Time to rip this baby apart and get to the rocker boxes. Make sure you have your gasket kit before you start. For the 07 and up bikes, you're gonna need this kit
    http://www.amazon.com/James-Gasket-T...JGI-17049-07-X
    James Gaskets Kit #JGI-17049-07-X

    The kit for earlier bikes is here:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    James Gaskets kit #JGI-17049-04-X

    The main difference being the older bikes have the square rubber area on the rocker box gaskets and the newer bikes don't.. As shown below. In this pic from the manual, this is what the old gaskets look like.


    and here is what the newer year later bike's gaskets look like. See the main difference?!


    OK now that that is out of the way, let's get to the DIY.

    Disconnect your fuel pump. Then, turn on the bike and run it "dry".. until it runs out of gas.
    You'll find the fuel pump located behind the rear tire on the frame. The connector looks like so..


    Strip off the seat and the "tank" (airbox cover). If you can't figure this out, time to turn back now!


    Disconnect or remove your battery.
    I prefer to remove it. I've seen weird things happen where wrenches get welded to your frame after touching the battery terminals etc etc. Just safer to remove.


    Remove the 7 bolts to the lower chin fairing.


    Remove the connector to the exhaust valve servo on top of your airbox. (Sorry this pic is upside down, I'll fix it later when I'm done with the tutorial)


    Remove the three screws holding the servo to the airbox and drape it down into the battery compartment.


    Sorry, another upside down pic. I'll try not to do that too much.
    Remove the gas/overflow/breather tube. It's easy to do if you push on the end with a screwdriver.


    Remove the airbox cover and air filter.


    Remove the four screws holding in the airbox.


    Cut the two zip ties on the breather tubes going to the engine from the airbox and disconnect the air temp sensor from the airbox at the same time. Proceed to remove the airbox bas from the frame.


    Ziptie the prongs on the velocity stack and remove it.


    Disconnect the 02 (oxygen) sensor plug that runs from the rear header pipe.


    Now disconnect the temp sensor. You might need to free it up first by removing a zip tie.




    Disconnect the coil controller wire.


    Disconnect the coil from the plug wires and remove it from the bike.


    Disconnect throttle position sensor.


    Disconnect the fuel line from the throttle body.


    Remove your right side engine cover. (right side scoop for those of you with them)


    Go ahead and pull the left side scoop as well.


    Now reach under from below the bike and disconnect the throttle position sensor wire...


    the front injector wire...


    and the rear injector wire...


    ...and then you'll be free to remove the wiring harness from the engine bay. I ziptied it to the forks to hold it out of the way for now.


    Remove the belt cover from the bike


    Undo the rear axle pinch bolt from the bottom of the bike.


    Loosen the rear axle. This loosens the belt for when you rotate the engine down and forward.


    Remove the belt tensioner.


    Loosen the rear exhaust straps.


    Loosen the front exhaust strap.


    Undo the torca clamp and remove the exhaust from the bike.


    Push the cam on the exhaust valve open and unplug the exhaust valve servo cable from the exhaust.


    Pull the front exhaust mount off the bike. You'll need the mount under it as a jacking point.


    Remove your front fender. Just in case.


    Remove your clutch lever and disconnect it from the clutch cable.


    Unhook the clutch cable from the guides on the engine mount. Now unbolt the clutch cable and engine mount strut at the front of the block as shown.


    Support the engine with a scissor jack. Most people have one of these in the trunk of their car next to their spare tire and don't even realize it.


    Unbolt the right side engine mount strut from the frame near the right side rearset.


    Remove the upper engine mount strut from the top of the frame on the bike.


    Start unbolting the V-harness. Get all three bolts.






    New you can begin to remove the front engine mount. Be sure your jack is placed sturdily. The frame and engine and everything are free to rock around and can be a bit tipsy so be sure to keep everything well balanced and tied down.


    Once the main mount bolt is out, you can remove the engine mount from the engine by the two bolts to give your more clearance to the engine head.




    You can now (CAREFULLY!!) begin to rotate the engine down/forward/out of the motorcycle.
    I went far enough until my kick stand touched the ground.


    On the way down, while watching for clearances, I noticed it would be a good idea to disconnect the throttle cables also. If you don't, they may bend and shoot out a little piece that you will have to put back in and bend them closed to fix. I'll explain this more later. IF the pieces do fall out when removing the cable don't worry to much about it. You can fix it later, if you didn't break the throttle cable mount altogether. At any rate, you don't HAVE TO pull the throttle cables but I'd highly recommend it! Otherwise you are implying unnecessary strain.


    Another shot of the cables disconnected and the pieces that can fall off of them from the cable mount that we can re-install later with a bit of care and luck.


    Now keep on lowering the engine assembly until you have a clear shot at both engine head covers.






    The kickstand will rest on the floor. Careful! The bike is kinda wobbly like this!


    You can see where the old leak was when the engine is out.


    Now is a good time to pull your plugs and wires and inspect.
    My bike had the 08 iridums in it. I'm moving to the 09's. (update: didn't notice much difference there)


    Time to yank the engine covers. Loosen and remove the four bolts on each cover and pull the cover off and out of the bike.




    Some of the old fiber washers are going to be stuck to the engine cover and hard to remove. I used a flat head screwdriver and a fulcrum point on the engine cover to pry them off.


    They leave behind more junk when they come off that has to be cleaned and scrapped free. You don't want any of this left behind on the cover or you will have another oil leak on your hands to fix. Ask me how I know... I did a valve job on a 636 that I had to redo once because of the value cover bolts not sealing right. The customer was surprised to see oil leaking out of his fairings when he got home! No bueno!


    You should have something that looks like this.


    Here is all the gunk on my fan that caused it to blow 10a fuses and caused the bike to overheat. More on the fan later. that all has to be cleaned up.


    Don't forget to remove the front cover on the front of the engine too.


    Now you can carefully fish out the old seals from the top of the rocker boxes.




    Then you can go ahead and begin to pull the rocker boxes.
    Start with the two bolts that are similar on the left side of the engine.


    Then there is three bolts shaped the same inside the rocker box. Remove these three before the last four.


    These last similar four bolts on the rocker box should be removed a half turn at a time to even out the spring pressure (if there is any) left on your rocker box when you remove it. The manual says to rotate the crankshaft until the valves of the rocker box you are trying to remove are closed. Personally, I found this to be unnecessary in my case, and just removed the four screws one half a turn at a time in a criss-crossing pattern and the rocker boxes came up evenly and without a hitch.


    If they don't happen to pop right off by themselves, you can wedge a screwdriver between the engine pieces and press down on the handle lightly. The rocker box will pop free and you can lift it off by hand. Don't let the screwdriver scratch or gouge anything in the process.


    Now you have your rocker boxes off and the valve springs and rods exposed. Once I had both opened and marked front and rear, it was time to tackle each cylinder one at a time from here on out.


    I removed the old gaskets and cleaned up all the mating surfaces with alcohol and let them air dry.



  2. #2
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    Just posting so I can find this later.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Silverrider's Avatar
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    great write up.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Simplymichaeljr's Avatar
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    Yes, excellent attention to detail. Anyone on here should have no problem following this write-up. This is inspiring me to finally install the rocker cover gaskets sitting on the work bench in my shop. LOL. Thanks, now I HAVE to rotate the engine

  5. #5
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    Nice write up thanks

  6. #6
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    I've got the James Gaskets set for the top end. As I understand not all of these gaskets will be used? I'm going to rotate the engine, so what would you recommend to replace since I will be there in addition to the rocker box gaskets replacing? I'm going to replace the rocker box gaskets as it was described in this thread, also I'm going to replace intake manifold gaskets and PCV valves gaskets. Anything else I suppose to do? Would it be a good idea to replace the exhaust pipes gaskets since I have them in the kit or just do not touch the pipes since they have no problems? Should I replace the O2 sensor?







    Last edited by TPEHAK; 10-27-2016 at 04:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Should I replace the O2 sensor?

    yep. they're cheap

  8. #8
    Would this be the same kit for a 2008 xb9sx? My rear rocker gasket is also leaking and was planning on doing the repair this winter. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lunaticfringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRONX View Post
    Would this be the same kit for a 2008 xb9sx? My rear rocker gasket is also leaking and was planning on doing the repair this winter. Thanks.
    yep. 07-10 XB james kit the same. note that the pushrod cover assy. seals in this kit will not fit buell XB

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    yep. 07-10 XB james kit the same. note that the pushrod cover assy. seals in this kit will not fit buell XB
    Great. Thanks for the heads up!!!

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