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Thread: Rocker box gasket service

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mesozoic's Avatar
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    Rocker box gasket service

    After my latest round of full throttle tuning, my rear rocker box (most likely just the PCV grommet) is leaking enough for oil to make its way down to the primary cover. So I bought the gaskets and grommets needed to do a whole rocker box gasket/grommet service on both cylinders and have started tearing the bike down. My concern is with engine rotation because I don't think I've ever needed to do it before - or my memory is failing me and I just don't remember what I did a very long time ago.

    I need to rotate the engine significantly in order to clear the frame and rear valve cover. It doesn't seem like that's going to be possible with a simple rotation down. I was considering remove the engine entirely from the bike, but am also kind of lazy and would like to avoid unnecessary dismantling for a mere gasket repair. I've started thinking about using my engine hoist to strap the frame up and lift it over the engine instead? I've got a rear stand supporting the bike via some axle sliders, not sure that's enough for stabilization, but I've always been a bit dangerous.

    Anyway, looking for opinions... not really sure what to do here. Bike's been on "jackstands" for the last month or more and would like to get it back on the road again.

    Happy belated US Thanksgiving.

  2. #2
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    34:19 should be able to weigh in here, but I know he's all for lifting the frame off the motor vs. just a rotation. I've gotta say, after my first rotation last month, I was surprised at how tight the access still is. Given it was my first time, I wasn't feeling up for completely dropping the motor out, but I think the extra time to do it could more than offset the time spent goofing around trying to get in through the top of the frame.

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    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    I never thought it was terrible working between the frame on the rear cylinder. I mean it's a little fiddly, but nothing out of the ordinary considering what I deal with working on cars for a living. I will say though 34:19 swears by the frame removal procedure and I'm sure it does allow much better access to the motor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mesozoic's Avatar
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    What's the opinion on using the crane to lift the frame up and away from the engine while it's supported and still attached to the rear mount (so it can rotate)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mesozoic View Post
    What's the opinion on using the crane to lift the frame up and away from the engine while it's supported and still attached to the rear mount (so it can rotate)?
    I'm not sure I follow. The crane sounds smart for lifting off the frame when fully disconnected, but I don't see how it helps in a rotation. When I did my rotation I left the lift under the engine without fully locking off the valve and it slowly lowered down to the point where the engine was touching the front tire by the time I came back outside. Are oyu removing the wheel and trying to lift the frame further to get the front cylinder completely on it's side?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mesozoic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidetheLightning View Post
    I'm not sure I follow. The crane sounds smart for lifting off the frame when fully disconnected, but I don't see how it helps in a rotation. When I did my rotation I left the lift under the engine without fully locking off the valve and it slowly lowered down to the point where the engine was touching the front tire by the time I came back outside. Are oyu removing the wheel and trying to lift the frame further to get the front cylinder completely on it's side?
    Yes, I was planning to remove the front wheel and completely expose the top of the rear cylinder for unfettered access to it, but now planning to do both cylinders at the same time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mesozoic View Post
    After my latest round of full throttle tuning, my rear rocker box (most likely just the PCV grommet) is leaking enough for oil to make its way down to the primary cover.
    Why not just replace the grommet? Its not that hard to do even with the engine in place.



    Quote Originally Posted by RidetheLighning
    I wasn't feeling up for completely dropping the motor out, but I think the extra time to do it could more than offset the time spent goofing around trying to get in through the top of the frame.
    My feelings exactly, but for a single rocker box, if you just want to get it done as quickly as possible, a rotate should be OK. I like to do a thorough cleaning and replace more of the hard to get at gaskets and seals so I appreciate the access provided by removing the frame completely.

    To remove the frame its only about 5 more steps from a rotation, and you really need a secure area to do this job as you will have motorcycle parts everywhere for awhile. Some peoples work area situations may make the rotate much more palatable than a removal.

    Also, the rotate requires being able to drop (rotate) the front of the engine downwards. I like to use a regular ATV style platform jack which makes the rotate part a little tricky, but provides a stable base to hold the motor and swingarm in place when pulling the frame off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mesozoic View Post
    What's the opinion on using the crane to lift the frame up and away from the engine
    If you want to, sure....

    2.jpg

    But I think this is much easier. Its even easier with the forks and front wheel in place as that can carry the some of the weight of the assembly.

    1.jpg

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    #1 Ignore it. It's not a race bike that gets ridden that way so it won't leak that bad normally riding. Wipe it off before you cars n' coffee run, and enjoy a working motorcycle.
    #2 Just replace that one weeping grommet in 10 seconds, and put it back together, so you can get to cars n' coffee, and enjoy a working motorcycle.
    #3 I use a paddock stand on the swingarm, ratchet straps from the rafters to the pillion peg mounts, the front wheel chocked, and an automotive found-in-the-trunk scissor jack to lower the engine. It allows the engine to rotate easier but is less stable than an ATV jack. It might get back together by March. Might. (See 34:19's garage).
    #4 It does make sense to remove the last 4 bolts and remove the engine, find any other possible issues and proceed accordingly with parts and repairs, maybe forever. (See the other side of 34:19's garage). But wait, aren/t we just talking about a seeping grommet? See #1, maybe #2 IMO.

    Summers coming! Tick tock!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mesozoic's Avatar
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    Thanks all. The leak has created quite a mess, so I really need to "get in there" in order to clean it up. If the rear cylinder can be fully exposed through rotation then I'm probably fine, but I didn't think that would be the case.

    I do have the space to dismantle everything and leave it that way for a while. I finally completed my shop, so I've got the bike in a corner where it can live for a long time. My 1125CR is back on the road, so I'm still on 2-wheels as well, otherwise this would've been far more urgent!

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mesozoic View Post
    If the rear cylinder can be fully exposed through rotation then I'm probably fine, but I didn't think that would be the case.
    Are you replacing the PCV grommet or the rocker box cover gasket? Even if you are replacing the rocker box gasket, you do not need to unbolt the head or remove the cylinder.

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