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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been putting off replacing my front cover gasket, I've had a very small oil leak from the top corner for a while now but it's just recently started getting worse. I just wanted to double check a few things as it's been 2 years since I last took it off. Does it matter what thickness the gasket is for the front? I have a sheet of gasket material and an actual unused gasket (not honda oem). The diy gasket is about twice as thick as the pre-cut gasket, and I was thinking of using the pre-cut as the template and cutting my own from the thicker material.



Second question (I think I know the answer to this already) - I need to drain the coolant and take the radiator all the way off to do this, correct? There's no shorter way to take the cover off and replace the gasket?
 

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I've never run into a problem with a thicker cover gasket. I think it would be just fine. Here's a tip on cutting the new gasket.

Take the front cover and turn it over so the business end is facing you. place your new gasket sheet material over top of it and take a small ball peen hammer and tap around the entire outside ridge of the cover. Use the ball end and don't smash it down like you're driving in a nail. Just tap around it over lap each subsequent hammer hit. This will transfer the entire shape onto the material for easy cutting. If you're good you can actually cut the gasket material with the ball peen hammer and get a perfect matched gasket.

Yes I've done this for years and learned it as a young automotive machinist apprentice. Just use your discretion on how hard to tap with the hammer. You are taping ON the gasket material with the cover bellow it. This puts the impression of the cover directly into the gasket paper, or if you are good, you can actually cut it out this way. Including bolt holes. Focus on the corner edge of the cover not the flat.



Don't just smash down with the hammer. Did I repeat myself?

Sorry.



Peace

Owen
 

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I made a gasket out of black poster board I bought at wal*mart. I only used it on the front so that way, if it didn't work, I wouldn't have to drop the engine. Used the ball end of a glass cutter to make the impression of the edges onto the poster board. Found one of those hole punches from an office supply store to punch the holes for the bolt holes (nearly perfect size).



It is doing very well. I noticed a very fine coating on the front of the engine, but a quick wash removes this, so for now, it stays. IIRC, you should be able to remove the cover (the one for the clutch & oil pump, right?) with out removing the radiator.
 

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Same here on the front gasket.I use 0.8mm gasket paper which is a little thicker than Stock gaskets but it is fibrous and compacts anyway.I haves used it for the rear engine cover as well.

I've just measured an aftermarket Clutch cover gasket I found and it's 0.7mm thick/0.02"
 

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The radiator has to come out of the way and also the front engine hanger. Or at least that's what I have had to do because the clearance at the lower right isn't enough to get everything out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all, I feel better about my thick diy gasket plan now. Mine is the same thickness as Shep's so it should work fine. As for the rad, I'm definitely taking it off so I can check my fan for cracks and flush the rad with some water and vinegar.
 

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Thanks all, I feel better about my thick diy gasket plan now. Mine is the same thickness as Shep's so it should work fine. As for the rad, I'm definitely taking it off so I can check my fan for cracks and flush the rad with some water and vinegar.




Another trick for Rad cleaning is bung up the bottom hole and hose and if you have some Baking Soda/powder(Bicarbonate of Soda) is to put a couple of tablespoon fulls into the top of the Rad and shake it and then pour boiling water from kettle into it.It will effervesce like crazy and that actions helps dislodge crud.



As a Cheapskate and on my Bitsa CX bike I clean my inline fuel filters like this.I drop them in a small plastic pill bottle,teaspoon of Bicarb,Half fill with boiling water and screw the cap on.Shake the bottle and Release the pressure every few seconds.Totally cleans them out.Then spray though with some WD40 to chase off the moisture and finally a spray through with Carb/Brake cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know why but every single time I ever do any work on anything, the bike or the truck or even the lawnmower, it always takes me at least twice as long as I think it should to finish. Today's work included taking the rad and front cover off, cleaning it all and putting on a new front gasket and checking my fan. Ended up taking me most of the day when I thought it'd take just an hour or so.



Shep, I tried your cleaning method and it worked really well. The rad wasn't too bad but there was definitely some visible build up, your way cleaned it down to the metal, and I didn't feel bad about pouring it back out into the yard (yeah, I know, not ideal but sometimes its the only thing available).



This time around I tried the grease method of holding the gasket in place, the old gasket was a PITA to get off so maybe next time the grease will keep things nice and easy. It held the new gasket in place easily, but I haven't started it up yet so I still have yet to prove it's oil-retaining ability. As for shortcuts or making things easier, Stitch, not sure if the Customs are different but I was able to remove the front cover without taking off the engine hanger. The only part of it that was partially in the way was the lower rubber rad mount blocked one of the engine cover bolts a little, but it was easy to push it out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a new question now, I buttoned everything up yesterday and let everything sit overnight. Went for a very short test ride today and noticed the temp was rising much higher than usual, so I cut things short and came home. When I got home I had oil spray from somewhere behind the fan or top of case, and when I took the radiator off I found the fan was spinning loose and it looks like the oil may have been from the front cam shaft oil seal.



My theory - the oil seal has failed and the oil pressure from the leak pushed the fan (which I must not have tightened enough) off the cam shaft, hence my overheating. My question is how can I figure out if it's the oil seal or if the gasket has a leak, or do I just replace the seal, put things back together, and see what happens?



If it is the oil seal, is replacing it basically the same as replacing the shifter seal? Can I just pry the seal off and push on a new one with having to tach the tach cover off?
 

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Yup, just pop off the front seal with a screwdriver and drive the new one in with a 19mm deep socket.



You left the fan loose, to generate enough pressure to push the fan off, you would have drained the crank in a few seconds. I think only 747 engines generate those kinds of pressures.




It's a common seal, if you don't have one, get the dimensions and you might find it at you local FLAPS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This may have been a blessing in disguise type thing, I was just looking at the fan and it's cracked in four places in the back, so I've just ordered a new one and oil seal. I'll take a small oil leak over an exploding fan any day.



The other thing I just noticed is my fan shroud doesn't have the rubber trim that the parts diagram shows, how needed is this? What is the purpose of it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm finally getting my parts tomorrow from Hondapartsline.com, if I'd known it was going to take nearly a month to get it I would have looked elsewhere, but they charged me on the day I ordered so I decided to just be patient and wait. I just want to make sure I'm not forgetting or overlooking anything before I put it all back together again. So far I've:



- replaced the front cover gasket (the original reason I took things apart)



- replacing fan (old one was cracked, and I decided to keep the mech fan so bought a new one)



- replacing cam shaft oil seal (bike was leaking oil after replacing the gasket, and I'm 90% sure it was this that was leaking)



- cleaned rad inside and out



- new oil and new coolant



Anybody think of anything else I'm missing while I've got the rad and fan off?
 

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If you have had the front cover off make sure that the oil orifice is in place ...



Many people have missed it in the past and the oil light stays on and requires you to drop the front cover again.
 

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As for the front cover gasket, this may not be of any value but it is how I do it.

I trace the cover on a sheet of gasket material, cut it out with scissors. Cutting in the outside shape of the cover. Then I attach the gasket material to the cover with gasket cement, when the cement is cured I cut out the inside with a razor blade and cut the bolt holes out any way you choose. I then grease the engine block surface lightly and fit the cover on. Using this method you may be able to remove the cover and refit it without a new gasket and any gasket removal and clean up can be done of the cover and not on the motor, a lot easier this way.

Those bolts are pretty small, use your torque wrench, carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finally got my parts today and put everything back together but it started to rain before I could take it out. I did have enough time to start it and rev it some, it really didn't want to start after sitting for 3 weeks but she finally fired up and so far so good. No oil leaks I can see, but I need to take it for a few rides before I have confidence in it again. Hopefully I haven't forgotten how to ride, 3 weeks is a long time!
 

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Finally got my parts today and put everything back together but it started to rain before I could take it out. I did have enough time to start it and rev it some, it really didn't want to start after sitting for 3 weeks but she finally fired up and so far so good. No oil leaks I can see, but I need to take it for a few rides before I have confidence in it again. Hopefully I haven't forgotten how to ride, 3 weeks is a long time!
Rain! With the heat we have been having it sounds like the perfect time to go for a ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rain I can deal with, but lightning and hail not so much. It was one of those localized but violent storms, actually took down a tree across the street from me. I still havent gone across and asked them if they want the wood, I'm like a hoarder when it comes to looking for firewood.
 
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