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Thread: drop, something spewing valve cover ?

  1. #1
    russmead
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    drop, something spewing valve cover ?

    I am as new as you get. I Just bought a 1980 r100rt on e bay with 60,000 mi. I rode it a couple times around the block, went out of town and my wife calls and tells me it fell off the center stand in strong winds and was on its side. Kind neighbors right it and let me know gas was leaking from somewhere.

    I have not ridden it enough to have any feel for what is normal on the bike.

    Nothing looks overly damaged other than a mirror so I start it up. On the droped side something is boiling or spewing from either the valve cover or spark plug.

    The nearest shop is 200 mi. away from the middle of the desert place I live.

    Any ideas or comments would be welcome.

    Thanks

    Russ Mead

  2. #2
    James.A
    Guest
    First off, congratulations on your purchase of an airhead.

    Now then, it is highly unlikely that the spark plug hole was damaged in a simple tip over. When a boxer motor is on it's side, the oil in the bottom of the sump can migrate up the pushrod tubes to the space above valves. Try removing the rocker cover and then check it for damage. There are 3 nuts, the tower nut in the center and 2 on the edges behind the first cooling fin of the head. Be sure to place a ratty old t-shirt under the cylinder before you remove valve cover. If you are not low on oil, and not leaking gasoline, a few minutes of running time or several hours on the center stand should allow it to right itself. Expect it to smoke from the cylinder that was oiled up.

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Since you're new to Airheads, when you go to put the valve cover back on, don't get overly agressive with the center acorn nut or the two 10mm nuts on the sides. The center stud can be pulled out if you torque it too high. There should be wavy washers under the three nuts to help hold them on. It's kind of a feel thing, but I wouldn't go over 5-7 ft-lbs, but it's just a "snug" tightness.

    After you've checked things out and feel comfortable about starting it again, you can then watch carefully to see if the oil continues to leak and from where. Don't run it too long at idle without any air flowing over the jugs. If you think you're going to be doing this for more than a couple of minutes, find a box fan to get some air moving over the engine.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
    TGHSMITH
    Guest
    if the bike was on its side or you rinsed it off, airheads have a pocket formed by the head and valve cover that will collect fluids, if its water it will boil away , if it oil or fuel remove valve cover, clean area, replace cover.

  5. #5
    sumran
    Guest
    Welcome!

    I am new as well. Same bike, similar purchase story.

    If the bike was very wet or if the head fell into water, the valve cover can retain water. It will spew and hiss at the point that the valve cover meets the head when the engine is warm. It may take a day or two until it all evaporates. The first time I encountered this I thought I had gotten water inside the engine via the valves. My mechanic told me it was a frequent issue with the valve covers. He said it was external and would cause no problem. He said they used to drill a small weep hole to allow drainage but found it unnecessary. Mine is hissing now because I got trapped in heavy rain and had to ride home.

    That may not be what is causing your problem, since you said you were in a desert.

    Best of luck solving your problem.

  6. #6
    Grammarian no, Rider yes ISAMEMON's Avatar
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    noticed someone said wave washers under the nuts, mine had lock washers, is the wave the correct washer

  7. #7
    Registered User donbmw's Avatar
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    Yes the wave washer is what BMW used as a lock washer.

    Don

  8. #8
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isamemon View Post
    noticed someone said wave washers under the nuts, mine had lock washers, is the wave the correct washer
    The lock or split-ring washers will effectively cut into the aluminum. Same with the star washers. The washer anchors itself to both the parent structure and the nut to keep it from backing off. The wavy washer puts a little tension back onto the nut to get it from coming off. There's an "art" to orienting the wavy washer so it doesn't cut into the aluminum, albeit a small amount. Think of the wavy washer as a shallow U...the nut should fit into the bowl created by the bend in the washer. That way, when the nut flattens the washer out, the exposed edges of the washer cuts into the steel nut, not the aluminum case.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  9. #9
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Could be a little water that's caught around the plug.

    No worries.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  10. #10
    As a note to all:

    If you intend to remove the valve cover after riding in the rain, washing the bike, or having the bike sit in the rain, use a rag or some paper towels to dry the water out of that area. if you don't, the second you remove the valve cover, most of that water is going to wash down inside the valve cover; possibly getting some down the pushrod tubes. DAMHIK!

  11. #11
    Wow! That's a strong wind! My '80 RT has fallen over too many times. I think 3 new mirriors now. Never had any spewing though. Hope things work out for you!
    beemerfield

  12. #12
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    ditto to the caution about not over-tightening. Also, when you remove/replace valve covers, I believe new gaskets are (always?) in order. Remove ALL of the old gasket. Little bits or large bits may well be stuck to the surfaces. Gently use a razor blade and small textile kitchen scrubbies to clean then up. You don't want to mar the surface. Finish w brake cleaner, and buttoon them back up. The 10mm on the edges can be particularly awkward, but you'll get 'em.

    Hope it turns out to be an ez fix for you.

    And welcome. Ride safe and far.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  13. #13
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26667 View Post
    Also, when you remove/replace valve covers, I believe new gaskets are (always?) in order.
    My /7 valve cover gaskets are original...no leaks. They've formed perfectly to the cover and head, although they don't stick to either. When I pull the covers, the gasket can be removed as well. I wouldn't change them unless you've got a problem...
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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