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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 20 year-old Honda Nighthawk 750. It's mechanically sound and runs great, but the 20 year-old gaskets are giving up the ghost. It started when I tried synthetic oil, but that's for another thread.

I do a lot of my own wrenching, but I stay away from taking the engine apart, and I know it will cost a bunch to have someone fix the leak that way. Has anyone tried one of the stop-leak products that you add to the oil? I need one that is compatible with wet clutches. Thanks.

btw, I tried searching first but didn't find anything.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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You will be better off replacing the gaskets than using an additive.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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yeah PLEASE don't use any stop-leak in yer engine. It's likely to gum up an oil PASSAGE and result in cam failure, etc.

you could TRY putting some ATF --- autmatic transmission fluid in, maybe a cup, it will swell/soften RUBBER seals. As for cork gaskets...nothing's gonna heal 'em. Except PERHAPS snugging 'em down, e.g. cam covers, etc.

Do you know exactly where your motor's leaking from? You can get some black light dye for $10, then run over to a local shop and use THEIR black light (if you don't have one in the attic, along with your Greatful Dead posters...)

What's this bike worth to you?

Why not do it yourself. Buy a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and find a friend to lead you through the repairs. Afterwards you'll feel enormous ownership and pride of a tired bike made fresh again.



ZAMM won't teach you how to fix a bike but help you to gain understanding of the attitude you must have to DO quality repair work....patience, etc.

You have to look at this bike, and it's leaks, as a gift to you rather than as a problem to be made to go away. Seriously. Of all my cars, the ones I've put the most work into are the ones I loved the most, not the newer, shinier ones that never needed nuthin'. Any Joe blow with $ can have one of those.

Or maybe you're just not ready. Pour some stop leak in and then start shopping for a new bike.

Can I get an Amen, EyeMNA?
 

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Afterwards you'll feel enormous ownership and pride of a tired bike made fresh again.
Absolutely true! Nothing satisfies like a well-running machine, that YOU made that way, IMO.
 

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Mechanics in a can don't work. That stuff doesn't know the difference between the leak you want to stop and every other place where oil is supposed to flow through.

Try snugging it up a little. If that doesn't work, new gaskets is the way to go.

That said, I do put a can of sea foam in my truck once a year. My fuel system stays clean.
 

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Gone.
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yeah PLEASE don't use any stop-leak in yer engine. It's likely to gum up an oil PASSAGE and result in cam failure, etc.

you could TRY putting some ATF --- autmatic transmission fluid in, maybe a cup, it will swell/soften RUBBER seals. As for cork gaskets...nothing's gonna heal 'em. Except PERHAPS snugging 'em down, e.g. cam covers, etc.

Do you know exactly where your motor's leaking from? You can get some black light dye for $10, then run over to a local shop and use THEIR black light (if you don't have one in the attic, along with your Greatful Dead posters...)

Can I get an Amen, EyeMNA?
Half of one, at least.

The stop leak probably won't work, and could cause more problems then you have now.

Like the man said, find out where it's leaking from and address that. Spray some ZEP on it, let it soak, and hose it down so you can see where the leak is coming from. The black light die is a great tool, and you can get a light pen for it in most office supply stores. (They're used for checking for counterfeit money.)


Oil tends to go all over the place, and sometimes you get lucky and it's not as bad as it seems. A friend of my wife's brought me a leaky Suzuki Savage that another shop had told her needed to be rebuilt because the gaskets were shot. I cleaned off the engine, ran it a bit, and found that all the oil was coming out of a small valve inspection cover o-ring. Less then $10 for the part.

Like Bines said too, sometimes it's just a matter of torquing down a bolt or cover or something.

Don't waste your time with the communist pinko Zenn book. A good shop manual will be much more helpful then reading someone's egotistical based mental ejaculations. You want technical information, not feelings and emotions.

:biggrin:
 

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I enjoyed ZAMM - read it a couple of times, 1st when I was about 17 I think, but philosophy is called mental masturbation by many, thinking about thinking etc.

I agree with replace gaskets, they're not generally expensive to buy, might take some time to get at when fitting I guess, depending where it is
 

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Ghost in the machine
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You could try not using synthetic oil. It does not cause gaskets to expand in the way conventional oils do, and its molecules are smaller, thus the oil leaks in older engines.
 

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American Legion Rider
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I have no idea if this is fact or not but I've heard some be successful by putting dino back in. Probably at best is temporary now that oil has got thru but doing that and re-torquing may get you a several months.


EDIT: I see jag13 types faster than me but is on the same page.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies. I'm just going to bite the bullet and have someone do it for me; I really don't have a place (or the time) to work on it.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Don't waste your time with the communist pinko Zenn book. A good shop manual will be much more helpful then reading someone's egotistical based mental ejaculations. You want technical information, not feelings and emotions.

:biggrin:
LOLOL

Without proper state of mind repair manual only use as toilet paper
 

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Please don't try to repair your gaskets with an oil additive. I can't stand even putting stop-leak in a radiator.

You can how ever seal gaskets sometimes with a gasket sealer, but by this time you already have access to the gasket and could replace it. I think gasket sealer is best used when you have warped engine parts. I had to use an abundance on a manufacture defective snowblower at the overhead cam cover.

If you cannot find gaskets you need, most cases you can find gasket material and make your own.
 

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LOLOL

Without proper state of mind repair manual only use as toilet paper
Agreed! I was studying engineering books long before I met Haynes. I meet people all of the time who are starring down their pistons with a tech manual but have no clue the process of timing. engine firing, fuel to air and carb processes, etc.
 

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do you know how to make homemade gaskets?

get some manila folders(real file folders not the digital kind) and use that to trace out the outline for your case. use a hole punch to punch out the holes to hold it on the case, then take a small hammer, and hit lightly on the insde edge of the case making a mark to follow on the inside of the gasket. follow that mark and install your gasket. manila folders are great for thin gaskets, but require you to use the same torque as the pond of the paper to make it seal.. also you can smear some hard grease on it before you install it to make it seal better.
I think sealstop gunk is worse than cheap grease, and you should never use anything in your cases that wasn't designed to be in there.
 

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Before they changed them to plastic, the cardboard that milk cartons were made from made good gaskets, too; soaked in hard wax, plus the casein in milk, they sealed really well. The head gaskets for Model T and A Fords were made with card paper soaked in milk, once upon a time.

Gasket material from the auto parts stores is better, overall, though.
 

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Of course, those were flat-head engines, and it was pretty often you replaced the gasket - and re-ground the valves. Ah, the good old days!
 

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Gone.
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I knew a guy once that had an old boring machine for Model T's. It was portable and back in the day the repair man would come to your house and he could bore out the cylinders right there in your driveway.

I don't know if the tool could have been adapted to any modern shop use, but it was real interesting to look at.
 
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