So you have a leak...

kennys@wi.rr.com

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and you just know it's coming from (insert your idea here). In the last year I have helped more people track down more leaks that I care to recall. Most of them seem to have one thing in common though, the owner "knew" where the leak was coming from but after they fixed it, it still leaked. I even had one owner buy the dye you put in the fuel and the special glasses and he had the black light and away he went hunting down his leak. I don't mean to sound like an over inflated ego jerk arse here, but after weeks of searching he brought it to me and I found it in 5 minutes. Now I know this goes against the grain here but I am going to give away my secret to finding leaks fast free of charge with nothing more ever to buy.
First step is to get some good degreaser. When I made my power bleeder I bought the sprayer in a two pack, so one sprayer is my bleeder and one is my degreaser sprayer. Do better than "your best" to clean that old motor, top, sides and bottom. Not just where you think it is leaking from but the whole motor and engine compartment and even the frame. It may take a few hours or even a day depending on the weather outside but let it dry completely do not be in a rush to find it and get it done.

Now we have a clean and dry motor and it's time to find that leak. Just because you "know" it's an oil leak doesn't mean it really is. Remember you had a dirty motor before and fuel mixed with dirt may look like oil to some. Or it may really be an oil leak. Fist look everything over. If you know what all the hoses and connections are for then great move on. If you don't take some time to follow them all and learn all that you can about what they are for and if they have a lot of pressure or no pressure. Maybe you can even find your problem now. Don't count on it though.

After you have looked everything over make sure the boots are slid up over the injector lines and make sure they are drt under the boots. Some compressed air works wonders for this. Then start the truck. Again look everything over and check where you thought it was leaking from. Chances are you can idle your truck for a month and never find that leak. Here is the trick. Reach down and grab the throttle and rev it up. Hold it there and keep looking. If you have another person there to help have them do it for you while you look. Why can't I just use the throttle cable to do this? Becasue sometimes it takes reving it up and down a few times to get the leak to show itself.

I found the leak and I thought it was my IP leaking but it really was the air compressor gasket on the block side, how did I miss that? Seriously that happened to me. What people tend to forget is the power of a fan. Think of your motor like NY City or Chicago. They have to do impact studies before a new building can be built that includes a wind tunnel test. The fan on your motor will blow oil and fuel everywhere away from the leak. Where it encounters drag is where the oil will stop and pool making you think your leak is in that spot and never think to look where it really came from. The greatest trick the devil ever did was convincing the world he doesn't exist. You really have to keep your eyes open when looking for leaks. The only way to find them and confirm them is to catch them in the act of leaking.

Some of the most common leaks I have found are, in no particular order:
loose injector line at the HH
O rings under the HH
bad gaskets under oil filters
impropperly installed gaskets on fuel filters
pin holse in hard plastic fuel lines
crushed copper fuel line
The side screw on the HH

Most of these have easy fixes. Loose lines can be tightened. Be careful not to over tighten as you will ruin the head or at best just the line. I have seen this happen. One fix i may try next time I find this leak is to place a very small copper crush washer under the injector line, not sure if it will work but it's a cheap fix if it does.
O rings can be had fairly cheap, I have a bunch of them if anyone needs them. Just make sure you get the viton kind, not the ones you bought at the local hardware store. The fix can take around 5 or 6 hours, maybe more, depending on skill level. So if you use the cheap o rings you will be doing it again real soon.
Filrer gaskets can be replaced or if you just installed them you can reset them.
Pin holes in fuel lines, you will need to replace the fuel line. If you are in the field you can do a quick patch or cut the line and install a splicer, but this is never good for the long term. I have now replaced almost all of my fuel lines from the tank back to the tank and the fuel filters with spin on housings. Yes I will be offering kits as soon as my testing on all these fixes is done. It is very common, I have found, to have a crushed copper line under the radiator. I have no idea why they would run a copper fuel line under a cross member where GL employees can crush them with a fork lift or some one out in the field can wrap a chain around them to tow it out.

Now for leaks from the side screw of the HH or the top plunger plug of the HH, poof and I recently got real creative and fixed both of these leaks on his deuce. We checked for cracks in the HH and made sure everything was in good condition before proceeding. If you have a cracked HH you will need to replace it, sorry no amount of duct tape will fix that. Poof got some 3000th shim brass and made a sort of crush washer for the side screw and the top plunger plug. The top is still holding back the pressure just fine and there has been no lack of performance of the truck. The side screw has started to leak again, nothing as bad as it was. It looked like a spray bottle when we first started. He is thinking of trying a bit thicker copper washer. The thought is that the brass may be too thin and tore and just not enough to crush enough. I will report back as soon as he is able to try this out.

I am no expert on all things leak related. I am just a patient man who wants to find the leak and fix the leak, not the parts that are not leaking. But if you had a leak and it wasn't where you thought to look, please post it. If you have a leak now and need some help tracking it down post it and maybe the group can help find it. Leaks suck and tracking them down shouldn't be as hard as some of use make it. Take the time to clean everything first and it will help a lot.
 
I believe I mentioned this in another post before but I don't remember where. Locating an oil leak is as simple as an old trick I read about in Easyriders Magazine. It works for a Harley Davidson but I don't see why it wouldn't work for anything else that has oil in it that should stay in it and doesn't. Give the engine the pressure washer treatment and get it good and clean. Next, using a can of spray powder deoderant, (I think I used some of my wife's "Powder Fresh" Secret, spray a decent coat everywhere that parts meet and seal with a gasket and should hold oil. Run the engine for however long it takes to see the slightest bit of seepage to turn the white powder grey/black wherever the leak (or leaks) may happen to be. Luckily this is a non-brand-specific trick since I traded my Harley straight across for my deuce!
:driver:
 
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Woodsplinter

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Thanks for sharing Kenny!
When I got my deuce I thought I had an oil leak near the top of the engine.
Shortly after cleaning the engine and driving around, I noticed "oil" around the oil filter cans, the injectors near the filters, and it dripped down from there. It was also on the underside of the hood in that area.
Replaced the oil filter gaskets- no help.
It took a while but one day while working on something else I noticed antifreeze dripping from the cab heater.
I opened it up and discovered the heater core was leaking!
The dark colored antifreeze was being blown all over by the fan, and was mixing with the crud I hadn't cleaned off. Together, it looked like oil.
Shut off valves to heater- no more "oil" leak. Lesson learned!
 

m16ty

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I've got a leak that's been giving me fits for some time now. All indications say it's a front main leak but one. The one problem is that the front balancer is as dry as a bone. The front seal is above and slightly inside the back edge of the balancer. One would think the balancer would at least be a little damp.
 

Clay James

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My old style head gaskets on my A2 are leaking oil down the side of the block but there's no signs of coolant in the oil so I guess they're okay?
 

kennys@wi.rr.com

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I've got a leak that's been giving me fits for some time now. All indications say it's a front main leak but one. The one problem is that the front balancer is as dry as a bone. The front seal is above and slightly inside the back edge of the balancer. One would think the balancer would at least be a little damp.
Why do you believe it to be the front main? Is there any chance it could be the tach cable?
 

Seth_O

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Sac CA
My old style head gaskets on my A2 are leaking oil down the side of the block but there's no signs of coolant in the oil so I guess they're okay?
My old style HG's leaked out down the side of the block, a semi-decent amount of oil. I tore everything down and did a head job on it - complete with new gaskets, only to see that the existing gaskers appeared to be just fine.

I would tighten down the head bolts and run it.
 

Jesse6325

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If I can make a suggestion on using copper shim/sheet to make crush gaskets, After you get them trimmed to the proper dimensions heat them to a dull red heat then quench them in water. That takes the work hardening out of them.
I did two head gaskets for an old air cooled diesel generator this way and have run it for about 40 hours with no leaks.(from the head gaskets anyway)
 

sandcobra164

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Mine has oil all underneath. The trucks I drove for the National Guard before they left us were in similar shape. Apparently, a Deuce got parked next to a Harley Davidson and was enlightened about the whole "marking your territory" concept. Now, if I park it up town and don't see a drop of oil under it, I wonder if everything that should have oil in it has oil in it!!!! All kidding aside, mine has a few leaks, mostly Class 1 or 2 as defined by the TM, a Class 3 deserves attention but a little seeping oil on a truck with a 22 quart of oil capacity motor will not suffer much from a little drip. The TM's do state that any class of fuel leak is a deadline and needs repair immediately but oil, it's got alot of it in the crankcase, trans, transfer, axles, etc. Top off every now and then and keep trucking!!!
 
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