Cylinder head oil leak

Maestro, SEI-V

Cylinder head oil leak

Postby penman » 13 Sep 2019 09:09

Morning folks!
I have just started preparing my 1978 Morini 500W for this year's Moto Piston Rally (starts 21st September) and I was a bit concerned to see oil weeping from both cylinder head gaskets. Not a major leak, but enough to have caused a couple of drips from the edge of both the top barrel fins. You can see the edge of the head gasket quite easily with a light and it looks oily all the way round. I suspect it's been leaking for a while and I've only just noticed.

I rebuilt the engine and gearbox a couple of years ago and the cylinder heads were very lightly skimmed, they were almost perfectly flat anyway. New gaskets of course. Since then the bike has done two Piston Rallies and plenty of other trips without any problems. Yesterday I checked the compressions, which were equal at 170psi. I also checked the valve clearances which hadn't moved and then took the valve gear off and checked the head nuts, which were up to torque. I considered backing off the nuts and re-torquing them, but decided not to - there is often a lot to be said for leaving well alone!

Any opinions? My feeling is that this is very unlikely to cause any problems. I can take the heads off in the winter at my leisure and see if I can figure out what's going on. I think this is probably just a weep from the pushrod tunnels or somewhere and at worst it's just a bit annoying. What do you think?

I do have a plan B in that I could take my Guzzi V50. That bike has never done a Piston Rally, so it could be fun anyway. It's just that I know how well the Morini is suited to those mountain roads!

Kind regards,
Joe.
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II
1978 Triumph T140 E Bonneville
1975 Triumph T160 Trident
2014 BMW F800GT
1978 Morini 500
penman
 
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Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby EVguru » 13 Sep 2019 09:17

One of my heads has been weeping slightly for the last 15 years.

Have you checked the M6 caphead screw in the pushrod tunnel?
Paul Compton
http://www.morini-mania.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru
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Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby penman » 13 Sep 2019 09:27

EVguru wrote:One of my heads has been weeping slightly for the last 15 years.

Have you checked the M6 caphead screw in the pushrod tunnel?


Haha! Paul, thank you for that! I did check that screw, I remember it well from dismantling the engine - "why won't the head come off? etc"

I've just finished servicing the bike and it's getting a much needed clean, then I'll take it for a nit-picking test ride and decide which bike is going to Spain. The Morini is a bit more comfortable which is definitely a factor on those long days in the mountains!
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II
1978 Triumph T140 E Bonneville
1975 Triumph T160 Trident
2014 BMW F800GT
1978 Morini 500
penman
 
Posts: 300
Joined: 08 Mar 2016 09:20
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby norbert » 13 Sep 2019 14:22

I also would not worry too much about that little "weeping". There is no better bike for a trip arround the Picos de Europa (well, maybe a Tremezzo :wink: )

Have fun and enjoy that fantastic roads over there!

norbert
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Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby mbmm350s » 13 Sep 2019 14:56

Last time I went to Picos de Europa was on a HD FXLR 1340, the time before on a 350 sport
We stopped in a village to ask directions to another place, the local said "hay muchas curvas",
indeed how i wished I had taken the Morini :oops:

We did go up the road beyond Covadonga to the lakes on the Harley but chickened out at some Mirador because
there were mining trucks or something and they were taking no prisoners :shock:

Our 250 has been weeping for as long as I can remember.
Not to worry about it and have fun I say.

Mark
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Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby acemorini » 13 Sep 2019 16:39

Hello Joe,
One of my 500 heads has been losing oil all summer without any ill effects, just check the oil level every day that’s what I did but never needed to top it up. Enjoy for trip.
Regards Pete.
acemorini
 
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Location: Uckfield, East Sussex.

Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby penman » 13 Sep 2019 19:25

Many thanks for your replies, I am much encouraged! I've done the Piston Rally several times on various bikes and my two favourites being the Morini 500 and the 750 Bonneville. You certainly don't want anything too heavy, but good brakes is a big help - not the Bonnie's strongest suit! I've never taken the Guzzi V50 before and I'm certainly tempted, but I know the Morini will put a grin on my face! Hmm, I've only got a couple of days dithering time left....!
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II
1978 Triumph T140 E Bonneville
1975 Triumph T160 Trident
2014 BMW F800GT
1978 Morini 500
penman
 
Posts: 300
Joined: 08 Mar 2016 09:20
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby penman » 10 Oct 2019 14:03

Just a bit of feedback!
In the end I did take the Morini 500 to Spain and as expected it gave me no problems at all. 2280km in just a week, all on wonderful mountain roads. I wish I could say it was hard work, but I was grinning too much to notice! The Morini is just about the ideal bike for the job, a heavy bike really would be hard work on some of those roads, but on the Morini they are just fun. However, this is the last time for this bike because they have changed the rules and from next year, only pre-1975 bikes are eligible and my 500 is a 1978 bike - in fact I think that was the first year for the 500(?). So, I think I can feel another project coming on, but I'm not sure what it'll be as yet. Any suggestions.......

Regards,
Joe.
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 II
1978 Triumph T140 E Bonneville
1975 Triumph T160 Trident
2014 BMW F800GT
1978 Morini 500
penman
 
Posts: 300
Joined: 08 Mar 2016 09:20
Location: Milton Keynes

Re: Cylinder head oil leak

Postby rossguzzi » 23 Oct 2019 02:28

A Ducati single ? But they are a bit common.
On the leaking cylinder head, on assembly, what is recommend to limit or eliminate any leaks. Just use a new gasket or add a bit of special goo of some sort ?
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