|Tell-tale oil drip from sump plug of my 1999 Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle.|
The problem is oil leaking from the sump plug on the bottom of the motor and the drain plug at the bottom of the oil tank at the back of the motor.
Simply tightening the plugs is not the answer. It doesn't take much tightening to get these in so firmly they are nearly impossible to remove next time you need to open them.
Swearing and busted knuckles will be your reward for over tightening the plugs. If you're not careful, you'll easily round off the lands of the plugs, making removing them even more difficult. I eventually had to file the lands down to fit the next smallest sized socket in my workshop.
As I so often do, I turned to the experts on the Royal Enfield Yahoo Group for help. You don't necessarily need to pose a fresh question, as many have already been asked and answered. You can search thousands of helpful answers, back to 1999.
Just tap "Conversations" and then fill in your question in the "Search Conversations" box and hit "Enter."
|Battered copper washer shows the damage caused by many tightenings.|
This was suggested for a leaking fuel tap, but for years it did seem to work on the engine oil drain plugs.
The theory is that when the leaking petrochemicals encounter the soap it turns into jelly. This is said to be the recipe for napalm (jellied gasoline). The jelly stops the leak.
And it worked, or seemed to, for awhile. But, gradually, it wasn't enough. Invariably the Bullet would "mark its territory" on the garage floor.
It seemed as though the copper washers that are the plugs' primary defense against leaking were getting battered and thin. They clearly showed the gouges caused by tightening the plugs down on them.
Again, I turned again to the Yahoo Group for help, and found this, from member Bill van Dijk:
|Annealing: Washer glows red under flame of blow torch.|
The process is called annealing. Copper, when it's worked (stressed) becomes hard and brittle.
Heating to red hot and then cooling (it's OK to let it air cool) returned my washers to respectable, if not perfect appearance.
Did they stop the leak? On next inspection the plugs were not leaking oil, although their surface was slick and oily. I hope to find a local source of replacement copper washers, figuring that new ones less battered than mine may work still better..
|The washer after annealing looks better, but not perfect. I wish I had made sure|
to always keep a smooth side without gouges toward the motor