Noticing oil on top of the head

Josh380

New Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Aliso Viejo, CA
I'm noticing a small amount of oil on top of the head. I'm not sure if it's leaking from the spark plug hole or from the head bolts. I know with basic engine mechanics, you're supposed to only hand tighten the spark plug. Should I maybe tighten the plug with a wrench a little more or maybe the head bolts? It's hard to tell exactly where the oil is coming from, but being that it's on top of the head I figure it can only be coming from one of those two areas.
 

jasonh

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Jun 23, 2008
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Longmont, CO
The plug needs to be tightened with a wrench. hand tight will quickly vibrate out of place. Just don't force it. Snug is good.
 

Josh380

New Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Aliso Viejo, CA
Ok. Thanks.

Also noticing it seems to run a little rough. I've got the plug gap at .030. Will making the gap smaller make it run a little smoother? Or is the loose plug a probable cause too?
 

2door

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Sep 15, 2008
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Littleton, Colorado
A lot of people don't know this or they don't believe it but sparkplug gaskets, the metel ring that seals the plug to the head is really only good for one time. It is a crush seal type of gasket that once torqued (tightened) should be replaced if the plug is removed for any reason. Yes, people do reuse those gaskets, I've done it too but to get the best seal possible use a new plug gasket anytime you remove the plug. Most auto parts stores sell them in packages of 8 or more so with a single cylinder engine you should have enough to last for a while.
And while we're on the subject, it's a very good idea to put a little anti-seize compound on the threads of the plug. One brand is Break-Out, by Rectorseal, another is Never-Seez, by Bostik.This will prevent the possibility of it seizing in the aluminum head which it can because of heat. Don't go overboard here, just dab a small amount on the plug threads before installing it. Tighten your plug by hand then wrench it good and snug. It's not a lug nut, don't overtighten. Good luck and let us know how you're doing.
Tom
 

Dave31

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Mar 1, 2008
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Aztlán, Arizona
Very good point 2-door, I have tons of spark plug gaskets and always at least inspect it before re-installing my spark plug and I always use anti-seize.

I also re-chase my threads every now and then. Does a good job of cleaning the threads especially if you use anti-seize.
 

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Josh380

New Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Aliso Viejo, CA
I will use your suggestions..they all sound good.

I attempted to ride the bike home tonight after work and the motor died on me. I checked the spark plug and noticed a lot of oil on the plug. I cleaned it up as best I could, as I didn't have tools with me (mental note for next trip), but still wasn't able to get it restarted.

I then decided to take the plug out as I walked it home, and laid it on top of the head to check for spark, and was noticing very little spark, at times, none at all. I continued walking along with the plug on top of the head and after a little time (don't worry, only a few minutes), noticed that I was getting more spark. I then put the plug back in and continued walking it uphill.

Once I got to the top of the hill, I tried to start it again. It fired up, but only ran for about 10 seconds before dying once more. Checked the plug again, it was once again covered with oil, and this time, no spark whatsoever. Even after I got it home and did a thorough job of cleaning up the plug, no spark.

I guess I need a new plug...unless anyone has another suggestion......:-||
 

brisbane_boy

New Member
Oct 26, 2008
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Australia Brisbane
hey josh. hmm interesting one. How oil ratios are you using??.
Always a good idear to get a NGK spark plug. You might just be running ur fuel a little to rich.
just a suggestion.
Good luck.
 

Norman

LORD VADER Moderator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2008
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pampa texas
try a new spark plug and a gap of 0.020 to 0.025. Look up champion spark plugs on the net it tells you how to torque the spark plug depending on if it new or used once the gasket is compressed you turn it only about 1/16" past the seated position. You can check out other spark plug manufacturers too but champion is where I saw their recommendations. Best bet is to check the info on the net as I might have told you wrong on how far to turn the plug after it seats.
Neversieze is your friend on spark plugs in an aluminum head but use just a booger size amount. about the size of a paper match head.
Norman