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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone replace the top head gasket with out dropping the motor first ? Mine has started to leak and as you know, oil leaks never fix them selves. The gasket is about $20 but the labor is about $1200 for the dealer to do it. It looks like it possible to replace it with out removeing the motor. I removed every thing around the head gasket including radiator and radiator overfill sump. As far as I can see, all I need to do is remove the old one and replace with the new one along with some gasket seal. I have not removed the head yet and wanted to ask you guys before I made a mistake. Thanks for any advise ! :wave:
 

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I see no problems in what you are planning, just respect the torque values when replacing the covers :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks John ! And the good news is that it done. Yep, It was way easy. The head cover came off with out having to apply any pressure and the old gasket came right off in one piece with out falling apart. Replaced it with some hi temp gasket seal and that was it. I found that the old gasket was not properly placed in and had got pinched causing the leak. Funny thing is that its a 2002 and it took 4 years for the leak to start leaking. The job took me about three hours and thats takeing my time to be carefull. This saved me $1200 in labor from the dealer to drop the motor. :cool:
 

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1fastf4 said:
Anyone replace the top head gasket with out dropping the motor first ? Mine has started to leak and as you know, oil leaks never fix them selves. The gasket is about $20 but the labor is about $1200 for the dealer to do it. It looks like it possible to replace it with out removeing the motor. I removed every thing around the head gasket including radiator and radiator overfill sump. As far as I can see, all I need to do is remove the old one and replace with the new one along with some gasket seal. I have not removed the head yet and wanted to ask you guys before I made a mistake. Thanks for any advise ! :wave:
I don't think your plan will work very well, the head is mounted either side to the frame tubes and I think it will just end up just too awkward. What I have seen done is to undo one of the frame tubing to frame plate mounts along with the two mounts to the cylinder head and all wiring etc, then the whole front of the bike has been hinged up into the air just like a car bonnet! this gives good access to the cylinder head and block, i have a picture of this somewhere, I;ll see if I can post it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Mike but I already got her done! It was easy. Just needed to remove the Tank, Airbox and Radiator overfill sump. This gave me just anough room to lift the cover about a inch and slide the old gasket off and the new one on. Easy!
 

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I think you are referring to the valve cover gasket, not the cylinder head gasket. Removing the cylinder head is a much more involved process.
 

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Yep, head gasket is about $80 and considerably more involved than tank/airbox! No need to have removed radiators by the way, just pinch the coolant reservoir hose as you lift the cam cover off the head taking care not to nick the cover or head on metal to metal contact.

I always replace those cam cover gaskets dry without any sealer on the half moons and I believe mike always uses it. YMMV but glad you didn't need a head gasket!!
 

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Also, I'm curious. Four years before it leaked, how many miles? The valve cover has never been off? Have the valve clearances ever been checked?
 
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