Replacing a Leaky Gasket on the Camshaft Cover

It's been a couple of weeks since we finished installing the new cams, but the leak I've noticed is obviously more than just what had dripped onto the wire bundle under the cam cover. My guess was that I'd somehow damaged the gasket on installation.

I'd guess I'm not the only person to tweak a gasket like this, so before I refill the engine oil and start the breakin process, I wanted to pull the case off, make sure everything was right, and document the process here.


With that in mind, last night after we finished with the friction plates on Jim's Road Glide, I put the Buell back on the lift. The puddle under the bike created overnight confirmed there was still an issue that needed to be addressed. And, with the bike on the side stand, there wasn't a drip from the night before, but with the bike upright on the lift, it was obvious the problem hadn't magically disappeared after all.


I basically repeated the same steps for pulling the cover as when we replaced the cams. As before, I put the fasteners in some cardboard to keep track of where each fastener fit to make it easier when it was time to replace them.


After removing the ignition module and the timing cup, I removed the case to inspect the gasket. As you can see, we must have damaged it when we installed it.


After applying the Permatex gasket compound to both sides of the gasket, I installed the new gasket and closed up the case.


The shop manual calls out a specific sequence and torque value on these fasteners, so after I snugged them up with the ratchet using the sequence, I torqued them down to 100 inch pounds (the spec called for 90-110 inch pounds). As before, I was surprised at how little torque was required.


I then re-installed the ignition module making sure to match the scribed marks up before putting the cover back on and calling the job done.


Because I had done this before, start to finish was only about half and hour. The new gasket was only a few bucks, so not fixing the drip just wasn't an option. In fact, the guy on the parts counter gave me a hard time because all I ever seem to buy there are gaskets and o-rings. He said he was glad I was keeping the dealership alive.

I was glad the issue was so obvious and easy to fix.

Update: Leak fixed.