panhead breather smoke

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tschukojr
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 pm
Bikes: 07-road glide ---50 fl
Location: mass

panhead breather smoke

#1

Post by tschukojr » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:58 pm

first i would like to thank everyone for all the info on this site, i got a 50 FL and its old and ratty, but my question is i seem to be getting lots and lots of white smoke comming from the breather into the primary, i have removed the outer cover, and observed this, i haven't explored the chain oiler adujustment yet, i get quite a bit of oil to the primary also , but not a drenching, ---its enough smoke to be an issue---any thoughts---( blow by on the rings )---tony



Cotten
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Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: panhead breather smoke

#2

Post by Cotten » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:20 pm

Tony!

My first inspection would be to determine if the motor is over-filling with oil while sitting: "sumping".

(If it were a '65 or later the problem of water vapor would be considered as well.)

Otherwise, have you checked compression?
That is the only convenient means of inspecting installed rings.

....Cotten

tschukojr
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 pm
Bikes: 07-road glide ---50 fl
Location: mass

Re: panhead breather smoke

#3

Post by tschukojr » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:17 pm

thanks , iam lookinig deep at this motor , too be more long winded about it, i bought it in march and it was running so after tightning things up ( front brake lite switch, wiring repairs, cleaning carb -ss-shorty , and taking some time,) i put a legal plate and insured, while riding a bit and seeming to run quite well, it quit running, just like shut off, so while rolling about 35mph or so i kicked it down a gear to bump start it, and it just LOCKED up and skidded to a stop, it would,nt kick over , i mean that starter was like cemented or welded, but it would kick through with the clutch in, and push in nuetral-----soooo, i pushed it home, only a couple hundred yards, took the primary off, and had movement in the outer clutch basket, pulled that suff off, and put a wrench on the sprocket shaft nut, and turned the motor, it was tite , plugs in, then took plugs out, course it turned easier, so i mput it back together--started it up it started right up---checked for oil retuirning to the tank, as i did when i first got it, and plenty of oil comming back-still, let it run for 35-45 min. rode around my long drive way, yesterday i started it up, let run for10- 15 min. took it for a short , very short ride, 10- 15 min, and then let it idle for about 30 min, so it ran for over an hour, thats when i started wondring about what the white smoke was, i thought it was old oil, plus ther rear pan leaks a bit, so i took the outer pri. off and seen the smoke comming right out the breather,, so i,am gonna put a oil pressure quage, on it today , put it on the bars or somewhere i can see it. and observe oil press. when it gets hot and at normal road speeds---any way before i finnish let me say, what ever it is, i'am having a lot fun with this thing , i had 56 fl when i was kid so thats why i bought it, i'll prolly take apart this winter and do it all over, but i'd like to pin the cuase of tht seziure, just so i know-------great sit wonderfull pan pics in the gallery, thoose pics make me wan t to get another one, more toward-- original condition--------------tony

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: panhead breather smoke

#4

Post by Cotten » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:24 pm

Tony!

Idling a motor for a half an hour is not adviseable.

If the motor seized and then released when cooled, you will want to find the source of the heat. Besides under-oiling, it could be timing, valve adjustment, a vacuum leak, etc...

You may wish to drain the oil and inspect for metal "bloom" in the sunlight, and see if any settlings are magnetic, or glitter like bronze.

An oilpressure gauge will tell you little;
High pressure could mean a blockage, and you can have great flow at almost no pressure.

Good luck!

....Cotten

tschukojr
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 pm
Bikes: 07-road glide ---50 fl
Location: mass

Re: panhead breather smoke

#5

Post by tschukojr » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:54 pm

cotten , thanks a bunch ,yes i do realize a long idle is bad, but if it was gonna do something wrong,, i figured it would prolly get hotter, idling, it ran just fine, thats the wierd thing, it did'nt seem like it was hot, ( well for a pan, compared to new harleys)--it was'nt hot, any way yes gonna spend time, belive it or not its fun for me----------again thanks-------------tony

steve_wood
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Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

Re: panhead breather smoke

#6

Post by steve_wood » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:16 pm

Tony:

Just to add what Cotten said, I think a leak down test is in order. If you have smoke in the crankcase, then it could be a ring problem. With a leak down tester, you'll be able to hear a "hiss" from the timing plug hole. If you don't have a leak down tester, you could rig up a way to put compressed air in the spark plug hole and use your ears to find the leaks. Check on the web for more info on how to run leak down tests.

tschukojr
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 pm
Bikes: 07-road glide ---50 fl
Location: mass

Re: panhead breather smoke

#7

Post by tschukojr » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:26 pm

thanks steve--- i can rigg something up----tony

58flh
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Re: panhead breather smoke

#8

Post by 58flh » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:20 pm

Also dont forget -who the hell knows what type of oil this guy had in it when you aquired it!. Definitly do the LEAK-DOWN test as Cotton sugested!.She could of idled that long because this guy could of filled it with straight-up STP,-or something else heavy. & after awhile the white-smoke problem out the breather. Cottons test sugestion will tell the story!. If not the breather could be timedout! who-knows? Besides you said yourself this is something you enjoy doing,& owning 1 at 15yrs. old,-you are definitly schooled in this racket!9Good-Luck (keep it upright in 4th & wide-open have fun!) 58flh

Cotten
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Location: Central Illinois

Re: panhead breather smoke

#9

Post by Cotten » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:53 pm

58flh wrote:Also dont forget -who the hell knows what type of oil this guy had in it when you aquired it!. Definitly do the LEAK-DOWN test as Cotton sugested!.She could of idled that long because this guy could of filled it with straight-up STP,-or something else heavy. & after awhile the white-smoke problem out the breather. Cottons test sugestion will tell the story!. If not the breather could be timedout! who-knows? Besides you said yourself this is something you enjoy doing,& owning 1 at 15yrs. old,-you are definitly schooled in this racket!9Good-Luck (keep it upright in 4th & wide-open have fun!) 58flh
I sed whut?

A leak-down test, or even just listening to where the air goes, is a great idea, but it was Steve's suggestion.

Back to "white" smoke,
it is a common problem with cast aluminum primarys to draw in water.
It is rare for an earlier motor to accumulate water unless ridden only short distances in cold weather.

If the compressed pulse from the breather is moist enough, and the dew point of the ambient air is favorable, the brief moment where the 'steam' condenses will indeed look a little like smoke, just like exhaust when a cold motor is started on a cold morn.

....Cotten

tschukojr
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:33 pm
Bikes: 07-road glide ---50 fl
Location: mass

Re: panhead breather smoke

#10

Post by tschukojr » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:26 pm

thanks for all the help-----let me set the record straight tho-----i was 18 when i got my 56 fl----it, did'nt run , well i got it started, but, it did,nt really run---it had a hand shifter, , i took it all apart , had the flywheels lightned and balanced, bought a brand new mouse trap got it chromed, along with everything else, finned pans,---my 18 year old pal rebuilt the tranny, got a brand new rachet cover, molded painted the frame, and tank---had it for like 6-7 years, broke alot of stuff, fixed it all, went through all kinds of carbs a brand new bendix right from harley in the box(90.00)--very early harley mikuni from posa fuel, then a tiltson, --my pal had twin posa fuel slde injectors on a 39 el, that had 80 " wheels-------soooo i had it a long time---went away to work came back bought an old boston police bike, 73 flh----sold to my pal, went to illinois to work bought a 77 fxe----that eventually became an 86 inch motor, s&s flywheels, andrews 3d gear( just being offered at the time)---ran the stock carb for a long time, then someone gave me, an early rivera su eliminator 1 SU-- i loved that carb ,stuck way out tho, still have it-----then i got rid of that and bought a 1991 flhs, factory custom paint----then i got a BRAND new road king, traded it for a BRAND new road glide(2003)---traded that in for my current ride 2007 road glide, black cherry did 200 miles on last night, loooove that 07 road glide-------------------------------BUT i really love that 50 fl that i'am having truoble with------i just can't bunderstand why it can idle a long time, but when it was running down the road it ceased up, its gotta get hotter on an idle, i been starting it and driving bit up and down my dirt road and letting it run, for like 2-3 months and when it gets in the wind the motor ceases up, it was running pretty good, , one plugs white tho the other black , maybe there's an air leak--s&S shorty, plumber manifold converted to o-rings-actually this was owned by some one , who i was told should'nt have had a bike, ---there's some gooffy stuff, but---i just ordered a bunch of gaskets, keyway, and misc. stuff so i can have a supply ,fron j&P cycle------well i'am gona take the plug out of the underside of the crankcase , and drain that( but its jamed in there , could'nt get easily before) see whats in the sump-----well any way, thanks,, here's some old pics we were 18-19 years old at the time
145.jpg

mr. z
Posts: 86
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Location: Palmdale, Ca

Re: panhead breather smoke

#11

Post by mr. z » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:15 pm

Now that is what I call a bunch of cool old pics, thanx for that. I've just got to get a scanner and post the old shit I've got from back in tha day, too.

jdpan
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:20 am
Bikes: 1952 Custom swingarm panhead
Location: Austin Tx.

Re: panhead breather smoke

#12

Post by jdpan » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:37 pm

mr. z wrote:Now that is what I call a bunch of cool old pics, thanx for that. I've just got to get a scanner and post the old shit I've got from back in tha day, too.
Don't need a scanner, just take a pic of the pic and copy it from 'my pictures' to here, http://tinypic.com/?t=postupload" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and post away...

Bosheff
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Re: panhead breather smoke

#13

Post by Bosheff » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:39 pm

Don't be surprised if there's not enough room between the frame and cases to get the plug out cleanly, and if ya do get it out, don't be surprised if ya gotta battle it to get it back in, or move the engine slightly....bosheff

panhead
Site Admin
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Re: panhead breather smoke

#14

Post by panhead » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:53 pm

and copy it from 'my pictures' to here, http://tinypic.com/?t=postupload" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and post away...
Not necessary, just upload it direct

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: panhead breather smoke

#15

Post by Cotten » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:06 pm

Bosheff wrote:Don't be surprised if there's not enough room between the frame and cases to get the plug out cleanly, and if ya do get it out, don't be surprised if ya gotta battle it to get it back in, or move the engine slightly....bosheff
And then don't be surprised if it leaks eternally!

....Cotten

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