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Badly leaking oil


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A little over a week ago, I low-sided when I hit a slick spot. The '04 RT slid about 40 feet on its left side. Amazingly, the only apparent damage was a scraped left saddlebag and the left valve cover was scraped through, leaving a very small hole in the cover where oil slowly oozed out when the engine was running. And the left foot peg broke off. I also replace the valve cover protector, as it was sheared off. I was able to ride it home.


I ordered a new valve cover and peg. I thought the replacement went well. I started it up and oil is now coming out at a fairly alarming rate. It seems to be coming out well inside the valve cover gasket.


Any ideas? I barely tightened the bolts of the cover using feel. No oil is coming out around the gasket. Did I over-tighten the bolts or is the head cracked? If so, why didn't I see this much oil coming out before? Now I'm worried I screwed up.

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It could be possible that the cylinder itself took a pretty hard whack that caused a misalignment. Had that happen to an airhead many years ago on a slow speed slide out. Did you address re-torquing the heads when you had the valve cover off?

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No. How would I re-torque the heads?


When shining a flashlight from the front of the cylinder, I see oil gurgling out from somewhere in back of the exhaust header. I just don't have enough experience, to determine exactly where the oil is coming from.

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Did you remember to replace the spark plug gasket and/or remember to re-index it a bit before installing the valve cover?

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Your inner gasket is either crushed or out of place. You might be able to salvage it if it isn't too damaged. Put the gasket on the valve cover then slip the valve cover into place. I'm positive that's where your oil is coming from. DAMHIK.

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I agree with the other posters on the gasket issue. It is very easy to get a kink or misalignment and then leak oil. As careful as I am, this still sometimes happens when I do a valve adjust.


Pull the valve cover and check the gasket and donut. Good luck with it.

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It is quite common that when removing/installing the valve cover the gasket ring around the spark plug gets pinched. I always have a couple at home when I plan to do the valves.

Go to "engine" and in the first picture on the left it is no. 3.




Thanks Paul! That's exactly what happened. The gasket was bent but not apparently damaged. Placed it properly and no oil leak. This forum is invaluable.

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