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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased a 2000 Vulcan 500, and I am a beginning rider.it has a little over 16000 miles on it and runs fine. This morning I noticed some oil on the engine block, it does not appear to be coming from any gaskets or valves. Rather between the grooves on the block. Any idea how this could happen? Is it something I should be extremely concerned about? How do I fix it?
 

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Holy moly! If you clean the dried oil off can you see if there is a visible crack? That would be my guess: crack in the cylinder head :( I hope I'm wrong

PN: 11008-1231
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Holy moly! If you clean the dried oil off can you see if there is a visible crack? That would be my guess: crack in the cylinder head


PN: 11008-1231
Yea that's what I'm afraid of. I wish I would've noticed the leak before purchase. It didn't appear to leak while riding or after. But did leak some overnight while parked.
I'm guessing there's no easy fix (I'm not very mechanically inclined)
 

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CharlieVulcan,

There's also a weep hole in the cylinder head, one on each side, that comes down from where the spark plugs screw in. It's there so that if something leaks on the top of the engine, it will drain off the top and not accumulate in the pit where the spark plug screw in. So there may be something leaking up in this area. It hard to say what it is looking at the photo, but you may need to look at the top of the engine to see. You may or may not be able to see it without removing the gas tank. But some good light and a mirror may be enough to figure it out. It also looks to be pretty old, since it all dried up, maybe just clean the area up and see if it re-appears.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
CharlieVulcan,

There's also a weep hole in the cylinder head, one on each side, that comes down from where the spark plugs screw in. It's there so that if something leaks on the top of the engine, it will drain off the top and not accumulate in the pit where the spark plug screw in. So there may be something leaking up in this area. It hard to say what it is looking at the photo, but you may need to look at the top of the engine to see. You may or may not be able to see it without removing the gas tank. But some good light and a mirror may be enough to figure it out. It also looks to be pretty old, since it all dried up, maybe just clean the area up and see if it re-appears.
Yep that's exactly what it is. There is a non leaking weep hole on the other side. Is there maybe a gasket up there possibly needing changed? Or is more likely a crack up top?
 

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16000 miles on the bike, I hope someone had been in and adjusted the valves... maybe the previous owner was a little rough on the valve cover gasket. I bet there is an equally ugly stain down the inside of the cylinder head as well.
 

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No gasket involved with the weep hole. The top of weep hole just comes out in the pit where the spark plug sits. If you were to pour water, NOT recommended, down by the spark it would come out the weep hole. I would guess rain could get into this pit area during a ride in heavy rain... There are a couple of cooling lines that connect in this area, but they wouldn't leave a black stain on the cylinder, I would think. The valve cover gasket does encircle this area and if leaking could drain down by where the spark plug sits and out the weep hole. It's also possible that when the last valve job was done, the valve cover wasn't torqued correctly and leaked and then fixed when it was tightened up. Lots of possibilities! So again I would clean the area up and then go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No gasket involved with the weep hole. The top of weep hole just comes out in the pit where the spark plug sits. If you were to pour water, NOT recommended, down by the spark it would come out the weep hole. I would guess rain could get into this pit area during a ride in heavy rain... There are a couple of cooling lines that connect in this area, but they wouldn't leave a black stain on the cylinder, I would think. The valve cover gasket does encircle this area and if leaking could drain down by where the spark plug sits and out the weep hole. It's also possible that when the last valve job was done, the valve cover wasn't torqued correctly and leaked and then fixed when it was tightened up. Lots of possibilities! So again I would clean the area up and then go from there.
Ok will do, thank you for the help, hopefully this isn't anything extremely costly.
 

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I had a similar problem with one of my weep holes on my 500 (dirt, oil crud etc.) I found out that the spark plug on the dirty side was not tourqued down properly - did not even need a socket handle to remove the plug. Cleaned out the pit around the spark plug and the weep hole itself, put new plugs in and tourqued the plugs properly and my weep hole is as clean as can be. This was done about 2 years ago. I hope that is your problem and not a cracked head.
 
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