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Replacing engine seals / part 2 clutch push rod seal

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mailman, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    This is the 2nd in a series on how to replace engine seals. This will outline the process of replacing the clutch push rod seal, probably THE most common oil leak on the Xs650.

    There are several methods for removing the seals. Today I am going to drill a 1/16” hole through the seal and run a small sheet metal screw into the seal ( which has a metal ring that goes around it, and that’s what your drilling into. If you drill right into the lettering, it’ll put you right in the sweet spot on that seal. Keep your work area clean and free of metal shavings as you go.
    This one would not pull out easily by hand, like the shifter seal did, so this is how I did it.

    The case opening for this seal has a sharp machined edge to it that needs to be relieved or else it will cut the edge of the seal going in. For that job I used my deburring tool. Available online or at your hardware store.

    Here is a rather shaky ( sorry ) video of that tool in use.

    There is a spot on the left side of the case opening that is too close to get to with the deburring tool , for that I used a Dremel with a small stone grinding wheel. Some folks do the whole job with a Dremel.
    Here is how it looks when done. You don’t have to go crazy on it, just put a slight bevel on that formerly sharp edge.

    Make sure the case opening is clean and free of any metal shavings and no sealant residue on the edges.
    The last clutch push rod seal I replaced I put a thin smear of sealant on the outside of the seal and you could certainly do that. However this time I will be using only silicone on the outer edges, my belief is that this small seal ( and the shifter seal) are not under much load. Such as the crank seal which has a large shaft spinning at high rpm. These seals have small shafts, making small movements in them, so I’m not using sealant. They still need to be driven into place, as they are a tight fit. Last one I did, I used a deep socket as a driver, this time just my contoured wood dowel to work around the edges, it gives me a much better feel for what’s going on and a clearer view to keep it going in straight.

    The seal is back in now and wiped clean.

    Next I cleaned the push rod up, gave it a liberal coating of oil and slid it back into place.

    This seal is now done!
    Next up in the series.....THE BIG GUYS , the drive shaft and the crankshaft seals.
  2. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Very nicely done Bob!

    A little slide-hammer would be ideal here.

    What about the bushing - I guess it was OK...
    robinc and Jim like this.
  3. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    I completely agree a little slide hammer would’ve been just the thing! However I was just improvising right there. It came out harder than expected and I just grabbed whatever I had handy. As for the bushing, I have mixed feelings about replacing them. I did so on my other bike, but in the process it almost broke free and fell inside my case, giving me a heart attack. I decided to just go with the seal for now. They are easy to replace.
    Jim, MaxPete and robinc like this.
  4. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    True. The other thing is that the single long pushrod is reasonably stout and it is riding on a ball bearing at each end so the load is purely axial (NO bending at all). That means, it doesn’t likely contact the bushing in a major way - unlike the old two-piece rod and three ball set-up.

    I won’t bore you by calculating the Euler buckling load - but my WAG is that bushing contributes little to the whole thing. As you noted in your write-up, the rod only moves in and out a little bit (I’d guess around 2-3 mm or about 0.100”) and it doesn’t rotate so - the seal is pretty secure.

    As an aside, when I was into Lucille’s LH engine case cover today to do the clutch cable thingy, I wiggled the clutch push rod and it moved around fairly easily - BUT - there was little or no oil staining anywhere in there. I suspect that most of the black stuff I did see was simply lube thrown off from the last time I lubed the drive chain.

    It wasn’t “Mailman” clean - but it was not a mess at all.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
    Jim, robinc and Mailman like this.
  5. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, the long pushrod wiggles side to side way less so doesn't induce (as much) wear on the bushing. Do the "wiggle" test on the pushrod. If it doesn't move much I'd say you're fine. On the later 3 piece set-up, even with a brand new bushing the pushrod wobbles like crazy. It may seal with a new bushing and new seal, but I doubt it would for long. I wouldn't know, I changed that piss-poor set-up shortly after getting mine, and very shortly after replacing the seal and bushing (only a few days).

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