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Thread: Possible valve steam seal failing?

  1. #1
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Possible valve steam seal failing?

    Hello everyone.

    I bought myself a borescope to have a look around inside the engine and found the exhaust valves (both on the front, haven't check the back ones yet) looking like they have a black shiny (maybe oily) appearance at the end of the guide.

    My bike dosen't smoke on startups, or when you just revving the bike, but my friend told me when he was following me he saw some smoke coming out under high load and hard acceleration.

    Worth mentioning that I do experience quite a lot of oil consumption.
    If I push the bike hard 6-7-8-9K rpm about 10-15mm lower on the sight tube when checking, same place same way every time..after a spirited ride maybe 150-200 miles

    If I stay below 6K it seems the oil level doesn't change. Also I know how to check the level, thats not a problem.

    I also have oil spatter inside my airbox, but not through the breather because I have sorted that out wit a longer pipe to the right side (see picture) the spatter is all over the velocity stacks and above them on the inside of the cover.

    Last two pictures are intake valves...they look a bit yellowish...

    Please if you guys have any input or idea share it.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum prov-nov skapan's Avatar
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    High load and hard acceleration sounds more like rings to me, maybe do a leakdown and repeat after adding a bit of oil to the cylinders. No idea what "normal" looks like but you're right that the oil is going somewhere.

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    Entiendo que el humo al acelerar fuerte es de color gris-negro. Yo poseo una y ese color es de quemar mucha gasolina, algo normal.
    Y el color y estado de las vlavulas es normal si la conduccion es relajada y lenta.

  4. #4
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariote View Post
    Entiendo que el humo al acelerar fuerte es de color gris-negro. Yo poseo una y ese color es de quemar mucha gasolina, algo normal.
    Y el color y estado de las vlavulas es normal si la conduccion es relajada y lenta.
    I am sorry but I don't speak your language, and google translate is useless as always..but thank you

  5. #5
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skapan View Post
    High load and hard acceleration sounds more like rings to me, maybe do a leakdown and repeat after adding a bit of oil to the cylinders. No idea what "normal" looks like but you're right that the oil is going somewhere.
    I would aggree with the rings, but then I would have have loads of blowby pressure, gasses, maybe score marks in cylinder wall and I have none of these.

    Also the bike has been on dyno and made 113.6Hp on the wheel so I think the rings are ok...

    Thank you for your reply

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert anzacinexile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGangel View Post
    I am sorry but I don't speak your language, and google translate is useless as always..but thank you
    He says

    I understand that the smoke when accelerating strongly is gray-black. I have one and that color is to burn a lot of gasoline, something normal.
    And the color and condition of the valves is normal if the driving is relaxed and slow.
    Chris
    Probability factor now 1:1, normality has been returned. Anything you can’t deal with now is your own problem

  7. #7
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    Check the clutch diaphragm. If it's leaky on the inside it will suck oil from the clutch into the throttle bodies. You can also put some clear tube on the clutch cover hose fitting to check for oil being sucked in the airbox that way. That is, provided you have some brass union, vynil tube and hose clamps.

    Those intake valves look nice.

    As part of my winter check up I always check my exhaust valves byremoving the headers. Yours are definitely more crusty with what appears to be oil than mine. These are mine after 55000km. Since owning the bike at 26000km the rear left exhaust valve has become a bit more leaky, while on the front one is starting to show some fresh crusty goo.

    Love to see the folks with greater expertise to comment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yzf600r View Post
    Check the clutch diaphragm. If it's leaky on the inside it will suck oil from the clutch into the throttle bodies. You can also put some clear tube on the clutch cover hose fitting to check for oil being sucked in the airbox that way. That is, provided you have some brass union, vynil tube and hose clamps.

    Those intake valves look nice.

    As part of my winter check up I always check my exhaust valves byremoving the headers. Yours are definitely more crusty with what appears to be oil than mine. These are mine after 55000km. Since owning the bike at 26000km the rear left exhaust valve has become a bit more leaky, while on the front one is starting to show some fresh crusty goo.

    Love to see the folks with greater expertise to comment.
    I have checked the diaphragm and found it ok. Though I probably will do the clear hose check in the spring.
    Looking on your valves I can see similar oily blackish stuff at the end of the guide, though not as bad as mine and not on all of them.

    Do you have oil consumption?? Any?

    I havent checked my rear yet but will do later to see if its the same/better/ or worse.

    I have to mention that one of the previous owner had aftermarket chip and PC3 on it one time which he removed when he sold the bike.
    I dont know when was this but all the setting on the bike was way out (brass air screws and trim pots, tps position).

    I had to contact Gabro here to sort a chip out for me which changed the bike completely, before the chip and setting reset the bike actualy set my left exhaust (Remus Carbon) on fire...:-(
    I only used it for a few weeks and my friend told me who was following me.

    I dont know how long it has been used like that before me, I bought it with 15.000 miles.

    So my guess is the massive heat which caused this fire might hardened the rubber seals and now they started to fail.

    If the clear tube clutch test showes nothing I probably just going to change them...

    Thank you everyone...will report back and put pictures about the rear ones..

  9. #9
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    The valve stem seals can be replaced with the engine in the frame, but you will need a special tool and access to pressurized air. Think Gabro mentioned that replacing the front ones with engine still in frame is one shit job. Since you're in the UK you can give Griff at Aprilia Performance a call.


    My bike consumes about 200 to 400 cc over 6000 km. Unfortunately I don't have the exact figure as I had a slightly leaking diaphragm because I hadn't properly torqued down the clutch cover.

    That's with an external crankcase breather that routs the oil back to the rear head. Had a compression test about 10k ago and both cylinders showed very good compression, though the rear was a bit weaker than the front. A month ago I had a leakdown test done and the intakes were leaking just slightly, but the mechanic told me they were just fine. The rear was a bit more leaky than the front.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yzf600r View Post
    The valve stem seals can be replaced with the engine in the frame, but you will need a special tool and access to pressurized air. Think Gabro mentioned that replacing the front ones with engine still in frame is one shit job. Since you're in the UK you can give Griff at Aprilia Performance a call.


    My bike consumes about 200 to 400 cc over 6000 km. Unfortunately I don't have the exact figure as I had a slightly leaking diaphragm because I hadn't properly torqued down the clutch cover.

    That's with an external crankcase breather that routs the oil back to the rear head. Had a compression test about 10k ago and both cylinders showed very good compression, though the rear was a bit weaker than the front. A month ago I had a leakdown test done and the intakes were leaking just slightly, but the mechanic told me they were just fine. The rear was a bit more leaky than the front.
    Definitely will give Griff a ring, he helped me previously when my exhaust was on fire LOL

    I know about the compressor version, already read through that thread. Thats the way I will do it...probably big PITA the front one thats why I will start with that.. :-)

    Plus probably order a new clutch diaphragm just to make sure...

    Once its done I will post the results to close the thread...thank you

  11. #11
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    good luck boss and be sure to keep us posted

  12. #12
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    Any updates on the valves?

  13. #13
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yzf600r View Post
    Any updates on the valves?
    Well yes, and no. :-)

    I haven't started it yet because I need to fabricate a few tools to be able to do it.
    Trying to make a tool like on the picture will take some time...

    I also bought a leak down tester so I will start with that first to make sure I don't have a piston ring, valve seat problem.

    Took the cams out to start with, and actually will upgrade the intake ones to the one from the big valve engine. 0.8mm more lift (more air+more fuel= more power) this has been confirmed by Gabro, easy to do not causing any problem just a bit more power on top end and not loosing anything in low-midrange....yes please...:-)

    Will post updates, and pictures once I start it in a few weeks...

  14. #14
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    When I have the time I will have a chat with Aprilia Ducati Kämna and if they also think it's the seals I will let them replace the lot. All the intake seals appear to be fine and I only have three leaky exhaust seals in various stages of leakyness.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum prov-nov MrGangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yzf600r View Post
    When I have the time I will have a chat with Aprilia Ducati Kämna and if they also think it's the seals I will let them replace the lot. All the intake seals appear to be fine and I only have three leaky exhaust seals in various stages of leakyness.
    The only way to tell if you have problem in the intake side is to look at your velocity stacks, if they are covered in oil (like mine) then it is possible they are failing too.

    One other thing I did was to remove the throttle bodies, and spark plugs and slowly turned the engine around to see the valves moving down. Then I saw fresh oil on the stems on all of them....:-(

    My spark plugs look very wet, and shiny as well, with deposits everywhere and some of them got oil all the way in the thread...not good. Will get some new ones once I start putting it together.

    Let me know what the dealer say...

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