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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-14-2019, 07:37 AM   #1
370steve
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Default valve stem oil seals

Question for the great unwashed out in engine god land??

are there any faults that i should look for as to why my engine eats valve stem oil seals!!

when i first rebuilt the engine it was burning oil (OEM Suzuki), so i had the over bore done and among*other things i changed all the stem seals. (not OEM Suzuki)

not long after that it started to smoke again, as i had to take the head off for other reasons i changed them back to standard OEM Suzuki.

towards the end of the summer she started to smoke again at start up, now i have the exhaust and carbs off i checked into the ports, all exhaust valves are dry, but from what i can see, at least four of the inlet valves are wet!!!

head will be coming off again to replace them, is there anything specific i should be looking at? or am i damaging them whilst assembling to valves?

all tips/ideas welcome

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-14-2019, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: valve stem oil seals

I don't know of anything that can damage while running other than a heavy duty valve spring possibly rubbing one and dislodging it, but if that was the case I'm sure you'd see that.

You can knick them during assembly pushing them over the keeper groove, but I'm sure you know about that as well. Lots of guys use sandwich bags to slide the seals over the stems, but that seems to tear the bag too easily to me. I have had good luck using a bit of electrical tape instead.

Are you using Teflon or Viton seals? I never had much luck with Teflon seals. They'd do ok for almost a season in the drag car, then they'd go hard and start weeping. They also don't tolerate any amount of valve wobbling from worn guides at all. They loosen right up and don't shrink back down.

Interested in what you did as my XR 400 has been acting up in this area, too. Just replaced the seals on it early last summer and it's smoking on startup a little already.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-14-2019, 11:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: valve stem oil seals

I did stem seals on my CB900, replaced the hard originals with new viton, cured the issue.

Check the keeper grooves for burrs, they get hammered and form a lip which can tear the seals on install if you're not diligent. When I did mine, I deburred the stems at the groove with a fine stone before installing the new seals.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-14-2019, 11:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: valve stem oil seals

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Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post

Are you using Teflon or Viton seals? I never had much luck with Teflon seals. .
the engine had stock suzuki seals to start with, i replaced them with blue Viton seals from the US, then reverted to stock Suzuki.
i was told by Roger Upperton (renowned UK suzuki engine builder) that stock seals were Viton anyway!!

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-14-2019, 11:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: valve stem oil seals

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Originally Posted by SEBSPEED View Post

Check the keeper grooves for burrs, they get hammered and form a lip which can tear the seals on install if you're not diligent. When I did mine, I deburred the stems at the groove with a fine stone before installing the new seals.
think i will have to re check mine

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 01-14-2019, 11:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: valve stem oil seals

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Originally Posted by shinyribs View Post
Lots of guys use sandwich bags to slide the seals over the stems,...

Good advice, but I use a small piece of Saran Wrap or any other type of plastic wrap made for food storage. It's usually thinner than sandwich bags. Use a white lithium grease along with the plastic wrap. It'll be slicker than pig snot.
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