Thanks to all of you for the suggestions regarding my oil leak, And the prize goes to those of you who suggested a wet-sumped crankcase. At your suggestions, I pulled off the sump plate this morning, and damn if almost a quart of oil didn't come out of there.. nice, clean, non-sludgy oil by the way. I buttoned it up, and then filled the empty oil tank, only to find a decent little puddle in short order, right under the timing cover low point. Pulled that off, and discovered the P.O. had gotten the paper gasket crimped right at that low point. Fortunately, I had in had a full gasket set, so replaced the gasket using a light smear of Loctite 518 as someone suggested and put her back together (that stuff reminds me of the old British Hylomar so often touted).
It took a few kicks, and finally na encouraging shot of starter fluid to get her going, but once she cranked, she just settled down to a smooth idle almost immediately, ex-choke (Solex carb). After about 2 minutes of running, I don't see a drop of oil (well, at least not the massive puddle as before), so I am a happy camper. Soon as I secure the gas tank and seat, I'll be off on my maiden voyage, thanks to all your help.
And in answer to questions about the oil pump... yes, my '53 SQ 4 MK II does have the geared pump with simplex drive chain. I've ordered a Morgo pump from British Bike Bits at almost half the price of other sources. Hope that's not one of those "if it looks too good to be true...." situations.
By the way.. someone suggested drilling and tapping the sump plate for a drain plug, but the sump screen fits right flush against the top side of the plate, so I don't see any way for that to work, other than welding some sort of external bung on the lower side of the plate, so the drain plug doesn't protrude into the screen? Maybe the better solution is just to ride the bike regularly so I don't have to worry about wet-sumping (and/or install the Morgo pump.
Last edited by pauldridge
on Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
Phil Auldridge Austin, Texas - USA
Visit the North America Ariel forum: http://arielnorthamerica.org/phpBB3/
53 SQ 4 MK II, '72 Norton Commando, '78 BMW R100/7, '79 Honda CBX, 2014 Indian Chief Vintage