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Saturday, January 17, 2015

1500 Vulcan Exhaust Leak Fix

So I finally got this bike put together and ready to ride, but alas it has a nasty exhaust leak.  Blue flames out the rear pipes and pops. I swapped the pipes and got new HD exhaust gaskets, but I was lazy and re-used the stock acorns on the exhaust studs. I should know better than to ever use acorns and I had swapped those nuts on my other 1500 Vulcan a long time ago.

An acorn nut will bottom out in the cap before it tights or, like these, get stuck in place. These aren't even the same effective length anymore.

The last time I helped a friend with jammed up acorn nuts on his studs, we tried every trick in the book to get them apart and still just bought new studs. At that time, we walked up to the auto parts counter and said we need 8mm studs and they got them from the back somewhere. I went to a couple of parts stores and the computer jockeys behind the counter couldn't find studs unless they could look it up by make and model. Anyhow, the parts book for 1500 Vulcan shows a 8mmX25mm stud. That's way too short. I managed to find these all by myself.  HELP! card PN 03109 has two studs and nuts. This kit was less expensive(under $3) than just one stud from ACE($3).

They are 38mm length and that was still a bit short, but useable. There was another HELP! kit that had 56mm length; next time, I might try those.

Just about any nut that fits would be okay, but I prefer the flange nuts. I found 8mmX1.25 flange nuts at Lowe's because ACE didn't have metric flange nuts. The main trick is still finding the right drawer though. 2 bags = 4 nuts.

Two nuts together to set the studs, and some anti-seize.

Hotsause(Scott) came up to help with this project. (We were thinking there may be an intake leak and carb fine tuning to be done, too.) His advised to add some Ultra Copper to the gaskets. It should seal better and actually hold the gaskets in the exhaust port while you get the head pipes into place.

Goop the gasket. Stick it in the port.

Goop the pipe.

Install pipe with flange nuts.

The clamp from the rear head pipe to muffler wasn't clamped well either. It was bottoming out without squeezing the pipe. Some of the clamp flange needed removed.

A little dremel work and it was good to go.

The front exhaust pipe got the same treatment except it's studs did not need to be replaced.

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