The rocker covers had to come off so that I could redo the valve clearances, which the Expensive Specialists had buggered up. I managed the same job on the Lomax with no leaks, but that must have been beginners luck. The first time on Hortense I think I hadn’t torqued them up enough. “Barely more than hand tight” may be rather different for burly mechanics than it is for me.
So I bought a very cool pre-set torque wrench from Billy’s bike shop – they ordered it in for me specially and were kind to Shakey, so I recommend them highly! – and did them again.
Still got leaks.
So we’ve tried a different pair of covers. If you do them too tight they get”dished” and stop sealing, and I think this may have happened in the past.
Of course, it is possible that she has always leaked from here but I have not noticed before. I could let it go but the workshop manual notes darkly that if you don’t get the covers on correctly, “total oil loss” can result, and that sounds Very Bad.
But not as bad as setting yourself on fire. Petrol should be inside the carb, not outside it, washing over a hot engine. It’s flooding, said Brian, my carb guru. So I ordered an overhaul kit. It came with many mysterious rubber rings.
“Are they O-Rings?” asked @ledwardio. “As in, Oh-where-the-fook-does-that-go-Rings?”
I only got to use one of them in the end. To replace the float you just “tap” the pivot pin out. Like “barely more than hand tight”, this has some kind of special meaning unrelated to what I understand “tap” to mean. 5 minutes with a hammer moved it all of 1mm. So the old float is still in there, along with the old gasket because you can’t change that without taking the float off.
But (touch wood) the replacement needle valve seems to have been enough. Driving no longer involves the faint whiff of petrol from under the bonnet.
We may yet make it to the Black Forest in June. The final hurdle – the MOT!