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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out on a ride today. Cruising at about 40mph and noticed an intermittent loss of power. I got to my destination and the bike died as I pulled into my parking spot. After a bit I checked on my bike and found oil all along the left side of the rear tire, down my kickstand and pooled on the ground. It dumped all the oil out.
Luckily I stopped when I did. I checked the Kickstart and the engine isn't seized.
I just got my bike towed home and took off the cover that my clutch cable and shifter go to. It seems to be the origin of the oil spill. It looks like there's a seal around the bit that the cluctch cable actuates. And that seal is poking out a bit and I can move it with my hand. I haven't cracked open this part of my bike yet, so I'm not sure how it's all supposed to be. Could all my oil burst from there? Is there anywhere else I should look?
If that is the offending part, could anyone tell me what it's called so I can search for a replacement?
This is for my '73 CL350. Thanks for the help, y'all.


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That's your clutch pushrod seal.
You can do a search on it. Cool you're not seized. Need to buy a replacement and use hondabond and think about installing a retainer.
Also means you have something else happening to cause it to pop.
Check your breather hose for kinks.
 

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The seal is the easy part. If you were experiencing low power and stalling you have probably caused internal damage to the cam, followers, cam boxes, rings, cylinders and that is just the start. Heat builds up very quickly with no lubrication.

I did an engine this summer that had the same seal blow out and it was a total rebuild. I couldn't get one of the cam boxes off the camshaft with a 3 pound hammer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies.
Would you guys recommend replacing the seal and just trying to run it and see if there's any trouble from there?
I'll check the breather tube too. I did rerun it after I rebuilt my carbs last week, so I could've kinked it.
Considering the amount of oil I found on the ground after I stopped running, I'm hopeful I was lucky enough to not run it completely out of oil.
I'll track down a new seal and some sealant in the morning.
Any tips for getting it in there? Looks like I'll need to pull the chain sprocket off to have full access. Will the new seal just pop in there, or would any special tools be required?
Thanks a lot!

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Just shove it in.
I would usually advise a top end rebuild, but the same thing happened to me while on the highway a few months back and I wasn't able to kick the engine over, but was able to rotate by turning the generator. When I pulled the valve cover off I was surprised how good the tach side of the cam looked. The points side looked a little sad, and I'm sure the points side bearing is toast. Since the damage is done, may as well really thrash it, and I really wanted to slap the valve cover back on and run it. My issue was possibly from worn rings, so that's the only reason I didn't. If it was from a kinked breather then I definitely would've run it. Not sure if that helps.
The correct fix is to pull the engine and inspect and service the top end. I believe the correct way to install this seal is to split the cases but I think it's probably okay if you push it in with some hondabond
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A top end rebuild sounds like a lot of work, and likely more than I can handle in my current situation.
I rely on my bike for work while I travel the country in an RV. Something like an engine rebuild could potentially break our finances and destroy our cross country adventure.
I'll rerun the breather and throw a new seal in tomorrow. Think good thoughts!

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A word of warning, not inspecting the damage could leave you stranded(and aide further damage) should something like the camshaft shim break and find its way to the piston or valve. That's the only thing I can thing of that will potentially wreck things.
 

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The cam shim breaking would've happened when your bike dumped the oil.

Has nothing to do with reinstalling the pushrod seal
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Then I'll hope for the best! Maybe I'll get lucky and find a shop on Phoenix that had the seal I need in stock.

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When we are talking vent tube, its the one off the top of the engine? Thoughts being is that is blocked it can cause pressure build up that force out the seals?
 

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If the crankcase breather tube from the top of the engine is pinched, it could cause enough additional pressure to help the clutch rod seal pop out - but they have been known to do that at times anyway. I think you're going to find, sadly, that what you experienced with the intermittent loss of power and subsequent stalling as you stopped will be because the left cam bearing (furthest from the oil pump) was oil starved and trying to seize. It's the unfortunate result of oil pressure/flow loss caused by the catastrophic loss of oil level in the bottom end when the seal popped out. It might run okay once you get the seal replaced and fresh oil back in it, but it's still likely that the cam bearing was damaged - it's essentially a bushing surface designed to survive on constant oil flow (in case you didn't read my 450 build, I damaged 2 points-side cam bearings and the left exhaust lobe/follower in the first 100 miles after my rebuild due to intermittent oil flow to the top end, likely caused by my improper assembly of the oil filter valve during my full rebuild). The resultant stalling will probably be caused by the slop in the left cam bearing due to wear from lost oil flow, as that side is where the points are and the slop in the bearing allows radial play during rotation causing excess ignition timing fluctuation which usually results in retarded timing. In the end, it will have to be repaired to restore normal engine operation and performance
 

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At the very least if you're going to start it as is, pull the tappet covers and squirt oil on all the cam and follower bits before cranking. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, dad.
Do you have any tips for inspecting the cam bearing while I wait for my seal to deliver?
I'm not finding any 350 specific videos that describe the process. Is it a terribly complex job, or do you think I could make it happen sitting on my RV pad with my modest selection of harbor freight tools? :)

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Thanks, dad.
Do you have any tips for inspecting the cam bearing while I wait for my seal to deliver?
I'm not finding any 350 specific videos that describe the process. Is it a terribly complex job, or do you think I could make it happen sitting on my RV pad with my modest selection of harbor freight tools? :)

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You can't realistically do the job in your situation. The 350s are more difficult to do, and truly not properly done, with the engine in the frame as previous posts mentioned. The issue is the tension on the cam making removing the bearing difficult and re-installing the new bearing without causing damage to the bearing surface next to impossible. While the disassembly with the engine out of the frame is not that difficult, doing it right requires removing the top cover of the engine which can't be done in the frame. At this point, you'll have to hope for/rely on a bit of good luck to try to run it for the duration of your cross-country adventure in hopes that the damage to the bearing is minimal so that getting the points and timing set closely enough to correct won't be a problem... if you take off the points and alternator covers (on the centerstand and before adding more oil to it) and turn the engine over by the crankshaft while carefully watching the end of the camshaft where the points are to see if there is any movement other than rotation (meaning, if the cam moves side-to-side visibly during rotation), you could learn whether or not the damage is bad enough that the cam moves in the bearing and causes changes in the points gaps. If there is any visible movement other than rotation, it will not run right and if the side-to-side movement is excessive, it could leak oil at the seal on the camshaft as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks a lot. I'll pull those covers and see if anything is wonky.
As soon as I saw the pool of oil on the ground I feared our adventure might be over and we'll have to limp our way back to the northwest in shame.
It was probably foolish to rely on a 45 year old bike as much as I have been. But I've had an amazing six months of travel and no regrets.
Maybe I'll get lucky and I had enough oil left in the engine when I stopped. Think good thoughts!

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Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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