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I once again have a leaking base gasket on my vert cylinder (2001 M750). I do not want to pay the dealer to replace it given I am more than capable of doing it myself... But I do have a couple of questions:

1) What is involved in replacing it. Can I do it with the motor still in the bike or do I need to drop the engine. How long does it take? Are there any issues I should be aware/cautous of)? (OK that was three questions....)
2) Becuase I am really lazy, has anyone tried to cut the gasket so they did not have to remove the entire cylinder barrel. I was thinking of cutting it on the opposite side as to where they leak in an area that is not near oil pressure or return. Slip it in and put a little slicone where the cut was. The cut should only be under crank case pressure. Anyone tried this? Any comments on how it may work?
3) Should I replace the head/cylinder bolts when I perform this operation?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

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You do have to remove the head and cylinder. I dont recommend cutting the gasket as youll just give it another possible avenue for a leak.
I did it on my 620 in about 2.5 hours and re-used the stock gasket, I just coated it with Yamabond 4 sealant. Havent had a lick of a problem with it since.

When doing it just make sure you clean the surfaces very well.

No need to repalce the head/cylinder studs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Was the headgasket a compression type?
 

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In regard to the vert cylinder studs, check to see if they are stainless, if they are then replace them with chrome molly ones. The stainless may eventually break (and usaually do) so you might as well swap em out while you have it apart.
Your lookin at about $100 to replace em.
 

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HavingRe: Lazy A$$ Base Gasket Replacement

Having just rebuilt the top end on my 97 M900 this is all fresh in my mind. . . You do need to pull the head and cylinder to replace the base gasket (no head gastet involved, just o-rings). There's plenty of room so you don't have to drop the engine on the Monster. A big part of the job is getting at the motor, which requires removing the tank, electrics, battery/air box, carbs, etc, You'll need a top end gasket set ($40), which includes all the gaskets and o-rings. Make sure you pay attention when tearing it down, so you know where the o-rings go (there are two different sizes) and there's a little oil nozzle thingie between the cylinder and the head that needs to go in correctly (pin-hole up). A Haynes Manual will help. You'll also need a head nut tool to torque the head nuts down properly. There's a good picture in the Haynes Manual of one if you plan on making one (requires a welder). Only other option is to borrow one from someone who has either made or bought one ($300). It's not a bad job if you take your time and think about what you're doing. With the head off the bike it's a great opportunity to "practice" adjusting the valves, which is much easier with the head on the bench. If you've wondered about DIY valve adjustment here's your chance to figure it out. Be careful with the goop on the base gasket. . . too much might slow oil flow through the journals or even block it completely. I took the opportunity to install high comp pistons and rings and to have the cylinders re-worked. Glad I did, but that adds to the cost, of course. Good luck.
 

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ewol, you can't get a socket or reg wrench on the nut the way the valve cover is configured. You have to buy the special tool or fabricate one out of an open end wrench and socket. Basically cut wrench in less than half and weld socket on it so you can use with a ratchet.
Someone here has pics of one they made.
 

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You CAN get a standard box/open end wrench on the nuts (Craftsman at least), but the real reason for the tool is reassembly. There are actually three pregressive torque values you need to adhere to when putting it back together, which requires the use of a torque wrench. In order to use the torque wrench you need the torque nut tool! If you have a welding capability, or have a welding shop close you can make one of two styles. All that's required on one is to weld a socket to a box end wrench at the prescribed location (check the Haynes Manual-they tell you how to make the tool). The other "U" shaped tool requires some bending and welding. Neither is partularly hard to do, but does require some equipment (welder). The flat tool requires that you position the torque wrench 90 degrees to the tool to get the torque values correct. The "U" shaped tool allows the torque wrench to sit directly over the nut so it doesn't matter where you position the torque wrench. Have fun.
 
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