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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 6:21 pm   #1 (permalink)
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oil leak... but from where??? need help please

so pulling my bike out of storage , 2006 model 999, for the first time this year after sitting all winter long.... i pull off all the panels, and pull the rims cause im putting fresh tires on for spring. i then notice there is oil on bottom of the fairings once i pull them off. upon further inspection i notice a pretty thick amount of oil build up on top of the oil cooler. looking at the pics, it seems like there is way more build up, and wet oil, on the left hand side (of the pictures). the right hand side seems alot dryer with barely any wet oil. i really am not sure where the source of the leak is coming from... and this is where any of your guys suggestions come in.

do i clean it off and ride the bike for a while and assess the leak again?? is there known problems with these bikes of leaks besides the older model (03-04) oil coolers leaking?? front cylinder oil leak??

i know its hard to give answers just from pictures... but any ideas would be helpful. i dont recall seeing any leaks last fall before putting it in storage, but there must have been without me knowing it, considering the thick build up there is.

thanks in advance.
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oil leak... but from where???  need help please-img_6907.jpg   oil leak... but from where???  need help please-img_6906.jpg  
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 6:28 pm   #2 (permalink)
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Don't have a 999 I have a 1098 but your situation seems similar to mine: I'm willing to bet the leak is NOT there and is minor but it's trickling to that spot and that's where you see it. In my case it was a gasket on the head that showed itself to me on the exhaust...look closely and follow the trail. I can't imagine an oil leak developing from there...from your pics.
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 7:45 pm   #3 (permalink)
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Just a suggestion. Had an oil leak in my Shelby. Tech put dye in the oil-will not hurt anything-black light few miles later -loose oil galley plug. I would clean it up- put some dye in the oil-leave fairing off and put about 50miles on her. Take it onto the gargae and black light her-oil leak will reveal itself..
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 8:35 pm   #4 (permalink)
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i'm bettin' the valve cover gasket,simple fix
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 8:39 pm   #5 (permalink)
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Looks to me that in the first picture you might have a slight leak in your oil cooler on the top row and it's leaking slighty so when you ride the air is blowing the oil up onto the valve cover, then while parked it's slowly dripping back down on the cooler itself......it could also be possibly a leaking valve cover....more on the left side (if looking at the picture you posted)....wipe it down then ride it then check it again and it should give you a good idea where it's coming from.
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 8:45 pm   #6 (permalink)
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Fork seal ? I know it's a lot of oil to be comming from a fork ? but worth a look ?
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 9:15 pm   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. i will take another look at it tomorrow once i have more daylight. i'll clean it up and and see what i find in a few days. i'll also take a look up higher and see if its leaking from a higher area. but im thinking somewhere on the oil cooler or the valve cover is the culprit. if its just the valve cover gasket, that at least would be the cheapest and easiest solution. it would make sense too if it was leaking from the valve cover on that left hand side and dripping downward and spraying everywhere else.

now that i have the wheels off the bike, i'll have to wait a few days while i wait for my new tires to come in. but in the meantime i'll try to clean it up good. just wanted to post up the pics first and get some input.

anyone know of a good website to order up gaskets and such from? i'll need to order up oil and filter also if i end up taking the valve cover off. unfortunatly we dont have a ducati dealer here anymore in WI to get parts from for a little while.
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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 10:15 pm   #8 (permalink)
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Use a good degreaser and get all that crud off.
Take the bike for a ride
When you get back, pull off all the fairings.
Put about a teaspoon full at the most of baby powder (talcum powder) in the palm of your hand. Blow the powder onto the bike in the area you suspect the leak is coming from. The powder will stick to the oil and you will be able to trace the source very easily.

My money is on a head gasket leak. I got a replacement set from BMC recently if you want to give them a call.

All the best

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Old Mar 31st, 2010, 11:53 pm   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know the common leak spots for the 999 series, so I'll defer to the expertise of the other posters. As a Buell owner, I am very familiar with leaks. They can be quite infuriating to locate and oftentimes are in completely unexpected or improbable areas. One of the best tricks I learned was to clean it completely off, spray any suspected area or source liberally with athlete's foot spray (Tinactin or equivalent... yes I know it sounds bizare, but it works like a charm) and then go for a ride. The oil will show up very clearly on the light coating of powder.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 9:04 am   #10 (permalink)
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Looks like valve cover gasket to me. If the tech doing service is not VERY methodical, its really easy to get a trickle out of that front cyl. The other thing it could be is the oil line to the cooler. Those shouldnt ever come loose, but, they are under pressure and just screw into the side of the cooler. Get a line wrench and make sure those are snugged up. JUST DONT OVER TIGHTEN THOSE; if they dont move with 8-10 ft lbs, they are already tight.

Clean, ride, recheck for leak.
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