Exhaust leak problem

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by The Rook, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. The Rook

    The Rook Member

    I have an exhaust leak in the front where the pipe meets the motor. I have replaced the gasket yet it makes the exact same noise as it did before the gasket was replaced.

    I kept tightening the clamp down so hard that I felt I was at the constant risk of doing damage to something. Is that normal with exhaust?

    I also looked at the clamp and it didn't look warped or bent.

    I will admit that I didn't replace the retaining ring because it still looked like it could do it's job.

    What is causing the leak to remain? Is it the retaining ring?

    As always...thank you in advance for your responses.
  2. The Rook

    The Rook Member

    It is a 96 Sportster and i used the wire mesh looking gaskets that have a taper/slant on the inside of them.

    I had to double post because I was unable to edit my post.
  3. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    You say it makes the same "noise", can you tell us what type noise it is?
  4. The Rook

    The Rook Member

    I would almost call it your classic exhaust leak sound.

    It goes "ffft, ffft, ffft" rapidly.
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Check to be sure the exhaust studs are in good shape before you tighten this down again. Tighten the nuts evenly, pay attention the flange is not bent, try OEM gaskets:s
  6. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member

    Do not overtighten the headpipes to the heads. You want to leave some compliance in those gaskets. If you compress them till there is no compliance left you could damage the gaskets, causing them to squirt out into the exhaust path, or at least reduce the ability for them to seal under the varying temperatures and vibrational conditions. There is a torque spec and process for tightening. Follow that carefully.

    Also, if doing all does not seal or leaves that sound, you may actually have a crack in the head or headpipe, or a leaking/damaged head gasket.

    Rich P
  7. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    How are you tightening the exhaust flange bolts...need to follow procedured in service manual & torque to spec. You might be over tightening...
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    :s #1 Iceman, should be evenly @ 10 ft lb I like to use new nuts and lock washers every time the exhaust comes off JMO
  9. The Rook

    The Rook Member

    Bad news and an Update:

    First off, thanks for the responses. This site is filled with heroes. Heroes I tell you.

    Used the Permatex that "The Tank" suggested.

    Still getting the exhaust leak. It looks like it's coming from between two flanges/fins.

    Can I just put JB Weld in there to stop the noise? Or is there some other way?

    I'm on a budget and this is not a show bike. 96 Sportster 1200.

    Thank you in advance.
  10. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    I had the same problem your having.
    Did you use new GENUINE HD wire mess gaskets when you put it together?
    Do you have stock exhaust that has a cross over pipe connecting both exhaust pipes together?