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Old 04-11-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
Pismo Joe OP
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KTM 990 Oil leak question / missing bolt?

I posted this over under Gear/Garage and was suggested best to be here instead, so apologize if you saw this there.

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Originally Posted by Pismo Joe View Post
My new KTM 990 that has few miles on it has a oil leak. Noticed a puddle on ground this morning when I went to install new Touratech skidplate. Removed screws at front of existing skidplate and dropped it to find a nice mess. Some pics are attached here. I am thinking culprit is improperly tightened oil plug. Bike has not had an oil change yet still 200 miles from that. So had to have occurred at assembly? Or maybe culprit is what appears to be a missing bolt. See last pic.









Any one have an idea about if it's the drain plug or the "missing bolt"? I am cleaning it all up now and will see where new oil starts to leak.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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That's not a missing bolt. I believe that hole is used for a fixture to hold the motor when it is out of the frame. As for the oil leak, start with checking the tightness of the oil filter and oil screen covers. If you're not sure, clean it really well and then ride it around without the bash plate and look for early signs of leak and where it's coming from.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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Use powder

I remember reading somewhere on this great site that a good way to locate a leak is to first clean the suspect are really well, the dust with talcum powder (something like cornstarch would probably work too), run the engine, the powder will absorb the small amount of oil and - voila!
Never tried it but it sounds logical. Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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There is also an o-ring behind the gear shift sensor (Located behind the sidestand) that is difficult to pinpoint at first as the oil drips down behind the sidestand and it appears that the case might be leaking or something. I have replaced it I think 3 times now and the bike has 40,000 miles on it. It is a common thing that just eventually goes. It is like a .25 part and doesn't take a long time to fix. I keep one in my misc parts kit now.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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UV Dye.

Just get the dye and the light, add some to the oil and fire up the bike.

Make sure to get everything good and clean beforehand.

Let it start and idle for a while see if it leaks, if not go on short rides and then check for the leak.

This is the easiest way to find a leak with so many places it can come from.

If your in LA (no idea where you are located) bring it over I already have a pint of oil with the UV dye in it so easy enough to check.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
chrish4ku
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Oil filter hex plug too loose? the one in the last photo? Just torque all your drain bolts to spec per the manual, clean all that up spotless and ride it without the skid plate. Most likely something loose or perhaps a bad O ring.

FYI on my first oil change my oil filter O ring was smashed up in one spot. No leaks though, as I had to reuse it (for now).
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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Whilst looks like it coming from underneath the engine - don't discount the oil pressure switch. Common place for oil to leak from.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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DONT overtighten the oil filter cover bolts, think they are just M4, small at least and just call for 6Nm of torque!

The hole you are showing is just a hole through the engine good when making a crude engine stand.


Talcum powder as suggested earlier is great when locating oil leaks.


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Old 04-11-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Mine used to seep a lot in that area. I found that with age my oil filter screen cover leaks. I could probably replace the O-ring, but I'm lazy and cheap. I just put axle grease on the O-ring.

Numerous things in that area can cause leaks. The neutral sensor has been known to leak. In addition, the seal on the shifter shaft can wear out and leak. A leak like that can also come from above. The oil pressure sensor is known to leak, the valve covers can leak, and the base of the cylinders can leak on older bikes.

The best, cheapest solution in finding a leak is powder. Make sure everything is tight and relative clean, and then spray powder all over the area. Run the bike for a a few minutes. Any leak will reveal itself right away. You can use all sorts of powder, including spray-on foot powder or just talc. Sometimes it's hard to get the right amount of talc in the right spot, but you get the idea.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM8 View Post
UV Dye.

Just get the dye and the light, add some to the oil and fire up the bike.

Make sure to get everything good and clean beforehand.

Let it start and idle for a while see if it leaks, if not go on short rides and then check for the leak.

This is the easiest way to find a leak with so many places it can come from.

If your in LA (no idea where you are located) bring it over I already have a pint of oil with the UV dye in it so easy enough to check.
You must be an AC or Refer mechanic. Great idea because it will pin-point a leak.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatXfer View Post
You must be an AC or Refer mechanic. Great idea because it will pin-point a leak.
Nope just spent too much time trying to find hidden leaks when this approach is foolproof and very quick.

Dont bother with powder, etc.

It just plain works, tells you exactly where the leak is and looks cool making the bike all glowy under the UV light.

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Old 04-12-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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No one can tell for sure from the pics, but to me it looks like the filter housing drain plug is leaking. To get that dripping, like it's doing in the pic, would need lots of oil on the sump guard, if it was coming from somewhere else.

BTW, why there's a drain plug in the filter housing?
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
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LOL,, it originally was probably to reduce the oil mess during the oil change.. Bwahahahahaha! I think they missed by || much..

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:58 AM   #14
Pismo Joe OP
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Thanks for all responses. The leak is at the oil filter cover. The shop mailed me an o-ring, will do the replacement of that after I go get some oil.

RE: That "missing" bolt, my first guess (wrong) was it was a missing main case pinch bolt. Second guess was that it was used as a mounting point for an engine stand when out of the bike.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pismo Joe View Post
Thanks for all responses. The leak is at the oil filter cover. The shop mailed me an o-ring, will do the replacement of that after I go get some oil.

RE: That "missing" bolt, my first guess (wrong) was it was a missing main case pinch bolt. Second guess was that it was used as a mounting point for an engine stand when out of the bike.
If you lay the bike on it's side, you won't lose any oil while swaping the o-ring :)
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