Hello all,

I posted this around March 10, 2009, but cannot find the post now (and never got a reply that there was any response).  I've always admired the air-cooled VWs, but never owned one.

For about 8 years now, I've taken a 395cc Honda parallel-twin around town.  3 valves per cylinder, 8.3:1 compression, air cooled.  When I bought it, with 12,700 miles, the head gasket had no leaking or "weeping".  It started getting dirty shortly after I bought it (I'm the fourth owner that I know of).  Now, around 48,600 miles, it's a mess.

When I stop, it smells like burned oil.  It smells like a big 1970s gas-guzzling Detroit V-8 with leaking valve covers.  If you've ever owned a Delta 88, or know what "Quadra-Junk" refers to, you'll know what I mean.

Do all air-cooled engines have this?  I see other ancient air-cooled Hondas (350 FOUR, CB750, etc.), and it looks like they all start weeping well before 20K.

Is this because of the temperature range air cooled operate under?  Anything we can do, other than turn the engine off in traffic jams?

Any thoughts much appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

REMEMBER: 1. Preserve Nature. 2. Always wear a helmet.
3. Ride safely. 4. Read owners manual carefully before riding.
Quote 0 0
I think that you would be painting with a fairly broad brush if you were to say that all air-cooled engines have this problem.  I owned four Honda motorcycles over the years and only one of them had head gasket issues and that was due to my shallow learning curve as a teenage bike mechanic.  My 1600 dual port on MY72BUG is a world of a lot more oil tight in every way than my 3.0 litre V6 in our Grand Voyager.  It uses over a litre of oil every 5000 km since the day we bought it and my driveway and garage floor show it.
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
Quote 0 0