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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A couple months ago I noticed dampness on the third fin on the front jug, if felt and smelled like oil. I took a rag and screw driver and soaked and cleaned as best as I could, assumed something got sprayed or caught in the fin and caramelized.

Prior to the monsoon I'm riding to work everyday. Low and behold, I notice a film on the third fin of the front jug again. It's wet oil, not dripping wet but moist wet. I call my dealer and schedule an appointment, I'm 11 months into ownership and I want this addressed prior to the 13th month.

#37 is at the dealer and the technician says this is an odd place for an oil leak, too high for a head gasket problem and too low for a leaking valve cover gasket/o-ring. A few days later the tech has performed some tear down and has confirmed it is NOT the valve cover gasket/o-ring nor the head gasket. The tech says that he can see where the oil is coming from and it appears to be coming from the head itself, almost appears to be porous. A phone call the IMC/Polaris tech line ensues, all information is provided and the situation fully discussed. The mothership will review the information and call the dealership back.

IMC/Polaris calls the dealer back the next day and informs the tech at Lone Star that there is a drilled oil galley in the head where the oil appears to be weeping from. IMC/Polaris surmises the oil passage was either drilled incorrectly or the head has cracked where the oil galley is drilled. Either way, a new head is on its way.

I have buddies who rib me about #37 being a garage queen. I'll be the first to admit I take exceptional care of my bike, it's never been wet except for the brief shower I ran into on the way to the dealership last week. When I park the bike in the garage, when it's hot, after riding, there is a fan that blows on the bike so there isn't a heat spike situation (reason I started the "Cool Down" thread).

So, this why we have pictures of some of the internal components of the TS111.


Auto part Motor vehicle Engine Vehicle Car
Real valve cover horn side.

Auto part Engine Fuel line Vehicle Automotive engine part
Real valve cover spark plug side

Auto part Metal
Inside of real valve cover.

Auto part Automotive engine part Engine Carburetor
Top side of cylinder head.

Auto part Automotive engine part Automotive starter motor
Combustion chamber side of cylinder head.

Cookware and bakeware Wok Cooking Metal
Piston front jug.

Auto part Engine Motor vehicle Vehicle Tire

I figured since it's torn down this far this would be a perfect time to have the faux valve covers powder coated.

Auto part Fashion accessory Metal Titanium


Auto part Metal


Auto part Engine Motor vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle accessories


View attachment 14134

Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Vehicle Electrical wiring


Powder coating performed by Unit F-14 powder coating. unitf14.com $75 each and done in 24hrs.

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A couple months ago I noticed dampness on the third fin on the front jug, if felt and smelled like oil. I took a rag and screw driver and soaked and cleaned as best as I could, assumed something got sprayed or caught in the fin and caramelized.

Prior to the monsoon I'm riding to work everyday. Low and behold, I notice a film on the third fin of the front jug again. It's wet oil, not dripping wet but moist wet. I call my dealer and schedule an appointment, I'm 11 months into ownership and I want this addressed prior to the 13th month.

#37 is at the dealer and the technician says this is an odd place for an oil leak, too high for a head gasket problem and too low for a leaking valve cover gasket/o-ring. A few days later the tech has performed some tear down and has confirmed it is NOT the valve cover gasket/o-ring nor the head gasket. The tech says that he can see where the oil is coming from and it appears to be coming from the head itself, almost appears to be porous. A phone call the IMC/Polaris tech line ensues, all information is provided and the situation fully discussed. The mothership will review the information and call the dealership back.

IMC/Polaris calls the dealer back the next day and informs the tech at Lone Star that there is a drilled oil galley in the head where the oil appears to be weeping from. IMC/Polaris surmises the oil passage was either drilled incorrectly or the head has cracked where the oil galley is drilled. Either way, a new head is on its way.

I have buddies who rib me about #37 being a garage queen. I'll be the first to admit I take exceptional care of my bike, it's never been wet except for the brief shower I ran into on the way to the dealership last week. When I park the bike in the garage, when it's hot, after riding, there is a fan that blows on the bike so there isn't a heat spike situation (reason I started the "Cool Down" thread).

So, this why we have pictures of some of the internal components of the TS111.
Thanks for view of head & piston
 

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Sorry about the bike. Good thing is you found it early and did not cause anymore damage. It would be nice to get a head to see what a port and polish would look like and if you would see any gains in airflow. Not that I want to rip apart my bike. I am scared to. You will be back on the road soon
 
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Sounds like porous casting. Oil galley? Oil comes up the push rods and drains down the push rod tubes. In any case its great they got you covered! The shmutz on the piston is just our crappy fuel. Run a little seafoam or lucas or some such regularly and it will clear out. Forget the product that was tested in aircraft piston engines years ago. It worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So did the seeping oil cause the discoloration on the piston? Or is that normal?
No, the seepage from the head was external leakage and was at the #3 fin under the faux valve cover.

Tire Synthetic rubber Rim Wheel Auto part


Sounds like porous casting. Oil galley? Oil comes up the push rods and drains down the push rod tubes. In any case its great they got you covered!
IMC/Polaris tech line told the mechanic there is a oil galley, that is drilled in the head, right where the oil is weeping from. The picture below is the top of the head as it would sit on the jug, (top) front and (bottom) to rear. The oil leak/crack is coming from this area (yellow) of the cylinder head, 3 fins down.

Auto part Automotive engine part Engine


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Interesting.....thanks for the pictures and information. I hope this was a one of a kind problem and not seen by others. I don't recall if you gave us current mileage. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm sitting right at 2200 miles Avanti. I would tend to think this is a one-off deal, there are many bikes that have WAY more miles than I and no problems like this.

One of our resident experts looked at the photos and thought it might be a porous casting as well and it could be exactly that. I don't know, just going by Indian's tech line people told the dealership.

BTW like the powder coat. Nice.
Thanks Brad, I think it'll look good when #37 is reassembled!!

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Sorry to read about your troubles but I do want to thank you for the pictures. The black between the fake fins looks so nice that I'm thinking about taking mine off to get it done. Did you have them powder coated or ceramic coated? I was wondering about powder coating holding up under the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry to read about your troubles but I do want to thank you for the pictures. The black between the fake fins looks so nice that I'm thinking about taking mine off to get it done. Did you have them powder coated or ceramic coated? I was wondering about powder coating holding up under the heat.
You're quite welcome jadamow2, I hesitated putting this info out because I didn't want to provide fuel for the haters. However I had a number of questions so I said what the hell, haters will hate.

I understood the covers were powder coated, nothing was ever mentioned about ceramic coating. You can look at their website, unitf14.com and see some of the work they've done. $75 each and done in 24hrs and they look great!!

You can look at "My Gallery" here on the website, have some before and after photos of the faux covers.
Album Valve Cover SPIFF Indian Motorcycle Forum

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Thanks for the Pictures. Love the powder coated covers. It's on my to do list but I'm not dropping the engine during riding season. Make sure you specify on the replacement head if you prefer the Clacker or Non-Clacker head. :) Not a hater, just a clacker owner with a sense of humor.
 

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Thank you, Shuje Sunge. Your motor sure does look sweet with that black treatment! I will investigate the UnitF14 site.

I'm not sure how hot these covers get and powder coating might be just fine. I had the jugs on a Pan I built last year ceramic coated to withstand the high temps. It's the same stuff that is used on a lot of the exhausts you see.

Yours looks so good, I'll be doing it while the putts down for the winter.

Shuje....never worry about the haters. They'll always be there but they can't hurt you. Every bike is a piece of art and every jockey is an artist. The only person that has to be happy with your bike is you!

Ride safe!
 

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Thanks for the Pictures. Love the powder coated covers. It's on my to do list but I'm not dropping the engine during riding season. Make sure you specify on the replacement head if you prefer the Clacker or Non-Clacker head. :) Not a hater, just a clacker owner with a sense of humor.
AMEN Clacker brother. When i do mine i am gona fill the inside with Hi Temp Foam.
 

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Wow. Well documented and the most informative post about the Thunderstrokes that I have seen.
I tend to think one off also. I had a similar issue with a Dart cylinder head for a Chevy smallblock. There was a casting defect near a water passage that allowed water in to the oil gallery. It happens. If another one happens then we have a probable design defect that I would guess would have already showed up in a bunch of heads if it truly existed.
Glad they have you covered and the powder coat looks so good that the factory needs to take notice. Should be standard on these motors.
 

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I agree with GreenPearl. The all chrome top cover needs some color to highlight the fin design. Whoever was in charge at the factory for "Coolness" really missed the boat on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the Pictures. Love the powder coated covers. It's on my to do list but I'm not dropping the engine during riding season. Make sure you specify on the replacement head if you prefer the Clacker or Non-Clacker head. :) Not a hater, just a clacker owner with a sense of humor.
I agree with GreenPearl. The all chrome top cover needs some color to highlight the fin design. Whoever was in charge at the factory for "Coolness" really missed the boat on this one.
No worries Chief, I know you're not one of the haters. ;) One thing that did have me wondering, the replacement head has arrived and it's bare. So, the tech will need to remove the valves, rockers, etc. from the old head and install them on the new bare head. WTH? Can a complete head cost be that much more comparatively to a bare head with the additional labor to swap the parts and lap the valves in?? [grumpy]

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I have had a few instances in my 38+ years as a m/c mechanic where I have seen porous castings on Jap skoots. Anything cast can have the potential for porosity .No OEM in the m/c industry that I am aware of sells completely assembled heads, trannies, crankcases, etc.

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Wow, I could see some potential engine updates like roller rockers. Not sure if the bottom of the head could be shaved some to increase HP.
 
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