Disti weeping oil..can I fix without lift

HiMy 1980 Spada passed its MOT today but with an advisory as its leaking oil from the base of the distributor. Not much…after I stopped about half a thimble full dripped to ground I’d say…so only when engine running.I’ve never ridden it properly before so it was unexpected.Reading the manuals it seems you need to lift/pivot the frame in order to remove the distributor (which I’m loth to do anyhow due to risks of timing disturbance). I have read some earlier post on this forum on the subject but can anyone advise me if I can wiggle enough clearance to replace a gasket without lifting the frame?Any and all input gratefully received!TksJohn

You don’t need to lift the frame. I had mine out just a week or so ago, for exactly the same problem. You’ll need to remove the tank and the carb nearest to it. Helps if you have the extended factory type 13mm spanner, but a normal one will also do the job, you just need flexible fingers. Guzziology recommends using the earlier V7 dizzy gasket, just cut the bolt tangs off it, it’s thicker than the rubbish bits of paper they sell as T3 etc. gaskets. The gasket is normally greased, though some use a very thin smear of silicon gasket. Mark up the dizzy to get it back in right spot, though if you’re au fait with timing with a strobe you’ll be ok anyway.italianmotor2013-04-29 19:58:19

Mine has done it for years , never a problem , The dizzy paper gasket is hopeless got fed up of trying to sort it ages ago

Thanks for the guidance Adam…I’m thinking of changing the float bowls on the carbs for metal ones so they have to come off anyhow…while I’m at it I may have a go at replacing the disti gasket. Good tip to use an old V7 one.Keep up the good work with the Mag by the way…looking fwd to issue 6!Also nice to hear others have experienced this condition with no serious issues (tks Guzzibear)…means I dont have to deal with it urgently!Cheers chaps!

Ah, a reader! Glad you like the mag. I think the clear float bowls are great, real period bling. I also took the opportunity to sort out the breather box in case the leak was also being caused by crankcase pressure as I’d never had a problem with a leak from the distributor in 20 years. It’s definitely worth getting hold of a copy of Guzziology if you can that explains all these Guzzi foibles.

This is rather a lot for comfort. May not be distributor at all but something else, just looks like it’s coming from there. Cylinder base gasket? The oil feed hoses to the heads? Breather system? Or if it is the dizzy could be the shaft O-ring is shot, there was a tale on here a while ago (?) about someone’s dizzy filling up with oil inside, and was running out the vent holes in the bottom. MOT testers are on the look out for oil leaks nowadays but has to be a bit serious to bother them overmuch, I hope.

breather pipes worth a check

A spray with engine degreaser and a good torch. Engine running and see where it comes from.May not give the exact spot but will narrow it down.As adam says (sort of) A good chance for a clean and check on the general area.Best of luckSteve

+1 Steve

Just ride it and dinnae bother

i have thought about putting a very thin O ring on it right at the top there is a tiny groove i have actuall got 6 that i bought to try with

Just FWIW never had any great leaks that I can remember fromn the Spada’s or the 850 ever, however he said thimble full on the ground after it stopped, I would investigate. The odd drip after just stopped after some miles, OK, a thimble full, I dunno. (?)

I just don’t like having oil dripping around. Had enough of that with Brit bikes.