Oil leak- advice needed

Hi all. Really hoping someone has experience w/ this or some insight....

Went riding all day on Saturday and about two thirds through the day I noticed a couple of drops of oil on the ground...coming from below the skid plate. Oil level at dipstick fine (kept checking as the afternoon went on.) So yesterday I took off the skid plate and sprocket cover, cleaned everything very thoroughly, and then took it out for several miles.

It appears that the oil is seeping out of the seam at the very bottom of the two case halves- the seam by the lower drain bolt. The bike has 8600 miles on it- so this is very upsetting as I just did all the fixes, new chain/sprockets, jetting, etc., etc. Just sank 700 into the bike b/c I figured we'd be in togther for the long haul and I wanted peace of mind. It's an '05 S.

So I know (and understand why) most will say "be sure it's not one of the drain plugs seeping." It's not. Again, I cleaned it all very well and it seems very clear that it's coming from that seam.

I know the proper fix is to remove the engine and split the cases...to be honest I am not competent enough beyond carbs, brakes, exhaust, etc. to do that.

Any advice? My guess is that there really isn't a product to seal this up...JB Weld or some kind of gasket goop, I'd guess, is so unlikely to work there's no sense in trying. I guess I could watch and wait, and perhaps it'll self seal from whatever internal gunk migrates to the exit point (which I know is a long shot and so less than ideal.)

Please let me know if anyone has had experience w/ this kind of thing. Thanks!!


Are you sure it's leaking from where yous ee the oil drip? or is that just the place it ends up, having flowed from another location? Dry spray on foot powder can help trace the oil leak if unsure.

If it is leaking at the plug,, remove, inspect to ensure the case is not cracked at the drain hole, it's not uncommon to crack the case when reusing the sealing washer and over tightening the plug.


Replace sealing washer, hand tighten the plug check for leaks. .

Got a picture?

Huge thanks man. Yes, I am very well aware of the issue of cracking at the drain plug, so I was looking at that very keenly. I am absolutely certain that it is not leaking there (again, I cleaned it thoroughly- the entire underside and up the edges of the engine, and then ran it and looked again.) I also did not have oil "leading to" the seam at the very bottom...just in that seam and along it...which is why I think it's the seam.

I'm going to ride it again for a short time after work today. I'll again clean it very thoroughly, look again, and see if I can get pics. At this point I am feeling quite certain it's the seam.


Post up the pics when you get them.

Post up the pics when you get them.

I'll certainly try. Not sure there's anything to see...the oil is so new/fresh it's hard enough to see in person, and it's more of a seepage/slow drip thing. The thing that concerns me is that it certainly appears to be precisely where I have described it to be, with no "trails" leading to that point. I will take a closer look after work. Huge thanks guys.

It's not common to see a leak at the case split, unless damaged. Has this case been apart previously?

It's not common to see a leak at the case split, unless damaged. Has this case been apart previously?

It hasn't...so it's actually good to hear that a leak at this spot is uncommon.

I will be sure to give it an extra good cleaning after work today (all along the bottom and up around the edges and upward) and look at it again. Again, I do not see trails leading to that lower point, but have not tried the powder trick either. I'll look at it very closely this evening and let you guys know.

I hope it's something stupid/minor that I am missing, but I really looked carefully yesterday. I really like the DRZ, so I sank some $ into it to go through at least one more season with it. I know at 8500 miles it should have lots of life left, so if I do change bikes it's not the DRZ's fault...great bikes.

Can't tell you how much I appreciate the support and advice of the TT community!

OK, so as you guys know it's likely you're right (about the oil migrating downwards.) :cheers:

After thrashing around on it last night I took a good look and it does seem as though the oil is migrating down off the left (shifter) side of the engine, but I can't for the life of me tell where it's coming from! Here's the thing...it seems to be coming from this deep nook just rearward of the left side engine cover, up high in that area, alongside and behind the cigar shaped "tube" that the "clutch actuating rod" goes in (forgive my lack of terminology...I'm refrring to the rod that turns when the clutch cable pulls it's lever down there.)

My guess is that the left cover does go back that far, but the seam where it may be leaking would be where that case cover meets the engince, but that area is impossible to see because of the starter and because of the "clutch actuator tube."

The shop did have that case side off a few weeks ago. I might follow up w/ them (but a bummer, as they're an hour away.) I'm not excited about pulling stuff apart w/out knowing more.

Anyway, you guys were due an update. I appreciate the advice/guidance!

counter shaft seal.

Three common locations on that side for a leak. The side cover gasket it self, the counter shaft seal and some have had the clutch pivot shaft seal leak. My bet would be oil slung from a leaking counter shaft seal

Thanks again guys.

It can't be the countershaft seal....prior to two weeks ago I had it loctited and then, as of two weeks ago, I replaced the sprockets and loctitied again...and it is also dry all around that area.

That side cover was off at that same time (to do the primary nut fix) so it could be that the gasket (new) is leaking but I can't see that section as it's buried under the starter.

From what I am hearing it is starting to sound like the clutch pivot shaft, though no oil coming from "up and out of" that either...so maybe it is back to the side cover gasket after all. Either way I'll just have to get in there to see or take it to the shop.

Thanks again folks..you guys are great.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Bgringo
      I've read a lot of threads about this but still haven't found exactly what I'm looking for.  I'm pulling my 2004 DRZ400S out of storage sometime this week and getting it ready for the season.  I live at 9,000 ft, but my first ride of the year is probably going to be at around 5,000 ft.  I was going to pull the 145 main jet I'm running and put in the 150 adjusting the needle from the 2 clip to the 3rd, then re-jet once I got home.  I already have the extended fuel mixture screw in place so I started thinking that I should just run the 150 jet set up and adjust the fuel screw to compensate for the higher elevation where I'll be doing most of my riding.  I will be going down in elevation for rides until late May or June depending on snowfall, but riding on the street when I'm able.  Are there any disadvantages with this?
      I'm new to posting on this forum, so please forgive me if I didn't get the right search words in and there is already a post about this.
    • By Markl5557
      I am currently running 10w 40 Belray non synthetic and I want to switch to full synthetic amsoil .... is it ok to switch from regular to synthetic? I have read it’s not safe to go from synthetic to regular can someone explain if it’s safe to go from regular to synthetic!? Thanks !
    • By RockyMtnMark
      Good Morning,
        Last night I measured my valve clearances for the very first time (I know...) on my DRZ400S.  It's a 2002 and I've owned is since 2011.  I bought it with t's got about 15,000 miles on it and most of it's miles these days are on dirt.
      Intake specs are 0.10-0.20 mm.  Exhaust specs are 0.20-0.30
      My intake valve clearances are in spec, forgot to write them down.  My exhaust valve clearances are between 0.1778 and 0.2032 which is slightly out of spec.  They are no more than 25 microns out of spec.  My question is, do I really need to shim these?  Will this kind of out-of-spec cause performance, mechanical, or other losses?  As far as I can tell, I'd have to buy a whole shim kit which is like $80.  Thanks!
    • By Zach440
      Selling my 2009 Drz400sm. Been a great bike but it’s time to let go . Not looking for any trades - spring is just around the corner ! Located in northern Virginia . Cash only $4200- willing to negotiate I have some wolfman luggage options available as well. Love to make a package deal for someone 

      -11640 miles . Mild off-road never wrecked.
      -Oil / filter changed every 1500 miles
      -New did chain , brake pads , front sprocket at 10400 miles .
      - valves checked and within spec at 10,000
      - jetted with JD kit and 3x3 mod
      -doubletake mirrors
      -waterproof usb wired and located next to Speedo
      - drc large foot pegs , barkbusters with integrated turn signals . 12oclocklabs tall delete with upgraded circuit board
      -thumpertalk case savers
      -sergeant seat (amazing) and Clarke 3.9 tank (190mile range )
      - fog lights wired in so they shut off with high beams
      -Shorai lithium battery
      -led headlight

      - stock gas tank and seat will be included

      The bike is dirty in photos and I apologize my water is currently disabled outside due to freezing temps . Radiator guards and skid plate NOT included but can be for some extra $$. Rear tire could be replaced but front is fine .
    • By tplayer100
      Currently have a 2000 drz400s work stock suspension. From my understanding this is the worst suspension the drz ever came with without even rebound damping adjustment. Therefore I'm looking for a upgrade. I'm seeing three approaches to take. First being a newer year s model suspension with dampening adjustment. A SM model USD forks and triple tree or some USD forks and triple tree from a rmz. So if you were going to upgrade what direction would you go. I currently ride off-road mostly but I do have some 17s for on road with as well so have to keep that in mind. Thanks