Crush washers/gaskets and other schools of thought

Mtbjay

In love with two-wheeled machines
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
239
Likes
1
Location
Sherwood, Oregon
#1
Thought I had stashed a few extra crush washers before changing my oil, coolant and final drive... but found I didn't have any extras for replacements.

On-line, at Yamaha parts house, each "gasket" (crush washer in my vocabulary) is $2.95 [WWTDCM?]

Question is, since I've already changed the oil, coolant, and final drive... should I even bother to worry about replacing all those crush washers? (for 3 bucks apiece!) The two on the crank case, I can see arguing for. But I suppose I shouldn't lose any sleep over the final drive (fill & drain gaskets), as well as the water pump gaskets, now should I? {before you say it, I did check my local Napa and the crush washers I picked were not the right ones]



Oh, on another note:

All of the "Cheap 10-pack" windshield nuts I bought for my windshield prior to my spring tour failed (popped out) when I tipped my bike over. I was mounting up fully-loaded monster, on uneven ground, when I learned what was too far for my 32" inseam to handle. I tipped into my buddy who was on his bike right next to me. We looked like two dominoes for as second as he graciously broke my fall. Both bikes were spared any rash to speak of, but my windshield popped out of it's bracket when the nuts failed to secure the screen against his elbow (or whatever). In my defense, cheep nutz were all they had at the dealer. Had the OEM nuts been installed, I suspect they'd have held the shield tight, resulting in a broken windshield and/or bracket. Saved by cheep nuts? ( " My Cart" is up to $44.25 in "gaskets" now.)

So the question is, do I click "Process" and order $44 in OEM crush washers and windshield nuts or, do I continue to re-use the gaskets and cheep nuts?


Pondering in Sherwood
 

Bryn

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
595
Likes
8
Location
Leicester UK
#2
I got a box of assorted crush washers on ebay ...there are at least 10 of the right size...and having changed all the fluids a few weeks ago nothing bad has happened ::021::
 

Mtbjay

In love with two-wheeled machines
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
239
Likes
1
Location
Sherwood, Oregon
#3
Said crush washers have been holding tight for 200 miles... But upon inspection, I could see significant pitting on the old oil pan crush washers I'd saved from my prior oil changes. It got me thinking about thermal this and chemical reaction that... what's the worst that could happen, right?
:-X
 

Checkswrecks

Ungenear to broked stuff
Staff member
Global Moderator
2011 Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
8,771
Likes
918
Location
Damascus, MD
#5
Mtbjay said:
Maybe I shoulda put this in, "The Lounge."

LOL - Whether to re-use crush washers or not is like asking which brand of beer is better. I just re-use them unless they leak or look paper thin, and that's pretty much never. Even then, most any car parts store will have them.


You can get the rubber well nuts in a lot of ACE hardware stores or online cheap.


You can send me half of the spared $40+ any time.
;)
 

tomatocity

Active Member
2011 Site Supporter
2012 Site Supporter
2013 Site Supporter
2014 Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
5,251
Likes
12
Location
Sacramento, CA USA
#6
Checkswrecks said:
LOL - "Whether to re-use crush washers or not is like asking which brand of beer is better. I just re-use them unless they leak or look paper thin, and that's pretty much never. Even then, most any car parts store will have them."
Like you I re-use crush washers until they have to be replaced. Changed oil last Tuesday and the rear plug had a little oil on it. Reversed the crush washer a torque and 1,287 miles later it is dry... other than some mud. Fat Tire is my choice of beer.
 

Sofnolime

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
1
Likes
0
Location
Linlithgow
#9
Sorry to reopen an old thread, but annealing an old copper washer will make it nicely soft and plenty pliable to seal against aluminum.
Heat it cherry red and quickly quench it in cold water. I always anneal copper washers before I use them, even new ones.

John
 

Kevhunts

"For every one you see, you probably missed three"
Founding Member
2011 Site Supporter
2012 Site Supporter
2013 Site Supporter
2014 Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 9, 2010
Messages
746
Likes
4
Location
Delaware, USA
#10
Sofnolime said:
Sorry to reopen an old thread, but annealing an old copper washer will make it nicely soft and plenty pliable to seal against aluminum.
Heat it cherry red and quickly quench it in cold water. I always anneal copper washers before I use them, even new ones.

John
I would heat it cherry red but not quench it as I believe that will harden it. Also use propane and not MAP gas. Don't ask me how I know. ::)
 

jbrown

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
224
Likes
73
Location
Novato, CA
#11
Kevhunts said:
I would heat it cherry red but not quench it as I believe that will harden it. Also use propane and not MAP gas. Don't ask me how I know. ::)
For metals like copper, where work hardening or age hardening are the reason for annealing, my material science book tells me the rate of cooling is pretty much immaterial. You just need to heat the metal above the recrystallization temperature and you're done. Steel is a different story because you need to control the crystal structure growth while cooling.
 

taskmaster86

Active Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
303
Likes
35
Location
South Eastern, CT
#12
Annealing copper crush washers..... You guys really need to get a life. Buy the assortment kit I listed above and call it a day!

If you live in some type of under developed and poorly supplied country, you get a pass. Good on you for being resourceful!
 

JimmyP

New Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
52
Likes
0
Location
Central FL
#13
I've reused my crush washers from the beginning making sure to not over torque.

Been doing this for almost three years now and so far no leaks and 74k miles.

P.S. I do keep a set on hand in case I find a leak has developed. :)
 

Kevhunts

"For every one you see, you probably missed three"
Founding Member
2011 Site Supporter
2012 Site Supporter
2013 Site Supporter
2014 Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 9, 2010
Messages
746
Likes
4
Location
Delaware, USA
#14
taskmaster86 said:
Annealing copper crush washers..... You guys really need to get a life. Buy the assortment kit I listed above and call it a day!

If you live in some type of under developed and poorly supplied country, you get a pass. Good on you for being resourceful!
When the apocalypse comes....don't come crying to me! :D
 

JRE

Going to hell on scholarship
Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
811
Likes
4
Location
Cincinnati OH
#15
Some people never change out the washers, some every other time. I do it every time because I'm anal and it's a small expense comparatively. However, I would say that if you re-use them multiple times and are vigilant about watching for leaks and keep an eye on your levels, you should be good to go because really, if there are leaks, it's going to be a very small amount but that will add up over a long period of time. I didn't know about the Harbor Freight kit above but now that I do, I'll be placing an order :)

Anecdotally, has anyone ever known of leaks occurring due to re-use of these "gaskets" (as the repair manual calls them) on any bike?
 

taskmaster86

Active Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
303
Likes
35
Location
South Eastern, CT
#16
"Anecdotally, has anyone ever known of leaks occurring due to re-use of these "gaskets" (as the repair manual calls them) on any bike?"

No. As long as you are tightening the drain bolts property, you could probably use them forever.

The washers are called copper "crush washers" because that is what they are. They are not "gaskets" of any type. Their only purpose is to make sure the threads of the drain bolt are tightly contacting the threads in the pan so that oil can not seep past the threads.

About the worst that can happen is you can over crush the washers and strip the threads in the oil pan. If you are tightening the drain bolts so tight that you can actually see that the crush washer is flattened out and thinner than it was before, you are over tightening. A quarter turn past hand tight or 15 FT/Lbs is all you need.
 

JRE

Going to hell on scholarship
Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
811
Likes
4
Location
Cincinnati OH
#17
Yeah, I always call them crush washers but the parts finders and service manual refer to them as gaskets. Then again, they use a lot of odd terms for different parts.
 

steve68steve

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
413
Likes
178
Location
Seacoast, NH
#20
I'm another cheapskate who re-uses them. I usually swipe the surfaces on sandpaper a few times to clean and flatten them.

AFA well nuts allowing the screen to pop off, I think that's a feature, not a bug... as long as it's not popping off in normal use. It's much better to have your screen pop off than hold on the bike and get smashed against the ground, or your body, or transmit a bunch of force into the mounting bracket... or your body.
 
Top Bottom