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oily mess on a 31

Brooklyn Beer

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I just took possession today of my 31 Franklin and would like to set about cleaning things up a little bit. Namely an oily mess problem. I am thinking that I am getting seepage from around the valve covers making for a mess and some smoke on the top end while behind the air box is is also oily and I seem some oil down low around the lifter tubes.  What is the proper technique to tighten up the valve covers and can I use some form of degreaser around the push rods without fear of doing anything to the lifter tubes themselves?

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