Possible Crank Bearing Failure, looking for help with best place to start... - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Possible Crank Bearing Failure, looking for help with best place to start...

Hey all, been a while since I've been able to be on and hate to just hit up with a problem, but need to get my bike going again and y'all's knowledge is a lot greater than mine.

Here's the basics and situation in a nutshell:
Bike has 20K miles on it, oil changed @ evey 2K miles religiously
Doohickey fine, checke3d right before this incident.
Valves checked a week before, well within specs.
Ridden 70 Miles a day roundtrip avg RPMs 55OO at freeway speeds.
One potential overheat due to a coolant leak discovered once arrived at work. Luckily it was a cold morning and my airflow kept the engine cooler I'm guessing, as it did not spike in temp until i was stopped on the on ramp. Oil Brand new from the day before the overheat and burned when changed after.

-While riding into work the other morning the bike momentarily sputtered, then surged and ran smooth. It felt like a fuel line or my main jet momentarily clogged then released as powered restored (also felt a little increase) right after I flipped petcock back and forth and varied thottle. This was about 10 miles from work. No other issue was found until I exited the freeway and could not shift the bike down into 1st gear.

-2-4th tested on the mile ride from freeway to work and all worked fine.

-No power loss, a little extra vibration, rattling sound from lower cases, no other syptoms such as predetonation or tractoring with exception of bike will not go into first gear. It will find neutral, 2nd - 4th (couldnt get fast enough to test 5th legally) but no shifting problems at all except wont go down into first.

-One other note: while in nuetral and loading the bike on the truck the next day i noticed the bike rolled more freely than in the past (before the problems) with less "drag" while in neutral.

-Drained the oil today found a glittering oil filter as well as a ball bearing and what looks to be a piece of the outer bearing case. These are pictured below on a glove for size reference.

Right now I realize I am going to have to split the cases or remove the engine but as my time has become extremely limited lately due to work and kids I was hoping for a few good places to start instead of just pulling everything apart. I realize the information, though as detailed as possible is limited and dont expect the magic bullet of answers, I just was hoping for a working trajectory possibly based upon the wide breadth of experience on here. I will post more as I get farther into the work but i cant guarantee a regular timeframe based on my work schedule lately. Any input and assistance is appreciated y'all, thank you so much in advance.

Mike
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:39 PM
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ArcticKLR -

The bottom end is hell-for-stout and seldom gives any kind of problem.

What you may have going on is what is shown in this post though hopefully you've caught it early.

The shafts that carry the balancer weights are held in ball bearing races. They have no pressure lube to them, relying solely on splash lubrication. It's rare, but there have been several instances of these bearings seizing. The pictures shown in the post are of an extreme case, where the bearings must have seized, the balance shaft started to turn in the bearing, the bearing got a bit worn, and the naturally out-of-balance balancer shaft began to wobble violently, ultimately grenading the motor.

Hopefully, if this is the case with your motor, you've caught it early enough to salvage what you have. The glitter in the oil indicates that the balancer chain may have been chewing on the case.

The transmission not going in to first may be due to some debris interfering with the shift forks.

You may want to pull your right side covers and see what's going on.

I really hope that I'm wrong and that you find you sucked a squirrel into the engine and his tail is jamming the tranny...

T

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“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


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Old 06-01-2013, 06:32 PM
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Hi ArcticKLR,

It is unfortunate that you are going through this now. Hopefully we will be able to help. I have reviewed the Clymer Manual and from what I can see it looks very similar to a shift drum bearing (p.119 Fig 56(E)).

And Tom is probably right, if you cannot shift into first gear there maybe another lodged into place there.

No guarantees but somewhere to start.

fradsham
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tom, fradsham thank you both for your direction. Gives me a more targeted start point. I'll be getting into the cases this weekend starting with the lower left and depending on time lower right to check the clutch. I really appreciate your pointers as well as the lowering of my blood pressure. I will repost once I've gone in and taken a look as well a some pics. Maybe another who has similar problems (hopefully not tho) could use the info later on.

Mike


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Old 06-12-2013, 08:37 PM
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How did you make out?
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Fradsham,
Sorry I have not gotten back on here. Been working 14 hour days since the last time I was here. Trying to get into it this or next weekend and will update as I do.

Mike


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Old 07-19-2013, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticKLR View Post
Fradsham,
Sorry I have not gotten back on here. Been working 14 hour days since the last time I was here. Trying to get into it this or next weekend and will update as I do.

Mike


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No problem...good luck....

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Old 08-01-2013, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yay... Finally got into her over the weekend and today... Y'all were right. It's the upper balancer weight bearing. ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1375405539.087672.jpg

Pulled everything and found it completely destroyed. I still have t golden into the lower right case yet to find the rest of the balls and other assorted metal pieces. (Found 3 so far). I caught it before I grenaded anything but the chain chewed a couple 1/4 grooves in the case... ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1375405732.520960.jpgImageUploadedByMotorcycle1375405746.120834.jpg

Luckily, besides the missing metal... (That's for another day) the case nor chain and sprockets seem to have any other damage besides 1/8 inch scores above the balancer adjuster
ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1375405917.437406.jpg

So here's the question: no other way to replace besides pulling the whole engine I guess? I'm hoping someone has found a more practical solution in by chance, as I am still working 12-14 hour days and really want to be able to ride on my limited time off. If not I'll be doing it and might as well tune up every inch of her while I'm at it. Thanks all, not only for the help with the wide experience we have her, but also with the patience as many days I am dead on my feet when I get home.

Mike




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Old 08-01-2013, 08:42 PM
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Mike -

I think yours is certainly salvageable, but it's going to have to come completely apart, including splitting the cases.

That aluminum powder is now everywhere and everything needs to be cleaned really well to get rid of it. If you have access to a shop that can do cleaning, let them at it.

The head will have to come apart, too, as you'll find that crap down in the spring wells and up under the buckets. Hopefully it didn't get up into the camshaft and tear the caps up. Mine didn't, and you're looks far better than mine did.

You'll want to split the cases and get every bit of metal out, too, and inspect the transmission to insure that the balancer shaft didn't impact the gears.

Sorry, man, it's a real bummer. I don't think it's going to cost you a lot, but it will take a fair amount of your time.

T

Tom [email protected]

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte


Sting like a butterfly.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Tom,
Thank you for the info and confirmation. Kinda what I figured. Parts cheap, time: go an be a bit. No access to a reasonable shop so I'll be doing it. I'll be taking pics as I go so hopefully after all done I can write some of it up to help others out here.
If I may bother with one last question please? (Not that one, lol) How many hours do you estimate to complete? I am not looking for an exact answer, just trying to plan the next few weeks so I can guesstimate my timeframe. Thanks again for everything.

Mike


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