Very fine metal in oil after Doohicky mod - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-10-2017, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Very fine metal in oil after Doohicky mod

This weekend I did the doohicky mod on my 2009. The inside of the case was clean and everything looked like new. After the mod, I put it all back together and and started it up. I used Kawasaki 10-40 synthetic and Kawasaki filter. I was flabbergasted at how much quieter the engine sounds after the mod - nothing but exhaust sound - never been so smooth and quiet.

Here's the rub. The oil got overfilled by almost half a quart, and it looked sort of opaque or cloudy. I didn't run it for more than a few minutes. I drained the oil (ouch - $50 in the pan) and pulled the filter. I found VERY fine metal sparkles in the oil and in the valleys of the filter. If there is visible shavings in the oil after such a short time, I'm afraid to run it until I get a chance to take it apart and check it again. I put a new filter on and new oil (Castrol Go! MC oil) and started it up. After a few minutes, I turned it off and the oil looks a little cloudy again but maybe not as bad as the first time.

We used a professional gasket remover/surface cleaner (air tool with a spinny disk sort of like brillo or something) that we used to clean the case surfaces. It throws a lot of material and cleans the gasket off nicely without messing up the surface. I think there was enough material ejected to get into the case (even though we were very careful trying not to get any in the engine) that i contaminated the oil, but the mechanic that was helping me says no way we got that much stuff in there.

The engine runs SOOOO smooth and quiet! if there is some other problem, it seems like it would sound worse, not awesome. Any ideas?

Last edited by Paul Gardner; 09-10-2017 at 11:05 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 07:16 AM
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Try another oil & filter change, or two, using cheap oil. You may just have stuff that needs to be flushed out. run for a little longer each time you do a change. See if it get's any cleaner with each change.

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post #3 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 10:37 AM
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I would have never used that type of gasket remover on a still installed engine part. I will use that type of gasket remover on both sides the inner cover/balancer chain cover if the part is totally removed from the engine.

But the main engine case and the alternator cover (with stator still installed) is scraped cleaned, with a sharp wood chisel or a razor blade. And all crumbs are removed.

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Larry, I do plan to do that. I'm debating on whether I also need to spring for another $45 to get the gasket set and go in and see if it's something else.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, we thought we were being very careful about it - but yeah. Lesson learned. What's your opinion - do you think I need to spring another $45 for gasket set and go back in and take another look to see if it could be something else rubbing (missing washer, etc.)?
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 02:23 PM
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A quiet KLR 650? Enough metal shavings to make the oil cloudy? Doesn't sound (no pun intended) good at all.

Question: Are the metal shavings aluminum or steel? Use a magnet to check. Metal = Very Bad, buy more gaskets. Aluminum = Not Good, but may be due to an overly aggressive gasket cleaning technique.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I had the same thought. Not steel. I did use a very strong magnet to check to see if I could pull anything out of the filter. Also, tried to grab some from the filter using a toothpick - nothing magnetic, and it's so small if you get it on your fingers you cannot feel it when rubbing your fingers together. It's like the size of the very tip of a pin or smaller - you can barely see a few sparkles but not feel it.

Also, nothing on the magnetic oil plug either. I really think it's the overzealous gasket cleaning. Only the auto mechanic (and fellow KLR owner) that helped me with it doesn't think the gasket cleaning could have done that, but I don't think he's ever seen the amount of material being ejected from that cleaning disk like I saw it while holding the flashlight.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 10:50 PM
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Have your mechanic friend check with the manufacturer of the vehicles his dealer sells/services. Many manufacturers have issued Technical Service Bulletins and/or Warranty Bulletins that tell a Dealer that if they submit any Warranty Claims for engine or transmission work and any material from any of the plastic/abrasive discs such as you describe are found, the Dealer will not be reimbursed. The rationale isn't about metal shavings. The plastic bits from the disc as it wears in the process of cleaning the gasket(s) are almost impossible to keep out of the engine/transmission. They then circulate in the engine or transmission and when the engine or transmission reaches operating temperature, these bits of plastic melt and cause all sorts of havoc inside the engine or transmission jamming oil pumps, filters, valves, etc., etc., etc.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-11-2017, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys! I emailed Eagle Mike this evening and asked him if I should buy some another gasket set and take it apart and double check. I got a response back tonight. Talk about first rate quality of products and service! I've been super impressed with the two kits I got (Drill through sub-frame bolt upgrade and cam tensioner adjuster/doohicky with crank tool). I found out his service is just as good as the products. Here's what he said:

"You are fine. Could change filter again, would not bother with changing oil too. Filter should catch all the stuff. Any decent MC oil is good. Change it every 2500 miles. Keep the air filter clean and well oiled. MAke sure all the hoses and plugs arein place on the bottom of the airbox.
Lots of people comment on how smooth and quiet it is when properly tensioned.
Congrats! Well done!
all the best,

I'll show the filter and oil to the mechanic and we'll discuss - but I'm thinking I'll run it again for a short time then change oil and filter again and then again VERY soon.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-16-2017, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I've been starting the engine every day and letting it idle until the temp gauge moves then turn it off. Today I used tiedowns to get the bike standing upright (not leaned over on the kickstand) and started it and ran it again until the temp gauge moved. Then I waited a bit and drained about a third of a quart of oil and checked it. I could count the very few and VERY small sparkles - which was a huge improvement from the first batch of oil after the doohicky mod. I checked the filter and it too looked good, with only a minor amount of very small debris caught in one of the pleats.

I'm satisfied that the theory of overzealous gasket surface cleaning was what contaminated the oil and not a botched re-assembly and parts rubbing together. Thanks again everyone for the input!
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