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Discussion Starter #1
My '01 KLR has been sitting idle for about a year and is probably done for. Here's everything it needs, according to the mechanic who checked it out when I stopped driving it because the rear sprocket wore out:

New rear sprocket for sure, probably a new chain as well
New cylinder head (there's antifreeze in the oil)
New clutch
New piston and valves
New piston rings
New rear left turn signal

The mechanic quoted me $2400 for the whole job, which of course I'm not going to spend. If I do the work myself (with the help of a friend who's better at this stuff than me), then I'd rather not buy new parts because that's still more money than I want to spend on a 20-year-old bike. So, if I can't fix it using mostly used parts, then I'll likely donate/sell it as it is and be done with it.

I don't suppose anyone here has serviceable used parts to sell? Or, maybe someone reasonably local (northern Utah) would like to buy the bike as it is? Of course I'll check out ebay, etc., for the used parts, but I'd rather deal with fellow KLR riders if possible.
 

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You could probably buy the whole used engine for about half the price, just inspect the head and ask if the doohickey has been done. It would be easier, if you go the other route(rebuild) make sure the head bearings are in good condition, they die from the lack of oil.
 

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did he completely tear it down? .....having coolant in the oil isn't a great thing but it certainly doesn't mean that you automatically need a new head! ditto on the valves and piston/rings....coolant in the oil could be for something as minor as the coolant pump seal. How many miles and how does it run? oil consumption? .....if it really did need all that, you can send the head off to Eaglemike along with the cylinder and order his 685 kit and put it together yourself for half that price. A used replacement motor can generally be had for $1,200 - $1,500 as well but I doubt you'd need to go that far. sprockets and chain and the signal light are very minor things to deal with. You really need to know what you actually need to fix.

Dave
 

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How did he determine there was anti-freeze in the engine oil? Did he drain some out of the crankcase?
Was the radiator near empty? Did he pressure test the cooling system?
I'll disagree with Dave P about potential coolant pump shaft seals being possible cause of possible coolant in the engine oil.
Because there is a weep hole Between the coolant seal & the engine oil seal to mostly ever keep them two fluids from contacting each other in that location. Rare for that opening to be plugged up.

What makes him think that your bike needs a new clutch? Bike isn't running, so one can't cause it to slip even if it could slip!

Can you do pictures from phone or computer?
 

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How did he determine there was anti-freeze in the engine oil? Did he drain some out of the crankcase?
Was the radiator near empty? Did he pressure test the cooling system?
I'll disagree with Dave P about potential coolant pump shaft seals being possible cause of possible coolant in the engine oil.
Because there is a weep hole Between the coolant seal & the engine oil seal to mostly ever keep them two fluids from contacting each other in that location. Rare for that opening to be plugged up.

What makes him think that your bike needs a new clutch? Bike isn't running, so one can't cause it to slip even if it could slip!

Can you do pictures from phone or computer?
I'm thinking the mechanic is going with the P. T. Barnum idea of "There's a sucker born every minute". If he can convince the customer that an expensive repair is needed when it's not - more money for him. Sad to say but a lot of repair shops seem to use this method.
 

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My '01 KLR has been sitting idle for about a year and is probably done for. Here's everything it needs, according to the mechanic who checked it out when I stopped driving it because the rear sprocket wore out:

New rear sprocket for sure, probably a new chain as well
This is reasonable, as it was the reason you laid the bike up.
New cylinder head (there's antifreeze in the oil)
What the jump the **** up and down is this about? Even if the IS antifreeze in the oil, it wouldn't indicate a new head. It would indicate, at most, a new head gasket. This is one of those things that can be better determined if you just get the bike running and ride the damn thing.
New clutch
Doubt it. KLR clutches last forever. The springs might sag a bit, but the clutches will take a huge amount of abuse. Again, get the bike running and see if the clutch slips, after properly adjusting it. If it does slip, it probably only needs a new set of springs.
New piston and valves
This makes no sense. The valves may need adjusting, which would be indicated by the bike being hard to get started but running well once it does start.
New piston rings
This makes no sense at all. How would this be determined? Did he do a compression and leak-down test? Does he know it has a KACR? Does he know what the right numbers are for a compression test? Again, get the bike running. If it runs well, run it. If it spews smoke, worry about it then.
New rear left turn signal
Sounds reasonable, but I wouldn't pay to have that done. Find a turn signal on e-bay and put it on.

The thief quoted me $2400 for the whole job
Fixed that for ya. Put as much distance as you can between you and your bike and this criminally insane person as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of your replies. I'm having trouble getting my phone to send the photos, so for now I'll just respond with text.

Yes, I suspected all along that the mechanic was trying to pull a fast one. I neglected to mention in the OP that he also wanted to have me trade in my bike for another one. If I'd gone for that, then what a huge win for him--he would've sold me a bike and then turned around and sold my old one to someone else once he'd fixed whatever (probably relatively minor) things were wrong with it.

I don't think he did much testing, if any, to determine the cause of antifreeze in the oil--he just jumped to the conclusion that the cylinder head needed to be replaced. I have no idea how he determined that the pistons, etc. needed to be replaced. I'm quite sure he was just trying to drive up the price he could quote me to push me toward trading in the bike.

So, it sounds like what I need to do is start by replacing the rear sprocket and see if anything else needs to be fixed at that point?

It's really too bad that the only mechanic I've ever fully trusted has retired. Also too bad that I've owned the bike for 13 years and haven't become a better mechanic myself, but better late than never, I suppose.
 

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2013 KLR 650/692, 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
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You’ll find everything you need to get that bike sorted right here.

Before you spend money on a new sprocket and chain, get it running, otherwise you may waste money.

Do you have a Clymer manual? If not, buy one now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here are some pictures. I didn't post one of the worn-out sprocket because I already know what's wrong with that. What do you suppose the nasty, milky stuff in the crankcase indicates? Is this what you'd expect to see if a bike with coolant in the oil has been sitting for a year? I know the oil didn't look like this when I stopped riding the bike a year ago. I'd assume my next step is to clean out the crankcase and replace the oil so I can at least run the bike to test for other problems. What's the best way to go about cleaning out this gunk?

I do have a Clymer manual, but I've mostly used it for routine maintenance up until now.
 

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The milky residue inside the cap probably is just condensation built up from sitting in a humid environment and maybe being started a few times but not run long enough to get the oil hot enough to evaporate the water out. Did the bike sit out in the rain?

Start by draining the old oil first. If there’s substantial water in the oil pan, then you probably have a leak at the head gasket. Taste the water (don’t swallow, spit it out). If it has a sweet taste, that’s probably antifreeze. If no water, or only a few drops, then it’s condensation.

Tell us what you find.

If the old oil doesn’t have water in it, pour it back in the crankcase. Then run the engine for a good long time to get the temp gauge at least to the middle of its range. However, DO NOT let it sit in one place idling. The heat from the exhaust system can melt the plastic underside of the air filter box without air circulation! Go ride it for a half hour or longer. I’ll bet the milky crud evaporates.

Then we can focus on the other problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I can't ride it around because the rear sprocket is missing teeth. If I replace the old oil with new before running the bike for half an hour, will that make any difference? Or are you saying that letting the bike idle for half an hour always presents a danger, even if the bike isn't having problems?
 

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The potential problem is that the exhaust pipe runs under the air box. The underside of the air box has a metal heat shield on it to protect it from heat, but the front inch or so does not. This is the part that can melt if it gets too hot. If you can’t ride the bike, then fold some aluminum foil 4 times and work it up in between the air box and exhaust pipe to insulate the air box from direct heat. Also do the same around the bottom of the coolant reservoir, especially the nipple, and hose from the radiator. Those can melt from the direct heat from the exhaust pipe where it curves around to the back.

Once you get the engine running satisfactorily, then you will remove the cam cover and check the valve clearances and the cam bearings.

As for the oil, well, fresh oil is usually a good thing, but you want to find out why you have the milky crud in there. I’d wait to change the oil until after you know that you don’t have a coolant leak and that the head isn’t damaged. When you are sure of that, then put fresh oil in it. Otherwise, you’ll just throw away more oil.

let me ask some follow up questions: how was the bike running before you parked it? Obviously, the rear sprocket didn’t wear out and the turn signal didn’t break from sitting a year. It sounds like you or the previous owner deferred maintenance on it and didn’t fix things when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I broke the turn signal when I hit black ice and went down (at low speed in a parking lot, thank God) in Dec '19. I've replaced turn signal before and I know it's an easy job; I admit I have no excuse for putting that one off for so long.

Before the sprocket became unusable, I don't believe I noticed any problems with the way the bike was running. Well, sometimes I had to push the ignition button half a dozen times to get the bike to start, but I don't think that's related to anything else here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, and no, the bike never sat out in the rain. It was in a carport well away from the rain.
 

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Water vapor has plenty of opportunities to get in, but almost none to get out. Humid air gets in the crankcase, the water condenses out of the air and gets into the oil. The longer the exposure and the more humid the air, the more water will get into the oil. It happens all of the time, but a frequently ridden bike will get hot enough to drive the water from the oil.

Hard starting, as you describe, is a classic sign of valves being set with too little clearance between the bucket shim and the cam. I'd go in, measure the shims and the clearance, figure out what shims were needed, get the shims and put it all back together. Drain the water-laden oil and put new oil in ($12 at Kragen's when Rotella is on sale) and fire that mother up and ride it.

Sort out any remaining problems if and when they crop up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's a pic of the drained oil. I took a video too, but for some reason I can't post it. Is the website set up to block video uploads? When I click the Attachment button and look in the folder where the video is, it's simply missing; however, when I look in the same folder by navigating through my computer the usual way, it's there. I don't want to hijack my own thread by trying to troubleshoot computer problems here, but I went to all the trouble of taking the stupid video...

I did taste the horrible stuff, BTW. I couldn't detect any hint of sweetness.
 

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I meant if there was separate globs of water, to taste that water, not the oil emulsion. Did it smell like antifreeze? Anyway, that’s pretty contaminated oil. Forget what I said earlier and change it.

If it’s hard starting, take Tom’s advice and check the valve clearances. While you have the cam cover off, check the cam bearing caps for wear. Take them off and put them back on “one at a time,” otherwise you will have to reset the chain tensioner. Use the Clymer manual for the procedures.
 

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I got a used engine from the knackers for $1100 if i remember right,

had 9k onit, a few bolts and Tammy had it in for me!

Friends that can wrench, priceless!
 

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While you have the cam cover off, check the cam bearing caps for wear. Take them off and put them back on “one at a time,” otherwise you will have to reset the chain tensioner.
PeteK,
If we remove the cap & spring from the cam chain tensioner Before we even loosen the valve cover (Gen 1 center chain guide is in the top of the valve cover), we can even do a complete valve tappet inspection, cam bearing inspection & valve clearance re-shimming/adjustment without further disturbing the main body of the cam chain tensioner. ;)

Just elevate the RH end of either cam shaft to extract old shim & insert corrected shim size (numbers Down of course).
For the LH valves, the inner dowel pins need to be removed in-order to gently roll the cam shaft towards the spark plug to extract & replace a shim.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
I have oil, but I don't have a replacement oil filter. I should obviously replace the filter because the old oil's so contaminated, but do you think it's necessary for troubleshooting purposes?
 
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