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Discussion Starter #1
so i've stumbled my way into KLR land...i recently (as in this past friday) picked up this 1986 klr 600 off of CL for a mere $400 with paperwork.

when i got it, the kicker was stuck and the PO claimed he had good compression in the bike, but of course i forgot to bring my compression tester with me and took his word for it. low and behold when i got home, i took off the head, saw the cam chain timing was way off, and got the engine to kick free in no time. after running a compression test on it, got nothing. pulled off the head and found the piston with two indents in it from the intake valves. the intake valves also appear to be out of sync, as there's gaps and they aren't seated well (forgot to photograph this).

I have to hit 15 posts before I can embed a photo, so if anyone could help me out I could send a message with a link to the photos.

what i'm looking for is is it worth it to do the repair on the valves myself or should i get it machined properly from a machinist? any input would help! thanks dudes
 

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If you have a link to the photos, just post it up, but bodge it up a bit by putting a space after the 'www' or 'http'. I'll fix it for you.

If you want to pm the links to me, that's fine, too.

Tom
 

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Indents in the piston or normal and are for clearance.

If the valves are not closing completely with the head off, then the valves are bent.

Repair would range from doing the bare minimum to likely get it running (new valves and valve stem seals to get it running, plus light three candles for Our Lady of Blessed Compression in the hopes it won't burn too much oil) to a complete head rebuild with new valves, valve seats replaced/cut, and valve guides, all at roughly the cost of the bike.

A picture of the head, showing the top side with the cams out and the bottoms side with the valves would be helpful.

Nice looking bike.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Indents in the piston or normal and are for clearance.

If the valves are not closing completely with the head off, then the valves are bent.

Repair would range from doing the bare minimum to likely get it running (new valves and valve stem seals to get it running, plus light three candles for Our Lady of Blessed Compression in the hopes it won't burn too much oil) to a complete head rebuild with new valves, valve seats replaced/cut, and valve guides, all at roughly the cost of the bike.

A picture of the head, showing the top side with the cams out and the bottoms side with the valves would be helpful.

Nice looking bike.

Tom
i'll post pictures in a few hours. even those indents look okay though? i was looking through photos of stock pistons and they also seem a little larger than the average indent that a KLR600 piston typically has.
 

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They look pretty normal to me. I don't see any obvious signs of impact, but that doesn't mean that the valves haven't hit the piston.

You said the timing was way off. That could have been from an improper assembly, in which case the valves might have been able to hit the piston on kick-over. That would bend them without leaving much of a mark on the piston.

It could also have been a jumped timing chain while the engine was running, but I'd think that would leave a more obvious mark.

Any real idea how far off the cam timing might have been when you got it?

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They look pretty normal to me. I don't see any obvious signs of impact, but that doesn't mean that the valves haven't hit the piston.

You said the timing was way off. That could have been from an improper assembly, in which case the valves might have been able to hit the piston on kick-over. That would bend them without leaving much of a mark on the piston.

It could also have been a jumped timing chain while the engine was running, but I'd think that would leave a more obvious mark.

Any real idea how far off the cam timing might have been when you got it?

Tom
engine didn't kick over when i picked it up. i believe it was the front cam that was more than 90 degrees off from where it was supposed to be. jumping timing chain was what i was thinking, if it was running it would have made a way bigger mark though?

i guess it would make sense if it happened while someone was kicking the bike over, since the timing was way off it would only bend two of the four valves.
 

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I guess how far out of time and under what circumstances it was turned over is all going to be just 'interesting talk'.

What's really going to matter is seeing which valves are bent and how much.

Then the decision will be how to fix it and how much money to spend in doing so.

There's also the possibility that, if the bike sat for a long time, the valve(s) are just stuck.

More pictures will help, and smarter folks will come along with more complete ideas.

Tom
 

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My eyes may deceive me, but the piston looks to have had Intake valve contact near the 'center' of the piston from both intake valves.

Spray some carb cleaner/brake cleaner (or pour some gasoline) into the intake and exhaust ports to check valve sealing.

How many miles are on the odometer? It has very clean bodywork!! It should be 'worth' every cent and drop of sweat that you invest into it!

With-out more info/Pics, I'll suggest a very "LIGHT" re-cut of the valve seats, new guide seals and new Intake Valves with a light/fine lapping compound.

Show us 'how much' that you 'love it'!
I'm eagerly anticipating its revival.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
okay so....

both new intake valves showed up. we did a good re-cut into the seats and these ones look great. here's our new dilemma: we're looking to measure how much of the valve stem is exposed to make sure it is in spec, which is between 37.13mm - 37.9 mm for the 86 KLR600. we measured 36.9mm and figured we'd need to cut the valve deeper. before we jumped to that, noticed that the oil seal and spring seat (small washer at bottom) were still in. question is, are you supposed to remove these parts to get an accurate measurement? have not yet measured clearance with the cam's reinstalled...

...took a little break these past few weeks but eager to get back into it. carb should be gone through next week and do some good cleaning of parts.

(whoever can help me with photos these are helpful, thanks again to Tom for the help on the last ones, add http : / / )

i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s442/jpokorny2/IMG_4910_zpsshxuohkp.jpg

i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s442/jpokorny2/IMG_4912_zpsewbhizxn.jpg
 

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okay so....

both new intake valves showed up. we did a good re-cut into the seats and these ones look great. here's our new dilemma: we're looking to measure how much of the valve stem is exposed to make sure it is in spec, which is between 37.13mm - 37.9 mm for the 86 KLR600. we measured 36.9mm and figured we'd need to cut the valve deeper. before we jumped to that, noticed that the oil seal and spring seat (small washer at bottom) were still in. question is, are you supposed to remove these parts to get an accurate measurement? have not yet measured clearance with the cam's reinstalled...

...took a little break these past few weeks but eager to get back into it. carb should be gone through next week and do some good cleaning of parts.

(whoever can help me with photos these are helpful, thanks again to Tom for the help on the last ones, add http : / / )

i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s442/jpokorny2/IMG_4910_zpsshxuohkp.jpg

i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s442/jpokorny2/IMG_4912_zpsewbhizxn.jpg
joepoko,
Remove the valve seal and the steel spring seat.

We prefer to have the Shortest stem length possible. Which leaves room for Thicker shims at initial assembly. Which was Why I suggested the very Lightest re-cut of the valve seats and/or light lapping, back in August.

The tips of the valve stems only have enough length to allow about .015 inch of 'tipping'.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i have returned from hiatus....

good news, put everything back together, cleaned the carb, new gaskets for the head, threw a battery in, prayed to the gods, and...

...it runs! sounds bitchin' at that, holds idle nicely without choke. slapped some shinko 705's on it (i have a 1980 yamaha tt250 now for my dirt dreams) and now waiting on a few parts to come in (OEM decals, new levers, original mirrors from ebay, grips, etc).

my paperwork is an issue though, the PO gave me a title signed over to him from the original owner, when i went to DMV they wouldn't honor two bill of sales showing the transfer to me. just dropped the title back off with the seller to have him sort out the paperwork so i can register this thing and get riding.

couple of questions for you guys, and i'll take some photos later to accompany:

1) my fan doesn't turn on even when the engine heats up. the PO may have messed with the wiring so it may be different than spec, haven't looked into it too much. my father seems to think the issue lies with the fan switch?

2) in regards to cleaning up the exhaust header, heat shield, and muffler, which its stamped stainless steel, steel wool and the high temp spraypaint will do right?
 

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A suggestion: Test your fan circuitry by grounding the lead to the thermal switch at the bottom of the radiator. If the fan activates, your fan relay is o.k., as is the rest of your wiring up to the thermal switch.

The thermal switch closes to ground at about 200 degrees F. coolant temperature. You can remove the switch, boil it in a pot of water, and check with an ohmmeter to see if the switch closes. (A procedure exists in the KLR600 Service Manual).

If the switch closes at a reasonable temperature, chances are you have a non-problem. The temperature gauge indicates temperature of coolant at the cylinder head, higher than the temperature at the bottom of the radiator.

You can install a manual fan switch, thermal switch lead to ground, if you want to; unnecessary in my view with an operational thermal switch.
 

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haven't had a chance to tackle the fan just yet. but cleaned her up a little bit. went to town on the plastics, cleaned em' up, got the OEM decals applied, original mirrors from ebay, and new biltwell grips. just waiting for that paperwork to go through...feelin' good!
:mexican wave:

(anyone who can edit to add the photos just add the http at the beginning! thanks!)





 

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Discussion Starter #16
hey y'all--

little update on the bike, we're all legal now so i'm finally putting some miles on it! bike so far runs pretty good, idles around 1000-1100 nicely. new gaskets seem to be doing their job, engine sounds nice, and it putted along the jackie robinson pkwy for about 10 miles through twisty roads nicely.

here's my concern: as i wrote before my fan is wired so i can bypass the switch, and can operate the fan whether the bike is running or not. while in NYC traffic i noticed that the engine temp hung out around the third notch in the temperature gauge (about 75% of the way up on the gauge), but while i was riding at a good speed it would be down around 40% - 50% about straight up. the engine felt like it was running hot, this could be because this is my first bike with a higher pipe, but then again i'm not totally sure.

do these bikes typically run hot? i've read in a couple places that it was one of the reasons that they only made the KLR600 for a couple of years. thanks fellas
 

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joepoko,
1/2 to 7/8th scale on the temp gauge is great. That is about 195-255 f. Red zone is 265 and over.
No one ever gives a thought to 'how hot' an air cooled engine with fins runs, which is usually over 300 f. near the spark plugs.
The KLR's bigger problem is running Too Cold for Too Long. Which leads to 'milky engine oil'. The stock thermostat is 160f which is Too Cold. And without a radiator by-pass hose to re-circulate the warm water until it becomes Hot water (195-210f) your temp gauge can hover at the 140-160f mark all day long, in <60f ambient temps.
I suggest that you check into purchasing a Thermo-Bob 2 at Welcome to get the temp gauge to the 1/2-3/4 scale in only 3-5 miles of travel and then let the cooling fan do its job of keeping the system from Exceeding the 7/8th scale.

RMATV/MC.com sells a TUSK radiator cap with the temp gauge built into it. It should read less than the cylinder head OEM gauge, cause the KLR600 coolant will have already gone up thru the RH radiator.
 

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First, let me agree with pdwestman: Fear not, as long as the needle stays out of the far red zone!

Next: Probably; some agnosticism, if not some civil disagreement:

Respecting the innovation, research, testing, manufacturing and ethical marketing of the Thermo-Bob, I remain somewhat skeptical of the device's effectiveness regarding maintenance issues (e.g., reliability/durability/performance).

I know of no quantifiable data supporting increased mileage/hours between malfunctions/major overhaul by virtue of the Thermo-Bob.

I know of no component failures attributed to the stock KLR650 cooling system, operated under safe conditions.

Granted, the Thermo-Bob stabilizes coolant temperature more thoroughly, and at a higher temperature, than the stock system. Quantifying the EFFECT of these parameter changes remains a challenge. [Once upon a time, excessive oil consumption (2008-2000 models) and out-of-round cylinder bores were blamed upon the lack of a Thermo-Bob.]

That said, the Thermo-Bob does no harm as far as I can see; my 75,000-mile 2008 KLR650-riding partner LOVES his.

I have yet to install a Thermo-Bob, but respect the opinions of those who do. And . . . I certainly respect the innovation and entrepreneurship of the developer of the device!

DISCLAIMER: I may be abusing my engine, torturing all molecules of its structure by denying them the advantage of the Thermo-Bob. As in: Forcing the engine to suffer the ravages of HEAT CYCLING, and THERMAL SHOCK. If the Kawasaki engineers and designers failed to specify appropriate materials, dimensions, and clearances for reliable and durable operation with the stock cooling system, I'll be very sorry some day (along with other KLR650 purchasers for more than 25 years).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks for the info fellas! i'm gonna put some more miles on it the way it is right now and see how it all goes.

in anticipation of the many camping trips i hope to take this summer...

what's the best pannier rack quality/cost wise they make for the 600? i've seen only a couple on the internet. are the 250 ones interchangable? i have waxed canvas messenger bags i've turned into panniers from my old 75 CB360 so all i need at this point is the racks.

thanks dudes!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
newest update...

50 mile ride into work today and the first leg of it seemed to be okay. cruised along in NY traffic at 60-65 nicely around 5000-5500 RPM. went to give it a little more throttle and over 65 it started to bog and lose power. moved over in traffic expecting the worst but once i resumed cruising around 60 it went back to acting normal. all electric controls, signals, lights seemed to be working fine. my thoughts lead me to the carb jetting, but could it be anything else with fuel? could this relate back to the valve work i did on it earlier this year (see posts above)? cam chain tension? still gotta ride home...

speedo would do a little weird dropping every once in a while, would drop from 60 to 35-40 and spring back up to 60 very quickly.

temp seemed to hang out in a safe area, so no huge worries there.

i did hear a what almost sounded like a little "whimper" when cruising to a stop with the clutch in and down-shifting. it went away when the bike came to a stop and also wasn't present when accelerating.
 
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