Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I have a couple issues, one leading to another. Original issue is a no start condition. Engine cranks, but not fire. I’m thinking fuel was not getting in, but that is only because I couldn’t smell fuel as I was trying to turn it over. However, my first thing I decided to do was pull the plug and look at it. Didn’t realize the process to get to that, but I got to it. When I pulled the plug out, some debris fell into the cylinder through the plug hole. So, what are my options? One piece of debris was a pebble the size of a popcorn kernel or so. I’m thinkjng it’s going to be having to be remove the top end. If so, it gives me an opportunity to learn to several things, and I’m looking for recommendations what I should do if that’s the route I need to go. The bike is an 09 with around 24000 miles I think, maybe more. I bought it with 17000 and I’ve done nothing except oil changes. My riding unfortunately has been mainly city/highway, but I did take it up to a local peak in OC called Santiago peak which was my first ever off-road adventure and it kicked my but and the bikes a little. I got home and noticed a rock wedges between my front sprocket and the guard, really lucky nothing happens to me on my way home.
Anyways, I was thinking about radiator flush, check valves, and take photos of piston and valves for you guys to look at and let me know how they look. Bike runs good, but burns oil as they seem to do, anything I can should do while having it apart, or just keep adding oil as needed?
I have a clymer manual for the bike, and then you guys and YouTube. I feel like I can do the work, or at least want to try to, but do struggle with patience which I know I’ll have tested. How much time should I expect to spend on this so I can plan accordingly? Assume I work slow. Also, any special tools I should look into? I have a basic 100 piece mechanic set, so I’m sure there’s tools I’ll need I don’t have.
I also need to get new tires which I’ve paid to have changed in the past, maybe I should try to do that myself too, but what about balancing them?

Grady
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
maybe not take pull the head just yet. Things I would consider is rigging up a plastic straw to a shop vac and sticking that in the spark plug hole. If I was really worried I might try one of those mini bore scope cameras that can attach to your phone to have a quick peak in there. Or a little mechanic's mirror and a light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Think I would adapt a hose down to the plug hole size from a shop vac with good suction.
With a clean vac filter and tank, suck on the plug hole while hand cranking it a few revolutions. Check the vac tank for the pebble.
It might pull raw gas in thru the intake valve, so probably good idea to drain the bowl first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Think I would adapt a hose down to the plug hole size from a shop vac with good suction.
With a clean vac filter and tank, suck on the plug hole while hand cranking it a few revolutions. Check the vac tank for the pebble.
It might pull raw gas in thru the intake valve, so probably good idea to drain the bowl first.
I don't think I'd crank the motor around. The last thing you want to do is wedge a pebble between the edge of the piston and the cylinder wall. The "pebble" should still be free floating and loose in there as it is and easier to suck out.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,362 Posts
I have to agree with shaky6. The only direction I would move the piston is down, by hand. And I'd only do that to gain more room for the vacuum.

I have a rig that attaches to my vacuum that I can put a small hose on just for this sort of issue. It is this little kit. You will need to add a couple of bits of hose, one that fits inside the kit's hose and another that fits inside that hose, to get into the cylinder.

Try to use a vacuum that has the sort of filter where you can clean the filter or trap and find the pieces you have sucked up. I have a small Makita vacuum, but any hand-held vacuum will likely work. My shop vac has too much suction and too large a filter. The Shark house vac has a canister and is OK.

I also have a cheap endoscope (again, just for this sort of issue).
https://www.amazon.com/DALAZ-industrial-endoscope-waterproof-high-brightness/dp/B07BFW62NZ/ref=sr_1_5?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1534354793&sr=1-5&keywords=endoscope

The thing is a giant pain in the ass to use, but you can see stuff with it.

As to your oil burning issues, there are three routes to go.

A) pull the head and cylinder and get a big-bore kit. Figure $750.
B) do Paul Westman's oil system mods. Figure $25 and an hour of wrenching. At least read the article.
C) check the oil every time you get on and everytime you get off. Religiously. Add oil, keeping it at the top of the sight glass.

My recommendation is always to go the "check the damn thing and add oil as required" route, as $750 buys a lot of oil and there is little that can go wrong.

If you are interested in curing the problem, do Paul's mods. They will probably work on a mild oil burner.

If Paul's mods can't handle the oil burning then, as a last resort, drop the $750 on the big bore. You will be able to convince yourself that you have way more power and the front end lofts effortlessly (you won't and it won't, really) but it will cure the oil burning issue. It's a fair bit of work and takes some time, too.

But, unfortunately, ya gotta get the rock out of there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,024 Posts
As to your oil burning issues, there are three routes to go.

A) pull the head and cylinder and get a big-bore kit. Figure $750.
B) do Paul Westman's oil system mods. Figure $25 and an hour of wrenching. At least read the article.
C) check the oil every time you get on and everytime you get off. Religiously. Add oil, keeping it at the top of the sight glass.

My recommendation is always to go the "check the damn thing and add oil as required" route, as $750 buys a lot of oil and there is little that can go wrong.

If you are interested in curing the problem, do Paul's mods. They will probably work on a mild oil burner.

If Paul's mods can't handle the oil burning then, as a last resort, drop the $750 on the big bore. You will be able to convince yourself that you have way more power and the front end lofts effortlessly (you won't and it won't, really) but it will cure the oil burning issue. It's a fair bit of work and takes some time, too.

.
Hmmmm......I'm not disagreeing but for clarity; with regards to Paul's mods, I've always been under the impression that they may help to address the "5,000+ rpm" burn that is typical of most singles.....didn't figure it would do much for the "tapered/distored bore and poor ring seal" problem which is a separate issue - only cure for that is to bore the cylinder round again and replace the piston/rings to suit. I'd also suggest that "C" should be done on any and all KLR's regardless.

As always on this issue, there is oil burning and then there is oil burning; if the bike is using anywhere near the "1 quart per 1000 miles" level that Kawi likes to use as a benchmark, then only the full meal deal bore job and piston will fix it.

I guess "just adding oil" may be a viable option IMO but ONLY if the oil burn isn't significant enough to be indictative of a major bore/ring issue. I'd ask the OP just how much oil his bike burns and what his typical usage is.....but being an '09, it's likely not just the "normal" oil consumption.

....I feel myself starting to ramble so I'll stop now! (you can thank me later!) LOL

Dave
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,362 Posts
Paul's mods were never intended to fix the 'broken' oil burning issue that the '08 and '09 had. Only, as you correctly point out, the 'over 5K' oil burning.

However, while I was working on the oil mods recording pressures and temperatures and hooning around with gauges and a GoPro looking like Rube Goldberg was my daddy, my engine was consuming oil at a pretty good rate. It was at the point of adding a few ounces of oil at every fill-up; I could easily run through a sight-glass' worth in a day.

What I noticed was that with Paul's mods and the oil temperature up the oil consumption ceased. Once the oil temps dropped due to it being a cold and rainy ride (the oil temps dropped to well below normal) the oil consumption resumed. So, as long as the oil was hot the mods worked to halt the oil burning. Prior to the mods it just burned oil, hot or not.

And it makes sense since the mod moves oil from the cylinder to the head/transmission. If there is less oil in the cylinder there is less to get by the rings. Yeah, the cylinder is out of round and tapered and the rings are crap, but there is still too much oil in there and it is a contributing factor.

I'm sure Paul would never tout the mods as a cure for 'broken' oil burning since that was never his intent and since, well, 'broken' is broken, right? But since I saw a reduction in oil burning with them it surely is worth a try. It's only $25 for a couple of banjo bolts, an exhaust gasket and some shipping and about an hour of time. Even if it does no good it will do no harm.

The views and opinions expressed above mine and mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any proponent of Rotella, Shell Oil, PDW, KLRForum, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, my dear wife, NTSB, or the general motorcycling public. Examples of stuff in this article are only examples and they should not be utilized anywhere except as examples as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information that I gathered myself. Any assumptions made within the aforementioned are only assumptions and should not be assumed to be reflective of the assumptions of any of the above-mentioned individuals, entities, or bodies politic at any location that can be geographically identified on a map or any U.S. government entity.

We do need to hear from yknot and understand just what his consumption is and under what circumstances. And, of course, if it is the 'broken' oil burning it is only going to get worse so Paul's mods might only be, if they work in this case, a finger in the dike.

And I agree that C should be the normal operating procedure for all KLRs, to the point of being ridiculous about it. Get on the bike, check the oil. Get off, check the oil. Even if all you did was paddle it across the parking lot. And then check it when you get back on again, even if it just sat there! I did the 'check/add oil' routine for about 10 thousand miles before I did the top end. I was like the Exxon Valdez of oil consumption but didn't kill any water birds that I knew of.

....I too, feel myself starting to ramble so I'll stop now! (you can thank me later!) LOL
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,822 Posts
yknot, Do you have access to an air compressor and a 'soda blaster'? Maybe Dave Pelletier can find Alpheous home-made soda blaster from klr650.net? The 1/4 inch suction hose would easily slip thru the spark plug hole and the pebble and other debris might could be sucked up & out.

Like others have suggested, I would only turn the engine to Bottom Dead Center, with a socket on the alternator bolt, by hand! But be careful which way you turn, IT MAY be already on the UP-Stroke, you may need to turn the engine backwards (clock-wise). Place a pencil or a straw into the spark plug hole to show you which way the piston is going, first!

The pebble may be large enough to plug the tip of the vacuum hose and lift it up & out.


I hesitate to say this. But if one is in-experienced enough to not CLEAN around the spark plug hole and allow this to happen, should the same one attempt a complete top-end rebuild?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies and idea of to try sucking it out first. The only vac I have access to I think is a large shop vac, which I could make sure is clean and just take the filter off of to see if the debris come out.

As for the oil burning, I honestly don’t have a number to give. I’ll have to do a better job of calculating that to see if it normal, slightly above normal, or worse. I feel like it’s worse than when I first got it, but I also do more freeway riding than when I got it which I’m aware they burn more around 5,000 rpms. I try to keep it at 4800 or less thinking it would prevent it 😂.

Attached are a couple photos of the plug that came out, anything out of the ordinary?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
PDwestman, should I be trusted to do a top end? Probably not lol. As for making sure the plug area was clean if debris, complete rookie mistake no doubt. With the plug in, it looked clean, I should have got the compressor out and sprayed air sound the area before removing the plug. Would of that got the pebble out, maybe, maybe not. I looked to see if there was debris after I pulled the plug and saw there was that pebble, and some dried up what I assume was anti seize or something that I assume cane off the plug as I pulled it. No way that would of come out by blowing the area out as I’m pretty certain it came from the plug threads base on how it was shaped as if that’s where it came from.
It happens.
I’m no mechanic, but the KLR engine is no rocket ship either. For me, my struggle is, and will always be patience, not forgetting or skipping the simple steps such as making sure everything is cleaned. At lest I knew something down the cylinder is something I need to take care of and not ignore 😉
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,822 Posts
yknot, I use my pocket screw driver to twirl around the spark plug pockets to loosen stuff. Then compressed air and/or the garden hose and compressed air if need be.
Have you screwed the plug back in, a couple of turns and cleaned the pocket Better Yet? If not, you should, before proceeding. (There is a drain hole below the thermostat elbow. Use a wire to poke UP it.)

With the engine at BDC and a 3/16's / 1/4 / 5/16's inch hose attached to a shop vac with shop rags and duct tape, one should be able to suck the crud out of the cylinder and combustion chamber.

I would even suggest to purchase some NON-Flammable brake cleaner and give the combustion chamber a good drowning and then more suction. Then add a squirt of oil or WD-40 to re-lube the cylinder/rings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, I’ll give that a try. I’ll have to make a run to the store sometime and go shopping. I have a plug in it to keep moisture and anything else out. I’ll make sure to turn it a couple times to listen up any remaining material whenever I get the chance to get to it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,822 Posts
I'll suggest that my point was to NOT turn it over any more than than necessary to expose and remove the crap that fell in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
Maybe I skimmed through the comments too fast, but I didn't see a suggestion to blow compressed air up through the drain hole from the well the spark plug sits in. The drain from the plug well goes to the right exterior of the cylinder just below the plug well. It drains water that gets splashed on top the head and down around the spark plug. Blowing compressed air up the hole from the outside will blast out dirt and rocks that can fall down the plug hole when the plug is removed.

I like to blow some compressed air down all around the plug from the top also before removing the plug.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
pdwestman, no plan to turn the engine, I was referring to turning the plug in the plug hole to make sure nothing is in the threads to fall back in when I get around to putting it together.
I hope I didn’t mess anything up when I worked on it originally. I also had depleted my battery while trying to get it to start before deciding to pull the plug, so I had it on a trickle charge and with the plug out turned the engine over just to make sure battery received a charge. I only hit the starter button and let go as soon as I knew it could turn, so no more than a stroke hopefully.

Any quick ideas on the no start condition once I get to it? I normally ride the bike weekly, so it should not be bad fuel or anything related to that. It seemed to be running fine when I last rode. I just went to start it and it just cranked, no attempt to fire. My first thing will be to get a spark tester and check for spark, just trying to gather up possible simple things to check for once I get there. One thing I noticed is probably before my last ride or the one prior, I finally moved my fuel switch from reserve back to on after just leaving it in reserve for quite some time as I’m always riding in the city and fuel up at every 180-200 miles. I doubt it would create a problem, but?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
I'm fairly confident its in the carburetor. You'll never be able to unclog some jets with seafoam or any other additive if the fuel can't get into the clog. You gotta pull that thing and do a proper cleaning with a carb dunk or one of those hypersonic cleaner do dads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Why get a "spark tester"? Save your money, even if they're cheap. Just plug in a spark plug and lay it on the head to get a ground. Crank it over and look for spark. Surprising little spark is actually needed for a motor to run, if the other elements are in place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,256 Posts
Why get a "spark tester"? Save your money, even if they're cheap. Just plug in a spark plug and lay it on the head to get a ground. Crank it over and look for spark. Surprising little spark is actually needed for a motor to run, if the other elements are in place.
That works fine. Especially when the tank is already off.

When everything is all buttoned up and I wonder is the problem spark or fuel related, I shoot a shot of starting fluid in the air intake. If it fires, the problem is fuel. If not, it is spark.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top