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Discussion Starter #1
So, I was riding up to work yesterday (about 35 miles on the highway just outside of Las Vegas) and my engine lost a bit of power: it started slowing down with constant throttle pressure. I let off the gas a bit and it was running alright. I gave it a bit more gas while going up a little hill and it completely shut off. I coasted to the side of the road and three hours later, was in the shop. They looked it over and found it low on oil and flakes of metal in the oil filter. I had just put oil in it maybe two weeks before. Me, being the ignorant idiot that I am, didn't realize that it was burning through oil way faster than I thought while going at highway speeds. I assume it is completely shot and no hope for recovery. Please let me know. Is there any hope? The shop said it was going to be $652 just for them to break it down the rest of the way and see what is causing the failure. Is it worth it? Should I just try to do it myself (I basically have no mechanical experience, accept helping my friend swap out an engine, one time. but have wanted to learn..)? What are your thoughts, other than I don't deserve to ride this bike because of my negligence..? Be gentle, please.

-Devon
 

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Too late to say check the oil level at every ride and keep it at the VERY top of the sightglass.

I'm afraid you probably toasted the cam bearings; only one way to tell for sure - open it up and look.


Good luck,
Dave
 

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Take the bike home. There's no reason to throw good money after bad, and what you got is bad.

You toasted the head. Get the bike home, pull the tank, pull the valve cover, look at the right-hand exhaust journal to verify that you ran it out of oil and toasted the head.

Take a couple of pictures and send them to Engine Dynamics in Petaluma, CA and ask them if they think it is fixable. It will probably cost you what the shop wanted just to crack it open to fix the head and put the thing back together.

Keep the group in the loop on this and you'll be walked through the process.

You can do it. It is just an engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Too late to say check the oil level at every ride and keep it at the VERY top of the sightglass.

I'm afraid you probably toasted the cam bearings; only one way to tell for sure - open it up and look.


Good luck,
Dave
Thanks Dave. I'm pretty sure you're right. Do you think it's even worth trying to fix?
 

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Once the cams, cylinder head, cylinder, piston & rings are removed, take pics of the head and send them to these guys to ask for an appraisal of repair of bearings & valves. They can over-bore & hone the cylinder also, for an Eagle Mike or Schnitz Racing 661 or 685 piston kit. They need a piston kit in hand along with the worn cylinder and damaged head.

ENGINE DYNAMICS

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Engine-Dynamics-LLC/154264057944195
 

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Follow Tom's advice. Also when you have the Cylinder Head off, you might want to post some pictures of the Cylinder Wall with the Piston at the bottom of the Cylinder. Take a couple of pictures so we can see the entire circumference of the Cylinder Wall. You may or may not need to do a bit more than the Cylinder Head, but frankly, a 685 Kit should be on your list if the Cylinder Head is repairable anyway. Particularly if it was already burning that much oil before this happened.

FWIW, One of the really "bad" things about a KLR is, that no matter how bad they break, it's almost always cheaper to fix them than it is to throw them away.

Not to worry . . . . you certainly aren't the first and you will definitely will not be the last to find yourself and your KLR in precisely this exact situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Take the bike home. There's no reason to throw good money after bad, and what you got is bad.

You toasted the head. Get the bike home, pull the tank, pull the valve cover, look at the right-hand exhaust journal to verify that you ran it out of oil and toasted the head.

Take a couple of pictures and send them to Engine Dynamics in Petaluma, CA and ask them if they think it is fixable. It will probably cost you what the shop wanted just to crack it open to fix the head and put the thing back together.

Keep the group in the loop on this and you'll be walked through the process.

You can do it. It is just an engine.
Thanks, Tom. That looks like the best option for me right now. And thanks for advice about Engine Dynamics. I will definitely be doing that and keep this thread updated. 'Preciate it!

Devon
 

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It's repairable ....usually. As Paul suggested, I'd throw in an Eaglemike 685 at the same time if I had to go that far anyways, but first see if the head is salvagable. Other than that, you need to find a replacement motor or part her out. :-(
If you pay a shop to do all the work for you, it will likely be cheaper to do a motor swap. If you can do the rebuild (other than parts and machining) then I'd go that route.

Dave
 

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Hey Fellas,

Still amazed at youse guy's Resources... and I'm continually adding them to my KLR NoteBook - Justen Kase

What about an Engine Schwap?
Some folks are almost throwing away KLRs like the '03 I picked up (pretty rough shape, though mostly easily fixable), especially if a BasketCase.
And I have faith left in 'Merica enough that she'll present a bonafide Seller with a real (used) motor that runs upon hook up???
$650-ish should get you a lot I'd think... maybe not a Off-The-Shelf ReBuilt with 90D Warranty, but it might be an option if you go further and find more damage.

Hope to hear that it all works out quickly and cheaply for you.
 

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I’ve been wrenching nearly 50 years so something like this comes pretty much second nature to me, but on the other hand I’ve had guys work for me that aren’t mechanically inclined and have a lot of trouble just putting the ratchet wrench on and turning the correct direction.
Even the old timer mechanics use manuals at times, so it’s entirely up to you if you feel comfortable doing the work. It’s a pretty simple engine.
With the help of even just a Clymer manual, and the good folks here, I’m sure you can do this. Desire and patience along with a willingness to learn, will make it happen.

My 2 cents worth
 
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I'll admit that I didn't check my oil every ride. More like every 1000 miles or so. I had a 09 and a 14. Both bikes never used oil between changes.

Would be nice if a light would have come on. Is there a way to add a oil pressure switch somewhere?
 

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The best thing is to check the oil every time you get on and every time you get off. And I mean that. Get off to add gas, check the oil, get back on to roll it over to the parking lot for a Coke break, check the oil, get off to park it, check the oil, get back on to continue riding, check the oil. Sounds and looks stupid, but that makes it a habit.

A low-pressure light can be added (Paul gave me a Ninja pressure switch, which I installed) but the problem is that it is going to come on every time you're oil is up to ~200*F. A stock KLR is going to run just a couple of pounds of pressure at the cams at 5,000rpm. One with Paul's oiling mods will run 3-4psi. You also probably wouldn't notice it in the short amount of time you have between loss of pressure and damage.

A better solution is a pressure gauge but, again, you'd have to notice the loss of pressure.

I don't know about others, but I usually take a break every 120 miles or so. It is pretty unlikely that it would go through 2 liters of oil in 120 miles without there being pre-existing oil burning signs, and that kind of oil loss is not going to happen suddenly without some sort of serious problem occurring, like a broken piston land.
 
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Again, never an OilLevel Checker and never paid a price for it... BUT!

After reading a few KLR stories here, I think I'll do as suggested above and check the OilLevel every Soda sip to be sure my KLR doesn't suddenly just explode on me!!!
 

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Hey Paul,

Whatever did you decide to do with that 250 Ninja Banjo Bolt/Oil Pressure Switch combination?

Kawasaki Bolt P/N 92002-1427

Kawasaki Oil Pressure Switch P/N: 27010-1360
 

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If you're able to do the work yourself, or trust someone who can/will do it for you, then by all means get it out of the shop. Now.

On the other hand, if you're on your own and don't have the expertise for the work--what does $652 bucks cover? If that's to be applied to the rebuild if they do it, ask them what the worst-case overall cost will be. Likely the shop wants to ensure they won't tear it down, advise you of the problems, and have you use their diagnosis to fix it elsewhere. That said, $600+ dollars sounds like an excessive amount to me to tear it down and diagnose. Highly recommend you go elsewhere, or do it yourself.

Alan
 

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If you're able to do the work yourself, or trust someone who can/will do it for you, then by all means get it out of the shop. Now.

On the other hand, if you're on your own and don't have the expertise for the work--what does $652 bucks cover? If that's to be applied to the rebuild if they do it, ask them what the worst-case overall cost will be. Likely the shop wants to ensure they won't tear it down, advise you of the problems, and have you use their diagnosis to fix it elsewhere. That said, $600+ dollars sounds like an excessive amount to me to tear it down and diagnose. Highly recommend you go elsewhere, or do it yourself.

Alan
Excellent advice IMHO. $600 for what would amount to maybe an hours work (two hours if consuming an adult beverage at the same time) seems like a fairly steep labor rate.
 

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One thing I've learned over the years is: If you don't have the inclination or knowledge, skills, and abilities to do it yourself, then you pay someone else to do it. That's just how the world works. I mean you're definitely going to pay a stupid tax here, but its a lesson learned. Either that or you take up a new hobby of "engine overhaul." No "mechanic in a bottle" is likely to fix this one.
 

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Knowledge can be gained......time, the appropriate work space, the ability to be without a bike for awhile and having some decent tools are the deciding factors IMO. Honestly, If those things were an issue, I'd consider trying to find a used engine......even if it came in another KLR.

Dave
 

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Hey Paul,

Whatever did you decide to do with that 250 Ninja Banjo Bolt/Oil Pressure Switch combination?

Kawasaki Bolt P/N 92002-1427

Kawasaki Oil Pressure Switch P/N: 27010-1360
Bluehighways,
I honestly don't recall giving Tom those parts. I think I remember that member "T748" may have been the one to 'Gift' Tom Schmitz with those parts. Check his thread, 'Oil Pressure Light Install'. He used a 'Mopar' switch.

I've never had reason to test a 27010-1360 switch (2008-2012 Ninja 250 / 1996-2007 Vulcan 1500 & 1600's). But I have tested a couple 27010-1313 atv/side by side switches, which will activate at about 1 - 2 psi.

The atv switch is installed BEFORE the oil filter, duh! And is way Too Low of activation at that position, but might operate quite well at the KLR cam banjo bolt with KLX sized banjos and a crankshaft oil control orifice.
 
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