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Old 03-17-2010, 04:13 PM   #104
Jammin OP
Living on a DR
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
Oddometer: 1,563
Laugh Broke down on Hwy 1

I can't seem to get going on this trip, lol.

I'm broke down about 40 miles south of San Francisco on Hwy 1 and it looks like it's a busted cam chain at the least. Shridhar's arranged for a friend to come pick me up.

Once again the problem lies not with the bike but the operator! I keep making so many mistakes.

What happened is that when the engine was being rebuilt, I asked my mechanic to explain how the cam chain tensioner works and when reassmebling everything, we forgot to secure the little screw cap that goes on the tensioner housing. And while riding thru southern cali on the way up here, that screw finally fell out and I was spewing oil. I put a replacement bolt in with RTV and was good to go.

Then while at Stewart's place in SF working on other things on the bike, I found the original screw lodged in a cervice on the engine and figured I should put it back on. My problems started when I put a bit too much force and stripped that screw. Then I had to remove the tensioner housing to clean out any stripped metal. There were still enough threads for a longer bolt to catch. Then what I did wrong was when putting the tensioner housing back on the engine, I forgot to put tension on the bolt before putting it on the engine and releasing it to self-adjust the tension on the cam chain. I just started screwing in the housing with the bolt fully extended and that put too much tension on the cam chain.

I should've released something wasn't right when doing the valve check as spinning the crank required more effort than I remembered and that was because the chain was too tight now.

It still fired up fine and was running nicely, all though hotter than before but I told myself not to worry and everything would be fine. I had a funny feeling leaving this morning that something wasn't right and now it's revealed itself.

Oh well, at least it's happening here in the US with access to knowledge and parts :)

On Hwy 1, shifted up thru the gears past a town and shortly after the engine just died with no drive. No clunking sounds, no locked rear wheel, just quiet. Pulled over, tried to start again and only the starter motor was spinning freely, not turning over the engine. Opened the valve inspection caps and the intake valves are shut tight and the exhaust side is freely moving. Hand turned the crank and it's spinning effortlessly with no movement in the valves and I can see that the cam chain is also not moving. I think it snapped and has come off the gear on the crank.

Going to get back to SF and tear it open to confirm the diagnosis. You think valve train damage is gauranteed? I hope not. Hope it's only a busted chain.

Are there any ADV DR gurus in the Bay area?

Does anyone have a DR motor that I could salvage the top end from in case I need to replace the head?

I'm good. Spirits are not down and it's a beautiful day to be broken down :) Busy hwy, but 3 people stopped to offer help.

The trip is already getting off track and I'm not even across the border yet, lol. It's all good, more time to spend in northern Cali.
J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)

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Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos

Jammin screwed with this post 03-17-2010 at 04:25 PM
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