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Old 07-20-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
gzr OP
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Fixing up my little Sym

Some of you might have seen me rant and get panicky when my little Sym Wolf was stolen... well it was recovered!

Photos:
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....9&postcount=35
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....0&postcount=36
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....2&postcount=37
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....5&postcount=38

So now it's time to fix it! This comes with the added challenge of being in parking lot for an apartment block, with minimal hand tools and trying not to piss off the neighbours.

First of all I took the cam sprocket cover off and tried to wiggle the camshaft around with the engine at TDC of compression stroke. There isn't any wiggle there so I'm happy the bearings aren't gone. I'm happy with that and will not open the top end.

But there was a stinky stinky smell when I took the cover off, and I already knew the clutch wasn't engaging, so I drained the oil and took the right side casing off. And there a surprise was waiting...

I found the clutch in the form of lots of sandy sediment and sludge at the bottom of the case. Quite a bit went out with the oil, quite a bit fell out and some more has to be cleaned with a tissue.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:59 AM   #2
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That thing have an oil filter? Is it a Honda knock off engine?
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:06 AM   #3
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That clearly explained why the clutch rotated freely, so next step is to take the clutch basket out. Unfortunately the centrifugal oil filter gets in the way, so taking it off is the next step. I expect it to be full of the same crap!

Unfortunately the three Phillips head screws won't budge! (two are visible on the right in the photo) What would you folks recommend? An impact driver or centre punch and tapping them loose? Both methods will apply some shock and I think those castings are pretty thin so I don't want to bash them to pieces.

Then I took the clutch spring retainer off, and the springs look strange - two of them are the regular steel-in-oil colour while another two have what looks like some white paint on them, but just a little bit. This is confusing?!?! Are the springs a different colour (as can be seen in the photo) because they overheated?

I closed up everything to keep the dirt out and had a look at the front end. I've had forks straightened before, but never with this amount of bend. What is a sensible limit where I have to throw them away?

Finally the wheel needs replacement - I am thinking of lacing a new rim to my hub - I'm guessing it's cheaper than a new complete wheel. I'm very adept with mechanical things but I've never laced a wheel before - what does the crowd say, try it? Or give it to a pro?

There is a whole bunch of other little things but I'm done for today.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
That thing have an oil filter? Is it a Honda knock off engine?
Yes, it's a Honda CB125 engine clone, but with an aluminium barrel rather than sleeved. There's a strainer and a centrifugal filter, but apparently they couldn't keep up with whoever took it to trash it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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I'd recommend a compression test and to be prepared to either rebuild it top to bottom or toss it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I'd recommend a compression test and to be prepared to either rebuild it top to bottom or toss it.
What makes you think it's a "throw away" case? The whole bike has less than 3500 miles, of which the first 2000 were very sedate, and the latter 1500 it was ridden hard, but serviced and well maintained. It is built by a reputable manufacturer and the quality is closer to that of the Japanese manufacturers than to that of the Chinese. The clutch and front end damage all happened in a single joyride when it was stolen (and found dumped about a mile away)

There is no perceptible crankshaft or camshaft play (and I have seen small honda singles run with everything loose and still work reliably. And the engine still has good compression "feel" and starts on the first kick!

Edit: And there are no metal particles visible in the sludge and oil.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
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...Unfortunately the three Phillips head screws won't budge! (two are visible on the right in the photo) What would you folks recommend? An impact driver or centre punch and tapping them loose?...
I'd use an impact driver, myself. Start light and that might be enough to break them loose without breaking anything else.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
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Use a cordless impact, not hammer, with a new #3 tip and those screws should just jump out. If not try a couple bumps forward.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gzr View Post
Some of you might have seen me rant and get panicky when my little Sym Wolf was stolen... well it was recovered!

Photos:
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....9&postcount=35
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....0&postcount=36
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....2&postcount=37
http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....5&postcount=38

So now it's time to fix it! This comes with the added challenge of being in parking lot for an apartment block, with minimal hand tools and trying not to piss off the neighbours.

First of all I took the cam sprocket cover off and tried to wiggle the camshaft around with the engine at TDC of compression stroke. There isn't any wiggle there so I'm happy the bearings aren't gone. I'm happy with that and will not open the top end.

But there was a stinky stinky smell when I took the cover off, and I already knew the clutch wasn't engaging, so I drained the oil and took the right side casing off. And there a surprise was waiting...

I found the clutch in the form of lots of sandy sediment and sludge at the bottom of the case. Quite a bit went out with the oil, quite a bit fell out and some more has to be cleaned with a tissue.
If I had questions about repair of your Wolf I would get on: www.symform.com

ootscoot on the forum is a dealer and the resident tech guru when it comes to repair. He also does a good business shipping parts that people need.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:40 PM   #10
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Just because a cam does not wobble around in the head does not mean the bearings are good.

I would not think that bike would be worth fixing up, forks, wheel, motor issues and who knows what else.

Might make a good spare parts bike though.

That grunge in the case looks like typical wear in metal, not clutch stuff.
Does the motor run?
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:20 PM   #11
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Buddy, I just said expect the worst. If you want to forge ahead without checking the basic available compression more power to ya. Ignorance is bliss and all that. No metal but plenty of clutch in the oil, right?

It had nothing to do with quality, China or anything else. If the top end is smoked, it is smoked. You could be looking at a MV, a KTM or anything else for all I care, if it has 32 lbs. of compression, it is trashed, doesn't matter where it was built.
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Old Today, 01:19 PM   #12
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I'm in luck!

Today I managed to borrow a compression tester and a socket set - the engine ran when the bike was recovered and as per suggestions I checked the top end.

Since I had drained the oil to check the clutch, and I haven't yet gotten a gasket set for the case, I did the compression test cold. A quick hit on the starter gave me 160psi. A squirt of oil down the spark plug hole to seal the rings bumped that up to 165psi. Considering that the shop manual calls for 156 to 185 psi when warm that is an excellent result!

Then the camshaft sprocket cover came off, and I removed the sprocket and camshaft. There were a few more particles of the black stuff from the clutch wherever was wet with oil, but no shiny aluminium flakes or anything worrying.

The notorious camshaft drive-end bearing has a slight polished mark, as you would expect on any plain bearing from startup but it is so minor it isn't even perceptible by touch. The design is improved over the original CB125S in that the camshaft runs in a needle roller bearing and the outer race acts like the original plain bearing if the rollers every sieze - there is even an oil groove on the outside of the outer race. On the other end of the head the bearing is a simple plain one and is not easily accessible for inspection, however shining a torch into the cavity shows no visible marks.

The camshaft itself has no abnormal marks - looks barely run in!

I'm quite confident that with new friction plates, cleaned stainer and centrifugal filter and an oil flush the engine will be as good as new.

Now I'm waiting for a quote for the complete wheel and forks but I'm confident it won't be silly prices. If I use my original hub I can get a rim and spokes for about 60, and then either try my hand at lacing or find someone to do it.
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Old Today, 03:10 PM   #13
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so worth your time and effort. the SYM Wolf is a cool little bike. too bad it had to come to this, but it seems in the right, caring hands now

maybe after the major work you can give it a bit of cosmetic tlc? i am sure it would appreciate the attention after such abuse!
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Old Today, 06:01 PM   #14
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Yes, that is looking up.
Wonder why the clutch went, its somewhat hard to fry a wet one that badly.
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Old Today, 07:27 PM   #15
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Good thinking, now you know you aren't wasting your time. I'd have expected a possible bent valve or severely heated and destroyed cylinder/piston cause they sure weren't kind to the poor thing.
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