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Old 07-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
leinad OP
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08 KLR 650 blown camshaft compression release etc

Hi all,
Was riding today going about 65 when POP and vibs and engine died. Got it home courtesy of a friends pickup and tore it apart to find the right side (sitting on bike) valve cover popped up about a 16th of an inch. Removed the valve cover and found carnage in the front right side of the front camshaft (about 3 peices, plus a little spring).......I'm assuming the wreckage was at one point the counterbalancer. (its the comp release.....learning!)

Just wondering if anyone has had similiar problems with the newer generation KLR's. I had always thought that these were very reliable bikes. Mine has 6700 miles on her when this happened. Also, how expensive are camshafts these days and should I worry about my valves?? Last but not least does anyone know what might have caused this, if anything.

Thanks for any input.....

leinad screwed with this post 08-06-2011 at 12:57 PM Reason: correction
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
Tosh Togo
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Originally Posted by leinad View Post
Hi all,
Was riding today going about 65 when POP and vibs and engine died. Got it home courtesy of a friends pickup and tore it apart to find the right side (sitting on bike) valve cover popped up about a 16th of an inch. Removed the valve cover and found carnage in the front right side of the front camshaft (about 3 peices, plus a little spring).......I'm assuming the wreckage was at one point the counterbalancer.

Just wondering if anyone has had similiar problems with the newer generation KLR's. I had always thought that these were very reliable bikes. Mine has 6700 miles on her when this happened. Also, how expensive are camshafts these days and should I worry about my valves?? Last but not least does anyone know what might have caused this, if anything.

Thanks for any input.....
Pull the head off, and see what sort of surprises are waiting there for you. Beats the hell out of on-line guesswork.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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It sounds like your compression release came apart. It could be that one of the springs came loose or failed, allowing a weight to swing wildly. Hard to tell without a picture or two.
If the cams are still in time there may not be any other damage, I have heard numerous times the compression release is a holdover from the old kickstart days and not needed any longer. If it is the CR at fault, you may be able to remove the weights and put it back together.
If you could post some pictures, it would be helpful.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:35 AM   #4
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yes... KRCAR.... KKAKER.... KRAKER... it has some acronym... anyway, it's the compression release. it opens the right side exhauast valve slightly during start and then flyweights pull the lever out of the way when the engine is running. The 08 was known to have clearance problems and there is info out there (possibly even a service bulletin) on how to fix it. But sounds like too late to me. To fix it back to normal is prolly gonna be installing a serviceable cam. I suppose you could rivet stuff back on if you had good parts though.

ON THE OTHER HAND.... there are those that have removed the thing on purpose because it is supposedly just a remnant of the (kick start only) KLR600 days.

if you want parts to rivet on I have a couple cooked cams for donors, the release parts are like new... yours if you want. ex cams are high because they are the first thing to fail when the oil runs low & the demand is pretty high.

I guess the other question is what else is damaged. check the cam timing... I think it may have jumped. remove the tensioner and check the timing chain, cam & crank marks. a careful inspection of the head and the cam journals is also in order (checking for cracks)... not sure I would pull the head just yet though. if I could make the marks align & the engine turned over without binding or funny noises I would do the obvious repairs & run it.

oh yeah... the cover being popped up....hope its "only" a stripped bolt hole that can be Helicoiled

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Old 07-23-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
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whats up???? did you pull the cover off & look at the head?

post a pic
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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I am thinking that the bike ran low on oil, seized the cam shafts/elongated the cam surfaces, and jumped time when everything seized. It would not be the first '08 KLR that ran low on oil in a short distance and destroyed the top end of the engine. see www.klr650.net for lots of reading on oil eating KLR650s.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:13 AM   #7
leinad OP
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I have not pulled the head yet, thanks for the input guys. I am aware of the oil eating problem, I check it before every ride and it was not low the day it blew. However, about a month ago it got low enough that I could not see any in the sight glass, added some as soon as I got home. Im wondering if a email to kawasaki would be worth the time it takes to type it! If I ask em to help me out with cost of parts etc. all they can do is say no (and I'm sure they will)......still tempting.

I'm going to consider this whole fiasco one more reason to add a big bore kit (after all, the engine will be torn down anyway), I'm thinking the 685 with stage 2 cams...............thoughts? experience with big bore kits? recommendations on jetting for 6000 ft? Of course the whole project might take a while on my budget........

trying to upload a few pics but no luck.....too big to attach, will try to resize.....
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:28 AM   #8
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I have fixed a couple "low oil" head problems... the engine does not seize, it starts rattling like a diesel. The exhaust cam journals gall & it chews out the cam bores in the head, the extra clearance creates the hammering noise. Sounds like you have broken parts from a catastrophic failure.

You may not need to pull the head, it is possible that it can be repaired in frame.... won't know until we see if the head is damaged. 'course it's a good excuse to do the 685/688. I have installed & run both, and the705 as well. The 705 isn't worth the extra effort unless you want to get silly (and also spend another $500). The Wymann 688 is easiest at about $400 because it comes complete... as in piston & rings matched to a cylinder.... you send in your cyl as a core. A little bit of simple cleanup on the head makes a big difference... things you can do your self. If the head is cooked, these guys are supposed to have fixed a few (no personal experience though):

http://www.enginedynamics.com/

Jetting can be left stock. But, a better pipe & opening up the airbox are an improvement too. As for jetting at altitude, someone will chime in... mostly you drop the mainjet a size or two, though there are Dynojet kits that are pretty well figured out. Some use the KLX needle because it can be adjusted.. KLRs can not. Be careful buying jets, Kehin, Dyno, and Mikuni all have a different flow rate for any given number.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
I have fixed a couple "low oil" head problems... the engine does not seize, it starts rattling like a diesel. The exhaust cam journals gall & it chews out the cam bores in the head, the extra clearance creates the hammering noise. Sounds like you have broken parts from a catastrophic failure.

You may not need to pull the head, it is possible that it can be repaired in frame.... won't know until we see if the head is damaged. 'course it's a good excuse to do the 685/688. I have installed & run both, and the705 as well. The 705 isn't worth the extra effort unless you want to get silly (and also spend another $500). The Wymann 688 is easiest at about $400 because it comes complete... as in piston & rings matched to a cylinder.... you send in your cyl as a core. A little bit of simple cleanup on the head makes a big difference... things you can do your self. If the head is cooked, these guys are supposed to have fixed a few (no personal experience though):

http://www.enginedynamics.com/

Jetting can be left stock. But, a better pipe & opening up the airbox are an improvement too. As for jetting at altitude, someone will chime in... mostly you drop the mainjet a size or two, though there are Dynojet kits that are pretty well figured out. Some use the KLX needle because it can be adjusted.. KLRs can not. Be careful buying jets, Kehin, Dyno, and Mikuni all have a different flow rate for any given number.
I've used Engine Dynamics and must say he's expensive, but a real magician at his work and well worth the money. (no affiliation, just a happy customer)

Ya' know you might want to do a total tear down to make sure you get all of the little bits of metal floating around before they take out a main bearing or such. Also, the source of the problem could have been the doohickey cutting loose and taking out the exhaust cam. Just say'n.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
leinad OP
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pics hopefully

So here is part of what I'm looking at........
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:14 PM   #11
leinad OP
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Bluhduh and here is under the valve cover.......

yep.....
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:19 PM   #12
leinad OP
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at kawidad

Thanks for the advice on the 688, I was not aware of that one before. Decisions decisions...........appreciate all the feedback folks!
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
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OK.... looks like the threads that bolt the cover on are still good.... that may mean the head is still OK. Is the cover intact or is it broken?

It is possible that a cam change might put you right back on the road.

I would check the timing & see if it jumped.

We had a tech day about 3 years ago & a guy left a rag in the cam chain tunnel.... started the bike & it ran about 5 seconds before the rag went through the gears. The timing jumped & the bike would not run. We took the rag out, reset the cams & it still runs today & has at least 10000 miles.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:14 PM   #14
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I think that will buff right out Mate!

See ye tomorrow , maybe we should stick a DR engine in it .
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:32 PM   #15
leinad OP
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Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
OK.... looks like the threads that bolt the cover on are still good.... that may mean the head is still OK. Is the cover intact or is it broken?

It is possible that a cam change might put you right back on the road.

I would check the timing & see if it jumped.

We had a tech day about 3 years ago & a guy left a rag in the cam chain tunnel.... started the bike & it ran about 5 seconds before the rag went through the gears. The timing jumped & the bike would not run. We took the rag out, reset the cams & it still runs today & has at least 10000 miles.
The cover is bent where it got popped up so I'll be getting a new one, I think the timing needs to be reset but am hopeful it won't be as bad as I initially thought. When I replace the cam can I order one without the comp release on it so this does not happen again in another 4k?? any recommendations on brand or source for the cam? Also, what is the doohicky upgrade that I understand needs to be done?
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