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Old 03-18-2014, 06:33 AM   #1
bigben4432 OP
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Question 2008 KLR 650 Won't Start PLEASE HELP!

So a couple months ago I was riding along and suddenly my bike stalled in the middle of the road. I was going about 65-70 MPH when the stall happened. The only way I could make it to the side of the road was to hold the clutch in. I tried to push start it but nothing happened.

The bike has a little over 6k miles on it. After the stall, it sounds like it wants to start, it just doesn't turn over. It just sounds like a cold start without the choke on.

My bike was towed to the mechanic and after checking the fuel line, carb, spark, oil and who knows what else, without it starting, they ran a leak down test and it turns out there is a 65% leak down... They think it might be bent exhaust valves and/or something else.

They said they can't know for sure whats causing the problem without tearing apart the engine which would cost an arm and a leg in labor. I'm a college student and everyone knows college students don't have any money...

Any ideas on what it could be? I work on my car all the time so I'm not afraid to go in there myself.

I've had people tell me it could be the timing belt. I've also been wondering if it could have anything to do with the "doohickey" possibly failing. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:58 AM   #2
canoeguy
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I take it is turning but not actually hitting?

First thing I would do is confirm there is Spark. I would also bypass the side stand safety switch as I spent a very frustrating day solving that gem myself. It is a well known problem.

If you are getting spark then make sure you are getting fuel. If you have both then crack it open and check the doo and the valve tolerances. This is easy and I did it for the first time myself just a short time ago. piece of cake. While in there, fix your doo.

do all this and see what you see, that will eliminate many potential causes.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:03 AM   #3
XDragRacer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigben4432 View Post
My bike was towed to the mechanic and after checking the fuel line, carb, spark, oil and who knows what else, without it starting, they ran a leak down test and it turns out there is a 65% leak down... They think it might be bent exhaust valves and/or something else.

They said they can't know for sure whats causing the problem without tearing apart the engine which would cost an arm and a leg in labor. I'm a college student and everyone knows college students don't have any money...

Any ideas on what it could be? I work on my car all the time so I'm not afraid to go in there myself.

I've had people tell me it could be the timing belt. I've also been wondering if it could have anything to do with the "doohickey" possibly failing. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!
65 % leak-down suggests valve and/or ring problems (possibly, leaking head gasket) IMHO.

No timing belt on KLR650s; collateral damage from a grenading doohickey is possible, but . . . tear-down appears to me necessary for diagnosis at this stage, regardless.

Sorry, but . . . as the Ink Spots sang, "Into each life, some rain must fall . . . " Wishing you blue skies and sunshine, soon!

XDragRacer screwed with this post 03-18-2014 at 08:38 AM
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:23 AM   #4
XDragRacer
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Originally Posted by canoeguy View Post
First thing I would do is confirm there is Spark.
From the OP,
Quote:
My bike was towed to the mechanic and after checking the fuel line, carb, spark, oil and who knows what else, without it starting, they ran a leak down test and it turns out there is a 65% leak down... They think it might be bent exhaust valves and/or something else.
Thus, assumed spark. Regardless of other problems, the leak-down test result suggests valves and/or rings (possibly, head gasket) need attention, to me.

XDragRacer screwed with this post 03-18-2014 at 08:37 AM
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:23 AM   #5
chris12
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Do you know if the KACR was disabled for the leakdown test? I'm not positive but i think that holds a valve open even when the engine isn't rotating.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #6
bigben4432 OP
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Originally Posted by chris12 View Post
Do you know if the KACR was disabled for the leakdown test? I'm not positive but i think that holds a valve open even when the engine isn't rotating.
I'm not sure if it was open or not. The guy I took it to told me he had never worked on a KLR before and it seems like KLR's are very different bikes than the rest of them lol

Hopefully ill be able to check the Doohickey here in the next week or so.

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Originally Posted by XDragRacer View Post
From the OP, Thus, assumed spark. Regardless of other problems, the leak-down test result suggests valves and/or rings (possibly, head gasket) need attention, to me.
How easy is it to go in and check all that? I just want to figure out if it's something I can do or have a mechanic look at it...
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:54 PM   #7
XDragRacer
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How easy is it to go in and check all that? I just want to figure out if it's something I can do or have a mechanic look at it...
Don't know about your resources (e.g., Service Manual, tools, work area, skill/knowledge/experience). Thus, hard to say, in the abstract. I'd imagine, a capable, reputable shop your best bet. Maybe, be willing to pay an inspection fee for an estimate; then you can decide on your maintenance strategy--DIY, or engage the shop.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:46 PM   #8
canoeguy
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Originally Posted by XDragRacer View Post
From the OP, Thus, assumed spark. Regardless of other problems, the leak-down test result suggests valves and/or rings (possibly, head gasket) need attention, to me.
Ok I missed that. However I don't trust mechanics much until they have proven themselves. Now the OP states they seemed unfamiliar with about the simplest engine out there. I say start over yourself.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #9
chris12
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I'm with conoeguy on starting over yourself. If the shop was unfamiliar with the bike they probably did the leakdown test wrong. The KACR cracks open an exhaust valve just a little at rpm's below about 600. Obviously this would give the impression of a bent exhaust valve.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:24 PM   #10
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Also, the way it just died all at once sounds to me like its something ignition related. I assume it's getting a spark since your shop tested for it but possibly a weak spark or some sort of timing issue.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:43 PM   #11
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Assuming your lack of cylinder seal is due to the KACR, did you check the carburetor vent?
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:25 AM   #12
bigben4432 OP
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Originally Posted by Fishyhead View Post
Assuming your lack of cylinder seal is due to the KACR, did you check the carburetor vent?
yeah, i checked the carb and it's functioning normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris12 View Post
Also, the way it just died all at once sounds to me like its something ignition related. I assume it's getting a spark since your shop tested for it but possibly a weak spark or some sort of timing issue.
Would the power still come on if it was an ignition problem? it seems fine all the way up to the point where I press the starter button.
How could I fix a timing issue? or how can I check to see if there is a timing issue?
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:54 AM   #13
chris12
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Yes, the power would still come on if it is an ignition problem. (Ignition as in spark, not where you put the key) I'm not sure if there is a way to verify ignition timing on a klr or not so here's what I would do. First is i would verify you have compression. See if you can rent a leakdown tester from an auto parts store and do the test correctly. Go on youtube and search for klr650 KACR and you should be able to find out how to disable it.

Next, if you find you have good compression I would spray some starting fluid in the intake and see if it will start. At this point if it does not start that would rule out a fuel problem. Engines need 4 things to run. Air, Compression, Fuel, and Spark. And they all have to be at the right time. Compression and air are kind of one in the same. Starting fluid would replicate the fuel, so that only leaves spark.

The next step would be to verify that your getting a spark. Do this by grounding out the plug and simply looking to see if it is sparking. The spark should be blue and not an orange or yellow color. If it is an orange or yellow color spark than you have a weak spark and it might not ignite your fuel mixture very well. If you have a good spark I would be led to believe the spark is out of time.

A friend of mine has an '08 and he had the same symptoms as you ( bike died on the highway and wouldn't start back up). I think the dealer had it over a month before they figured out the problem. IIRC it was the ignition control module. I wouldn't spend money on that part however, until testing everything else.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:05 AM   #14
canoeguy
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I am still saying bypass the side stand switch first. It is a 10 minute job and even if that is not it, you need to do it anyway or else be pissed of for several hours unsure why your bike won't start.

I am not saying this is your problem. Just saying it is super easy to eliminate.

ETA: though thinking on it, the failure while riding is no congruent with a switch failure. Mine failed after being parked.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:04 AM   #15
XDragRacer
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Originally Posted by bigben4432 View Post
How could I fix a timing issue? or how can I check to see if there is a timing issue?
Ignition timing unlikely issue, because . . . spark timing is initiated by a fixed timing mass on the flywheel/rotor passing by a fixed pickup coil on the engine . . . the geometry doesn't change.

If you get a spark (and I assume your mechanic did), chances are it occurred at the correct time of crankshaft rotation/piston excursion.

Valve timing? If all the valves are CLOSED at piston TDC at the end of the compression stroke, valve timing's likely o.k.
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