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Old 04-03-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
henkew OP
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Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Oddometer: 70
Is my CRF230f Screwed?

A few weeks ago I bought a used CRF230f for a trip to Utah. It was blowing out a lot of smoke and the guy said he had always run it on half choke (it killed when choke was off). It had power, seemed to run good, and I needed a bike for the trip so I bought it.

Got it home and changed the oil. It looked like brown mud and I got a sick feeling in my stomach. Replaced it, cleaned the carbs, put them back to stock jets, and it seemed to be running fine. Now it ran fine off choke but it still blew out a lot of white smoke.

It ran fine for several hours before it killed in the middle of a ride. It turned over but wouldn't fire up. No clanking sounds, sounds normal just won't start. No loss in power, no strange sounds, just suddenly dead. We had only even used a half a tank of fuel. I checked the oil and it barely registered...it had burned a quart of oil and it was dirty again (like the color of coffee after you add creamer). Added oil and checked the spark plug which looked horrible. It was covered in what looked like crusty mud. Put in a new spark plug but same thing, won't fire up but sounds fine.

Tonight I'll check the valve clearance, do a rough estimate on compression over the spark plug (I can hold my hand over the exhaust and fire it and barely feel anything, not sure if that means anything or not). I figure I really won't know what is up until I get this thing apart.

My thought is that running it half choked for all it's life was way too rich which may have caused the head gasket to fail. I hope that is the only problem at this point.

So...my questions...

1. Am I F'd? I sure feel F'd.
2. Any ideas or suggestions?
3. Has anyone found a good guide to breaking down the engine, I've never gone beyond the valves (I do have a service manual).

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
davesupreme
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oh, yeah..... 'yer f'd.....
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:39 PM   #3
mcma111
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We have a winner with door #1.

It's toast.

Pull the motor, put it in a box and ship it to me. I'll fix it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
NJ-Brett
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Running it on the choke will not cause head gasket problem, it WILL cause ring problems, as the excess gas washes the oil off the cylinder.

It will be easy to remove the top and and inspect it.

Top end parts on some bikes are not real expensive, cylinder(plated), rings, piston, wrist pin, gaskets, price them on bike bandit..

Iron liner, delete the cylinder and bore yours.
Crank and valves/cam should be ok.
Did you check for spark?
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
RFVC600R
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Whoa! why didn't you fix the "only runs on half choke" problem after the oil change?

+1 Send it to mcma11
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
henkew OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracus124 View Post
Whoa! why didn't you fix the "only runs on half choke" problem after the oil change?

+1 Send it to mcma11
I fixed it before the oil change, first thing I did. It was no longer running on half choke, choke could be turned off and it ran fine. It still smoked though.

Got engine off tonight. Will dig into it tomorrow. Can see oil in the upper spark plug chamber and it smells pretty burnt.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
henkew OP
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I don't know a ton about engines. But it seems like there is a lot of build up on the valves and the piston head. I also don't know if that gasket could be part of the problem. It looks like there was something scraped along the side of the cylinder although I have no idea what it was. You can see it on the piston and the cylinder wall. Both feel rough to the touch.


I could hold my thump over the spark plug hole and turn over the engine and easily keep all the air in, so the compression has got to be rock bottom.














henkew screwed with this post 04-04-2013 at 09:39 PM Reason: Duplicate pic removed
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:57 PM   #8
wrk2surf
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that piston and cylinder is done
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
Mleaky
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Time to upgrade...
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:45 AM   #10
Jacl-Kampuchea
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Next time don't buy a bike with smoke pouring out of it from burning oil. . .

. . . unless the price reflects that it will need at least a top end rebuild.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:17 AM   #11
Buliwyf
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Cylinder and piston. Not so bad. Not like it's a bent frame or fork or something.

When your done with it. it'll be like haveing a brand new engine.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:01 AM   #12
NJ-Brett
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Yes, bore job, piston and rings, and get a new wrist pin.
It will be like a new motor.

If the price is right, I would buy a smoker, its easy and fun to work on little thumpers. Bond with the bike, know it inside and out, and once you have had it apart, you KNOW what is going on inside.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
fastdadio
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Looks like it was run without oil. Baked the top end. It's big bore time! Every cloud has a silver lining. Some links to get you going. A couple reputable firms specializing in CRF goodness.

http://crfsonly.com/reviews/engines-...0-big-bore.php

http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/crf150-crf230.html

http://www.bbrmotorsports.com/Products/Products.aspx

http://www.bbrmotorsports.com/tech/f...rf150f_faq.htm
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:14 AM   #14
henkew OP
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Thanks for the feedback. Now to figure out which piston set to get. BBR big bore, WISECO, or OEM. It's my wife's bike so it doesn't have to scream. But my son also likes it. Hmm...

So my take is that the original problem caused it to burn oil heavily and it appears caused gas to leak down into the oil (the milky oil which did smell like gas). Riding on only a half a tank of gas burned off nearly all the fresh oil and that is when I totally lost the piston/cylinder. Never would have guessed it was burning oil that damn fast.

So, I have two questions.

1. What caused the original problem? He always had it half choked because it wouldn't run off choke. He had rejected it, uncorked it, and was running a Rev Box. I'm guessing he just didn't have the bike tuned properly and the fuel mixture must have damaged the rings and/or gaskets. Once I cleaned the carbs and put original jets on it I could run it off choke no problem. But by then the damage was probably done.

2. What is that mess on the piston and cylinder? It looks like some crap actually went through there and was pulverized. Could that be the original problem that then caused the oil and gas to mix? Did something fall apart from inside or was that a foreign object?

Thanks for all the input. And yes, it goes without saying I totally regret this purchase. I really wanted a 230 for a trip so we could all ride together and I made a bad call. I also had to replace the seals on the forks before we left. I knew I overpaid to begin with, so this just makes it that much worse.

It's a done deal now though, gotta do what it takes to get it running again. It's my first engine rebuild. I'm learning shit. That's not such a bad thing. I have 5 bikes to maintain, it had to happen sooner or later.

Again, thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:59 PM   #15
henkew OP
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Rough Engine Edges

You'll have to excuse my ignorance, but while I was looking down into the bottom half of the engine (past the timing chain) I noticed strange scrapes and scratches on the case. Is this normal? I can't imagine what could have caused it.



I see the same type of thing when I remove the oil plug. It might be harder to see in this image, but very hard sharp edges. The type of thing I'd expect to see if somebody had take a file to it.

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