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Old 07-10-2013, 06:28 PM   #571
stuntheavy OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Tejas
Oddometer: 150
I learned everything I know about bikes and basic mechanics from getting really good at breaking stuff when I was younger. If I didn't fix it I didn't ride.

Years later, I've done everything from wrenching on cars more expensive than most people's houses, built my performance Allison trans on a second story balcony, to making a masterlink out of a bungee cord end in the middle of the woods.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't be ashamed of mistakes. I remember being nine or ten and my brothers xl pushed this little thin metal strip out the side of the engine and quit running. we tried to our damndest to push it back in with a screwdriver and hammer. Little did we know at the time that we were dealing with a very very blown gasket.

Hands on practice makes perfect!

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Old 07-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #572
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COboy View Post
swifter78261, your and stuntheavy's RR (besides its incredible awesomeness) is making me think that I better make sure to pair up with a good mechanic before going on any epic rides.

Or... learn a bit myself. I know most of you here know their way around an engine, but I can barely change a tire or clean a carb. Can anyone recommend an online course or short "live" course for those who want to learn but not become a full blown mechanic (do it for a living)?
COboy, IMHO I think hand-on experience is best than online course of changing tire. What I did was I went to a private local motorcycle garage near me and I explained the guy why I want him to help me change the tire and teach me in the process, and that I would pay him for his time (labor rate). He agreed and texted me back when he had free time and I came over then he showed me how to remove tires with just the hand tools (we didn't use his power tools which would not help me learn). Eventually, I had a flat tire in OK when I did TAT and I am glad I learned.

Swifter, hang in there! You will do just fine. Don't let that mechanic failure let you down. It's a good thing it happened in USA where you can get help real quick because if it happened in Mexico then that could be a killer. Keep us posted with your engine project.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:35 PM   #573
COboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhicheverAnyWayCan View Post
COboy, IMHO I think hand-on experience is best than online course of changing tire. What I did was I went to a private local motorcycle garage near me and I explained the guy why I want him to help me change the tire and teach me in the process, and that I would pay him for his time (labor rate). He agreed and texted me back when he had free time and I came over then he showed me how to remove tires with just the hand tools (we didn't use his power tools which would not help me learn). Eventually, I had a flat tire in OK when I did TAT and I am glad I learned.

Swifter, hang in there! You will do just fine. Don't let that mechanic failure let you down. It's a good thing it happened in USA where you can get help real quick because if it happened in Mexico then that could be a killer. Keep us posted with your engine project.
WhicheverAnyWayCan Thanks that's a great idea. I know just the place too where they might let me hang around and help while they work on my bike.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:38 PM   #574
COboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntheavy View Post
I learned everything I know about bikes and basic mechanics from getting really good at breaking stuff when I was younger. If I didn't fix it I didn't ride.

Years later, I've done everything from wrenching on cars more expensive than most people's houses, built my performance Allison trans on a second story balcony, to making a masterlink out of a bungee cord end in the middle of the woods.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't be ashamed of mistakes. I remember being nine or ten and my brothers xl pushed this little thin metal strip out the side of the engine and quit running. we tried to our damndest to push it back in with a screwdriver and hammer. Little did we know at the time that we were dealing with a very very blown gasket.

Hands on practice makes perfect!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
Thanks Stuntheavy but it might be a little too late for me... I will probably follow WhicheverAnyWayCan's advice and beg the local shop to let me hang around while they work.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #575
Bigbore4
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Hands On Learning

@ COboy
I too have the advantage of having been a professional mechanic, and been messing with stuff since I was a kid. So I have no idea what you are facing.

Having said that, there was no interwebs when I was a kid. A really good hands on exp is buy some medium clean hangar queen off CL, clean it up, fix what needs fixing and sell it. Repeat as needed.

All the information and forums out there now, you can research things, make repairs, learn, and maybe even fund your next adventure.

@ OP's
I can't take it any more, pull the dang side cover and or valve cover off that dang thing and tell us if its the dang cam chain!


ARGGGGGHHHHHHH.

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Old 07-11-2013, 06:16 AM   #576
COboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbore4 View Post
@ COboy
I too have the advantage of having been a professional mechanic, and been messing with stuff since I was a kid. So I have no idea what you are facing.

Having said that, there was no interwebs when I was a kid. A really good hands on exp is buy some medium clean hangar queen off CL, clean it up, fix what needs fixing and sell it. Repeat as needed.

All the information and forums out there now, you can research things, make repairs, learn, and maybe even fund your next adventure.

@ OP's
I can't take it any more, pull the dang side cover and or valve cover off that dang thing and tell us if its the dang cam chain!


ARGGGGGHHHHHHH.

That's a really neat idea Bigbore4. I might just have to try that, sounds like fun!
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:10 AM   #577
Ratman
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Location: Baja is good
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Great story guys

Stuntheavy and Swifter, You guys rock. I'm betting on top end trouble.

I've learned all that fix it on the trail stuff because I'm paronoid. I've always imagined that I'd be in the heart of Africa someday with a mechanical problem. Because I ride old crap, I've used my skills.

....but my dad didn't know shit about fixing something, and he was a far greater adventurer than I have been, and he always found someone to fix his old crap when it broke.

Never let the non-ability to fix something stop you from going. You will get good at repairing or finding a repairman.

Either one is just part of the adventure.

From moto trailer
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #578
swifter78261
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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A little update, here.

So far it's looking like top end trouble. I took the fairings and tank off to discover that the top end had pretty much exploded as I was riding it. Seriously, there was a gigantic hole where the front-right side of the cover used to be. Taking the cover completely off, the chain appears to be intact, though off the cam sprockets and bound tightly by something down below. The front cam is completely destroyed, but it looks like the rear could be in decent shape. I'm taking the rest of the top end apart right now. I'll let you know how it goes!

In the meantime I'm posting pictures of the process on my blog at www.thetransamerican.com (its much quicker to post there, than the upload-to-photobucket-and-link-process). I'd appreciate it if y'all could have a look and let me know what you think!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #579
woodly1069
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Location: Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
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Hey Austin look at the bright side of things, at least at this point you still have a potentially good bottom end and tranny! I will continue to look at your blog spot and await the pics of the carnage. I just assume they will pop up on the page under where you show the bike loaded into the box truck. Good luck man you are WELL under way to getting this all fixed up! Now you are having a true ADV style adventure! We're all behind you man!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #580
woodly1069
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Yeah Austin, looks like the exhaust cam totally destroyed the head. I think someone mentioned earlier on that you may have dropped a valve, it appears that may be the issue. Can you get down to the shims and pull them out of the way to see if you can see valve stems? Hopefully they are not "welded" in place from all the loose metal.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:44 PM   #581
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Seven Springs NC
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I don't suppose you had Thermo Bob installed? I'm not familiar with 08+ but it looks small to be a Thermo Bob?
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:14 PM   #582
GoMotor
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You might as well start taking the left engine side covers off to get to the bottom of the cam chain. Marknet here has good instructions and photos in the doohickey replacement section here http://www.klr650.marknet.us/doohickey.html

You will need a rotor holder to get the rotor bolt loose. I used an eight dollar 32mm wrench and bent the handle with an acetylene torch. Eaglemike.com has gaskets, rotor puller bolt etc. in San Diego and ships quick by us mail.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:54 PM   #583
swifter78261
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Thanks for all of the advice guys. I've really hit a knowledge and ability wall at this point. I simply have zero experience or knowledge with engines and do not trust myself to proceed any further without screwing something up, and this is not the job I want to learn by the seat of my pants on. That's something I'd rather do when the consequences aren't so high, this bike being my only form of transportation at the moment as well as the thing the fate of the trip rests on.

On that note, the friend I'm staying with in San Francisco is a KLR guy and has generously offered his KLR to me to explore California with for the next week while Chris gets his bike put back together. At that point, I hope Chris can come and apply his genius to my bike and we can get things put back together. Who knows how long that will take though, with ordering parts and all. Another headache.

It's really an unfortunate turn of events and I'm not a little discouraged at this point. I don't really know where to go from here, but a 5 or 10 day cruise to Shasta, Tahoe, Yosemite and Mt. Whitney could be good to take my mind off things. Whether it is or not, I don't know what else to do at this point.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:19 AM   #584
bk brkr baker
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Yeah, a ride around Cally sounds good to me as well. The trouble is, it won't fix your ride.
I've been where you are now. In 2006 on my way to Alaska , I ran my KLR pretty dry on oil and it wore the right side cam bearing surface enough to let the cam hop up and knock a hole in the cam cover.
On E-bay there are complete motors , like the one in the above pic and there are bottom ends. There are few heads and those are from motors disassembled for sale before disaster struck.The plentiful bottom ends are left over from top end disasters.
I have one myself, yours for shipping , but no spare top end, which is what you need.

So , I suggest finding a replacement motor. I did in '06 and that motor now has carried me 40,000 miles.
Oh, and one thing I promise you'll remember to do from now on , you will check the oil before you start the bike, every time.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:27 AM   #585
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
...
Oh, and one thing I promise you'll remember to do from now on , you will check the oil before you start the bike, every time.
So true! I can speak from experience when I locked the engine on my Saturn SL1 halfway between my home in NC and Boston when I was on way to visit my then college girlfriend. I check oil on everything every time I go anywhere. $5 a qt of oil might seem expensive at the moment but try to think of how much it cost(and the time) to get bike/vehicle towed/hauled, inspected, ordering part with shipping cost, etc. $5 is cheaper.
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