New noise. Loud tapping from under valve cover. Need insight.
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Author Topic: New noise. Loud tapping from under valve cover. Need insight.  (Read 7265 times)
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JoeWannaB
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« on: October 02, 2010, 05:09:43 PM »

Hey guys. I've got an '87 KLR 650 with 29K on the clock.  Here's the story ...  A couple weeks ago I was riding with friends and decided to really get on it from a stop sign winding the motor up to around 7k before shifting thru each gear all the way to 5th. The bike took off like a scalded dog and felt better than it had in a long time. When I pulled over later, my friends came up and said, "hey man! Your bike blew a huge brown cloud." Sure enough, I looked down and my right boot was covered in oil. Upon inspection, I discovered that the right front bolt holding down the valve cover had stripped and oil was seeping out from under the valve cover. So I did what any KLRista would do. I topped off the oil and kept riding. Bike ran fine and only lost about a half quart the rest of the day and I checked often.   (I always carry a quart of oil)


Fast forward to two days ago when I drilled out not one but two stripped bolt holes in the head and installed heli-coils. Job went smoothly and I was able to properly torque the valve cover and theoretically kill the oil leak. For good measure, I also removed the Chrysler PCV valve I had been running for about a year and installed a new hose from the Crank case to the breather. (returning the bike to stock configuration)

I checked the oil level and cranked the motor. I noticed immediately there was a pronounced tapping sound coming from the Left front of the top of the motor.  Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap....   If it was my truck, I would swear it was a noisy lifter. I only ran the motor at idle for about 3 minutes total, restarting the bike about 4 times. The tapping was there each time.

My first guess would be some aluminum filings got in the works but I was very careful when drilling and very little to no material slipped inside the head. I carefully blew out the aluminum dust that did manage to contaminate the inside of the chamber.  I guess it could be that but I doubt it.

My question is what can be the cause of loud tapping sounds coming from under the valve cover? What should I look for when I crack open the valve cover again?  Thanks in advance for your help.  Joe


PS: I'm due for an oil and filter change and was planning on doing it when I got distracted by the tapping. The Eagle Mike doohickey with torsion spring is due for an adjustment too. I will be doing those things after I post this up.
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JoeWannaB
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2010, 06:46:05 PM »

UPDATE:

I changed the oil and filter and adjusted the Doohicky. I didn't expect a change and there wasn't one. I then removed the valve cover to see what was underneath. I noticed that the KACR was pretty loose and I could recreate a tapping sound with a similar timbre as the tap I'm hearing with the motor running by jiggling the weights. I'm pretty sure this is the same tapping I'm hearing. Since I had the cover off, I put the motor to TDC and checked the valve clearances and they all were exactly the same as when I adjusted the valves back in August about 1200 miles ago. Everything was wet with oil so I'm guessing it isn't an oil flow problem. I decided to put it all back together and take it for a ride. I went out for about 10 minutes where I could run it through the gears. I noticed the tapping had gotten even more pronounced after my trip though the bike performed very well. No hint of any performance problems.

Question: If it is the KACR, does it hurt anything if I run the bike with the racket its making? If it isn't the KARC, is there anything the tapping could be that would cause serious damage to the bike? I'm a little unsure how I am suppose to proceed. I want to iterate again, the bike is running perfectly. Starts easily even when cold and runs smoothly without any popping, hesitation or any other performance issues. It's just that really loud tapping. Help!
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2010, 11:11:05 PM »

Did the KACR have the spring attached ? According to the Clymer manual that is about all that there is to do maintenance on.
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 07:39:02 AM »

Did the KACR have the spring attached ? According to the Clymer manual that is about all that there is to do maintenance on.

Yep. Spring was still there and looked pretty good.  I tried pushing the weights out but they only traveled about 1/4"  Should they have more travel than that?  Looks like the only option to replace the KACR is to buy a whole new cam for $200! 
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 04:50:57 PM »

Sounds like you may have already did this, check if a cam jumped a tooth?
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2010, 05:21:47 PM »

Sounds like you may have already did this, check if a cam jumped a tooth?

I checked the valve clearances and they are identical from last time I checked them. The cam chain is in really good shape and tight.  The more I read about it here in other posts, the more I'm convinced it is the KACR gone bad. Maybe it was starved for oil when I was riding with the oil leak or maybe it was just it's time to go. '87 with 29k miles.  I guess I'm spending $200+ for the new exhaust cam since that's the only way I can get a new one. I ordered a new spring first so i think i'm going to try that first before I bite the bullet. Any other ideas or words of wisdom?
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 04:46:35 PM »

OK. Here are some pics I took when I had the cover off a couple days ago. I know they are probably too close to tell anything but here they are. The KACR had a little lateral play where the arrow points and made a similar tapping sound when wiggled it. The spring is intact as you can see but I have no idea how tight it is suppose to be so I have a new one on the way to be safe.  I'll have the cover off again this weekend to give it a closer inspection. I'll try to take better pictures.  Joe














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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 09:56:23 PM »

REALLY hope you don't have what I had! I didn't get any tapping sounds though, so could be something different.

I had the KACR hitting the top of the engine cover after the bearings failed. It took "grooves" out of the cover & ended up with shavings all through the top of the motor. Top end rebuild to repair...
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2010, 09:00:37 PM »

Doesn't look good.  Looks like I'm basically screwed.


Looks like a piece of aluminum got under the Journal and really chewed things up.




Looks like the tapping was from the KACR hitting the valve cover.



I'm really not sure how to proceed. Any ideas?
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 09:07:36 PM »

Ouch!!! That stinks!    A machinist might be able to make things right but it wouldn't be cheap.  A good used head may be a cheaper alternative.
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2010, 09:31:09 PM »

I think I've found a head and cams but I need to know fast... Will a '98 head bolt onto an '87 cylinder?  I believe I had read that there was a change in cylinders at some point and am worried the '98 won't match up.  Anyone???
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 05:34:45 AM »

I think I've found a head and cams but I need to know fast... Will a '98 head bolt onto an '87 cylinder?  I believe I had read that there was a change in cylinders at some point and am worried the '98 won't match up.  Anyone???

As I said in my post in your thread over on the other site...... the head will fit, you just need to get the valve cover as well. they did change and the later one is better. Make sure you get the cam chain cover bit to.... (bolts over the chain between the cams) the early model did not have this.

g
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2010, 02:07:48 PM »

More pics...



I took the head off today and this is what I found. Now I'm no mechanic but it doesn't look good to me. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves and hopefully some of you more experienced mechanics can comment and advise me on my next move. I haven't purchased the head just yet in case the motor is a loss.  Thanks.  Joe







The stuff on top of the piston is hard and crusty. I can't scrape it off with my fingernail.









The similar looking stuff on bottom of the head is soft like oily sand.


















This sparkplug is fairly new. About 1000 miles on it. If you look closely, you can see some detonation.






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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2010, 06:24:57 PM »

It looks like your motor has an apetite for oil.
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2010, 07:38:56 PM »

It looks like your motor has an apetite for oil.

Yes it did. Usually a quart in 500  -  1000 miles under regular riding conditions and a whole quart in an hour of 80mph superslab. It really didn't like to go over 4500 rpms.  I had the Chrysler PCV valve in it and now am wondering if that contributed to the oil consumption. I did have it installed correctly but I noticed that the holes in at outflow end of the valve (there were 3  of them) were very small and might have restricted the release of pressure from the cankcase. It would make sense (at least to me) that crankcase pressure would increase at higher rpms and if it couldn't vent as it was designed, it would cause the oil to blow by the rings. Sounds like I'm a true KLRista. "Fix it til it's broke"   Waaaaa!
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2010, 12:32:20 PM »

Okay... The drama continues. More pics. I took the right side cover off to see what secrets my oil screen held. Here's what I found.










Everything inside looked fine to me. I only saw a little bit of silver "dust" around the oil filter and the oil filter had some metal flakes in it. This oil filter had less than 20 minutes running time on it as I changed the oil before taking the last test ride before I started taking the bike apart.




I also turned the engine to get the piston down to inspect the cylinder wall.  Looks pretty good to me. The vertical grooves are so fine, I can't feel them with my fingernail.













My next step is to take the Left side cover off to see if I have any dreaded metal shavings Wish me luck!
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2010, 12:43:19 PM »

Did that engine sit, un-run, for a period of time?  Barrel needs attention. Rings while your there, of course. Not a loss...just needs some attention!  Awesome
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2010, 01:28:01 PM »

Looks like a job for a bottle brush hone and a new set a rings.  I had to do that to my VW when I first got it, over 100k later, still runs like a champ.
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2010, 08:39:01 PM »

Ok. I finally got a full day where I could work on the bike so here's an update. First off. When I got back from the cruise, I had my replacement head and cams waiting for me. Thanks HolyCaveMan!  The head and cams were exactly as you said they were. Just like new. Before installing the head, I decided to take the left side covers off to have a look because of what I found when I inspected the oil screen.  I forgot what a pain in the rear it is to pull the rotor even with the right tools. It was good to see that beautiful Eagle Engineering Doohicky again.  I'll let the pics below speak for themselves. I now know where the little metal shavings came from. Speak up if I missed something in the pics.

















I couldn't see anything else other than this that could explain the metal pieces in the oil screen. I changed the doohicky when I bought the bike. It had 18K on the clock and the spring was broken. The bike was real rattly before the upgrade and much quieter afterwards. It looks like the counterbalancer chain was slapping against the case. The chain looks OK to me so I buttoned it back up and installed the head.





Here are some pics of the new head.




















I did a valve clearance check after the install and discovered that the Right Exhaust valve needs adjusting and the left Exhaust is right at the minimal clearance. I guess I'll try to adjust them tomorrow. I hope I have the right shims on hand.
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 09:54:30 PM »

Congrats on getting it all back together!
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2010, 08:19:24 AM »

Looks like you have done a good job so far. Keep us posted.  Ride on!
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2010, 01:05:35 PM »

OK. So I had another day to work on the bike. AMAZING!

I took the cams off to adjust the valves and discovered that the intake valves both had 260 shims and the exhaust had 265. Last night's readings had the intakes at .15 and .12 and the exhaust at .11 and .16. Way too tight.  The good news was I was able to swap some shims around and use some from the old head and now my valves are at .15 and .21 for Intake and .27 and 21 for exhaust. Not ideal but good enough to get me down the road for at least another year. If I had a 255, I would have had the .15 valve at .20  .    I'd be riding right now if it wasn't for a little mishap when I was buttoning it back up. 















This ever happen to you?????  Let me tell you something. It isn't much fun removing the rotor once but now I've done it three times when you count the doohickey upgrade.  I guess I don't have to tell you that I was extry careful the second time I was installing the cam chain guide.  I now have it together with adjusted valves. That's the story of my life.  Three steps forward, two steps back. At least I seem to be making some forward progress.  After lunch, I'm going to tackle the carb. Wonder how I can screw that up?  banghead
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2010, 09:10:45 AM »

Good luck with the Carb, I had a blast (not really) cleaning mine, and surprisingly it ran better after putting it back on the bike! Since you already have it apart, I would recommend dropping the $26 on a petcock kit, just so you won't have to pull the tank off again for a while. The diaphram in mine turned to dust when I took it apart. It is a good piece of mind to know it is all good.

 Dodger
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 10:44:00 AM »

Good luck with the Carb, I had a blast (not really) cleaning mine, and surprisingly it ran better after putting it back on the bike! Since you already have it apart, I would recommend dropping the $26 on a petcock kit, just so you won't have to pull the tank off again for a while. The diaphram in mine turned to dust when I took it apart. It is a good piece of mind to know it is all good.

 Dodger
  Get rid of that vacuum petcock problem forever.Do the Hurricane petcock mod. After all,its free !
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2010, 04:28:46 PM »

Well it's starting to come together. I overhauled the carb by replacing every O-ring and sprayed a generous helping of carb cleaner in every orifice. The O-rings were definitely in need of replacing.  The carb is now back on the bike. Boy that was a chore. I also installed a new, well oiled Uni air filter. The exhaust is back on and the brake pedal and right footpeg is back on too. I would have been farther down the path but I managed to booger the Water pump housing gasket so I had to make one from scratch. I have one on order but I didn't want to wait til next week.  I'm almost ready to refill the fluids and give her a crank.  In regards to the petcock... I already overhauled it last year and I have a raptor petcock  sitting in a box but I'm not so sure I want to go to gravity feed just yet. I sometimes forget to shut the petcock. Getting older you know.  That's funny !
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