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Old 09-29-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
mtn500 OP
bush jumper
 
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Floyd, VA, Edenton, NC
Oddometer: 301
i hope i didnt ruin my engine

hello all
a few weeks ago i started the venture of replacing the clutch in my xl500s. got that done but decided i would do more "maintenance" to the bike since i was already doing it, so i removed and rebuilt the swing arm and worked on the exhaust system. i put everything back together, minus the muffler, and rode it to my neighbors house so he could weld a bracket back onto the frame that secured the muffler. after the bracket was welded on, i rode it back home and finished the assembly of the bike. i checked and double checked everything to make sure all bolts were correctly torqued and nothing was left off. rode the bike around the yard...it ran/rode great. so i took it on a short trip into town (3 miles from home) and back, it ran great then too. i was both satisfied and happy that it was back together and running great.
so my girlfriend and i take a ride and thats when it happened. we had stopped on a dirt road to look at something and i could hear a clicking sound coming from the engine; nothing major but enough to make you notice it. the bike was still running fine so i didn't dismount and try to pinpoint the problem, i just decided to head home and look at it ( i was ~1 mile from home). while riding the bike home i noticed that the bike felt like it was losing power going up a hill so i down shifted and when i pulled in the clutch lever i immediately noticed the engine wanting to stall. my first reaction was i was out of gas, but i knew i shouldn't have been, so i twised the throttle and heard the engine rev but it sounded different, like it was hesistant to rev and after the throttle was let off it idled back down and died quickly. i still had the clutch disengaged when it died so i stopped as quickly as i could to see what happened.
first thing i noticed was the enging smelt hot. my next reaction was to check the oil. when i pulled the dipstick, i could see a creamy colored smoke in and rolling out of the crankcase. i was not happy. checked the oil level and it was ok. the oil was brand new but was so hot it appeared to have the viscosity and color of water. i gently tried to kickstart it but there was a large amound of resistance on the kickstarter, kinda like there was no lubrication between the cylinder wall and the piston. WTF! we stood there for a minute while i was thinking what could have happened and then i heard it; a mechanical click sounding like something had just been "freed". what was running through my mind was somehow the engine had gotten too hot and locked up. i hesitantly remounted the bike and tried to kick it over again. there was still resistance when i initially kicked it over but after the first revolution of the crank it felt like it freed itsself and started turning fine. would it crank? i kicked it over twice and it fired right up with no strange noises at all. rode home slowly with no problems. checked oil after cooling down and level was fine and it was not discolored.
so im stumped.

i know that was a long post/explanation of what happened but i wanted to be thorough.
what could have happened? clutch related? clutch plates were soaked before installing and everything was lubed prior to reassembly. could something have happened that stopped the oil pump from pumping oil into the cylinder? any particular areas i should pay special attention to?
thanks for any suggestions
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #2
DAKEZ
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I'm not a Master mechanic but it sounds like a valve issue... (stuck/bent?)

I look forward to hearing what the problem was/is.
Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:17 AM   #3
Pablo83
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Location: Woodland Park, CO
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sure sounds like the engine overheated. If some debris were left in the case from the clutch rebuild it could have clogged an oil passage and caused the cylinder to not get properly oiled. If it were me I would tear down the engine to check for damage. Lots of work, but better than completely destroying in engine in the middle of nowhere.

Good luck
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
mtn500 OP
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Floyd, VA, Edenton, NC
Oddometer: 301
it could be a stuck valve, i will certainly look into that. as for something clogging an oil passage....thats not unreasonable. im pretty sure i didn't leave debri in the case, but im not perfect. also, as this was my first time working with/on a clutch, i was ingorant to the fact that a new lock nut would probably be necessary, which it was. due to not having a new nut i was halted mid-job for a couple days for the part to come in. i have to work mainly at night so during the summer months there were bugs flying around and at night more than i wanted were in the garage flying around the lights. i covered everything up well after each work session, but i would not say it was impossible for a bug to find a nice dark place somewhere in the crank case and hide out there without being seen.
as it is, it sucks ass. i have no time during the week to work on it so i guess i get to worry about it all week.
i'll post back if/when i find the problem
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certs and destroy

If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know", the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.


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Old 10-01-2008, 09:36 AM   #5
mtn500 OP
bush jumper
 
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Floyd, VA, Edenton, NC
Oddometer: 301
i had some free time last night so i decided to check a few simple things on the bike.
i pulled the plug and inspected it; it looked fine, great even.
drained the oil, not so good. the oil was very dark and has what appeared to be metal flakes in it. it appeared to have glitter in it.
here is picture of new 20w50 compared to the 20w50 that had ~10 miles on it.


the clutch plates had similar material impregnated in them


i refilled the case with new oil and hesitantly started it up. it started up and ran fine. i held my hand on the upper part of the block next to the cylinder as long as i could to see if i could feel any clicking/knocking and none could be detected.

im guessing its a clutch issue. it will be until this weekend before i get any more time to mess with it.
i'll let you know what i find out.
thanks
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certs and destroy

If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know", the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.


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Old 10-01-2008, 09:52 AM   #6
XRsteve
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That could be a lack of oil getting to the cylinder head, causing things to heat up. Make sure you didn't lose any o-rings or seals when you had the clutch cover off. I don't know much about older xl500s, but on the newer xr's there's a seal between the case and cover that if missing it would cause low oil pressure.
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