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Old 12-17-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
jimbee OP
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Location: Vancouver BC / Reno NV
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r100gs - cooked - overheated - dead?

Hello Everybody,

My little brother may have killed my dear R100GS. I keep track of receipts and know exactly how much stupid money I've spent on this bike, but I have no idea how many long nights, weekends, and "sick days" I've allocated to this needy mistress. In any case, something has happened and I'm not sure where to start to try to fix it.

Long story short: my little brother used the bike to try to jump start and then charge a tractor mower he was trying to sell. He started the bike and let it run in a stationary position until it started to smoke and eventually died. The choke was on and he explains that it was fast idling at about 4,000 rpm for about 45 minutes standing still before it died.

He didn't explain all this to me until the next day when I was unable to start the bike and noticed that there was a small silvery puddle on the ground beneath the bike. The starter was able to crank the motor, but the engine wouldn't start and the starter seemed to be struggling a little bit (it is Nippondenso starter and usually has little trouble).

I have had way too much on the go for the last few days to touch the bike, but I have noticed that it is now leaking oil from both cylinders at one or both sides of the heads and its also leaking from either the base of the cylinders or the pushrod tube seals (they were new and leakfree). The oil on the dipstick is very low and very very burnt!

So where do I start?

Do I pull the cylinders and see if the pistons seized and left a mark?

How do I know if the pistons seized and bent the piston rods and damaged the main crank bearings?

Less than 1,500 miles ago I had the heads reworked (new valve guides, springs, machined, etc.) and new piston rings. Does the leaking oil from the cylinders suggest the heads are now warped?

Am I even asking the right questions?

In any case, my purpose here is not just to rant, but to ask what is the prudent course of action and where should I begin? I am a shadetree mechanic, comfortable taking the cylinders off, changing the rear main seal, removing the transmission, etc., but when it comes to the deeper insides of the engine, I have not experience.

I guess the bigger questions is, should I start tearing into it and see what I can see (if there is anything to see), or is this one of those cases where you drop it off at a real shop and get a engine head to take a look? Money is tight, but I have A LOT invested in this ride and would hate to see it sit broken for too long.

Your adivice is appreciated.

Happy Ho! JB
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
Ben Carufel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbee View Post
So where do I start?
Start by kicking your brother's ass.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:00 AM   #3
Beater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel View Post
Start by kicking your brother's ass.
I would make him hurt. Bad. Then take all the money he sold the tractor for.


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Old 12-19-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
jimbee OP
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Happy Sunday

My brother is 22 years old, but his common sense is often suspect.

He got the key, because I let him have it. We have just finished the massive job of cleaning out 30 yrs of crap from my Dad's house and selling it. My brother was charged with selling the nice Snapper ride-on and he called me in a panic that someone was coming to look at the mower any moment and it wouldn't turn over. I was in the middle of a million more important things to do with the sale of the house and told him he could jump start the tractor off the bike just this once and never again. I ignored the alarm bells and red flags that were going off in my head, and explained where the key was and how to start the bike over the phone. Just as he got the bike started, he hung up on me as the potential buyer was calling on the other line. I WRONGLY assumed he would jump the mower and turn off the bike, instead the mower didn't start and so he thought he would let the bike run for a while to charge the mower's battery. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I'M ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTCOME BY FACILITATING MY BROTHER GETTING HIMSELF IN A POSITION WHERE HE COULD HURT THE BIKE. I exihibited a lack of common sense here as well! Is this why I must wear his tighty whities?? Well, I think I've already received my punishement a hundred fold!

I too am a little brother to my big brother and there is the small issue of KARMA here. About a year ago, I offered to help give my big brother's new to him DR650 a thorough once over and tune up. In the process, I didn't see that below the angled spark plugs there was a good place for dirt and gravel to accumulate and when I removed one of the plugs, a teaspoon worth of gravely dirt fell into the cylinder. I didn't have the tools, parts, or time to open it up and clean up the mess, but without a doubt I paid the shop bill.

Yesterday, I dropped by Shail's and had a talk with Shail. He, like you all here, suggested to start by pulling the jugs and just taking a look. He made an interesting point that the conecting rod bearings are weaker than the main bearings and so if I inspect the connecting rod bearings and they still look and feel good, then the bottom end is likely fine. As suggested here, he said to look very carefully at the cylinder walls and piston for signs that they made contact. He also suggested dropping the oil pan to look for metal, in addition to cutting open the oil filter.

I'm in the process of making some room in a family member's garage to get started and in the next day or so I hope to pull the cans and provide some pictures. My tools and garage are in Reno, while the GS and I are in Vancouver - this is going to be a good test of my on-bike tool kit to see if I really do have everything I need!

mcma111 - thank you for the offer. we'll see if I have to take you up on it....

On an unrelated note, while at Shail's I saw an interesting 89 GSPD on consignment with some sort of custom WP front fork set up with a nice big rotor and caliper. The asking price is $5,500. A new front end is my #1 dream upgrade and now I'm dreaming of buying the bike, swapping the front ends, and then selling it in the spring.... dream dream dream...
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jimbee screwed with this post 12-19-2010 at 02:29 PM
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:34 PM   #5
wirewrkr
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[QUOTE=Yesterday, I dropped by Shail's and had a talk with Shail. He, like you all here, suggested to start by pulling the jugs and just taking a look. He made an interesting point that the conecting rod bearings are weaker than the main bearings and so if I inspect the connecting rod bearings and they still look and feel good, then the bottom end is likely fine. As suggested here, he said to look very carefully at the cylinder walls and piston for signs that they made contact. He also suggested dropping the oil pan to look for metal, in addition to cutting open the oil filter.[/QUOTE]

Very good advice from Shails concerning the rod shells.
If they're fine, reassemble (with new rod bolts of course)
And deal with the scorched top end. And it's always a good idea to clean out the oil pan.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
bikecat
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Change the pushrod seals while you are at it. Also de-carbon the pistons and perhaps new rings as well since the pistons are exposed.

Cheers
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:30 PM   #7
concours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel View Post
Start by kicking your brother's ass.
+1... and when you're done, do it again. Get about $2,000 cash from him to START into the repair.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
jimbee OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemerguru View Post
It might be worth it to try another set of rings. I had a new BMW set last summer that measured too big right out of the box. Swapped for another set and they were dead on.

I'm with Robert that the plastic messed up the valve train and caused the shut down since there doesn't see, to be any evidence of the piston seizing. And if the bike ran longer than 2-3 minutes with the choke on, something else in the original setup was way out of whack too.
Good idea Beemerguru. I'm going to take a full set of cyclinder, rings, and a piston down to the shop and see if we can't find a couple sets of rings that will actually be within spec!

As for the original set up, right or wrong, this is how the bike used to start:

- Cold, the bike would only start with full choke
- After about 45 seconds, I would reduce choke to half otherwise the engine would die
- After 3 to 4 minutes on half choke, the idle would begin to rise slowly up to about 4,000 rpm where it would then stay until I turned off the choke.

Is this different than normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishkens View Post
Don't forget the assembly lube and to crank the engine w/out plugs to get oil circulating before firing it up on reassembly.

Just thought I'd mention it.
Does good quality fresh oil count as assembly lube, or do I need something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JZed View Post
Jimbee

Seems I remember you mentioned that one cylinder stud that was loose and someone mentioned using a hand tap to chase the threads. Which stud is loose? Upper front?
Go carefully there. You might ask Shail sp?? about that. And by all means, if you don't have one get a good calibrated torque wrench for your assembly process. Keep the torque value on the heads to 25 ft lbs max. The BMW spec is 25 +/- 2 ft lbs, but the damn studs will start to "suck" out over time if you go over 25 ft lbs. This is especially a problem on the later blocks. Lots of good information on Snowbum's page.

http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/techindex.htm

Its a little hard to read, but it is really a good resource, and has kept me out of trouble by providing a cross reference for my Cylmer Manual.

Ride Safe
Yes, Snowbum's site sure is a wealth of info - I often perch the laptop on the bench and refer to him as I work. Between Snowbum, Haynes, Cylmer, and the pdf of the factory shop manual, they've basically formed my motorcycle mechanics course!

Yes, the loose stud is an upper front. I have heard many mixed messages on whether or not to locktite it!? I don't believe the threads in the case have been stripped, but I don't have a tap in the pile of tools I presently have at hand (I do have torque wreches though). Wearing gloves and using firm hand pressure, I can thread the stud in as deep as the others with out any tools. Just don't want it to back itself out over time.... Is there a consensus about whether or not to use locktite on these studs? (I understand to be very careful not to plug the oil passage that flows out into the stud cavity.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
It's been mentioned before that torquing lubricated bolts requires a lower value by about 25%. So unless you've cleaned the studs and nuts of all oil film, reduce the torque to 18 or 19 foot pounds.

If the head stud still threads into the block, but loosely, try the permanent loctite (red). But be careful if it's a top stud since there's an oil galley from each one of them that sends lube along the stud to the rocker assembly.
Well, another vote for careful use of locktite. Wirespokes, you seem to be right often....

Thank you for reminding me to lower the torque values on oiled threads - I never remeber this.

Still waiting for the plastic washers for the rockers so not much happending here.

Hope everyone is well! JB
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel View Post
Start by kicking your brother's ass.
Solid advice
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:46 PM   #10
Wirespokes
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Your choices on the stud are time-sert or loctite. I get the idea the threads are still there, just a little loose. Since it's not that difficult getting in there (in case the stud comes loose again), I'd just loctite the thing. That permanent red loctite is pretty rugged stuff and I'd think it would hold. Make sure the hole and stud are really really clean. And don't apply any loctite to the stud (since that would force it into the oil galley), only in the hole beyond the oil exit hole (about a 1/4" from the surface).

Let it set up for several hours or over-night. Then once it's all back together, leave the valve cover off at start-up and watch for oil flow from that rocker. It may be possible to rotate the engine with the top end off and generate enough flow to check that it's not plugged. But I've never tried it that way. Be careful the rod doesn't damage the case.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:34 PM   #11
OLD GREEN
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I would start by beating the shit out of your brother!
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #12
Steve G.
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Pretty clear the pistons have seized in the cylinders. The oil leaks are from the rubber seals being cooked. The crank should be ok if there was oil in it. But at this point, the engine and the oil have been overheated to such a degree, that, unless you ran full synthetic engine oil, it's time for a total rebuild, including the heads. If it were mine, this is exactly what I would do.
And rather than kill my brother, or even slap him around, I would make him financially responsible. And if he did not look after things, I would make his entire life a living hell.

Steve
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:52 PM   #13
Tosh Togo
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Originally Posted by Steve G. View Post
Pretty clear the pistons have seized in the cylinders. The oil leaks are from the rubber seals being cooked. The crank should be ok if there was oil in it. But at this point, the engine and the oil have been overheated to such a degree, that, unless you ran full synthetic engine oil, it's time for a total rebuild, including the heads. If it were mine, this is exactly what I would do.
And rather than kill my brother, or even slap him around, I would make him financially responsible. And if he did not look after things, I would make his entire life a living hell.

Steve
The OP rather clearly stated that it cranks in the same manner that it did before being fried, so that sorta rules out any chance that the "pistons have seized in the cylinders." The rings may be unhappy, and the pistons themselves probably have their own problems, but it ain't "seized".

Get in line behind his brother...
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:29 PM   #14
jimbee OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tosh Togo View Post
The OP rather clearly stated that it cranks in the same manner that it did before being fried, so that sorta rules out any chance that the "pistons have seized in the cylinders." The rings may be unhappy, and the pistons themselves probably have their own problems, but it ain't "seized".

Get in line behind his brother...
Thanks All Much. Esp for understanding my emotional response (kill kill kill kiill)

Kicking my brother's ass isn't going to stop this from happening again (I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT IT). Helping him get a clue about how things mechanical behave, or at least helping him realize that he knows so little that he should think twice before playing with machines could help maybe.

Dropping it off at Shail's, the local non dealer BMW shop, is an attractive idea, but my brother doesn't have a couple grand, and even if I do, I hate to write anyone such a blank cheque by dropping off a problem that I don't have a handle on myself.

So at this stage I'm just trying to figure out what the best and worst case scenarios are.

With this in mind, thanks Tosh Togo for inching back towards shedding some light into my black hole of understanding engine inards.

A few more specifics questions:

If a piston seizes, can it unseize after everything has cooled down (e.g. just becuase it can turn over now, is that conclusive eveidence that it never siezed and thus didn't cause deeper damage?

If the heads are warped, does that mean new heads or just that they need to be machined again?

If I do the labout and drop off an engine at a shop, what is a conservative guess on what a total rebuild should cost? This could be a good middle ground, where I get my brother to help with the labour and he learns in the process.

Fishkens, what would measring compression and leak down tell me? I assume that both would say something about the piston rings, but anything else as well?

Time for a scotch JB

PS - noticed there are a few other BC and other PNW posters here. I'm just moving back to BC and happy to know that there are other airheads this way.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tosh Togo View Post
but it ain't "seized".

Get in line behind his brother...

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