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Old 04-19-2015, 02:39 PM   #1
Apaluq OP
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Eek Anyone in Fox Valley Wisconsin area? KLR Engine sound diagnostic

I have a 1997 KLR 650 I bought last year in May with 20,000 miles. It had a fresh oil change then. A month ago did an oil change. Ran just fine, no peculiar sounds. Last week, after the bike pretty much sat for a week not being ran, I replaced the front wheel, and replaced both tires. I also did a needed chain adjustment. The fuel with Seafoam in the tank was from Winter storage and had maybe 3/4 left, so I've been running on that.

So now I'm hearing a sound on the left side of the engine that I want to say sounds something like circulating marbles or something. It's not very loud at all. It is apparent in neutral, idle and the sound doesn't seem to change pitch/speed at higher RPM. My cousin said it sounds like static.

I'm well aware of the doohickey issue, and I am not sure if this has been done by the previous owner(s). So, I want to open the left cover and check the doohickey. But I also would perhaps like someone in the area to give it a listen and point me in the right direction. Should I avoid adjusting the balancer bolt until I check the doo?
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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Have you adjusted the doohickey? Certain the chain isn't too tight? Well lubed?
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:28 PM   #3
Apaluq OP
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Never adjusted doo. Chain should be within spec (I am going to triple check now). Lubed fine.
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apaluq View Post
I want to open the left cover and check the doohickey. But I also would perhaps like someone in the area to give it a listen and point me in the right direction. Should I avoid adjusting the balancer bolt until I check the doo?

Open it up already, DO NOT run the engine until you find the issue. Don't bother adjusting the doo since you won't be running the engine anymore.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:22 PM   #5
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you hear it in neutral, are you are standing beside it or driving it? if you hear it riding, try coasting a hill with the engine off.

doesn't hurt to take a look at the doo. with the outer cover off you can see how the balancer chain is working & you can see the lever and at least feel spring inside the inner cover. all that can be done without having to pull the rotor.

nother thing it can be is the waterpump seal. sound travels funny in the klr engine & that seal can make a couple noises. both like a dry or failing bearing... one noise has a rough whirling sound. may not be very loud but loud enough to make you uneasy... you recognize it as a sound that doesn't belong for lack of a better way to put it. the other sound it can make is a squeel like dry bearing. may only happen when the bike is hot, might make a pronounced squeek just as the engine shuts off. I have had these happen on my bike & others. if you think that might be it, you can drain the coolant, pull off the waterpump cover, remove the impeller and run without it. the impeller has 1/2 of the seal so there will be a coolant leak.... there is a drain hole in the main cover that is there so when the seal(s) fail the liquid will leak out & you can see it. when I do this test I plug that hole with a fat sheet metal screw and put water in the radiator. the coolant in the recovery tank does not need to be drained.

read the book on removing the impeller. you need to "screw" and "unscrew" it from the shaft because of the O-ring. there are 2 washers to not lose, the torque on the impeller nut is 69 inch pounds & it's easy to break the shaft if you overtorque. 1 of the 3 pump cover bolts is longer
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if I'm answering your question, I assume all the obvious points have been addressed, such as " did you do a compression check?" and "is it still on fire?"
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:06 PM   #6
larryboy
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Yeah, don't listen to Beezer.

Many a KLR owner has sat around revving their engine trying to figure out sounds only to have a chunk of the balancer lever or spring take a ride up the cam chain causing the bike to jump time bending a few valves at a minimum or cracking a piston at a maximum.

Tear it down and find the problem. It's high time to do a right side screen cleaning and it's cheap to rebuild the water pump while you're into that side.
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Old 04-20-2015, 01:59 AM   #7
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what?? are ya jokin' larryboy? I said to look at the doo. just saying the waterpump seal is a known noise producer. I've seen 4 bikes with weird noises produced by that seal


let me reiterate from my last post...

"with the outer cover off you can see how the balancer chain is working & you can see the lever and at least feel spring inside the inner cover. all that can be done without having to pull the rotor."
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if I'm answering your question, I assume all the obvious points have been addressed, such as " did you do a compression check?" and "is it still on fire?"
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:14 AM   #8
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p.s. I am well aware of the problems with the doo.... I've changed at least 50, and yes, I have a bucket full of "internet hype" broken doo parts. I have also repaired a couple bikes after the fail. the doo is a terrible design, overly complicated for the task and built with substandard parts. it has several inherent failure points built in. this is a rant I have posted many times.

when I make a post, it is usually to add something that hasn't been said... read my sig line.... "I assume all the obvious points have been addressed".... that part of my line is not a joke. there is no more obvious failure point on a KLR than the doo
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