07 Uly: Holy Headers! What next?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by SkiFastBadly, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    Ok, so I'm riding around in the middle of nowhere yesterday on my 07 Ulysses and there's this sudden change in exhaust sound (MUCH louder) and rather large and immediate increase of heat on my leg so I pull over. WTF? The first thing I notice is that the flange which holds the header onto the front cylinder isn't doing so...in fact it's come completely off and has slid down to where the pipes join? How could this have happened, I ask myself? Hmmm. Less than 1000 miles ago I had the dealer replace my head gaskets, I bet those bastards didn't torque the nuts on properly. Anyway, I was able to limp to a town just a mile or so away, and luckily the hardware store was open. Good, now all I have to do is find the right nut size (5/16", fine, for your future reference), wait for the beast to cool, and put them on. I did. Started it up again, and guess what? JUST as loud. Oh oh, it's more than I thought. Feeling around, the BACK flange is off too! And no way to get at that in a 'field repair' mode. OK, so now I ride the thing home, about 15 miles of "looks like a ADV bike, sounds like a HD with straight pipes". Later, as I'm poking around trying to figure out how much of the bike I'm going to disassemble to put the bolts on the back, I feel no metal where there should be metal. JESUS! There's a HOLE in the back header, about the size of a silver dollar, at the top, right after where it should be joined!
    Now I have to replace the header? I'm suddenly putting lots of dough into this bike.
    Now the questions: Has ANYONE here experienced or heard of a header failure? Is it connected (Could it be?) to the headers not being properly connected?
    Today's the fourth, but I'll be calling the dealer on Tuesday, so if you guys have any ideas, much appreciated.
    (Cross posted on BadWeb for purposes of maximizing feedback.)
    #1
  2. BillC

    BillC Banned

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    Holy burned exhaust valve... maybe not.

    [​IMG]

    :slurp :freaky
    #2
  3. soewe812

    soewe812 Wag more Bark less

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    Damn dude! I'm surprised that would happen right after the dealer had those particular parts removed. Then again, that is why I do all my own work. If there is anything I can do for you from the Utah end let me know.
    #3
  4. buck12ga

    buck12ga Buck

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    That engine needs balance shafts. Low RPM shaking causes all this stuff. :deal Really, HD should just go ahead and bite the bullet and design dual balance shafts for the entire Buell/Sportster engine lineup.
    #4
  5. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    He figured out the oxygen sensor had fallen out of its opening (see parallel thread on Badweb).

    Excessive vibration was not the problem here; rushed or sloppy mechanic was.
    #5
  6. buck12ga

    buck12ga Buck

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    Okay. :lol3
    #6
  7. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    I'll vote for sloppy. Lazy. Incompetent. High on meth. Whatever you want to call it. :baldy
    #7
  8. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    Well, I'm not entirely sure what's going on. Hugh initally suggested the O2 sensor, and that IS dangling around...but it looks to me like part of the header came off with it. There's an oval shaped piece of header attached to the sensor. It's not as simple as it 'unscrewed' it looks like metal failure. My guess is that the headers were improperly attached (which is to say, not attached at all) and the vibration caused the metal failure. As it looks like the headers will need to be replaced, I have to get this thing to the dealer now. Unfotunately, they dealer who did the original work is in Salt Lake City, and I've now moved to WA, so I suspect I'll have to pay for the repair even though it's the first dealer's fault. Bastage.
    #8
  9. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    Maybe you could contact Buell customer service and detail the problem with them and see if they could send a little love your way?????:norton
    #9
  10. panthercity

    panthercity Cap'n Crunch

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    Lay your story out here and you're likely to get a LOT of help.
    #10
  11. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Can you post some pictures to help out fellow '07 owners?:D
    #11
  12. nedodjija

    nedodjija Been here awhile

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    How many miles you have on your Uly when you needed a head gasket? Do you have any pictures of the engine? Good luck man. I hope you get it fixed.
    #12
  13. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    21K miles. Bike's being picked up by the dealer on Thursday. Already spoke to the original dealer who said 'well if we did something wrong we'll fix it' but I don't know how the hell to prove it. The WA dealer will expect me to pay and then wrestle with the SLC dealer. Customer service was not of any help they suggested I talk to the dealers, so I'm going 'round in circles. No idea how much this is going to cost me, given that as pointed out above I'll probably end up replacing an exhaust valve to boot.

    I am seriously thinking maybe it's time for an F800GS.
    #13
  14. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    Which dealer is it going too??

    Did you ever get pictures of the issues?
    #14
  15. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    There are two in the area, East Side in Bellevue is the one I called, basically they're the same distance from my house, and East Side opened an hour earlier on Tuesday, so they got the call. I don't have photos because I just moved in and stuff is in boxes all over the place, including my digital camera. I'll try and get a shot tonight, but I don't know how much one can really see under there. Regarding the O2 sensor, imagine it dangling down with a half dollar size piece of metal around where it should be mounted.....
    #15
  16. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Hopefully you have the previous repair order or ask the previous dealer to send it to you. That might be enough proof when the new dealer gets into it.

    Sorry but the ULY's are just not ready for prime time. Harley is able to work out their issues because they have volume. Buell doesn't have enough volume to identify and solve problems w/ new engineering. "Design forward" just doesn't cut it for people who need something to be reliable.
    #16
  17. flhtvtwin

    flhtvtwin Adventurer

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    Bellevue is the best dealership I've been too in a long while. I was on a trip from Alaska to Ohio and lost my Uly rear wheel bearing. Bellevue was the only one around that would help me. They did a great job, got me out in 1.5 hours including washing my bike. The rest of the people there were very nice and they let me demo an XR1200. Even the girl in the cafe was great to talk to. This is a superb dealership, you should be happy with their service.

    Mark
    #17
  18. Berto

    Berto Inherently Floridian

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    That has got to be the dumbest fucking statement I have read today.
    #18
  19. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Spoken like a true Buell owner, check your resale!
    #19
  20. SkiFastBadly

    SkiFastBadly A beer? Yes, please

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    Ok before they come and get the bike I took off the seat and took some photographs. Interestingly, I can see far better what's going on than I could poking around with a flashlight. In this shot, you can see that the O2 sensor is just dangling, and you can see the metal 'skirt' around it, where it pulled out of the header:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a shot of the header, and the hole therein:

    [​IMG]

    And one more where you can see both:





    s[​IMG]

    So it's pretty clear that the O2 sensor mount broke off the header. I don't understand the construction, but that's a pretty clean and regular break, so there's something in the design that's weird. Now, the question is, does the fact the headers weren't properly attached account for this failure? Assuming it's some sort of weld, I would think the vibration would be a prime suspect of the cause.

    Your opinions, fellow buellers?
    #20