My V-strom story, I'm sticking to it.

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by robberst, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    To my partially trained eyes, I honestly couldn't tell if any oil was leaking past the two seals. The two valves with worn guides were coated with LOTS of carbon build up, but it was obvious a lot of oil was going past the rings, and not so obvious if any got past the seals.

    Suzuki's method for checking the the wear of the valve guides/valve stems is to lift the valve off the seat about 1 cm, then to check with a dial indicator the amount of play in four directions. Up to .014 is allowed. Then by measuring the valve stem you can determine which needs to be replaced.

    My valve stems had no measurable wear. All guides excepting the two front exhaust measured about .008-.009 with the dial indicator. The two bad ones were .015-.018 which was very noticable.

    I did get replacement cam chain guides and tensioners along with chains. They all came off a very low mile 2007 SV650 that was salvaged.
    #41
  2. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    it's been while since I reported.....but not much has changed.
    I have all the parts now. I received the valve guide reamer, the oversized reamer came, but they sent the wrong one. somehow I got the 11.3mm reamer instead of 10.8 still waiting on that.

    I called our local Suzuki shop, but they don't have the necessary tools. Apparently they send out any head repair work to someone else
    #42
  3. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    This week the 10.8mm oversize valve guide reamer arrived.
    So I started right in on fixing that front cylinder head

    [​IMG]

    The after reaming one hole I pounded in a new oversized valve guide, just to see how it would all go. It was easy.

    [​IMG]

    I made that little aluminum spacer to get depth of the guide right.
    That went so well I did the other and then reamed the valve stem bore with the Suzuki 4.5mm reamer. I think it was about $160 for the two reamer from RonAyers.

    Next up, I checked the valve seats with prussian blue. They were perfect. I was a bit worried I'd get the new guides a little crooked with the hand reamer, but not so.

    These two exhaust seats were a bit pitted. They did not leak mineral spirits, but since I was this far into the job seemed like I should do something about it. (All other 6 seats look perfect) I don't have valve seat cutters, but at work we have an old Sioux valve dressing set. I found a few old wore out aircraft seat stones and trimmed them down to fit a 1 inch valve at 45, 15, and 60 degrees.
    Here I put the 45 on and just turned it by hand 2-3 turns and it took out the pits. checked it again with prussian blue and I found no need to do any more. It measured out right by the book.

    [​IMG]

    The second one did not turn out quite as perfect, The guide must have been at the slightest angle and it took a little more fiddling.

    I think that's all for the moment.
    #43
  4. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    Yesterday I didn't have to work and spent the day reassembling.

    After a few hours.

    [​IMG]


    After a few more hours

    [​IMG]

    after a few more hours

    [​IMG]


    Then late last night I started it. I fired right off and sounds good, but was smoking heavily from all the assembly oil. I only ran it for a few minutes.
    #44
  5. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    I got everything tied up and reassembled and rode it about 50 miles or so today. Everything seems good so far. No leaks and no oil smell in the exhaust. I guess only time will tell.

    On a side note: Around 70,000 miles the fuel pump filters plugged up and it wouldn't start. Mostly out of curiousity and the chance of saving a few dollars I took the pump apart and put the filter assembly in an ultrasonic cleaner for a couple of hours. After reassembling it the pump was back to pumping 350mL in 10 sec. I wasn't sure how long this fix would last.

    I checked it again while I had the bike apart and was waiting for parts. It was pumping around 200mL/10sec. I threw it in the ultrasonic cleaner again and it's back to 375mL. I just used Dawn dish soap in the cleaner. Works good for carburetors too.
    #45
  6. amk

    amk Been here awhile

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    An average advrider or stromtrooper is permanently confused by the chain lubing process, and you took him so far beyond that he is speechless. Compare the figures for views and responses.
    Anyway, that is for sure the most in depth "maintenance and repair" thread in beasts, hats off to you, sir.

    BTW, has you eliminated the vibration you mentioned earlier, and if so, what was the cause of it?
    #46
  7. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    thanks for the comment.

    I believe anyone with moderate mechanical skills could do something like this, most likely more proficiently than I. It does take a few tools that the average shade tree mechanic probably doesn't own. ( in my case a set of Neway valve seat cutters and a couple of reamers)
    Then there is deciding to do it. It's much easier to decide to fix something that is collectable. Deciding to fix a crashed, worn V-strom is a little more difficult, weighing the desire and means to just buy something else.

    The engine is buttery smooth again, just like it was new. I haven't worked the engine too hard yet. In my 50 miles just a lot of speeding up and slowing down to break in the rings.

    I don't know the cause of my engine vibration, but I suspect it was lower compression on the front cylinder from all the carbon build up. I cleaned out the second air reeds and those little chambers were completely packed with carbon crud. It's possible a valve was sticking or just not sealing properly from all the carbon build up.
    #47
  8. JCANRUN

    JCANRUN Adventurer

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    Interesting thread. Thanks for posting.
    #48
  9. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    Well, I rode 500 engine break in miles this week.
    I'll put a few more miles on this next week and do an oil/filter change.

    There is really nothing noteworthy to say, good or bad. It runs like new.
    I haven't had to add any oil in the 5-600 miles I've put on it this week. I guess that's noteworthy. It's been a long time since that's happened. Two tanks of gasoline, the first at 58mpg and the second 56.

    Maybe there is one small thing: the idle speed is a bit irregular. If I set idle to 1400 rpm when hot, it idles at just over 1000 when cold. If i bump it up for cold idle, hot idle is high and wanders.
    #49
  10. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    2000 miles on the V-strom since the engine repairs.
    Just a couple of observations.

    there is no noticable oil loss. :clap
    my idle issue disappeared and it idles like it should :clap
    in the 4500-5500 RPM range it has a pretty strong vibration, especially with a big throttle opening. :puke1

    This past weekend we went down to St Paul, MN for the anitique motorcycle club event and it was very windy. With the bike loaded for a weekend of camping, my wife on the pillion, and a stiff headwind, the vibration was especially bad. She didn't notice it at all, but it was enough to make my hands and feet tingly. (Not even my KTM640 does that) It's a pretty high frequency type of vibration, like the in-line 4 cylinder hondas I have ridden.

    While my engine has always had a small vibration between 4500 and 5000 RPM, I think since I reassemble the engine, the vibration is more intense over a larger range of RPM.

    Nevertheless, I'm happy with it. Looks like there will be many more miles to come.
    #50
  11. amk

    amk Been here awhile

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    Weird, Wee is known for its smoothness.

    I presume you did tps/tbs.
    #51
  12. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    If I'm honest. No

    right before I diassemble the engine I had sync'd the throttle bodies and just a few thousand miles before all this I had to replace a failed throttle position sensor.

    In my excitement to get it all back together.......I didn't recheck them. My thinking at the time was that I'd run it "as is" to the next servicing then do it.

    I suppose I shouldn't complain about this stuff until I complete the job.
    #52
  13. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    My 2007 650 has a very narrow window where it vibes enough to be annoying. Interstate travel around 75mph. RPM range is 5600-5900.
    #53
  14. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    Well the poor old thing is still going




    [​IMG]


    I have about 3000 miles on it now since it was reassembled.

    I reported earlier, that I was having an annoying vibration in the 4500-5500 RPM range. After reading a couple threads about v-strom vibration here and elsewhere, I began to wonder if my engine mounts were causing it. As can be seen, I don't have crash bars or anything, but I did have the right side V mount off.

    So I loosed and retorqued it and presto, the annoyance is gone. It does still have the usual rumble, but it no longer bothers my hands and feet.

    Next week we are off on a trip to Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming.
    #54
  15. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    The engine work from last winter was at 84,XXX miles.

    This winter the V-strom is at 94,XXX miles. Just completed some winter maintenance. I checked the valve clearances again. They were right in the middle of the range....still. The cam chain tensioners look good. As far as I can tell, all looks well. I synchronized the throttle valves, changed oil and filters etc.

    My big concern this winter was the rear suspension. It is getting pretty harsh. Now it's no surprise the suspension is failing, I haven't touched it since I got the bike new. The spring preload adjuster won't turn, nor will the damper adjustment screw. Even still, in my pea brain, I can't reason out how an old, heavily worn shock would cause a harsh ride over small bumps. It doesn't pack, bottom out easily. Not bouncy either. So I took the the rear suspension completely apart. I was thinking, all the bearings probably needed some attention anyway.

    At some point in the past, I got a new endless drive chain from suzuki. At that time I took the swing arm axle out, twisted the swing arm a bit, fed the new chain through and while I had the axle out I cleaned and greased those roller bearings.
    Every other roller bearing (all six of them) were completely seized, black, powdery and generally in very poor shape.

    I very thoroughly cleaned them all and repacked them. (I would not recommend this to anyone, but my short sighted goal is 100,000 miles)

    I Could recommend anyone with higher mileage that rides in the rain, gravel etc, to check out their rear cushion bearings.

    I still don't know how this will help my harsh rear suspension since there is several feet of snow on the ground, but it could only help, huh?
    #55
  16. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

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    .... this I can vouch for .... if left alone for too long, they seize, but the fix is easy: on your next ride, turn the adjstor downwards - yes it will budge ! ... then turn the small screw.

    the logic is once the oil inside is warmed up, they are again adjstable, unless your oil has run dry or evaporated. Mine was ok.

    good story - thanks for the write up !
    #56
  17. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    Thanks for that. I'll give the shock adjusters a try after riding it.

    I had considered sending it to racetech for a rebuild, but I suspect a 94k mile shock is probably trash. I'll keep an eye on it this summer. If all goes well I'll replace all the cushion lever bearings and get a shock.

    I sold the KTM 640 last summer so the miles will be piling on faster.
    #57
  18. Palnut

    Palnut Fly safely!

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    Excellent writing & photos by the OP. I particularly enjoy his self-made tools, following the true spirit of both motorcyclists and NoDak farmers :clap

    Since you still have snow on the ground I highly recommend fixing your suspension before riding season, especially since you ride two-up. IMHO a well-sorted suspension is second only to adjusting control ergonomics, and adds heaps of enjoyment to both you and your Second Officer. Plenty of information here (search Thinstrom) and Cogent Dynamics' Rick can certainly help.

    Last photo reminds me of the UND flight line.

    Ride safe!
    #58
  19. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    Ha! That is the UND flightline. I work out there as a mechanic and avionics tech.

    I'm sure you are right about repairing the suspension. There is enough winter left for me to sort it out
    #59
  20. MarathonMan

    MarathonMan Been here awhile

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    This guys rebuilds the DL650 shock very economically.

    http://www.daughertymotorsports.com/vstromsection.html

    I had mine done by him in the fall of 2013. I don't have a lot of miles on the rebuilt shock, but it was a definite improvement. Like Sasquatch used to do, he installs a port so it can easily be rebuilt in the future. I also had him install his proprietary cartridge emulators in the front forks, so a total solution.
    #60