2005 KTM 950 Adv. engine problem in Belize/Guatemala

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by kizniche, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    I'm currently in Río Dulce, Guatemala, on a trip from Florida (http://motoalsur.blogspot.com / http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031).

    Upon turning south after visiting Yucatan, Mexico, my right exhaust (front cylinder, I believe) has started turning poppy.
    The bike is a 5.05 KTM 950 Adventure. It now has ~20k miles. It's last oil change was ~2k miles ago (10w60), valve check ~4k miles ago, all TSBs performed. Something to note, is that before leaving Texas a few weeks ago, I had Tejas Motorsports in Highlands, TX (near Houston) perform a cylinder leakage test and oil pressure test, which came back OK (<5% leakage). What was noticed, though, at the shop, was upon a cold startup, the right exhaust (same one as the problem now) showed a smokey color until it became warm. I believe this was the beginning to what has now developed.

    The specific page about about this problem in my RR is at http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=616031&page=

    I am currently en route to a KTM dealership in Guatemala City, 300k away. The bike runs alright, and I can't notice much or any loss of power. Does anyone have any ideas so I may help the techs there diagnose and fix her?

    Here is a video I shot in Belize to capture the sound. Notice the right exhaust is vibrating much more than the left.

    Sorry the wrong video is here, but I can't remove it.. Here is the video of the bike:

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    #1
  2. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Mosquito bait

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    I believe the front cylinder, right exhaust, has it's carb right below the engine crankcase breather in the airbox. Could be oil is getting blown out the crankcase breather and into that carb, causing it to run poorly on that cylinder.

    Run the bike, shut it off, let it sit for a minute or so, and check your oil level. Could be something as simple as having too much oil.

    There are other things that cause the 'oil out the breather hose' problem, but I don't know what they all are.

    That's my $0.02.
    #2
  3. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    I stripped the bike the morning I left Belize, and replaced the fuel filter, cleaned all the jets in the carb bowls, and replaced the spark plugs.. there was no goop from the breather hose.. so I think this is not a carb issue- everything in there looked good.

    Oil level is also good.. I also removed and checked the clutch cover for spooge to see if my water pump has gone, but it was fine.. I replaced the seals and bearing, etc a year ago and no problems there.
    #3
  4. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

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    I'm not the LC8 expert in here but what color is the smoke? Blue smoke usually indicates internal oil leakage while water makes it white and fuel makes it black, so if it's black smoke you might have a fueling issue but if it's blue you might have something more serious. The most common cause for internal oil leakage are the valve seats, which in turn can be more or less serious, if you're lucky it's just that the valve guides are worn and leak a little oil (which is burned off after running the engine for a while).

    However a popping sound like that coming from inside (if it is indeed coming from inside, could be something rattling in the exhausts as well) the engine is never good, hard to tell what it could be but it could be a stuck or broken valve or valve seat.

    You can also get a popping sound like that if unburned fuel (running very rich) gets into the exhaust when it's hot but if that's the case you usually also have a massive black smoke screen to accompany it. And if the sound persists even under prolonged engine braking I think we have to say that the problem is mechanical.

    Unless it improves I'm afraid it might be an open the motor up kind of deal, I'd recommend using middle to low rpm and and no more than half throttle while you make your way to that KTM workshop. You might tell them what you've told us so that they're half prepared.

    If someone with more hands on LC8 experience think I'm dead wrong feel free to speak up.
    #4
  5. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    The smoke was a bluish color if I remeber.. more dark than white, but I'm not sure if it was more blue than black- it was hard to tell.

    The sound has definitely increased in volume since Yucatan. I think it's something progressing, instead of regressing.

    Yeah, I think the engine has to be opened up. The carb looked ok when I tore it open a few days ago.

    Here is what happens at different RPMs:
    ~1400 Idle: loudest popping
    2000-2100: with a load sound drasticaly decreases but still noticable, without a load, is very quiet.
    3500: sound is still noticeable but less than idle
    5000: sound is much less noticeable.

    Decelerating, but allowing the engine to slow the bike... such as going downhill and keeping speed or slowly decelerating: hardly any sound at all- the bike almost sounds normal, which makes me believe it's a compression issue.

    I've already checked and reset my idle mixture screws, but that would only cause this at idle. It does it throughout the RPM range.
    #5
  6. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

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    If it was fuel it would be pitch black, soot black. But oil leakage is dark blue so that's probably what you're looking at. Could be many things, broken valve spring, valve seat, sticking valve. Hard to say how to ride it best so that it lasts as long as possible, probably stick to "normal touring rpm" and low load. I'd hate to be in your place, I'd be riding like on needles. But just try to enjoy the ride and take is as part of the adventure I guess. The alternative would be to take the safe option and get some kind of road assistance to that ktm shop, your call really. A guy like Pyndon would probably strip the motor in the nearest field but that's not me. :rofl
    #6
  7. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    I found riding at about 60 mph @ 5000 RPM feels the smoothest... It seems like the least load on the engine because it sounds most normal. Although that is a high RPM, I think the load is less from greater momentum. I think I can make it the last 300k without incident, but I am getting into more mountains, so I'm not sure about the upcoming riding conditions.

    Worst case is I have it towed a few hundred kilometers... shouldn't be that expensive, prob less than $50 USD. I'm taking off early Monday morning, so if I get stuck somewhere, I'll have the whole day to figure something out before night.
    #7
  8. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

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    Sounds like what I would do as well, I'm a bit stubborn like that. Baby that motor for the next 300k and hope for the best, it's part of the adventure :rofl

    It's a shame the LC8 is so darn hard to get to, otherwise one trick you could have pulled would be to take out the spark plug, run the start motor and see if anything rattles about in there. It's ironic that the bike with the cylinders sticking out its side is the one which requires less maintenance :baldy

    That is of course until you lose one of said cylinders to a rock :lol3
    #8
  9. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Mosquito bait

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    What does the front plug look like?
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  10. ADVJake

    ADVJake ***** dweller

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    popping... hmm, reminds me of when i forgot to plug in the carb vent lines after a service.
    #10
  11. Joe

    Joe Debaser

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    I'm guessing the right pipe is shaking like that due to the graphite gasket gone for a crap (in the mid pipe) and nothing to do with the way the cylinder is performing? It's hard to tell from the video but you can almost hear the pipe rattling.
    #11
  12. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    These plugs were put in ~4000k ago (2500 miles).

    FRONT:
    [​IMG]


    REAR:
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    The left pipe rattles a little bit, but it seems like the right pipe is rattling from the pressure of exhaust coming out irregularly. I can feel a difference with my hands over each exhaust.
    #13
  14. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    You got me curious, because I had not looked into the exhaust pipes. These are FMF Q2 exhaust pipes. Here are the pictures i just took:

    LEFT, REAR CYLINDER:
    <img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TNXlvGoD16I/AAAAAAAAEG4/hRD6lQD-y_w/s800/IMGP2599.JPG">

    RIGHT, FRONT CYLINDER:
    <img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_RZW5mFRH__E/TNXlwikaOLI/AAAAAAAAEHA/JWjJ_IupyPA/s800/IMGP2600.JPG">
    #14
  15. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    Part of the reason I wanted to take the entire air box apart in Belize, was to look for leaks. I was very thorough to put it back together right, and also didn't find any missed hoses or leaks.
    #15
  16. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Unimaginative Lab Rat Supporter

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    I would definitely want to eliminate the possibility that this could be an exhaust problem before doing any more tear down. Maybe disconnect it at the header pipe (front pipe is easy to remove) and see if you can determine if the rattle is gone. Of course it's going to be super loud but maybe you can still tell if the rattle sound goes away.
    I'm an auto technician and we get some crazy sounds out of the exhaust (on cars) like broken baffles, that can be easily confused with engine noise.

    Good luck
    #16
  17. scruffy

    scruffy Been here awhile

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    Just a shot in the dark-maybe the intake manifold,or intake boot, is loose. It happened to me and I had a lot of the same symtoms
    #17
  18. kizniche

    kizniche pyro

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    It really doesn't sound like it's rattling, more like a popping. The video was shot with a small mic on my camera, so it's a little distorted.

    I will poke around the exhaust a little more tomorrow morning when there's light out.

    Have and of you anything to say about the pictures I posted of inside each exhaust and the difference... the right exhaust seems like it is missing a piece that the left one has. Is this normal? I don't recall if it had that or not. Does anyone else have FMF Q2 exhausts that can check, or does anyone know more about this than I?
    #18
  19. Joe

    Joe Debaser

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    The right pipe will always be stronger exhaust? due to the different length pipes? So don't over think that to much (I already did that once). G/L
    #19
  20. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    No expert here, but it sure looks to me that the back end of your right can is wigglin' around, and the insides of the two cans look remarkably different. I'm wondering if what you hear is not a simple exhaust leak -- either in the right can or in a gasket upstream of the right can.

    Frankly, I can't imagine what would cause an engine to sound like that if it was not an exhaust leak. Main bearing going bad would not sound like that, and problems in the valve train would likely show signs like weak power or the like.

    Pure guess on my part, but I'd guess that you have a muffler coming apart.

    Exhaust smoke has me baffled. If you have the bike reasonably jetted (sounds so from Video #2), you're no losing fluid (head gasket or water pump seal), and not burning substantial oil (rings or valve guides), then I don't know where you get smoke. My first guess would be the picky carbs found on the ADV. Based on your plates, maybe a substantial change in altitude (???) causing a lean condition resulting in white smoke? Dunno. Really wish I could be of more help.
    #20