Maintenance induced failures.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by rickr84, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. rickr84

    rickr84 Adventurer

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    This I totally understand and agree with, which I always try to mitigate by being slow and careful. But "failing radiator cap holding onto dear life just because it hasn't been moved in 13 years" surprised me. How do you even account for that other than being anal with your maintenance and changing items proactively.
    #21
  2. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Hogwash. Round here we fix it till its broke.
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  3. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    ^^^^^^^:imaposer I've seen that too...………...
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  4. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    My first A&P job was working for an IA that had gotten his start in WWII. He told me about being in England, fixing the planes during the war. So...…...I will try to repeat as close as I can.
    "When I went into the army, I had only seen a few airplanes before. I was a farm boy and had pretty good mechanical skills. So I was sent to aircraft mechanic school. Intense training on fixing one part of the plane, then shipped out. When I got over to England, I know all there was to know about a Marvel Schebler carb. My first duty was to reskin a rudder on a B-17. I had heard about fabric, but not much more. The guy helping me was a gun repair tech. And the B-17 had to fly out on a mission in 10 hrs." So now with that kind of experience working on the planes, I would expect a lot of maintenance to go terribly wrong.
    Just like, training flights were more dangerous than combat. There is a B-24 crash site not far from here. Night time, Command Pilot had a total of something like 425 hrs total time, Co-pilot had something like 125 hrs total. At night in a 4 engine bomber. Suppose there was some risk involved.
    #24
  5. tominboise

    tominboise Long timer

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    “ I hope it works half as good as it did before I fixed it”.....
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  6. ozmoses

    ozmoses . Supporter

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    I have personally stared at and worried a pipe into leaking. :deal
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  7. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    Funny thread title. Someone, who probably does not have much experience, tries to do some long overdue maintenance on a seriously neglected bike. A failure follows and said person blames.maintenance itself. Sound logic:-))))
    #27
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  8. ozmoses

    ozmoses . Supporter

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    Tongue-in-cheek
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The idiom tongue-in-cheek refers to a humorous or sarcastic statement expressed in a mock serious manner.
    #28
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  9. cmattina

    cmattina Been here awhile

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    So true.

    The flip side, i guess, is doing that "maintenance" that will make the trip better. I had a DR650 with a stock tank. i told myself i'd upgrade the tank eventually. Did a bunch of huge road trips THEN upgraded the tank. I felt dumb because in reality, the sooner i got the tank on, the sooner i could have started in enjoying it!

    The moral is do all that maintenance a few weeks before the trip. Never the night or week before!
    #29
  10. rickr84

    rickr84 Adventurer

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    I have more automotive experience than 90% of shadetree mechanics (bought and sold blown headgasket or transmission cars on craigslist and fixed myself and sold to pay for college 2002-2006. Atleast 30+ barely running cars turned into great runners and sold for profit), but I'll admit I haven't done much work on bikes.

    Assuming I had tons of motorcycle experience, what experience would I have used to replace this radiator cap any sooner than I did? I did a simple maintenance task, and the bike started overheating. I took a moment to make sure I burped the system correctly. Once that was verified, and the system was still not working correctly, I then identified and replaced the faulty part causing the problem based on clues such as the fact that it would overflow fluid even before it was fully hot.
    #30
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  11. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

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    @rickr84 based on your vast experience, would you say that the cause for the failure is a part that just got faulty out of nowhere or the part got faulty due to the severe neglect of your bike? Whatever the answer, do you still claim that it is in fact your attempt at a long overdue maintenance that created the problem?
    #31
  12. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I clicked "like" on your post but I didn't really want to :lol3

    As soon as you said you spilled fulid on top of the engine, I knew where this was going. I've driven an early Miata for 14 years, and they have crazy deep spark plug wells that are totally vertical. Any time oil or fluid gets in there, the plug misfires.
    #32
  13. Lee Dodge

    Lee Dodge Been here awhile Supporter

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  14. rickr84

    rickr84 Adventurer

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    I would say that what failed on this radiator cap was 25% spring force, and 75% the rubber flat gasket that seals the sprung plunger against the radiator neck area.

    If I had changed my coolant every 2 years, and had thus removed this cap 7 times previously, would it have survived longer? Maybe, if we want to conclude that new coolant is literally moisturizing the rubber gasket and that older fluid doesn't do this anymore, or actually reduces it's life span.

    I think the hundreds of heat cycles and 13 years of being squished made it harder and thinner more so than old coolant, but I'm not a rubber expert.

    The point isn't that you shouldn't do long overdue maintenance, but to laugh at the comical nature of things. If I hadn't touched the coolant, I would probably continue to have a well cooled bike for years. I bet that hardened squished rubber gasket was cooked to the radiator so well that it wouldn't have moved unless the bike got REALLY hot and it really pushed fluid past it and into the overflow. After that it would have never resealed.

    Even knowing all this, obviously I'm glad I changed the fluid. Id rather reduce the risk of corrosion in the system more than I would rather not deal with a faulty radiator cap. But I'm sure next time I wont do the maintenance if the next trip is a 120 mile commute.

    Picture from my 2up 1800 mile trip through Baja this summer. I don't do any chain maintenance either other than slack. I've since cleaned and lubed the chain for the first time in 10 years.


    DSCF9326.JPG
    #34
  15. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

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    Recently I have started abiding by the manufacturers recommended intervals. I used to change oil and filter every 3,000 miles. Now seeing my manual says oil filter every other oil change, and oil change at 5,000 miles.

    This thread brings to mind an interesting and real phenomenon, but any aspect of the radiator cap can still fail at any moment.

    Later now in my mechanical life (38 y.o. now avidly doing extensive mechanical work on cars, motorcycles, etc since I was 14), I follow the book extremely closely.

    To me, though totally anecdotal, duty cycling a machine (whether a computer, printer, diesel engine, electrical device, etc.) tends to be NECESSARY to keep it working.

    It is the machines that sat for ages being unused that tend to be lemons. This is my $0.02.

    Prolongued maintenance intervals, to decrease problems post-intensive maintenance is wise policy. Its all in the accountants and statisticians reports of what tends to happen when (I.e., after what sort of event). Given that all maintenance for an aircraft is recorded, dated, described, and signed off by an A&P mechanic, or otherwise professional is solid fodder for noticing when things tend to be 'grounded' and allow inferring what tends to proceed an aircraft being grounded.

    Solid reference!
    #35
  16. tominboise

    tominboise Long timer

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    Lot of truth right here. Also to the line - "A redline a day keeps the car doctor away".....
    #36
  17. Bounder

    Bounder Typing...

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    Stuff that sits has the oil run off all the interior surfaces, this allows corrosion to take hold and once that happens failure follows like night after day.
    Regularly used machinery is better.
    I'd rather buy a bike that has had regular use and highish miles over a low miler that has sat for years between use.
    #37