R1200gsa cracked engine case

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Bikermousefrommars, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Bikermousefrommars

    Bikermousefrommars Grease Pit

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    First of all, want to say I’m new to post here even tho I’ve read posts here for quite a while.. what a great site and forum!

    So, I’ve been riding bikes for quite a while, and made trips around Europe for a years. But I made a trip to Russia and Romania last summer with my softail.. I love the bike and the roads, but damn.. braking my spine on the potholes of rural Russia I decided to go Adventure. So, being the 6ft 7 I am, I settled on a big reliable bike that I wouldn’t get heart problems even if the bike would kiss the gravel every once in a while. So I bought a 2007 1200gsa. And to make it an adventure, I flew to the UK, got one, and started my trip around the kingdom and back to the cold north (Finland). What a sweet trip!

    Well now, having spent hundreds of hours adding adventure gear and making the bike more terrain worthy during these cold months, I went yet again to the woods. I’ve read about the skid guard, it’s too little and flimsy and all.. never really given it a thought more than that. Well, riding on the trail, a small pot hole came along, and THOMP.. there goes the skid plate, pushing the rubber cushion through the engine case, and out runs the oil. After two liters of sweat and some swear words I get to see the damage. Now I have a 2 inch (5cm) round hole on the left hand corner of the engine case. The hole is neat and no bits seems to be in the case.
    I’ve been googling for options. I know welding such a place (oil soaked molded aluminum) is quite a task.. some say it’s a no can do, some say it’s doable. The second option is to change the left engine case, which means a lot of man hours (not confident to do it myself) to strip the whole engine and rebuild it. That means a lot of dough, and getting it to a dealership or a gs specialized shop, which usually are really busy this time of the year. Third option, buy a new second hand engine, fit it myself, and get the old one fixed next winter during the easier months, and sell it.
    Insurance is not an option. I have reduced the options to one and three. And here is my questions:

    How big a task is it to change an engine on a 2007 gsa? I have a bike lift, all common tools and power tools, courage more than skills (mediocre), and some friends that might help. I have not found any documentation on engine swapping on a gs. And if anybody could tell me, is all gs and gsa engines “drop in” between 2004 -2009, is there any difference and do they “speak” with my bikes ECU and else?
    Or if anyone have first person experience on welding or getting an engine case welded, please give me advice. Many shops aren’t very interested on it, and my welding skills are barely good for hefting.

    Before this covid -stuff came along, I was supposed to start riding around the Black Sea or maybe the Caspian Sea, and back up north. Now it seems like I couldn’t make it even without this bastard of a virus. The whole situation bugs me out. Keep the flags high you all.
    #1
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  2. Bikermousefrommars

    Bikermousefrommars Grease Pit

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    Here’s some photos:

    Attached Files:

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  3. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    For replacing the engine:

    Pretty much everything has to come apart. You can roll most everything behind the engine back as a unit, but since there is really no frame, all the suspension component and such are attached to the engine.

    I think this would make more sense than replacing one side of the case...but I’ve not tried that.
    #3
  4. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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  5. Lead Wrist

    Lead Wrist Mehr Gelände Weniger Straße

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    Ouch, very ouch - sorry to see that...

    Swapping the engine in Hexheads is very labor intensive "adventure" as engine is stressed member and everything bolts onto it... As an illustration, here are just front and rear frame that mount onto the engine and then there are all other bolt-ons on top of it not to mention removing wiring harness and million zip ties and reinstalling all of that back on...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If you have garage, mechanical aptitude, factory service DVD manual, the tools, and the patience you should be able to do it by yourself and w help of your friends. Now, depending on how much the used engine will run you, you may be able to get "short block" (both halfs, can't get just one) and rebuild your engine as I'm not sure who and how reliably can weld-up such hole...

    For swapping the engines from '04-'07 R12s, that should be straight replacement while subsequent '08 (?)-'09 should work but they have upgraded HP rating so your ECU may not work with without some other intervention.

    And another thought, you could part out this bike and get another from proceeds without repairing it but some more investigation will be needed to make that financial decision...

    Good luck... :thumb
    #5
  6. Mrmerlin

    Mrmerlin Rollin a new 2019 R 1250 GS, N a 2011 K1300S

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    get some Belzona 1111 epoxy and epoxy the part into the block and ride on
    #6
  7. ultane

    ultane sqeezin the bag

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    Have you ever tried that??
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  8. Mrmerlin

    Mrmerlin Rollin a new 2019 R 1250 GS, N a 2011 K1300S

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    I was assisting someone on another web site to fix the cracked block of a Porsche 928,
    in that case the aluminum cylinder wall had cracked and was leaking coolant into V.
    They were going to use the JB weld to fix it.

    NOTE after many hours of researching this , it was figured that the Belzona is the best epoxy to fix an engine block,
    I dont have first hand experience but one of the other guys on that thread does and he also suggested it.
    I have never heard of it till I started searching.

    Its a recommended repair from CAT among others.
    Plenty of youtube videos to watch .
    #8
  9. bhinton77

    bhinton77 Been here awhile

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  10. attila_66

    attila_66 Been here awhile

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    Welding is an option I think. In my country there are some expert aluminum welders that can weld it.
    These experts are welding crank cases air conditioner radiators and all kind of aluminum parts.
    I am sure you can find such experts in Finland too.
    If I were you I give a try with welding.
    #10
  11. Bikermousefrommars

    Bikermousefrommars Grease Pit

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    Thank you for your replies. Yes, welding could be an option. The link bhinton sent was interesting. The Belzona -epoxy seems also like an option, but is quite scarce and not the cheapest stuff either (but much cheaper than the other options). The thing with welding is, that in order for it to be a good option, the welding should be done while engine on bike. This makes it hard to get clean. To clean the parts properly, the case would have to be separated from the bike.. in other words the bike needs to be pretty much all disassembled and the motor rebuilt. If it can’t be welded “in situ”, might as well chance the engine case. Has anyone experience in welding a case while on the bike? Can it be done?
    Changing motors seems to be the other option still.. seems like a ton of work and research. Good info there from Lead Wrist. Has somebody done it?
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  12. attila_66

    attila_66 Been here awhile

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  13. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    If you decide to go with welding while the engine is still in place, then be sure to isolate the ECU. I would simply unplug the electrical connection altogether.

    Previously, I may have misunderstood the amount or degree of damage. There's nothing wrong with trying to fix it in place. Indeed, there's practically nothing to lose by trying.
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  14. old scoot

    old scoot Been here awhile

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    I would make sure no electrical connections are attached to the engine and get it welded in place. Easiest, cheapest thing to do. Engine cases are welded all the time.
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  15. rattis

    rattis Long timer

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    Find a TIG welder and pay him to come to your garage, there you can prep everything and make sure that everything is properly cleaned.
    try to put in such a position that every drop of oil that can you can wipe away gets cleaned off inside the crank case.
    Spray loads of brake cleaner into very nook and cranny so that when thing get warm you won't get any oil seepage coming into the weld.
    In the worst case put the bike upside down.
    Disconnect all cables from the engine.
    Good luck!
    #15
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  16. Bikerboy108

    Bikerboy108 Pat from Jersey

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    I would personally try the weld option First ....
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  17. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I'd consider parting the bike out and buying a replacement...this would likely pencil out to being the most financially viable...and less work.....just dismantle, no re-assembly.
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  18. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    [​IMG]
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  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    That is going to be nearly impossible to properly weld. It is not only oil contaminated, but way too many odd angles. I have seen this before, like lewis, and none have been fixed without leaking issues. Maybe worth a shot if you can find a good welder, but doubtful.

    Changing the engine is a pretty big job, but doable with some reasonable skills and persistence.
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  20. bikermd

    bikermd Been here awhile

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    I'd give TIG or MIG welding a try. you could get a piece of plate aluminum, cut and weld it in. I'd have high hopes it would work. If it were my bike I'd do it myself, would have to get the MIG spool gun but don't see it as that difficult. The welding must take place indoors so if they come to you remember that. Remove the battery. Have welded on larger vehicles with no problems with electric systems. most shops do not disconnect batteries in cars. Exhausts are welded daily in shops with no problems.
    #20
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