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Old 17 May 2014
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KLR650 2007, Blown Head Gasket, Stranded Chili/Arg border.

I am Stranded in Chile and My Kawasaki KLR650 2007 is at the border of Argentina on the Argentinian side, with what appears to be a blown head gasket. I got a ride to Chilli to San Pedro De Atakama, where i can access the internet and try work out how to best solve my problems.

Here is the scenario.
The bike was incredibly hard to start in the cold altitudes of Argentina, at 4000 meters. I had heavier oil in it to help prevent the incredible amount of oil the bike went through. Half a litter per fill up. However this oil seemed to make it hard to turn over in the morning at 4000 meters, since it was so thick.

I drained the heaver oil one cold morning to replace it with thinner oil, So I had a shot at starting it. I put in Half a litter of the thin oil, to run it for a few minutes and then drain it again before filling with the thin bike oil. After about two minutes while keeping an eye on the temp gauge, I heard water boiling on the exhaust pipe. I turned off the bike and saw that there was radiator fluid coming out of the engine head through a small hole just under the top radiator hose where the thermostat is housed. I then discovered that the radiator hoses were frozen solid. I had radiator anti freeze in it, but it was still frozen. I was so stupid i did not check first if it was frozen. I just presumed that the anti freeze would work.

So basically as the engine heated up the pressure had no where to go. I presume that i had enough oil in the bike so that it still pumped oil around the system. So not sure if this contributed to the problem. There is also water going into the oil. When I drained it, it was milky.

My best guess diagnosis is that i blew a head gasket, since the pressure had nowhere to go. The only other think I can thin of is that it cracked the head. The bike temp gauge had hardly moved when I ran it, so I don't think that it cracked the head. But any other suggestions as to what the problem might be, would be great, before I try to work out a fix.

I have quite a bit of mechanical knowledge, but never pulled the head off a bike before. I did try to pull the head off to see if it was the gasket, but when I pulled off the rocker cover and saw all the timing chain gear etc, I realised that it was not going to be an easy job without a manual or proper tools. The place where the bike is, is desolate with no facilities. Nothing.

So my questions to the community are.
Is it most likely to be a head gasket?
Where can I find a video or online instructions on how to dismantle and replace the head gasket?
What tools would I need?
Where would the nearest best place be to transport the bike for repairs?
Anyone in the area with the knowledge that I could pay to help me fix it?
Where is the best place to import parts to. Chili or Argentina? It took two months to get parts to Brazil and 100% in tax.

Any other suggestions to what I might do would be great.

Other ideas might be to ship the bike back to Salta Argentina. Or temp import it into Chile and try and get it repaired here. But Chile is very expensive and I don't know the parts import laws in either Arg or Chili.

Thanks community.
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Old 24 May 2014
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sokuluk Kyrgyzstan
Posts: 53
Half way around the world

Hi Nick,
Real sorry to hear of your trouble. Sorry that I have not been on here for a while and your post is already 6 days old. You probable have all your answers already. I have two 08 KLRs and a manual, If there is anything I can do let me know. I can scan and send you pages out of the manual if you need. Send me an email if I can help. 1769iam@gmail.com
Another source of good information on the KLR is KLR650.net

It does sound like a gasket, I pray that is all.

Every day with the Lord is an ADVENTURE
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blown head gasket, chili/arg border., help needed, klr 650

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