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Old 4 Dec 2013
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KTM 640 cooling water in oil problem URGENT

My friend Kruguer64 has a problem with his 2006 KTM 640 adv here in Nouakchott. When we drained the oil it came out as a muddy mix of oil and water and the filter of the oil plug had metal parts in it. He explained that he was filling up the radiator with about a littre every couple of days.

We know it's pretty bad, but maybe you guys know if there is a weak point in the system or where to look first. We just hope to avoid a full engine rebuild thousands of km from the nearest KTM dealer. He drove the last 2000 km like this, is it probable for him to drive another 4000km to Toni Togo, just changing the oil regularly?
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Old 4 Dec 2013
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oh dear

Sorry to hear about your friends problems.
I have been there on his issue and with out being any kind of expert I'd say either. ..
Head gasket. ...or water pump. After several attempts are replacing or rebuilding these I decide I had a cracked head. ... hopefully that is not your issue. ..
Of course this is ignoring the worrying metal on drain magnet
Lots of info on both possibilities on adventure rider.
Happy to be corrected by those more knowledgeable. ..
Good luck
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Old 4 Dec 2013
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I agree with JT. I would start with the head gasket and move onto the water pump.

I have also blown my head gasket on a 640 Adv in Mauritania. I suggest your friend gets in touch with Tidjani from Garage Sahara. His contact details from 2008 are as follows:

Phone: 6000389
GPS: N 18.05.753
W 15.59.965

I have no idea if he is still in the same location. However he is very good with LC4 engines and rebuilt my engine.
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Old 4 Dec 2013
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Water pump failure is pretty common on 640's. When the water pump gives up,
the head overheats, blows head gasket ... and then cooling water can get into oil. Most seasoned 640 guys keep a VERY close eye on the tell tales and catch it early before any damage occurs. Many carry a spare water pump kit on board or parts to repair pump. Some carry a spare head gasket as well.

Once the water is in oil ... well, just a matter of time before all internal bearings are ruined. You said he rode for "days, refilling radiator several times a day". He should have stopped immediately and done repairs. After riding for days with water in oil ... I fear the result will not be good. Sorry to hear this.

I've been with KTM riding buddies on TWO occasions where this happened. The first time I towed the KTM to help. The 2nd time the owner ignored the steam and water leak. Motor destroyed after just two hours of riding.

Best of luck sourcing parts!
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Old 7 Dec 2013
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A big thanks goes out Matt Roach for the info on the mechanic. The gps point actualy led us straight to him. To our surprise he has many big bikes in the shop and seems very competent, so now my friend is back full of hope to get it repaired, rather than shipped home.
You can not believe how happy Krueger64 was when he came in auberge Sahara today: 'I found the mechanic' he shouted, and all the people applauded, cause they know how much it means to him to be able to continue the trip of his dreams. So again, thank you Matt!
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Old 19 Dec 2013
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Yes, I'd also check the water pump first. In fact, along with the rocker arm rollers and the crank shaft lip seal, this is something that should be preventively rebuilt every 25,000 - 30,000 km in my experience.

Rebuilding the waterpump is relatively easy, and parts are cheap (total less than 40 EUR). Have a look here Rebuilding the LC4 Mechanical Water Pump - a Guide - ADVrider The only thing I'd add is to replace the water pump shaft as well.

Whilst you have the rocker cover off, carefully check the rocker bearings and replace if necessary.
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Old 20 Dec 2013
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It was indeed the water pump, but Tdjani in Nouakchott fixed it with the water pump revision kit Krueger64 was carrying. Yesterday the KTM arrived here in Bamako and the engine is running perfect again.
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Old 22 Dec 2013
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Glad to hear that you are back in action. But do keep an eye on the inlet rocker roller (cam follower bearing), this oneusually bites the dust before the water pump does.
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