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If you haven't read the blog post yet, the following will not make sense
Basically I need to know, is it OK to run the clutch basket without the metal strap, how important is it, what does it do. Should I just wait and order a new basket and not run it?
There are small flecks of metal in the engine, very soft metal, from the band that is no longer on the clutch basket. Is it Ok to just run and flush the engine a few times, until no more glitter comes out, or does this engine need a full strip down and rebuild?
I am not limited by time, but my patience is running thin with this country and the mechanic shop here.
My only other option is to truck the bike to Bangkok and have it looked at by factory trained mechanics, although there is no Suzuki shop there, only Kawasaki and some other brands.
Let me know soon please, my liver is rejecting me!
I am NOT an expert but I'd say if you've travelled many miles since the butchery was performed then the major damage is probably done. I would slap it back together and start travelling and doing oil changes as often as you deem necessary and see how it feels as it cleans up. I would head towards the nearest real shop that can fix things and get the basket replaced there and see what they recommend. The clutch plates will have accumulated lots of the metal most likely but the filter changes should catch a lot of what's still floating around. If the damage is already severe then tearing it down and cleaning it up won't fix it, especially there. Best wishes! If you need a PDF parts fiche and service manual, let me know and I can share mine from drop box. The black band on the basket is clearly shown in the parts fiche as riveted onto the fingers but it doesn't identify it so I'd say it isn't replaceable on its own. Email me at email@example.com if I can help! Merry Christmas
That strap is the retaining ring at the outer side of the clutch basket. It keeps all the plates and finger inline so that they don’t spread apart under load. As you noted it is an important piece and at this point un-repairable.
You can try to have one fashioned at a local machine shop and then rivet in place. So long as it is round and does not interfere with the cases it should work ok. This would hold the plates and fingers in place hopefully long enough to get a new clutch basket. Or you can try to run it as is but it will eventually fail as the clutch basket will go out of round and the plates will slip. Both of these ideas will only by you time and may or may not cause further harm to the engine. My preference is the first one as you don’t have a lot to lose as the basket is already buggered.
As for the bits of metal that it a different story. I would clean everything you can physically find. I would also make damn sure the oil pump intake, which should have a small screen on it is clean (you will probably have to remove the oil pan to see this – check the service manual. I looked at my PDF version but could not see for sure). Then fill with oil and new filter. Run it up to temp, maybe 10 to 15 minute - and then drain the oil and check what comes out. Then refill with oil, ride for 100 kms or so and then change the oil and filter. Cut open the filter at this point and see what it has picked up.
If is full off bits and pieces I would start thinking of where to get a replacement engine as it would probably be cheaper to purchase an engine back home from a breaker (motorcycle wreckers to us Canadians) as opposed to rebuilding it somewhere overseas where they have never seen that engine before. Just an option for you if it comes to that.
The galling on the bearings you show on your blog I would have some concern. If you can get a engine machine shop to look at it prior to reassembly it would be a good idea. It is hard to say if the wear is normal or accelerated.
When in doubt button the whole thing up, get it running and drive as far as you can. Keep it cool and change the oil often. When it finally dies completely - which being a Suzuki may be foreever even with the engine issues - then change to the used engine.
Sorry sir. This is not the best Christmas story for you but it could be worse. You could be shovelling snow this morning J
Changing the engine may have issues with carnet or any temporary import documents - they usually have the engine number on them ...
The best you can do for the moment is;
As dirtpig suggests- have someone experienced check the bearings, make a replacement part for the damaged bit. If that is ok;
Clean what you have access to.
Flush the oil frequently until no particles are present. The distance/time length will depend on the density of particles, less density = longer length next time. Initially you could just run the oil through the motor with a short run of say 4 minutes, then remove the oil and look at it. Repeat if the particles are dense.
If the flushing works, then replace the clutch bits,
Otherwise another motor is indicated?
If you must change the engine and the engine number is on some document - get a letter from some official as to the change! Do approach this before you do the change. You'll also need to look at the rego, insurance ... generally replacing the motor physically is a lot less trouble than the official paperwork!
I'd get the new clutch basket and replace it; button her up and not worry about it, having cleaned up everything you can see.
All that metal shit in the engine is from the buggered strap and probably bypassed the filter system as it got chewed up. Anything still in circulation will get caught in the filter and mesh - just need to hope it does not block any oilways, but the only way to be sure of that is to strip it and blow 'em out with air or fuel.
Sorry to read this - only goes to show that most issues on bikes are due to dickhead maintenance rather than design error...... I do all my own work on my bikes and stuff like this is why.
Sorry to hear about the troubles... but if I had to wait somewhere to get the bike fixed, Southeast Asia would be very high on my list of places!
Five years ago I had my DL650AK7 over there, and at least back then everyone seemed to agree, that Singapore, not Bangkok, is the place for OEM parts. Luckily the distances between them aren't huge. But I never needed anything, so don't really know (and anyway it could be different now).
Actually I've got a friend, who lives near Bangkok and has about 20 bikes, he certainly knows. Problem could be contacting him, cos he's been having some pretty bad health issues lately, needs to stay at least part-time in hospital. But I can try and ask.
Not meaning to scare you, but I've personally had a rented DRZ400 engine grenade on me in Thailand... I was returning from an off-road ride in Cambodia. Turned out it happened because of a previous bodged fix in Cambodia (not on my trip) where they'd used too much gasket silicone, and some of it had blocked an oilway. But actually I was nearly "home" from that trip, and there's never any shortage of willing helpers, so I had the bike on the back of a pickup in no time. I hope you don't end up in a similar situation, but based on your description this unfortunately seems possible.
(If it's of any help, I've got a K7-K9 sparepart book, could scan & e-mail pictures.)
My neighbor Mr. Dirtpig knows whereof he speaketh. In the meantime, I'm not sure I qualify as a "fellow wayfarer." More like a drifter, gadabout, maunderer, rambler, roamer, rover, vagabond, nomad or knockabout, IMHO.
I think the steel band is fitted because Suzuki engineers worked out that was the cheapest way to make a clutch basket that would withstand the centrifugal loads at maximum revs - fitting a steel band would be cheaper than thickening up the aluminium fingers (steel is a lot cheaper than aluminium). Centrifugal loads increase with the square of the speed - at maximum revs the loads are 4 x the loads at 50% revs so the band will be doing most of its work at high speed, so if you do decide to re-use the current clutch basket without a strap I would aim to keep the revs down.
If you do fit a new band the quality of the riveting is critical - it is quite possible the Chinese mechanics riveted the old one back in place - but because of centrifugal force if they were poorly done they would be the first things to fail and the evidence of the remains of them may have been lost in the oil draining.
Read about the bent rear intake valves on vstrom.info. Man, that really sucks! But when the clutch part got loose inside the engine, there was a fair chance of a total destruction over there, so I guess in the end, IF you now get away by replacing the valves and the clutch basket, it would be relatively small afterall.
What I am a little worried about is, are those parts actually all you´ll need to solve the problems for good – are the crankshaft, countershaft and gears, connrods, etc. okay after what happened? Frankly I don´t know, I´m not a technical expert. And unless the engine is fully stripped down, it´ll probably be tough for anyone to know for sure. But I understand the hardship of doing something like that in a place like Laos.
AND if you took it totally apart, then you would need a certain level of technical expertise to remount everything in a correct way, too. The Chinese have already showed, what might happen. Personally, I would feel uncertain to do that myself, or trust it to someone, who has no previous experience of this engine and/or may not have the right tools. So I might also take my chances with it, and risk that it might seize later on because of something that hasn´t been found so far.
I just called someone, who has worked on SV/DL engines a lot, and he said that it would be a good idea to replace the rear camshaft chain and tensioner (or maybe you´ll already do that, and I just missed it). Also the valve guides in the cylinder head could be damaged. And also the condition of the rear piston/cylinder should now be inspected very carefully. There is now damage on the piston´s top from hitting the valves, and it is possible, that this will escalate in use, which might lead to the piston cracking. Piston stopping suddenly (when it hit the valves) could also have damaged the piston pin or some lower part of the piston, that could not be seen, unless you take the rear cylinder off. Doing this should offer a view of the connecting rod, too.
If it is decided, that rear piston must also be replaced, then naturally the rings, piston pin and circlips should also be renewed. Taking the rear cylinder off may however necessitate to take engine out of the frame, and then you´ll need at least some gaskets for the exhaust parts (sorry, I don´t have exact info on those, as I don´t have the service manual with me at the moment). Up to you what you want to do with that rear piston, but that was something he instructed to take seriously.
Not sure if this is of any help. But I really do hope you will be able to overcome these worries, and get the thing back on the road again to finish the trip.
Well, when all is said and done, how much can a Koala Bear? I mean, where do I stop, if the mechanic had done what I asked 4 weeks ago now, I would have known about this issue then. I would have had no issues with shops being closed etc and would have had heaps of time to connect with someone coming over here to maybe bring the parts.
In the end, I can only go one step at the time. Now that the rear head is off, there is a good chance the new rear tensioner can go in, the new chain has already been installed.
I will flush the motor and basically hope for the best, see how it runs in th eshop before I head off.
If it goes bang again, well, shit happens. I cannot rebuild it here and have no wish to without access to a torque wrench and a clean room.
The guides and seats seem fine, the piston seems fine, but as for micrscopic cracks, I guess I will find that out at a later time as well
Parts have been ordered, just trying to get them picked up and brought here direct or by a courier company at this moment
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