SEPARATION ANXIETY! 02/22/2018How to separate your crankcases the RIGHT way w/ Paul Olesen
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Are you frustrated that your training and eating habits are not producing the results you are looking for? Coach Robb’s Podcast #11 drills down on the top six culprits that could be holding you back.
Coach Robb taps into his 30+ years of working with clients, athletes and racers to outline how overlooking little things can create a domino effect that undermines your efforts and eventually your health without you seeing it until it is too late.
He also explains why trying harder is not always the correct mindset when it comes to breaking through personal plateaus. If you are tired of being tired or ready to bust through performance glass ceilings, you don’t want to miss this podcast!
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Hello TT readers! I’ll be taking a little bit of a different approach to my entries. I’m looking to focus a little more on how my prep goes and things I learned from prep and my race, rather than on the race itself. Also, my entries may look different than they were before. Of course, if you’d like to see any more about the race itself, feel free to find me on social media!
A few things I have learned recently:
Keep up with the times
Patience is key
Don’t overjump and flat land a Supercross catapult
Those who follow me on social media or race around the central Florida area know that I have switched from Kawasaki to Husqvarna. This decision came about after a few experiences where I felt that I was bested only by the power of the bikes I was racing against. Not that my bike wasn’t fast, but it was not a 6-hour motor like many of the pro-level bikes I line up against, and to make my bike that fast was going to cost a lot of money and lose a lot of reliability. When I had heard that Husqvarnas came stock with a substantial amount of power more accompanied with less weight, I was thoroughly shocked. After doing some research on different bike brands and the advancements in technology I felt like I had been living under a rock! Of course, once I got my FC250 I was even more blown away at the nimbleness of the bike and how well the stock suspension worked. Pay attention and keep up with the times!
Before I was able to ride any Arenacross, I had less than 7 or 8 hours logged on my new bike and had been riding on stock suspension on outdoor tracks, a very different reality from what I needed to become accustomed to. I think that was good to learn the ergonomics of the bike, but also, I hadn’t ridden on stock suspension (especially on a place like Gatorback MX) in years because I have worked closely with Race Tech. Helped keep me humble and remind me how lucky I am to have some of the best suspension in the business!
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to train at the South of the Border training facility the week of the Greensboro Arenacross. When I showed up to the SOBMX Arenacross track on Monday, I really didn’t know what to expect out of myself, and I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. However, I did know that I did not have much time before the weekend and I needed to get myself situated and get down to business if I had any hopes of gaining my Road to SX points. While it took me a couple of laps, I quickly tapped into the skills I had gained from 2 years ago racing AX. I was quickly reminded, however, that in that type of tight riding and especially in the whoops needed to be taken with a bit of patience. It only took one “holy crap I’m about to eat dirt” moment on the AX track. In motocross, the motos may be longer and the tracks are bigger, but you have moments for rest and can usually keep it very smooth and not expend a ton of energy. In AX, this is not the case. It is constant setting up and adjusting and analyzation and awareness which can be both mentally and physically exhausting if you don’t learn how to make your moves less dramatic and set up correctly to fight the bike less. Patience is key, don’t rush it!
2018 Greensboro Arenacross, photo by MEPMX
Now, onto the fails! After gaining some useful time on the AX track and relearning how to approach the obstacles and rework my thoughts, I decided to take a swing at the SX track for fun! Rhythm sections, no issue. Whoops, well I decided to avoid those on my first day (SX whoops are VERY different from AX whoops). Long story short, I WAY over estimated the catapult and ended up overshooting and flat landed… my wrists still feel it a week and a half later. Another awesome fail came when I was working on rhythms through the whoop section on the AX track because they had gotten too beat to consistently blitz every time. Like a typical guy I was getting it down pat, using a mixture of jumping and wheel tapping to make my way through with ease and a lot less energy. Then, I started coming into my first wheel tap with a bit more gusto because I was nailing the corner before. All went well until I started rushing the rhythm… and it was then that I had missed the second wheel tap because of a lapse of judgement and accidentally decided to try and ride a nose wheelie through the rest of the whoop section, which ended in me crashing. Had to walk if off, of course. That helped me learn that when I let “it” come naturally and didn’t rush the track, it allows me to think each step out and adjust in those fraction-of-a-second moments. This also helped me maintain focus and hammer out smooth, consistent laps. Patience is key!
Ended up coming away from Greensboro Pro Arenacross with 13th in the AX class, and 15th in the AX Lites. Straight to the AX main event from the heat race, and through some rather determined racing in the AX Lites Last Chance Qualifier I worked my from 5th to 2nd for the last spot for the main. All while keeping these small lessons (along with others) in mind in the process. Not too bad for my first Pro Arenacross race in 2 years with a week of prep! Be sure to keep your eyes for the next entry where I will talk a little more about the mental game in prep and during race day. Click the follow button to get updated when I post new entries! I’ll see you at the races.
2018 Greensboro Arenacross, Lites LCQ, Photo by Mike Vizer
Big thanks to Mike Burkeen and Taylor Futrell at SOBMX for having me at the facility and for the words of wisdom that were massively helpful in my prep. Looking forward to going back for the week of the Florence Arenacross and progressing even more and getting better and better! Also, big thanks to Hans and the crew at Xtreme Powersports for getting me in touch with the right people to make the Husqvarna deal happen! Lastly, big thanks to Jeff and his crew at MPR Suspension for getting my suspension set up and returned to me in a bit of a pinch.
Thanks to Husqvarna, Xtreme Powersports, TMI Calibration, Race Tech, MPR Suspension, Boyesen, Twisted Development, Fly Racing, EKS Brand, Wiseco, EVS, RoostMX graphics, Acerbis, Dunlop, Bulletproof Threads, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, MotoSeat, Tamer Billet MX, Evergood Co, and SOBMX.
2018 Greensboro Arenacross, Photo by MEPMX
Peter Weiss is a name in the Hard Enduro world that you have most likely heard of. This is the guy that gets contracted by race organizations to build hard enduro race tracks. Look him up sometime...He has a long list of great race courses under his belt. In addition he does enduro schools and exhibitions that usually accompany his travels to various parts of the world.
While Peter was in Peru laying out the route for the El Inka Hard Enduro, he wanted to come out to Cusco and do some tourism stuff as well as pack a couple of good days of riding into his
schedule. It was ON!
This is what its like to ride the Andes with a pro!
I don't always have the chance to ride with pro level riders like Peter. What I like about it most is that I get a chance to stretch my ability by trying new things. I can't take big risks when riding solo, which is what I do most of the time.
So Peter shows up and my buddy Alex and I decide to show him some of what the Andes are all about. Big mountains that stretch up to the 16,000 ft mark just behind my house. He was stoked to give it a go.
We rode for two days, covered a bunch of types of terrain, and returned home with huge smiles on our faces. I will let the video do the talking. This guy likes the routes tight and crazy...He got what he wanted!
Keep your eyes out for Peter Weiss. He puts down some killer GPS tracks for a number of races in South America and other parts of the world. Check out The El Inka Hard Enduro(ZICK is the race organization) in Peru which takes place around the beginning of December. Peter's route this past race left only a small handful to reach the finish line... Mario Roman took home the prize.
I always look forward to riding with Peter. If you get a chance to take part in an enduro school of his, you won't be disappointed.
Enjoy the video and make sure to follow this blog so you can stay tuned to what's happening in the enduro world of Peru...
Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru is a social entrepreneur who puts together hard enduro tours in the Andes of Peru. Feel free to contact Scott via this blog, or catch up with him on Facebook at MotoMission Peru. Also, you can see all of his tour videos and more on the official MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures channel on Youtube.
“Splitting the cases” is often referred to as a daunting or undesirable task, but if you are well prepared and properly equipped then it can be a straightforward job. To alleviate any concerns you may have with the task, I want to discuss best practices and share some tips that you may find useful when dealing with crank bearings that utilize an interference fit with the crankshaft. We’ll get started by discussing preparatory items and work through to completing the job.
I always recommend prepping for crankcase separation by thoroughly reviewing the service manual. This is important in case any special instructions are present, such as guidance on how the crankcases should be positioned. Typically, it is advantageous to lift one half off the other in a certain orientation due to the way the gearbox or other components are installed. Secondly, a review of the manual may highlight any specific hardware that must be removed prior to attempting to split the cases.
From a tools standpoint, a crankcase splitter tool is a worthy investment because it will help ensure the job goes smoothly. Case splitters are relatively inexpensive and widely available. Alternatively, for the budget conscious or lesser prepared, a case splitter is something that could be fabricated. Whether buying or making, ensure you pick up a model with a protective end cap for the crankshaft or fabricate one. We’ll discuss the end cap later. The other tools required are all fairly standard and include your typical sockets, wrenches, and soft mallets.
Wooden blocks or other soft semi-malleable spacers should be selected which level and raise the crankcases off the tabletop. This allows the cases to be positioned so that the split line between the cases lies horizontally and subsequent splitting can be done vertically. This will help ensure evenness of separation as well as reduce the likelihood of components falling out of the cases unexpectedly.
As much as shortcuts are desirable, just about everything external to the cases must be removed in order to successfully split the cases. Clutch, stator, crank gear, etc. must be removed prior to case splitting. Your service manual will provide further clarity as to what needs to come off.
Technique & Tips
Once you’re ready to separate the cases, the first thing we’ll need to do is remove all the crankcase bolts. The crankcase bolts should be removed via any prescribed patterns outlined in the service manual. Since the crankcase bolts are typically several different lengths, ensuring the location of each bolt is well documented is extremely important. As I discussed in my post on keeping track of bolts, the cardboard gasket method or any other you find suitable should be utilized so that the reassembly process is straightforward later on.
After the crankcase bolts have been removed, the crankcases should be inspected one final time to ensure no hardware that should have been removed prior is hitchhiking. Trust me, trying to separate cases only to find there is one last forgotten bolt is quite frustrating! Once you’re confident all the necessary hardware has been removed, position the cases on the blocks with the correct half facing up.
Next, install the protective cap over the crankshaft. I advise using the cap whether you own a two or four-stroke simply because in both cases it helps preserve the end of the crankshaft. This is of particular importance on four-stroke engines that utilize an oil feed that passes through the crank.
Once the crank end is protected, proceed to install the crankcase splitter. Select threaded holes that are as close to equispaced from one another as possible to promote uniform loading of the case splitter. When threading the case splitter studs into the crankcase, make sure you engage at least 1.5 times the diameter of the stud diameter. For example, if the stud is 6mm in diameter make sure at least 9mm of thread engagement length is achieved. This will help ensure the threads are not stripped when you attempt to separate the crankcases.
With the crankcase splitter installed begin tensioning the main bolt against the end of the protective cap. Proceed to tighten the bolt until the crankcases begin to separate about a 1/16” (1.5mm). Once separation has occurred, make sure that separation is even all the way around the cases. Due to the way the case splitter loads the cases, the area near the output sprocket tends to lag. Case separation needs to be even so that the dowel pins used to pair the cases together don’t bind.
If the output sprocket end of the cases hasn’t separated, use a soft rubber or plastic mallet to gently tap in that area. Tap carefully and only on case areas that appear sturdy. Once you’ve created an even gap, proceed to tension the splitter bolt, tap when necessary, and fully remove the crankcase.
Upon separation, make sure that no gearbox components, such as washers, have stuck to the case.
What I’ve described is the ideal sequence of events for a successful case separation, however, occasionally the cases won’t be as cooperative. In the past, I’ve had to deal with crankcases where moisture has found its way into the dowel pin bores and corroded the dowel pins. This effectively seizes the dowel pins in their bores and makes the separation job more challenging.
If the crankcases are being resilient to separation, stuck dowel pins may be a potential problem. Most dowel pins are located opposite one another and their exact position can often be referenced in the service manual or in the crankcase section of part microfiches. Once the location of the dowel pins has been confirmed, a torch can be used to lightly heat the dowel pin areas. Heat will expand the metal surrounding the dowel pin and aid in freeing up the stuck pin bore. Usually, a few careful rounds of heat, tension on the splitter, and well-placed tapping is enough to free up the pesky cases and get them separated.
Alternatively, if the heat does not help, applying a penetrant to the pin bore areas is another option that may help free things up. If you find yourself dealing with stuck cases, the key is to be patient and think through all your options. In these types of situations, most mistakes are avoidable and are usually the result of rushed decisions.
Once the cases have been separated, the remaining tasks of removing the gearbox and pushing the crank out of the remaining case half can commence. I hope you’ve enjoyed this write up on crankcase separation and that it makes you more prepared for the job. If you’ve got additional crankcase separation tips that you want to share, please leave a comment below.
For additional engine building information, whether two or four-stroke, check out my engine building handbooks. Each handbook is offered in print or digital form, contains over 250 color pictures, detailed instruction from start to finish on full rebuilds, and contains a wealth of information pertaining to diagnostic testing and precision measuring.
Thanks and have a great week!
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Had a great day of riding Saturday with my buddy @Bryan Bosch in the Withlacoochee National Forrest just north of Dade City, Fl. It's still pretty wet from the summer rains and Hurricane Irma didn't help! But, like always, the 701 took everything in stride, even with worn Continental TKC80 tires. Well, "almost" everything...
Unfortunately, the trail riding portion of the day got cut short because of a little mishap that resulted in my clutch perch letting go of the handlebars...
As we left the sandy trails, turning onto a damp, hard-packed clay road, just a tiny little goose of the throttle caused the bike to walk sideways into an unrecoverable low-speed drop...
Since the fall seemed so minor, I was surprised to see that the pinch bolt for the clutch perch had pulled out the threads! Uhhhhh, this is the "Enduro" model, not the wimpy SM version or even more girly-man KTM 690 Enduro R! IT'S a HUSKY!!!!!
Fortunately my riding partner is a zip tie junkie, so we patched things up enough to get 'er home.
When I got it home, I noticed that the threads went quite a bit deeper than the factory installed bolt was taking advantage of, so I was able to thread it back together using a longer bolt. Clearly this is a bit of a weak spot on the big girl, so I'll be installing REAL hand guards shortly.
What hand guards do you guys like? Hit me up in the comments section below and don't be afraid to share your pictures. I'd love your help in picking out a pair of hand guards. Time to replace the stock wannbe "bug guards" er, huh... "hand guards".
Moto the big girls? Thought about it!!!! - Dade City MX park on the way home. At least the KTM comes with full wrap around hand guards.
This is episode 7 of my video off-road training series where I cover the basic techniques used to wheelie over trail obstacles such as logs. Give it a watch and hit me up in the comments section below if you have any questions. Thanks for watching.
Garrahan Off-Road Training
What is the Rebel MX Club up to today? We have a lot planned for this upcoming school year and we are excited to tell you about it. Our purpose is to grow the dirt bike community and that is what we plan to do! In Las Vegas, Nevada, our riding season is from October until March so of course we will be doing lots of riding and camping and having a good time but we also plan to expand the dirt bike community! In the spring of our last school year we held our first ride day where we taught 3 brand new individuals how to ride a dirt bike! We started the students out on a CRF 50 to learn some throttle control and shifting up into the next gears and coming to a stop. Once the students felt more comfortable we moved them on up to a CR 85 or a CR 125 depending on their size. We put together a short little video of our first ride day on our youtube page if you'd like to go check it out at this link:
For this upcoming Fall semester we have six Learn How to Ride Days planned and we are stoked to teach some new people how to ride a dirt bike but we need the dirt bike community's help!! Our awesome student government called the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (CSUN) has granted us $1000 to buy a dirt bike to teach our students on. We are currently searching for a dirt bike to purchase for our club. If you or someone you know is in the surrounding area of Las Vegas, Nevada and have a dirt bike that you would like to sell please let us know! We are also looking for some possible donor bikes that might need a little work that anyone would like to donate to our club. The more bikes that we have means more students and community members we can have learning. If there are any vendors or reps out there that would like to sponsor some gear to keep people protected we would greatly appreciate it and would be proud to represent your brand. The same goes for gear as it goes for the dirt bikes, we would greatly appreciate some old donor gear or hand me downs that you would like to donate. If you would like to help the Rebel MX Club achieve our goals you can contact us on our Facebook Page: UNLV Rebel MX Club or through our email at email@example.com or leave us a comment in the bottom of our blog! Our general meeting and first ride day will occur on September 6th and 9th. We will post more about the details on our Facebook Page. Anyone is welcome to come, you don't have to be a UNLV Student. Thanks for reading. We will post an update on our first ride day after it occurs. Keep on braaaaping.
Sure, it's fun to put some laps in on a motocross track. But, you'll fall short of your potential if you're not using this key practice law of practicing important techniques separately. This is true for motocross cornering skills as well as motocross jumping skills. Did you know that riding really well requires mastering as many as 55 separate techniques, all laced seamlessly together? Find them all in the popular Motocross Practice Manual!
If you'd like more of my riding tips, browse my blog here on ThumperTalk or my website. If you'd like to be notified when I post new riding tips, subscribe by clicking the "follow" button (upper right).
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