Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

XR400 - Issues after running without oil

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I ride an '02 XR400R that I have had since new. A few weeks ago, I was on a ride in the mountains and lost the drain bolt from the oil reservoir in the frame. It vibrated out while riding, I must have not tightened it well enough after the last oil change. Needless to say, I lost nearly all of my oil on the trail, but I had no choice but to ride back to my truck without oil or be stranded in the woods. After several miles, I could tell that the motor sounded different, but I kept on until it sounded really dirty like something was going to break inside, at which point I stopped and started pushing it. Long story short, I ended up getting a tow from an ATV. But I am wondering if any of you might take a guess on what kind of damage I might have done?

I filled her back up with oil when I got home and everything seemed to be running ok. But I went out again this past weekend to Rasor Road, where there are lots of sand hills, and 3rd and 4th gear just felt like they were not coming together correctly when I was really gunning it up these hills. I would describe it as "muddy" in the gearbox, like the way it feels when you're about to stall out from being in too high a gear at a low speed. It would also sometimes not shift into 3rd gear when I was really gunning it in 2nd. The loss of power was substantial from these issues. I also noticed a light grey film of residue on the end cap to my exhaust pipe that smelled like burnt plastic. What did I damage? Clutch plates? Gears? I am not too familiar with the inner workings of the gearbox.

Thanks for your input, you guys have been a great help over the years!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you'll come to wish you'd waited for a tow. I'd do a complete teardown- that's bad. Start with a compression test, leakdown would be best.

Edited by trooper8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conventional oil, maxum 10w40. I would have waited for the tow, but I never see anyone on this trail, I thought I was spending the night up there. This ATV was like a guardian angel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At $1,000 in parts and $1,000 in labor, if you rode it ten miles, that's a cost of $200 per mile.

if you walked ten miles, that's $200 per mile saved.

After the compression and leak down test, I would pull the rocker cover and check the cam and rocker arms for wear. The pump supplies oil to the camshaft and transmission gear shafts.

Ouch!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gear box will be fine it's the piston and rocker arms that go first without oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, that is sad. Can't imagine how hard it would be to start it after losing the drain plug.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch, I won't comment on the "could'a, would'a .............. but your going to be spending some money if you want it to be right.

I think I'd just try to remember that engines and transmissions NEED oil or they self destruct, friction and heat are a bad thing.

I'd split the cases if it were mine while breaking out the credit card. I, personally would not be running it anymore at all, if she comes apart inside you'll be buying even more parts.

Good Luck !

Edited by Brewster Two

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that happened to a bike I had, I'd sell it and buy another.

My 2 ¢

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ohh it's going to have to come apart alright, but I'd start with as much subjective info as possible to determine how much damage we're looking at, hence the compression test. I'd bet a paycheck on a very complete topend, including guides and rockers and probably something in the bottom too...crank, clutch, bearings. Hopefully it wasn't asked to make much power, revs, or do much clutching during the no-oil time... then the dreaded repair or part it out decision which is tough on an XR you've owned since new. I hope it all works out well and you end up with a nice fresh motor and a good story. They have a reputation for durability and this will be a test. Please report what you find.

That is true rockers- cam-head first to go in that order.Dont take time on leak down test.Pull cam cover.BTR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"They have a reputation for durability and this will be a test"

I'm not sure it would be a very fair test though, no engine, nada, none ....... or transmission can survive without oil. The fact that it started after being filled with oil and survived another trip out ...... without grenading is testament enough. Just my opinion though.

P1010007-L.jpg

Edited by Brewster Two

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True that! What's the picture of, an XR that's never been ridden? :lol: Wow that is cleaner than brand new...

Edited by trooper8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disassemble the engine, assess the damage, tote up the cost of repair. It might be cheaper to find a good used engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True that! What's the picture of, an XR that's never been ridden? :lol: Wow that is cleaner than brand new...

No kidding!!! That thing is cleaner than showroom clean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the original poster... true dumbass move. You junked it. Time to part it out and buy a new bike if you can't find a new engine at a reasonable price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True that! What's the picture of, an XR that's never been ridden? :lol: Wow that is cleaner than brand new...

It gets ridden ............ alot!

P1010008-M.jpg

ADV.3-M.jpg

P1010073-M.jpg

Cheers,

Edited by Brewster Two

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe he trucks the bikes out to the riding area, does the photo shoot, and loads them back up.

. . . . or with that much pressure washing . . . . frozen axles and swing arm bolt/linkage.

How 'bout a shot of the bottom of the skid plate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×