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xr250 possible seized engine?

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Long story short, my 1995 xr250L burned up all the oil and i unknowingly rode it dry. The engine began to slow then made a horrible grinding sound followed by a bang before i pulled in the clutch and rolled to a stop. I tried to kick start it but the kicker is very hard to kick down, doesnt go down all the way and is very rough. I then tried to put it in neutral but the shifter wont catch anything when i move it up or down so it is stuck in gear.

My mechanical knowledge is little, all i know is that i made a costly mistake by not checking the oil often enough. I would like to get an idea of what could possibly be damaged and what type of repairs will need to be made. (Or if the engine is completely trashed what should i do?)

I have used TT before for other issues and the site has been very helpful in the past. I am confident that one of you fourm members will be able to help a fellow rider out by offering up any information/suggestions. Please help! Thank you in advance.

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The cam is probably trashed, as well as the piston and cylinder. The bang could have been the piston hitting a valve. It's going to be a costly repair for sure. And probably a PIA to find parts. It's up to you whether it's worth fixing or not. You won't know total damage until you get it apart for inspection. Good luck.

Edited by Trailryder42

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It's shameful.

As Trailryder said, with no oil, I would suspect the cam, rocker arms, piston, cylinder, rod at both ends, crank, all baked rubber seals, and more to need replacement and maybe the head. We love carnage pictures.

I would either part it out or look for an engine or complete XR250R with a good engine, but I have some mechanical ability and a compression tester. If I had few mechanical abilities, I would ride a new bike.

To fix it, you are starting with a bike that is now worth about $100 and may cost $1500 in parts if you do all the labor yourself. It's worth more to part it out or keep it and use the street legal parts on a newer bike like a late model XR250R or XR400 to make a street legal bike.

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" It's shameful ".

+2,,just basic maintenance stuff really..

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Update:

Forgive my ignorance but when i went to take some carnage pics, everything looked intact. Maybe its just my untrained eye or wishful thinking, but could it be possible that something less severe is wrong here? I removed the right cover and the cam chain(i think thats what it is) looks fine. I didnt find any metal bits laying around either. Am i looking in the right place? Do i need to remove more parts? Or is this something that cannot be seen unless the whole engine is pulled out?

Attached are some pics:

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Everyone told you to look into the top end (cam, valve train, piston, cylinder) and we're looking at pictures of the bottom end. So hard to tell at this point. I do ride my 250L at prolonged WOT in 6th gear a lot so this thread has definitely solidified checking the oil EVERY RIDE.

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You'll need to take the cylinder head "cover" off. That will let you look at the cam, rockers and upper side of the valve train. Then after removing the cam, take the whole head off. That will show you the top of the piston and the cylinder bore. After that, removing the cylinder frees the piston completely and allows you to check the piston rod and lower end somewhat. With the way you described what happened, these things are the bare minimum you'll need to do to determine damage. then depending on what is found, the need to split the cases.

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It's either top end or transmission. I had an issue a little while back where my kick starter did the same thing as yours. When I took the clutch cover off everything looked "ok" and when I continued to tear into it after the clutch was off I found that the housing on the right side that houses the bearing for the countershaft was broke clean off. Continued to tear into it and found that the countershaft was broke also. Top end looked great though. On your bike however it's going to be hard to tell, you're probably going to have to tear into her pretty deep and see what all could be wrong. Any way you look at it's going to be pricey, but if you decide to fix it yourself I would get on Ebay and start looking, there are a lot of bikes out there that the owners had issues and took the easy road by just parting them out, making it much cheaper for guys like me that will fix their bike no matter what it takes.

Were you riding wide open when the bike locked up? If so I would check the stator side also, I had a gear tooth break off one time and worked it's way all the way across the oil valley in the motor and then come up on the stator side and get stuck in the stator. What a sound that made. lol

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Great opportunity for a learning experience. Get a manual - familiarize yourself with it and dig in. Buy good used parts off of ebay - cam - head etc. Bore it and replace the piston and rings, have the head done by a machinist, split the cases and replace the crank and bearings....

Oh hell.. go get another bike.

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Update:

I talked with the local dealership today and they pretty much confirmed what all of you are saying. There is no easy way out of this one so the engine will have to be pulled and opened up. Their estimate was $700 just to do this and diagnose the problem, let alone fix it. I can't see myself taking that route.

When I get the time ill open it up and take a look for myself, just out of curiosity. If at that point I feel like playing mechanic, I might look into fixing what's wrong and learning as I go. (Know where I can get a total engine and transmission rebuild for dummys book?)

But in all honesty, I will probably end up parting out my little broken and neglected xr. Let this serve as a lesson (as previously stated) to check your oil before EVERY ride. I checked it and even added some oil, less than 200 miles ago and this still happened.

Some time this week ill tear into it and post some pics. Who knows, maybe it was just a little pebble wedged between two gears this whole time? (Fingers crossed)

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Update:

Some old cars and bikes can be driven almost forever just by keeping the fluids topped up.

I think you deserve some points for being honest and admitting responsibility. You can be sure that there are folks on this forum that have done the same and would never admit the incident. My hat is off to you for owning up to it and I wish you good luck in the future. You can also be sure that many enthusiasts here are also sympathetic to your catastrophic engine failure and hope it never happens to them.

If you do decide to dismantle it, I may be interested in some items for my '91 L.

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Final update:

Sorry folks, no further pictures will be coming. After some thought I have decided that I don't have the time or energy to try and disassemble the motor. I will cut my losses, attempt to sell the bike and just use this as a (very expensive) learning experience.

I would like to sincerely thank all of you who took the time to post on this topic, it was all very helpful. The circumstances for my first post here on TT are unfortunate, but it is such a relief to no longer be a lurker. It seems like the community here is a friendly bunch and really made me feel welcome, all without beating me up too bad over my mistake.

I have listed the bike on dallas craigslist http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/mcy/3919043514.html for all those who are interested. I would really like to sell it as a whole because parting it out can be such a chore, but check out the ad, contact me, and maybe we can work something out.

Again thank you all. I like this place. Maybe ill stick around 👍

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I'm interested in buying it, if you can get it to California... Know any truckers?

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probably for the best - let er go. spoke with a fella this week on a spanking new CRF250L that LEAKS! Honda cannot repair it and has offered to take it back, Water pump seal leaks and misc engine oil leaks so don't buy a CRF250L until HONDA sorts it out...

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I'm interested in buying it, if you can get it to California... Know any truckers?

Sorry mudguy, i dont know any truckers and can't think of an easy way to get it to CA.

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I did this too. About a month or so after I first bought the bike. It had been leaking oil, but I was lazy and didnt feel like checking it very often. One day it stopped leaking oil and I was like "sweet". Same day I decided to go on my longest ride yet.

50+ miles from home bike starts acting funny. Bogging, popping, loss of power. And I could feel it being hotter than normal for several miles. Then it died at the end of some dudes driveway in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road in VT. It was about 7:00 pm on a saturday. Bike was smoking from valve cover. Would not restart. Dude helped me find a tow-truck.

Anyway, my cam, rocker arms, piston, cylinder, and 1 exhaust valve were trashed. I think the motor went out of time so much that the piston hit a valve, stopped the motor, likely saving the bottom end from more punishment.

Got some second-hand parts. Complete valve cover + cam ($125), 77mm 280cc weisco piston + cylinder ($90), exhuast valve ($10). With assorted gaskets, oil change, etc my mistake only cost about $300 + tow truck ($175).

Head isnt in great shape, and I never lapped the new valve in, or had any machine work. Bike runs great aside from still leaking oil (but im much more vigilant) from the side cover I havent gotten around to replacing. Compression is a little low, but like I said the bike runs good. Thats all I care about.

Just letting you know if you spend some time diagnosing, and finding parts (took me about a month or more), it may not be as bad as it seems. Top end parts can be pricey, mainly because I think this is what happens to most bikes that get parted out.

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When the engine seizes/ locks up from lack of oil, the engine is trashed, it is not economically feasible to rebuild since most of the parts are galled, bent or broken, particularly the top end. Find a used engine in good running condition.

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