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Metal shavings in oil strainer

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Hi all, this is my first post here, but I've been lurking for a while.I've gotten alot of good info from reading posts here and I'm hoping to get some guidance on an issue I discovered today while changing my oil.

I recently purchased a used 1999 DR350SEX with 20,000 miles on it. The bike starts well both cold and hot. It does not smoke, and seems to run very well in general. Today I did an oil and filter change and when I pulled my strainer, I found that there are some metal shavings in it. I did not have the forethought to take a picture but they were pretty big (aprx 16th of an inch wide, 8th- 1/4 inch long). I looked closely at the filter and it did not appear to have any metal in it. The previous owner told me he had recently changed the oil, when I changed it, it looked normal as far as color goes for used oil.

My question is, where should I start looking to find the cause of this problem? I've done some significant engine work to car engines (older V8's) with the help of friends and my first thought was a bearing in the bottom end, but from what I've read these bikes tend to have issues with the valvetrain around 20k miles, so I'm wondering if I should start looking there.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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From my experience with the earlier Suzuki dr's is that they are prone to breaking the teeth on various cogs. I'm not sure about the 350, but the 400 and 500 were common culprits. The most common one is the main kickstart cog, and I have also had one go on the clutch basket, which is connected to the kickstart. One sign that it is the kickstart is that it sometimes gets stuck down after use.

Easiest way to check is to drain the oil and pull off the clutch casing, and have a good look. You can also see into the bottom. The gearbox and crank section from here. Get a telescopic magnet and push it around inside and see if you find anything else.

If that's not the problem, then the only other place could be the gearbox, maybe one of the dogs that engage the drive gears has sheared and then been mashed about a bit. As there are usually three or four dogs, if one brakes you won't notice any change to the gears until they all let go then you'll find you only have one or two gears that work.

Hope this helps. I would go with the first option if you are concerned as it is the easiest. As for the second option, if that is the reason, then it would require a complete engine strip down.

What you do nee t try and do is get rid of any existing shavings as they could be sucked up into the base of the barrel and end up scoring it.

Good luck

Hope this helps

You mentioned the size of the metal parts you found,but how many?

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