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I think I just ruined a motor: Silver metal flakes in oil - Possible Causes?

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OK here's the story:

 

1992 XR600R - bought as a riding bike while rebuilding an 87 project bike. 

bike is fairly beat on but overall serviceable. I knew going it would probably need refreshing at some point in the future.

 

after purchase I checked oil and it was clean and clear at the dipstick and a little I pulled out of the left side engine drain bolt.

 

I have been riding it around here very lightly while getting it ready to ride. PO reported a fresh oil change just a couple weeks prior to selling it. Clean/Clear oil seemed to support this.

 

Fixed wiring, fixed broken road lighting switch etc.

 

rode it a total of maybe ten-15 miles over a couple weeks, 5 miles maximum distance at a time, max speed of maybe 45 mph.

 

today I buy shell rotellaT6, filters and ZDDP additive to change oil. I start the bike to warm the oil and walk inside for a mine to grab all the stuff.

 

I walk out after 2 minutes (timed) and notice a noticeable knock seeming to come from somewhere near the bottom of the motor. I shut it off immediately and start draining oil. 

 

there are silver metal flakes in the bottom of the oil pan,  I pull the oil filter and wipe out the housing and find more silver metal flakes in there. then I pull the frame bottom oil screen and find a bunch of silver metal flakes against that screen.

 

 

the other observation: the oil in the frame tube is cold.  after two minutes I expected it to be warm. when i pulled the filter cover, it sproinged off and landed in the drain pan, but I am fearful that the PO put the filter cover on backwards and the vent hole was not positioned correctly and either starved the head or limited the oil from flowing into the frame or something.  I am not sure on this since it popped off and and landed in the oil, I'm not sure how it was installed.

 

the interesting thing was the oil in the frame was black, and on the dipstick, was dark honey colored.  so it's almost like it was separate reservoirs of oil

 

 

 

Questions:

 

1 : is this the Crankshaft or Rod? seems that I have read those would be bronze and not silver.

2 : possibly clutch basket? Today for about 7-8 times I tried to lift the front wheel off the ground by dropping the clutch with a little gas to get the feel for lifting the front wheel over rocks etc. I can't imagine that would demolish a clutch basket.

 

 

Next course of action? do i now take THIS motor out and tear it down? Is it safe to ride till the other one is rebuilt and back up and running? or is it done till rebuild?

 

 

This may accelerate my plans to buy the '93 XR600L motor with e=start and flip the motors. getting tired of motorcycle motor work, as fun as it is.... oh and these dang things are driving me broke. :foul:

 

Pictures of the metal flakes on a clean white tissue:

 

20131026_010305.jpg20131026_010315.jpg20131026_010316.jpg

 

 

here's a video of the motor running, you can hear the knock it sounds like in the bottom end.  it's a weird knock pattern. I wonder if any of it is the Mikuni carb that some people have said rattles pretty noticeably?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBOxiCS5pMg

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtdkaUUTgig

Edited by goneballistic

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I wouldnt have used the zddp. Are flakes magnetic? Just about everythings replaceable or machinable so you have to find it now. Maybe try to zero in on the noise with a stick or stethoscope. Id take the valve cover off and inspect. As well as the clutch cover. Look at the screen. I dont think its bottom end if its aluminum.

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Rip it apart......it starved for oil by either being air-locked at the oil pump...kinked feed hoses,,or the oil filter in backwards........

 

Look at the oil filter,if it was in backwards it usually shows up in the oil filter paper pleats being squashed and not straight looking...

 

The oil filter cover,although it looks possible to install wrong,,can`t be,,the bolt holes are not a perfect traingular pattern exactly,,,the bolts only line up when installed correctly...

 

post pics.......if the filings are magnetic,,expect cam/rocker failure at the least,if some are not magnetic then a roasted piston skirt is likely...

 

B

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Sounds to me like the oil filter was in backwards. The oil in the frame should have been warm after running for two minutes. No oil was circulating and the motor started to eat itself. Sorry to say, but a full tear down is the ONLY answer. If you go in looking for for a simple solution... say the cam is toast... you fix that, but dont dig deeper, you will end up back in the motor to fix the rest of it. Tear it down all the way so you can inspect and clean all of it. Playing with motorcycle transmissions is kind of fun anyway,

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Rip it apart......it starved for oil by either being air-locked at the oil pump...kinked feed hoses,,or the oil filter in backwards........

 

B

I think your on to something when you say a kinked hose just because he was able to put 10 to 15 miles on it before it started making noise. At idle (for how long you had it) it didn't have enough oil pressure to get through the line which resulted in the damage.

Look at your hoses and the hard line for kinks and you will atleast know what may have caused the damage. Tear it down for sure.

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there are silver metal flakes in the bottom of the oil pan,  I pull the oil filter and wipe out the housing and find more silver metal flakes in there. then I pull the frame bottom oil screen and find a bunch of silver metal flakes against that screen.

 

 

This tells me oil with metal shavings circulated at one time while a cold frame tube indicates no oil circulation.

 

With no oil circulation, the first thing to go is the cam and rockers while the oil would remain in the sump to protect the bottom end.  I would pull the valve cover to check the cam/rockers and if the shavings are magnetic.

 

Maybe the PO always put the oil filter in backwards.  

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I will check the magnetic properties this afternoon and pull the valve cover in a few days when I get some time. I want to get the parts in the 87 and under assembly before I take this one too far down. I want to have a reference bike in case I get in trouble.

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