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ktm 350xc-f gold flakes

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my friend drowned his bike yesterday and after changing his oil a couple times noticed a fair amount of gold flakes in the drain pan, the bike probably wouldn't have 20 hours on it, its a 2014, is it likely that drowning it caused crank bearing issues? the first oil change it would run for a couple minutes then die, he said it seemed like it just started slowing down and would quit then restart after it cooled down a few minutes, after he changed the oil again it would start and run for a minute or two then die again, sounds like possibly its tightening up when it starts getting warm? Any info on what may be causing this would be really appreciated. I told him it sounds like bearings but he is hoping someone may have better news, the bike was never dropped in water but his filter was wet and the oil was milky after the first oil change, the bike wasn't run for more then a couple minutes after it was pulled out of the water, which makes it hard to believe it would've caused a bearing failure but I guess its possible. Help please!

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Man, that sucks.  Does the motor sound ok?  I would think that if a bearing was going bad that there would be a bit of a knocking sound.  Some metal flakes (small) can be normal, gold dosent sound good.  Hopefully water is messing with some sensor or connections making it not run.  I'm sure more people will chime in.  The main bearing on that bike is a plain bearing, they have a shiny soft coating on the surface and I think under that is bronze.  Could be the culprit.  The good news is that plain bearings, usually, are much easier to replace than the old roller type.  Not sure what KTM did with the new crank, but they usually unbolt and you just install a new bearing.  The crank is probably still good  I would expect to hear a knocking sound, though if the bearing is bad. 

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On my old 250 sxf . I had small gold flakes in my oil. Turned out being the coating of the clutch springs.that was at 90 hrs

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Time for a look inside. Sounds like he might of wiped out the big end bearing. I'm pretty sure they are plain bearings for 014 and they don't play well with antifreeze or water. You guys have to stay away from those Moose Mtn skank holes.

Edited by widebear

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tye1138 the bike is a 2014, we are going to pull it apart and inspect it but I think its pretty safe to expect a bottom end job. He mentioned maybe installing a complete replacement crank/rod assembly and a piston for good measure, since its been used pretty hard since new, lots of sand riding, I only have experience with hot rods products but had good luck in the past but if anyone has opinions on what may be a better option feel free to chime in.

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