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Starting Problems, Top-end removal

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Hey all,

 

I posted a few weeks back about having some starting problems with my 2001 DRZ400E. So far I've flushed and cleaned the carb, replaced the spark plug and ignition coil. I adjusted valve clearances as well, as the inlet valves were much too tight, and now they are about .12-.16 (I am using a 1.85 and a 2.30 spacer on the inlet valves). However, still no luck, and the starter motor spins the engine helplessly, with the combustion refusing to happen. There is definitely petrol getting to the spark plug, whether it is the right mixture, I'm not sure. Oh, and the bike refuses to bump start, charging/battery system seems to be fine.

 

Just a few observations:

  • I placed my hand just over the exhaust and it seems to be sucking in air while the starter motor turns over the engine. Not sure what this means. It is accompanied by a gasping/popping sort of sound.
  • I've resorted to chucking the bike into 5th gear to turn the crank and find TDC. However, just recently the bike won't go past a certain point in the engine cycle, no matter how hard I push it (the real wheel locks up).
  • I've included a short video of the starting procedure. There seems to be a bit of a noise coming from the left-hand side of the engine and the exhaust, sorry about the quality.
  • On another point, on one recent starting attempt, the engine seemed like it was kicking into life, some smoke was coming out of the exhaust, and then I heard a metallic sound from the front of the bike, almost like a bolt dropping down.

Anyways, I'm at the point where I'm afraid I'm just going to bugger up the engine, I've poured oil down the spark plug hole at least twice now in my attempts to start it. I'll be taking it to the mechanics in a few weeks, but before this I'd like to give it one more go and see if there's any valve, piston or head gasket damage. I'm looking to remove the top end of the engine. However, I'm having a bit of trouble removing the bolts that attach the head to the base of the engine (the two that are external to the engine, on the RH side). Normal socket wrench is not having any luck and I'm afraid I'm going to massacre the bolt head...

 

Alternatively, I could just get a working engine off ebay. This might be more convenient, as I'm fairly certain I could install it myself, the current engine looks pretty rough, and has an unknown number of kilometres on it

 

Any suggestions to my starting dilemma or the top-end removal are appreciated, thanks!

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Internet diagnosis is always hard but I thinking along the lines of a stretched cam chain, or it has jumped a tooth due to a failed/faulty ACCT.

How did the cam timing look when you set the the clearances?

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