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CRF150R ate a valve - mechanic says, "valve keepers let go"?

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Well this is a long story, but I will try to keep it short.

 

My wife's crf150R was in the shop for a valve check, rekluse install and a few other things.

 

5 mins into our ride and the bike makes a bad noise and then engine stops running and the kickstarter jams.

 

We take it back to the dealer and they said the engine has no compression and the, 'valve keepers let go'.

 

They said said this is 100% evidence of an over rev or a bad valve from the factory.

 

I asked them to check the valves when they installed the rekluse (it says they did on my receipt, but the mechanic said he did not check the valves!!!???).   When I called out the owner, he said he listened to the engine and heard nothing wrong, so that was their "valve check".  They didn't have time to actually check to see the valve clearances were in spec!!!!

 

This thing is all looking very suss if you ask me, but I don't know enough about 4t's to know if they are BSing me.

 

Does the physical evidence of "Valve keepers let go" enough to diagnose this as an over rev or bad valve from the factory?  Or could it be something that could have been prevented if they actually checked the valve clearance like I payed them to do?

Edited by Colorado^

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Having a valve keeper pop out of place has nothing to do with over rev in my opinion. I've heard a lot of BS from different dealers over the years and your scenario sounds like a dealer that is making excuses to drum up business..... Or he has no idea why your engine blew and is trying to cover his ass.

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One of ten thousand reasons to do your own work and not let some tweaker idiot loose in your many-thousand dollar investment. You can try to sue these clowns or just suck it up and move on. They are obviously either crooked or idiots just like the other 95%.

 

P.S. Valve clearances get tighter with wear, they make less noise.

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The failure is probably not related to the work the did (or didn't do.)  But if they had inspected the valve clearance properly like you requested and paid for they may have found something out of spec and investigated further preventing the failure.  Time to find a new mechanic.

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Thanks for all the responses guys I appreciate it.

 

 

 

Did you pay for them or did they end up charging you for checking the valve lash?

 

The shop owner and the mechanic have two different stories to tell...

 

The invoice itemizes the work I asked them to do, but there is no assigned hour(s) for any of it.  Just a total at the end.  The invoice states "valves checked/oil change".

 

I specifically asked the owner about the valves when I picked up the bike, and he waved his hand in front of his face and said, "ah, the valves are fine".  When I spoke to the mechanic (a week later, after the failure), he said, "what, we didn't check the valves".  I asked to speak to the owner who then said he listened to the engine and it sounded fine, so he didn't go any further with the valves.  He then tried to turn it on me, saying that I kept adding extra things for them to fix and he didn't have time.

 

The other interesting thing is the invoice bills me specifically for an oil change and a filter.  The mechanic told me they didn't change the engine oil, just the tranny oil when they installed the rekluse.

Edited by Colorado^

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Your bike can't over rev because it has a rev limiter.  So that is out.  Your valve keepers did not let go, because they don't do that spontaneously, unless someone took the valves out and reinstalled them incorrectly.  Why take the valves out?  Because you asked them to check them.

 

If they did do what they said they were going to do, and shimmed the valves, they could have messed up the timing or the timing chain tension.  Either of those could have caused your problem.

 

My recommendation?  Take off the valve cover and take a picture from the top and side.  Better yet, do video and make it clear.  Post this here http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/87-crf150-rexpert/ so someone who has experience with timing the bike can help.

 

Here is my point.  It could be that something mysterious and catastrophic happened by chance after they got done doing what they did.  Or it could be something they did made something catastrophic happen.  

 

You have the receipt, post a picture of it here.  I want to see what they said they did.  If you need to take them to small claims court, it's free, but it is also best to know what happened.  Sounds like you are getting the runaround.  No surprise.

 

Also, check the oil.  Videotape yourself checking it.  Any in there?  That could explain the problem, too.  Sounds like you are dealing with a jerk.  Post a pic of the invoice for us to look at please.

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Here's the invoice.  Thanks for the detailed info Dragon67!

 

BTW they did not install the stator.  They were already a week late with the work and the stator was not a must do.  Just wanted to upgrade so I could run heated grips - it was 43 deg here on the pass today!

 

As far as I can tell all they did was install the rekluse (and change the tranny oil) and taped a new thread into the triple clamp for the number plate bolt.

 

Oh they also changed out a tire for my bike.

 

invoice.jpg

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definitely sounds like dealer bs.  If I were you, I would use this to learn how to work on the bikes yourself.  get a service manual.  I'm not very mechanically inclined, but I adjusted my valves the other day.  It's not too bad.  The manual helps alot. and you always have the TT guys to help you out if you get stuck.

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Definitely sounds like you need a shop. I don't know how you can precedes with some recourse, but sounds like these guys screwed something up and are not going to accept responsibility in any way.

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Take the bike to another dealer/preferably a honda dealer for the valves, get the diagnosis done and have them put it in writing. This will help if you decide recourse is necessary via small claims court. A valve inspection is about an hour to an hour and a half per cylinder in book time, so chances are that you paid for it judging by the 5 hours they charged you in labor.

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How did they diagnose that the 'valve keepers let go'? The same way that the owner "Checked the valves"?

 

Your bike can't over rev because it has a rev limiter.  So that is out.  Your valve keepers did not let go, because they don't do that spontaneously, unless someone took the valves out and reinstalled them incorrectly.  Why take the valves out?  Because you asked them to check them.

 

If they did do what they said they were going to do, and shimmed the valves, they could have messed up the timing or the timing chain tension.  Either of those could have caused your problem.

 

My recommendation?  Take off the valve cover and take a picture from the top and side.  Better yet, do video and make it clear.  Post this here http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/87-crf150-rexpert/ so someone who has experience with timing the bike can help.

 

Here is my point.  It could be that something mysterious and catastrophic happened by chance after they got done doing what they did.  Or it could be something they did made something catastrophic happen.  

 

...

 

With so much BS flying around I wouldn't accept their diagnosis without verification. Taking off the valve cover is the first thing to do, as Dragon67 said. If you find all the valve keepers still intact, pull the clutch cover and see if anything came adrift inside there that seized up the engine. Also, verify that there is oil in the crankcase side in case they drained the oil and forgot to refill it. 

 

Definitely sounds like you need a shop. I don't know how you can precedes with some recourse, but sounds like these guys screwed something up and are not going to accept responsibility in any way.

 

Matt's right on this: they won't admit any responsibility for anything they might have done to cause this seizure, so, as Dragon67 said,  photograph or video everything as you open it up.

 

Take the bike to another dealer/preferably a honda dealer for the valves, get the diagnosis done and have them put it in writing. This will help if you decide recourse is necessary via small claims court. A valve inspection is about an hour to an hour and a half per cylinder in book time, so chances are that you paid for it judging by the 5 hours they charged you in labor.

 

If you do this, try to get the dealer to allow you to video while they do the diagnosis. 

 

I've been following the saga of your wife's bike for a while now, and I know how much thought and effort you have put into making the bike work in the mountains. This just makes me heartsick. If you want, I'll bring my tools up there and help find out what went wrong. I'm in Colorado Springs, so it's not that far.

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I've been following the saga of your wife's bike for a while now, and I know how much thought and effort you have put into making the bike work in the mountains. This just makes me heartsick. If you want, I'll bring my tools up there and help find out what went wrong. I'm in Colorado Springs, so it's not that far.

 

Major Karma points right there Old Plonker  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

 

OP you can get a lot done on a bike in 5 hours . . . The Rekluse install takes all of 15 minutes.  It might be worth taking to the Honda dealer to get their opinion about what went wrong, but getting a full service manual and taking it apart yourself is a better option.  You deserved more for $568.54 . . . BUT great news!

 

You paid with Visa.  

 

Smart.  Call your bank first thing Monday AM and dispute the charge.  Tell them either the work was not performed or was not performed satisfactorily.  They should immediately credit your account pending an investigation.  It is similar to stopping payment on a check.  Now the shoe is on the other foot.  The mechanic can sue you, but probably won't.  Even if he does, small claims court is easy.  He may put a lien on the bike, but you can deal with that later.  Carefully document your discussions with him in a log (some of which you have done here) and preserve everything about this incident in a file.  

 

Again, call your bank on Monday.  They will guide you through the process.  You have nothing to lose.  Then let's figure out what happened here.

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How did they diagnose that the 'valve keepers let go'? The same way that the owner "Checked the valves"?

 

Thanks Old Plonker for your very generous offer. If we do end up needing help at least we'd bring the bike to you and pay you :)

 

After I got off the phone with the store on Friday the mechanic inspected the values and called me back.

 

At this stage, we're going to pick up the bike on Tuesday. We'll chat with the store then and see what they are willing to do. The first date they said they can look at the bike is August 23.

 

As some of you following this saga know she has a small wheel too so I may just swap the engine and recluse and then take the broken engine to a Honda dealer.

 

Also it's very interesting to learn that the bike has a rev limiter. It makes it hard for the store to make a case that the bike was over rev'ed.

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Major Karma points right there Old Plonker  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

 

OP you can get a lot done on a bike in 5 hours . . . The Rekluse install takes all of 15 minutes.  It might be worth taking to the Honda dealer to get their opinion about what went wrong, but getting a full service manual and taking it apart yourself is a better option.  You deserved more for $568.54 . . . BUT great news!

 

You paid with Visa.  

 

Smart.  Call your bank first thing Monday AM and dispute the charge.  Tell them either the work was not performed or was not performed satisfactorily.  They should immediately credit your account pending an investigation.  It is similar to stopping payment on a check.  Now the shoe is on the other foot.  The mechanic can sue you, but probably won't.  Even if he does, small claims court is easy.  He may put a lien on the bike, but you can deal with that later.  Carefully document your discussions with him in a log (some of which you have done here) and preserve everything about this incident in a file.  

 

Again, call your bank on Monday.  They will guide you through the process.  You have nothing to lose.  Then let's figure out what happened here.

 

Thanks for the suggestions. I've had to issue a stop charge once in the past with a company that refused to replace a malfunctioning product. It took a while but eventually we got our money back. No doubt the engine has more than $500 of damage but something is always better than nothing.

 

Small claims court may be on the cards, it just depends on what we can prove.

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You need to post a pic of your valve that let go, I don't think you have to video it. Did the keepers pull through or did the tip of the valve break? I don't think either one would be their fault. Probably a faulty valve, unless someone before you put in real heavy springs or faulty retainers.

 

Definitely find a real mechanic ask friends or go to a track and ask around for a good reference many times the dealer is too expensive. 

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You need to post a pic of your valve that let go, I don't think you have to video it. Did the keepers pull through or did the tip of the valve break? I don't think either one would be their fault. Probably a faulty valve, unless someone before you put in real heavy springs or faulty retainers.

 

Definitely find a real mechanic ask friends or go to a track and ask around for a good reference many times the dealer is too expensive. 

 

If it was a faulty valve, would have they been able to see that *IF* they checked the valves.  Or does everything look fine and then 5 mins later, crunch?

 

Hopefully I will pick up the bike tomorrow.  I know they only have a mechanic there on the week-ends, so I might not know more until I find a honda dealer to inspect it

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Oh a happier note, we found a low hour 08' KTM 105xc that we bought last night.

 

We've been looking for ages but they are near impossible to find.  At least she will have something to ride while we get the honda sorted.  Then she can answer the 2t vs 4t debate for herself. :)

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