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2018 350 exc-f de-smog hints/suggestion?

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I've thumbed through the "official 500 de-smog sticky," and think I've got the picture.  Vortex/PMB arrive on Monday and I'll have the kit necessary for de smog by then, too; just wondering if there's anything in the process significantly different on the 350 motor vs the 500.  Consider my noob moto wrenching status as you reply.  I worry about stupid things like dropping bits of plastic down the air boot when I remove the reeds.  Thanks in advance.

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On the 250/350, the air injection is on the left (shift lever) side of the bike instead of the right, for the 450/500.

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For any noob moto wrencher doing the desmog/uncork/vortex, I have a few suggestions, now that I'm almost finished with the project:

1) You'll need a deep well 8mm socket to remove the brass fitting below the throttle body on the right side of the bike (underneath the motor mount bracket that you'll remove from the frame).  I didn't have the deep well socket, so I hit a road block.  I anticipate this fitting will take patience to get rid of, judging from the second video below and other warnings I've read, so take some time with it, using WD40 and turning the fitting back in each time resistance is felt, before backing it out a little more each time until it's free.

2) If you're installing a Vortex ECU, you'll need to seal the leftover electrical fitting from the air valve assembly (located behind the front/counter sprocket).  The guy in the second video below cut off a few fingers from his nitrile gloves and covered the fitting, then taped it and routed it into the airbox, which seemed like a good way to take care of it.

3) The 45m Torx driver supplied with KTM tool kit is junk--I torqued mine bent removing the rear spring bolts (should have used a socket) while installing a stiffer spring when I first acquired the bike.  Make sure you have a better one, because some of these bolts are round and can't be removed with a socket, and are loctited into the frame.  You'll also need blue loctite to reinstall these bolts.

4) The removal of parts (seat, tank, plastics, exhaust, canister, hoses, reeds, etc.) isn't difficult--just expect it to take some time if you're relatively new to this.

5) Here are two vids I found particularly helpful:

The first is specific to the 350

In this one the guy's working on a 500, and installing a Vortex

 

Right now I'm pretty sure I have everything completed except the brass fitting removal, plugging the remaining hole with a bolt and crush washer from my de-smog "kit," and reassembly of the bike.  As I said before, it wasn't difficult--just time consuming for me.

 

I do have a question:  Should I reroute the crankcase air vent hose from the airbox to under the bike?  Seems like a hotly contested issue:  pros say it's just putting more dirty, warm air into your air box (see first vid); cons say it's potential trouble if dirt/contaminants get into the hose, and the crankcase exhaust shouldn't be problematic if your engine is working properly.  

Thanks in advance

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, mhk said:

 

 

 

 Should I reroute the crankcase air vent hose from the airbox to under the bike?  Seems like a hotly contested issue:  pros say it's just putting more dirty, warm air into your air box (see first vid); cons say it's potential trouble if dirt/contaminants get into the hose, and the crankcase exhaust shouldn't be problematic if your engine is working properly.  

Thanks in advance

pros and cons,  all your contaminated air is being fed back through the bike, it can be beneficial on really cold mornings with warmup, but the opposite when pushing towards 100 degree temps.

Ive been vented to air for almost 1000 hours, and at 800 hours when I cracked a piston crown and Blowby, blew the oil out the valve cover hose, I was extremely glad that I wasn't connected to the airbox, it would have been much more mess.

as far as dirt contaminants entering, Ive only heard that if your bike gets stuck in a water hole and you leave it there. as the bike cools down, it can start drawing in mud and water from vented hoses. Never had that scenario myself, but otherwise Ive seen no dirt ingestion from vented to air issue.

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Another hint is leaving the brass nipple from the intake and just plug the hose, then you don’t have to mess with removing the bolts and exhaust. Saves you some time and the rubber tube weighs nothing, just zip tie it after plugging.

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Update:

The brass fitting was no problem to remove.  Multiple WD40 applications and care to make sure the 8mm deep socket is squared up.  Took a while to work it out, but I was erring on the conservative side.

Another hint:  make sure you're well-protected before trimming back the fiberglass packing while installing (or reinstalling) the end cap.  It really gets into the air and makes a mess of things--paying for it today a little bit. 

Question:  Do people generally remove the bracket that the air valve assembly is attached to?  I somehow missed that in the videos, but those bolts look pretty hard to reach. Looks kind of silly sitting there doing nothing.

Bottom line:  the bike rips, and has a new throaty growl that sounds mean.  Low speed throttle modulation--especially coming on and off idle--is the best part about this upgrade, as I prefer riding twisty single track.  Grabbing a handful through a turn is the second best part--she really comes alive smoothly but quickly, with gusto.  The bike seems just generally happier overall, which is a real turn-on.  :D

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I'd leave the brass nipple alone and just plug it/cover it instead of removing it. If it snaps off like mine did from being red loctited in, its a bigger pain in the ass to fix. I ended up screwing a very small screw with a dab of rtv on it into what was left of the brass nipple to plug the hole. 

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Another thing:  I ended up leaving the crankcase vent hose routed to the airbox.  If I'm longing for more hp in the middle of the summer next year, maybe I'll vent it to the bottom of the bike.  I plan to ride through winter, and the warm air shouldn't hurt.  So much fine dust here in Central OR that penetrates absolutely everything, I just don't want to worry about it.  Read a couple stories about people getting stuck in mud and the hose drawing muddy water as the bike cooled before it was unstuck.  Also read about guys with no problems venting to air over hundreds of offroad hours . . .

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Update:
The brass fitting was no problem to remove.  Multiple WD40 applications and care to make sure the 8mm deep socket is squared up.  Took a while to work it out, but I was erring on the conservative side.
Another hint:  make sure you're well-protected before trimming back the fiberglass packing while installing (or reinstalling) the end cap.  It really gets into the air and makes a mess of things--paying for it today a little bit. 
Question:  Do people generally remove the bracket that the air valve assembly is attached to?  I somehow missed that in the videos, but those bolts look pretty hard to reach. Looks kind of silly sitting there doing nothing.
Bottom line:  the bike rips, and has a new throaty growl that sounds mean.  Low speed throttle modulation--especially coming on and off idle--is the best part about this upgrade, as I prefer riding twisty single track.  Grabbing a handful through a turn is the second best part--she really comes alive smoothly but quickly, with gusto.  The bike seems just generally happier overall, which is a real turn-on.  

Glad to hear it has some more power for you. To answer your question about the metal bracket; yes remove it and replace the bolts.
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On 11/7/2019 at 4:22 PM, Jetwag03 said:


Glad to hear it has some more power for you. To answer your question about the metal bracket; yes remove it and replace the bolts.

I will remove the bracket when I replace the chain, I guess.  The bolts are too long to free up with the chain installed (on the 350 at least).  

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On 11/9/2019 at 9:50 AM, mhk said:

I will remove the bracket when I replace the chain, I guess.  The bolts are too long to free up with the chain installed (on the 350 at least).  

Just pull up on the chain.  They will come out. 

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On 11/7/2019 at 10:31 AM, mhk said:

Update:

The brass fitting was no problem to remove.  Multiple WD40 applications and care to make sure the 8mm deep socket is squared up.  Took a while to work it out, but I was erring on the conservative side.

Another hint:  make sure you're well-protected before trimming back the fiberglass packing while installing (or reinstalling) the end cap.  It really gets into the air and makes a mess of things--paying for it today a little bit. 

Question:  Do people generally remove the bracket that the air valve assembly is attached to?  I somehow missed that in the videos, but those bolts look pretty hard to reach. Looks kind of silly sitting there doing nothing.

Bottom line:  the bike rips, and has a new throaty growl that sounds mean.  Low speed throttle modulation--especially coming on and off idle--is the best part about this upgrade, as I prefer riding twisty single track.  Grabbing a handful through a turn is the second best part--she really comes alive smoothly but quickly, with gusto.  The bike seems just generally happier overall, which is a real turn-on.  :D

I left my bracket on. 

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Routing the valve cover vent hose down to the dirt (road draft ventilation) is just a mind leap I can’t seem to make. Having a hose open to atmosphere that leads right into my valve cover is just too much for my overactive mind to take.

The water that *could* (unlikely) be sucked up into the motor if the bike is stalled out and cools with the hose in water.

A backfire drawing dirt or water up the hose.

Bugs, dirt or other debris finding its way up there.

Sure there’s one way check valves and breather filters that could be attached to the end. Yep.

But what’s wrong with the way it came? Recycling those hydrocarbons back into the motor where they can be used in the next power stroke. Clean filtered, protected air should it back rush any air into the valve cover. Easy visual indication that there’s oil issues or excessive blow by (top end time) with the spooge visible under the filter at filter changes.

I know the arguments are valid on both sides - I’m just not able to bring myself to dangle that hose at the dirt.

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One other thing on vented to air, My bike 2015 500, the valve cover vent is sealed to a hole that leads to a cam shaft needle bearing, so air has the go though that bearing and cam shaft contact to blow out.  If it was sucking dirt also I would expect to see dirt inside that needle bearing cavity, but never have.

At what times, do you ever see vacume on the hose?

The only time, placing a nitrle glove on the vent hose, intial crank of starter, was able to pick up 1 finger is the glove for about .5 second then release, other wise air is blowing out.

I went back and forth many times with hose to air box and hose to air. In the end, I felt the bike ran better in High temps open to air, without the contaminated oil , fuel and heat mixture, conficting with combustion.

My issue with one way valves on that hose vent ed to air, if it clogs or limits flow, you can blow every seal on the motor, or gasket.

 

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11 hours ago, mike spurgin said:

Routing the valve cover vent hose down to the dirt (road draft ventilation) is just a mind leap I can’t seem to make. Having a hose open to atmosphere that leads right into my valve cover is just too much for my overactive mind to take.

The water that *could* (unlikely) be sucked up into the motor if the bike is stalled out and cools with the hose in water.

A backfire drawing dirt or water up the hose.

Bugs, dirt or other debris finding its way up there.

Sure there’s one way check valves and breather filters that could be attached to the end. Yep.

But what’s wrong with the way it came? Recycling those hydrocarbons back into the motor where they can be used in the next power stroke. Clean filtered, protected air should it back rush any air into the valve cover. Easy visual indication that there’s oil issues or excessive blow by (top end time) with the spooge visible under the filter at filter changes.

I know the arguments are valid on both sides - I’m just not able to bring myself to dangle that hose at the dirt.

I agree.  The reliability of the EFI bikes is outstanding.  Why make a failure point by putting a hose to atmosphere?

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The fallacy is that recycled air is not clean filtered, it by passes the air filter, contaminating throttle body and intakes.  Much more so, if you have any blow by. The more blow by the more contamination you'll get in those areas.   Now I have ran bikes with recirculation intact, as long as the motors are in good shape, the system wont contaminate the areas mentioned too bad.

But as far as real data, and significant motor time, vented to air, I could say increases longevity, Ive definitely got numbers to indicate, no detriment.  and we aren't talking a 100 or 200 hours, but multiple times that.

 

 

Edited by Spud786

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The fallacy is that recycled air is not clean filtered, it by passes the air filter, contaminating throttle body and intakes.  Much more so, if you have any blow by. The more blow by the more contamination you'll get in those areas.   Now I have ran bikes with recirculation intact, as long as the motors are in good shape, the system wont contaminate the areas mentioned too bad.
But as far as real data, and significant motor time, vented to air, I could say increases longevity, Ive definitely got numbers to indicate, no detriment.  and we aren't talking a 100 or 200 hours, but multiple times that.
 
 


Good point and definitely noted. As someone myself who like many of us here are probably also doing things to keep up on the careful maintenance of our bikes - I’m cleaning the air filter quite often and taking a look with a flash light up the throttle snout at the butterfly plate to put eyes on the screws and look for signs of dirt accumulation. I shine a light into the breather hose looking for oil residue - signs of blow by.

Obviously oil changes and other service as needed. I think about once a year or so I pull the plug and give it a visual for color and every so often while it’s out throw on the rig and do a leak down test to read the tea leaves about what’s going on down there with the squirrels in the cage.

Based on all that typical and probably somewhat customary practice I’m fully ans completely comfortable rerouting the crankcase venting back into the intake.

If someone had a different practice and felt more comfortable venting that to the ground I’d certainly understand his reasoning and would challenge him to wheelie away from the next stop light all the same.

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Id say the majority keep the recirculation systems intact , and I agree they can work quite well without issue in many cases. Blowby always happens to some degree, its whats in the blow by and how much.    But when you get into 95 or 100 degree temps,  the difference between hot , oil,fuel contaminated air, verses cooler clean air,  some bikes might notice.

It was The quote of,  Creating a failure point with open air  , (not your post), that needs to carry some data to back that up for discussion, cause my ktm has been that way for near 1000 hours, I did crack an original piston crown at 800 hours, due to metal fatique (not wear), but had NO ring or cylinder wear. Alittle beeffier piston crown, and that wouldn't have happened, and kept on going, cause the bike had good power and zero oil burn. But when that crown cracked it blew oil everywhere out the Valve cover hose, I was glad it wasn't going through the throttle body and airbox.

But when someone says( why create a failure point with open air) ,  I would like them to atleast have some data or experience, to back that up.

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11 hours ago, Spud786 said:

But when someone says( why create a failure point with open air) ,  I would like them to atleast have some data or experience, to back that up.

No data to back it up.  I have been a HD mechanic for the last 20 years.  I am keeping my breather stock.  YMMV. 

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That doesn't mean much, cause there are mechanics that will say the opposite. But I posted my longevity, which definitely doesn't sit well with your stance or opinion.

I could care less whether you recycle or not , Im more or less saying  thatyou offer an opinion about recirculation , but no facts.

I was just pointing out some truth, so your not completely in the Dark on the matter.

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