Tell me I'm an idiot, then tell me what to do about it

Ever run a bike for several miles with no oil? Well, I have now.

I have a 2006 Yamaha WR450F. (I'm posting this in this forum because I'm sure the recommendations are not model specific.) After an oil change I apperently--I guess more like, obviously--did not get the drain plug tight. The bike stalled climbing a hill. It started right up again, so I kept going. A mile or two later, it stalled again climbing a hill. I stopped then because I could tell something was definitely wrong. Checked the oil dip stick--none! Checked the bottom drain plug--gone!

After getting a new drain plug and filling it up, I fearfully started it. To my surprise it ran! I took it around the block a couple of times to see if the tranny was trashed and didn't notice any problems. I've since drained the oil, twice to flush out the crap I'm sure I shaved off my internal parts. I haven't dared really run it, tough.

Here are some questions I have:

1. What would you all recommend to do at this point? I realize a rebuild of the engine, transmission, or both would probably be best, but I don't have the cash to do so right now. (Feel free to insert editorials about how expensive my stupidity is.)

2. What danger is there in running it to see how it holds up?

3. What specifically should I be monitoring/watching for? at first? later in the bike's life?

Thanks.

man we all make mistakes so dont be so hard on yourself. i honestly dont know much about the tranny thing but you might need to try to take a look around in there. if it looks good then i wouldnt worry about it. if it looks bad then you might want to start thinking about a rebuild. just my thoughts

I'v done the same thin earlyer last year. all that should need replacing is the pot (you can sent this out to be redone) and new piston and rings. thats all mine needed.

Ive seen several street bikes have their drain plugs "fall" out. One in particular, '03 GSX-R 750 ran for years after the incident.

I dont think a total rebuild would be in order, but every instance is different i'm sure. If it was mine, i would top it off and run it.

Id say run it if its not making any funny sounds..........if it sounds bad it probably is..if it sounds good it probably is......take a good hard listen to your motor and see if you notice any knocking or bearing noise....you probably go lucky and did not harm anything, because even if all the oil fell out (which it did) there will still be a film of oil on all the moving parts for a while.

Obviously it would be best to disassemble he entire engine and inspect/replace everything. However, that may not be an option for you. You said that you flushed it with oil, how did the oil look? Where there large metal chunks or a lot of small particles? I would put in oil, run it for a coule minutes and then drain it. I would repeat this three or four times (you may want to jus use some cheap oil for this). Change he oil filter and see how it looks. If the oil coming out looks clean then I would ride it for a little bit (a half hour to an hour) and then dump the oil again and change the oil filter again. If there isn't anything concerning in the oil or he oil filter this time, and if the bike isn't making any noise, smoking, or anything out of the ordinary, then you are most likely fine. be warned that you are probably going to pick up on every little noise that the engine makes that you never noticed before and will probably increase your blood pressure a little.

ya man just run it with new oil if it starts to make noises or you can feel something wrong then take it apart but until then just ride and learn from you mistake

I think you should be fine man..as long as it didn't sieze up, you're golden :applause:

uummmmmm.....welcome to TT:thumbsup:

I dont think you caused any harm to the transmission.When lubrication stops the first thing that will seize is the cams and the piston.Take the cyl head to a shop and let them hone the camshaft bearing and change the piston.If the bike seized hard you may have bent the crankshaft.Ball bearings are not so critical about lubrication.

Bottom line,you need to check the topend.

Mine fell out of my o6 250f, but we caught it right away.

After your done with the motor issue, drill a whole in the end of that plug and safety wire it to something. 06 250fs have two plugs so I safety wire them together. Good luck.

If it knocks don't run it, if it runs don't knock it, just one of my silly quotes, but seriously if it makes no noise I wouldn't put money into it, and remember not to sell it to me in the future. Mike

My girlfriend drove a corolla for months with no oil in it. Her ex husband is a mercedes mechanic and still changes her oil for her so she never checks it. I get in her car start it and i can hear the valves a clappin and clangin so i walk back in the house and ask when the last time she checked it"never "

I pull the dipstick....dry. didn't you hear that? "hear what?"

If it wasn't a toyota,well who knows? She drove it another 20,000 miles before tradeing it in. It ran fine,no damage.

Thanks for all the input. I appreciate the ideas and especially the encouragement. I have a little more to add to perhaps help the advice giving process.

The oil I drained the first time was discolored, almost yellow lugey colored. It had what seemed to be metal flecks, but no chunks or big filings. The second round was not so discolored, but didn't seem quite normal either--perhaps still getting some junk out. I suppose I should do the process several more times until it runs clear, huh?

It seems to blow more white smoke when I goose it than it did before. This may be no different than before when the engine is cold, but I may just be paying attention to it now. I suppose I need to run it and get it seriously warmed up, but I'm not sure should do that yet. If it continues to blow white smoke, I assume that I've screwed the rings up, right? If so, what's the best and cheapest remedy?

When running it, it seems to make a louder sound than I recall previously near the clutch plates. I don't know what that could mean, but when I put my hand on the side of the crank case over the clutch plates, it doesn't seem as loud. It may just be me muffling the sound from somewhere else. The noise it makes is a form of a knocking noise--not so loud that it's obvious something's amiss and not anything I would have freaked out about before (though in this instance I'm prone to do so). In fact, it could be a noise it's always had and now I'm just paranoid.

I have a few additional questions. If I do pull the head, what should I look for? If I need a new piston, do I also need to bore it out? If so, isn't there an issue of needing to recoat the cylinder? Isn't this then some major cash? Couldn't I have done some damage to the tranny/clutch since it also went dry?

KJ790 said it: "be warned that you are probably going to pick up on every little noise that the engine makes that you never noticed before and will probably increase your blood pressure a little."

Idk about the oil but I dont think white smoke is good. The safest bet right now is a new piston and rings. If you know any mechs I would see if they could give it a once over for you.

best remedy for blown rings is buy a new set, look for excessive slop between the piston and bore, and no you shouldn't need to get it re bored when you buy a new piston, the chrome plating on there will have held up to that abuse easily, it's much harder then the piston is so the piston's what's gonna wear.

Take the valve cover off, this is the easiest place for you to have a look and see what the potential damage might be, if the cams are scratched on the lobes and the buckets are marked, chances are the rest of your motor will have similar damage.

As for your tranny - since the tranny is mainly gears your wear will be a lot less than any of the friction parts found in your motor, bearings are always possible damage points since they are also friction parts - clutch may have worn down a bit since it's supposed to run in oil, and when there is none, if you're slipping it at all, you'll have likely overheated it and worn down/burned your friction plates, but clutches are cheap, so that won't kill you.

To see a bit more of the internals lay the bike on it's side and remove the clutch cover, you can then check the clutch for warpage and wiggle some of your visible shafts to see if you ended up with bearing play which would be a sure sign of damage.

Take the valve cover off, this is the easiest place for you to have a look and see what the potential damage might be, if the cams are scratched on the lobes and the buckets are marked, chances are the rest of your motor will have similar damage.

As for your tranny - since the tranny is mainly gears your wear will be a lot less than any of the friction parts found in your motor, bearings are always possible damage points since they are also friction parts - clutch may have worn down a bit since it's supposed to run in oil, and when there is none, if you're slipping it at all, you'll have likely overheated it and worn down/burned your friction plates, but clutches are cheap, so that won't kill you.

To see a bit more of the internals lay the bike on it's side and remove the clutch cover, you can then check the clutch for warpage and wiggle some of your visible shafts to see if you ended up with bearing play which would be a sure sign of damage.

I pulled the valve cover and the cam lobes and buckets look fine (a pleasant surprise). I also noticed nothing unusual behind the clutch cover.

I got enough gumption to run the thing for a longer period. The white smoke that puffed out before when blipping the throttle went away once the engine was fully warmed up. However, there was more of a black, much smaller puff out the back when blipped (warm engine). I drained the oil yet again and still got particles out with the oil.

I'm wondering if the end result of my screw up is just shortening the life of the engine (e.g., worn piston and rings) rather than having trashed it completely as I originally feared. I'd conclude that at this point were it not for the minor knock still resonating from the clutch plate cover area.

Sell the bike and buy A used 2007.

I think you dodged a bullet.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now