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08 450 & 530 Oil Transfer Problems KTM DESIGN FAULT!!!


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Unfortunately KTM have a major design problem with the 08' 450 & 530. I hope they've got it right for the 09' bike.

The oil transfer from gear box into engine is a major design error. I have an '08 450 & 530 EXC. The problem is not isolated to just one thing. The first problem is the oil seal on the primary drive out of the engine is failing. KTM are trying to blame some poor bastard on the production line for faulty fitting, which can contribute to the problem. The second part of this problem is the primary drive shaft is a two part component. The join of this shaft is right where the seal is place. Any movement (thrust) will also amplify this problem, this is why the factory race teams weld the two parts together and machine it.

The second part to the problem is with this two part system the primary drive gear hanging off the end of this shaft has a design fault. This gear is a twin drive arrangement which works its way apart and starts grinding into the outer clutch case. For those who are wondering why am I getting a fine silver trace when you change your engine oil, this is the answer.

This problem is real and everyone should take it on board. I'm not saying all the motors are faulty as it has not happened to my 530 (Yet!). My 450 is being fixed under warranty even though it ran out 6 months ago and for this I take my hat off to KTM. Unfortunately my concern is for the riders safety and this mechanical problem could cause a major malfunction with a gear box seizure or engine locking up due to too much oil in it.

My 450 has had that many problems with it that I've ridden it twice in six weeks and it is still in the shop. The shop was told by KTM how to fix this problem and the fix lasted less than 55km. When I was riding I could hear the engine churning/chugging and when I stopped at camp I gathered my mates around and said watch this. I removed the plug above the engine sight glass and about 400ml shot out of the motor like a fountain to everyone's disbelief. This is the second time it has happened to me and I'm pissed off that I didn't film it & placed it on You Tube.

This bike is now back in the shop waiting for new cases, the new improved oil seal, new primary gear drive and external clutch cover (again!). I would like to know what damage the gear box is taking with the low oil levels and will find out when the new cases arrive. Problem with KTM is that their spares take so long to get hold of (probably the demand is extremely high) and their decision making some times takes longer. This is not an isolated case as my mate had the same deal with his 450 which resulted in a new cases fix.

KTM should save face and recall the '08 450 & 530 motors as it is a serious safety problem. I race enduros and rode the Finke Desert Race at over 180km/h on the same 450 with all these problems, I have lost faith with it & will sell it as soon as it is fixed. Jeez I wish I kept my '07, it was faster but didn't handle as good as the 08.

I'll let you know how the gear box has held up once the shop pulls it down, I don't think it will be all roses.

Oh, by the way the factory blokes & the shop confirm that 700ml oil in the engine, not 600ml as per the book. It's crazy coz you fill straight past the sight glass and it seems like your going to have the oil overflow out of the engine. 👍 👍

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They also found that the Primary drive nut was tight on the crank before the primary drive gear. eg The primary drive gear was floating on the crank. A replacement nut from KTM fixed that, gears were ok. I must have caught mine early because another 450 the dealer had at the same time had the gears starting to part.

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30 hrs, 795 miles on a five week old 2008 530 EXC-R.

Same problem as above. Swell. The trans had about 450 cc's of oil and the engine had about 1150 cc's. Trans oil and engine oil were the same color and had obviously been recirculating. The trans had been filled with 900 cc's and the engine with 600 cc's 80 miles ago.

I live in Acton, CA and my son and I purchased new 530's from Lori @ AV KTM in Lancaster just prior to them going out of business.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to another reliable (with regard to their shop) dealer. I could do the repair myself but I am not going to, at this point. I have heard nothing but bad about SCV Motorsports (was Dick Allen's years ago).

How about the guys in Riverside or Thousand Oaks.

As much as we like the 530's, the old 2007 WR450's that have not been sold yet had zero problems for over one year of riding every weekend in all conditions.

Now we are just waiting for my son's 530 to repeat my bikes failure.

Thanks for any dealer recommendations,

Bob

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Primary nut coming loose is unrelated but frustrating. I doubt that the transmission is going to object from being low on oil, its all ball & needle bearing, does not need more than to be damp.

The crankcase issue is a nightmare, not hard to fix at the manufactoring level and KTM is doing a very good job of burying their head in the sand! In the auto industry this would be a full recall with proper factory fix. The dealers can not be expected to have service staff up to the job of making mods and that is whats needed. The problem starts here;

Piston goes down, volume of crankcase decreases, piston goes up, volume of crankcase increases. The "area" of the crankcase on the old RFS engine was huge as it included the trans (there was an air passage behind the piston/rod area). On these new generation engines that is closed off and they rely on the left side oil pump (a scavenge pump) to suck not only the oil but the air out of the crankcase and send it to the sump creating a vacuum in the crankcase. This is good and is how most race engines work but the problem arrises on startup as the piston goes down on the first revolution it compresses air underneath it but the engine has to run a few seconds for that scavenge pump to create the vacuum so we have instant pressure on startup. The bigger the engine the more pressure (250s have not had an issue, 450 some, 530 more). A rider can help the stock system survive by keeping the idle speed low on startup but that is not an answer for a dead engine start race!

I have not been into one but have been told that the Huseberg's have a reed valve that allows crankcase air to go out when the piston goes down. KTM needs to incorporate that but that is not something that could be done on a at the dealer warrenty issue. the next best fix is a single lip seal on the crank which can act as a reed valve, allow crankcase pressure out but not back in

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the reed valve on a husaberg vents into the primary drive side below the clutch, I don't see how it could work on the new ktm, I haven't been inside a Honda crf but wonder how it differs from the ktm. There are 6 of the new ktm's in our group one had an ignition failure the first day other than that all have been fine. I wonder if circumstances can create the problem, impropper marm up, overfilling with oil or ??? I've been doing research on a suitable two up dualsport and what I am finding is no manufacturer puts out a perfect bike every time, It's dissaponting to read the problems of one new model after another.

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Following up my dummy spit last week I can confirm that GP's (the dealer) had my bike running Saturday morning (fixed in 3 days), although I didn't ride it due to some extra stuff I wanted done. This motor was only able to be fixed with new cases and all the new after market fix it bits. A big effort was made by KTM Aus, my motor was pulled down on Monday. KTM witnessed and agreed to supply the parts Tuesday, all the parts (inc cases) arrived Wednesday morning. A very big THANK YOU to KTM & GP's for making every effort in backing their product.:ride:

Also I was wrong with my oil fill statement, 0.6 is the correct fill for the engine not 0.7 as per the book.😛

Ended up riding my mates CRF450X on the weekend while he worked, I think I might stay orange a little longer!

Thanks for the insight Dave 😉

The primary nut does not come loose, it's tight and bottoms out before applying pressure onto the gear. An aftermarket nut and gear are available. You'll also need an outer case/cover if the gear has parted.

I think its luck of the draw with these engines. For KTM to supply cases and aftermarket, seals, gears, primary drive nut, piston rings, gaskets and new outer covers indicates a design error of some sort with a certain batch of cases with the way they are cast, machined & assembled. I would hope to think the '09s are sorted as I won't buy another till '10.

It's strange my 450 lunched itself & the 530 keeps going, maybe a case batch issue? I'll be selling the 450 as soon as I get my 530 back from it's re-build which is not related to the issues the 450 had.

Anyhow KTM are backing their product even though they won't recall it or issue a statement alerting us, the consumer, to a potential problem that will be covered under warranty:thinking:

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To KTM, shame on them for putting a new design into production without more testing! For them this is too much like demise of the Indian MC company of what 3 years ago? What they did was machine one dimension in the trans case slightly too big. They had failures, planned a recall, reviewed the cost & threw in the towel

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the reed valve on a husaberg vents into the primary drive side below the clutch, I don't see how it could work on the new ktm, I haven't been inside a Honda crf but wonder how it differs from the ktm. There are 6 of the new ktm's in our group one had an ignition failure the first day other than that all have been fine. I wonder if circumstances can create the problem, impropper marm up, overfilling with oil or ??? I've been doing research on a suitable two up dualsport and what I am finding is no manufacturer puts out a perfect bike every time, It's dissaponting to read the problems of one new model after another.

The object here would be for the reed to allow the crankcase pressure to go to the sump which is under the crankcase.

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I suppose you could drill a hole through the lower left case half behind the flywheel and drill and tap two mounting holes and mount a reed valve. I must admit I am not smart enough to know how it might effect the systems overall function other than relieving pressure on the downward stroke. The reed activated lube system is over 25 years old and was origonaly designed to work without an oil pump, there were tree holes about mid way up the cylinder wall the vacume from the up stroke would pull oil through the holes and the pressure of the down stroke would force the oil out the reed valve. It was origionaly designed by the late Ken Mahly of flat track steel shoe fame. The design was puchased by Husqvarna and put in production in 1984 I believe. I had an 1985 te 510 it weighted way less than any four stroke of that era but ran so hot it cooked ignitions and wore out quickly.

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30 hrs, 795 miles on a five week old 2008 530 EXC-R.

Same problem as above. Swell. The trans had about 450 cc's of oil and the engine had about 1150 cc's. Trans oil and engine oil were the same color and had obviously been recirculating. The trans had been filled with 900 cc's and the engine with 600 cc's 80 miles ago.

I live in Acton, CA and my son and I purchased new 530's from Lori @ AV KTM in Lancaster just prior to them going out of business.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to another reliable (with regard to their shop) dealer. I could do the repair myself but I am not going to, at this point. I have heard nothing but bad about SCV Motorsports (was Dick Allen's years ago).

How about the guys in Riverside or Thousand Oaks.

As much as we like the 530's, the old 2007 WR450's that have not been sold yet had zero problems for over one year of riding every weekend in all conditions.

Now we are just waiting for my son's 530 to repeat my bikes failure.

Thanks for any dealer recommendations,

Bob

I feel your pain, and that is why I didn't buy the 08 KTM, too many bugs to work out. I really like my 06 450xc that I bought new, it has been a great bike. I also like the RFS motor even though it's a dated design compaired with the Jap models, but it works.

Maybe KTM will get it together in 09 or 10, or I will go back to Yamaha.

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How prevalent is this problem??

I'm just wondering cause when I was deciding on the 07 vs 08, I found a few notes on problems with the 08, like this one. But the point was made that you see a coupld posts about the problem, but there are thousands out there. By now wouldn't there be a relatively high population of postings about this problem if it were a regular problem with all the 08 450/530exc's?

I'm just asking ... & figuring my probability of a problem with my just purchased 450.

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The rest of the story: I took the 530 to Malcolm Smith's shop for warranty repair of the seal. The seal was in place and looked OK. They replaced it anyway.

The new question: If it was not a crankshaft seal problem, how did 450 cc's of trans oil transfer into the engine (and recirculate, based on the oil color being the same in engine and trans) in 80 miles?

I will ride it after I pick it up and see if the same thing occurs.

Anyone have a similar situation?

Thanks,

Bob

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Was in Baja this weekend, 400 miles into ride shut bike off and could not restart it. Open oil fill cap and it was way over full. I let a small amount out and after 20 min to cool down it restarted but not easy. Rode it back to truck 120 miles nice & easy. Made some calls, will see if it is a transfer problem or seal, no say.

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After doing a bunch of research (looking over message boards), I thought the KTM was a very reliable bike, so I went down and bought a brand spaking new '08 450 xcr-w. It was my dream bike, light fast, no smog junk, and electric start. This bike was to replace my trusty '99 yz400 which has been a great, and still is a great trail bike. I haven't even ridden the KTM yet because I've been busy, it's been sitting in my garage for 2 weeks.

I come back from vacation, and now I'm reading all of the posts about the crank seal blowing out. Crap. So I've been doing some thinking about this.

Why does it seem it's the EXC line that's having most of the problems, and not the xcr-w? I can understand the problem showing up on the larger bore bikes because the piston has a bigger surface area and therefore displaces more volume causing a greater rise in pressure in the crank case thus causing the seal to blow out. It also makes sense that having to much oil in the crankase has a similar affect, since the air volume in the crank case is essentially a spring. The greater the air volume, the less the spring rate, the lesser the volume, the greater the spring rate. With a higher spring rate, any increase in displacement creates a greater force (or pressure), pop, there goes the oils seal.

By the way, I checked my crank case oil level in my brand new bike and it was over filled by about 95 mL (meaning I had to remove 95mL to see the air bubble at the very top of the sight glass). I have a total of about 12 minutes on the bike, so I think it came out of the factory with too much oil.

So back to my original question, why does it show up more on the EXC line? Does it have to do with the crankase being vented to the carb? I read in Dirt Rider they recommend:

"take a drill and put a hole in the carb vent tube collection box, or you can simply take out the drain bolt; that way it doesn't fill up with spent gas and make your bike run like a turnd. While you're at the hose routing, there's a crankcase breather holse that plugs into the side of the carb. Unplug that and plug the hole in the carb, a KTM coolant drain plug (part No. 0910 100003) is the most sano way. Now route that hose back down where the carb vent holes go. This stops your bike from filling the carb with oil in tip-overs, long downhills or in extended high-rpm running.

This sounds like some of the problems you guys are having. I'm sure having the crank case over full makes the problem worse, there is less suction head required to suck the oil into your carb.

I haven't worked on any of these bikes, so I'm just guessing, so take it for what's it worth.

LJ.

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After doing a bunch of research (looking over message boards), I thought the KTM was a very reliable bike, so I went down and bought a brand spaking new '08 450 xcr-w. It was my dream bike, light fast, no smog junk, and electric start. This bike was to replace my trusty '99 yz400 which has been a great, and still is a great trail bike. I haven't even ridden the KTM yet because I've been busy, it's been sitting in my garage for 2 weeks.

I come back from vacation, and now I'm reading all of the posts about the crank seal blowing out. Crap. So I've been doing some thinking about this.

Why does it seem it's the EXC line that's having most of the problems, and not the xcr-w? I can understand the problem showing up on the larger bore bikes because the piston has a bigger surface area and therefore displaces more volume causing a greater rise in pressure in the crank case thus causing the seal to blow out. It also makes sense that having to much oil in the crankase has a similar affect, since the air volume in the crank case is essentially a spring. The greater the air volume, the less the spring rate, the lesser the volume, the greater the spring rate. With a higher spring rate, any increase in displacement creates a greater force (or pressure), pop, there goes the oils seal.

By the way, I checked my crank case oil level in my brand new bike and it was over filled by about 95 mL (meaning I had to remove 95mL to see the air bubble at the very top of the sight glass). I have a total of about 12 minutes on the bike, so I think it came out of the factory with too much oil.

So back to my original question, why does it show up more on the EXC line? Does it have to do with the crankase being vented to the carb? I read in Dirt Rider they recommend:

"take a drill and put a hole in the carb vent tube collection box, or you can simply take out the drain bolt; that way it doesn't fill up with spent gas and make your bike run like a turnd. While you're at the hose routing, there's a crankcase breather holse that plugs into the side of the carb. Unplug that and plug the hole in the carb, a KTM coolant drain plug (part No. 0910 100003) is the most sano way. Now route that hose back down where the carb vent holes go. This stops your bike from filling the carb with oil in tip-overs, long downhills or in extended high-rpm running.

This sounds like some of the problems you guys are having. I'm sure having the crank case over full makes the problem worse, there is less suction head required to suck the oil into your carb.

I haven't worked on any of these bikes, so I'm just guessing, so take it for what's it worth.

LJ.

You do know that EXC's and XCR-w's are the same engines?

As far as re-routing the crank breather, it really isn't necessary, at least I have never had an issue on my 06 450xc, and I have ridden the poop out of the bike since it was new. I have already rebuilt my top end too, thats some serious hours.

I would think that XCR-w has the same breather tube into the carb.

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LJ

If your at the top of the site glass that is still too much oil! Middle is probubly safe, I would drain it overnight, then put 600cc back in, not one drop more! Let it settle out for a few hours, then check where it is on the site glass and consider that your new standard.

EXC/XCR-W all tha same inside. Do not tamper with the engines vent hos, the EXC has a distribution box below the swing arm and it must have an open drain to run right. I know your is not EXC but guys please do not ask your dealer to tamper with the smog system! The fines for them tampering with it are out of business! For you probubly none.

The issue with the seal is caused by crankcase pressure when the piston goes down. Once the engine is running the oil pump maintains a vacuum in the crankcase but on startup it is a problem.

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I know the EXC and the XCR-W are the same engines, the difference is in the smog plumbing. I don't know for sure, but the EXC has the crank case vented to the carb, and the XCR-W does not. That is what I'm questioning, is the vent hose to the carb causing the problems with the smoking and the hard starting? It appears that most of the problems are with the EXC line based on what I've seen on the message boards.

Thanks for the head's up on the oil level, I'll drain more out and get it at the middle of the window. That would be around 100mL removed, which would correspond with the KTM putting in .7L vs. the correct .6L as recommended by their service bullitin.

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