motor filled with sand

its thumpersalad story all over again.well almost.i just had my frame powdercoated but before i brought it to shop to have it done i took ever precaution.i stripped frame to bare metal myself using aircraft cover stripper then prep frame with washing it with acetone.that way they would not have to sandblast frame before powdercoating.i thought i had totally "idiot proofed" situation so there was noway what happened to thumpersalad could happen to me.well powdercoating shop proved that nothing is idiot proof.i told owner i stripped and prepped frame so they didnt need to sandblast he agreed that was smart thing to due because when sandblasting some sand getts into frame even though they plug holes.when frame was done as a precaution i power washed inside frame as precaution before i put in back together.when i finally finished putting bike together i noticed some sand on my garage floor so this made me a little nervous.i started bike ran it for about 10 minutes then pulled oil filter only to find it filled with i drained fuilds flushed motor and frame with solvent refilled with oil and ran bike again for about 10 minutes drove it around block a couple times.then pulled oil filter and it was still filled with sand.all together ive flushed flushed and powerwashed frame and motor 4 times but this seems to be doing nothing there is still lage quanity of sand in oilf filter after running motor for just a few minutes.yesteday i took bike to powdwercoating shop and showeed owner he seemed shocked until he asked service guy if he sandblasted my frame.well service guy was proud to admit yes he did sandblast frame.owner of shop was extremely sorry and said he would make some phone call to find out best way to clean sand from inside motor and frame.he called me a couple hours later and said to flush everthing with borax and acetone that should get sand out.he also said a couple mechanics said i could run bike and sand would not damage motor it was so fine it would be ground to dust and flush out with next oil change.i defintly dont think that would be a very smart way to solve owner seems like he will duue whatever it takes to solve my problem and i dont think ive actualy ran motor long enough to cause any extensive damage.does anyone have solution to my problem?i was thinking of sending motor to shop and have cases split and seals change that way they would be able to wash inside motor and parts individualy.could someone recommend good service shop in calif. oi was thinking eric going to give bill to powdwercoating shop if this is was i decide to due.owner of powdercoating business has seemed so sincere when apologizing for my inconvenance i want to due my best to keep cost of cleaning motor to minimum for his sake.even though im very upset that this happened i also understand mistakes due happen.

The finer the sand the more like a grinding paste it will be... I would not hesitate to strip the bike down, cases and all, and wash everything twice... and then wash and wash the frame and oil lines as well... If done by a competent person, the bill will not be that much for labour...

Your running it for more than 30 minutes may have trashed the motor anyway, carefully check the clearances and sizes... the cam lobes may be worn, or the bushes in the gearbox, anywhwere that oil has circulated.

If it all checks out OK, you may want to take the opportunity to add new seals to oil and waterpump, add new rings and have a valve grind (mo pun intended). Not saying you hit the powdercoating place for the new parts (except for the gasket kit), just a chance to do it so your bike is good to go for a long time yet...

It was incompetent of them to sand blast the frame, didn't they write a job ticket before the 'dude' got his hands on the frame and filled it with sand?

Do not take short cuts... this will grind your motor out fast, clean everything, top and bottom, and then do it again... the acetone will not do your seals and gaskets much good, you will have to separate the bits and clean them... this stuff will hide in the lips of seals, the races of bearing and the corners of castings...

Sorry about the amount of work involved, but there is only one way to do it properly...

Good luck,


PS. It would be nice if he did your hubs in a matching colour for free!

[ September 25, 2002, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]

Someone is yankin your chain! :D "Run the motor"?!! :D

The ONLY way to save your motor, if it hasn't already been damaged, is a COMPLETE strip-down, cleaning and rebuild. Personally, I can't believe it is still running!

That sand infected oil lubes EVERYTHING. It will be in your oil passages, in between your clutch plates, etc. It will travel throughout the engine until it becomes lodged somewhere, whether that be the oil filter or a bearing or a harmless nook or cranny...Each grain is a potential disaster. No one on earth could convince me differently.

Just consider how bad it would be to ride desert (or anywhere) without an air filter. Those tiny sand particles can destroy your engine fast, and they can only enter your intake system and combustion/exhaust chambers...

As for the frame, yikes! :D I don't know if I would ever feel confident that it had ZERO sand left in it. :)

Man, do I feel sorry for you! :D I'm p.o.'ed and it isn't even my bike! :D I know I am definitely going to just paint my own frame now. I never thought about the potential for a disaster like this at a powdercoat shop! Good Luck!

here are pics.yamaha.dude i have talon hubs bike.jpgbike1.jpgbike2.jpgbike3.jpgbike4.jpg

Much nicer hubs, nice looking bike, I hope you get the motor cleaned out and it is all OK for you. If I was closer I would come over and give you a hand... Now, if you want to pay for the ticket, I can bring tools... :)

Mark Cantrell did a nice write-up on the YZ forum...

Good luck,


Sorry - please keep us posted. When I worked as a mechanical engineer we had an expression "One test is worth a thousand expert opinions". I think I would ask around a bit with engine builders and find out which parts of the engine seemed to show the most wear during a rebuild and then see if I could inspect that area without a complete teardown. It might give you peace of mind that the oil filter did its job. Also are you running a magnetic drain plug? If so did it look bad? I haven't split the cases on one of these yet - can you check out the oil pump? It pumps unfiltered oil. Let us know. Mark

one good thing is i use a k&n oil filter which has a very fine screen compared to stock or emglo for the oil pump i can pull the gear but you still cant get to oil pump screen without splitting case

Good, if you pull the pump apart you can look for scoring. Let us know.


Bear with me for a minute here. You don't even have to take the engine off the bike to get to everything that oil goes through. I think I'm right here.

From the right side cover you can get to the clutch, the oil pump, the oil pipe to the left side, the hollow end (oil supply for lower connecting rod bearing) of the crankshaft, the right main, CB, transmission bearings, the various drive and driven gears, and the hollow (oil supply for gears) transmission shafts and the various oil supplies from the oil filter cavity.

From the left side cover you can get to the left CB and crankshaft bearings and the sump (where the strainer for the oil pump scavenge side pickup is).

You can reasonably flush the crankcase, through any of the available openings or through the cylinder opening. It will run out through the sump opening inside the left side cover and/or the oil pump opening inside the right side cover. You could reasonable flush it with a garden hose, then change the oil after 5 or 10 minutes. Only a few ounces would be left after simple draining, compressed air would reduce that even further. For sand (nonsoluble in anything), the volume, pressure, and velocity are worth more than any chemical.

The only parts you wouldn't hold in your hand are the counterbalancer shaft (nothing there), the crank (you have access to the hollow end and without pressing it apart you wouldn't have access to any more of it), and the transmission shafts/forks (but you do have access to the hollow shafts of the transmission.

You would have to still get the supply and return oil lines and the external oil gallery line to the head.

This might only be a 3 or 4 hour job (head, cylinder, side covers, stator, clutch, and oil pump) instead of 12 or 15 hours (pull engine, everything above, plus split cases).

Unless you pressed the crank apart so you could flush it better (and I'll bet you wouldn't anyway), I don't see the downside. You can still lay bike on left side, fill crankshaft hollow with oil, and blow it out lower connecting rod bearing with compressed air a couple dozen times to flush it. Just do that before flushing crankcase with water or whatever.

I will get some heat here for suggesting water. I'll stand by it with the caveat that you do this in one sitting so oil flushes the water before it sits overnight. At worst, no worse than drowning the bike in clear water. At best, you can flush the he!! out of it, with more volume and more pressure than anything else. Sand doesn't dissolve, you have to move it.

Oh well, I've been thinking about your problem at work and came up with that thought.

Good luck,


I agree that it is the volume of flushing fluid you put through that is going to flush the sand and grit out, water is a lot cheaper and available at pressure and would be fine, as long as you followup with oil, or petrol or diesel or anything to flush out the water...

However, I still think you would want to look at everything, just to be sure, you did run the bike for a fair amount of time with the sand in it, and you cannot know that some finer stuff didn't get past the filter...

if cam lobes are scored, or bearings are scored, it will not be long before they fail. better to invest the extra eight hours now than to do it all again in a week, and then you will need more parts, and will be paying for it yourself.

Approach the powdercoating shop owner, tell him what you plan to have done and make sure he is OK with it. then do it once, do it properly.

If he is honest and fair, he will get more work from people on this board... if he is difficult about it, then it's his business reputation that's on the line...


mark that is exactly what im in process of dueing right now.i have pressure washer and will hook it up to hot water line on my water heater the heat should help any oils filled sand dissovle and flow out of engine better.i still dont think ill be able to get all the sand.sand used for sandblasting is so fine its almost like dust it gets into every little nook and kranny. yamadude,the reason i have not mentioned the name of shop that did powdwercoating is i think he deserves a chance to make good on his mistake before he gets any bad publicity that could possibly cost him future i said in my original post mistakes happen.its how we deal with those mistakes that matters.

[ September 26, 2002, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: freestyle111 ]

FreeStyle, I was not suggesting that you expose him publicly (like that recent BajaDesigns incident) but I was suggesting that even if your local friends find out from word of mouth, then that will lose him a few potential clients. If he does the right thing, by all means, let us know here.

I appreciate you are trying to give him a chance and a way to make good. That is the best and most mature way to deal with the problem.


well i just finished washing out inside motor and frame.i used acetone and some detergent he suggested[bona Ami]its something like ajax.i blew everthing out with air and repeated process 3 times.i just need to re-install clutch basket and flywheel\ out of oil so i cant run bike till tommorrow.i got a feeling the only thing i really manage to clean out of motor was the lubrication.

THe other thing you need to do is DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, pictures, pictures ,pictures! and notes about EVERY minute you had to spend and every dollar you had to spend to get it back to square one.

If this gets to a legal battle cause you hand him a $2500.00 bill for parts and labor and he laughs and tells you to get screwed, you can head straight down to the court house and file small claims.

If you go in there with "he said..she said" the judge will ultimately find in the vendors favor with a comment like "you should have known better than to put the machine back together without a thorough cleaning and flushing first, its your fault..see ya later" but if you go in with a record book in your hands including notes about the day you dropped the thing off and WHO you told NOT to sand blast it and EXACTLY what time it was blah blah blah, you stand a much better chance of winning the case ang getting a motor/bike that is actually better thant it was before this fiasco.

The way I see it you took "work" to a vendor in "good faith" with specific instructions and were NOT told that your specific instructions were ignored (by whomever) when you paid for and picked up your frame.

If you can afford it take the bike directly to a qualified (licensed) mechanic and have them tear the thing down, that way you get a professional invoice with details and damages and it is much more likely to fly in court...which is almost certainly where this will end up.

I say that NOT because I am "sue happy" but based on the words out of this guys mouth after the fact "the stuff is harmless and will be ground into powder" after a few oil changes....

Your engine is hammered, I (a formerly certified A.S.E. master mechanic)absolutely GUARANTEE it.

You ran the engine for even a few minutes and that is enough to totaly flood every nook and cranny inside that engine with sand that WILL never (totaly) come out with flushing of ANY kind. A complete tear down is the only thing that will work.

Plus after you ride the thing the very first time, then he has an "OUT" and can say with reasonable doubt that you caused the damage and not his "accident" and then you own it.

Just my 25 cents.

teamscream,thanks for advice.i am keeping track of everything and taking pictures.i even brought bike to powdwercoating shop and and took out oil filter in front of owner.

Thank you, TeamScream.

i talked to owner of powdercoating shop yesterday.i didnt even have to ask him to pay for my motor to be clean and soon as i told him i tried my best to at getting sand out of motor but nothing worked.he told me to go ahead and do what it takes to get motor cleaned and any damages repaired.he was sorry about whole situation and wanted me to have my bike up and running as soon as possible.he also asked me to bring my frame back to him when i get the motor out and he will have it cleaned.all he ask of me is to be fair and not totally ream him.hopefully i can get bike torn apart this weekend.i think im going to bring motor to SFO's[tt member] shop

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