Valves Question

Gents,

I just got home from a 1,700 mile 6 day-6 state epic adventure. Had an awesome time.

However, I was hearing some valve clacking and was burning a good bit of oil so I'd like your opinions a bit...

First off; '08 L, Dave's modded, snorkle removed, de-smogged.

I started the trip with 4,300 miles on the bike. I know that the 5,000 mile checkup is due, I wanted to do it when I got back, hindsight is 20/20 though...

So, Here's what I noticed. At low speeds I heard nothing but anywhere between 55 and 65, if I wanted to accelerate, I would hear the high pitched clacking that sounded like marbles in a tin can. The sound you would hear in a car that really had some carbon buildup.

Also, I burned a good bit of oil on the trip, where other XRL's didn't. Over the course of the trip I put about 2 qts in while others with the same bike only used .5 qt for the whole trip.

This too; In the morning, first crankup of the day, I would get a puff of smoke but never again. Suggesting maybe oil is seeping past the valve seals??

Clearly by mileage alone it's time to get my valves adjusted and I plan on doing that this week. My question is this; do these symptoms suggest something more is at play here than just the need for valve adjustment?

Thanks,

As you were.

Suggest valve guide seals, maybe. After it sits a day or two pull you head pipes & see if oil is sitting in them.

Oil sits on the left side exhaust valve from the bike being on the side stand, that's probably where it's coming from.

Do like WR TOM said and check for oil.....

I'm going to check that tomorrow for sure. Thanks guys.

Alright, checked the head pipes and they are dry.

I'm running Rotella 15w-40 and have been for some time, could that be the issue?

Also, on our trip, there were long stretches of deep sand where I kept the rpm's high; 3rd-4th gear at 55-65 mph. Maybe that's why I had a higher oil consumption than normal...

Maybe you were running hot&lean.

Crud in the carb blocking the main jet?

Dave

At low speeds I heard nothing but anywhere between 55 and 65, if I wanted to accelerate, I would hear the high pitched clacking that sounded like marbles in a tin can. The sound you would hear in a car that really had some carbon buildup.

That's pinging and it is unusual for a stock 650L to do that unless something else is going on.

I guess I'll just adjust my valves later this week and then if it continues, I'll look at things a bit harder...

Maybe run synthetic? I hear that can be good for suspect seals??

Pulling oil past the rings can dilute fuel mixture and cause a lean condition. Much like a 2 stroke an occasional set of rings is a cheap way to keep things running well.

I guess I'll just adjust my valves later this week and then if it continues, I'll look at things a bit harder...

Maybe run synthetic? I hear that can be good for suspect seals??

Synthetics have been known to actually cause more oil consumption,thinner molecules.....if it puffs smoke adjusting the valves will do nothing for you,it`s either bad valve seals,rings or both.....

I`d put in new valve seals,start there.....see what happens.if you can replace the valve seals without pulling the head..if you need to pull the head then i`d pull the cylinder and re-ring as you are almost there anyways...

Oil burning can cause excess carbon and that can cause pinging when hot...

B

I've never adjusted the valves before, but I good friend who has done it a lot is going to show me the ropes. Can I get to the valve seals at the top without taking the head off??

Yes, but it's more trouble than taking the head off IMO.

Upon hearing that I only have ever put 87 or 89 octane in the bike, my friend thinks that may be the reason for the valves clacking. I guess that would make sense, 93 octane only eh? Never heard that...

Still doesn't explain oil consumption though.

Upon hearing that I only have ever put 87 or 89 octane in the bike, my friend thinks that may be the reason for the valves clacking.

Nothing to do with it. If you have a lot of carbon it is possible using 93 may prevent the ping, if it is pinging, but something to do with the valves? No.

Dave

The "clacking" you are hearing most likely has nothing to do with the valves, it is probably preignition due to the engine being very hot and/or low octane gas.

Take the exhaust pipe off and take a look into the exhaust port / exhaust valve area. Look and see if you can visibly see burnt oil and crud inside the exhaust port. If you see the burnt oil residue you know your passing it and burning it.

Viton valve stem seals:cheap

Valve guide seals or guides : Mo money

Piston & rings: can be done yourself

Mine was burning oil but no rattle or noise. It was a combo of valve stem seals ($13) and large ring end gaps. The burnt oil crud was nasty and was really deposited on the valve and port area. If your pulling it apart take your time and do it right and once.

The easy test is just to try a tank of premium gas. If the noise stops, you've solved a pinging problem. I always run premium gas in my scoot; it's very cheap insurance in these air cooled engines.

Oil burning on startup is not a drama; every XR more than a few years old does it. Yes you can change the valve seals. You'll have to judge if the $40 in valve seals and a new head gasket, plus a few hours of labor, is worth it.

Thanks, I'm definitely leaning towards this way of thinking; gonna just check my valves -cause it's time to anyways, change my oil -cause it's time to anyways, and add some non-ethanol 93 and see how things shake out.

Thanks for talking me off the ledge!

The easy test is just to try a tank of premium gas. If the noise stops, you've solved a pinging problem. I always run premium gas in my scoot; it's very cheap insurance in these air cooled engines.

Oil burning on startup is not a drama; every XR more than a few years old does it. Yes you can change the valve seals. You'll have to judge if the $40 in valve seals and a new head gasket, plus a few hours of labor, is worth it.

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