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Aluminum in oil

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Hey guys, I am new to the forum, and I am looking for an answer. I have an 08 kx450f, and for the last few oil changes, there has been an excessive amount of shiny material in the oil. This material doesn't stick to a magnet, so I am boggled. The bike runs perfect, makes no abnormal rattles or noise, and is just as strong as it ever was. A few weeks ago, maybe a month, I had a clutch lever malfunction where my clutch was slipping slightly all day, it took me a while to notice this, but it resulted in some excessive clutch material in the oil, but I figured that would be gone by now??? I have changed the oild at least a half dozen times and it still looks the same. I can put new oil in, and within 10 minutes of riding it is shiny. I guess my question is is this normal? Is there anywhere else aluminum can come from in this engine? Do I need to do a complete tear down or am I overreacting to normal wear? This bike runs great, I put a new top end in it in April of this year and it has approximately 20 hours on it since, 95% of which was in the woods and trails. Please help!!! :busted:

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No need to worry.......yet.

Every oil change I do, if it's outside in the sunlight it looks like I'm riding a mini-glitter maker.....

Pull your oil filter out and cut it open and spread it out on piece of paper and let the oil soak out. The look closely at the particles.

Aluminum 'dust' to some extent is totally normal.

Bronze dust is bad: crank bushings going out

Steel dust is bad: could be dozens of things, but usually it's galling on transmission shaft / bearing

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It is aluminum dust, I am almost positive of it, it just seems to be an excessive amount, and I guess it is settling in the bottom of the engine and not coming out with the oil because it doesn't take long to turn the oil gray. The clutches still look pretty good and they don't slip at all. The bike has a full Hinson clutch system if that makes any difference, I certainly hope that I am overreacting, it is just aggravating. Any tips on getting it out of the bottom of the motor?

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It is aluminum dust, I am almost positive of it, it just seems to be an excessive amount, and I guess it is settling in the bottom of the engine and not coming out with the oil because it doesn't take long to turn the oil gray. The clutches still look pretty good and they don't slip at all. The bike has a full Hinson clutch system if that makes any difference, I certainly hope that I am overreacting, it is just aggravating. Any tips on getting it out of the bottom of the motor?

I don't understand what you are saying.

Are you draining the oil with a hot motor and a hot trans?

Waste of time otherwise.

If you are a heavy clutch fanner, you will always see aluminum in the oil, from the clutch hub wear. The dark color is usually friction plate residue, or DIRT getting paste your air filter.

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Krannie, what else could it be besides the piston, clutch basket or case metal?

fbr, If the problem only happened after the clutch slip problem, then I'd be carefully inspecting the clutch.

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Krannie, what else could it be besides the piston, clutch basket or case metal?

fbr, If the problem only happened after the clutch slip problem, then I'd be carefully inspecting the clutch.

The only friction points on aluminum that I can think of are Piston, Wristpin (inside of piston), Clutch basket & hub, Cam journals, Cam Chain tensioner housing, Cam chain tensioner cavity, and all the places where a loose bearing might spin in the cases.

I'd like to see a pic of the 'sparkle oil'. I'll bet it's typical.

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probably clutch. Hinson is expensive, but id rather spend my money on the OEM stuff. When it comes to clutches it always seems to be the best.

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probably clutch. Hinson is expensive, but id rather spend my money on the OEM stuff. When it comes to clutches it always seems to be the best.

Yeah, I am learning the hard way about aftermarket vs. OEM, This bike has aftermarket EVERYTHING, I bought it that way thinking it was cool, but for one, I don't know why you would need a 450 any faster, and for 2, the stockers seem to hold up alot better and run alot cooler. Thanks for all the replies guys, I hope I am just being over reactive. Gonna pull the filter screen out tomorrow and clean it up. Any suggestions on getting the crap out of the bottom of the motor so it doesn't contaminate my oil within 10 minutes of an oil change?

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Yeah, I am learning the hard way about aftermarket vs. OEM, This bike has aftermarket EVERYTHING, I bought it that way thinking it was cool, but for one, I don't know why you would need a 450 any faster, and for 2, the stockers seem to hold up alot better and run alot cooler. Thanks for all the replies guys, I hope I am just being over reactive. Gonna pull the filter screen out tomorrow and clean it up. Any suggestions on getting the crap out of the bottom of the motor so it doesn't contaminate my oil within 10 minutes of an oil change?

You keep saying this, but you don't explain it.

There is no 'bottom of the motor' like an oil pan on a small block chevy. There are nooks and crannies, and you HAVE to get the oil nice an hot, motor and tranny, before you empty it. Otherwise, you are not mixing all the 'bad oil' with the 'not so bad' oil so it come out the motor.

There is no 'sludge' in the motor, or it would clog your oil filter, you would go into 'filter bypass mode' on the motor. If you filter is not clogged, there is nothing in there.

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Go get some cheap oil, put it in there and ride the bike for as long as you think it takes to contaminate it, then drain it while its nice and hot.

Then take some pictures are different angles and post them on here so we can see.

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Well I understand that there is no "bottom of the motor", but this crap is settling somewhere, and I'll do my best to explain it a little better. I can change the oil, ride the bike for 30 minutes or so, and drain the oil while it is good and hot, put fresh oil in, ride it for 30 minutes, and get the same exact result. The filter is not clogged at all and the motor makes no noise or rattles, which if it were a bearing spinning inside the case (my first thought) it seems like it would be rattling or squealing. There eems to be absolutely no mechanical signs that there is anything wrong with the bike other than the excessive amount of shiny oil.

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Well if youre really worried you can tear it down. Tennessee your season should be over in a lil while anyway right?

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Well if youre really worried you can tear it down. Tennessee your season should be over in a lil while anyway right?

Ahh we ride year round!! I am debating on tearing it down, I just wish I had more reason to do so. Gonna try to flush it out real good with diesel, that way I know if I am dealing with new or old metal here.

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Have you pulled the clutch cover to see how the basket looks?

Yeah, that was the first thing I did, it has normal wear, nothing seemed excessive or anything and all the bands and clutches look to be in pretty good condition.

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Yeah, that was the first thing I did, it has normal wear, nothing seemed excessive or anything and all the bands and clutches look to be in pretty good condition.

Have you ever completely disassembled your clutch?

You might have put the inner/outer thick fiber plates in the wrong place, causing occasional slipping.

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Those aluminum flakes could possibly be from the steel spline insert that is pressed into the clutch basket, they can loosen up over time and that will cause aluminum flakes in your oil. happened to my 09 crf450 replaced the basket, problem went away.

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What ever is in your oil is also in your filter. Set the filter in a clear glass pan with the pan on a tilt (about 2 degrees) as the oil runs out of the filter it will leave a trail of the mysterious shiny stuff, then you can analyze it further. (it may take a few hours so be patient) There are many places in the engine for foreign material to hide, the only way to get it all out is to dissemble the entire engine and clean every part. Certainly a few cheap oil flushes couldn't hurt.

Have you pulled out the oil strainer for the scavenge pump to take a peek at it and see if there is any of your mystery shiny stuff in there?

In my experience the aluminum is not what makes the oil shiny, it is the harder metals that do that, such as crank pin bearing parts or connecting rod.

If the problem started when the clutch was slipping and has not subsided since you fixed the slipping issue, let's look at that. Generally a slipping clutch will not cause the oil to be more reflective. Usually the friction discs wear quicker than the steels so during a slipping issue you would have much less reflective oil (darker) than with out it, unless you sacrificed all the wear material and were using the backing material for the friction material now. We know this is not the case because you inspected the clutch and all is ok. I think it may be coincidence that your oil looks like this near the same time as your clutch problem.

I could keep going for a while but I think it would be best to do the filter trick I described and shoot several pictures and look at them on your computer until you get a good representation of what you are seeing then post it for us and we will go from there.

This is also just my opinion, when I see things in my oil that shouldn't be there I take the engine apart to find out where it is coming from.

One more thing, you could take the oil to your local truck garage and have them send the oil out for analysis.

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Well, I did quite a few cheap oil flushes and rode the piss out of the bike today, and as of right now, the oil is back to normal, so now that I know I am starting from a zero mark, I am taking the bike out tomorrow and we are going to ride for a few hours, and if there is fresh shiny material in the oil at the end of the day, a tear down will be inevitable. I did pull the scavenger screen out and there was some silicone but that's about it. I did take the old filter and set it at an angle in a glass pan like you said to do, gonna look at it close in the morning and see if there is anything that stands out. Thanks for all the help so far!!!

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