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About AshenFlowersFalling

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  1. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Trailryder42: cutoff valve, that's what I meant. Couldn't be bothered looking up it's name. Oops. I susppect you mean the big-end bearings? Last time I had a look they were nice and solid with no freeplay, so hopefully they'll still be alright. Don't worry, way ahead of you on getting that checked at the same time as the cylinder honed. flarityj: I'm unsure what you mean by adding oil to gas for a four-stroke. Cam timing's spot-on, however (bike runs amazingly now, even after the seize, now that I've cleaned the filters out).Oil temperature is also totally back to normal, minus the stuff that's being pushed out the exhaust on a cold start. Performance seems fine: I've no problems cruising at a happy 75mph. Everything's getting checked next week when I strip the bugger down anyway. Internals looked mint from what I could see with the right crankcover off, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Still, no weird noises or other anomalies, so...
  2. AshenFlowersFalling

    6th gear in XR400?

    The XR is what it is, the standard of tanklike reliability and function. <- too true. I've also been after a 6-speed mod for as long as I've had the bike. First day I got it I had to ride 500 (night-time) miles home on knobblies with 15/45 gearing, which meant top cruising speed of ~55mph without thrashing the engine. Not fun. I'm now at 16/38, and this lets me cruise at 75mph all day long. The XR4 will do 100mph in this gearing, if you're prepared to wait a while. However... 16/38 gearing: 1st = 0-30mph, 2nd = 10-45mph, 3rd = 15-60mph, 4th = 25-70mph, 5th = up to 100mph. Those aren't the kinds of gearing you want for off-road. Except on really wide open stuff, I never get out of 2nd. Don't get me wrong, the bike still has plenty of grunt in this gearing though. The bike'll still wheelie easily by whacking the throttle open in second if you lean back a bit (no clutch work required), and will just about wheelie in 3rd if you use the clutch and lean back, but I want my off-road-gearing "wheelies in every gear" back! XR4's = fantastic off-road or on-road use, but not both with a 5-speed tranny. That 6th gear would give me the 75mph all-day-long cruising speed I need for going to work and things, and the grunt to wheelie it in the first 4 or 5 gears like I love with the standard sprocket sizes, as well as being able to get maximum torque for off-road use. Damn you, Honda! Damn you to hell for only giving my XR 5 gears!
  3. AshenFlowersFalling

    Trouble shifting out of second gear.

    Make sure the clutch plates are fitted correctly. I was having a similar problem with shifting caused by the last friction plate being installed incorrectly.
  4. AshenFlowersFalling

    5th gear slip???

    Happens to me occasionally on my XR4 if I don't give it a good, hard shift every time I'm changing gear. XR's don't like limp-foots! Was having more major problems with hard shifts/jumping out of gear recently. Turned out my ex-mechanic had fitted the last friction plate in the clutch wrongly. Set it correctly, and now it's as smooth shifting as it's always been, and the jumping out of gear only happens when I *****-foot it up a gear. Operator error. Maybe check your clutch plates are in correctly? Last friction plate needs to go in the shorter grooves in the basket, not the long ones the rest of them do.
  5. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    nelly xr250: weird how we both found the same things stuck in our filters. Plastic must be off the camchain guide; can't think where else inside the engine would have black plastic. Glad you got your problem fixed before anything major happened. Certain amount of rattling is normal on XR's though, isn't it? Mine tends to rattle about quite a lot when cold/idle rpm and always has been like that. Gets better after it's warmed up. If you've not already done it, I'd say check the valve clearances. Always goes a long way to reducing the XR rattle. I've heard people say that removing the auto-decompressor system on the cam gets rid of almost all of the rattle, but...I've yet to locate said auto-decompressor system. :| One thing you can do is replace the spring on the manual-decompressor if it's old or worn. This also helps eliminate rattle. Damn it. I should've ordered a new decompressor spring myself just now as I ordered the valve seals. Well, back to living with valve-train noise, I suppose.
  6. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Trailryder42: called my mechanic last night, and that's pretty much just what he said: valve stem oil seals. Thinking about the way in which the oil's getting burned, it does make perfect sense. Going to order a new set today for the princely sum of ~£15. Maybe guides too, and certainly a new head gasket (same one been on it for 8 years now: it's torn in a couple of places) When they arrive, the head's coming off so I can check the bore/piston/rings too. My mechanic's going to re-hone the cylinder too, so I'll be quite pleased with that. Hopefully the cylinder's not scored/scratched or anything from the other day; I must say I'm a little nervous about seeing what its condition's like... The carb: both carbs I have are jetted identically, have the mixture screw set identically, needle clips identical, and have the float heights the same. The only difference between the two is that the pump on the carb I just put on (the rubber diaphragm behind the plate on the same side as the choke lever) is a little worn. Bit crusty. I received my 65/165 jets today (62/162 current) and are now in the other carb (the one in slightly better condition), so I'll whack it in and see what it's like once I get these valve seals put in. Plug looks like the engine's running the tiniest bit lean, so...I'll see how it goes, and post the results. Just out of interest: what sort of fuel economy are people getting from their XR4's? I'm on 60mpg no matter how I ride it on the roads, and my general rule when I ride my is full throttle or no throttle.
  7. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Right, overheating problem is well and truly fixed. Oil looks clean, isn't bubbling, isn't smoking. Must've been the clogged oil filter at the bottom of the frame. But! Now we have a new problem... For the first few minutes after cold starting, the bike pumps white smoke out the exhaust. It disappears after the bike's warmed up, except for the slightest hint that I noticed after riding, putting the bike in neutral, and revving and keeping it at a constant high rpm. Now, I may have overfilled with oil, but I'm 99% certain I put in the correct amount, or even slightly under. Apart from that, it runs like a charm, minus a quick bog when cracking the throttle open after being at constant rpm. I suspect this is due to the oil being burned in the cylinder. Also, I swapped carbs last night for a spare I had which always had a slight problem with bogging. I'll swap them again tomorrow and see if this eliminates the bog. But I'll still have the oil-burning-out-the-exhaust thing. Any ideas? I thought either valve seals or piston rings. Quite possible the seize episode I had the other day damaged one or both of those. Also, last time the rings were worn, I had similar symptoms. So...rings or valve seals?
  8. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Trailryder42: It's a newish cam-chain (1 year), and it's lateral freeplay, not sideways. Hard to explain, but I know what I mean. Sideways freeplay is very little: tensioner's certainly keeping it tight. My mechanic came down and said it looked fine, so I was happy. Sealed the cases back up, took it out for 15 minutes tonight sitting at high-revs in 3rd purposely to try to make the engine get hot, and checked the (fresh-in tonight) oil. Wasn't smoking. Wasn't black either. Still looked perfectly fresh. I'll take it out for longer tomorrow at higher speeds and check (20 minute ride to work and back tomorrow), so maybe it was just a clogged filter in the bottom of the frame that was restricting flow... Oil cooler's getting too hot to comfortably touch again too. nelly xr250: before I replaced my last piston/rings, I was burning oil, but through the exhaust. The oil in the frame didn't overheat. The piston/rings were very, very worn when I took them out (they'd been in it for 7 YEARS!), but the cylinder was still honed. Worn piston/rings don't make the oil heat up enough to be overheating that badly. They just let oil get into the cylinder to be burned and pushed out the exhaust. If it's piston/rings, you'll be losing a lot of oil if they're close to the end of their life. I was having to put in ~1L/200 miles up until I got them changed. I'd check all three filters (frame, right engine side, bottom of crankcase), oil lines, oil pump, and if that doesn't solve it, well... I'll get back to you guys tomorrow night on the status of my problem. Hopefully it'll be fixed. Fingers crossed!
  9. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Trailryder42: thanks, it's been a while since the bike's been running properly, and I couldn't remember what temperature the oil cooler got to, though I did suspect it wasn't getting as hot as it should. My mechanic should be down tonight or within the next couple of days, so I'll seal up the right crankcase (don't have sealant myself, so I'll get some off him), fill 'er up with fresh oil, and take her out a spin to see if that's solved the problem. Thanks for the info about the tensioner too: didn't want to have to spend $80 (imported) on a new one if I didn't have to, though I may buy myself a new cam chain (~$100 imported) sometime soon, just to be safe. The old one's been eating into the inside of the case (cylinder side, visible with the right crankcase off) a little, though I'm unsure if this's happened recently or a while back (aforementioned cam chain shredding in engine). It would, however, explain the large amount of metal debris stuck in the filters. Not sure how much lateral freeplay the chain should have, but I can pull it about an inch and a half in total before it's too tight too move. This is from access in the right crankcase, and with the tensioner attached and the chain attached to everything it should be. Thanks again. I'll give it a try over the next day or two and post the results. But if you have any other ideas meantime, I'd be quite happy to hear them.
  10. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Had a thought: could carbon build-up in the cylinder be causing this kind of overheating? Bike was running like utter crap, missing 100% of the time above idle, and fouling plugs like crazy, before I realised the timing was off after the last rebuild (was getting a new countershaft fitted: took about a fortnight to figure the timing hadn't been set back correctly). Long story. Suffice to say I have a different mechanic now. Another thing: even with this frightening overheating, the actual engine cases don't feel any hotter to the touch than they usually do (a bit too hot to want to keep your hand pressed against). The oil cooler never seems to get above the "a nice hand-warmer on a cold day" stage. Hence why I suspect blockage/faulty oil system. But how hot should the oil cooler get anyway?
  11. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Trailryder42: definitely a stock-size piston. Bought the piston/ring combo myself (Wiseco). I'm unsure as to exactly what it was that seized: the kickstarter wouldn't turn the engine over, though I wasn't going to put all my force behind it if it wasn't going to move with a reasonable amount of effort. It's quite possible the engine would've turned over if I'd really put my back into it. Oil is semi-synthetic Silkolene Super4 10w-40 http://www.silkolene.com/img.asp?OBJ_ID=25265. Oil that I've used up until now, and only changed after the problem had already started anyway: Castrol GP 10w-40 dino oil (can't remember exact type: possibly "Pro"?) http://www.castrol.com/castrol/productdetailmin.do?categoryId=9014130&contentId=7027425. When I checked the oil and seen the smoke coming out the dipstick hole, I noticed that the oil was foaming too. Definitely foaming. With both types of oils. I've just taken the right crankcover off to check filter screens and oil pump, though I don't have the tools to remove the clutch to get to the oil pump, so that'll have to stay in until my mechanic comes along. However, when turning the engine over with the case off, what little oil was left in the system was visibly pushing through the pump, so I'm inclined to think that the pump's okay. Pulled the filter from the right crankcase, just below the headpipe. It was fitted the right way in, and dripping with oil, so I'm guessing it's still doing its job. The oil line from the bottom of the frame to the engine was clear too: no obstructions. I've yet to find a right-sized spanner to remove the other one coming from the cooler, but I'm wondering if it's worthwhile. Can't imagine it not being fine... Filter screen at the bottom of the inside of the crankcase had some small metal shavings (enough to cover a whole fingertip), and two slivers of rubber both about 30mm long and 2mm wide. Really tough black rubber, like the stuff used for the cam chain guide, which is where I suspect it's come from. Few small chunks out of the guide. Cam chain's looking none-too-new, so I may replace that while I'm at it. The links are starting to flare outward between rivets. I checked the chain tensioner too: it moves, but only by squeezing it damn hard between two hands. I can't remember how freely it moved when I bought it ~6 months back, but I'm pretty sure it was a damn sight easier than that. Yet another bugbear left by my original mechanic. I suspect he broke it by reinstalling it in a lazy manner. Was fine before... The most worrying part was the oil screen at the bottom of the frame where the hose attaches between the frame and the engine. By the amount of force it took to remove, I'd suspect it's not been off for a very, very long time, if ever. It was caked in metal shavings, and I mean caked. Absolutely covered. Maybe 1.5mm thick with them. Now...if it's never been taken out, and I stress that this bike's had a lot of work done to it in its time (had a cam chain + cam sprocket shredded in the engine once: that was not fun, though didn't really damage anything, amazingly), is it anything to worry about? I'm not sure how much metal shavings are normal to find in the filters. It's very worrying. Apart from those things, the innards are spotless. All the visible gears and cogs and so forth visible from inside the right crankcase look brand new. Should be pulling the head tomorrow to have a look inside. Have the valve inspection covers off earlier, and valves are all in clearances, and generally look fine from what I can see. Engine turns over smoothly. Clicks through all gears smoothly. Fingers crossed, I maybe got away without much damage after that seize earlier...
  12. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Doubtful. At most I'm 50-100ml over, but I measured it carefully when I replaced the oil about a week ago. Anyway, I can't think how too much oil could be the cause of overheating like this...I've overfilled in the past, and if anything it's ran cooler because of it.
  13. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    oregon_rider: definitely ain't the brakes: I'd notice it when I push the bike from my garage in the mornings. Everything's nice and free. Doesn't require any more throttle than it ever did to sit at motorway speeds (~1/6th throttle in 5th = 70mph).
  14. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Gearing: 38/16, if I remember correctly. Maybe 38/15. Sits at a steady 70mph without stressing the engine one bit. Took it a 200 mile/day for 2 days trip 6 months ago at that speed and higher on that gearing, and it never complained the entire time. Piston/Rings: Professional mechanic fitted them; cylinder still had hone marks. That was ~1 year back (original piston/rings lasted 7 years!). Elevation: ~Sea level. Spark Plug: NGK DPR8Z. Plug looks to the whiter side of tan, but no indication of overly lean running. Needle Position: 3rd (standard). Fuel: 95 Octane occasionally, usually 98. I'll re-check the direction I installed the oil filter in, but I was very, very careful to put it in the correct way (I was worried about exactly this happening). The next step is to check the oil screen, and pull out the oil pump to make sure everything's ship shape in there. Maybe one of the oil lines is clogged after all...I'll be taking the entire oil circulation system out and cleaning them thoroughly. Better to be safe than sorry. The oil bottle being mislabelled is a bit of a long shot. Plus, it was doing the same with the oil I had in it before that I knew to be good... Trailryder42 : I know engine seizing is bad, but remember this was not caused by oil starvation (when doing quick check on oil lines by pulling them from the case, plenty of oil dripped out the sump), but rather only overheating. I seized my old XR125 pretty bad a couple of times just after getting it, and that ran another 35,000 miles flawlessly before someone nicked it. Never had to open the engine once on that thing. Never even did the valve clearances. The weird thing is though, seizing: shouldn't everything lock up when that happens? I could still hear the valves hammering away as I slowed down to a halt, which indicates that the piston was still moving in the cylinder, and therefore the crankshaft was rotating, etc. It only needed to sit for about 90 seconds to cool down before I could start it up effortlessly again, and I wasn't try to kick it mega-hard when it did go pear-shaped. Had it started twice since then: seems to run fine, no weird noises/vibrations/smoke/anything, pulls hard as ever, but the damned oil in the frame still smokes after 5 minutes of riding!
  15. AshenFlowersFalling

    1999 XR400R - frame oil resevoir smoking BAD after 5-10 minutes of riding. Help!

    Addendum: oil filter is brand-new also. Had a thought: maybe the oil pump's knackered? The front oil cooler still gets rather warm when the bike's running, so oil's definitely getting to it, but to overheat enough to make the oil in the frame smoke after only a few minutes riding... Something's wrong somewhere, but I just don't know where! Bike runs like an absolute charm minus this problem.