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Sunday, Jan. 20th 2013

Rebuild Journal: KLR650 Day 3

Finally! Here we are again. I have the majority of parts I need on their way from Eagle Mike. It's time for me to get the bike ready and prepared for the parts before they arrive.

In case you missed them, here's day 1 and day 2.

This is the bike as I last left it. The head is off and besides some hypothesizing, there hasn't been a solid answer for the oil starvation that caused the cam journal damage.

Right when I started, I noticed that I forgot to remove my thermostat from the coolant line. Better label and baggy that for safe keeping.

Time for me to get the cylinder jug off. What about this little guy? Yup, I gotta remove it. Carefully.

Here's the ridiculous 1/4" drive extension and 8mm socket that I have been using a ton on this bike. I rarely use any 1/4" drive tools. I'm getting my money's worth now.

I had to be somewhat careful not to drop the bolt down.

After the bolt was off, it was time for me to remove the coolant hose from the cylinder jug.

There's a metal holder for the head's oil line that is connected to the cylinder jug.

The Clymer manual didn't mention removing the starter. It took about five minutes and it gave me a lot more room to work.

Here's the starter ground wire.

Starter is out!

Almost… positive wire needs to be disconnected.

I found a nice little nest waiting for me underneath the starter. There was also a bit of oil around the middle oil banjo bolt. Seems like a strange oil setup and route. I'm going to investigate this oil line soon. It could be clogged and that would explain the starvation.

Some nice nest materials in there. Crazy-wide-angle-hands!

Time to remove the acorn nuts holding the cylinder jug on. Here's the rear.

And this front one.

Awesome. The threaded part of bolt is coming out because the acorn nut is seized. The indentation on the block prevented it from being removed all the way. I had to back the bolt and acorn nut out at the same time as I lifted the cylinder jug off.

After some slight encouragement from a rubber mallet, the cylinder jug started coming off.

Here's the seized acorn nut on the threaded stud. I don't think it will be an issue if I reinstall it like this. Just inconvenient. I might soak it in PB Blaster over night.

Lifting the jug off.


Here's the front.

And the bottom.

The section of the cylinder that is exposed to combustion.

The piston and connecting rod are free at last.

View from the rear.

And from above. A small amount of the crank can be seen.

Precautionary shop towels.

Taking out the wrist pin clips.

Piston is disconnected! It looks in pretty good shape. It really should be for only 12,000 miles on the bike.

Some heat and oil discoloration underneath. Seems pretty usual.

The connecting rod looks in great shape. This is good!

It looks like there might have been some blow-by. Notice the discoloration below the oil scraping ring. This wasn't present on the other side.

With the big bore kit on the way, this might just make a nice paper weight. Perhaps an extravagant and massive drink coaster?

Also, don't forget the dowels in between the bottom end and cylinder jug. I almost did.

Definitely a lot more room in the frame now.

With the top end of the engine off. It's time for me to start checking parts of the engine for clues to the oil starvation. As recommended here, the oil screen is a great place to start. The right side clutch cover needs to come off.

First, the rear brake needs to be moved out of the way.

The oil filter hollow pin on the inside also needs to come out.

I put the cover back on and put the bolts back in finger tight.

I also had to disconnect the clutch cable. With a little wiggling, it was able to pop right off.

I needed to remove the water pump as well.

This photo is so that I remember that the front bolt is longer and not threaded the entire length.

After removal of the water pump housing, the impeller is now visible.

I thought it would come off a little easier, but it seemed like it was slightly bound up. Not the best method for removal, but I had some luck with working a flat-head around it and using leverage to slowly get the impeller off.

After a minute or so, I got it removed.

Impeller drive shaft.

Some sort of spring o-ring combo? Must have been designed in the future… or the late 80s…

The Clymer manual had a great tip to move the clutch cable lever facing the rear so that it would internally disengage.

Again, the 1/4" drive and 8mm socket combo comes into play.

I started at this bolt and worked my way around clockwise. Slowly loosening each one a small bit each time around.

There were 15 bolts. One of them is not quite like the others. This is the order they came off the bike, starting at the first bolt I pointed out above.

After some persuasion from a rubber mallet, the side cover was ready to come off.


Looks pretty good.

Time to remove the oil screen… OH MY DEAR… WHAT… THE… Whoa… I have never seen anything like this before.

Is that… gasket material/case sealant? Did this come from an overzealous factory worker? Shady mechanic? I was completely speechless at this point.


It kind of felt like fake fishing worms.

Here's some closeups. Most of it was soft grey material. It looked like A LOT of overflow from gasket sealant, or the stuff you use to seal two engine case halves. There was also some black somewhat stiff rubber material in there too. I'm not sure where this came from. It's not the same hard plastic as the cam chain guides. Any ideas?!

Scale reference.

The passageway to the oil screen seems clean enough.

Here's everything with the case off.

With the surprise from the oil screen. I wanted to double check the doohickey situation. I didn't have all the tools needed yet, so I knew I was going to hit a roadblock when I needed to remove the stator.

I started with removing the gear shift lever.

Front sprocket cover had to come off too. Nice and greasy…

The front sprocket, chain and rear sprocket actually look like they are in great condition. A small bit of a silver lining!

Definitely seems like there might be some oil leaking out of the middle banjo bolt.

Plenty of room to remove this cover now.

I started at this bolt, and worked around clockwise just as before. Slowly loosening each one a small bit at a time.

It looks like all 10 bolts are exactly the same.

I found this rubber plug on the bottom. It doesn't look like I needed to remove it in retrospect.

Slowly removing the cover.

As I removed the cover a gear slowly started to fall off. You can see it almost about to fall in this picture.

I caught most of the parts before they fell. Only one small bit fell into the oil. Here's the case after complete removal.

I caught three of the four bits that fell. Not too terrible.

And I fished out the fourth. It looks like one of the two needle bearings.

All four parts, in a semi-exploded view.

And the shape of the gasket that I need to purchase.

It was at this point that I decided to call it quits. I didn't have as good of a view of the doohickey as I had hoped without the proper tools. The small part I could see, looked fine. And there was no evidence of metallic pieces or shavings.

I'm still extremely curious where the dark rubber bits on the oil screen came from. Does anyone have ideas?

Huge thanks to my friends Zach and Chris for giving me a hand with the photos and tools today.

Keep reading with day 4.

Updated on Sunday, March 29th 2020