I think I may have toasted my LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:17 am Thread Starter
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I think I may have toasted my LT

Or at the very least cost me some big bux in repair bills

Hereís the scenario: Iíve had the bike for slightly over a year, itís a 99 LT and currently has 53K, it had around 38K when I got it Nov of 06. I've had the oil changed out several times but nothing else done cep tires.

Last weekend I had some friends over to do a major tune up on it including a valve adjustment. The guy that helped me has done this 4 times prior (using the Gunsmoke method) and each time there were no problems with his machine or the others he has worked on. I got all the new parts, including oil pan gasket, filters, etc. I did the work while he guided me. I've owned airhead for years (since 76) and done work on them without a hitch so i know how to use turque wrenches, proper sequence for torquing head bolts and such but this is my first modern bike. Everything went well and we wound up swapping out 9 buckets that were too tight. Some we simply swapped around and 6 were replaced with new units. In three we had to go with slightly over on the lose side due to the .05 size limits on the bucket sizes. We got it all back together, torquing everything to spec and started her up and ran her for about 15-20 seconds and everything seemed fine. After they left I put the remaining tupperwear back on the next morning and on new years day I decided to go for a ride. On leaving out I noticed it smoking but since it had been on the side stand over night I wasnít worried. About a ľ mile down the road it was still smoking and when I stopped at a light a few blocks later I noticed a lot of smoke coming form the front of the engine and could smell hot oil. I quickly headed back home and when I parked her in the garage I noticed a puddle of oil form under the front of the engine. Damn Damn Damn!!!

After much cussing and being just generally bummed I started looking around and I discovered I had failed to replace the screw in the timing cover we had removed to hold the tensioner while removing and replacing the cam shafts! the oil on the back of the front fender confirmed that's where the oil was coming from so I replaced the screw and checked the oil level. I topped it off, which took around 2 thirds of a quart bringing the oil level in the sight glass to around half way between the bottom of the red circle and the center dot. Note that this was with the bike on the side stand. When I started her up the smoking stopped, even with revving it to around 3K a number of times.

Then last night I was cleaning up the oil around the bottom of the engine then I started her up again, and within 30 seconds it started smoking again plus spitting what seems to be rather a lot of water with flecks of black onto the garage floor and after a minute or so oil smoke started coming off the front of the engine again and I noticed more drops of oil on the floor which had not happened the day before. Even after running it for a good few minutes it still continued to smoke, rather a lot it seemed, and it just seemed to get worse.

So:
1: why would it have not smoked the day before and then started smoking out the tailpipe again lat night as well as drip more oil? It does seem logical, if its smoking because something went wrong with the work, it should be consistent.
and
2: do I risk the 30 mile ride to the dealer or have it transported there and have them tear it down? Which means I wind up paying the majority of the $1200 for a full service plus whatever other damage was done by my bone-headed desire to save myself the cost of having them do it in the first place.

And I still canít figure out this oil level check business. When I looked last night I couldnít see any oil in the sight glass, yet after running it last night I then checked the glass after about 5 minutes and the oil was back up to 1 / 3?????
Note all this was on the side stand because I still canít get the damn pig up on the center stand by myself.

In thinking back I realize I made another possibly fatal mistake because we were running late and the guy helping me needed to leave so we didnít recheck the clearances.

Needless to say Iím pretty bummed and worried that Iíve toasted it and I still got 6K left on the loan.

Anybody what to buy a toasted pig?

RM

I ride because I look funny walking!
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post #2 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:29 am
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Get someone to help you put it on the center stand and check the oil level. If you are filling it to center of glass on the side stand you are overfilling it. The higher the level of oil and the combination of setting on the side stand will make one smoke for some time. Also the smoke from the front of the engine could be oil on hot engine or headers. Hope this is all that is wrong.

Mickey
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post #3 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:31 am
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I am not by any stretch qualified to guess what is wrong but I can say I am very sorry that what ever happened happened. I am also a little nervous because I just decided to start doing some of my own service, to try and save some money

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post #4 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:48 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARNEYM
Get someone to help you put it on the center stand and check the oil level. If you are filling it to center of glass on the side stand you are overfilling it. The higher the level of oil and the combination of setting on the side stand will make one smoke for some time. Also the smoke from the front of the engine could be oil on hot engine or headers. Hope this is all that is wrong.

Mickey
thats why I was only filling it to 1/3 up from the bottom of the circle or about half way between the lower edge and the little dot, figured that would take it to the right level when on the center stand. the other thing is that id did NOT smoke the first time right after topping it off and last night, when I had not added any addtional oil. It just seems inconsistant, if something went back together wrong (like a misplaced shim making one valve too tight) it should smoke every time, shouldn't it?? and what's with the water coming out the exshaust?? I know there should be a little, at least at first, condensation in pipes when cold, but constantly?? We did drain and refill the radiator with fresh 50/50 mixture and other non-motor related work as well, but that shouldn't make the bike smoke.

My airhead is so much simpler!

RM

I ride because I look funny walking!
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post #5 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:54 am
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Trying to say yourself some bucks with this bike is not a bad thing. I have a quick question though, when you put the valve cover and valve cover gasket back on, there are several places on the block that need to have a dab of gasket seal added. Were those pointed out before you put the gasket and cover back on?

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post #6 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:56 am
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The bike will always spit black crud out of the tail pipe till it warms up, it's just condensation mixed with carbon, that's why it looks like oil. I bet the other smoking is the residual oil burning off.

Without actually looking at the bike, I think you may be ok. You did you some sort of gasket seal on the spots indicated for the valve cover gasket? Especially at the junctures on the front? One final word, if you forgot to torque the recessed bolt of the valve cover (a few of us have) you'll continue to to lose oil.



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post #7 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:56 am
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Sounds like you need to pull the tupperware on that side and look around.

You may have a leak at the valve cover gasket.

I know when I leave mine setting for a long time, It takes quite a while for it to stop smoking.

Blowing a little water and a little soot is pretty normal for these bikes.

I don't believe you've screwed up too bad. I'll bet you just got oil all over the engine.

If it's running at all then you did the valve check right.

Have faith. Get her cleaned up and take her for a ride. I'll bet shell be fine.

Good Luck

John

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post #8 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:59 am
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You did say that you knew the proper sequence for torquing head bolts. Did you by chance re-torque the head bolts. If so you could have cracked a head gasket. I think the results would be smoke and water in the tailpipe.
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post #9 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:02 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gglove
I am not by any stretch qualified to guess what is wrong but I can say I am very sorry that what ever happened happened. I am also a little nervous because I just decided to start doing some of my own service, to try and save some money
I hear ya, but don't let it put you off from trying, just take your time and don't let yourself get rushed, like i did.things got delayed putting it back together cause it took so long to get the new buckets due to traffic coming back from the shop. As a result, I failed to double check the clearances after the cams went back on, something I ALWAYS have done when working on my airheads. Rotate the engine thru a full 360 and recheck, very very basic step that I blew!

RM

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post #10 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:10 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CARNEYM
You did say that you knew the proper sequence for torquing head bolts. Did you by chance re-torque the head bolts. If so you could have cracked a head gasket. I think the results would be smoke and water in the tailpipe.
nope we only did the cap nuts, I can say this with confidence cause we only used one size socket and only worked on the camshaft nuts, the reference to the head bolts was only that I know head/camshaft/cover bolts need to be done in a criss-cross pattern. The guy helping me is a mechanic by trade and knows his stuff. That was way I was willing to try this as I knew he is very competent.

RM

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post #11 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:12 am
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My money is on a "missed sealant" at crucial cover spots.. Your bike is "okay"....

However, you will need to pull tupperware and the valve cover again....

As for the "water" coming out of the exhaust.. that is normal. However, if it is GREEN then it is "coolant"...and that would be expen$ive.

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post #12 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:12 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
Trying to say yourself some bucks with this bike is not a bad thing. I have a quick question though, when you put the valve cover and valve cover gasket back on, there are several places on the block that need to have a dab of gasket seal added. Were those pointed out before you put the gasket and cover back on?
yes, in the half-moons on the front, we put a dab of sealant in the center. We also removed any old sealant from the head and cover.

RM

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post #13 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:22 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
My money is on a "missed sealant" at crucial cover spots.. Your bike is "okay"....

However, you will need to pull tupperware and the valve cover again....

As for the "water" coming out of the exhaust.. that is normal. However, if it is GREEN then it is "coolant"...and that would be expen$ive.
nope not green, clear with flecks of black. Not oil, I checked them out very closely by catching some on white paper and it was solid particles suspended in water.

I'm am going to remove the tupperwere on left side lower and wipe down the engine carefully and get a new washer and screw since the one that was there was a torx where as the rest are hex head. Unfortunately I don't have service records from PO and have noted he did a lot of addtional work on it. Lots of extra wiring for signals and Ipod type stuff and tupperwere screws are kind of a mixed bag some are even hex heads, go figure.

RM

I ride because I look funny walking!
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post #14 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:23 am
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I got the same thing as you after doing the buckets. Spitting black and clear liquid with smoke and an oil drip.
But that was over 4k ago and the bike runs better than before the job. I know I didnt have the leak before, but the rest I probebly had and didn't take much notice of.
I would put money on you being OK.

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post #15 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:30 am
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I agree with John, I don't think you did anything to hurt it but you are going to have to take the tupperware off again.

To get it on the centerstand by yourself back it up onto a piece of 3/4" plywood or a piece of 1x4, put in neutral and it should just snap right up onto centerstand.

Once you get the plastic off you can see where you are leaking, but if you blew 2/3's of a quart of oil out you probably have oil all over the engine.
The reason it didn't smoke after you cleaned it up the first time was it took awhile for the oil to drip back down from the engine and anywhere else it might have been, so now it smokes again.

BTW according to the manual 1/2 way in the sightglass on the sidestand corresponds to MAX. on the centerstand.

Hope everything works out but I think you are OK!!

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post #16 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:32 am
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There are two more spots than just the half moons on the front of the engine. If you look closely, you will see two small metal to metal meet points just above and below the half moons on the front of the engine. You have to put sealant there also. I think that's where the water pump meets the engine block, but it might be something else.

OBTW, I've got to work in the DC area this weekend. And will definitely be free after about 12:30 on Saturday and possibly Sunday afternoon. Would you like to get together? I can show you the trick for getting this baby up on the centerstand. PM me with your numbers.

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post #17 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 10:03 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
There are two more spots than just the half moons on the front of the engine. If you look closely, you will see two small metal to metal meet points just above and below the half moons on the front of the engine. You have to put sealant there also. I think that's where the water pump meets the engine block, but it might be something else.

OBTW, I've got to work in the DC area this weekend. And will definitely be free after about 12:30 on Saturday and possibly Sunday afternoon. Would you like to get together? I can show you the trick for getting this baby up on the centerstand. PM me with your numbers.
thanks for the offer. I'm taking it down to the local dealer after I clean it up again this evening and check or replace the cap screw so maybe I should just go ahead and replace the cover gasket, or depending on what the leak, if any is just ride it down and let them replace it? I have to take it down anyway since replacing the water temp sensor on the pump did not solve my problem with the temp gage. It pegs on full high as soon as I trun the key though the bike did not over heat the last ride before the work and I did around 200 miles that day, nor does the idiot light come on when I rode it but does light before starting and the fans are working. They may be able to fix the temp gage while I wait if they have the part in stock, if not I'll have to leave it so may not have it home this weekend.

RM

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post #18 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 10:19 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patroa1
I agree with John, I don't think you did anything to hurt it but you are going to have to take the tupperware off again.

To get it on the centerstand by yourself back it up onto a piece of 3/4" plywood or a piece of 1x4, put in neutral and it should just snap right up onto centerstand.

Once you get the plastic off you can see where you are leaking, but if you blew 2/3's of a quart of oil out you probably have oil all over the engine.
The reason it didn't smoke after you cleaned it up the first time was it took awhile for the oil to drip back down from the engine and anywhere else it might have been, so now it smokes again.

BTW according to the manual 1/2 way in the sightglass on the sidestand corresponds to MAX. on the centerstand.

Hope everything works out but I think you are OK!!
So then I should be OK since it is one third up. I still don't get why it doesn't show when cold but does after running it and letting it sit. (without adding anything) I understand about it going down while running since its pumping oil to the engine components, but it just seems that whether its overnight or five minutes after running after it should be the same. I know the manual says you have to first run the engine up to temp THEN check I just can't get a handle on the idea it goes down over time after running doesn't make any sense to me.

Coming from a 78 airhead to an LT, even after a year has been a real challenge! Even though I have finally started to get comforable with the weight of the beast at slow speeds and making smooth stops without panicking that its going to fall over in those last dozen feet, the last few days had me wondering if selling it and getting something lighter might be best. Esp since I don't do LD rides mostly just 300 or so miles in any given day or ride cause I like to stop often and take in the senary and shot photo's.

I do love the ride and having all the nice little features, but the size and cost issues, guess I'm still up in the air(head)!

Thanks for all the responses, quess I'll clean her us as best I can and have the shop check her out while they handle the temp gage issue.

RM

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post #19 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 11:15 am
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I understand. What dealer and what time are you taking it? Maybe I can give you the ride home if you need to leave the bike.

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post #20 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 12:12 pm Thread Starter
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I understand. What dealer and what time are you taking it? Maybe I can give you the ride home if you need to leave the bike.
thanks! sent you a PM with phone and info.

RM

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post #21 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 2:20 pm
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You can put a 3 foot long 2X4 behind the rear tire, stand the bike upright, put the center stand down, and while you back up, pull the bike up as it rises over the 2X4.

Make sure your tires are at normal pressure, for me 42 & 48.

Bob
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post #22 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 5:54 pm
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I bought the Clymers manual and will be working on the old girl over this winter. I found this site and it has given me the confidence to work on my own bike. I trust you have not fried your bike and all will be well with the guidance of the wise ones on this site!

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post #23 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 5:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_rocketman
I hear ya, but don't let it put you off from trying, just take your time and don't let yourself get rushed, like i did.things got delayed putting it back together cause it took so long to get the new buckets due to traffic coming back from the shop. As a result, I failed to double check the clearances after the cams went back on, something I ALWAYS have done when working on my airheads. Rotate the engine thru a full 360 and recheck, very very basic step that I blew!

RM
I bought the Clymers manual and will be working on the old girl over this winter. I found this site and it has given me the confidence to work on my own bike. I trust you have not fried your bike and all will be well with the guidance of the wise ones on this site!

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post #24 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 7:52 pm Thread Starter
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Well I have gotten back home and after removing the tupperware from the left side and the front spoiler and wiping down the motor I rolled it outside and started her up. I sat on her to keep her upright and after some minutes the rest of the oil burned off the engine and exhuast. The smoking from the tailpipe has diminished considerably and the engine still runs smooth without any excessive noise. I then rolled her back into the garage and checked the engine over real close. No oil leaks anywhere and she has been sitting over a clean spot and its been well over an hour now, even after a wipe down I can't see anywhere that's got fresh oil. So everything seems tight. I replaced the timing cover screw with a new one and new washer. So Saturday I'll take her around the block a few times and if everything remains good will head down to the dealer, have the temp gage looked at and have them take it for a test ride. Unless I'm really missing something I guess its not all bad, though I did find some stuff the PO buggered that I was able to fix while poking around today, humph!

So it seems I got overly panicky from lack of practice on these modern machines and let myself get rushed putting it back together. Whew!

Thanks again for all the comments and encouragement! I feel kinda silly right now, but hey I took a mighty big leap a year ago (from riding a 78 that had been my "new" bike for so many years, to the 99 LT!) guess I should have taken baby steps, but what fun is that? Ha Ha!

RM

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post #25 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:06 pm
 
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So it seems I got overly panicky from lack of practice on these modern machines and let myself get rushed putting it back together. Whew!

Thanks again for all the comments and encouragement! I feel kinda silly right now...
Rocketman, I bet there are very few folks here who did go through the same 'panic' you did the first (or seconds, or...) time they worked on their bike. I for one know I did... Heck, I count count the times I have freaked out in the garage and run in here and posted a frantic plea for help!

This thread points out two of my favorite things about this community - 1) the depth and breadth of technical knowledge, and 2) the gang's willingness to jump right in and help.
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post #26 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:09 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gulfxray
Rocketman, I bet there are very few folks here who did go through the same 'panic' you did the first (or seconds, or...) time they worked on their bike. I for one know I did... Heck, I count count the times I have freaked out in the garage and run in here and posted a frantic plea for help!

This thread points out two of my favorite things about this community - 1) the depth and breadth of technical knowledge, and 2) the gang's willingness to jump right in and help.
+5 on that!

RM

I ride because I look funny walking!
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post #27 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 8:19 pm
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The first time I adjusted my valves, fired it up and heard the noise, I thought I was gonna lock up.... till the cam tension adjuster filled with oil.



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post #28 of 32 Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 9:52 pm
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Your Oil problem

I am not any expert but I have a couple of things to share with you based on my experiences. Firstly are you using synthetic oil. Synthetic oil seems to expand considerably when it warms up. This will explain the difference in oil level from cold to warm. I've never looked up the expansion characteristics, but it is considerable on synthetic that I have used.
Secondly, I have a new 2007 LT and it will even spit black shit out a bit. Also on my 2007, the oil level must be in the circle when warm and standing straight.
I think it is highly unlikely that having the valves out of adjustment a bit can hurt the engine unless a valve has hit the top of the cylinder.
If a valve has hit the top of the cylinder and possibly made a small hole, you would see lots of blowby. I doubt this is the case.
Hope all works out well for you.
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post #29 of 32 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 6:25 pm Thread Starter
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The further adventures of Rocketman: Final chapter:

Well I got the oil cleaned off the engine and put the left side tupperware back and this morning I headed down to the dealer at 7:30 in 24 deg temps. After 4-5 miles of taking it easy, everything seemed OK , no smoking or oil drips so I hopped on the slab for a nice 35 mile run at speed. Got her up to 80 and locked her in and by the time I got to the dealer still no signs of leaks or blowing oil. They looked her over and gave it the thumbs up so I had them look into the failed temp gage. Took a while to trace the problem but it turns out the PO had pinched the signal wire from the sensor when replacing the timing cover at some point! Not sure why he ever had it off as it only had 30K on it when I got it, but what the hey. It had taken 11.5 months and 25K miles since I got her for it too finally snap the last little bit. So 385 bux later she is all back to snuf and running great as before. Guess I'll keep her!

We also figured why she is hard to put up on the centerstand, the PO put a short rear shock on her so she sits a good bit lower meaning more travel to heft her up on the stand. So I'm going to make a little ramp from a 1x4 cut and nailed together to make a little platform I can ride her rear wheel up on for putting her on the centerstand. I figure I can make it such that it can live in the bottom of the trunk and not take up any real space so I'll have it should I need it on the road such as checking oil or or (god forbid) a flat. Figure as I get comfortable with putting her up on the centerstand with the asist I can get to a point i won't need it, but until I get comfortable I'll have that to help. And when it comes time to replace the rear shock I'll go back to stock as I don't need it lower than stock and it will give me more ground clearance, speed bumps are a PITA if they are just a tad taller than most and when they got right to the curb.

So all is well....thanks again for all the help and support and from that I figured I'd pony up and join in supporting the forum by signing up with a paid membership!

So I guess you all are stuck with me now! Ha Ha!

RM

I ride because I look funny walking!
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post #30 of 32 Old Jan 5th, 2008, 6:31 pm
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Good to hear this, now your really going to get to love the bike. Personally I can't enjoy it till I KNOW it's going to get me to where I am going - you have that now!

"Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" Mark Twain


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post #31 of 32 Old Feb 9th, 2008, 10:11 pm
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Am I ready to start up after valve adjustment?

I'm glad your adjustment worked out OK, Rocketman.

I just got through replacing 7 buckets. I did the camshaft zip tie procedure and have the camshafts back on and cap nuts torqued down properly. Camshaft bolts through the sprockets are torqued and I replaced the cover screw.

All valve clearances checked again and they back in spec.

I've had so much drama trying to remove my swingarm that I've lost confidence and I'm paranoid about the valves hitting the pistons, even though I didn't move the crankshaft.

If I can rotate the engine with the rear tire when checking valves as I usually do I should be good to go, right? (I couldn't turn it if it was out of time without the engine binding when a piston and valve met, correct?)

I'm sorry to ask a stupid question, but the LT has been beating up on me this week and this is the first time I've removed the camshafts.

Thanks, guys!

Joe

EncoreJoe

"Ride, boldly ride, ... If you seek for Eldorado!"

'10 Triumph Tiger 1050
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post #32 of 32 Old Feb 10th, 2008, 8:49 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
The bike will always spit black crud out of the tail pipe till it warms up, it's just condensation mixed with carbon, that's why it looks like oil.
Mine does this every time. I was worried at first, but it stops eventually and runs just fine.


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