Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Winchester, OR, USA
Re-building my Dragon
It's a long story but the bottom line is I threw the rod cap on cylinder one over Labor Day weekend. The rod cap got pushed through the top of the block. It appears I broke a rod cap bolt. Found the bolt with the nut still on it in the case upon disassembly. Only notice I had that something was going wrong was a little knock that went away when I added more oil. Came upon some slower traffic, downshifted and BAM! Luckily I had the clutch pulled in so I just coasted over to the edge of the road.
After being quoted $12,500 for a new motor by the local BMW dealer, I thought I would just part it out. That's where ErineA on this website comes in. Ernie had me over a few years ago to teach me how to do the 12K maintenance including the valve check. I purchased a lift and modified it to lift the Dragon (my trike). I've done all my own maintenance ever since. It is yet to be determined if I did or did not do something that lead to the failure. I was whining to him about my predicament. He felt we could re-build her for a third of that price. So, I took my lift to Ernies, and we started disassembly while I looked for a used engine. Found one from LTPARTS.COM with about 40K on her. Mine had 58K, 24K when she was triked. Ordered a butt load of parts from Denver BMW (they gave me the best discount and free shipping). It sure is nice to have mechanically skilled friends.
About this time, after completely removing ALL of the body parts, my wife asked me if I was going to have the Dragon painted while she was all in pieces. I said, "Sure, what color would you like?" We settled on deep red metallic with gold metallic trim (Think Ironman colors) The Dragon was an 05 in light yellow metallic. I also removed the wheels, fork tubes, ABS wheel ring on the front, engine covers, foot brake pedal and Ztechnic arm rest supports and took them to be powder coated to match the trim color. There are 21 trim pieces to be painted and 23 body panels to be painted. Got an $1800 quote for this work from a friend who manages a major collision center in Bend, OR. My wife also has a Viking Diamond Embroidery Machine and we have modified a few designs to have Dragons put on the back rests and knee pads. A local auto upolsterer is cutting out the material, then we will put on the designs and they will re-assemble.
Ernie and I continue to work on the bike but slowly, as Ernie also works for UPS and this is the busy time of the year for them. Existing or planned work includes: new valve guide seals,polishing the ports, cleaning & re-assembly of the existing head; rebuild of the oil/water pump; new clutch & pressure plate; drilling the weep hole; new fork seals; new front wheel bearings; replace all of the engine bearings in the used motor; new pistons, rods & rings as needed; replace the rear shocks; replace the fuel transfer pump for the auxiliary tank; and add LED lighting for accents. I'm sure I forgot a few things but basically, she'll be rebuilt for the ground up. We have been taking extensive pictures of the tear down & re-assembly. I'm sure Ernie will post more. Look for a thread called "Inside your engine" in the main LT forum category. We will post pictures upon completion of our project. The Dragon should roar back to life by late March or early April.
Wish us luck.
2005 K1200LT with a 2007 Hannigan Trike Kit "The Dragon"
It is not wise to meddle in the affairs of Dragons for thou art crunchy and good with katsup.