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Discussion Starter #1
MY BIKE DIED THIS MORNING!!!

Was cruising at around 75mph, doing 5k rpm, when I thought I could hear a clattering sound over the noise of the pipes / wind. I slowed down and the noise got louder, then really loud, then the engine "clunked" and died. All of this happened within about 5 seconds, tops.

The back tyre didn't lock-up at all and I kept the bike coasting as far as I could (I was only 5 mins from work). I couldn't see inside the fairings, but the bike smelled oily. However, there wasn't any signs of oil on the road, bike or back tyre.

Luckily, a collegue, who lives close to me, was five minutes behind me and he stopped when he saw me. He has a tray-back ute, so he continued to work, got another guy and a scaffold plank and came back to load the bike up.

I've had a look at it in the daylight and I still can't see any signs of oil leaking anywhere. The oil appears to be low (below the minimum line), but the bike is on the centre stand, so it's not quite accurate. There is some there. When I checked it a couple of days ago (off the stand), it was just above the line. The oil light hasn't come at all.

I have no idea what I've broken. I'm not game to try to kick it over in case I do any more damage. I would have suggested it's siezed, but the back tyre never locked-up, so I've ruled that out (I'm no mechanic, but that just seems logical to me on a bike that doesn't have a slipper clutch).

Anyone with knowledge have any ideas??? No nonsense stuff, please, this is going to cost me $$$$ and I don't even know how to break it to Mrs Tree. We really can't afford this. It's not something I'm going to be able to fix myself. I'd like to be able to give her some probabilities so she doesn't stress out too much.

Thanks in advance...
 

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wow sorry to hear that bro, to me it sounds like someting to do with the cam chain, tensioner could have let go and caused it to jump time, its hard to diag from across the big pond but i would recomend pulling the valve cover and taking i look inside, you can also drain the oil into a pan and look for any metal and hope you dont find any. you are rite to not try to kick it over just incase.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sscottab said:
wow sorry to hear that bro, to me it sounds like someting to do with the cam chain, tensioner could have let go and caused it to jump time, its hard to diag from across the big pond but i would recomend pulling the valve cover and taking i look inside, you can also drain the oil into a pan and look for any metal and hope you dont find any. you are rite to not try to kick it over just incase.
Thanks, mate. Draining the oil is probably about as far as I'd be willing to take things myself.

One of Mrs Tree's collegues used to own the local bike shop, so I'll give him a call. He's done minor work on the 250 for us, but mightn't want to get too deep into this one.
 

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Agree it probably did sound as if a piston was about to weld up, though I feel it could be the cam chain & tensioner have screwed up. As you have a friend that use to have a shop then good chance he can come up with better answers as he will be right there at the scene. Sorry to hear this, but these things do happen to so many of us. Tap wood that it has not happend since way back in the 80s.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Smitty said:
Agree it probably did sound as if a piston was about to weld up, though I feel it could be the cam chain & tensioner have screwed up. As you have a friend that use to have a shop then good chance he can come up with better answers as he will be right there at the scene. Sorry to hear this, but these things do happen to so many of us. Tap wood that it has not happend since way back in the 80s.
Thanks, Smitty. I think "the friend" is def going to be the way to go. Hopefully, he's keen.

Would you believe, this is the first time in my driving / riding career that I've had a mechanical breakdown in a vehicle! Not that I've babied them, they just learn to take the punishment I guess.
 

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that sucks!!! I had an older ZX9, it lost a rod bearing but it never threw the rod it still ran when I sold it but it made a deep knocking noise.:(
 

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I hate to say it, but you're looking at either an engine rebuild, or a replacement engine either way.

I'd suggest seeing if someone can bore-scope your engine - that way you might be able to tell if there is major valvetrain and piston damage before tearing into the engine. The labor for a rebuild is the expensive part, and depending on the number of parts that need to be replaced, you may be better off swapping the engine out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mister Tee said:
I hate to say it, but you're looking at either an engine rebuild, or a replacement engine either way.

I'd suggest seeing if someone can bore-scope your engine - that way you might be able to tell if there is major valvetrain and piston damage before tearing into the engine. The labor for a rebuild is the expensive part, and depending on the number of parts that need to be replaced, you may be better off swapping the engine out.
I'm hoping things aren't that drastic, but I guess we won't know until the thing comes apart.

If I can get "the friend" to do the job for me the labour cost will be less than a mechanic, but the time taken to fix it will be longer as he works as a teacher. Of course, depending on what days he worked on it, I'd be available to assist as much as possible, which might speed things up.

I really don't want it to be off the road for too long.





Thanks for your help, everyone. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update...

Okay, so I started taking fairings off this morning to try to get a look "inside". Things have gone from bad to really f*cking bad.

First thing I noticed was a bit of oil on the pipes under the front of the engine. Then, nestled amongst the pipes, I found this...





Here's a pic of the front of the engine, showing the oil and the area that the piece came from. Anyone know what componentry area this is and what the piece might be from???

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, things have gone from very f*cking bad to disasterous...

After studying a few online diagrams, it would appear that I've broken the front of the crankcase open, right above the oil pan.
 

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sorry to see that. It looks like you may have thrown a rod. depending on how bad the case is (it looks really bad from the pic) and how much you can get a donor engine for, there is a company called "kustom craft" that fixed a dirtbike engine I had once that threw the rod through the bottom of the case. I don't know how much it cost the bike had been repaired before I bought it. "poorwboy" is the one that had it fixed maybe he could help.:(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
sportrider_fz6 said:
sorry to see that. It looks like you may have thrown a rod. depending on how bad the case is (it looks really bad from the pic) and how much you can get a donor engine for, there is a company called "kustom craft" that fixed a dirtbike engine I had once that threw the rod through the bottom of the case. I don't know how much it cost the bike had been repaired before I bought it. "poorwboy" is the one that had it fixed maybe he could help.:(
Might be a bit too far to trailer it to get it fixed. ;)

Def some serious internal damage judging by the hole in the crankcase. :crying:

Depending on cost, I'd rather go through a rebuild than a swap. At least then I'd know everything was fresh, instead of potentially buying more problems.
 

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Honestly Cookee I really do not want to say anything yet, BUT that looks like a serious matter for what went on inside the power-plant can only be found out by pulling the power-plant out of the machine & stripping it down to & yes splitting the case for you do not know if it is just a piston matter, or deeper down to the crank as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Smitty said:
Honestly Cookee I really do not want to say anything yet, BUT that looks like a serious matter for what went on inside the power-plant can only be found out by pulling the power-plant out of the machine & stripping it down to & yes splitting the case for you do not know if it is just a piston matter, or deeper down to the crank as well.
Thanks, mate. I'm beyond questioning which piece exactly that I've broken. I know it's f*cked and will required a lot of work and $$$ to fix.

I reckon I've already done a good job of "splitting the case". ;)
 

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Ohhh Cookee, I am SO sorry to hear of this misfortune, especially since you just got the bike a few weeks ago. That is a real bummer.

ZX-11/ZZR-1100's are known to have a weak spot regarding insufficient lubrication to the #3 rod. This was more prevelant on the earlier 1990-1993 C models than the D model you have. Not sure if it is the #3 rod that came apart on your bike, but this might explain it. It's a common enough problem that a company here in the U.S. makes an oil-bypass kit to help with the problem:

http://www.mrturbo.com/products/oilbp.html

A google search on keywords "ZX-11" and "rod" will yield more information.

I don't have such a kit on my ZX-11, but have had no problems whatsoever with 40,000 miles on the clock. However, a friend of mine with a 1988 ZX-10 (the predecessor to the ZX-11, upon which the engine is heavily based) did experience a #3 rod failure. He gave me the bike, I paid a shop about $1500 in parts/labor to get it fixed. I saved about $350 by buying the parts through a wholesaler. (this was 13 years ago) In the ZX-10's situation, the rod was only "thrown", and did not come out of the case like yours. I can't imagine that a rebuild of your magnitude would be less than $2500-$3000.

Regardless, you are correct about a very expensive fix being in store. The cheapest option is definitely an engine swap for a used motor, which are plentiful. That option should cost about 1/2 as much as a rebuild.

Again, my condolences for your misfortune Cookee. I hope you find a way to get the big ZZR back on the road soon and wish you luck in finding an affordable way to do so.
 

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The part that came loose on your bike Cookee was one of several engine mounting brackets. Not a connecting rod, yet. You can see the casting simply fragged. So I agree with others that you are looking at a replacement power-plant. It will probably be quicker & faster to getting your back on the road.

Sometimes the casting was not of he quality as demanded by the engineers. Like last winter I was with a Full House PPC revolver (these are basically S&W Model 10 or also called M&P standing for Military & Police VASTLY modified with much larger dia bbl that was slab sided, double action only with 5.5lbs trigger pull & just so many more modifactions & work carried out on it). Suddenly the cylinder blew apart to also buckle up the upper part of the frame. Much like an accidental double or triple load, but not so for the gun was sold to the Brinks Guard people, in Cdn., in 1932 so it was an old casting & some yrs ago one of the head S&W people said to not use heavy loads on any S&W revolver of '84 & older because the castings were not up to the modern castings---steel--- of the modern days). Still your mounting bracket is not like that being alloy & so much more still just thought I would point it out for our power power plant are not made from billet alloy but mainly cast alloy & the same goes back way in history of the original days of m/cs like over in the UK, USA, & Europe.

For a winter project your might split the engine & see if it can be rebuilt at a decent price & so by a back-up power plant if ever(?) needed.

Good chance the bike will require a different exhaust system as there is a fair amount of rust on the present one.

I have seen photos of some amazing welding jobs that were hard to believe, but in all cases they were basically singles or vertical twins as so often used in Vintage road racing to Vintage flat tracing & have lost my source as he passed away some yrs ago. For some of us older sods do tend to pass away as time does comes upon us.
 

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Wow cookee, really sorry to hear it since you just got the beast and all. Hope things work out the best they can and you're back on the road again as fast as possible. At least the zzr250 is still around for you to borrow from Mrs. Tree (if she'll part with it ;) ).

Sometimes you just have to believe that things like this happen for a reason. Maybe it's good you didn't make it all the way to work that day. Who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
zxrider said:
Ohhh Cookee, I am SO sorry to hear of this misfortune, especially since you just got the bike a few weeks ago. That is a real bummer.

ZX-11/ZZR-1100's are known to have a weak spot regarding insufficient lubrication to the #3 rod. This was more prevelant on the earlier 1990-1993 C models than the D model you have. Not sure if it is the #3 rod that came apart on your bike, but this might explain it. It's a common enough problem that a company here in the U.S. makes an oil-bypass kit to help with the problem...
Thanks, mate. I was hoping I'd hear from you. I'm still bummed that it's gone kaput so soon, but I've now gone into "let's fix it" mode, so I'm not dwelling on things too much.

The oil starvation problem sounds just right. Oil was already low, which would have compounded the problem. I'll be sure to keep the oil up to the next engine. That kit sounds like a good idea, but you have to ship your oil pan to them for them to do the machining work. Found a few other sites that discuss mod's, so I may look into it in the future. I've also got light cams in my engine, which I'd like to swap over, but won't happen for a while.

The only donor engine I've found so far (only just started looking) is going for AUD$3000 (US$2520). It'd cost me another AUD$500 (US$420) to have them fit it. It's not something I'd try to do myself. I just don't have enough confidence in my mech know-how.


Smitty - I've since found the hole in the front of the crankcase where the piece came from. It's taken a bit of the top of the oil pan with it, which is what the bolt is holding. There's no chance of rebuilding it. It'll only be good for parts (or a boat anchor) now. We don't get cold enough in winter to stop riding, so I don't want to make a project of it. I just want it fixed.


'Caps - Thanks, mate. Hopefully, I won't be out for too long. I don't want to ride the 250 to work anymore. It was killing it before, which is why I finally jumped at a bigger bike. I was lucky that I had someone to help me out on the day. I owe him several beers.



Thanks everyone for your condolences and input. I'll be sure to post up pic's of the rebuild and the damage down to the old motor. :thumbs2:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Took my poor girl to the "doctor" yesterday for a heart transplant. Should be back on the road middle of next week.

I put some new rubber on the back on the way, so when she's fixed, she'll be good to go. :thumb:
 
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