Woe is me

firecracker22

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#1
Well, my FIRST EVER major bike repair is now staring me in the face. I have to do the top and bottom end on the KTM.

Don't ask me how it happened, all of a sudden it got REAL loud and clattery sounding and that was that. Tore it apart and the bottom edge of one side of the piston skirt was broken, the crank bearing was toast, and there were all kinds of metal shavings in the bottom. PLUS, I accidentally screwed up the clutch basket tearing it apart. Stupid chick trying to be a mechanic. Oh well.

I can't figure out why it would happen, since I did everything I knew how to be a good bike mommy. It got swamped last Memorial Day weekend, but I drained it and changed the oil and it has had a lot of miles put on it between then and now. I figured if that was a problem, it would have happened before now but who knows.

Oh well. ON the brighter side:
-The cylinder is ok, won't have to be bored.
-The transmission is ok--I was worried that the noises were from broken gear teeth
-Um, that's all I can think of.
 

CaptainObvious

Formally known as RV6Junkie
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#2
firecracker22 said:
I can't figure out why it would happen, since I did everything I knew how to be a good bike mommy.
Relax Sharla...you ARE a good bike mommy. Broken pistons have little to do with how the bikes are treated...these things just happen.

You will need to split the case and replace the crank bearing...but that's a good thing because you can reassemble the top end knowing that the bottom end is up to the task.

Now repeat after me, "I am a good bike mommy, I am a good bike mommy"

Feel better?
 

Jaybird

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#3
Look at it this way; it could have waited until the middle of September to throw craps on ya.
Like rv said, these thing happen. You will be such a proud momma after break-in, especially if part of the fix is your own handiwork.

And, you know where to come to get some of the best advise available!

Good luck!
 

jmics19067

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#4
Relax dirt bike mommy all 3 year olds have temper tantrums now and then but with patience, care, love , and steadfastness they all will be stronger afterwards
 

firecracker22

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#5
Ha hahaha she BETTER be better afterwards. We split the cases afterwards, and looking at my manual (do not have a print version, only the PDF file) I see that a special tool would have saved my clutch basket. Oh well now I know.

Here's a question for you: why did my crank bolt, the one on the inside (on the other side from all the gears) spin all the threads off it when we took it off? I do not know how that happened. We knew it was a left hand thread, it wasn't like we were trying to turn it the wrong way. Could it have gotten frozen on there? By the looks of the crank and rod, things got REALLY hot in there at some point. Hopefully the guy who will do the crank and rod can fix it. I felt really stupid after doing that.

Next question: is OEM really THAT much better than aftermarket when it comes to pistons? I know in the world of hot rodding, aftermarket was better but it seems the prevailing opinion in the motorcycle world is that stock is better.
 

GETMETOCA

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#6
You can do it Sharla! I have a lot of faith in you. I'm also going to use your learning experience as a goal for myself as I tend to get things done the easy way (buy some imported beer and invite a good mechanic over, lol). Make sure you tell us how it goes.
 

Rich Rohrich

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#7
firecracker22 said:
Next question: is OEM really THAT much better than aftermarket when it comes to pistons? I know in the world of hot rodding, aftermarket was better but it seems the prevailing opinion in the motorcycle world is that stock is better.
Sharla - The aftermarket replacement pistons for the KTM are every bit as reliable as the OEM piston and a whole lot cheaper. Same goes for gaskets and a few other parts.
 

bclapham

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#8
Sharla: check to see if Wiseco makes the crank for that bike, since they are so much cheaper, its the same price as a new rod kit and labour. motosportoutlet has outragious deals on a complete kit with mains and seals.

also, dont forget Eric- he is going full steam into engine rebuilds- ive done a couple of bottom ends and its no trouble to me, but at the prices Eric is charging and the deals he is giving on parts i am not going to bother doing it myself next time around.
 

Brian

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#9
Tell me about it. My KTM is in pieces as we speak. It will be getting a new crank, crank bearings, crank seals, rod, lower end bearing, and assorted gaskets. Like I can afford that!
 

kmccune

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#11
firecracker22 said:
. Stupid chick trying to be a mechanic.

So whats the difference between stupid chick and stupid me trying to be a mechanic :)
Take it slow, look at all the pictures in the manual, ask questions and pretty soon your done :thumb:

You can do it :yeehaw:
 

firecracker22

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#12
Hahaha on the manual. The KTM manual is NOT informative. The exploded views of the various components are much more helpful than the shop manual.

I was told that Wiseco, etc. aftermarket pistons are sandcast, and stock pistons are forged or some other process that is better than cast but not as expensive as forged, hence the quality difference. Is that true?

Ok, here are some prices, which are actually better than what I was imagining (these are all from the KTM dealer):
-New crank/rod/bearing assembly: $280 (only $30 more than the rod/bearing kit, now isn't that wierd)
-Piston/rings/pin: $105
-Main bearings: $35 & $58
-Gasket/seal set: $111

Really, that isn't too bad, considering Wiseco piston kits for the 25 year old Yama-Hog were $130+. Can I really get this stuff significantly cheaper? Part of my willingness to go OEM is a sense of loyalty to my dealer, who owns a very small shop, and puts up with me asking a LOT of questions.

I'd LOVE to have Eric do it, and take it out to a 220 like Fe_Princess's, but the shipping alone would be too much, nevermind the labor. This way, I can buy the parts one at a time as money permits, and put it together in steps. Plus I get all the learning experience! :uh:

I've put car motors together before, but never a two-stroke. In some ways they're kind of more of a PITA than a good Ford V8 is.

Natalie, I will post in depth progress notes.
 

bclapham

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#13
Sharla:

just give Eric a call and see what the costs will be for the whole package with shipping. i spoke to him the otherday about similar work and the prices on parts was a lot less than you have up there.
 

Michelle

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#15
Sharla, my sympathies :(

I'd be interested to hear if it is in-part due to the swimming lesson you gave the bike. I tried giving mine a swimming lesson a couple of weeks ago, but it did the same as I did as a kid - sat on the bottom. Henk's told me not to worry about the bottom end as we got all the water & crud out, but I dunno, I'm still nervous. I'd rather do it now than face a major in a while. It was due a top end anyway, so that's not the issue. Oh, and I thought the water looked clean till we started tearing her apart to see if we could restart it (no way in hell, she was definitely not a happy chica).