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Author Topic: Engine Problems  (Read 8106 times)

Ofcalipka

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Engine Problems
« on: October 25, 2007, 07:27:18 PM »
I've had a 2005 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Military since 2005 bought it brand new from the dealer while they were still selling them here in Hawaii and have put about 4200 miles on it since.  Since then it has been down for repair almost a year of the two years I've owned it.  The original engine blew up and had to be replaced due to a factory defect in the casting.  Oh well it happens, besides the warranty was excellent.  Now after several hundred miles on the new engine I am losing oil like crazy out of the breather hose, the tappets require adjusting every 100 miles and now after just a short ride of about 20 miles 15 of which on the freeway at about 55-60 mph the exhaust valve burned, seized, then got whacked by the piston and bent, AARGGHH.
The mechanical mods I've done were to remove all the EGR stuff as the tube from the exhaust over the engine melted the first time I rode it and I replaced the exhaust with the performance exhaust.  I then replaced the breather assembly with two lines routed up to the frame under the seat and back down by the pannier box.  I was thinking gravity would pull the oil back into the engine but sadly no.  I was thinking of trying to add a set of check valves onto these lines to act as a type of PCV but still debating and researching this.  Also I had the dealer re-jet the carb.  I am planning on replacing the valves, guides, and valve springs with the performance ones as well as putting better pushrods in and also putting the HO oil pump in the bike to help with cooling and better lube.  Does anyone have any other ideas or suggestions for me so that I can enjoy the ride more than enjoying the repair.  I'm not looking to build a racing bike or reinvent the wheel here nor do I have vast financial resources at my disposal.  I just want to be able to ride the 20 or so miles into work everyday and a few extra on the weekends with my friends without having to rebuild the bike every 100 miles.  I'll be looking forward to everyones comments, suggestions, input, hate mail, and whatever.
Aloha
"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." - Steven Wright

2005 Royal Enfeild Bullet 500 Military,
2006 HD Springer softail 1450,
1980 Puch Maxi,
1995 Ural 650
1978 Peugeot 103 SP
2000 BMW R 1150 RT P

Wahiawa,  HI

Sam

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 08:50:33 PM »
The hose that comes off the left side of the engine is the breather. The one that comes off the right side is a return, not a breather; it's supposed to receive oil from the separator thing that you removed, and get it back into the tank. Oil will come out of there; lots of it. You can cork off or plug that hole with no down side.

As for the real breather, back when the design was new it had a duckbill thing that blew any oil that came out (and it's not much) onto the chain. Other bikes and cars just had a road tube or draft tube that dumped whatever came out onto the ground; this will work fine, and contrary to what you might hear, it's a net outflow so it won't suck air and crap back into the engine when it's running (really; trust those of us who remember such things), at least if you have a decent length of tubing; it's crankcase pumping from the piston going up and down (which is potentially an in and out) and ring blowby, which is entirely exhale. If you put your finger over the fitting you'll feel an in-and-out pulsation as the engine breathes, that's why you want some hose length, so it's pulsing essentially clean air and not sucking in. The duckbill is much cooler, however.

If you can find a power steering booster valve or PCV valve with a 3/8 hose fitting on each end, it'll work to make it a one-way exhale, which would be nice and is what the duckbill does as well. So far I haven't found the right part yet.

Route your ONE breather, if you don't go with the duckbill, back over the top of the transmission and down just by the center stand pivot. Alternatively, you can put a short piece of tubing on and put on one of those made-for-the-purpose K&N-looking breather filters, and either fasten it to something, or just let if flop. Running it up to the fender just about guarantees that you'll collect water/oil emulsion condensed from the crankcase vapors, that'll either plug up your hose or drizzle back down into the crankcase, either one of which is not the best idea.

Third choice, get the breather kit our hosts sell, that routes the breather into the oil tank filler.

As for why your valves and piston are not good friends, I suspect that a hard-ish freeway run with only a few hundred miles on the engine could be a contributor; or could you have run out of oil? Respect that it's an antique and take it easy on break-in, for a long, long time.

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buckeye rider

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 09:00:14 PM »
Sam is right when it comes to break in.I had to adjust pushrods and top oil all the time.I now have over 7000 on my 2001-runs like a clock.

Foggy_Auggie

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 02:44:50 AM »
I'd think real hard about the heavy duty oil pump.

The down side of the HO pump is extremely high oil pressure on a cold engine start.  If the engine is blipped or you have a backfire it is possible to strip the bevel teeth on the oil pump shaft.

At normal operating temps this engine does not require much oil pressure.  The main roller and ball bearings are splash lubricated.  As is the connecting rod small end.  The bushed main lower connecting rod and rocker arm assemblies require the pressure feed.

The HO pump lowers the cylinder head temperature by increasing oil pressure across the board, i.e. faster oil pass through in the cylinder head rocker box. In my experience oil volume being pumped is more important than oil pressure.  And the higher heat being passed to the oil means shortened oil change intervals - the oil breaks down quicker.

My two cents worth - unless the engine has a major hop up by increasing the bore, compression ratio, hot cams, aftermarket crankshaft, etc., I'd leave the stock pump alone.

I baby my Bullet Sixty-5 and use the best oil I can find.  I don't worry about cylinder head temps.  The factory engineers know the operating parameters for average street service.

I have peace of mind that the oil pump bevel spline won't let go, as I'm thumping along 55 MPH and 50 miles from home.

Just my and Murphy's perspective.

Regards, Foggy
Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 03:03:28 AM »
I have to agree with most of what has been said here. About the only way to burn an exhaust valve (especially on a 2005 or newer) is to overheat it or to have the valve adjusted too tightly. If it seized in the guide I would suspect lack of oil flow or overheating. Overheating is generally caused by driving one too fast during the first 1-2 thousand miles, a lean running condition or an overadvanced ignition. Lugging the engine doesn't help either, but usually you lose your piston when that happens.
 The performance exhaust may contribute to a lean condition if the shop didn't enrichen the mixture enough, easy to check by looking at your spark plug. Make sure your return pump is pumping oil to the head. If your rocker blocks are galled find out why. Most of all drive the darn thing within it's limits. When it is new or freshly rebuilt the RE engine is fine up to about 40mph. After that they can product more heat than they can dissapate and the results is never good news. I wouldn't drive mine over 40 for a full 500 miles, then not over 50 until I got to 1,000 and then not over 55 in general. There are plenty who have gotten away with being more aggressive, but they are just plain lucky, When you get your bike fixed, put on the breather system that these fellows have mentioned and drive the bike slow

Ofcalipka

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 10:35:24 AM »
Thank you for your input.  Just to let you know I have followed the break in according to the manual to the letter on this RE on both motors and I treat it as gently as I can.  I didn't ride it on the freeway until after the first oil change and when I do ride on the freeway it is only for about 25-30 miles at most and I keep it at 55 mph for a top speed sometimes go up to really brief 60 MPH spurts when passing.  My RE is not the only one in Hawaii that is doing this.  The dealer has the one other one they sold here in the shop for almost a year now and that one has only 200 miles on it and it won't run at all.  The only other one on my island I know of the guy bought so he could take it apart to see how it works and I have yet to see it anywhere on the road here.  I think the dealer out here just doesn't know what they are doing with these bikes at all.  They have 3 '05 bullets in the show room still yet from the original 7 they brought in in '05.  I saw them today the chrome is starting to pit and they have yet to have any miles put on them.  The other bikes went to the neighbor islands and haven't been heard from since.

I'm going to dig up the original breather assembly and put it back on and try that again.  Before it would overflow with oil but I'll try it again anyways.  As far as checking the spark plug it looks new with only normal signs of use as does the piston, except for the mark on it from where it hit the exhaust valve.  I'll put some more deep thought before I install the HO oil pump.

Any further ideas or suggestions would be very appreciated.

Aloha
"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." - Steven Wright

2005 Royal Enfeild Bullet 500 Military,
2006 HD Springer softail 1450,
1980 Puch Maxi,
1995 Ural 650
1978 Peugeot 103 SP
2000 BMW R 1150 RT P

Wahiawa,  HI

Vince

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 04:00:16 PM »
Kevin is exactly right. The Enfield was designed in an era of English country lanes. Modern American freeways were never even imagined. You must NOT ride on the freeway!!! Almost all the serious problems I see are induced by riding at extended high or steady speeds. Break it in slowly, exactly according to the book. Then , whether you ride in the city or the country, KEEP THE SPEED DOWN. These are satisfying mounts if you respect them for what they are. Ride the way it was designed to be ridden and you,ll have reliable, economical fun.

Kevin Mahoney

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 04:18:42 PM »
The man that owned the Hawaii dealership died a year or two ago. This was most unfortunate for both his family and his customers. One has to wonder why a customer would even stand for having his bike in a dealership for a year waiting for repair. I know I wouldn't!! Parts are easy to get and readily available so you have to wonder why they don't just get on it and fix it.

Ofcalipka

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2007, 08:35:50 AM »
The man who brought these motorcycles in to Hawaii was the only mechanic at his shop willing to work on them as his regular mechanics do not like the RE's as they are into Harley's and Kawasaki's and claim they don't understand the RE's design.  I was only really bringing the bike into the dealer as I had warranty at the time.  I prefer doing my own repairs anyways which I am only just starting to do now. 

In response to not bringing the RE onto the freeway at all.  I don't understand why the RE's design will not allow it to sustain 50-55 MPH for distances of about 15-20 miles.  I don't travel more than that far ever at this speed.  I own two vehicles a 1952 Willys Overland (a 3 speed) and a 1957 Cadillac Sedan Deville and and thanks to my car club have worked on and driven over 20 different vehicles built in the 40's and 50's and never had problems with sustaining at least 50-55 mph with no ill effects on the motor.  I have several friends, grant it their bikes are Honda's not RE's, but they are only 250 cc motors and they suffer no problems with daily freeway driving at speeds higher than I go and much harder abuse than I am willing to do to my bike.  It also seems to me that if the Indians can climb the himalayas with an RE then it should be able to handle a short jaunt on the freeway too.

I have riden various motorcycles for almost 10 years now and have never tried to set any sort of land speed record yet.  I do not believe I am riding this bike hard.  I am not full throttling it through the gears to freeway speeds.  I am gradually accelerating up to about 50-55 mph after using as much of the side streets as I can.  Most days over here traffic is at astand still on the freeway anyways and I'm lucky if the whole trip is at 50-55 mph.

I hope I haven't offended anyone here with my rant as I love riding my Enfield and hope to have many more years of riding on it.  However if all it is able to do for speed is 35-40 mph at a top speed this should have been disclosed when I purchased it. 

My original question has still only partly answered.  Does anyone think I am on the right track with the performance mods and should I add anything to the list of mechanical parts for my engine on my bike.  Keep in mind I do have limited funds and am not try to build a race bike just one that can make it the 20 miles into work and 20 mile back every day.

I ordered the following parts: 
The Kibblewhite performance valves, guides, and performance springs,  the performance lightweight steel pushrods, gaskets, and the HO oil pump, which I am now debating whether or not to use. 

The mods I had the dealer do:
Performance exhaust, rejet the carb, remove the EGR assembly, redo the breather which I am going to put back to stock soon.

Looking forward to eveyons input,
As always Aloha.
"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." - Steven Wright

2005 Royal Enfeild Bullet 500 Military,
2006 HD Springer softail 1450,
1980 Puch Maxi,
1995 Ural 650
1978 Peugeot 103 SP
2000 BMW R 1150 RT P

Wahiawa,  HI

RagMan

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2007, 10:10:53 AM »
Something is seriously not right if you cannot maintain 50 - 55 mph - my Bullet will happily trundle around at GPS verified 60 all day long. So far, the only mods on my bike are Breather hose, Transmission bushes, and a larger front sprocket.
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deejay

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2007, 01:52:31 PM »
larger front sprocket.

Thats the probably difference right there.

Ofcalipka

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2007, 02:11:12 PM »
So you would recommend the 18 tooth counter shaft sprocket as another mod from OEM.  I considered this but didn't think that one extra tooth would make any noticeable difference.
"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." - Steven Wright

2005 Royal Enfeild Bullet 500 Military,
2006 HD Springer softail 1450,
1980 Puch Maxi,
1995 Ural 650
1978 Peugeot 103 SP
2000 BMW R 1150 RT P

Wahiawa,  HI

RagMan

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2007, 02:27:28 PM »
Yep, I recommend that little mod to anyone who doesn't need to crawl in first. I have the very largest you can get, and it sure makes a difference - It is either 18 tooth, or 19 tooth, I forget which. It is too big for the space, the result of which is the left gear shift shaft contacts the primary chain when I change down.. Momentary noise.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
''99 Classic Bullet. '05 Ural Tourist sidecar rig, converted to 2wd. '05 Harley Davidson Sportster.
Jefferson County, WA

krodaddy

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2007, 03:20:20 PM »
My 01 bullet is very happy at 52mph indicated on my garmin gps. Only mods are K&N filter and jetting.  Bear in mind that when I first acquired it with only 650 miles it really didn't feel good above 40-45. After 2000 miles of break in, it really smoothed out and ran better. Brakes got better, transmission shifted better, engine didn't feel so tight, and the suspension seems to have softened up a little. ( pretty stiff when I got it ) Has over 5000 miles on it now and I would not hesitate to ride it anywhere. ( at 52 mph  ;D )
Krodaddy

Eamon

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Re: Engine Problems
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 05:12:10 PM »
In response to not bringing the RE onto the freeway at all.  I don't understand why the RE's design will not allow it to sustain 50-55 MPH for distances of about 15-20 miles.  I don't travel more than that far ever at this speed. 

Didn't you mention in your first post that you were doing these speeds with just a few hundred miles on the rebuild?  If so, it's my understanding that according to proper break-in procedures, this is too early to be running extended miles at that speed.  According to my manual, maximum speed for the first 300 miles is about 40 mph and from 300 to 600 miles it's still roughly 45 mph.  Even then, it's my understanding that you start easing it into the higher speeds gradually over the next 1000 miles or so.  After that, it seems that (with a properly tuned engine) they will more or less do 50-55 all day (depending on load, hills, etc.) as long as you keep it at that speed and under.

Eamon
Eamon in Seattle
2006 Bullet 500 Deluxe
http://www.sterlingloons.com