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Engine damage?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by CookieDough, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. I own a 2003 zx636 kawasaki

    There was a pebble in my radiator fan which caused it to stop spinning hence causing my engine to overheat and reach HI temperature. The engine started to smoke while i was in idle stuck in traffic. I turned it off and pushed it off the road.

    I let it cool, turned it on and rode it to work, seemed fine didnt think much of it. 8 hours later after my shift, rode it home, temperatures reached 115 but the HI indicator never came on.

    Took the stone out and a hose connecting to the radiator causing the coolant to spill so now i have to flush the system.

    So heres my dilemna:

    I found out that if my engine reached HI temperatures and started to smoke there might have been possible engine damage. Since i managed to turn it on and ride it without problems i figure there might not of been any if much damage done.

    Now while my bike is fairly taken apart, should i check the engine for damage to the cylinders or gasket? Or should i just leave it, ride it and see if any problems come up then fix it?

    I heard its not expensive to replace the gasket or cylinders but just very very time consuming which cost in labour, unless i do it myself.

    Would riding with some engine damage now cause further problems in the future? Meaning whether i replace the gasket now or in 6 months there wouldn't be too much of a difference, or should i either check it myself/get it checked which might be $$$

    Otherwize the only other issue is my engine oil pressure light is coming on when i switch my bike on, it goes off after i start the engine which stalls after about 10s, either cause i took my clutch lever out but its in neutral so i dont see why it would stall, or because theres no coolant. Or is that a problem linked to the engine?

    I dont remember whether the engine oil pressure light came on during my ride home or not.

    Any help would be much appreciated, i dont have a tl;dr version so if you actually read this all and put some input i thank you deeply.
  2. Others will have advice, the engine oil pressure light will be on when ignition is on (obviously no oil pressure without a turning engine), it's normal, it then should go off within a few seconds of the engine running.
  3. Im not sure if the engine oil pressure light was on during my ride either, if it was on im thinking maybe i burnt some of the oil and its been reduced to some sticky mud thus losing oil? im not sure but once i put my bike back together depending on whether or not i decide to check the engine gasket and cylinders i'll find out.
  4. Depending on how long it boiled for possible head gasket or head damage is possible, that gets pretty exxy as its a pretty big job to fix.
  5. im not too sure, the HI indicator was flashing and probably on for a good while, but it only smoked for about less than a minute before i seriously knew something was up and turned it off....

    im fcuked arnt i?
  6. Hard to tell, some engines warp/crack heads and blow head gaskets with very little provocation. Some can take a fair beating though. Not too sure with the Ninjas but worst case scenario a second hand engine would be easier than doing the heads
  7. but my bike n engine is still fairly new... such a waste, fcuking PEBBLES!
    heres hoping for best case scenario as unlikely as it may be...
  8. Might be worth getting a mechanic to look at it?
  9. If it was me I'd be changing the oil (and filter) plus coolant and running it for a while to see what happens. Keep an eye out for lost coolant and an ear for funny noises and see how you get on.

    No point pulling it apart if you're not sure it's broke. You never know - you might have got away with it.

    Cheers Ryan
  10. lost coolant would be a fairly good indication of gasket damage right? how would i see lost coolant? the coolant levels dropping? or would i see spillage? maybe smoke? and you mean running it on idle right? (sorry if its a dumb question)
  11. Coolant level dropping, lots of steam on start up from exhaust, oil/coolant mixing (grey sludge in overflow and sump)
  12. The most likely damage from overheating is blown hoses, blown head gasket then damaged pistons/head/rings/valves.

    If the engine still has the same amount of power the mechanical bits are probably OK. Check the water hoses are intact and watch out for signs of a head gasket leak. If you want to be sure, do a compression test on the engine to check the valves, pistons, and rings are intact.
  13. When you say engine smoked do you mean out the exhaust pipe or could it have just been steam from water pissing out the overflow. I've boiled plenty of bikes and never had an issue.

    Check your fuses for your thermo fan
  14. Sportbike engines run 5-10deg off that anyway in normal road riding conditions, so unless the temp kept rising beyond the indicated 115 I doubt you did anything to it. But wtf does anybody on the interweb know, call and speak to people in this business to do actual analysis to base decisions off, don't guess there's serious $$ at stake. IMO a leakdown test is what you want, measuring the leakdown in static condition for all key parts incl head gasket, its similar but different to a comp test.

    PS A thermo fan has limited effect when the bike is moving, and for e.g. racebikes dont have them at all and they rev the sh1t out of them. So if your temp was jacking up while riding might be worth looking elsewhere in your cooling circuit - water pump, thermostat or restriction to flow (incl need of a bleed) elsewhere in the system.

    PPS If the bike is overheated but the cooling circuit is known good, thumb the starter for a few seconds to circulate coolant around and through the rad to avoid hot spots building in the engine. If the cooling circuit is dubious then shut it down and step away from the bike.
  15. Should be OK. Change the oil as well as the coolant. Overheating oil can cause it to break down.

    Keep and eye out for water in the oil. It will go milky. Keep an eye out for oil in the water.

    Keep an eye on coolant levels. keep your nose peeled. You can smell a gasket leak.

    Get a mate to ride behind you for a bit and check for undue smoking.

    And do a compression check.

    If all that is fine, then it should be OK
  16. So... i flushed my old coolant out, filled my radiator and reserve with distilled water, tried to turn on my motorcycle, it wont stay running as the rpm drops and then it just stalls or something. If i keep the throttle open it stays on so no idea whats going on there. I put the choke(the thing that idles the bike) down and let it run, turned it off after like 5-10s and looked at my exhaust. White smoke is coming out, no real smell to it, at least i think so.

    At this point im pissed off cause i dont know whats going on, even if i blown a head gasket, i managed to ride it to work then 8 hours later ride it home so what the fcuk. I drained the coolant and oil, and from what i can tell, there wasnt any mixing. Oil looks like the yucky brown oil it is, coolant is just water and a bit of green left over (didnt flush it too well by the looks of it, then again i never had the engine on till now).
  17. Idle knob adjusts the idle not the choke, unless its cold leave the choke OFF.

    How to pull codes if you don't already know:

    Almost any prob can be dealt with in a systematic way. Relax, get a beer and go scour the kawi forums for your answers.
  18. maybe its the idle adjustment under the seat ive been playing with causing it not to idle but it doesnt explain the white smoke, and with no mixing from what i can tell it doesnt seem like a head gasket problem which i seriously hope not, is there a way to check for head gasket problem?
  19. head gasket can be water to oil, oil to water, oil to cylinder, or water to cylinder.

    white smoke that "evaporates" and doesn't smell like burnt oil = water/coolant.
    white smoke that smells like burnt oil and hangs around a bit = oil

    oil to water or water tooil won't make smoke

    leakdown test should help, as would test for combustion gases in coolant system (TK test)
    normal compression test may not show any different. (unless water building up in cylinder, increasing compression :D )
    • Agree Agree x 1