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Old 07-26-2017, 05:40 PM   #1
TrailKlaus
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Default Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in 1st

My bike is a 2009, and I recently (2.5k miles ago) put a 'new' engine into it after killing the original one. The replacement engine is from a 2008. For the most part the bike has been running great, but there are a few issues that I'd really like to work out, for the sake of reliability.

With the original engine, I generally was able to start with the choke lever somewhat in the middle of its range from full to off. With the replacement engine, I have to keep the lever all the way full in order to start and run the bike. I've fiddled with the choke cable adjuster under the tank, and it doesn't seem like the issue is with the choke cable, but rather with the relationship between the carb and the 'new' engine.

On a related note, the bike also has a tendency to stall when I begin to open the throttle after having been at a full stop. If I smoothly roll on the throttle, it will consistently stall. I have to blip it once or twice, and pop the engine to life, and then I fade off the clutch and get rolling in 1st. Once moving the bike runs fine, and has good energy and performance through the higher gears and rpms.

When I first installed the 'new' engine, the exhaust popped very aggressively when decelerating. Also, the idle was very rough. After doing some research, I pulled the cap off the pilot screw and adjusted it. Online it seemed a range between 2.5 and 1.75 turns out was pretty common. I found that it didn't begin to run smoothly until it was only 1/2 turn out.

A week ago the bike started bogging down at higher speeds/rpms, and so I removed/disassembled/cleaned the carb, replaced the spark plug, and cleaned the air filter. The bike has returned to performing nominally at higher speeds, but I still have the lingering issue with stalling when starting from a stopped position.

Any thoughts? Is it running too rich? What are the mechanisms available to me to help tune the carb to feed the engine optimally?

Thanks!!
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Old 07-26-2017, 05:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Popping can be a leaky exhaust seal. It's why the likes of Chuck B., Wyman Winn, and Eagle Mike all suggest you replace the seal anytime you take the exhaust pipe off at the head.

Carby: They come stock set very lean from the factory. You can open up the little mixture screw to about 1 3/4 turns out from bottomed. Some see an improvement in idle and immediately off idle. An Eagle Mike KLX needle kit (with 3 different jets) is a cost effective approach to improving the carb.

Valves. When you got the replacement engine, did you check valve clearances? Badly adjusted valves can really cause problems.

Hope this helps. It isn't all I know, but pretty close.
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Old 07-26-2017, 05:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

BTW, Welcome!
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Thank you for your suggestions! I haven't checked the valve clearances since installing the replacement engine. I think I'll do that quite soon!
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Also, keep a close watch on your oil level. I suspect that's what killed your 09 motor, but the 08's were the ones that earned the bad rep for the Gen2. Best solution would be to eventually put an Eagle Mike 685 kit in it. Solves oil consumption. But you've got to learn the habits of your 08 and for a while treat it with kid gloves, keep it alive and not frying cam journals!

Check it at least every time up put gas in it.
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

KLR doesn't have a choke but rather an enrichner. Pull the lever and it basically opens up a 'second' carb within the carb. That said, some bike (engines) want/need full others not so much. Valve adjustment plays a key roll. I would certainly start there for that reason and other reasons...it needs to be done so you know what it is.

When most say they pulled the carb and cleaned it my first response is clean it again. Most do not understand what cleaning or what a clean carb entails. Most idle and off idle issues deal with pilot jet, fuel screw and their corrisponding circuits. When you pulled the fuel screw did you have the washer, oring and spring? What order where they in? Did you re-assemble in the right order. Did you verify the three small orifices clustered in the venturi were passing carb cleaner? What is your float level set at? Petcock can also play a role in off idle running. Diaphragm starts to go bad and fuel bypasses the carb by travelling down the vacuum line directly to the inlet to the engine. At mid/full throttle often there is little effect. Just off idle...big effect. Decel popping is normal with AIS installed/functioning. All Gen2's have AIS. Easy to disable/remove. If you have excessive decel then you need to look at the exhaust flange gasket. As previously mentioned it should be replaced each and every time the header is removed. Tighter is not better...15ftlbs only and be sure and re-torque after a couple heat cycles. If you still have excessive popping then you need to look at the coasting enrichner circuit on the carb. Its one of the three orfices. While the diaphragm usually is robust the cylinder the piston moves in usually gets rough and binds up. Diaphragm opens allowing additional fuel to the venturi during decel. If it doesn't operate you get a lean condition...excessive popping. Could be other things but that gives you a good start. I'd start with valve check/adjust.
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Old 07-26-2017, 11:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Good Times: I'm guilty as charged in regards to oil being the culprit for the death of the first engine. This is my first bike, and I wasn't ready/aware of how voraciously the 2009 KLR consumed engine oil. However, now that I'm paying much closer attention to my oil levels, I've found that this '08 engine actually consumes much more sparingly. Over the first 2000 miles (with most being between 60 and 70mph), it consumed only a half liter, give or take a little. I've still got the 2009 engine, and the fried exhaust cam is a sad sight. Lesson learned!

Chuck: I really appreciate your list of things to consider, along with all of the details and information. As I mentioned above, this is my first bike/KLR, and so this is all pretty new to me. That said, between my Clymer manual and a healthy dose of YouTube videos and reading of forums, I've definitely learned a lot and I've made healthy progress towards a better understanding of my machine. There has definitely been plenty of trial and error, such as when I forgot the engine exhaust gasket entirely after putting in the new engine. Eventually, after doing a few test rides, I decided that the engine noise was much too loud, and discovered my mistake after looking at pictures and descriptions in my manual. It sounded worlds better with that gasket in place, unsurprisingly.

I've read up on the procedure for checking the valves, and I plan on having them checked before the weekend. Thanks again for the valuable help! This newbie is indeed grateful.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

We have all been newbie's at one time. Mine was way before youtube or even cell phones.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
We have all been newbie's at one time. Mine was way before youtube or even cell phones.
My newbie bike didn't even have a cam. A 67 T250 Suzuki X6 Scrambler. A twin two stroke.

It's up to we "mature" riders to share what we know. I do it, Chuck B certainly does too. There are a bunch of the mature riders on this forum that a more than willing to help.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailKlaus View Post
Good Times: I'm guilty as charged in regards to oil being the culprit for the death of the first engine. This is my first bike, and I wasn't ready/aware of how voraciously the 2009 KLR consumed engine oil. However, now that I'm paying much closer attention to my oil levels, I've found that this '08 engine actually consumes much more sparingly. Over the first 2000 miles (with most being between 60 and 70mph), it consumed only a half liter, give or take a little. I've still got the 2009 engine, and the fried exhaust cam is a sad sight. Lesson learned!

Chuck: I really appreciate your list of things to consider, along with all of the details and information. As I mentioned above, this is my first bike/KLR, and so this is all pretty new to me. That said, between my Clymer manual and a healthy dose of YouTube videos and reading of forums, I've definitely learned a lot and I've made healthy progress towards a better understanding of my machine. There has definitely been plenty of trial and error, such as when I forgot the engine exhaust gasket entirely after putting in the new engine. Eventually, after doing a few test rides, I decided that the engine noise was much too loud, and discovered my mistake after looking at pictures and descriptions in my manual. It sounded worlds better with that gasket in place, unsurprisingly.

I've read up on the procedure for checking the valves, and I plan on having them checked before the weekend. Thanks again for the valuable help! This newbie is indeed grateful.
Haynes and Clymer are fairly marginal compared to the factory service manual.

Soda bottles make good oil containers. Thick plastic and seals that don't leak. Carry one in your luggage or tank bag.
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Last edited by Good Times; 07-27-2017 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Times View Post
My newbie bike didn't even have a cam. A 67 T250 Suzuki X6 Scrambler. A twin two stroke.

It's up to we "mature" riders to share what we know. I do it, Chuck B certainly does too. There are a bunch of the mature riders on this forum that a more than willing to help.
I love 2 strokes. Particularly, 2 strokes running bean oil I'm old...you're really OLD!
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
I love 2 strokes. Particularly, 2 strokes running bean oil I'm old...you're really OLD!
I got it in 71, the CB350 guys were sooo jealous. Synthetic oil just had come out. Still on the freeway at 70, it was like fogging for bugs. For a bike 50 years ago, it was. . .quick, but sooo primitive.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

I just wanted to post an update after having had a chance to work on the bike over the past week or two. I checked the valve clearances (following the guidance of a Clymer manual) and the intake valve clearances were well within spec, closer to the wider end of the range. The exhaust clearances, however, were almost non-existent, and I found it challenging to get even a .03mm feeler gauge underneath the left one. I removed the exhaust camshaft, pulled the shims, looked at their etched size and also used a caliper to confirm. Eagle Mike got a pair of new shims to me pretty quickly, and I got those installed without too much hassle. It also looked like the cams weren't quite properly aligned relative to each other and to TDC, so I fiddled with all of that and eventually got everything really nicely dialed in. I put a new gasket on the head and replaced the top cover.

While waiting on the shims to be delivered, I removed the carb and cleaned it again. This time I had a kit with new needles/jets/gaskets, etc., and I replaced as much as I could. I also installed a Dynojet needle and main jet.

I put everything back together, and once I got fuel running the engine started right up and I could immediately tell that the idle was smoother than it had been before. I just got back from testing the bike out over 100 miles or so, and it is running much healthier than it had been.

Again, much thanks for your suggestions and input!
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

Congrats! On a side note, you'll find your mileage will take a pretty good hit with the Dynojet kit. Dynojet recommendations are too rich. Let us know if you want some pointers on improvement and get the benefits of aftermarket jet kit.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Engine replacement issues: Choke adjustment/Stalling in

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Originally Posted by Chuck B View Post
Congrats! On a side note, you'll find your mileage will take a pretty good hit with the Dynojet kit. Dynojet recommendations are too rich. Let us know if you want some pointers on improvement and get the benefits of aftermarket jet kit.
Yeah, the best improvement over a Dynojet kit is an Eaglemike jet kit. By far the best one for a KLR, done with actual research and testing, and at a very reasonable cost.

What you will find on this forum is, because the Bike is so popular and the design is so settled, the knowledge here is pretty cut and dried. There are different ways to go on mods, but the best ones are settled, and the mods are pretty well thought out.
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