Metal in my motor oil - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 8:47 am Thread Starter
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Angry Metal in my motor oil

98 k1200rs, 31k. I changed my oil yesterday and found the magnet plug clean, but some flakes of bearing metal on the plate below the oil filter. I cut the oil filter open and found some more flakes.
I figure I must have a bearing that spun or something. Is there any history of crank, cam, rod or some other bearings failing on these motors? Looking for a place to start my search to minimize disassembly.

There doesn't seem to be any loss of power or new noises.

Last edited by tkpinsc; Oct 21st, 2007 at 9:31 am.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 12:37 pm
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I too have found metal particles in my oil change, on my 04 GT showing 27000 miles, on two occasions.The particles appeared to be engine casing alloy having changed cam chain and tensioner recently my local dealer thought i'd displaced some pieces of casing . I was not very confident in this prognosis so when three weeks later my engine output oil seal went I got C.Ws to drop the sump and investigate while doing the other work . They did find some more swarf but decided that all ok and that earlier prognosis was correct .As I write this it is oil change time again and I will be watching. I would be very interested to keep in touch with you over this matter. Are you sure what you have found is engine bearing metal because the alloy particles coming from my engine do have this appearance, but are of an alloy compositiion.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 12:44 pm Thread Starter
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Just finished pulling the bodywork and am about to pull the valve cover and crankcase covers. It could be alloy from the block or I suppose valve guide material. Even nickasil I suppose if nickasil isn't ferrous.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 4:12 pm
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I think you try and determine if the metal is ferrous or non-ferrous. If non-ferrous it may be ali casing or white metal bearing.

The only thing I can bring, is when I stripped my motor I was warned that the big output shaft bearing (the shaft is the one that connects up to the big gear at the rear of the crank) may be found to be slipping as it is held trapped by the 2 halves of the housing. Mine had visible signs of scoring so I re-assembled the bearing in the casing with some Loctite bearing lock.

I also found another mysterious small piece of metal, highly chromed on one side which I haven't found an answer to. I've now fitted an oil pressure guage sensor and will use that to keep me informed of any impending doom.

I personally wouldn't start tearing into a motor of this mileage on the basis of some small deposits around the filter, I'd keep an eye on oil pressure and anything in the filter or the pickup strainer and start changing oil at say 4K intervals with a thorough inspection. I'm sure that most engines lose some metal in their lifetime and the biggest cause of bearing wear and failure can be low oil pressure. A 5 bearing crank like this has a long way to go to fail bearing shells if oil pressure is OK. I'd expect rod bearings to fail first, but oil pressure should be able to give an early warning.

Just because the oil light goes out, doesn't guarantee you're getting max oil pressure of around 80 psi cold and a bit lower when hot.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 4:46 pm Thread Starter
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It was not a lot of metal, but enough to indicate a problem. and it was also in the filter. All non ferrous. Pulled the valve and crank covers, all looked good and did not see any metallic stuff in the oil under the covers. Seemed to be some play in the rod bearings so I pulled the caps. #1 rod bearing was spun, but not all that worn. #3 was a copper color but not spun. At this point I pulled the crank main bearing caps and they all look fine.

There is some slight pitting or galling on the crank under rod bearing #1 (the one that spun 90 degrees) the size of pin heads, but small enough I can't catch a finger nail on them.

I'm thinking I might cheap out and polish it up and put some new bearings in., then watch it carefully.

Clymer's says to replace the connecting rod bolts every time. Is it manditory or just a good idea and they are covering there buts. I'd like to avoid it as I would have to pull the head to change the bolts, and I have not removed the head or broke open the cooling system.

If I decide to send the crank out to grind it, any suggestions?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 5:52 pm
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Wink Oil pressure gauge sensor

interested to hear you fitted an oil pressure gauge senor. Good move, I always think oil pressure gives a good indication of general engine health. How did you go about fitting one and whose kit did you use.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Oct 21st, 2007, 6:26 pm
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You sure it wasn't paint flaking from the oil filter?

Ok...I'll go home now.

08 K1200S Nachtschwartz
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