View Full Version : Engine went South

xx Max Power xx
06-01-2004, 11:13 AM
I participated in my second race weekend, only to have it end prematurely once again. First race Sunday was rained out. This time it was mechanical failure that robbed me.

1st race (ever), last lap, turn 2 at Sears Point (Infineon) raceway my engine loses power and shuts down. I pull off the track with engine smoking. No way to get it back together for race 2 which would start 30 min after the completion of the race I was in.

I packed it up and took it home. At first I thought it was a water pump failure due to the white "spatter" all over the left side of the bike that seemed to be eminating from the water pump. The bike was running hot (dumb rookie move of warming it up too early and letting it run prior to the race) and I thought this was a reasonable start, perhaps it overheated...

I emptied the oil and coolant (water) in order to remove the pump. The oil had a very potent stink (and was surprisingly dark). The only way I could describe the smell is that it was similar to "burning rubber" mixxed with some other pugent smells. I pulled the pump and it was in good shape.

Now I'm stuck. I don't know where to begin. The spark plugs looked good (light grey and tan deposits). Anyone know what would make the oil stink (strongly)?

Please help, I have 11 days (including today) to identify the problem, order parts and fix it!

By the way the bike won't start again.


06-01-2004, 04:21 PM
Where was the smoke coming from? Sounds like the water pump seal failed what with white spatter on the engine.

xx Max Power xx
06-01-2004, 06:01 PM
I couldn't tell where the smoke was comming from, by the time I got back to my pit it wasn't smoking anymore. The smoking was pretty light too.

The O ring that seals between the cover and the pump was pretty flat. I will be replacing it. I don't think that would cause it to stop running or the oil to stink though.

xx Max Power xx
06-02-2004, 11:32 AM
Last night I pulled the clutch out and inspected the friction plates. The clutch looks fine and is definately not the cause of the putrid smell. I also double checked to make sure there was plenty of fuel in the tank (there was).

I've pulled the valve cover off, I'm going to check valve clearances while I'm in there, but it looks like I'm going for a full top-end inspection to see if the cylindar walls are cracked (letting coolant into the compustion chamber and causing the smell).

I was able to turn the crankshaft somewhat using the clutch basket, so I believe that the engine hasn't seized (the difficulty I encountered turning it, I attribute to the valve springs. Should it be easy?)

Anyone have any advice on taking off the cam chain? Is there a master link?


06-02-2004, 02:18 PM
The engine shouldn't spin freely of course but it shouldn't be really hard to turn over either. Did you take a spark plug out of each cylinder to make it easier to turn over? No need to break the cam chain. Loosen the cam chain tensioner bolt (located to the side near the top...under the f'ing cooling manifold on the front cylinder) and remove the cam chain pulleys to take the cams out. You can get the pulleys unbolted but you'll never get them back on if the tensioner piston comes out and the pressure is not released. Tie a string or something to the cam chain because you surely don't that thing to drop into the crankcase! Here's an online version of the shop Manual (http://www.aprilialand.addr.com/aprilialand/workshop_manuals/RSVMilleManual.pdf). Have you checked all the easy stuff like gas, air, spark, before you go tearing into the engine? Also, did you see where any fluid had run out of the weep hole in the water pump housing? That would indicate the water pump seal had gone.