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Looking for suggestions and help on where to start with this bike. For backstory, I picked up a 2005 ltz 400 for cheap with an engine that is possibly seized. The person I bought it from was not much help with providing additional information so I'm not sure if this issue occurred while they were riding it, or this happened after it was parked. They told me they were riding it the previous weekend and everything was fine, then went to start it and the motor would not turn over.

My first thought was that the battery was bad, or possibly the starter solenoid. When the start button is pushed, I hear a clicking coming from the solenoid under the seat. I tried a different battery, same issue. Checked ground cables, all looked good. I pulled the starter and it spins when I press the start button. Reinstalled it and the solenoid starts clicking again. Still thinking that the engine is seized, I pulled the spark plug and put the bike in 2nd or 3rd gear and tried rolling it forward. It will not turn over.

The clutch works, the transmission seems okay as I can shift through all the gears including neutral. I don't see any cracks in the case or obvious signs of damage. My next steps are to pull the engine and start tearing it apart. I'll start with the side covers first to see if there is anything obvious there, then I'll move to the more difficult things.

Before I pull the engine and begin disassembling it, is there anything I should check before or is there anything that I could possibly be overlooking that could be causing this issue?

Thanks!
 

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Check the fuse for the start right of the battery could be grounding out on the frame, this happen to me on my 400. PS that would be 200 bucks for my mechanics fee.

Pop the inspect cover off the left side of the case and try turning the motor over with a socket, I would suggest to take the spark plug out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Check the fuse for the start right of the battery could be grounding out on the frame, this happen to me on my 400. PS that would be 200 bucks for my mechanics fee.

Pop the inspect cover off the left side of the case and try turning the motor over with a socket, I would suggest to take the spark plug out.
The fuse is okay. When I get home, i'll pull the cover and try manually turning the motor with a wrench. How easy should it turn over with this method if the engine is not seized?
 

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Think kickstarter. There should be some resistance, but not much.
 

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Update - I pulled the stator cover last night and was manually able to turn the motor but only in one direction. I believe I first tried counter clockwise and nothing. Turned it clockwise and it spun. It didn't take much force, comparable to kicking an engine over.

I put the side over back on and with the spark plug still out, I could roll the bike forwards and backwards and hear the piston going up and down freely. Put the spark plug in, and started the bike. It idled for about 45 seconds and then it locked up and shut off. While the motor was running, it was making some chatter noise in the top end, but nothing horrible and there was no knocking coming from the bottom end. I was going to let it warm up and see if it quieted down but it locked up before I could do that.

When it locked, it made a short but sharp sound like something got wedged causing it to lock. Hard to describe the sound. It was not a scraping sound, or a breaking sound. Hit the start button after that and the starter solenoid makes a single clicking noise.

What could cause the engine to lock up like that? Any ideas?
 

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Something in the cylinder. Maybe a dropped washer, broken spark plug, or something like that. Take the head off.
 

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Try to turn the quad over with the spark plug out see if its locking up for some reason like to much fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pulled the stator cover back off and was able to free the engine with a wrench and manually turn it over. It will spin each direction, but might only rotate once or twice before it locks up. Sometimes I can rotate it more, 3-4 full revolutions, but it will eventually lock up and I have to reverse the direction to free it.

Could a stretched cam chain cause this? I see that the automatic tensioner was replaced with a MCCT.

Still not sure what the issue is, but I pulled the engine and have it sitting on my bench. I'll start tearing into it soon. Clymer manual should be here this week.
 

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A stretched cam chain might have resulted in a valve coming in contact with the piston, and breaking a piece off. You will find out soon enough.
 

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I don't think this is causing the locking issue, but this doesn't look good.
Time for a new sleeve, and piston that looks like a good scar.
 

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If you pull the lower timing chain gear, you’ll be able to spin the bottom end freely to see if it’s still locking up, but I imagine that’s your problem. The kits are nice because they’re about the same price as sleeving it by the time you ship it back and forth and the piston is already sized for the bore. The only thing you really need to do is file the ring gaps. The rest is just bolt-on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you pull the lower timing chain gear, you’ll be able to spin the bottom end freely to see if it’s still locking up, but I imagine that’s your problem. The kits are nice because they’re about the same price as sleeving it by the time you ship it back and forth and the piston is already sized for the bore. The only thing you really need to do is file the ring gaps. The rest is just bolt-on.
So you think the cylinder and piston might be causing the engine to lock? I didn't have time yesterday, but later today I'll pull the clutch cover off to get access to that gear so I can remove the chain. Planning on replacing the chain with the new top end kit. I figure once i have the chain out, i'll spin the motor to see if it continues to lock up. If it does, I'm assuming i'll need to split the cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like I'll be splitting the cases. The rod bearing is toast and allowing it to move in all directions. It's hitting the balancer which is causing the engine to seize.

Previous owner was rough on this engine. Needs a lot of work. Already needed a new top end and now this.
 

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Look around or post a WTB for used engines. Might be the cheaper route.
 

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Rod bearings should have a little play but not enough to hit anything, time for a used bottom end.
 

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Bummer that you need to split the case, but at least you can get in there and give it a very thorough cleaning and check for other potential issues. I have a Namura BBK in one of my ltz's and have beat the hell out of it for about three years now, still running great. Originally it was supposed to be my backup quad and now is my favorite machine after my kfx450. I highly recommend splitting the base gasket when you install the new cylinder, gives you a a hair more compression and wakes the machine up a bit.
 

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Looks like I'll be splitting the cases. The rod bearing is toast and allowing it to move in all directions. It's hitting the balancer which is causing the engine to seize.

Previous owner was rough on this engine. Needs a lot of work. Already needed a new top end and now this.
\


Time to think about a hotrods crank, same price to go stroker if you want...
 
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