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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon, hope everyone is well. Recently did my first valve adjustment, now tw burned through a half liter of oil in one tank. Visible gray smoke coming from exhaust, oil residue on tip of muffler. Bike has 800 miles on it, 2017. Bought it with 45 miles on it about 6 months ago. Any ideas on how to start troubleshooting greatly appreciated!
 

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This one is puzzling. I always thought burning oil was attributed to bad piston rings. Only thing I can suggest is to open the valve covers and make sure the adjuster nuts haven’t backed off.

Is it running like garbage?

Are you sure you adjusted the valves at the proper timing marks?
 

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Did you tighten the caps on the flywheel inspection cover? I left mine loose the first time. Finger tightened and forgot to go back with a screwdriver. Just a little oil came out tho. I drove it about 50 miles before I noticed. I would estimate about a 1/1000 of an ounce leaked. Do you notice any oil dripping from anywhere on the engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hey all, thanks for the replies, much appreciated. I double checked valve clearances, both were good. Both plastic caps tightened.
I started getting worried, so went and checked That the oil filter (k&n-143) has the 4 holes and that it was installed correctly. Everything appeared good, except there was a bunch of oil in the filter compartment when I pulled off the cover that spilled out. I don’t remember that happening when I performed the first oil change about a hundred miles ago.
After listening to my friends 1990 tw run the other day I realized how bad mine sounded, its a little hard to describe. Guess I had gotten used to the sound from mine.
Anyhow, still belching oil smoke from exhaust, not even going to start it up again until I figure out what is going on. At this point worried that the engine has some serious issues. It sounds like crap when running. Hoping the engine isn’t fried, thing has less than 1000 miles on it. Any insight appreciated!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, used a quart of oil. My first reaction was that I had made a silly mistake either with the oil change or valve adjustment, but both seem to be correct after checking. I find it strange that so much oil was in the filter area, when the oil filter cover was removed a fair amount spilled out. I’m concerned that engine not getting proper lubrication.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Put a photo of the spark plug below. Appears to getting a significant amount of oil in combustion chamber. What numbers should I be getting on compression test to see if it is rings?
DFE57DDB-4852-498F-85C8-640CBCD734A9.jpeg
DFE57DDB-4852-498F-85C8-640CBCD734A9.jpeg
 

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When you say it sounds like crap when it's running, do you mean it's blubbering or it is making louder than usual TW clattering noises? Someone correct me if I'm wrong here. healthy compression reading with throttle wide open should be around 120ish psi for the dry test. Add a couple ounces of oil through the spark plug hole and recheck compression. If it was low for the dry test and increases more than just a couple psi during the wet test your most likely cause would be worn rings or cylinder. Hope that helps. Seems strange to have such a low mileage engine burning oil. Have you checked your air filter and air box lately?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Oatmeal,

Yes,checked air box and filter, both clean as can be. When I said engine sounded like crap, I was referring to engine noise, there is no sputtering or anything like that. There is a pretty loud clacking coming from top end at startup for 5 seconds or so. Also can hear another lower more consistent sound, almost like a low rumble coming from the low end. I really did not notice how noisy my engine was until listening to my friend’s TW the other day. Guess I’ll do a compression test and see where that leads. it does seem weird that a low Mileage engine is having these issues, especially with proper maintenance.
 

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I've been watching this but some of the signs and symptoms you mention it has me crossed from what I know. If it ran fine before the valve check and now it's making noise (or more noise) and burning oil now, this has me befuddled.

I suppose it's possible for the piston/rings to just go bad but gosh, kind of unlikely to go that fast from a valve adjustment. Only other thing I can think of is the valve guide seals started leaking.

If you get a lot of carbon deposits on top of the piston (and in the combustion chamber) from the burning oil, this could be a point of possible engine noise with no room left for the piston.

Last fall I honed (not bored) and replaced my piston and rings with new stock size ones because my TW was burning a lot of oil. I had first replaced the valve guide seals thinking this might be the source of my oil burning but it was not. It was worn piston rings. I had over 16,000 miles on my engine so this is not the same as yours with it happening at such low mileage.

When you changed the oil did you bleed the oil system after putting in the new oil? Not doing this could cause oil starvation and maybe it didn't lubricate the piston.

I think your gonna have to disassemble the engine and take a peek inside to see if there is any damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the replies,

I bought the bike about six months ago, it only had 45 miles on it, it had sat in a garage for about 2 years. Carb was all gunned up but after cleaning that out it ran great for 750 miles. Admiral, I did not bleed the oil after the change, did not realize that was necessary.

At this point I don’t think the valve adjustment has anything to do with the oil burning, my first reaction was that I had screwed something up, but after double checking everything I don’t believe that is the case. Hopefully it’s either valve seals or rings, think I can handle that. A little concerned the entire engine is going to need rehab. Kinda a bummer, part of the allure of the TW was the simple, bomb proof engine and minimalist maintenance schedule. Might have just got a lemon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Forget to mention there was a strange sludge on the underside of the oil filter, consistency of mud. Can’t be a good sign.
 

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Forget to mention there was a strange sludge on the underside of the oil filter, consistency of mud. Can’t be a good sign.
Could be sludge from dust/debris and if not metallic it could be the composite material from the cam chain guides wearing off. This is common and could look like sludge.

Yes, there is an oil galley bolt you should loosen right after an oil change. Loosen the bolt, start the engine and when you see oil starts to seep out then shut the engine off. Don't forget to tighten the oil galley bolt back. I forgot once and wrecked an engine.

Good luck turning your lemon into lemonade. Lemonade tastes so much better. :giggle:
 

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Not sure if it has been mentioned here yet or not but I vote for leak down test. If rings are bad, better to find out now. I agree many symptoms are puzzling.
 

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Ref reply #14

".......it only had 45 miles on it, it had sat in a garage for about 2 years. Carb was all gunned up but after cleaning that out it ran great for 750 miles......."

It's not just the rings bedding in is it?

I bought a new car a while ago and that used oil until the engine was run in??
 

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Ref reply #14

".......it only had 45 miles on it, it had sat in a garage for about 2 years. Carb was all gunned up but after cleaning that out it ran great for 750 miles......."

It's not just the rings bedding in is it?

I bought a new car a while ago and that used oil until the engine was run in??
I'm inclined to think this way as well....unless it was horribly abused for those 45 miles, the rings shouldn't be "worn".
The valve guides may have dried out, so those will need to be looked at and possibly replaced.

Then, I would change the oil and try this break-in method...Dispelling Engine Break-In Myths With High Performance Academy


Or....you could try this method...it's up to you: Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don’t think it’s any normal ring break in, went through 1/2 a quart of oil in less than a tank after not burning any oil for over 700 miles. It belches blue smoke and drips oil out of the silencer. I’m going to take the head and cylinder off this weekend, hopefully that will give a better clue as to what is going on.
 
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