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Thread: Stuck Engine R60US

  1. #1
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    Stuck Engine R60US

    Hi all,

    I inherited my father-in-law's 1968 R60 US a few years back. It had been sitting in his garage since the 1980s (not stored properly). I pulled it out and brought it up north where it sat for a few more years until I had the time and resources to work on it. Which is now. I'm not a super experienced mechanic, but I'm a fair hand with a wrench. Spent years working in bicycle shops, kept a 1982 Suzuki bike running for awhile, and have worked on all sorts of cars, small engines etc. I'm currently riding a 2014 G650GS Sertao that I maintain.

    The R60 is complete, but the engine is stuck. I can push it around in neutral just fine, but put it in gear and nothing. Guy I know up here in VT says he generally fills the cylinders/crank case with kerosene, lets it sit, then sees if he can't get the engine to turn. If it does, he tries to start it just to see where the bike is at. My goal is to tear the whole bike down regardless, so don't know if I should bother trying to start it if I get the engine free, or if I should just get the engine free while in the bike, then just start the removal process.

    After reading some threads on here, I decided to try putting some Coca Cola in there first (I figured if I can spend $3, that's better than $20 in penetrating oil!). So now there's coke in there, and I've tried lightly working the kick starter, with no luck. I'm hesitant to put it in 2nd/3rd and rock it, as I read some folks say this can affect the drive gear. Soooo. what's the best way to proceed? If I pop off the front cover, does the generator need to come off for me to try turning the crank with a wrench? Should I pull the valve covers and heads and tap on the pistons with a mallet and wood? Should I just pull the engine right from the start and work on it that way? I am planning on draining the coke in another day or so and then pouring in some marvel mystery oil.

    Any and all thoughts/recommendations greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I would say proceed cautiously...let time do its thing. I probably would have used a known penetrant like AeroKroil or PB Blaster and just let things soak and soak. Even if you get the engine free, I'd be hesitant about just seeing if it will start. There's going to be rust on the cylinder walls, maybe you have a ring partially held up...as soon as you start things, you're going to do more damage and break a ring etc.

    I wouldn't try and turn the engine with something on the front of the end. Your mechanical advantage is small there and you'll end up screwing that up too. So, if you're intent on getting the engine to at least turn, either try the kicker...easy on that...or maybe putting it a high gear and try rolling the bike.

    I suppose if nothing works, then you'd have to pull the engine. But you won't be able to get the cylinders off and you'll still have the same situation sitting on the bench. But I suppose you could turn the engine on the side and really get the rings soaking...you could even put some direct heat around the edge of the piston. Then after a while, flip the engine to the other side and repeat. Maybe that way you can get closer to the problem area rather than trying to work on it from the outside.

    I wonder if you're going to have trouble getting the heads off? So, if soaking in Coke or better a penetrant doesn't do the job, then see if you can get the heads off then pull engine out of the frame. Sometimes heads are difficult to get off and a spinning engine can help with that...a trick is to put something in there like a coiled rope and use the kicker to push from the inside. But if the engine turns, you can remove a cylinder and use a soft wood from the inside to use force on the inside of the combustion chamber to get the head off.

    Be the least harsh on it while you work up to the ladder of tricks!
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
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    Coke would have been the last thing I would have put in the cylinders! The stuff will dry up and leave a sticky mess! I can't believe anyone would recommend it!

    At this point I would probably pull the heads and get the Coke cleaned out, spray some known penetrant around the edges of the pistons and let is sit for a few days, giving it a shot of penetrant every day.

    At the end of a week take a chunk of 2x4 and a hammer and give the pistons a few taps and see if they move. My guess is it will not take too much to break them loose.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  4. #4
    +1 on the Coke concern. Itís mostly water and will likely end up in the crankcase causing condensation corrosion. I believe the r60 crank is built up with roller and ball bearings, you DO NOT want those rusting.
    I would immediately pull the heads and change oil, even really cheap stuff is probably better than whatís in there now. Spray around the pistons and cylinder with PB Blaster or similar and let it set a day or two. A few taps with a wood block and hammer should free it.

    Good luck!
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  5. #5
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    Thanks everybody, will get the coke out and give penetrating oil a try. I suspect I'll be back here soon enough...

  6. #6
    Registered User Benton629's Avatar
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    Stuck Engine R60 US

    I would suggest filling the engine with diesel, kerosene, or automatic transmission fluid and letting it sit a week or more.
    I would suggest tipping the engine on its side and filling each cylinder through the spark plug holes. Let it sit a while before tipping it to do the opposite side.
    More than likely it is a stuck piston and rings that has locked this engine.
    Benton

    1995 R1100GS
    2000 ZRX1100

  7. #7
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    The problem at this point with filling the engine cylinders with diesel, kerosene or some other penetrant is most oils float on water which Coke is mostly made off, it very likely will not get to the places it needs to because those parts are covered on Coke, and no way to get all the Coke out with the heads on.

    To the OP, pull the heads. More importantly you said you were going to rebuild it anyway. Pull the heads! If it were me the heads would be off before the day is over!
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  8. #8

    I've had two so far!

    Barn Bike 1.0 and Barn Bike 2.0, both were ridden hard and hung up in a real wet, soupy and unforgiving environment. Both had the motors stuck beyond flooding them with stuff and hoping they would unstick them so I took another route of persuasion. Hopefully your R 60US is not as bad as these two but if they are at least you have started your adventure and learning experience with not much money invested, its your call if there is an emotional attachment enough to jump in with some extra effort and cash.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Thanks all for weighing in. There's enough of an attachment to the bike that I'll invest a good amount time and money to bring it back. I've drained everything off that came out of it and have added two quarts marvel mystery oil in it and poured some into the spark plug holes. Left cylinder the oil pours right in. The right cylinder fills right up with the oil and I can see it sitting there. I'll lean it to the left tonight and see what happens overnight and then try to remove the cylinder heads tomorrow.

  10. #10

    The heads can be tricky

    Barn Bike 1.0 was a challenge because it had sat for so long in a variety of very hostile environments, I literally had to make a puller out of other shop tools and work slowly to get both heads off. It's going back together now and all it took was some patience, some money, shade tree tech and a desire to get the Barn Bike 1.0 back up and running and better than before.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69zeff65 View Post
    Barn Bike 1.0 was a challenge because it had sat for so long in a variety of very hostile environments, I literally had to make a puller out of other shop tools and work slowly to get both heads off. It's going back together now and all it took was some patience, some money, shade tree tech and a desire to get the Barn Bike 1.0 back up and running and better than before.
    Wow, really beautiful work. Hopefully I'll get there and coke hasen't doomed me right from the start!

  12. #12
    69zeff65,

    That crank looks nasty! Was it salvageable?
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  13. #13

    Paper weight!

    The slingers were full and in one of the first few pictures you can see where the front slinger actually melted and expanded out like a balloon and caused the motor to seize while on its last ride back in 1975. The R 50/2 in the next few pictures had packed slingers and the left wrist pin was frozen in the piston which caused the motor to seize back 30 years ago.

    Hopefully the OP's R 60 US is in better shape internally and all it needs is a hone and some new rings to get it up and running for a test ride. Jasper, just keep your goal in mind and when it seems like things are going bad with the bike reemeber the history and the family connections.

  14. #14
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    cylinder heads are off

    Okay, so the heads came off relatively easily. Doesn't look too bad in there, but the engine still won't budge. I'm a little worried about the coke I poured in there as some of this for sure made it into the crank case. It is fill up with marvel mystery oil at this point, so I'm not concerned about anything rusting in there too soon, but I'm not certain how to make sure I can get all of it out. I have read that for water you can pour mineral spirits in and hand rotate the engine and drain it a few times to deal with this. My thought is if I can free it up, drain it again, fill with with mineral spirits a few times and then move forward relatively at ease that the coke situation didn't bugger anything up too much.

    20201228_leftCylinder.jpg
    20201228_leftCylinderHead.jpg
    20201228_rightCylinder.jpg
    20201228_rightCylinderHead.jpg

    On a separate note, the bolt/nut that runs through the center of the valve cover is missing from this bike, as is the gasket between the cover and cylinder head. Not sure if someone took the cover off to try and free up the engine, but looks like I'll have to track one of these down. Thanks all for the input.

  15. #15
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I'd worry about the coke and where it's gone. My feeling is that you're going to replace just about everything in the bottom end, certainly all the bearings. I'm thinking that the coke will do its damage over a long period of time, so just keep working to free the pistons. I don't see mention of a strong penetrant. Actually one of the best penetrants is a 50-50 mix of acetone and automatic transmission fluid. Keep soaking the edges of the piston. Also, use a hair dryer or maybe even a heat gun on the lower setting to try and put heat around the edge of the piston. Then as it cools, slap more penetrant on...the cooling will help draw the penetrant in deeper.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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