MTC Failure Disaster

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MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:27 am

I high jacked DaveW's post on MTC Failure with my own MTC failure. So, I thought I would start my own thread, as this story continues. As I understand it, as explained here and by the mechanic at my KTM shop, the MTC Failure is a catch all and doesn't always mean what it says. In my case, it meant disaster!

The first time I saw the failure was as I pulled into a parking lot and the bike died. Eventually I was able to get it restarted and it seemingly ran fine after that. Looking back, I wonder if this is when it dropped the tang on the center spark plug and began running on only one plug in the front cylinder. I did notice it was a little more rough after that.

Here is a picture of the spark plugs. The one with the broken tang came from the center hole in the head. The other plug came from the offset hole.
Image

After tearing down the bike to see where the broken tang went this is what was found. I wonder if the tang first lodged then hit the head, causing the indent, then slipped down the side and caused the damage to the rings and lands on the piston. Once broken, the piston allowed burning gas down the cylinder which caused oil starvation and scarring.

Small indentation on Cylinder Head (right center):
Image

The mechanic seems to think it was pre-ignition that caused the broken rings and lands. If that's the case the problem may be outside the cylinder. It also means the other cylinder will need to be torn down to see if there is any damage there. It also means that a "crate" engine, which is what the shop is pushing for, may not solve the problem. I hope at least for a crate engine. If I'm right, the lower end will need to be pulled apart to see if there is any additional material left in the bottom of the motor, which will probably be necessary in either case anyway.

Cylinder Wall Scouring:
Image

More scouring on cylinder wall, opposite the scouring above:
Image

Broke ring lands, scraper ring was also broken:
Image

I really hope my buddy Jim is wrong about this bike being abused and hope that this is just a freak occurrence. If it was abused, there may be other unknown damage that is waiting to crop up.

More to come as we hear more about what damage exists and what course of action KTM takes to resolve this. Hopefully, no ones else's MTC Failure has the same result as my case.
Last edited by jfink on Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Joe

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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jjscsix » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:52 am

Joe, still can’t see your pics on my iPad, I’ll look on my home computer tonight.

I actually am hoping your bike was abused. Think about what the alternative is. And abused could simply mean the owner used regular fuel and put in some sort of winter fuel additive then ran it hard.

Here is another thought. Your bike, like many needed the fuel pump fix. Wasn’t one of the effects that the bike was not getting enough fuel? Maybe KTM underestimated possible consequences of that problem. My bike had the fuel pump replaced before the bike was delivered.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:25 pm

jjscsix wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:52 am
Joe, still can’t see your pics on my iPad, I’ll look on my home computer tonight.

I actually am hoping your bike was abused. Think about what the alternative is. And abused could simply mean the owner used regular fuel and put in some sort of winter fuel additive then ran it hard.

Here is another thought. Your bike, like many needed the fuel pump fix. Wasn’t one of the effects that the bike was not getting enough fuel? Maybe KTM underestimated possible consequences of that problem. My bike had the fuel pump replaced before the bike was delivered.
I understand, but my experience has been if a bike has been abused, the problems that occur are broader than the final issue that decommissions the bike. Which means, to me, what other problems lie waiting to be discovered after this one is repaired? There are so many reasons this could have happened, we probably will never know. Hopefully, this bike will live a long and enjoyable life after the problem gets resolved.

I am not certain why this problem with the pictures keeps occuring. Some people see them first time, some after a while and a few never. I wish there was an easy explanation, hopefully someone else will come along and tell me they can see them.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jjscsix » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:39 am

Joe, I see the pics now. I'm on an iPad, but a different one. The damage is very perplexing to say the least.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by DaveNZ » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:13 am

I see the pictures also, i guess the question is, why did the spark plugs fail, leading to the engine damage. How many miles has the bike travelled?, Low milage i would think.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by DaveW » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:25 am

Photos open now
Like Dave NZ questions ?
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:17 am

I bought the bike with 1721 miles (2770 km). It now has about 2400 miles (3900 km). There was no real indication that the bike had been abused. Original tire looked good, although I took a nail right after buying it and had to replace. The chain was slightly dirty, but not worn and cleaned up easily. I suspect the original owner did not have a stand to clean it. Underneath the seat was very clean.

Yeah, I agree; the question that needs to be answered is why did the spark plug fail. But I don't believe there will be an answer to that question. I think pulling the rear cylinder may or may not indicate if it was a pre-ignition problem caused by the ECU. But, I think it still ran to well, for the rear cylinder to also be wonky.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jjscsix » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:13 am

Joe, looking at the two spark plugs they do look different. Look how far down the center insulator part sticks down on the one that is broken further than the other one. I guess they could be designed that way due to their position and angle in the cylinder, but I would find that odd and what would stop someone from putting them in the wrong “hole” if they are supposed to be different
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by mrossk » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:09 pm

the bike does use two different spark plugs, inner and outer (one a "regular" plug, the other a fancy iridium one), or at least the 1290R does

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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:16 pm

jjscsix wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:13 am
Joe, looking at the two spark plugs they do look different. Look how far down the center insulator part sticks down on the one that is broken further than the other one. I guess they could be designed that way due to their position and angle in the cylinder, but I would find that odd and what would stop someone from putting them in the wrong “hole” if they are supposed to be different
Jim, the plugs are definitely different, with the offset plug being smaller diameter. It's really hard to say, but I think they are the same length. Someone may be able to get the smaller diameter into the bigger hole, but the other way around would definitely be difficult.

From the Users Manual:
- Inside spark plug NGK LKAR9BI-10
- Outside spark plug NGK LMAR7DI-10
mrossk wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:09 pm
the bike does use two different spark plugs, inner and outer (one a "regular" plug, the other a fancy iridium one), or at least the 1290R does
I believe there are very small engine differences between the GT and R, but the plugs aren't one of them.
Last edited by jfink on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jjscsix » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:06 pm

Okay, after looking at it again I can see the threads are different diameters so they cannot be put in the wrong hole. It’s definitely longer from the bottom of the threads to the end is the electrode. But I get now that it’s designed to be.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by Aussie Dave » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:28 pm

Hi Jfink....... I can see the photo's now too :shock: Wow..... carnage......

The plugs are normally changed at the 30k kms service (errr approx 19,000ml) so I wouldn't expect anybody to have interfered with plugs at such an early mileage.

I hope KTM bites the bullet and swaps the motor out for a newie - that gets you on the gas again while they forensically examine the broken motor (I suppose a new ECU might be a good precaution).

I wonder (and I am definitely no expert here ;) ) if something might have caused super lean running (a leaking or fractured hose/pipe or damaged wiring or....even something screwy at the airbox end).

Best wishes on a great outcome.. ;)
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:52 am

I talked to the shop today, they are in the process of tearing down the other cylinder. They have yet to see anything that would have 'caused' the problem and are talking with KTM. The tech writer is supposed to send me more pictures of the tear down.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by Aussie Dave » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:01 am

G'day again jfink...... was driving and a thought bubbled up from down the other end...... :o

Maybe somebody on here knows, but...... would an O2 sensor fault cause the cylinder to run too hot/lean? or a fractured/pinched wire....... hope they figure it out asap and get you on the road & smiling again.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:37 am

Aussie Dave wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:01 am
G'day again jfink...... was driving and a thought bubbled up from down the other end...... :o

Maybe somebody on here knows, but...... would an O2 sensor fault cause the cylinder to run too hot/lean? or a fractured/pinched wire....... hope they figure it out asap and get you on the road & smiling again.
I think they are looking for any answer right now. I would think a failed / faulted O2 sensor would show up as a fault code? May be a partial issue with an O2 sensor, that didn't generate a fault code? They seemed to be worried about the possibility that the ECU caused pre-ignition. Again, I hope they get to the bottom of it or replace anything that could have caused the problem.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:46 pm

More photos from the dark side:

Small Indent that was seen in my pictures:
Image

Something noted by the Mechanic, looks like a crack in the head?
Image

Scouring from a slightly different angle:
Image

Crown of rear cylinder piston:
Image

Side view of rear piston:
Image

Still waiting to hear about the direction from KTM but in the mechanics opinion there was no damage to the rear cylinder or piston, although I didn't get any pictures of the rear cylinder.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:19 pm

Well, the news is back from KTM. They don't have a "crate motor" per se, and they aren't going to give me a new bike, so ... Cycle Shack, my local dealer, plans to rebuild the engine. They are getting a parts list together, will order and rebuild. I have had a chance to talk to and gain trust in the mechanic who is doing the work. He has several decades of experience rebuilding motors. I am a little concerned that we were not able to discern the problem that created this mess. So, now it's wait and see.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jjscsix » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:06 pm

Joe, do you know how much they are going to have to hone the cylinder? I would have a few questions....will KTM extend the warranty on the rebuilt engine?

I'm glad you have developed a relationship with the mechanic. Obviously the last concern as you say is that you still don't know what caused it. It could be something as simple as the previous owner putting bad/low octanne fuel and lugging the engine. But even then it's concerning that whatever caused it did so with so few miles

Good luck.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:35 pm

jjscsix wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:06 pm
Joe, do you know how much they are going to have to hone the cylinder? I would have a few questions....will KTM extend the warranty on the rebuilt engine?

I'm glad you have developed a relationship with the mechanic. Obviously the last concern as you say is that you still don't know what caused it. It could be something as simple as the previous owner putting bad/low octanne fuel and lugging the engine. But even then it's concerning that whatever caused it did so with so few miles

Good luck.
Jim, I am hoping it will be a new cylinder not this one reconditioned. I did ask him while I had him on the phone what they would be ordering, and he said they were going to have to develop a 'parts list'. So, I may call and ask that they at least replace anything that was obviously damaged and not try to 'fix' them. I also asked about the extended warranty, but I guess I wasn't clear, because the service writer kept saying that all their work and parts are warranted for 90 days. The bikes warranty is for two years beginning 9/17 so the 90 day warranty isn't really helpful.

I am certain there will be the normal break in period after it is rebuilt, but after that I intend to give it a severe thrashing!!! :-) Hopefully, anything that isn't tied down, will show itself.
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Re: MTC Failure Disaster

Post by jfink » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:49 am

I talked to KTM Customer Service USA today. The dealership had indicated that they tried to get a 'crate' motor and he confirmed that none were available. The dealership indicated they were going to repair the damage on the head. I asked if it was policy to repair the head, and he said that it was the policy of KTM to replace, not repair any parts that were damaged, and that he would contact the dealership. Then I asked if the warranty would be 'restarted' since the bike was going to be rebuilt and yet we had no idea what caused the failure. He said he would have to submit that request to KTM management when the bike is repaired, but he would start the process.

If KTM follows through with this, I would be satisfied.

On another note, today I had breakfast with a few of my buddies. One of them had just purchased a Husqvarna 701 (same engine as the 690 duke). With 42 miles on the bike the flywheel and crankshaft failed. Lots of speculation, but the theory is that the flywheel was not properly torqued from the factory. He expects his engine to replaced. Another guy sitting at the table said, well I was thinking about a KTM but I am now reconsidering.
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