Author Topic: Replacing blown head gasket question  (Read 463 times)

ukebob

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Replacing blown head gasket question
« on: April 10, 2017, 01:32:56 PM »
After going through previous posts on the subject, I realize that I am not alone in having my HD 200's head gasket blown. However, I haven't read anything about anyone actually replacing the gasket. According to the service manual, the engine has to be removed to perform this task! While on the subject of the manual, has anyone ever found an up to date version? When I asked the parts guy at my dealer if he knew of one, he said he would e mail me a pdf of the one his service dept uses. Guess what- it was identical to the one I had! I don't think it covers anything beyond 2010.
Anyway, here's my question, has anyone on this forum performed the install of the head gasket and did they remove the engine? I'd appreciate any advice I can get before starting.
Thanks,
Bob

Tromper

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 07:27:24 PM »
Hi Bob,

While diagnosing what ended up being a fuel related problem on mine I was eyeballing the bike (stripped of plastic) for the same question.
To me, it didn't look like there'd be enough clearance to pull the head without dropping the drive train.
Dropping the motor/rear wheel assembly looked like a PITA but far from undoable.  Just a matter of space and time.
Far as the manual goes, I don't believe there's an major difference in the U.S. models over the last decade or so.  Rumor from my local SYM dealer says that this year there are no new HDs but the FI ones may be here next year...of course they've been say that for five years, but I can still dream, & my old one's back to chugging along.

What are your symptoms?  are you seeing water in the oil?
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650

ukebob

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 12:59:22 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Tromper, I agree with your conclusions regarding getting the head off the engine. It seems that the only way is to drop the engine, in fact i have the side panels off and in the process of removing the evap stuff first. That brings me to the subject of the manual again. While the engine and frame may not have changed much, if at all, the evap equipment was added after the service manual was written. The story my service guy gave me regarding the HD200, is that they are dropping it, being replaced by a new Fiddle, rumor, of course!
Regarding the symptoms I'm having, it's a long story, but closely follows that of others who ended up with a blown head: first, temp gauge always on cold, then suddenly after a long ride, moving to the high end, then after a while, settling down again. Then I had the coolant down the left leg shield, indicating coolant overflowing. To cut a long story short, I replaced everything connected to the cooling system, radiator cap, thermostat, thermo switch and thermo unit. I left the gauge alone as I felt it was OK. For a while everything seemed OK, but there were times when the scooter was hard to start in the mornings, sometimes having me remove and dry the plug. Eventually, thinking that it was a fuel overflowing problem, I checked the fuel petcock by disconnecting the tube from the petcock to the carb. Finding no problem there, I removed the carb and cleaned it and this is where it gets strange. I started the engine and it seemed OK at first, then started stumbling and the tell tale white smoke poured out the exhaust! How or why this happened so suddenly after cleaning and replacing the carb is beyond me! After this episode I removed the spark plug and it was wet with coolant. Later when I hit the starter button with the plug still out, coolant literally gushed out, spraying all over the leg shield! I keep asking myself, how did this problem suddenly occur after removing and replacing the carb? Coolant does flow to the carb and back from the thermostat as a heater, but it cannot enter the carb itself, so it can't be that. If it's just a coincidence, is it possible for a gasket to suddenly leak so much, so quickly?
Like I said, it's a long story, but there's no doubt that I have  blown gasket, or maybe, a leaking fuel pump seal.
I was thinking of buying a new HD200 before all this happened as I really, really love riding it. The riding position is perfect, the engine puts out enough power and up until the overheating problem occurred, it was trouble free. Now, I'm not so sure. I ride far and fast and it seems like the HD200 is not meant for that. Please, will someone reassure me that the problem has been sorted out with the new model!
Bob

Tromper

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 06:26:52 PM »
That does sound like a possible Head Gasket, I'd considering doing a comp test just to be sure.
Someone in this forum mentioned that the HD got a mild update to address the issue in 2012, but I really never saw much to back that.

The head gasket things seems almost more like a QC issue to me since it's not all bikes in every year.
If yours doesn't pop..welll...someone won the cannonball on one, & I assure you that is not a friendly ride for your bike.  Think it was a k8, but could be wrong.

I agree with ya on the bike size/power re:that it's in a sweet spot.  My Kymco S200 was about one level slower, but notably bulletproof, & easier to maintain.
I sold it and still have the HD.
The gasket itself is not too expensive if you poke around. If you have the time & space (I did not) I'd just do it.  Not a lot to lose.

Far as evap stuff goes, there is a thread here somewhere (do some searches or google bypass epa stuff or something) which shows how to bypass it,but also shows where the stuff is by necessity.  Whether you bypass it or not is up to you of course.  I would never encourage someone to subvert federal or state regulations.  Nope.  Not me.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 09:24:07 PM by Tromper »
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650

GLV55

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 11:12:03 AM »
Far as evap stuff goes, there is a thread here somewhere (do some searches or google bypass epa stuff or something) which shows how to bypass it,but also shows where the stuff is by necessity.  Whether you bypass it or not is up to you of course.  I would never encourage someone to subvert federal or state regulations.  Nope.  Not me.
Luckily, I live in a state where all that crap can be taken off. In fact, the local scooter shop here takes all the evap stuff off of their HDs before they even hit the showroom floor. Love it.
2014 PCH 150 (Matte Black)
Nampa, ID

Syd

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 02:08:16 PM »
...someone won the cannonball on one, & I assure you that is not a friendly ride for your bike.  Think it was a k8, but could be wrong.
I don't know what year the HD200 was, but in 2008 a guy used the stock HD200 owned by Scoot! magazine after his custom bike blew up. Then 4 years later used it again.

Check out http://www.scootercannonball.com/ to see the routes they used; Trooper's right, "it's not (an easy) race".

Tromper

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 04:40:07 PM »
Technically not a race at all.
I managed to finish, but not do well on my 10th choice bought site unseen and barely worked up Kymco, but only because the model was bullet proof (S200).
Was going to use the HD but it went down with a malady I couldn't readily diagnose or get someone to work on at an awkward time.
It was a heck of a run, but pretty rough on the bike and myself.
08 SYM HD200
07 Suzuki Burgman 650

Homer Sympson

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2017, 11:38:29 AM »
I bought a new head gasket online and my local SYM dealer will do the labor for $240. If you can arrange a deal like that yourself, that may be worth it. Just food for thought.

ukebob

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 01:02:18 PM »
Thanks, Homer, but my closest dealer is about 60 miles away and my scooter is already in pieces. I have a head gasket on its way, so I guess I'll be tackling the job myself. Meanwhile I bought a Vespa GT 200 to play with!
Bob

ukebob

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Re: Replacing blown head gasket question
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 01:51:05 PM »
Just an update on my Sym HD 200 situation. After messing with removing the evap stuff prior to replacing the head gasket, I decided that the job is too much for my old body's capabilities and I'm selling the scooter as is. I'm sure there are people out there who could perform the task without much effort and end up with a great scooter. It was running fine until the overheating problem started. In fact I bought a new back tire and a transmission belt for it as  they needed replacing. So for around $800 this 2012 orange scooter with Gianelli exhaust, new tire and belt, windscreen, this could be a rewarding project! PM me if interested.

Bob