Weird Smell Question

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Weird Smell Question

Post by Dr.Tramp » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:50 pm

Hello. Dr.Tramp here. I just picked up a 2011 Patrol with a completely rebuilt engine; crank, rods, cylinders, pistons, everything, so I'm still breaking it in.
After being ridden long enough for everything to be warmed up completely I get a burnt/melted rubber smell coming from the engine area. No smoke, squeaks, rattles, or knocks, just the smell. It definitely smells like rubber rather than overheated brakes or clutch.
I checked to see if anything is toughing the exhaust but found nothing and the lights, clutch, reverse, and 2wd are all working fine.
This is my first Ural though I've worked on Harleys, Indians, British Iron, European bikes, and everything made in Japan but have never encountered this smell unless something was toughing an exhaust.
Is this a normal phenomena for a new engine or Urals in general or is there something else I should be checking?
Ride Safe. Dr.Tramp..........

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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by SidecarDan » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:37 pm

Any chance your rear tire is rubbing on the drive shaft?
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by jaybird » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:09 am

How much run time is on the engine? It’s not unusual for any new engine to make a smell until any residual gasket sealer, paint, etc “burns off”.

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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:08 am

That's the smell of Russian Accrobats. ENJOY!
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2013 Black Retro, Chernaya Krasota, formally known as, my name is nobody.

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by cookiemech » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:53 am

I'm going with the rear tire rubbing the driveshaft theory as well. Stock Duro 308 with a nicely trued wheel will not rub, but anything else might.
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by CrankyTom » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:44 am

I got that smell when I put new gaskets on my exhaust headers at the cylinder head.It was quite disturbing but I knew that had to be what it was because it was the only thing I'd changed.
Definitely double and triple check that nothing is touching the exhaust or that no wires are melting though.
And it took longer to go away than you'd think,too.
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Dr.Tramp » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:28 am

Thanks for the replies. When I noticed it I went over the entire bike and checked for anything touching the exhaust, tires rubbing, etc. but found nothing.
The exhaust gaskets sound like a distinct possibility and I was hoping it was something simple. I worked in the motorcycle industry for 30 years and while I've smelled a lot of weird stuff this was a first, especially when I couldn't find anything touching the exhaust or rubbing. I wonder what those gaskets are made of?
I got the rig from a shop in Wisconsin where the engine was rebuilt and had it shipped to Cheyenne so it's not like I can just drop by the shop and pick the tech's brain. They put about a 100 miles on it after the rebuild so I'm sure they noticed the smell but if it's normal they wouldn't have thought to mention it when it got sold.
I downloaded a PDF of the owner/service manual and went over all the fluids, nuts, bolts, and adjustments before the first ride and will be doing a full service soon.
So far it's been working great. Both my ankles are fused solid so I need to build a hand shift setup and modify the foot brake to make it easier to shift and brake and I'm going to lower the foot pegs a bit to get more room under the cylinders for my feet.
By the time warm weather gets here, another 3 or 4 months, I'll be familiar with it's quirks.
Ride Safe. Dr.Tramp...........

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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by lee 303 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:00 pm

I rebuilt my 1996 650 last year and it stunk for the first couple of weeks. I narrowed it down to cylinder paint baking off. The solvent /vehicle in the paint finally cooked off.After that I just got the stench of that new blend fuel/alcohol.
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by ReCycled » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:26 am

This is a tough one to call with smells and especially descriptions of smells being so subjective.

I agree with others that it is probably nothing and will likely go away or at least change...but;
The one rubber bit I have smelled prior to/during failure is in the alternator's cush drive. Not sure how you'd isolate the smell in a test drive but thought I'd offer one thing to look at (or be paranoid about:) if it persists.
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Mr Wazzock » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:34 am

Does the gas tank have an overflow stroke breather pipe (hose), and if it does, does it hang down the rear right side of the crankcase, and if it does, is it touching the exhaust pipe? Should point straight down to the ground between crankcase and frame tube. Not between frame tube and exhaust. I'm just guessing. :D
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Dr.Tramp » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:31 am

Thanks for the suggestions folks.
I double checked for wires and hoses touching the exhaust and tires rubbing fenders but still nothing.
New paint cooking has it's own distinct smell and after painting hundreds of Harley cylinders with wrinkle black I can say that this definitely isn't it.
This is a 2011 750 so it has the later model cushion drive alternator. Is there anyway to check it without actual disassembly?
Any passengers will be riding in the car so I think I'll swap out the bench seat for a Harley police solo seat I have in the parts stash.
Ride Safe. Dr.Tramp..............

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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Mr Wazzock » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:39 am

OK, had a complete rebuild, so as suggested must be gaskets / sealant? Image
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by jeffsaline » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:28 pm

About two weeks ago I changed the bearings in the alternator drive on my 2010 Gear Up as preventative maintenance. All seemed well with the OEM installed bearings, even with the drive off the engine and alternator off the drive. It spun smoothly and no smell. When I removed the bearings I could immediately detect a burnt smell and there was evidence between the bearings where they had been hot. I replace the bearings with new 6004 bearings and also cleaned them and greased with Krytox GPL205 grease.

Since I was in the area I also did some preventative maintenance on the starter. No rust, little grime and no lube after 10 years. I did have to undercut the commutator. I used Lubriplate grease to lube the ends of the armature and the starter drive. While the starter was out I also cleaned the side of the flywheel and put some model paint on the timing marks. Additionally I added a 2 inch long stripe of paint just before the timing marks so I will get a warning I'm close to them.

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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Eric N » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:01 pm

The fuel tank on a 2011 is easy to remove. Disconnect the fuel line from the petcock, drain the tank from reserve. Remove the bench seat, undo the two bolts at the front of the fuel tank, disconnect the cross fuel line under the tank (connects left to right, I disconnect left and let both drain into a funnel). The tank will slide back and off.

There's a wiring harness under the tank running down the frame tube. Sometimes those can smoke depending on what's happened to the bike. I know you've indicated an exhaust burning smell, but I'd hook the bike up to an auxiliary tank, run it with a fan in front to prevent overheating and with main tank off, let it get to temperature. Without the fuel tank in the way, you'll have better access to things. Turn the fan off once the engine's nice and hot, and start figuring out where the smell is coming from.

Alternator gears should have a little slack. If you slightly loosen the alternator and turn it, you can adjust the gear slack. People sometimes think quiet is good and overtighten the alternator lash. Tight alternator might be stressing something. It that's the source of your smell, increase the gear slack a little and see if your smell goes away.

Raceway makes a hand shifter - http://racewayural.com/product/ural-twi ... t-pn10014/

+1 on the Harley Police Solo seat, I've put them on both my Urals.
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Re: Weird Smell Question

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:44 pm

cookiemech wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:53 am
I'm going with the rear tire rubbing the driveshaft theory as well. Stock Duro 308 with a nicely trued wheel will not rub, but anything else might.
+1
2011 Patrol, The Higgs Bison Super Collider, formally known as, the Orange and Silver Pumpkin Coach.

2013 Black Retro, Chernaya Krasota, formally known as, my name is nobody.

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
pray the road is long , full of adventure, full of knowledge
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage

C.P. Cavafy

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