Engine Failure at 4800 miles (USA)

Discussion in '7th Generation 2010-Present' started by Joshua Rideout, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Joshua Rideout

    Joshua Rideout New Member

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    I bought my bike used with 1500 miles on it from a Honda dealer two years ago and just rolled over 4800 miles on it. The first owner serviced it at the dealership, I do my own service as i'm an auto tech, using Honda oil and filters, I change it once a year as I don't put on miles very quickly. Since the first day I bought it, it would make a tapping noise while warming up, only for about a minute, until this last couple weeks when it developed a light knock with no load on the engine at idle and just above. I know rod knock when I feel it. I contacted Honda and they said I have to take it to a dealership and they won't offer any assistance as there is no recall on my bike. I'm not paying a dealer to have them tell me I'm shafted, I already know that!

    So I've ordered a 2012 engine for my bike and pulled the old one out. I found scoring in the oil pump, The crank bearings are trashed, and the crankshaft is grooved. I found a small amount of aluminum shavings the size of glitter in the oil, and one was still in one of the main bearing oil grooves when I took it apart.

    Here are some pictures I've taken. I'll take some more inside the engine as I further disassemble it (It's going to be a coffee table now), But I'll be putting the new (used) engine in first.

    B422AF34-5C85-409F-AF3E-55B1A9138676.jpeg 3C604FAC-C052-4585-8760-08DD5258ADF3.jpeg DD2A033C-BB22-41C2-9F40-42FEF01B69F2.jpeg 176F3025-6B76-4C3B-8F13-C7AC49659DC9.jpeg 1202E282-4575-417E-9AEA-1365776D5483.jpeg

    I never expected this kind of poor quality control from Honda! They were the one brand for when it had to work it had to be a Honda! I think it hurts even more that they didn't even offer to diagnose if the problem was in manufacturing, They just said no, it's your problem now.
     
  2. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Yikes - Joshua that is a really sad first post on this forum :Cry:

    Please can you confirm what year was your 7th Gen manufactured?

    I recall that there was iindeed a batch of early 2010 models affected by an issue with manufacturing swarf not being completely cleaned before engines were installed and shipped to customers. I had the impression that affected 2010 models had all been recalled and inspected, so I really hope your post is not indicative of the problem extends beyond the problematic initial batch.

    Obviously if you do have a 2010 model - then after 10 years it will be well outside any warranty and no amount of sympathy from your local dealership is going to result in them being willing to pick up the bill for a relacement engine.

    The only realistic chance you might have to get real help with this problem, is to get pen and paper out and craft a polite LETTER (do NOT email) and post it to the MD at Honda Japan. Nowadays "real post" is so rare in business that it does get read and does reach senior people who could decide to do whatever may be needed to protect their brand image. As for what you say, just explain what has happened add your photos, and if you are lucky Mr Honda may be willing to contribute towards the cost of getting your bike on the road again.

    Good luck and PLEASE let us know how you get on.


    SkiMad
     
  3. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Getting trigger happy - must be time for McCallan

    Try this

    Takahiro Hachigo
    President - Honda Motor Co Ltd.
    Head Office
    2-1-1, Minami-Aoyama,
    Minato-ku,
    Tokyo 107-8556, Japan
     
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  4. Joshua Rideout

    Joshua Rideout New Member

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    I appreciate the sympathy. I already have a replacement engine ordered. It has a bit more miles on it at 11,000mi, so it will be back up and running very soon.

    I am suggesting that the manufacturing problems exceed what was claimed. My bike is a 2010 standard model, but it is a USA sold bike and the recall only covered bikes sold in the UK. I've been able to find posts from other regions with similar failures as well.

    I'm not going to mail a letter to Japan. It is Honda's reputation to protect, not mine, and my bike will be fixed without their help, However my next bike will not be a Honda.
     
  5. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Glad you found an engine.... 11k isn't even broken in yet.
     
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  6. Joshua Rideout

    Joshua Rideout New Member

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    Yeah it's a real shame that quality control took the first one out. After getting hands on taking it apart, and working on engines for my job I can say that the design is really solid, It's a beautiful motor. The only things I saw that I didn't like were a few acute corners from milling in the casing that leave the metal pretty thin, and rough tooling marks from having to use really long tool lengths for some of the milling. There is one case bolt that's blocked by the rear cylinder head, but if you leave it till last it can be split apart without removing the head, but i'm willing to bet it's a one time use bolt. Minor things.

    Kind of sucks that replacing the engine takes some value off the bike though. I think I could have sold it for $8k, but now only around $6k which I'm not sure is worth it as I still have $2800 to pay off on it.
     
  7. rhoderage

    rhoderage New Member

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    A guy I work with pre-ordered and paid for a 2010 before they were released... he bought the first one sold in Canada. It was beautiful, he treated it like gold and he only had it serviced at Honda as he is a very particular person. Same problem as yours, 4 years and less than 10k km and the engine shredded. Honda took it in, took it apart, and with no recall declined to do anything for him.... he parted it out. Terrible shame, he lost a TON of money and he was a long-time VFR guy who is now a BMW guy.

    So this sucks but you are right that Honda unfortunately is not going to touch this.
     
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  8. Ridem32

    Ridem32 New Member

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    That is very sad. I have a 2010 with only 1,200 miles on it. Kinda scared now !!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. On2wheels

    On2wheels New Member

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    Wow, I understand there's going to be many more happy customers than disappointed ones out there, and I guess every bike forum will have stories like this. It's only when those of us researching these ones do we find stories like this. I'm looking at a 2010 now with 25000km on it, at a dealer who only wants $6k, does that sound right? Considering people who had engines changed 10 years ago, would a dealer be obligated to tell a buyer the bikes history? Trying to keep a warm fuzzy feeling about this one but it's getting harder the more I dig about them. It's DCT as well.

    How is yours doing?

    Mods delete this if it's breaking necro rules.
     
  10. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    I am not sure what you are driving at here On2Wheels.

    In theory as soon as Honda identified the issue in this early production batch, dealers were instructed to inspect them thoroughly when next in for service and they were then either cleared or had the engine replaced, although potentially some were missed entirely.

    I guess main Honda dealers would have kept some record of what was done for any bikes sold or serviced by them. British bikes tend to have the selling dealers details shown in small letters at the bottom of the number plate - whether something similar happens in the States I have no idea - but if you can somehow identify the original dealer then a phone call might enable you to find out whether your potential purchase was checked, cleared, replaced, or missed.

    The VFR1200 is a fantastic bike with an awesome engine. Price was actually the main reason they did not sell, although magazines tended to grumble about the fuel tank capacity/range.

    Obviously 12 years on, price is much less of an issue, but if you really are looking for a "fuzzy feeling" when considering a potential purchase, then you are probably better off just looking for a 2012 onwards model which also has a marginally larger fuel tank and is not at risk of the engine problem which affected some of the 2010 batch.

    SkiMad
     
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