Hot Rods Crankshaft Catastrophic Failure (KTM 150 SX 2013)

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8/29/2017 11:09 PM

I had Hot Rods crankshaft blown up into pieces a week and a half ago. I was getting out of 180 degree turn with throttle wide open when I heard a loud bang and my rear wheel locked immediately. After I had come to stop coolant started to run out from a weeping hole bottom of crankcase so I knew I was in big trouble. Here is some pictures from the carnage I found inside the engine:

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I think culprit of all damage is small bolt holding the plastic filler piece. I think the bolt have come loose and made contact with connecting rod and caused it to break in pieces. I found half of the bolt on the bottom of the cases. The other half of the bolt was still in crankshaft.

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The crankshaft had only 27 running hours and i'm really pissed about it. Now i'm thinking whether I should rebuild the bike or part it out. It will need new engine cases, crankshaft, cylinder, piston, bearings and seals and that is not going to be cheap. Has anyone else had similar issues with Hot Rods crankshaft? I guess I have lesson learned and I will newer buy their products again

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8/29/2017 11:53 PM

Never owned one, but from all that I've read, I never will, either. Absolute junk. Too many people have learned that saving money at the the time of the rebuild, is more than spent when things go wrong. Not if, but when.

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8/30/2017 12:32 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 12:34 AM

Same think happened to my YZ. I got a decent 2nd hand pair of cases, new barrel, OEM crankshaft, piston & all the bearings & seals, reed block as it broke that as well. It is the worst thing that can happen. I think it's set me back approximately £1500.

Edit The crank was in it when I bought it. If & when I buy another 2nd hand bike, the first think I'll do is put a new crankshaft in it for piece of mind.

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8/30/2017 12:41 AM

That sucks... Parting the bike out might be the best thing to do if you can't find a complete engine.

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8/30/2017 2:13 AM

It is unbelievable that Hot Rods can carry on selling this kind of crap parts without any responsibility.

I'm really torn apart about parting the bike because I have some really nice parts on like SXS supension etc. Also I have really cheap insurance for it. if I choose to get new bike yearly insurance payment will rise about 1300€/year which is bit too much for me so I would probably have to carry on riding without any insurance.

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8/30/2017 6:08 AM

We just had a oem crank lower connecting rod bearings fail. The dealership talked my wife into a hotrods crank. I said your nuts, get the old crank rebuilt or spend the money on oem. She did not, we will see how it goes. 2014 ktm150

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8/30/2017 6:12 AM

My boy was on his YZ85 a few years ago we had rebuilt with a HotRod crank kit. Bike had about 10 hours on the engine build when the rod snapped as he was full on the gas headed to the biggest jump on the track. Locked the bike up at the foot of the ramp, thank God! Of course it grenaded the entire lower end of the engine, including coming up through the reed cage. It wasn't a bearing failure due to long hours--it was just the rod snapping in half at max rpm. We parted out the bike and moved him up to 125s then.

This was 6 years ago and we've never bought another HotRod crank, and never will.

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8/30/2017 6:17 AM

04 RM 250 with hot rod and crank, same situation, same result. I could rebuild mine- but it took a year before I had the money to finish it. #neveragain

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8/30/2017 6:43 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 4:27 PM

JMX82 wrote:

It is unbelievable that Hot Rods can carry on selling this kind of crap parts without any responsibility.

I'm really torn apart about parting the bike because I have some really nice parts on like SXS supension etc. Also I have really cheap insurance for it. if I choose to get new bike yearly insurance payment will rise about 1300€/year which is bit too much for me so I would probably have to carry on riding without any insurance.

Hot Rods and the whole C&E group make fantastic products. To call their products crap is out of line.

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8/30/2017 6:45 AM

Had a 2006 YZ144 that came with the OEM crank but with Hot Rod bearings kit put on it, crank main bearings locked up in about 20 hrs. Sucks but no case damage so tossed in OEM bearings and life was good.

Currently have a 2013 KTM 200 that needed a new crank around 180hrs, so I put a Hot Rods kit in it only because waiting for an OEM crank would have cost me a month of down time from riding. So far got about 30 hours on the hot rod kit without issue.

So I have mixed results so far. Even with that though would always recommend OEM whenever possible.

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8/30/2017 6:49 AM

Had the same with 2 bikes i bought in 2014. KX250F 2011 CRF250 2011

Both engines had the same failure Conrod broke almost on the same place.
Here some pictures from the KX250F


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8/30/2017 6:51 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 6:52 AM

I put a few of these in for people who are Trail Riders they never had problems, so I decided to put one in my kids practice bike the Oem one wasn't bad just had a lot of hours on it, the main bearings only lasted 5 hours I end up pulling everything back out, put the OEM crank back in and bought oem main bearings for it it's still like that with over 200 hours on it. Just going to pull the OEM out over the winter and have it rebuilt.
And if you guys think the hot rods are junk you should check out the weisco.

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8/30/2017 7:03 AM

twotwosix wrote:

Hot Rods and the whole C&E group make fantastic products. To call their products crap is out of line.

Gotta call a spade a spade. Their cranks are terrible and shouldn't be installed in a motocross bike. Go OEM unless you want your cases destroyed.

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8/30/2017 7:50 AM

Adam43 wrote:

Gotta call a spade a spade. Their cranks are terrible and shouldn't be installed in a motocross bike. Go OEM unless you want your cases destroyed.

That just is not true. Thousands and Thousands of folks use Hot Rods cranks without issue.

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8/30/2017 8:00 AM

twotwosix wrote:

Hot Rods and the whole C&E group make fantastic products. To call their products crap is out of line.

Adam43 wrote:

Gotta call a spade a spade. Their cranks are terrible and shouldn't be installed in a motocross bike. Go OEM unless you want your cases destroyed.

twotwosix wrote:

That just is not true. Thousands and Thousands of folks use Hot Rods cranks without issue.

Clearly, more than enough have issues, and these are just the ones we know about. This is not the only forum where I've seen comments like this. The % of failure is alarmingly high on this Chinese junk, and it's unacceptable. How many times do people experience OEM failures at this rate?

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8/30/2017 8:11 AM

Dude that's nasty. I've seen similar stuff happen but not with the damage to the cases. That sucks.
Guess the cylinder and top is done too?

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#1
KX125

8/30/2017 8:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 10:35 AM

scooter5002 wrote:

Clearly, more than enough have issues, and these are just the ones we know about. This is not the only forum where I've seen comments like this. The % of failure is alarmingly high on this Chinese junk, and it's unacceptable. How many times do people experience OEM failures at this rate?

I work for a very large Powersports .com. I deal with these products and issues often. It's what I've done for a living for years. I can tell you that the failures are a VERY small percentage of the vast amount sold. You have to remember that this crank was originally replaced for a reason. No one ever gives the original story of why they ended up rebuilding a bottom end. I rarely encounter customers who are replacing cranks for routine maintenance... Maybe this one did fail. Engine parts sometimes fail. You guys want to crucify a company that is doing a damn good job of helping make AFFORDABLE replacement parts. I would have contacted them about it before I made a thread on a forum, but to each his own.

Also, I have had C&E and Hot Rods specifically step in and help customers with warranty issues every now and then. That says a lot for an internal engine product that does not even carry a warranty.

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8/30/2017 9:39 AM

plynn41 wrote:

My boy was on his YZ85 a few years ago we had rebuilt with a HotRod crank kit. Bike had about 10 hours on the engine build when the rod snapped as he was full on the gas headed to the biggest jump on the track. Locked the bike up at the foot of the ramp, thank God! Of course it grenaded the entire lower end of the engine, including coming up through the reed cage. It wasn't a bearing failure due to long hours--it was just the rod snapping in half at max rpm. We parted out the bike and moved him up to 125s then.

This was 6 years ago and we've never bought another HotRod crank, and never will.

Same thing happened to me, only at the top of the lip. Destroyed the cases and broke my leg. All because it saved me $200 when I had to get a new crank.

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8/30/2017 9:43 AM

Wrenchrabbit/ Vertex, hot rods, hot cams, pivot works. I have used their products for years. All of them. I have never had a bad experience. I may tomorrow. But as of today nothing but compliments on their products: sometimes crap happens unfortunately. Hate it for you either way it's a sickening feeling.

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8/30/2017 10:02 AM

I, like many, have mixed feelings about HotRod cranks. About 4 years ago now I did a full rebuild on my '07 CRF450R and went with the HotRods crank. The bike now has 130.7 hours on it and absolutely no problems with the crank, the main bearings on the other hand have been replaced with OEM after only 20ish hours on that rebuild. Knowing what I know now I will always buy OEM Honda parts for these kinds of components but at the same time other than the bearings I really have no complaints about this crank. I suppose there is just bad apples in the batch and I happened to get a good one but it still makes me scared to buy another one after seeing and hearing of everyone elses horror stories.

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8/30/2017 10:32 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 10:37 AM

And for those who don't know. The Company is one big group these days. All of the following brands are under the same umbrella:

Vertex
Pivot Works
Hot Rods
Hot Cams
Wrench Rabbit
All Balls
Fuelstar
Winderosa
Bearing Connections

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8/30/2017 10:37 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 10:38 AM

Folks, it's cheaper to just rebuild the stock crank when if fails. Call Ken Oconner racing. He does this for a reasonable fee with a Pro-X rod kit.

FYI: Also, I had a OEM, HotRods and Wesco cranks for a YZ250 2stroke engine I built up. The crank pin in the wesco crank was much softer then the OE one. I had to cut the cranks in half to press out the pins. When I cut the wesco one it was a LOT easier to go through the metal on the pin vs OE. I used the same tool on both. There was a noticeable difference. I didn't cut the HotRods crank in half. It's still in my garage. I did send the OE one off to Ken and he rebuilt if for me. I felt a lot more comfortable using the OE after this experience.

I maybe interested in that KTM150 chassis if you decide not to rebuild it.

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8/30/2017 11:10 AM

Wow that's some damage right there! Personally I swear by hot rods cranks. Have used them for many years and will continue to do so. Wiseco cranks on the other hand I have not had such good experiences with...

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8/30/2017 11:23 AM

Always go oem on that stuff. 99% of the time its cheaper to send your crank out to be rebuilt from crankworks or ken oconnor or something. Youll get a very high quality oem crank back.

HOWEVER. When you buy a bicycle from walmart, tighten the bolts. Idiots arent as good of assemblers as you. Dont complain that your front tire fell off when you didnt check the assemblers work.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

8/30/2017 11:46 AM

twotwosix wrote:

And for those who don't know. The Company is one big group these days. All of the following brands are under the same umbrella:

Vertex
Pivot Works
Hot Rods
Hot Cams
Wrench Rabbit
All Balls
Fuelstar
Winderosa
Bearing Connections

Yes, I knew that, and I also bought an All Balls linkage kit. Seals would NOT fit into their respective locations, period. More Chinese junk. Never again.

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8/30/2017 11:56 AM

r.sal923 wrote:

We just had a oem crank lower connecting rod bearings fail. The dealership talked my wife into a hotrods crank. I said your nuts, get the old crank rebuilt or spend the money on oem. She did not, we will see how it goes. 2014 ktm150

Just a suggestion, but after viewing the pics of the massacre, I would probably rethink your game plan.

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8/30/2017 11:56 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/30/2017 11:59 AM

HenryA wrote:

Dude that's nasty. I've seen similar stuff happen but not with the damage to the cases. That sucks.
Guess the cylinder and top is done too?

Cylinder is gone too. It has a crack in the cylinder wall and I don't think it can be saved

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8/30/2017 12:18 PM

twotwosix wrote:

I work for a very large Powersports .com. I deal with these products and issues often. It's what I've done for a living for years. I can tell you that the failures are a VERY small percentage of the vast amount sold. You have to remember that this crank was originally replaced for a reason. No one ever gives the original story of why they ended up rebuilding a bottom end. I rarely encounter customers who are replacing cranks for routine maintenance... Maybe this one did fail. Engine parts sometimes fail. You guys want to crucify a company that is doing a damn good job of helping make AFFORDABLE replacement parts. I would have contacted them about it before I made a thread on a forum, but to each his own.

Also, I have had C&E and Hot Rods specifically step in and help customers with warranty issues every now and then. That says a lot for an internal engine product that does not even carry a warranty.

I replaced the oem crankshaft as a precautionary measure because it had over 120 hours and I was worried that it might fail at some point. I'm really meticulous when it comes to servicing motor and try to replace parts before they fail. I keep record running hours and all the parts I have replaced on a Excel sheet so I know how many hours each part has.

It was cheaper to buy Hot rods crank than rebuild the oem crank with new connecting rod and lower bearing. I also had some bad experiences with local shop doing crank rebuilds because they ended up being more unbalanced after the rebuild. Now I know I did huge mistake trusting cheaper replacement crank it costed me whole engine. I was lucky that crank broke on flat ground instead of edge of big tabletop or something.

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8/30/2017 12:39 PM

I won't use any of those items, I've seen those rods fail at 30 minutes and the rest of the products have quality issues too

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8/30/2017 1:07 PM

junior is a pretty talented engine builder and tuner...I'll listen to the guy that builds and has experience with them over the guy selling them.

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