Woke up this morning all ready for a scenic cruise I was invited on that winds through the flint hills to a breakfast nook to be joined by dozens of other bikers. Not long after we set off we were just about to go down Thunder Road, one of the closest things to a nice road we have around here, and suddenly the bike started sputtering. I limped it into the nearest town and drained the bowls in case there was some water in the gas. No dice. Bought some new spark plugs, still wouldn’t rev over 6000rpm. Hour and a half limping it home at its new astounding top speed of 40 ish mph and I started digging into it. Popped the seat off and stuck a multimeter to the stator wiring harness and every single value was wildy out of spec. In a CX the stator charges the battery as well as being responsible for ignition timing. Go figure, they fail super often. Go figure x2, it’s inside the rear cover of the engine and requires engine removal to diagnose. Go figure x3, taking the rear cover off means you’re committing to replacing a TON of gaskets if it’s never been done before. Cool.

With the help of a fellow CX500 owner that happened to live in Wichita we got the engine out in a half hour and started digging in to it.


First bugger! The mechanical seal on the water pump is completely toast. This sits in the back of the impeller and keeps coolant from getting inside the engine cover and mingling with oil, and vice-versa. It’s a multi-part mechanical seal.

So at this point the cover is off and we’re swapping over the stator and stuff. I go to autozone to try to find some way to rig the main cover seal back together after it tore into several pieces when we took it off. When I got back I was shown this.


So... that’s my timing chain tensioner. It should look nothing like that. The tensioner bows out depending on the position of that lever with the cotter pin in it. The part of the tensioner that is held by the lever broke and it spoinged from a ( shape to a | shape and isn’t tensioning the chain anyways. The chain, by the way, is also at the end of its useful life.

To recap:

Water pump cover seal

water pump mechanical seal

rear main cover gasket

timing chain

timing tensioner

tacho cable (radiator has to be off to replace, might as well)


Total of $300 in parts. In the meantime my girlfriend is dropping me off and picking me up from work in the Miata. Yay.

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