new owner with a few problems - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2005, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Question new owner with a few problems

I have had my VN since last sept and it has recently developed a problem or two...

First there is an odd noise - a chirpy tweeting noise like a toy bird whistle. It kicks in at 3000 rpm or so. I'm wondering if this is the cam chain but the sound isn't what I would describe as 'rattle' or 'slap'.

The second problem is more worrying. The bike has no real power until the engine reaches about 6000 rpm then suddenly, WHAM, the bike surges forward. As soon as the rpm drops, it loses power again - the engine is running and sounds ok but it doesn't seem to be transferring much power to the wheel. Pulling away at the lights is embarrasing, the engine makes a load of noise but there is almost no acceleration.

I am worried that this is a clutch problem but a friend suggested it might be something to do with 'timing'? I don't know a great deal about engines so I would like to work out what the problem is so I don't get ripped off if I have to take it to a mechanic.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

PS can anyone recommend a manufacturer for 18mm sockets that I can get in the UK, one with a small outside circumference to get at those deep plugs?

pps can anyone recommend a maintenance free battery that I can get in the UK. The Yuasa and Westco are impossible to find locally.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2005, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: new owner with a few problems

An update.

I have changed the oil, plugs, put in a new battery and Grambo'd the ACCT's. No change in either the noise or the power issue.

If anyone out there has any ideas I'd appreciate them.

Thanks

Scot
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 10:42 AM
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Re: new owner with a few problems

The VN750 doesnít have any timing adjustments unless the engine was disassembled. Do you know the history of the bike? What year is it?

Something else you can check are the air cleaners to make sure they still exist and are properly oiled. The next easy fix, would be some gas additive like SeaFoam or Techron (sp?) but I donít know if those are available to you.

You said you changed the oil recently, after putting on another 50 miles, does the oil in the window still look clean (wished we had a dip stick)?

Deuce (Loran Naperville IL)
1995 VN750 (Black w/ 2004 tins - no teal)
2003 VN750
Both have: - F&S Bags & brackets
- Corbin seat w backrest
- Progressive suspension.
- Kury iso goldwing grips
2 1983 V65 Magnas
2 1985 V65 Mangas (1 which is in many parts)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: new owner with a few problems

Thanks for your thought Loran.

The bike is a '94 A9 UK model. I don't really know the history of the bike. The previous owner says he maintained it well and he has chromed it quite a bit.

Althought he problem developed quite suddenly, I can't think of an incident that might be the cause - no drops or anything like that, it makes me think it is a wear and tear issue.

We have Redex in the UK which is supposed to clean the carbs etc. I have run a couple of doses through the engine but it hasn't helped.

The oil is still clean but I am gonna get a tube an pull a sample from the engine to see if it has particles in it.

I am going to check the air filters at the weekend so I will post back the results then.

In the mean time, any other ideas???

Thanks.
Scot
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-22-2005, 11:06 AM
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Re: new owner with a few problems

You may have to pull and disassemble the carbs to make sure all the jets and passages are clear/clean.

You said you used carb cleaner. Is it the gas additive type? If not, you may have ruined some rubber parts in the carb. Under the chrome top caps of the carbs, is a rubber diaphram (with a slider attached). I know of a few people who have used carb cleaner and ended up with holes in their diaphram. Just something else you can check.

Deuce (Loran Naperville IL)
1995 VN750 (Black w/ 2004 tins - no teal)
2003 VN750
Both have: - F&S Bags & brackets
- Corbin seat w backrest
- Progressive suspension.
- Kury iso goldwing grips
2 1983 V65 Magnas
2 1985 V65 Mangas (1 which is in many parts)
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-22-2005, 01:37 PM
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Re: new owner with a few problems

I am wondering if the "chirping" noise might be the clutch? what type oil are you using?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-22-2005, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: new owner with a few problems

Redex is a petrol additive designed to clean carbs etc. It shouldn't have damaged the diaphrams. As I understand carbs, each carb has two or more jets and the fuel flow throught the jet is controlled by throttle position?? The power problem I am having occurs at any speed and throttle position, the only constant seems to be the rpm.

I said earlier that I couldn't think of any 'incidents' but my girlfriend has just reminded me of 'The LEAK'. About four months ago my oil filter burst, a combination of corrosion and internal pressure (the previous owner had used a filter from a VN800 which is smaller than the filetr for the VN750) I replaced the filter withone of the correct size and topped up the oil. It seems that I had lost more oil than I thought. What prompted me to do the total oil change a month ago was the fact that the clutch was snatching in first instead of slipping. I reckon the clutch had been running dry all that time and the plates are now screwed.

Ok everyone. is rebuilding a clutch a doable job for someone with little experience, few tools and no garage? Or should I take it to a mech?

I'm sooo stupid.

Thanks for the advice though.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-22-2005, 11:46 PM
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Re: new owner with a few problems

I have a similar noise in my '86. It occurs between 3000-4000 only after the engine is really warmed up (10+ miles). My clutch is okay and the noise occurs while the clutch is fully engaed so I don't see how that could be the source. I hope you find it and let me know.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-24-2005, 10:44 AM
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Re: new owner with a few problems

One of the quirks of the VN 700/750 is a grabby clutch when cold. Some refer to is as a coffie grinder sound when starting out. It can be fixed with a clutch replacement. It is recommended to use kevlar clutch friction disks and heavy duty springs. Some replaced the friction without replacing the steel plates due to costs. From what I have read on the yahoo board recently, no special tools are needed (except for a torque wrench) - you don't have to remove the clutch basket - use a dental pick, longnose plires, or other tool to remove all the plates. Before you mess with the clutch find out why there is a lack of power. No use throwing money away if the motor is bad.

Deuce (Loran Naperville IL)
1995 VN750 (Black w/ 2004 tins - no teal)
2003 VN750
Both have: - F&S Bags & brackets
- Corbin seat w backrest
- Progressive suspension.
- Kury iso goldwing grips
2 1983 V65 Magnas
2 1985 V65 Mangas (1 which is in many parts)
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-10-2005, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: new owner with a few problems

Well, the weather has finally been good enough for me to open up the clutch (I have no garage so have to work outside). Although there is some circular scoring and pitting on some of the steel plates, none of the plates are warped. The friction plates while worn still have plenty of friction 'stuff' left on them and the housing doesn't seem damaged. In short, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the clutch. I haven't refilled with oil yet just incase I have to open the engine again but I suspect that nothing will have changed just because I have reinstalled the clutch.

Back to square one. The power problem does not seem to be a transmission problem so it must be a creation problem. What do you think I should check next?

Btw. dr_knight, The oil I am using is 5w40 synthetic but I have only used this since the problem started but I have been reading about Halfords Oil and additives here and here and I wonder if Halfords Oil is the problem since the oil I put in after the filter blew was Halfords 10w40 semi. Do you think it is worth trying some proper motorcycle oil? Neither the 5w or the 10w is marked as being 'energy saving' or having any friction reducing additives.

Thanks.
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