Broken muffler - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
GDI
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Broken muffler

Noticed tonight as I was doing some detailing on the bike that the left muffler is broken at the weld where it attaches to the goat's belly. Timing couldn't really be worse. I'm planning a trip for the weekend with a group of friends. . . . Mufflers are outside of my experience, so I'm wondering what consequences if any if I just run it this way. We'll be doing 500-700 miles on the weekend, and a lot of that at interstate speeds to get to our destination.

Thought crossed my mind that maybe it could be welded? It's an '03 w/ 18k miles. It doesn't seem to be rusted really. Could a muffler guy weld it? How long would something like that hold? Obviously the factory weld didn't last. . . .

Partzilla wants almost $300 for a new muffler, and it usually takes a couple weeks to get anything from them anyway. Ebay has a muffler, but it's doubtful that I'd be able to get it installed and ready for the weekend. Craigslist had some Harley takeoffs, but fitting them up might be kind of challenging.

Anybody else have this problem?

GDI
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 12:39 AM
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Sounds like the same spot one of mine broke loose. Should be able to weld it. It's the pipe section that comes out of the larger diameter of the muffler, slides onto the belly? Have seen a few like that.

I wouldn't leave it hanging on the bracket for a road trip. Might run ok without it, a bit thumpy and unbalanced maybe.

The broken muffler on mine was one of the originals and all rashed up. It all got replaced. Not sure which side broke the sleeve. That muffler is on a tractor now, fit perfect with that sleeve missing.

2003-21k mi
Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 01:47 AM
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I don't currently have the problem, but am a welder for 55+ years and it can be done.

A muffler shop should be able to Mig(wire) weld it.

A fabrication or machine shop should be able to Tig(heliarc) or Mig weld it.

Of course, some welders are better than others and still some others you shouldn't let touch it.

If done right and if it's not totally rusted out junk, it should hold like new.

Ask around, maybe go into a parts place and ask, "Who's the best welder around? Who's the guy that they say, 'If it can be fixed, he can fix it, if it can be welded, he can weld it.'' Word gets around.

Good luck with it!

"I need yo clothes, yo boots and yo motocycle."- Uncle Bob

Last edited by roadpouring; 07-09-2018 at 03:15 AM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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I've got a friend that owns a body shop. Those guys would have experience welding light (thin) metal. He might know where to go with it.

Just a side note--was looking at Ebay for replacement and noticed that someone was selling the whole left-side exhaust: pipe, cover, and muffler less the goat's belly. It looks like the cover is different than mine is. I've got a two-piece cover. There's the long piece that starts up by the engine and goes down towards the muffler, then there's a short 5-6" long piece right where the muffler joins up. The one on Ebay seemed to be one piece. I could tell that it was because it had a divot for the centerstand right in it. The short piece on mine has that same indentation. . . .

Or maybe somebody cut mine? I've got an '03. It seems a little strange the way mine is. There didn't seem to be a good way to put it back together this spring when I put the muffler back on after having the motor out of the frame.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 09:20 AM
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Heat shield is one piece originally. Left side is longer, covers the whole headpipe.

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Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
__________________________________________________ ____________
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 09:59 AM
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Yep... body-shop!

"I need yo clothes, yo boots and yo motocycle."- Uncle Bob
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 12:51 PM
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You can always pull both of the mufflers off, and run right out of the goats belly.
I've been running mine that way for a couple of months now.
Grab the link in my signature for pictures and info.

Otherwise, I have a pair of mufflers that I'm no longer using.
I could box em and ship em to you for the right price.


'89 VN750 Bought stock 4/12/18 @ 17805.9 miles $800. Wrecked once. 27454.5+ miles

Completed modifications:
Removed mufflers, straight pipes out of GB. 110/90 Front Tire. Pick-up coil mod. Shindengen MOSFET FH020AA r/r. USB Outlet + Voltmeter. Repainted Metallic Blue w/ new tank bages. Ear Shave (wo/ coasters) 40/140 NO shims 45MPG. MCCT conversion.

Planned modifications:
Custom LED turn signals. Windshield. Highway Pegs. (Possible) ignition adv. Tuxedo Mod. Ignition coil mod.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate your offer for the mufflers. The thing is that mine actually looks pretty nice aside from the obvious. I don't think it's all that classy for me to complain about the choices that I've made, but I have to say that Kawasaki has some pretty consistent quality problems that never get addressed, and these mufflers are one of them. I had something similar happen to the '86 that I had years ago. I just replaced them both at that time. If I remember right they were only like $75/each! But, who knows--probably I'm mis-remembering that. . . .

I'm also a little conflicted. I don't necessarily like a louder bike. I've had a couple of modified exhausts over the years. There was a Holeshot slip-on on my Suzuki SV650 when I bought that--actually a pretty sweet set-up. Had a Cobra exhaust on the 1400 Suzuki Intruder. That one was just loud and obnoxious and did nothing for reliability. Would have rather had the stock system with that bike.

My buddy at the body shop says he'll have one of the guys look at it if I bring it in, so planning to do that. I'd like to keep the bike stock if it doesn't cost too much. Also thinking about that left-side exhaust I saw on Ebay. Would be nice to have the one-piece shield, so really that would be two birds with one stone.

Another choice would be:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/KAWASAKI-VU...80775?var=null

Would lose my stock look for sure, but would go that way before giving up $300 to fix another one of Kawasaki's mistakes.

Oh, I have other opinions, too--just ask!

GDI
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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My body shop friend got 'er done! I'm really impressed with the weld. I wish I had the skills to do that.

In other news--yes upon further inspection someone definitely cut that left-side shield in two. Not sure what they thought they were saving with that. It's not particularly noticeable, so not gonna worry about it now.

Thanks for all the posts, comments, and suggestions.

GDI
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDI View Post
My body shop friend got 'er done! I'm really impressed with the weld.
Yay!


Quote:
I wish I had the skills to do that.

GDI
You could.
Learn the basic technique, intellectually.
Use the right equipment.
Run beads.... run beads... run beads... run beads... run beads.

Monitor your settings.
When you get a decent bead, record the settings and thickness of material.

Run beads... run beads... run beads... run beads............................................. .....................................

"I need yo clothes, yo boots and yo motocycle."- Uncle Bob
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