Woodpecker in my engine? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Woodpecker in my engine?

I've noticed this before, but never so prominently. I just finished putting the bike back together (my terrible terrible horrible no good rattle can paint job that turned out not half bad), turned her on from a cold start on a 65 degree clear day and this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioHbgI-PiY8
This is shortly after starting up. You'll note the intermittant woodpecker sounds, seems to come from both cylinders equally as far as I can tell. 45 seconds in I revved the engine, it seemed to help somewhat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niqRkbxqwwU
A few minutes later after she's warmed up a bit.. It seems the woodpecker is tired, since it's not happening as frequently. If I let the bike warm up at least 5 minutes and take it for a spin, I won't hear the sound again.

ACCTs? Worse?

Edit: Ok, a solution was found! I converted from ACCT to MCCT per the guide here. It cost about $7 in parts from Home Depot, took about 3-40 minutes and the results speak for themselves:

Before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioHbgI-PiY8
After: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK0J6oXbs9k

If you're having problems with the same ticking sound, it's definitely worth it to give this mod a shot. I was surprised at how easy it was, the only "difficult" part was removing the coolant overflow tank, which really wasn't even difficult.

Last edited by kagaku; 05-13-2014 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Solution!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 12:22 PM
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Kind of hard for me to tell, my hearing not so good anymore. But sounds like normal valve gear noise. Cam chain can clatter some on a cold bike, and you say it complete goes away once the bike is warm. As you shaved, you'll hear more noise from the motor.

You could try adjusting your ACCTs, not sure how much that would help, but if notice a change then you'll know the cause.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 12:37 PM
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That intermittent tapping in the 2nd video throws me off a bit. Makes me think of a collapsing lash adjuster.

I think the Grambo Trick is the first way to tell if it's the ACCT making the noise. Or simply add MCCTs and hope it cures it. A mech's stethoscope can really pinpoint sounds, $5 at Harbor Freight. You might be able to feel the tap with your finger on the ACCT.

I've found it's best to keep the idle up around 1500-1900rpm during warmup, mainly because I get a single tap and carb sneeze once in a while only when it's cold and idling 1100. Warm idle should be 1000-1100.

What brand and weight of oil are you running?

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 06:01 PM
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The sound from the first video sounds like the cam chains. They usually, from my experience, make some noise when cold. When it warms up it goes away, like in the second video


Once listening to the whole second video I agree with Sprockster, it sounds just like a collapsed lifter...
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 06:19 PM
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while I know it wouldnt be running as well (if at all) as it is if this was the cause..

slipping cam chains... sounds like they are jumping teeth to me.
Now, along same lines.. they may be riding up the sprockets a little and dropping down.. without jumping teeth.

any idea what condition the sprockets are in? if they are worn, you can run into this kinda problem.

to me, it dont sound like collapsed lifter.. repetition frequency seems too high.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't cracked the engine open yet, bought it back in Feb and rebuilt the carbs, ear shave, oil change, new plugs/wires, redid electrical and painted. I'm planning on pulling the engine in the fall once the season is over, but noticed this sound. Is this something I can leave be until the season is over?

'92 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

Mods:
Rattle-can high gloss black paint job
Frame, engine, Headers/exhaust painted satin black
Ears shaved, K&N pod filters
TPE Stator, MOSFET R/R, Magna Power AGM battery
Pickup Coil mod
New mirrors, grips, cables
VN900 seat
Straight pipes with 8" baffles
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 06:40 AM
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The fact that it goes away when the motor warms up seems to me that the problem isn't a big concern. If it starts doing it on a long ride I'd be worried.
So, in my opinion until it does that you should be OK to ride the bike.....
But as suggested, you should try adjusting the ACCT's and see if that helps.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kagaku View Post
I've noticed this before, but never so prominently. I just finished putting the bike back together (my terrible terrible horrible no good rattle can paint job that turned out not half bad), turned her on from a cold start on a 65 degree clear day and this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioHbgI-PiY8
This is shortly after starting up. You'll note the intermittant woodpecker sounds, seems to come from both cylinders equally as far as I can tell. 45 seconds in I revved the engine, it seemed to help somewhat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niqRkbxqwwU
A few minutes later after she's warmed up a bit.. It seems the woodpecker is tired, since it's not happening as frequently. If I let the bike warm up at least 5 minutes and take it for a spin, I won't hear the sound again.

ACCTs? Worse?
I had the EXACT sound last season. I described it as a loose marble rattling around.
After trying to find the cause with no luck, I took the bike to a trained Kawasaki mechanic ( for 32 years ) to listen to it. He said he never heard that kind of noise before. I rode the bike for 3 weeks and then my stator went. After replacing the stator the woodpecker was gone. Don't know what part of the stator caused the noise but it was the cause of it. Just my experience.

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2001 Vulcan 750
marbled
TOC upgrade on ACCT
Air/fuel mixture set to 2 1/2 out
rectifier relocated
splines lubed
iridiums
decals removed
upgraded mirrors
Pic up coil mod done
degoated
All LED lighting
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 08:59 AM
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Question

The noise hasn't really gone away after warmup, has it?

Have you ridden it, and does it make any of that noise at speed?

2003-21k mi
Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
__________________________________________________ ____________
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Owner's Manual: http://www.mediafire.com/file/nscb5f...ers+Manual.pdf
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 10:30 AM
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Still thinking it sounds like a rocker arm flopping around.

I'm curious about what you have on there for mufflers or what has been done. Didn't hear it rev a whole lot, but sounded ok when it did. I see the heat shields are gone and the goat belly looks shined up.

edit: Had a thought that it could be a sticky valve, causing a rocker arm to slap. Thought I heard a coinciding flutter in the exhaust at one point. It has 4 vales per cylinder so it may not be as noticable in the exhaust or intake. That's something that can change when it warms up. Correct amount of Seafoam in the oil could clean it up, been trying that for the tap I mentioned.

2003-21k mi
Shaved w/UniPK92+Stock Jets-TPE/MOSFET-Shinko Tires-AGM batt-bags-chrome-LEDs...more
__________________________________________________ ____________
Repair Manual: http://www.mediafire.com/file/mj7z81..._Catalogue.pdf

Owner's Manual: http://www.mediafire.com/file/nscb5f...ers+Manual.pdf

Last edited by Spockster; 05-05-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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