It's just my luck I had my engine blow... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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It's just my luck I had my engine blow...

Well... my worst fears are becoming an actuality so it seems... a couple weeks ago I was at a school for work about 50 miles from home so I thought I'd take the bike to get some enjoyment out of it. Made it down with no problems and being an idiot while attempted to secure a backpack on my rear rack, I pushed too hard against the bag to compress it and the bike went right off the kick stand and down on its side... luckily I had just mounted my willie & max slants with oem Kawasaki supports, so it appeared that the brunt of the damage was just busting the nub end off the clutch. Anyways, I started the bike up and it seemed to run fine, although the oil light did come on. I just assumed that this was due to the oil shifting from tipping, as I had only about 200 miles on a change and new it was not leaking. So I ignored the light and drove about 3 miles to JP Cycles retail outlet which luckily was on my way home, (where I picked up a new clutch leaver for $3 or $4 bucks I think) Anyways, about 20 minutes later I was back on the road heading for home and the damn oil light was still on (granted I checked the level while at JP Cycle through the sight glass and it looked fine) Anyways to make a long story not so long the engine started making some serious noise about 2 or 3 miles further on. I pulled to the side of the road, checked all the plugs, (carboned up but did not appeared fouled) checked the air boxes, (good as well) checked the gas, (good as well) and sat for a few minutes. Then being the genius I am, I started it up again and while it ran rough for a few seconds it seemed to clear itself up so it seemed, so I took off slowly down the road, hoping and praying it was just some bad gas... Well about 1/2 mile later the noise was back in force and it stalled out again. This time I saw a little bit of clean oil on the front of the block and my mood quickly went downhill. I was unable to locate the source of the oil but thought perhaps it had came out of the filter or in that vicinity and blown back. Anyways after waiting an hour for a buddy with a trailer and leaving it at a local shop for about 3 weeks "before they could get around to it" things are not looking so good. (to add wood to my fire, my V&H Cruzers arrived 2 days after the incident) Initially the mechanic informed me that the cam chain appeared to have began to grind into the cylinder head. Then today he advised that they had gotten the top end out and that one entire cylinder was shot and that he was unsure if the piston was toast as well. He further advised me that fixing it was not going to be a cheap and really has me debating what to do. I really do want the bike back, but he brought up a good point that If one cylinder was shot, who was to say the other side would not fail 500 miles from now after fixing it. He said that the bad cylinder appeared to have been oil starved though he was not sure from where because he had not tore it that far apart yet. I am really at a loss as to how a 4 year old bike with just over 5k on the odometer could have something this serious go wrong with it. He informed me that the cylinder alone is a $500+ part and that fixing it could run me upwards of $2000. I don't know what to do really, don't know what I did, as I had been following all the recommendations I was able to find from this forum as far as maintenance and such. I guess I am just looking for suggestions or ideas of what you think may have happened, what you would do in my shoes, or just some sympathy in general. Anyways, thanks in advance and may your luck be better than mine.

2004 VN750 -
4400 miles and counting

Currently:
Splines Lubed
RR Relocated
MK Sealed Battery
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kawasaki Passenger Backrest
Windshield
Willie & Max large slants with Kawasaki mounts
V&H Cruzers

Hopefully in the not so distant future:
An engine that runs fine without leaking since I am an idiot and blew the original
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 02:56 AM
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Ouch...Damn man I feel for you. If youre talent isn't up to doing the rebuild yourself what I would suggest is finding another VN750 for about the same price and then you have a parts bike for any further misshaps or teach yourself to do the job and now you have 2. I find them often on C.L. and the last one I seen the guy was asking for $1000.00 with a bad stator. Hope that helps.

Peace

"You came out of your mom looking like SHlT. She thought you were beautiful. Don't know what scared me most, your looks or her judgment."











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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Will have to keep my eyes peeled... I see a guy on C.L. has pretty much everything except the frame and wheels for sale for $400... perhaps that would be the route to go... though I don't know the year of the block or what shipping a block halfway across the country would run... thanks for the input though

2004 VN750 -
4400 miles and counting

Currently:
Splines Lubed
RR Relocated
MK Sealed Battery
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kawasaki Passenger Backrest
Windshield
Willie & Max large slants with Kawasaki mounts
V&H Cruzers

Hopefully in the not so distant future:
An engine that runs fine without leaking since I am an idiot and blew the original
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 07:44 AM
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Guess it's not under warranty anymore? For the labor costs, you could definitely get a "spare" and just switch the engine out. And then part out whatever's left on the "spare" and put a little change in your pocket. Odd, though, that a tip would do that much damage - I mean, it's not like you went down at 50mph or anything.

C
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 11:10 AM
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I have a pretty good idea of what happened from your write-up.
When your bike fell, the oil system lost prime, as eveident by the oil light being on. Some people have experienced this during an oil change too or when dropping the bike, when they start up the bike and the oil light doesn't go off. Loosening the oil filter until you see a bit of oil resolves this, then tighten the oil filter back and the oil flows through the engine as it should.
Another tell-tale sign of the system losing prime is if the oil remains at the high level in the site glass. Once the engine is started the oil seen there should be pulled up through the engine. So yes, your engine was running oil starved.
Shipping an engine block may run you a couple of hundred. If you could find one close enough for pick-up then that might be the way to go. Another option is to buy another bike and part yours out to cover some of the cost.

Dianna
Conway, AR
Patriot Guard Rider
2000 VN750 Sere (Serendipity)
1990 GL1500 (Ole Blue)
1986 VN750 EVie (project bike, heavy custom)
VROC # 11628 / 25000-H
ARVROC # 12 Coordinator and Crowd Control
OKVROC # 18 (H)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 04:38 PM
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Wow, bad luck. I had the exact same thing happen - tipped the bike, no oil pressure. I rode it about a mile before deciding to trailer it home. Luckily I read here about "burping" the filter before I started to pull the engine to get to the oil pump. Now, every once in a while, I get an oil light on at start up, but a good high-RPM rev takes care of that.

I agree with Dianna, you should cut your loses and replace the engine or buy a new bike. This engine is toast. There are too many components which will be timebombs if you don't rebuild EVERYTHING. Cheaper to replace it with a used engine. Have a local bike recycler call around for an engine.

Good luck.

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Gonna go with a used replacement i think

I found a used block out of a 2000 vulcan for 500 bucks plus about 150 s&h. Gonna reuse the carbs and electronics as i doubt they were negatively impacted. Is this a good deal? Not sure as to the miles on the block, as they havn't gotten back to me yet but i got a couple other quotes which were around 1000 bucks. Found a 300 dollar one too... perhaps i will call on that as well... almost seems as a steal though at that price... I saw a block on C.L. but it doesn't look like it has one of the cylinder heads on it, which is bad on my current engine. If anyone has any input it'd be appreciated otherwise I will prolly try and order one tomorrow. Thanks in advance.

2004 VN750 -
4400 miles and counting

Currently:
Splines Lubed
RR Relocated
MK Sealed Battery
Kawasaki Luggage Rack
Kawasaki Passenger Backrest
Windshield
Willie & Max large slants with Kawasaki mounts
V&H Cruzers

Hopefully in the not so distant future:
An engine that runs fine without leaking since I am an idiot and blew the original
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 08:17 AM
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I would most certainly call on the $300 one. Are you going to do the work yourself or still having a shop do the rebuild or swap for you? If your having the shop do it still plan on paying a bunch for labor. Good luck.

Peace

"You came out of your mom looking like SHlT. She thought you were beautiful. Don't know what scared me most, your looks or her judgment."











Pictures of the "Ladies"
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