Murphy's Law - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Murphy's Law

As many of you know, I picked up my '86 last Fall and ended up pulling the engine to replace the stator with a TPE rewind. Since it was going to be offline over the winter, I ended up doing a bunch of other things like:
Damper bushings
MOSFET regulator
Brake repairs (caliper rebuild, new pads, new lines, new master cylinder)
TOC manual cam chain tensioners
Carburetor tear down and rebuild
New tires
Starter rebuild
New iridium plugs and 8mm wires with new NGK boots
Etc. etc.

The point being, what started out as a very inexpensive bike to get running quickly spiraled into about $1500-2000 of parts and quite a few late night hours in the garage. Last weekend I finally got it started up, and was able to ride it Monday and Tuesday.

On the way home last night, it developed a faint rattle that quickly developed into a full blown knock over the last mile as I got to the house. I don't know what it is yet, but maybe a spun bearing? Not sure, but I'm guessing the engine's about to come out (again).

Ugh... Sorry for the rant/vent session. Just a bit frustrated here.

Now I have to decide how to proceed on diagnosing this thing.

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.

Last edited by calebj; 04-06-2016 at 10:31 AM.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, the bottom end definitely ate something. I'll start pulling the engine tonight.

Anybody have a used, running engine they'd like to send my way?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 12:31 AM
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Damn man that does suck. Sorry to hear all the troubles. Hopefully you can find a decent engine again.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 12:52 AM
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You don't need a whole new engine over a single problem. As long as the pistons and sleeves look good the bottom end is rock solid iron and steel. Look for a bad bearing or something.


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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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The good news is that I'm pretty comfortable getting the engine out at this point. It's back on the transmission jack again. I'll start watching the rebuild videos and making a list of parts to order over the next few days.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One1 View Post
You don't need a whole new engine over a single problem. As long as the pistons and sleeves look good the bottom end is rock solid iron and steel. Look for a bad bearing or something.
The new engine idea was just to save time (and potentially money, depending on what all needed to be replaced) by doing a direct swap. Not unwilling to tear this thing open, just a bit intimidated by multiple cam chains, etc.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 12:56 AM
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I wouldn't rebuild anything at this point. Just fix it and ride it. See how solid everything is before throwing a bunch more time and money at it. Based on that tiny amount of well shaved metal you are not going to be in it for anything big.


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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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I understand that, but it's not obvious where the metal is coming from. Won't I need to start by pulling each head off and work my way down until I find whatever disintegrated? Seems like I'm in for dealing with all of the timing chains, head gaskets, etc...

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 11:52 AM
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Can you swipe a magnet through that oil and see if there's steel in it?

If it's all aluminum, might be a chance the balancer dampers let go.

Could you tell if the knock was on one side or the other?

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-07-2016, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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I thought that it was the front cylinder, left side (which would be near the dampers, obviously), but wasn't nearly confident enough to say that for sure...

I'll check the oil with a magnet tonight. Was too tired to think of that last night.

1986 VN750 27k miles
1999 EN500 32k
1983 GL650i in pieces. Someday it will ride again.
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