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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I've looked around and haven't been able to find anything definitive to my untrained eye/ear on this noise that I'm dealing with on my 05 Vulcan. I have a video but am not allowed to post the URL here apparently. As far as I can tell, it's a ticking noise coming from the left side of the engine, but it doesn't always sound the same. When I'm riding, sometimes it sounds like a chain slapping around, or maybe a leak in the exhaust puffing out a crack or even like a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle. I'm assuming a certain amount of the change in noise is from the helmet and wind noise, but I don't think that's all of it.

What makes this extra frustrating for me is that it doesn't always make this noise. I haven't been able to narrow it down since it seems to make it sometimes when it's cold, sometimes when it's hot, sometimes after it's been sitting for a while or when I've been riding daily. It's a total crapshoot as far as I can tell.

I don't think it's the cam chain tensioner since I replaced with the MCCT mod last year and think I dialed it in decently, but since I'm not inclined to go into my engine I'm somewhat at a loss.

Hopefully this is a shamefully easy thing to deal with so I can get this stress behind me.

Any ideas? Or ways to get the video uploaded without seeming like a spammer?

Thanks!
 

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Post a few more times and the site should let you post links.

Splines on the driveshaft slipping?

Any vibrations from the engine or is it fairly smooth?

You hear it behind you, under, in front?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think there's any extra vibration that I can tell. I think that it's coming from the left side, but it's hard to tell since I'm not good with engines. Whether I'm on or off the bike, it seems to sound louder from the left.

What would the splines slipping end up feeling like? And would that be something that would come and go? I would say at this point I hear it more than half the time.

And for the number of posts - I wish I'd posted more with my last Vulcan!
 

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With splines, you should notice it not pulling like it should.

The balancer bushings are at the left side, front corner, maybe just ahead of the shifter. They wear, get loose, and can grind the case from the inside. Any metal shavings in the oil screen?

Might be best if we listen to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think that sounds like it then. Seems like it's fine as far as pulling.

Are the balancer bushings a separate thing to look at than the splines? When I changed the oil a couple months ago there were no shavings in the oil that I'd seen anywhere.

How would you like me to get that video to you? Aside from just making posts for the sake of making enough posts? I didn't see an option to upload video, just a lot of other file types.
 

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You must post the video somewhere else like YouTube or Flickr then post the link to it here.

Balance shaft is across the front of the engine. Rear splines are beside the rear wheel.

Without more description and video, we'll just be throwing darts in the dark. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd tried posting this url on the original message but it wouldn't let me until I had the minimum post. But here it is:
Maybe it was because I tried making it a link instead of just posting the actual URL?

Now I feel stupid seeing that work.
 

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I'd tried posting this url on the original message but it wouldn't let me until I had the minimum post. But here it is:
Maybe it was because I tried making it a link instead of just posting the actual URL?

Now I feel stupid seeing that work.
The forum automatically embeds YouTube links.

Really sounds like the MCCTs.

A mechanic's stethoscope might help pinpoint where it's coming from, $5 at Harbor Freight.

Or you could try gently tighten the adjustment, some do it with the engine running. But you don't want to loosen it much while it's running, also don't want it dead silent or slowing the idle down.

Silly me, splines can't really make noise sitting still, unless they're just gone.

Clean looking engine.
 

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As loud as that is, you should be able to touch the MCCTs and see if you can feel the tapping.

The petcock can sometimes make noise, but I don't think it will be that loud. Touch it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had played around with it at length last year when I put those MCCTs in, so I'm hoping it's not that I did them wrong. I think I'd turned them in until it was having trouble running then backed them off a bit, all while the engine was running so I could get live feedback. And you're thinking that if it were the MCCTs, they'd need to be tightened as opposed to loosening?

I'll grab the stethoscope though and check. In terms of where to stick the stethoscope, should I just contact the engine at the base of the adjusters?

And for the petcock I guess the same question applies - on the petcock itself or should I poke around it?

Thanks
 

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Yes on both, I think tighter is probably what it needs. Too tight and I think you would hear more of a hissing or grinding sound. But a noticable drop in idle probably means it's too tight.

The stethoscope has a long rod for a probe, just touch around here and there, the body of the MCCTs, engine cases, petcock, etc.

Even a perfect engine will have a lot of noise on the stethoscope. I listened to mine so I would know what's normal. Around the sides of the cylinders where the timing chain rollers are, I heard hissing of the rollers on their bearings. Can also hear the valve rocker arms (cam followers) making the 'ting-ting-ting' sound, it's completely normal.

I used the stethoscope to find which pulley was bad on my truck. Great tool for five bucks!

Don't try to unscrew the knurled cap on the scope, it's not designed to be opened. Harbor Freight gave me a replacement, ahem... Cough..cough. I was too damn curious. There's just thin metal disc in there. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well I got the stethoscope and I'm not totally sure if it's helping me since all I hear throughout the entire engine is various noise that I can't identify because I don't know the inside of an engine. I ended up tightening the MCCTs again until the engine was having trouble, then backing it off until it seemed to run smoothly again. I feel like the noise is still there though, but seems to be louder on the right side now. Here's a video:

The right side has the ticking noise now and the left side is more of a clattering noise to me I guess, but I remember not being able to find a good video with what noise level I should be tightening to. So I'm thinking I'm still in the same boat as before since I can't make heads or tails of the noises in there. For all I know this is a perfectly healthy sounding engine and I'm making things worse by mucking around with it.
 

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Hmm, was about to say stick the stethoscope at the left front area to listen for balancer, but don't think there's any need.

Honestly, now it's sounding pretty close to normal, but it is louder on the right side. Doesn't seem any louder than mine.

Try searching here and at YouTube for vn750, there's been several videos about this. Didn't remember until now. Those videos were pretty bad clacking and some posters did confirm they needed MCCTs.

I'd make a video of mine idling, but just can't right now. Mine does get quieter after it warms up fully.

That's another thing, it's best to adjust the MCCTs with the engine fully warmed.

Not sounding catastrophic at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So would you say the left side sounds normal? If so then I'll mess around with the right side more. How wide is the zone where it should sound good when dealing with the MCCTs? Because I feel like left side sounds like how it was all sounding when I started. So maybe it's just how the engine sounds and I'm worrying about nothing.
 

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Listening again this morning I now feel it's a bit noisy.

I'm unsure about the zone, I haven't dealt with the tensioners yet.

Could try going a bit tighter with that rear cyl., since that side seems louder.

If you could find a way, using the stethoscope while adjusting might help.

Using the stethoscope, you could loosen it slightly to get an idea which noise you're affecting with the adjustment.
 

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When I put in the MCCTs, the instruction I found here was to screw them in until you feel resistance, then back them off a little. I’ll admit it took me a few tries. Start the bike and then listen close to the engine, once you get the right spot the noise and vibration will stop. Do one at a time. When I first put them on I made them just a tad tight and when the bike got good n hot it let me know, idle will slow down and some say you’ll hear a whirring type of sound. I did not hear this to be honest but worth mentioning. Once I got it dialed in it was golden, I’ve put about 700+ miles on it since and no noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I adjusted the tensioners after getting back from the store, so the engine was still plenty hot. Hot enough that I couldn't touch the bolts with my bare hands. I would say that that's what I feel I did, but I guess I'll have to mess with them more again.

On the subject of the petcock - I just got back from work and after getting gas the bike wouldn't start. Cranked fine, but wouldn't catch. I ended up getting a couple backfires in the parking lot after checking that the battery had a charge (12 volts, but that was after multiple attempts to start it up). Some guy suggested turning the petcock off and trying to start it and after it was off it started right up immediately, even faster than it normally does. Not sure what to make of that but it was all I could think about on the ride home. It's never had that issue in the months that I've owned it, so I don't know why it would have done that.
 

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I adjusted the tensioners after getting back from the store, so the engine was still plenty hot. Hot enough that I couldn't touch the bolts with my bare hands. I would say that that's what I feel I did, but I guess I'll have to mess with them more again.

On the subject of the petcock - I just got back from work and after getting gas the bike wouldn't start. Cranked fine, but wouldn't catch. I ended up getting a couple backfires in the parking lot after checking that the battery had a charge (12 volts, but that was after multiple attempts to start it up). Some guy suggested turning the petcock off and trying to start it and after it was off it started right up immediately, even faster than it normally does. Not sure what to make of that but it was all I could think about on the ride home. It's never had that issue in the months that I've owned it, so I don't know why it would have done that.
Was the bike hot? That sounds like the classic “hot start” issue. I’ve never used the petcock for that though. Either you crank while holding open the throttle a bit or pull the choke. Both work, but the owners manual references opening the throttle. I’m sorry if I missed this earlier in the thread but do you have an AGM or maintenance free battery? That also helps with that a great deal. There are a few mods that folks say really take care of it but I haven’t done those so I’ll hold off commenting to make sure I don’t give you bad info
 

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Shutting the petcock off is a tactic to use if you think the carb may be flooding.

It could have been a fluke, because with the hot start issue the bike usually fires on the second or third try. If this continues in the future and shutting the petcock off gets it going, find out why it's flooding. Make sure the petcock vacuum is always dry, no gas in it.

Pulling the choke works for mine after brief stops, like getting gas.
 
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