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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay guys, I need a few thoughtful opinions.

I recently posted regarding the shift lever losing all gears and being completely loose, resulting in the bike being stuck in first. After checking my symptoms and reading through the wealth of knowledge here, I was pretty sure that the diagnosis was that the connecting rod between the the shift lever and shifter broke internally. After having a mechanic look over it, he couldn't say for 100%, but he thought I had nailed it with my diagnosis. I plan on draining the oil and pulling the engine cover in an attempt to see the broken linkage, but I doubt I'll be pleasantly surprised.

So, the opinion part here: It's my brother-in-law's bike, but his is, ironically, in Japan. As of right now he wants to have it fixed, but my local mechanic won't do that kind of work, and the local Kaw shop (aside from costing a fortune) won't touch it until winter (if at all - they previously had said they do work on older bikes during the offseason). From what I understand, it'd be better to buy a used engine than to pay someone to split the one on the bike (43,000 miles). I am, perhaps fool-heartedly, toying with the idea of attempting this on my own. I have little wrench experience really, but have a Clymers and a shop manual at my disposal. I did manage to re-jet the carbs and replace various cables without any issue, but this is obviously a whole other level of difficulty.

So my options:

1.) Suck it up and pay Mother Kawasaki a king's ransom to rebuild the motor OR replace the motor.

2.) Search for another mechanic with a good reputation and have them do the work to rebuild or replace the motor.

3.) Attempt an engine pull and minor rebuild with little prior experience (but a will to learn!).

4.) Convince my brother-in-law to sell what he has and move on.

Feel free to vote and comment!
 

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go with the rebuilddoityourselfwhilecursing.. errrr... #3.. what do you have to lose?...and Lance can help you along with it.
 

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Jack of all trades
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2,863 Posts
yeah, with the support of this forum and its members, i would never be afraid to try fixing something on the bike. #3 for sure
 

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If you have the time and patience, I would vote for #3. I just had mine appart (First engine of any type that I had taken appart that far). Using the manuals(which did have some confusing directions at times) and the info on this site, I got it back together with no leftover parts!!! And it runs great. Just take your time.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
IF you have the time, patience and a place to work, I say go for it and try to fix it yourself. With a service manual or two and the help available here I am not afraid to tackle any repairs my bike might need. What have you got to lose? If you can`t fix that engine, you can always buy another one off of Ebay later.

This online mc repair course may be helpful to you too.
http://www.dansmc.com/MC_repaircourse.htm
 

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Im actually in the same boat you are right now. Decided that the price to pay a mechanic was more than the bike was worth to me so Im attempting to do it myself. It seems like a lot but after reading the clymers manual and talking with Lance I'm fairly confident I wont have too any problems. Just go slow, organize everything, read the manuals carefully, and learn. This forum is great for people helping. Ill be taking lots of pictures and looking at possibly doing a writeup when finished so if I can help with anything I gladly will. Goodluck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm definitely leaning towards trying my luck with it. I think I should probably sit down with the Clymer's and sort of preview what exactly I would be getting in to. This forum has always been great for a quick hand though, so I'm sure as long as I don't get impatient, I should be able to solve any trouble that arises. Are there very man specialty tools that will be required? The manual should tell me, but if anyone knows offhand I'd appreciate it!
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Before pulling the engine do some voltage tests on the stator. Then inspect it after pulling the engine to see what the insulation looks like, and just the general condition it is in.

On a bike that is almost 20 years old and has 43K miles, I would also replace the vibration dampers. Check with lance328 and see what other service he suggests. Not sure??, but maybe check the oil pump seals, and a tiny fiber disc oil filter up in each cylinder head.

#14043 in the diagram for the Camshaft Head Cover here:
http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmotorcycles/1991-kawasaki-motorcycle-vulcan-750-vn750a7-us/o/m4555
 

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:smiley_th Go with #3. Give you your first tip: Get a box of sandwich bags and a red marker. As you take bolts out, you can put them in, then when you have, say, a cover off, you seal the bag and label it. Saves time looking for them when going back together!!!
:pepper::rockon:
 

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5. Find an identical bike that runs for cheap and transfer any accessories over to it. Basicly make it look just like the broken one and don't tell your brother in law.

Sell the broken one's parts on Ebay. Wait till he gets back and see if he notices the difference. ;)

KM
 
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