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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, my bike ('94 750) has developed a rather unpleasant noise, I reckon it's been getting steadily worse over the last few weeks but for a long time I think I've been kidding myself it was just the exaust tone but now I have to admit to myself that's it's knocking/clacking under load. I'm fairly sure it's the front cylinder and more audible on the left side. It's not a general clatter it seems to be a steady clacking or knocking that mainly comes in at 3000rpm, increases with the engine speed and is less audible after about 4000rpm but that may be because after that I can't hear much of anything except wind noise as I have no screen. Unfortunately most of my commuting is done between 3000 and 4000 rpm so I have to listen to it a lot! Tried the Grembo trick and maybe that improves it slightly for a little while but that could be my wishful thinking. The noise is worst once bike is warmed up, it's not bad at all for the first few miles. Most of what I've read here about the ACCT says cam chain noise is more apparent when cold so I have the opposite problem. I noticed when I got the bike that the oil level was high and it stayed that way 'till I changed the oil and filter last week and the noise now seems louder. I now have the oil level at the topmost mark in the window. The bike starts and runs fine and the idle is steady and not noisy (I don't think it is anyway, I've never heard another VN at idle so have no benchmark). If I rev the bike when stationary the clacking comes in briefly at about 3000 revs and disappears, I can increase the revs and it sounds fine, it's only constantly noisy when under load, not when coasting or decellerating. I'd love some advice or input from you experienced folk out there! What I want to hear is that it's probably just the chain tensioner and changing or adjusting the spring would sort it out. What I don't want to hear is that the camshaft is kaput and a few million pounds and 6 weeks off the road in a workshop will have it sorted! Any response greatly appreciated folks!
Cheers for now
Rich
 

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Well, you get your wish. The symptoms your describing is EXACTLY what was happening with my 94. Only it was the rear cylinder. When I pulled the valve covers off, it was VERY clear that the ACCT was the cause. New ACCTs (I did both), and voila, no more cam chain noise.
 

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Imnohero said:
Well, you get your wish. The symptoms your describing is EXACTLY what was happening with my 94. Only it was the rear cylinder. When I pulled the valve covers off, it was VERY clear that the ACCT was the cause. New ACCTs (I did both), and voila, no more cam chain noise.
For someone who is fairly mechanically inclinded is the ACCT replacement a fairly easy job? Where did you buy the new ones? Could it cause any harm to keep riding with this noise? My 85 has about 10K miles on it and sounds like a tin can rattling
 

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One of the things you can do is rebuild the ACCTs with new springs. You will need the page out of the climer manual so you can build the tool to prevent the ACCT spring from unwinding (or you can eyeball it like I did). When I did my front one (haven't done the back one yet), the action seemed to be kind of sticky (and so did the parts). I cleaned everything off and re-assembled with the new spring and had a much smoother operating ACCT. If you don't want to replace the spring, you may try cleaning out the ACCT to see if that will help any (same amount of work though).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the replies, I'm wiping the tears away and hoping it's the adjusters. Managed to order one new one off the shelf today, should have it friday. Was quite surprised to get it - these bikes are uncommon over here in the uk! the guy said he hadn't sold one for 2 years, only had the one in stock and wouldn't bother re-ordering (unless I want another)! I think I read somewhere here that the engine has to be tdc when you remove the old acct, is that correct? I (in my ignorance!) wouldn't have thought it would matter as long as nothing is moved and the engine not started?
many thanks again fellas for your help and advice!
Rich
 

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gb1ker said:
Thanks for all the replies, I'm wiping the tears away and hoping it's the adjusters. Managed to order one new one off the shelf today, should have it friday. Was quite surprised to get it - these bikes are uncommon over here in the uk! the guy said he hadn't sold one for 2 years, only had the one in stock and wouldn't bother re-ordering (unless I want another)! I think I read somewhere here that the engine has to be tdc when you remove the old acct, is that correct? I (in my ignorance!) wouldn't have thought it would matter as long as nothing is moved and the engine not started?
many thanks again fellas for your help and advice!
Rich
I think the search goddess on the yahoo group has sent a set of springs overseas. even with shipping a set of springs should be cheaper than one new ACCT; then you could rebuild yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's true Loran but as I say, I've ordered one but that does give me a spare to play with and hopefully understand! :) I also like the idea of the aftermarket adjusters. i have bookmarked Gypsy's site for a good read soon! Seems odd to me that after 20 or so years, Kawasaki have not addressed such a problem area!?
Thanx again all!
 

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Realistically, most people don't put enough miles on their motorcycles that they need to replace the tensioners that often. Mine were original and lasted 20K miles. Which I admit is a bit long according to anecdotal evidence. But even at 15K lifespan, that's 3-5 years riding for most recreational riders. Sometimes more...it took 10 years for the tensioners on my cycle to go out.

This isn't some guy we are talking about, it's a company. They do marketing research and find out the "average" rider milage and then calculate parts lifespans and cost and blah blah blah.

Anyway, I doubt they see a part with a 3-5 year lifespan as a problem, is my point.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I guess that's kinda true, my bike's 10 or 11 years old so if this is the first change (no way of knowing) then I can't grumble. Having said that, I have a fairly long commute to work and do about 200 miles a week plus any 'fun' rides -of course i realise that 200 miles is just a trip to the neighbour's house in the states! :) so I'm looking at about 10000 miles a year which means that potentially I could have to change the adjusters yearly plus all other consumables. Never mind, I love the bike and just hope it's sorted soon! on a different note, what's the simplest, most idiot proof way of setting the engine at tdc?

cheers
Rich
 

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Bikenoise

I have a 2003 with 35,000 miles and it developed a noise similar to what you have. It ended up being a bolt down on the left side of the engine that came off a gear inside. It actually ran okay until one day it broke the left case down low. It seams you can't find that side for sale, only the right side. That tells me the left side has an issue on all of them that wears the case open. The engine is in the shop right now and it has to be welded to repair it. Do you have an oil leak on the side? Mine did as it warped and thinned. Just a few drops a day.
 

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I have a 2003 with 35,000 miles and it developed a noise similar to what you have. It ended up being a bolt down on the left side of the engine that came off a gear inside. It actually ran okay until one day it broke the left case down low. It seams you can't find that side for sale, only the right side. That tells me the left side has an issue on all of them that wears the case open. The engine is in the shop right now and it has to be welded to repair it. Do you have an oil leak on the side? Mine did as it warped and thinned. Just a few drops a day.
if you cracked the case on the left front then it was due to the balance dampeners going out and breaking the left handed bolt that holds it all together you can find a left side case on ebay

here is one http://www.ebay.com/itm/116-90-KAWASAKI-VULCAN-VN-750-LEFT-SIDE-MOTOR-ENGINE-CASE-/321216784299?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4aca0327ab&vxp=mtr
 

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Thanks for the info. I'll see if this will work. I would like to keep the bike and would even buy a motor if I could find one. Easy riding!

Dave
 

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Kinda a shame the motorcycle companies figure the average rider rides less than 3000 miles a year. In the last 16 months I've put 15,000 miles and the riding has just begun on my bike. I'd ride more but I have to haul big stuff for my business (not to mention cold rainy days).
 

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Hi, I converted my cam chain tensioners to manual ones as described elsewhere on the forum. They seem to work more consistently now with no "clacking". My bike is an old rescued 1985 VN700. I'm near Sandhurst/Farnborough, I see you are in Surrey.
 
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