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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought an 85 VN700A1 when I got it home (trailered) I started it and let it warm up, then put it in the garage. When parked, a watery/oily substance began leaking badly from the lower left portion of the radiator. See more about this in my prior post in the "newbie check in thread"
http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17625

I began disassembling some things today. Took off the gas tank, air cleaner, and such. Found the following:

Oily/gas type substance in air cleaner (can also be seen running down behind cleaner on platform). Also same substance in the rubber boot behind the air cleaner.


spark plugs, blackened with oily/watery substance on ends


detached de-celerator cable (like that when I got it, was wedged between the engine V


coolant is mainly clear, inside of bottle has oily/grimy substance inside on walls of bottle


the left side with fuel lines undone. the one line with a screw in it was already like that


coolant leak from last night on floor, the leaking substance on my finger appears to be mainly oil but it is extremely thin for oil still watery as evidenced by the dried areas on the cardboard


I haven't drained the coolant yet, I will do that tomorrow. I checked the oil (there is no dipstick like on my honda nighthawk) and it appears completely dry to the naked eye. I'll look up more in the repair manual tonight on how to do that.

What am I looking at here? Blown head gaskets? cracked head(s)? blown bottom end? How easy are these engines to rebuild and work on? When running the bike did not blow smoke or anything. It had a fuel leak between the V and idle varied but those were the only problems I picked up on until the big leak occurred putting it in the garage last night.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think I'm in way over my head in this. I checked the service manual and I don't even have most the tools to do this. I just have basic tools (sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches). I'm thinking I need to take this to a motorcycle repair shop and have them work on it. How much would I save doing it myself buying all the parts and tools vs taking it to a shop?

I did check on ebay and there is a 750 engine available but the guy never had it running because the CDI in it was bad.
 

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You will save a lot if you do it yourself, but you gotta have the right tools and skill. This forum can help you out a lot, unfortunately, I dunno where to begin on this one... someone else might come along and give you better advice.

For now, the only thing I can think of, is finding out what that liquid is. Is it oil in the water? Water in the oil? Something completely different? Gotta find out what it is and why it's there.
 

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:)I would drain and refresh both the coolant and the oil. There is a sightglass on the left side for the oil, put it on the center stand.

As far as that substance goes, it could be gas dripping from fuel lines. Make sure that the petcock switch is in the normal or res posistion. If you put it in prime, gas will run without vaccum to it (maw kawai uses vaccum to open it and let fuel flow).

check the bike over carefully and dry up any wet spots on and around the engine and cooling system,and put down fresh cardboard. May not be as bad as you think.:beerchug:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll try that this weekend. There are issues with the fuel lines as previously mentioned. I'm pretty sure they're routed incorrectly.

Based on the coolant bottle, the leak underneath, and having no oil in the crankcase, leads me to believe it's oil getting into the coolant.

I talked to a couple shops today and both seemed it sounds like a blown head gasket with possible damage to the head. One shop refused to work on it (said they only do that work in the "off season"), the other said I could bring it in next week.

I've checked the service manual, I do not have a lot of the tools needed. Plus I've never torn an engine apart.

My thinking behind getting a shop to do it is since there is oil/coolant problem, plus the carbs are missing pieces, the fuel lines are wacked, and the fan was already on the fritz before I got it, I can just take it in and have all this done all at once. Fix it once and know it's right, and not be bothered with it. My son will be riding a lot with me, and the guys I ride with have several long rides planned this summer so peace of mind is at work here also. I can then do the R/R relocation, tires, pipes, spline lube, and dash/lighting replacement.
 

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I'll try that this weekend. There are issues with the fuel lines as previously mentioned. I'm pretty sure they're routed incorrectly.

Based on the coolant bottle, the leak underneath, and having no oil in the crankcase, leads me to believe it's oil getting into the coolant.

I talked to a couple shops today and both seemed it sounds like a blown head gasket with possible damage to the head. One shop refused to work on it (said they only do that work in the "off season"), the other said I could bring it in next week.

I've checked the service manual, I do not have a lot of the tools needed. Plus I've never torn an engine apart.

My thinking behind getting a shop to do it is since there is oil/coolant problem, plus the carbs are missing pieces, the fuel lines are wacked, and the fan was already on the fritz before I got it, I can just take it in and have all this done all at once. Fix it once and know it's right, and not be bothered with it. My son will be riding a lot with me, and the guys I ride with have several long rides planned this summer so peace of mind is at work here also. I can then do the R/R relocation, tires, pipes, spline lube, and dash/lighting replacement.
back up a bit here.. lets take one thing at a time...do you have the downloadable manule? or a a Cylmers manule?...take the tank off her.. make sure all of the hoses are where they need to be.. drain the oil fresh oil and a new filter... drain the coolant and put in fresh.. make sure all the hoses are tight and you have no leaks.. change out those ugly plugs.. put you some Seafoam in the tank and then run it for a bit.. then we can see whats what.. there is to much jacked up right now to see what is wrong bro!
 

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X2 Clock:smiley_th
 

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are you missing the left side carb boot to the air box?.. looks like you don't have filters on the ear you have open in your first pic... the carb hoses are fairly easy to route... you have two hoses that got to the petcock for fuel.. one hose on the left (as your sitting on the bike) goes from the lower nipple to the petcock/carb vent.. the one on the right carb vent nipple goes to the air switch above the rear head.. funky looking tank thing made of metal...two lines from between the carbs should go to a T connector and one long hose from that T should be routed to the right ear....clear as mud right?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll do the oil/coolant change and check all the fuel lines tomorrow.

When I got it, there was a fuel leak under the tank with the fuel landing between the V of the engine and pooling there.

I am missing the right rubber boot from the air cleaner/filter assembly. I'd already taken the left side off. I'm pretty sure I'm missing something from the tops of the carbs as well as it doesn't look like any of the pics of other vn700/750's I've seen.
 

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I'll do the oil/coolant change and check all the fuel lines tomorrow.

When I got it, there was a fuel leak under the tank with the fuel landing between the V of the engine and pooling there.

I am missing the right rubber boot from the air cleaner/filter assembly. I'd already taken the left side off. I'm pretty sure I'm missing something from the tops of the carbs as well as it doesn't look like any of the pics of other vn700/750's I've seen.
well since your missing a few things with the air cleaning system...might be a good time to do an ear shave!...or are you wanting to do a full restoration?...I am thinking your gonna need to pull your carbs and then we can find out what the state of it is...your at the right place for this stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
removed the bottom drain bolt- nothing came out
removed front cyl drain bolt- antifreeze, mainly bright orange in color
removed rear cyl drain bolt- nothing came out
removed radiator drain plug- antifreeze, mainly bright orange in color, changing to darker orange at the end of the drain and somewhat oily feeling but much less than what was on the ground when it leaked the other night
removed overflow tank- mainly clear/watery with some dirt encased in bottom

putting everything back together, then I'll drain the oil and change the filter

Ok, had problems locating the oil drain plug. What I thought was the oil drain plug I went back and second guessed it might be the bottom plug to the coolant system. So I opened it to drain the rest of the antifreeze. It filled up about 3 litres and was the same watery/oily substance that smelled of gas that leaked out last week from the lower left side of the radiator. I checked the sight glass for the oil after draining this, and it was empty, so I drained the oil instead of the antifreeze, which means the first plug I undid on the coolant system was the correct one (just that nothing came out of it). I did not find an oil screen.

I then removed the filter, and no oil or any other substance came out. The filter itself has absorbed the same watery/oily substance, but will not pour anything out.

Next I will check the carb routing hoses, and try to re-attach the de-celeration cable. Then I will fill back with coolant and oil, reinstall the spark plugs and battery, fire it up and see what happens.

UPDATE-
Finally found the drain plug on the left side by the oil pump (according to the online book). Removed it, maybe 12 oz of the oily/watery substance came out. I removed the spring, washer, and oil screen and it looked like this:







I'm not taking any further action until I get your guys thoughts. It feels like there are metal shards on the screen.
 

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I can`t remember how old your bike is.
You need to post a little info about the bike in your signature line. (Model year and mileage at least. :))

Are any of those black spots little chunks of rubber or plastic?
Are the metal shards aluminum?

If the answer to either question is yes, I think the engine balancer dampers are deteriorating and the balancer gear may just be starting to chew into the engine case.

Don`t panic. It does require an engine pull and about $60 worth of parts to repair, but the wrenches here can talk you through it. :smiley_th
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry, it's a 1985 Kawasaki Vulcan VN700, has 18,960 miles on it. Bought it for $600, was told only needed to have the carb idle screw replaced and a couple fuel lines replaced to get it to run right.

Black spots appear to be both rubber and plastic. Metal shards appear to be aluminum.
 

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The age is right for the balance dampers to be going. OlHoss nailed it I would say.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The engine has to come out. What else should I do while I'm doing that- if I go this route. I mean what other maintenance checks/repairs should I go ahead and do? Where do I get parts, what parts do I need? What tools do I need?

After reading another post on here earlier today about a guy that had gas in his oil, I'm thinking that was more my problem, not coolant. The coolant drained mainly orange. And since the gas tank has been off the bike since last Wed, when I changed the oil and smelled gas today, I knew it couldn't be from the bad fuel lines that I was told were on the bike. What would that be a symptom of?
 
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