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The front cylinder head cover can be removed without pulling the engine. But you'll need to remove the engine to pull the cylinder head itself.
You MIGHT need to remove the air intake surge tank to get the cover off. Mine was already removed,

The easiest way to include videos is to upload to YouTube and post the link here.

At least your engine still turns over and starts. Mine lost power, made some clatters and died. The intake valve was chewed to pieces inside the front cylinder!
It sounds like you're already better off than I was!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Do you have any video of it making the noise? If not no worries. I wouldn’t start it just to make a video if you’re having isssues. Do you still have the stock cam chain tensioners?
Here’s an example of one failing. It sounded even worse in person.

That actually sounds VERY similar to mine.. I had videos on my old phone..but it broke.. now I have the engine off the bike.. I removed the head cover but nothing appears broke or loose.. does anyone have any suggestions of what to check?
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All the rockers appear reasonably tight? There would possibly be some slack due to the hydraulic lash adjusters having no oil pressure, but check for any that are really loose in relation to the others.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Ok..I will.. I haven't been able to find anything that looks loose, worn , or broke ..
 

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I’ll ask this because I don’t know the answer , can you feel if the tensioners are too loose when it’s open like this?
 

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I guess what I meant to say was with the engine open that way, is that a reliable way to tell whether or not the tensioners are loose? They’re under spring tension, and I’m assuming while the engine is off they could feel fine but with the engine running there’s a lot more force at play.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Ok..I understand.. I actually couldn't tell ya honestly. This is the first Vulcan I've owned and I'm far from a mechanic. I'm basically learning as I google and go..lol
 

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Discussion Starter #31
How do I tell if the cam chain tensioner is bad with the engine off the bike? I pulled the acct or whatever it is out and looked at it.. it appeared to be good.. then I collapsed it and put it back like the book said
Should I pull the head off? I have to get the right size plug socket so I can relieve the compression and turn the engine over by hand.. hoping that way I can hear the noise again while its apart
 

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Pulling the head won't help because the chain will be disconnected.

See if you can use a bright light to look down beside the chain, maybe you can see the tensioner on the chain?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Are you talking about the upper chain tensioner? I looked at it yesterday,, it appeared fine. I even used a screwdriver to check if it was loose,, but it appeared to be pretty solid.. I could move it a little,, but not too easily..
Also,, when I reassemble it,,can I use two of those lil after market air filters instead of all the factory setup?
 

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Talking about doing the earshave? You can, if you use the correct filters, some cheaper filters won't work because they block ports on the rear of the carb.

The K&N works, and UNI PK92 works and costs less.

I forgot about the upper rollers, that might block the view of the ACCT.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Yea,, I've heard of ppl doing the ear shave. I actually like the stock filters, but I can't stand all the factory stuff in the way.. I like to remove the big plastic chambers and such.. this is my first Vulcan, but I've owned a few bikes. Everything from Harley's to junk bikes. My last one was a shadow.. I really liked it..
But I have 2 single aftermarket filters, thought about trying to use them instead..
I'm unfamiliar with the Vulcan setup and I haven't ever dug too deep into any motorcycle engine.. and when I do,, it involves a lot of Google, YouTube, and books..lol. I have a clymer manual on this bike..
 

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Have you seen Roach's rebuild videos on YT? Look for Andrew Roth over there.

You can always try the filters you have, just be prepared to either put the airbox back or buy the right filters if those won't work. The airbox is a royal pain, I took one look and knew I was shaving it. So much cleaner on top of the engine without it, and carb work is so much easier. Not to mention pulling or tilting the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
In my manual it talks about an oil filter in the upper front cylinder.. says to use compressed air to get it out..
What I've been wondering is,, if it could be clogged and the front cylinder is starved for oil.. the reason I wonder that, is because when I bought the bike a few months ago the stator and rectifier was bad. I didn't want to pull the whole engine, so I did the tuxedo mod on the stator. I flushed the engine a lot to remove all the metal shavings.. but if I missed some,, could they have clogged that top filter and caused the problem..
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Another off the subject question...lol.
I want to make the bike louder.. my brother mentioned installing the lollipops or whatever.. I've never did it.. and I've noticed how the exhaust is connected under the bike.. what's up with that? Lol. What's the best DIY way to get more sound without compromising performance?
 

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That’s call the “goats belly” Kawasaki calls it a “power chamber” it’s a pre-muffler to equal out the exhaust pulses. If you remove it there can be some negative effects on low end torque. You can drill or gut the mufflers to make the bike louder. There’s always aftermarket pipes but they can be hard to find and pricey.
Here’s a clip of the bike with mufflers gutted. I had broken clamps on my mufflers so I took the opportunity to remove the baffles completely.

 

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Discussion Starter #40
Ok.. I see.. where's the baffles? I thought they were inside the mufflers..but when I removed my exhaust, all I could see looking through it was like one screen..
 
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