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Discussion Starter #1
I have an HLA that is clattering in my engine. It was really bad yesterday. I had my bike running, and at idle it was pretty loud and it was clattering intermittenly.
I recently changed my oil, and I put in Castrol 20W50, and it's still in the lower 50 degree range outside.
Could the oil be a little too heavy for the cooler weather?
Could it have an affect on the HLA's?
I checked both ACCT's and they are both working good. The noise don't start till around 2,000 RPM's and usually after it's warmed up a bit.
I added some Seafoam to the oil last night and went for a short ride to see if it helped any.
Is there anything I can do to help free it up? I might have to do another engine pull and look at them.
The noise is coming from the front cylinder, but the weird thing is that under acceleration it goes away, it seems to make the most noise under cruising conditions ie: with no load on the engine.
Any ideas from the brilliant mechanics out there? Thanks all.
 

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Calif Rider
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725 Posts
How did you check the ACCT's, you still could have a very weak spring or a busted one? Did you take them out and check the front one. You have a large cap just above the ACCT, remove, there is a spring in there that also puts tention on the upper chains. See if it is broken this could also give you a loud chain slap.
You said that you had the engine out, what was done after it was removed?
 

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Be True, Be Safe!!!
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42 Posts
HLA ???? Advise the dummy please.
 

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Calif Rider
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What he is saying I think is Hydrolic, lifter, assembly. that is what I come up with.
 

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Concert connoisseur
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when my acct spring broke I was 40 miles from home, at idle and low cruising speeds it was clacking like hell, if I kept the rpm's up it was fine so I revved it the whole way home, put in a new spring and it was gone. for less than 6 bucks and a quick trip to the hardware store and 10 minutes you can convert it like I did in my signature line and see if it fixes it, you can always switch it back to an acct later if you want but shouldnt need to. I would try that first!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
HLA is the Hydraulic Lash Adjuster under the rocker arms that keeps the rocker arms in contact with the camshaft lobes.
I manually checked both ACCT's with a screwdriver with the engine running. I turned them CCW slowly until the chain started rattling, then released the screwdriver, and the chain noise went away. I then turned the screws slightly CW to make sure there was sufficient tension on the chains.
I checked both springs under the caps above the tensioners, and both were good with tension on them.
I checked the timing chain tension when I had the engine out and both chains were tight.
I am almost positive the noise is coming from a lash adjuster as the noise is intermittent.
At idle the engine makes absolutely no noise at all. You rev it up to 1,000 RPM's, and still no noise. It don't make any noise until roughly 1,800 RPM's and the noise is the worse at cruising speed.
I will check the springs under the caps again, and I am going to go get some flat washers to put between the caps and the springs to see if that helps any.
I had the engine out to do some carb work, and to replace all of the O-Rings and water & fuel lines.
 

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Calif Rider
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725 Posts
When I checked the spring behind the large caps they measured at a little over 1 and 1/2in long. Right for wrong I stretch them to about 2 inches long, because I was having a little noise in the top end. They do not seem to be made of hard tempered steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going to take the springs with me today, and get some new ones that are a little longer with a little more tension, and see if that helps any, and will post the results.
I'm hoping that I can get a sound recording at various RPM's so that everyone can hear what I'm hearing in the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I added 2 flat washers behind the springs tonight, and they had no affect on the noise at all. I checked the ACCT's again, and they are both tight.
If I tighten them much past snug, it will actually pull the engine down, and I can hear the chains against the guides.
I changed the oil and it didn't help either.
The noise is coming from the front cylinder.
So I guess it's time to pull the engine AGAIN. :(
Anyone want to buy a parts bike?
 

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I added 2 flat washers behind the springs tonight, and they had no affect on the noise at all. I checked the ACCT's again, and they are both tight.
If I tighten them much past snug, it will actually pull the engine down, and I can hear the chains against the guides.
I changed the oil and it didn't help either.
The noise is coming from the front cylinder.
So I guess it's time to pull the engine AGAIN. :(
Anyone want to buy a parts bike?
try some Lucas OIl treatment,before you pull the engine,it may help,the sound you describe sounds like a collapsed lifter,or it may be stuck in it's bore,but usually they are noisiest at idle ,when oil pressure is lowest.

I have personally used Lucas,oil treatment with good results,you will have to drain some of your oil and add the additive,then run your engine until it runs N.O.T. and then try letting it have time to pump up the bad HLA ,if the noise doesn't go away then pull the engine.

I am in no way affiliated with Lucas Additives I am just convinced through my own experiences they make good stuff,It's worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I will give Lucas a try. Wouldn't it mess with the clutch? Does it have any friction modifiers in it? I added some seafoam to the oil, and I have been riding it for a few days, and the noise hasn't changed. It don't really make a lot of noise till it warms up a bit, then it gets worse. If the weather is good tomorrow, I'm going to ride her to the dealership, and have the shop look at her and see if we can put our heads together and come up with a solution.
 

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I will give Lucas a try. Wouldn't it mess with the clutch? Does it have any friction modifiers in it? I added some seafoam to the oil, and I have been riding it for a few days, and the noise hasn't changed. It don't really make a lot of noise till it warms up a bit, then it gets worse. If the weather is good tomorrow, I'm going to ride her to the dealership, and have the shop look at her and see if we can put our heads together and come up with a solution.
you know bill ,i really don't know about the friction modifier question,but it worth reading the label and checking it out,you may want to add it and see if it gets the lifter for you and then change it again.
 

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try some Lucas OIl treatment,before you pull the engine,it may help,the sound you describe sounds like a collapsed lifter,or it may be stuck in it's bore,but usually they are noisiest at idle ,when oil pressure is lowest.

I have personally used Lucas,oil treatment with good results,you will have to drain some of your oil and add the additive,then run your engine until it runs N.O.T. and then try letting it have time to pump up the bad HLA ,if the noise doesn't go away then pull the engine.

I am in no way affiliated with Lucas Additives I am just convinced through my own experiences they make good stuff,It's worth a try.
Denny, please explain " until it runs N.O.T."
 

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Normal Operating Temperature.

Got the same clatter so I may be trying the Lucas additive as well.
Thanks Scoot! I tend to abbreviate because the service forms I used to have to fill out had a small area for Job description,old habits are hard to break.:smiley_th
 

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With all due respect for the advice given...wrong. If your ACCT's are fine, and IF the problem occurs AFTER the engine is warm, then the HLA pistons/bores are fubar. Your multi-vis oil is flowing at it's highest vis rating once the engine is hot, and the HLA is loosing the needed pressure to keep the valve lash near zero. Trying to pack the springs is both futile and a recipe for valve float. It's one of those "do it cheap" ideas that is just plain dumb. Mike the HLA bores and the HLA piston diameters. If it's just the pistons, go bikebandit and be happy. If the bores are beyond .005 of the factory specs, source a new head or a recent model head off eBay. Do it right and you won't be sorry. Screw around with shade tree mechanics and you'll be pushing a dead horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm going to pull it this weekend, and pull the HLA's and check them. I have looked at some heads on E-Bay and am going to bid on one if in fact mine is bad.
If the HLA is bad won't it make noise all the time after it's warmed up?
I noticed tonight on a ride as soon as I accelerate it will rattle and get really bad right before the I get off the throttle to shift. As soon as I let off the throttle the noise goes away. At idle it make no noise at all. Tonight it rattled even when the engine was cold but not as bad as when it's warmed up.
I am going to install an oil pressure gauge this weekend to keep an eye on the pressure, and see what it does. I was running Castrol 20W50, and I changed it to Delo 15W40 with about 2 ounces of Seafoam.
Tomorrow I'm going to get some sound bites so you can listen to them and see if anyone has an idea if it's the HLA's or chains.
 

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With all due respect for the advice given...wrong. If your ACCT's are fine, and IF the problem occurs AFTER the engine is warm, then the HLA pistons/bores are fubar. Your multi-vis oil is flowing at it's highest vis rating once the engine is hot, and the HLA is loosing the needed pressure to keep the valve lash near zero. Trying to pack the springs is both futile and a recipe for valve float. It's one of those "do it cheap" ideas that is just plain dumb. Mike the HLA bores and the HLA piston diameters. If it's just the pistons, go bikebandit and be happy. If the bores are beyond .005 of the factory specs, source a new head or a recent model head off eBay. Do it right and you won't be sorry. Screw around with shade tree mechanics and you'll be pushing a dead horse.
excuse me curious george ,you are not the least bit subtle in your air of superiority towards others on here,we are all just friends trying to help one another,and we are not all "shade trees" as you referred to some of us have a lot of real world experience,and were actual mechanics and held jobs in that field,we were discussing how to get a hydraulic lifter to pump up,obviously he has now tried all the simple stuff and now it is time to dig deeper ,but I have watched you post several different times on here and you always come off as an arrogant know it all,You are well qualified as a mechanic,but as a human you come off as a complete a$$ with the personality of a turnip.I see why you call yourself curious george ,you have the manners of an ape.So while your advice is welcomed by everyone leave your "billy better than you attitude" on the shelf,You can make your point without insulting other members,there is no reason to call names and say others are dumb ,make your point keep and let it go at that,No need for the chest thumping.Talk to people like you are face to face with them ,I find a lot that are a lot braver behind the anonymity of a computer keyboard.I KNOW you would not call me Dumb or a Shadetree to my Face more than once .Just Fact.I am not going to say more or try to argue with you,but you will catch more ants with honey rather than vinegar on here,there are too many people leaving this board because of rude behavior and being talked down to by Big I's ,so tone down the insults and you will be a great addition to this forum and an asset but if every time you post you act like every one who posted in that thread before you was stupid ,you will start being ignored,by more than me .Right now your opinion doesn't mean much to me ,it came from the wrong end of your spine.:loser1:
 

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The Reanimater
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Discussion Starter #20
I will try that. I figured there is a way to bleed them. I have the manual but haven't had a chance to read up on removing the HLA's.
My biggest fear is screwing with the timing chain aspect of it. I'm hoping that I can remove the cams by taking out the ACCT's and taking out the secondary spring above it to give the chain enough slack to wiggle the cams out. I am going to set the front cylinder on TDC and mark the chain and cams with a marker for a reference.
I will have some reading to do tonight and see what I'm up against.
I used to own an 85 Yamaha 650 special, and I could have the engine out and the top end torn down in less than a half hour. Weird huh?
I appreciate the replies and help on this as I was ready to sell it and get a newer Vulcan 900.
 
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