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Discussion Starter #1
I inherited an 86 vulcan from an uncle that never got it on the highway. Soon after he bought it, he got really sick and died from his illness. When I got the bike, I knew nothing of it's history or repairs. It really has been a journey fixing it up. I really want to make it a memorial for my favorite uncle. But It seems that every time I take the bike out for a ride, it won't restart. I have to let it cool for a really long time. I have a clymer repair book, but it doesn't mention anything about it. I do have a missing vac hose just infront of the seat above the rear coil. It has a nipple sticking up, but I can't find any diagrams that help. I don't have a California model. Please help if you can. I have a nervouse wife that doesn't like the idea of me riding that old of a bike, with mechanical probs. Nor do I. Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome to the Group :)

As for the hot start problem. I had the same issue on my 93, replaced the old wet cell battery with a maintenance free battery, 100% improvement.
 

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Concert connoisseur
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2,231 Posts
ditto, on the agm mf battery, check the verses about ngk plugs too. as for an old 86, that is what I have and wouldn't trade it for nothing. go over your bolts and check for tightness, I found my right side frame bolts a little loose and my shocks on the left a little loose and also a motor mount I had to replace a nut on. for an 86 it is an excellent riding machine that is pretty easy to work on.
how many miles on the bike? I had a hot start prob but not since the mf battery
welcome to the group!
 

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The Professor
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Welcome to the group. As you can see, there are lots of helpful people here. I second (or third or fourth) everyting that's been suggested so far. Mine's an '89. Runs like a top!
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
Welcome to the Vulcan madness from sunny southern Alberta. The hot no restart is a common problem with most of our bikes. X2 to lance and all the others who suggest a MF-AGM battery and NGK Iridium plugs. Check the TEN THINGS at the bottom of my sig for some other issues you may not have encountered yet. I hope you can soon call your ride "Old Reliable". LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I don't the good plugs or m free battery yet. Their a bit costly right now. I did change the gap on the pick-up coils to around .020 . I heard that usually works and wouldn't cost anything to try it. But it started fine, but when shut, same old thing. Anybody know how to check the ignition coils? I don't know the normal temp, they should run. And what resistance values should read when hot, verses cold. I should also mention that I know my stator is fried. That's one reason for the cheap battery. I don't want mess-up a good battery. Only a cheap 35 dollar walmart battery.
 

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The Professor
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The coils are not the problem, You need an MF AGM battery and iridium plugs. Without a working stator and R/R nothing you do will help and a cheap battery just compounds the problem.

What tests have you done on the R/R and Stator?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, first off I tried checking voltage at the battery. It was the same voltage at all RPMs. Second, I bought another R/R on ebay after it failed the continuity tests in the Clymer's book. But when I received it, it tested bad too. So I figured maybe i'm doing something wrong. Third, I tested the stator. All three yellow wires have continuity with the engine housing. When I rev up the bike at night, the headlight does get noticeably brighter. Ive been told that was coming from the pick-up coils and not really charging. And I have left the bike hooked to the battery charger and let it warm up. And the bike would still not hot start. I have also checked the gas vent on the tank. I'm going to cap off that vac nipple and see if that helps. All vac diagrams in Clymer never shows where it goes.
 

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The Professor
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Well, first off I tried checking voltage at the battery. It was the same voltage at all RPMs. Second, I bought another R/R on ebay after it failed the continuity tests in the Clymer's book. But when I received it, it tested bad too. So I figured maybe i'm doing something wrong. Third, I tested the stator. All three yellow wires have continuity with the engine housing. When I rev up the bike at night, the headlight does get noticeably brighter. Ive been told that was coming from the pick-up coils and not really charging. And I have left the bike hooked to the battery charger and let it warm up. And the bike would still not hot start. I have also checked the gas vent on the tank. I'm going to cap off that vac nipple and see if that helps. All vac diagrams in Clymer never shows where it goes.
The pick-up coils have nothing do do with the headlight geting brighter. Have you tested the stator wires for AC output? Unplug at the R/R with bike running set VM on AC volts test two wires at a time but testing all three. To test the R/R you need to Check Resistance "OHMS" and not continuity. The vacuum port on the valve connects to the rear carb vacuum port, if the port on the rear carb is capped then don't worry about the valve.

Are your plugs new or at least cleaned and gapped? What voltage are you getting at the battery?
 

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Calif Rider
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725 Posts
Do you have a vent hose that goes to the rear of the right air filter ear. If not then that is the hose, it just need to breath. It goes into a small recess in the rear of the ear. Make sure you cut it at a 45 degree angle so the hose will not bottom out and not draw air properly. If you do not have the ears than it is okay where it is.
 
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