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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys.

so my recently-bought '94 EX500 is doing something odd. when started cold, it makes this sound that's somewhere between a tick and a slap - (i know, descriptive, right?) that goes with engine speed. as the engine warms up, the noise becomes asynchronous with the engine speed, and then disappears completely. this is not the usual "sewing machine" noise. the bike seems to run great, and the noise didn't seem to start til i ran some kawasaki carb cleaner through it (it'd been sitting when i bought it).

also, i'm losing oil. not crazy fast, no smoke, and no obvious leaks - but it's not staying in the crankcase. of course, the engine has 33K miles....

anyway. i'm getting frustrated - maybe i should stop buying used bikes that look too cheap to be true... :)

thanks for any input. being a new poster but an established lurker to this forum, i'm a little scared to see what FOG and the rest of you kawi geniuses have to say ;-)

-Tyler

-94 EX500
-89 Honda CB-1
 

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well, seeing as you mention 33k miles on it, its probably burning a little oil, not enough at a time to make it smoke, but still burning some. the sound from your motor MAY be your valves needing adjustment. I dont know for sure.
 

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Is your bike "marking it's territory"?

my bike is also a '94, but with 54.5k miles, and I'm losing a fair bit of oil because blow-by causes oil vapor to be blown to the airbox, where it is then drained from a hose between the center stand and oil pan. According to FOG, this is a somewhat normal problem, probably due to abuse and lack of oil changing earlier in the bikes lifetime (think previous owners). I believe the cause is worn (not blown) piston rings.
 

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What do you drive? A Lexeus? AT 33 K miles your EX is all used up and your lucky it runs at all.

FOG
 

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FOG: i respect your vast knowledge and experience. however...

my '90 has 33k on it, and it runs just as well as my '01 with just shy of 10k on it... to simply say the motor is worn out and used up after 30k is in my humble opinion inaccurate.

that said, i'm curious to see what the cams and rest of the inside of the motor look like (i will in a couple hundred more miles when i do the valve adjustment). after all, many people believe cars to be at the end of their useful existence after 100k miles or some close number to that. every car i've owned (with the exception of the first) have had over 100k miles on them, and were and still are all fine. if you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.

not all of us race and/or rev the piss out of our motors every chance we get ;)
 

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ERAU944 said:
that said, i'm curious to see what the cams and rest of the inside of the motor look like (i will in a couple hundred more miles when i do the valve adjustment). after all, many people believe cars to be at the end of their useful existence after 100k miles or some close number to that. every car i've owned (with the exception of the first) have had over 100k miles on them, and were and still are all fine. if you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.
I typically buy cars when they hit the 100K mark and the owners unknowingly think they will self-destruct any second. Decent cars, not Yugos. My 88 Audi just passed 400,000 miles on the original engine, trans, and turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
drive a lexus? shoot me now. no, i drive an '89 saab turbo with 250K on the clock. all my cars have always gone to the 200-300K range...but maybe i'm spoiled car-wise. i guess i was hoping my engine had some life left in it, and i think it does. thanks for everyone's replies - they confirmed what i was thinking was wrong. i'll have the bike in for valve adjustment asap and see if it solves anything and get back to everyone. thanks again!

-Tyler
 

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Lucky you guys, over here, the calcium they put on the roads in the winter makes the car rust after 5 years.. If you see anything that has more than 15 years, it's either a rust bucket or it never saw winter...
 

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Previous owner factor is massive, my first bike was a '91 500r with 14k miles and a single previous owner, it ran far worse than my present 55k mile 500r beast. What everyone says is correct. If you hang wheelies all the time, change the oil never, and other such riding practices, no motor will hold out for long. Funny that FOG says the motors are toast after 30k, the engines seem pretty bulletproof if you spare them abuse. Do the valve adjustment, but I'm banking on piston rings.
 

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I've discribed this motor in great detail many times before. So to avoide doing so again I'll just say the thing is simply not strong (stiff) enough to be a High Milage unit. Far worse if you ever take them apart, and don't understand what needs to be done. There will always be exceptions to any rule,

FOG
 

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Haha, I won't ask you to explain it all again. Just saying that previous owner abuse is more of a factor here than in almost any other situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
stupid question then, maybe....but if it's the piston rings, which it sounds like it may be - are these replaceable without getting oversize pistons / machining the block? i'm sorry if that's a dumb question, but i figured it cant hurt to ask. i'm on a very tight budget and i'm trying to figure out if this goofy bike is worth fixing. i love it, i just can't stand the problems.

thanks for everyone's input!

-Tyler
 

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94EX500 said:
stupid question then, maybe....but if it's the piston rings, which it sounds like it may be - are these replaceable without getting oversize pistons / machining the block? i'm sorry if that's a dumb question, but i figured it cant hurt to ask. i'm on a very tight budget and i'm trying to figure out if this goofy bike is worth fixing. i love it, i just can't stand the problems.

thanks for everyone's input!

-Tyler
You can refit new rings, but you must re hone the cylinders to make them round. They went out of round the day it was driven home from the dealer. That is to say the all of them are out of round. Size dosn't matter too much I have gone 3-4 thou over max, you can buy 1/2mm OS rings and re gap them to .005 if the bores are round. It's a nice thing to knurl the piston skirts too. This keeps the rings square to the bores and reduces piston slap.
But if it runs OK it's cheaper to feed it oil. A quart every 500 miles would be tolarable, unless it fouls plugs.

FOG
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
a quart every 500 miles sounds like about where i am in terms of oil loss. interesting info about the pistons/rings - i'll keep that in mind. thanks!

-Tyler
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i went and did a stupid thing. well actually it was ok until the end.

i decided to do the valve adjustment myself, because i'm flat broke and it sounded easy. everything with the adjustment went fine until the reassembly, during which i managed to break off one of the valve cover bolts while tightening - i was unsure of the torque settings for them, or frankly for any of the bolts involved in this process. yes, i'm an idiot - no need to tell me.

anyway. what can i do? i don't really want to take the bike to a shop just so they can fix the one bolt. is there any other option to get it out? and for that matter, what are the torque settings for the valve cover, the copper oil lines, and the adjuster screws on the valves? i'm not clueless, just lacking information. and should i be using loctite on these bolts?

please be kind.

-Tyler
 

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Take the cover off and use a scriber or a pair of tweezers and remove the broken threaded portion. Since they don't bottom (the shoulder does). it shoud be loose. Then put in a new bolt Gently, No torque just common sense. look at the thread size , what 5mm? very lightly just touch the slhoulder the rubber washer will hold it. Don't use locktight on any fastner on this motorcycle.

FOG
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
FOG, you're a lifesaver. i was about to go nuts on this thing. and good to know about not using loc-tite.

by the way - is there any reason the engine should be able to turn counterclockwise? when i was lining up the cam wheels to adjust the valves, i noticed they seemed to turn both ways. that was also at like 1:30 last night....so i could be imagining things.

thanks for the quick reply.

-Tyler
 

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Turning the engine backwards, (Counterclockwise) Puts the cam chain tensioner on the tension side and puts undue pressure on it.

If you want to appear real astute, by checking what side of the engine the cam chain tensioners is on you can correctly determine the direction of rotaion. Amaze your friends and influence people.

FOG
 

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A shop manual for any bike is always a good investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
done. adjusted valves, removed broken VC bolt from cam cap by drilling it out, replaced cam cap and VC with new bolt, reassembled bike, and because this whole godforsaken process took all weekend, stripped/sanded/painted the thing while it was apart. now it's no longer three different bikes' colors worth of blue/purple....but a dark charcoal gray with a matte finish....but it has flakes in the color coat that really sparkle in the sun. cool color. black "kawasaki" decals on order.

oh and the valves sound quiet as anything. and the bike is more eager to rev now.

;D

forgive my satisfaction, i didn't think i was gonna make it through this one.

-Tyler

-94 EX500
-89 CB-1
 
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