1500 lower engine problems ??????? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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1500 lower engine problems ???????

I'm buying a couple of 93 - 95 1500's. One has a thrown rod. I was told these engines have lower end problems by a bike shop owner. Is there a common problem or just normal percentage of failures?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 07:01 PM
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Cam chain tensioners are key to to maintaining a good 1500.

The reason is mysterious but it seems one of the first things to give any trouble on Vulcan 1500/1600 engines is the cam chain tensioner. That's the spring loaded gizmo that keeps an idler pressed against the chain so it doesn't whip or come off the sprocket or even make nasty grinding noises as it stretches through normal use. At some point though the tensioner reaches the end of its travel and then, when the chain stretches just a little more it starts rattling, usually against the spark plug tunnels (tubes) causing damage. The chain can eventually wear a hole in those tunnels which then fill (slowly) with oil and suddenly the rider notices oil seeping down the side of one cylinder. A little more wear and really bad things can happen. Most folks don't know this and address it, so that makes it a common problem on bikes with 30,000+ mileage.

The lower end is pretty solid, as long as it's maintained well.....and that's the problem there. Many folks don't change the oil and filter regularly, and do it correctly. There is a bolt on the lower left side of the engine that is the best place to drain oil from (not the drain plug). It's actually lower then the drain plug when the bike is on the side stand, and it contains the screen filter for the motor. When I got my ride at 18,000 miles, I pulled this plug and found some stuff I wouldn't want floating around in my system. Check this out: http://www.gadgetjq.com/vulcan_1500_oil-sys.htm

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Last edited by pcarrell; 01-03-2013 at 07:11 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 10:26 PM
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Thrown rod could = POG.
Be very careful as lower end rebuilds can be cost prohibative, and those years may need transmission work too!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 04:13 AM
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sounds very similar to the doohickey on the KLR. I wonder if they use the same one. Have a photo of it? if its the same one, there is a cure out there.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfair View Post
Thrown rod could = POG.
Be very careful as lower end rebuilds can be cost prohibative, and those years may need transmission work too!
That's right! Those are the POG years, aren't they? Forgot about that!

Philip
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ok guys, whats pog? Peice of garbage?? One of the bikes is a runner but wrecked. The other is nice with a blown motor. I just wondered if this was a poor engine design or do they hold up. Thanks for the info everyone
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 08:11 AM
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POG = Plastic Oil Pump Gear
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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That sounds better. Is it a big deal to replace the gear? Do they make a metal replacement?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 11:45 AM
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The Kawasaki dealer can set you up with the metal replacement, though they no longer do it on their dime. To read up on the POG issue, check this out: http://www.skidrobinson.ca/POG/pog.htm This was written some time ago, and since then all bikes with the POG have been having issues, so ignore that first sentence. Also, be sure to click the link near the bottom of the page to Judge's info.

Philip
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Last edited by pcarrell; 01-04-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info

Phillip,
what a great peice of info that jog link is. Thank you very much. I'll definatly get one & do the mod. That makes me feel so much better about this project.
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