Opinions on oil consumption - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on oil consumption

I have an 05 800 classic with 96,000 miles. Have had this bike since new in Febuaryr 06. Always been flawless. Have had to add oil to it 3 times between oil changes since I got it. The 1st time was at about 5,000 right after my first long trip on it at speeds of 75-85 for 14 hours straight. The 2nd time was last august on return trip of 2,000 miles, milage on bike was about 92,000 at that time. Changed oil at 93,000, had to add oil again yesturday, mileage now at 96,250, oil chang planned for thursday morning. Have asked a coup;e people I ride with and one guy said the only time he ever saw a hint of smoke from it was when under hard acceleration getting up to highway speeds. Dosent appear to be any leaks. Going to do compression check when I change the oil. Power seems to be as good as ever. Should I consider doing a valve and ring job over the winter is my question.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 08:04 PM
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The compression check (or even better, a leak-down check) will answer your question.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 01:24 PM
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Rick, The biggest oil loss is from the crank case breather system which is stock routed up to the intake system. The low pressure of intake will suck oil out of the hose when the case pulses it high pressure pulse.
Smoke during high acceleration is usually black and black is gas. I'd be more curious if there was blue puffs on deceleration. blue is oil.
White is steam.
And Green is Beans ! and Brown is Too Late !

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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The only person who said there was a hint of smoke said it was only when I was getting on it a bit, and it was faint. Going to do the compression test in the morning anyway. Not sure about the leakdown. Know you pressureize the cylinder and see how much pressure it looses over a timed period. Can this be done with the compression guage or do I need a specail set of guages for it.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 04:35 PM
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Need special gauges for leak-down test.
It is not uncommon for a higher mileage engine to smoke blue when wound out.
Let the test(s) determine what you will be doing this winter.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 06:50 PM
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You didn't mention the oil you are using. I run 10w40 and don't use any at all. But its dependent on your type of riding and weather. I'm sure if I were using 10w30 I would use some.

Also a dirty or clogged air filter can cause oil usage.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Run 10/40 myself from dealer. I dont think I run it to hard, dont really baby it, but dont race it either. Never used oil in mine either, just started, and near 100,000 figure reasonable will start showing some wear here and there.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 11:57 PM
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I would take sfairs advice and do the test or have it done. Using a heavier weight oil or anything else like that only masks the problem. Diagnose the issue THEN decide the course of repair, not the other way around.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Was cleaning the bike today and noticed this on the rear cylinder on the left side. Can anyone tell me what this hole is for and why it is leaking oil from it? Is at the base of the head were it bolts to the jug.Click image for larger version

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rick View Post
Was cleaning the bike today and noticed this on the rear cylinder on the left side. Can anyone tell me what this hole is for and why it is leaking oil from it? Is at the base of the head were it bolts to the jug.Attachment 14394[ATTACH]14395
Rick, that's a little horizontal/lateral weep hole that originates from inside of the spark plug hole areas. If you look carefully at the bottom inside of each spark plug hole you will notice that the hole travels from the front cylinder out to the right side of the cylinder and another identical one that travels from the rear cylinder to the left side of the cylinder. These weep hole locations also correspond to the spark plug hole location inside of the head which is offset to the right for the front cylinder and to the left for the rear cylinder as you look down from the top of the bike's spine. These two weep holes allow moisture or excess fluid buildup to drain out if it accumulates there due to either oil or coolant coming up out of the cylinder along the spark plug threads (e.g. if a plug is loose or engine damage), oil seeping past and out because of faulty O-Rings on the spark plug sleeve's exterior that is located inside of the head, oil seeping out of and running around the head cover gaskets or water seeping down into the plug hole when washing the bike or while raining.

When was the last time you did a complete valve head warp inspection and/or changed out the valve head cover gaskets and related spark plug sleeve O-Rings? Sometimes re-torquing the head cover bolts might fix this (so long as the heads are not past service limits) as the bolts are susceptible to vibration-loosening like the rest of the engine bolts. When is the last time you checked your head dampers or replaced them? When they get hard and old they lose their elasticity and as a result also lose their vibration dampening effectiveness since sometimes the excess vibration being caused by this loss of dampening is enough to cause something to vibrate loose.

Have you checked the torque values if you did change the valve head cover gaskets? I've always gone back and checked torques and gaskets after I do a gasket change to ensure nothing worked loose or vibrated loose or if I inadvertently may have forgotten something. So, whenever I begin troubleshooting oil leaks I re-check torque values first so long as I knew the heads and jugs were flat and within service limits before final assembly.

As you know, aluminum heads warp slightly over time especially if overheating has occurred and I sometimes remove heads as part of my long-term maintenance schedule or when I suspect a problem in order to do a cylinder head or jug service limit inspection. Since the leakage is at the weep hole above the jug that means the issue is on the engine's top end and if it were on the bottom of the jug then your problem lies at the bottom end obviously. The VN800B's service limit for heads not being flat all across the mounting surface is 0.05mm (0.002 in.) so anything less than this means the head is flat, within service limits and is not warped. Can a head be repaired so it can be perfectly flat? Sure, as flat as can be but only by using a machinist's flat stone table along with high quality light oil and sandpaper and as long as the above referenced service limit is not exceeded prior to or after repairing it.

To answer your question about the leakdown test and compression gauge make sure you have a quality gauge that is rated for at minimum 20kgf/cm²

Let us know what you find out and wish you success.

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Last edited by Comanche; 12-01-2012 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Clarification
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