vulcan 1600 crank berrings gone?Worth buying? [Archive] - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums

: vulcan 1600 crank berrings gone?Worth buying?

08-28-2010, 02:04 PM
Hello, my first post here.
I ran into a bike thats a 2006 vulcan 1600 with about 3k miles on it. The guy wants short money for it 2k. because he sais it has a spun main berring?

I kind of find it hard to believe. Im no bike expert, more of a cars ect. I can take a car engine apart and fix.

The bike idles, but wont move and will die if you give it gas. (the seller sais he didnt check the oil and drove acouple miles, the bike died, wouldnt start. i.e, battery. He put a new battery in and the bike ran for acouple mins. and locked up) From there he had the bike inspected, had oil in it..not full but oil, they took something off and "noticed" that the crank berring spun. The dealer said it needed a new crank shaft and berrings.

Im thinking this probem has nothing to do with the engine, more of a transmision drive/ belt.
The place he took the bike to also kinda sux. The bikes mint very nice, Worth buying?
How much do you think this type of problem would cost?

Hope i didnt say too much, thanks for the help. Mike

08-28-2010, 08:51 PM
If indeed it has spun a crankshaft main bearing, you are looking at new crankcase halves as the main bearings are not availale seperately, as well as a new crankshaft, if necessary. Also, there is no "one" part you could take off and see a spun bearing.
Does it knock when you rev it up?

Post back.

08-29-2010, 10:04 AM
thanks for the reply, yah it ticks slightly and wont rev up at all though. The sellers a customer of mine.i talked to him some more about the bike and the seller said he went for a ride without checking the oil, ect and this happend and there was oil in it when stalled. Checked it and said it was "gunky". sitting all winter. Low on oil, but didnt feel like it was a problem.
He said there wasnt a single noise out of the ordinary wile riding. Parked the bike, went to start it and wouldnt..batery from sitting throught the winter he got a new batery and 5 mins down the road. Everything stoped.

So i realy dont know, the seller isnt a dumby..but im not too sure..he paid a dealer money to diagnose the problem, but im not shure how they did? The particular dealer dosnt have a good rep. at all.Oh yah the dealer just took the transmision cover off. And said it was a berring. They said to him that they never seen or hered of a problem like this, paperwork just sais berrings bad.

Im able to take this engine out and have the work done to it weather it needs it. How much do you think it would cost? machine work and parts?

Im just confused honestly and think this problem isnt much at all. But i dont wanna work on the bike at his house to see whats wrong with it. And want to be respectfull to him.

Im thinking the problem maybee valve adjustment. And the stalling has somthing to do with maybe never been serviced "maybee" and a computer problem with the battery? Yesterday i thought it was a belt drive.but its a shaft. Thinking that it was a drive bearing the dealer was talking about.

Do you think this bike is worth buying? This bike looks like new! Theres one with alot more miles but runs mint, isnt clean though for 3k down the st. from me.

08-29-2010, 10:48 AM
I'm not sure if the 1600 engine has the same design as my 900 (others on here may know better) but if so, the crankshaft has "plain", or sleeve type main bearings. This means a plain shaft turning inside a closely fitted bearing bore. On most cars, there are replaceable bearing inserts that can be changed out when the crankshaft bearing journal wears undersize, or if the crank is ground undersize. If the bearing is starved for oil, the insert can weld itself to the crankshaft and "spin" inside its bearing bore. The connecting rods on these bikes use these type bearing inserts, and can also be "spun" due to lack of oil.
On the bike, however, the main bearing is part of the crankcase, and not an insert. It cant really "spin" however it can be quickly and completely destroyed from lack of lubrication. The crankcase would have to be replaced, as well as the crankshaft. The connecting rod bearings are almost certainly damaged, and the rods would also be suspect as they get lots of unusual forces applied to them when their bearings get tight. Get prices on at least the cases, crank and rod bearings, as well as all the gaskets and seals and everything else associated with a bottom end overhaul. I would look at the oil pump too, they don't like running without oil! Lots of labor involved, and you may well decide it's not worth it.

08-29-2010, 11:12 AM
A quick check at babbitsonline shows the crankshaft priced at $800.00, and the crankcase priced at $1034.00

08-29-2010, 11:31 AM
Thanks alot for the relpies.

Like said, probelly isnt worth it to rebuild the lower end.

thanks still looking into things

08-29-2010, 11:55 AM
Oh, but those main bearings WILL spin in the case.
I am going to take a guess here. If it was crankshaft related, that engine would be knocking like crazy. What it could be is the bevel gear bearing in the front case is gone and that is a much easier, and cheaper repair, and can be diagnosed by removing left side cover.

Post back if you have any questions.

08-29-2010, 01:09 PM
Oh, but those main bearings WILL spin in the case.
I am going to take a guess here. If it was crankshaft related, that engine would be knocking like crazy. What it could be is the bevel gear bearing in the front case is gone and that is a much easier, and cheaper repair, and can be diagnosed by removing left side cover.

Post back if you have any questions.

Well, now I'm confused. If the main bearings are simply precision holes bored through the castings, could you tell me what you consider the "bearing", and what part of that bearing would "spin", and what part remains stationary?

08-29-2010, 01:31 PM
During manufacturing, the case halves are assembled and the crankshaft holes are align bored. This is why you must buy the cases as a pair. Then the bearings are pressed in to the cases. The crankshaft does not run on case material, nor are the bearings pored in place. (babbit)
If the bearing siezes on the shaft, it simply "spins" in the bore and tears up the case.

08-29-2010, 04:21 PM
OK. I just din't see any reference to pressed in inserts in the maintenance manual, or any reference to replacement inserts. Thanks.

08-29-2010, 05:16 PM
Oh, but those main bearings WILL spin in the case.
I am going to take a guess here. If it was crankshaft related, that engine would be knocking like crazy. What it could be is the bevel gear bearing in the front case is gone and that is a much easier, and cheaper repair, and can be diagnosed by removing left side cover.

Post back if you have any questions.

Thanks for all the replies.

So this Bevel gear bearing. Would that couse the engine not to rev up?
Looking forward to your reply.

This problem dosent sould to me like main crank bearings to me. IF the main berring had "spun" it would have a knocking sound and still rev up rite??
Thanks ,mike

08-29-2010, 05:57 PM
The bevel gear bearing will not affect the ability to rev.
If it were a main bearing, I am sure it would be trash by now complete with a horrid knock. A spun bearing has the life of a smoke ring before everything around it is destroyed.

Some questions:

1. Start OK?
2. Idle OK?
3. When you rev, what exactly does it do? Be detailed.
4. Any funny sounds?
5. What did the previous owner do to the bike? Oil changes, etc?
6. Please provide any other details, no matter how minor or not connected.

It seems funny, with only 3000 miles, even if the oil was never changed from new, it should have not been low enough to grenade the motor!

Post back.

08-29-2010, 07:03 PM
the bike fires rite up.
Idles fine.
Seller didnt want to rev it up, but if i go over there again. Wanting to buy, i can go through everything.
Seller said it bogs rite down and shuts down.
At idle its a tickking sound slight knock.(dosent sound like a spun bearing yould here on a car)

The seller/ owner sais he bought last summer, about 2k miles, had the service done, drove 1k miles last summer. he went away for work past winter for 5 months. Returned home, decided to take it for a spin because it was sitting. Shut it off at the gas stasion. And this is were it didnt start back up. He bought a new batery, returned to the bike, installed the batery and it fired up but wouldnt rev. up and it makes the noise. Couldnt ride it anywere. He took it to a dealer near by. They said to him the oil was "chunky" and because of this, it spun the main berring.
Like you said it only has 2,800 miles on her. The season for ridding is short here and the bikes an 06. I thought the 06 had the 1500cc motor, but this is a it maybee an 07.
The sellers an older guy with friends who ride(i take) so i wouldnt think it was abused. Seller also said he didnt notice any oil on the floor from any leaking out..
Sellers just had enough of the bike scene because of this, and he kept saing how stupid he was because i didnt check the oil before he rode.
He told me he rode all morning with out a hitch, no noise, ran basically a tank through the bike to fill up with new gas.

Hope thats clear. hard to remember/ explain for me.
With my would definetly here a "spun bearing" and the bike would still run and drive for awile, with a spun bearing? like a car?
The seller, a customer of mine. hes a strait shooter type and would have no reason to lie to me, or cover anything up.

08-29-2010, 07:39 PM
If it ran fine to the gas station, but then wouldn't start, or would start but not go above idle, it sounds like there may be a blockage on the fuel tank pick-up, or maybe the fuel filter. Something (crud) got dislodged when he filled it up, and you're getting just enough fuel flow to idle, but not enough to make any power.

08-29-2010, 09:15 PM
It is a toughie without being able to see first hand.
The only thing I can say is that you should approach it as if it really does have some serious damage and do the math. You could be looking at over $2000 in parts alone to repair, so if you add the purchase price to that, does it add up to a fair price?
Another option might be to buy a used power unit and just drop it in if you do a tear-down and find something ugly inside!

Post back.

08-30-2010, 04:23 PM
yah i know its tough to figure out, especially from 3rd person over the internet. But you guys have been a great help and thanks.

Im going to offer him 1,500. He'll more than likely not take it, but who knows. Comming from theres a engine on ebay for 1,500 and i could swap parts out.
Whole project 3,000....since theres a vulcan thats ugly, not clean, with 8 thoughsand miles for 3,200 down the st. from me.

? whats the odds of a spun bearing??Kawi. dealer said they never heard or dealt with the problem this bike had.(comming from the seller,seller also said they seemed unsure about the berring)

?what kind of job is it to replace the battery (seller replaced but thats rite before all these problems) in one of these bikes? do you have to reset the computer?.......Just thinking maybee water in the gas, computer retard timming and cutting the fuel out..i.e, loss of power and not reving up, stumbling. Not even sure if these bikes have knock sencors ect.

thanks, mike

08-30-2010, 08:46 PM
I'm wondering how much oil was actually in it. Some is a little vague. I'm thinking if it was running alright to the gas station (a mile or more) then chances are it is gas related.
i'm also thinking, if it cost too much to repair, what could i get by parting it out? I wonder if by chance he put E-85 in it. Will sure mess with a car.
Good luck in what ever you decide to do.

08-30-2010, 08:53 PM
Have seen a spun main before. Tried to help another fellow source a replacement from a GM diesel, but after all was said and done, was not economical with machine work, etc. (drain plug fell out)
No computer reset required.
No knock sensors.

From the description of the problem, a main bearing would be a long ways down on my list and I would be looking elsewhere, but stranger things have been known to happen!

08-30-2010, 09:03 PM
yes , thats kinda what ive been thinking this whole time. Gas or electrical wise,

The seller told me, "the kawi. worker showed me the remaining oil and it looked gewey"

The dealer said it was a spun main berring. Seller told me they seemed unshure and said they never scene this problemm before.

Like said, the bike has 2,800 miles on it. Hard to believe it was run out of oil? Even if it was never serviced. Seller told me it was serviced after he bought it.

?? what would make these bikes( im not too experienced with bikes, but great with cars) Knock, gas related? e85? like said? But would that cause it to not rev up?
Like i said, the engines knock dosent sound like a spun bearing as in a car...
As you say e85..sounds starved from fuell and knocking out. i.e computer retareding timming and not alowing the engine to rev.??


08-30-2010, 09:10 PM
Just posted..
Ive been thinking your usumption is correct. About a berring being a long shot.
Any other pointers to send me looking for?
The seller and i are friendly so he'd allow me to look over the bike more/ fix..But i was unsure about things first and he didnt want to do anymore damadge than was already done. So we shut it down then.
And i gotcha on the no knock sencor, is there a low engine oil/ pressure light? there is on my 4 wheeler so id assume there is on the vulcan??

08-30-2010, 09:57 PM
Yes, there is a low oil pressure light.
When you say it will not rev, what does it do? Backfire, sputter, just start to miss, die all together?
What do the plugs look like?
Drain a little oil out and take a look at it.
There is the possibility that if it had a bad bearing at the stator end of the crankshaft that the stator no longer running true could throw the timing off enough that it might go crazy when you try to rev???

Post back.

08-31-2010, 05:07 PM
Thanks, yah ill have to take another good look at it. My first look was a kinda shooting the shit looking at it and he called me saying he wanted to sell it..ill make the drive out there this weekend and go through everything.

The guys a scientist by trade, so a low oil/ pressure light comming on, im shure he would have scene it.
And again talking to him over the phone today. He said he ran 3/4 of a tank through the bike, once shutting the bike off to get gas, trying to restart it wouldnt. So i put a new battery in it. The bike started but was sputtering and he shut it rite off and towed to a dealer. Just to be clear.

08-31-2010, 05:20 PM
I vote for e-85 or water in the gas.

08-31-2010, 06:43 PM
I vote for e-85 or water in the gas.

im shure your rite dude.

I asked the seller about if he put 85 in..on the phone today. He didnt answer that ? and told me the dealer said spun bearings. Forgot to metion that.

Thanks for all the replies guys. Any pointers to look for when i dig into it. Hopfully this weekend. Were having a huricain so hopefully.


08-31-2010, 07:09 PM
Know what i'd do. I'd get most of the gas out of the tank and take it home. Tell him you want to check it for rust particals or something. While you are there, check the oil level yourself. See if he would be willing to pull the oil filter to see if it is plugged or collasped.(check for metal shavings also) Maybe offer to put a fresh filter on the bike if you can take the old one to cut open and check for metal. No metal, no spun bearing. Small price to know if it did or not. Check the plug wires to make sure they are all secure. Inspect the engine for leaks. Run your lawnmower out of gas and put the gas from the bike in it. See how it runs.

08-31-2010, 07:14 PM
If you can get a sample of the oil, you can get a oil analysis done to see what metal is in the oil. Sure fired way of knowing . Each part is made of different metal. The results will show if one type of metal is high. Then by that type they can narrow it down to the part. Be sure to note the milage as they will need that to compare the wear factor with. I would imagine any good dealer can have the analysis run.

08-31-2010, 07:54 PM
thanks, great info..didnt know why i didnt think of that! I'll see if i can get that oil filter!
I want to be fair to the guy, but dont want to pay too muck for a bike with a junk engine..hope she's not.

08-31-2010, 07:55 PM
I would check the screen before I would the filter. Much easier to do and will tell you more.

08-31-2010, 08:49 PM
from my years of wrenching, If that bike has been run w/o oil long enough to trash the crank bearings you got lots and lots of bad things wrong besides bearings. The top end will also be trashed and probably the cam gear. If the main bearings are spun there will be lots of metal in the oil.

09-01-2010, 08:20 PM
im aware of this, that why i made this post. maybee to shine some light in other areas or something to look for.
Made the post to mainly see if it was a common problem with these bikes, The bike didnt sound like a spun bearing sound like a car would make...going to check the oil.