1996 1500c Oil Leak!! [Archive] - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums

: 1996 1500c Oil Leak!!


TUBUKU
05-10-2010, 10:27 AM
I just purchased 1996 Vulcan 1500C with 10,600 miles a week ago. I drove it straight home (17miles) and parked it till I purchased my plate. About 2 hrs after getting home, I observed a few small oil spots under the bike on the ground. A few days later, I got my plate and began to ride. About 8-10 miles from my house, I noticed there was a lot of oil on the right side of the engine, as well as all over my right boot. I drove back home immediatly, called a dealer and took it there. The dealer said it was a leak from the front cylinder valve cover gasket and would charge $1200.00 for the repair, due to the engine needs to be removed to do this. I have a little above basic mechanic skills and can't even imagine paying out this kind of cash for this repair. According to the timeline above, Im not so sure if thier correct. If this is the case, should I be able to do this repair myself without removing the engine? Thank you.:rolleyes:

t-bear
05-10-2010, 10:30 AM
I would contact the person you bought the bike from and see if you can get your money back!

exsailor
05-10-2010, 12:26 PM
I just got the same news - 12 hrs worth of work at $85 per for my 2000 VN1500. I was planning replace the gasket myself until I looked it up in the manual. The engine does have to be pulled to replace the gasket.

TUBUKU
05-10-2010, 02:03 PM
I have left 3 messages for the seller and received on answer back. It clearly say's to me that he knew about this leak. During my testing of the bike, I found no problem at all.

TUBUKU
05-10-2010, 07:13 PM
I just got the same news - 12 hrs worth of work at $85 per for my 2000 VN1500. I was planning replace the gasket myself until I looked it up in the manual. The engine does have to be pulled to replace the gasket.

Is yours the front or rear cylinder gasket?

exsailor
05-10-2010, 09:10 PM
Is yours the front or rear cylinder gasket?

It's the rear cylinder. I can't tell where though. Not enough to drip on the driveway, I just get small driplets sprayed on my saddlebags and side panel.

midwest_motorhead
05-10-2010, 10:14 PM
this is NOT a big issue bro. while it's a shitty thing to find out, and then hear the dealership tell you what is involved, its not at all serious!

I have the EXACT same bike as you. and if its the rocker cover gasket on the REAR cylinder, i had the exact same problem.

Here's what you do:
First, try to tighten the bolts the secure the crome rocker cover to the head. you will have to remove the seat and gas tank to do this, not at all hard. If it's as small of a leak as you say it is, then this may stop it from leaking. But no permenatly.

Second, If that still doesnt fix the leak. then you will need to remover the rocker cover. And YES you CAN do that WITHOUT removing the engine. here's how I did it...

you need to get the bike set up and level

remove BOTH foot boards and brake/shifter assy.
remove the exhaust
You will also remove the right side frame tube, there are a total of FOUR bolts. (2) in the front by the top part of the radiator and (2) back by the rear motor mount.

Slide a jack under the motor for stability, you dont need to put the weight of the entire bike on the jack, but enough weight so the motor doesnt drop when you remove the motor mount bolts.

once you have the motor loose in there you will need to take off the left side cover, the one that covers the clutch slave cyl. 4 or 5 botls, easy as pie and there is no oil in there to leak out, so dont worry about spillage.

with that done you will drop the motor down an inch or two and TILT it out towards the right side of the bike. you may need to silde the driveshaft boot off the trans to accomplish this, but you DO NOT need to disconnect the driveshaft completly!!

once its tilted out far enough you can remove the rocker cover bolts. be sure to keep them in the correct orienation they come out of the cover, i dont remember if they are different lenghts like the clutch cover bolts are. But better to be safe than sorry.

watch out for the springs, and i think there are some kind of pads on top of those springs. If your careful when removing the cover you'll be ok. but remember them when you do so you know to look for them.

after the cover is off, its a basic gasket cleaning and sealing job. be thourough, you dont wanna do this all over again do you?

I may have missed a few things, I'm writing this at work in a quick frenzy. Someone will chime in if I forgot something.

I did this in my own garage in about a week working on it for a few hours a day, I took my sweet ass time so i didnt break anything or make things worse. I also did not have any write up to follow.

If you have any questions just ask. Don't spend the money at that dealer, 1200 is way high for this job anyways. should be half of that at most.

BTW, if its your FRONT that is leaking, then you can do that with everything the way it sits. the front is ALOT easier!!

exsailor
05-12-2010, 09:14 AM
Thanks motorhead. I may try to tighten the bolts to see if that takes care of my problem. If not, I called another dealer who gave me an estimate of $650.


TUBUKU,
Did you get your money back? What are your plans?

TUBUKU
05-17-2010, 04:44 PM
Thanks motorhead. I may try to tighten the bolts to see if that takes care of my problem. If not, I called another dealer who gave me an estimate of $650.


TUBUKU,
Did you get your money back? What are your plans?

No. No response from the seller at all. Because my reciept states "as is", the seller still assured me that there was no existing problems with the bike. The bike is in beautiful condition. Custom paint, custom handlebars, Harley Screaming Eagle exhaust etc. I paid him $2200 for the bike, FAR below what he was asking. I checked with a more reputable dealership, and they are pulling the engine and replacing both valve cover gaskets and the cam plugs as well for $500. This should take care of the problem. Because other than that, the bike looks, runs and performes awesome. I will post some pics when I get the bike out of the shop.

midwest_motorhead
05-17-2010, 05:31 PM
Thats alot of work for 500 bucks, hopefully they know what they are doing. Its not a hard job and its ALOT cheaper to do it your self. hope it all works out for ya.

TUBUKU
05-17-2010, 08:35 PM
Thats alot of work for 500 bucks, hopefully they know what they are doing. Its not a hard job and its ALOT cheaper to do it your self. hope it all works out for ya.

Thanks, I appreciate it. 7 hrs labor @ $70.00 hr plus $15.00 for both valve cover gaskets. May as well replace both while the motor is out. They said it will take care of my problem.

exsailor
05-18-2010, 09:16 PM
TUBUKU,

Before you get the work done, make sure it is not the cam plug. It turns out that is the problem with my bike. - See below from a friend of a friend. He was exactly right.

It's the cam plug.
This is located (from the side) just under the chrome cover, dead center of the head.
It almost looks like a freeze plug on a car engine.
To fix it RIGHT, the engine has to come out or at least drop down outta the frame.
Many people instead clean the heck out of it with a spray degreaser, ensuring all the oil is gone, then run some black RTV around the hole.
I'd hate to see your friend have the head gasket done because (1) it's probably fine (especially if it's runnin good and not leaking water or compression) and (2) even if he has the headgasket done, it wouldn't correct this problem.
Vulcans do this sort of thing. I wouldn't say it's common but it happens frequently enough. He should also pull the spark plug "tunnels" and look for chain marks; this is a symptom of the cam chain tensioners being at the end of their travel.
The way to check it is to remove the covers on the tensioners and measure how far the tensioner rod is recessed into the housing. If it's beyond 5/16" a guy in Canada (I think) makes extenders which will tighten things up. A side benefit is a quieter engine.

midwest_motorhead
05-18-2010, 10:00 PM
Good cal ex, I hadnt even thought of that!

mandresen4688
08-01-2010, 11:13 AM
Hi Tubuku, did you ever fix the leak? I have a 1988 vn1500 with the same problem of oil droplets on my right boot. I did replace the cam tensioner gasket on the rear cylinder and that didn't do it. It's strange how it wont leak unless I'm actually driving. Just wondering what was actually wrong with ur bike. Cheers! :)

sfair
08-01-2010, 12:15 PM
There are certain areas of the gasket that hold back full oil pressure...that is why the leak only when running.

mandresen4688
08-01-2010, 12:47 PM
Hi Sfair - do you mean the rocker cover or head gasket? Cheers!

sfair
08-01-2010, 04:01 PM
Rocker cover gasket.

99Classic1500
08-03-2010, 10:33 PM
Just had the same thing happen with mine. Paid a real fair price for the bike, then got it home to realize it was leaking. Spoke to a buddy who works for a Kawi dealership, and he said motor's gotta come out to replace the gaskets, but DON'T go to the dealer because they charge too much! I found a local Mechanic that replaced both gaskets (mine was leaking from the back), gave me an oil change and tuneup, AND replaced my faulty CDI box($340 his cost) for $800 bucks. Do some checking around before going to the dealer!! If anyone is in the St. Augustine/Palm Coast/Daytona area, I highly recommend POWERSPORTS PRO!! Brandon is a cool cat and got the job done right!! Anybody can PM me for address and phone# if you are local and wanna try these guys! HTH
-Derek