Got a bad tick after oil change - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Got a bad tick after oil change

So I have a 2004 VN2000 and I decided to do an oil change with some 20w50 mobil1 and a K&N filter. About 400 miles after the change, I developed a LOUD tick in the front cylinder head (I could hear it over the engine and wind noise on the highway doing 75, with full-face helmet and earplugs) after going on the highway for about 15 minutes.

I was feeling pretty despondent. I only have about 10k miles on my bike, and so I rushed home to try to do some research. After much reading, I decided I was most likely going to have to do a replacement of the HLAs and screens (a la the sticky here) but then I came across one post on another forum saying that it is very much worth trying to run some seafoam/magic mystery oil through the oil and see if that does anything to help. Figuring it was easier and cheaper than dropping the engine and replacing all those parts, I poured half a can of seafoam into my oil and ran it for 30 minutes. I was disappointed to hear that nothing changed. I also adjusted my idle set screw so that the VN2k idled slighly higher (it was set at a very low rpm by previous owner which I never changed. Sounded like a typical harley "potato potato" idle, which apparently is far too low for the Vn2k) I shut the bike off, and went to bed.

I wake up this morning, go out and fire the bike up again and let it idle for about 15 minutes. The ticking was just as present as yesterday, and i was feeling pretty depressed about the whole situation. I come back 15 minutes later and lo and behold, the tick is now at half-volume compared to before. Excited, I throw my leg over and take the bike out for a ride. 40 minutes later, I get back home (after running the bike pretty hard: high revs, hard acceleration etc) and the tick is gone. Just the sound of the stock exhaust and the quiet murmur of the HLA's gently running.

I am absolutely THRILLED with the seafoam treatment. I highly recommend it to anyone experiencing some valve noise. Be sure to let it run for a while, you won't hear any improvements right away.

In the future, I'm planning on switching the oil to rotella t6 5w40, I think the thinner oil should help get the oil all the way up through the rocker screens and whatnot.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 09:22 PM
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Was the bike making the noise prior to the oil change? What was the viscosity being used prior to the 20W-50 oil change? Why would you use a heavier viscosity when the manual calls for 10W-40?
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yeti,

There was no noise prior, though I purchased the bike with severe neglect: the oil was pitch black, viscosity was unknown. I checked the manual, and it states that 10w40 and 20w50 are both acceptable weights. I found an awesome deal on the 20w50, which was why I opted for that at the time.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 07:28 AM
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That's unfortunate the bike was neglected. Makes me wonder how much flow would be reduced with the prior lack of maintenance and the corresponding crap that could have been built up in the rocker arm filters. I've always run a high quality 10W-40 dino MC oil (Repsol first, now Maxima) and had no problems other than ticking for the first 20 minutes after pulling it out from winter storage while the HVA's pump up. The 20W-50 seems like a great idea for an air cooled bike with main bearings like those from a Harbor Freight utility trailer. With a liquid cooled engine (designed by engineers, not lawyers) and proper main bearings like you'd find in a CAT diesel or Keith Black Hemi, 10W-40 should be just fine even in the hottest of ambient temperatures unless you have it heavily stressed with very little air going across the radiator.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 07:42 AM
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I put 20W-50 in mine once. The engine seemed to make more noise so I took it out. It's very, very rare to be hot enough around here to get past the top of the 10-40 temp range anyway. And, even in the summer, it's usually pretty mild in the morning for the heavier oil. In the rare occasion it gets that hot outside I'm probably in the A/C, not out riding in the blast furnace, LOL.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:51 AM
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I run 20w-50 in the summer and 10w- 40 in the winter. I ride year round and pull a trailer. It gets pretty hot here in NC! Seafoam is wonderful but I would go ahead and change the oil if you haven't, seafoam is a detergent and even though it says you can just leave it in I would think it would cut down on lubrication some.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice guys! Unfortunately, I got the tick back. The motor was quiet and happy until I did a high-speed highway run for about 15 minutes, then the tick came back! Very disheartening.


I am currently warming up the oil as we speak. I'm moving to a 5w40 (rotella t6) and we'll see if it runs quiet and happy. How far is ok to ride to see if the tick goes away, after I change the oil?
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 01:13 PM
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I don't think you're actually going to damage anything with a tick unless you're keeping it at near redline for a while. The worse mine ever was it took almost 25 minutes of fairly mild riding to get it to stop ticking after the first fire up after being winterized for 5 months. I would think if you've not had it go away after 30 minutes of riding, it's likely to not go away on its own.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 01:41 PM
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Unhappy Low Oil Pressure

This stands out to the root cause of your problem:

I also adjusted my idle set screw so that the VN2k idled slighly higher (it was set at a very low rpm by previous owner which I never changed. Sounded like a typical harley "potato potato" idle, which apparently is far too low for the Vn2k)


Low Oil Pressure to the top end - Plus the mention of neglect.


Try some Marvel Mystery oil with a fresh Oil change 20W50 Castrol 4T - get rid of the Mobile1 - run it for a couple 100 miles. Marvel Mystery oil is a cleaner (Transmission Fluid, kerosene mix) - I would run for a longer term in the oil then Seafoam.

Just my 2 Cent opinion



Shinko 230 Tour Master Tires Rear tire 180/70-15 Front tire 130/90-16

Last edited by Biebs; 05-24-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 02:48 PM
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Hi all my 2004 2k used to make that tapping noise sometimes it sound like a valve adjuster it would come and go, now at 60k miles i have not heard in a few years , how about the
cylinder decompression mechanism sticking ??? i add a little bit of marvel oil to keep things clean on engine/trans oil
good luck


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