jugs leaking at 14,000 miles already??? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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jugs leaking at 14,000 miles already??? UPDATE W/PICS

So my wife has a 2009 VN900 Custom that we bought with 1 mile. she's put 14,000 problem free miles on it so far. then we put it away for winter, and this past weekend i did a valve adjustment on it and changed the oil.
Monday she started taking it to work 80mile round trip
She came home from work and said that it seemed like there was oil spraying on her chaps on the left case half. i checked it, but wasn't sure of the origin of the oil at first as it was very light, but i could tell it was coming from the front area of the front jug.

today she said it's been getting worse, so i took at look at it right now when she got home, and if i didn't know better it's coming right from the gasket in the middle of the jug. I'm not sure what exactly the terminology for the exact engine parts on bikes are, but there is the upper piece of the jug, and then a tiny gasket, and then the lower part of the jug. so about halfway up the fins right where the gasket is, is where the oil seems to be coming from. all the fins above the gasket are dry, but all the fins below the gasket are completely wet starting at the front. obviously the whole case and the side of the bike all the way back to the saddle bags is now covered in oil from it being blown back.



so here are my questions.
1) is it just me, or does that seem like an unusual problem for such low miles???
2) is there something that i could be overlooking in that area that would make more sense to be leaking from???
3) could a slightly loose valve adjustment cause some issue that would cause that??? i think i have 1 or 2 of the valves on the loose side, but nothing bad (already did several valve adjustments on bike, so i know what it sounds like. so it's not like i was 180 off and they're knocking. just a slightly more noticeable tick)
4) any suggestions or ideas what to look for or what to check, before i start thinking that i have to pull the engine already???

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Last edited by scorpio_vette; 03-15-2012 at 08:50 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
So my wife has a 2009 VN900 Custom that we bought with 1 mile. she's put 14,000 problem free miles on it so far. then we put it away for winter, and this past weekend i did a valve adjustment on it and changed the oil.
Monday she started taking it to work 80mile round trip
She came home from work and said that it seemed like there was oil spraying on her chaps on the left case half. i checked it, but wasn't sure of the origin of the oil at first as it was very light, but i could tell it was coming from the front area of the front jug.

today she said it's been getting worse, so i took at look at it right now when she got home, and if i didn't know better it's coming right from the gasket in the middle of the jug. I'm not sure what exactly the terminology for the exact engine parts on bikes are, but there is the upper piece of the jug, and then a tiny gasket, and then the lower part of the jug. so about halfway up the fins right where the gasket is, is where the oil seems to be coming from. all the fins above the gasket are dry, but all the fins below the gasket are completely wet starting at the front. obviously the whole case and the side of the bike all the way back to the saddle bags is now covered in oil from it being blown back.



so here are my questions.
1) is it just me, or does that seem like an unusual problem for such low miles???
2) is there something that i could be overlooking in that area that would make more sense to be leaking from???
3) could a slightly loose valve adjustment cause some issue that would cause that??? i think i have 1 or 2 of the valves on the loose side, but nothing bad (already did several valve adjustments on bike, so i know what it sounds like. so it's not like i was 180 off and they're knocking. just a slightly more noticeable tick)
4) any suggestions or ideas what to look for or what to check, before i start thinking that i have to pull the engine already???

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Sooo, at the risk of sounding like an idiot....what, precisely, is a "jug"?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
So my wife has a 2009 VN900 Custom that we bought with 1 mile. she's put 14,000 problem free miles on it so far. then we put it away for winter, and this past weekend i did a valve adjustment on it and changed the oil.
Monday she started taking it to work 80mile round trip
She came home from work and said that it seemed like there was oil spraying on her chaps on the left case half. i checked it, but wasn't sure of the origin of the oil at first as it was very light, but i could tell it was coming from the front area of the front jug.

today she said it's been getting worse, so i took at look at it right now when she got home, and if i didn't know better it's coming right from the gasket in the middle of the jug. I'm not sure what exactly the terminology for the exact engine parts on bikes are, but there is the upper piece of the jug, and then a tiny gasket, and then the lower part of the jug. so about halfway up the fins right where the gasket is, is where the oil seems to be coming from. all the fins above the gasket are dry, but all the fins below the gasket are completely wet starting at the front. obviously the whole case and the side of the bike all the way back to the saddle bags is now covered in oil from it being blown back.



so here are my questions.
1) is it just me, or does that seem like an unusual problem for such low miles???
2) is there something that i could be overlooking in that area that would make more sense to be leaking from???
3) could a slightly loose valve adjustment cause some issue that would cause that??? i think i have 1 or 2 of the valves on the loose side, but nothing bad (already did several valve adjustments on bike, so i know what it sounds like. so it's not like i was 180 off and they're knocking. just a slightly more noticeable tick)
4) any suggestions or ideas what to look for or what to check, before i start thinking that i have to pull the engine already???

Thanks in advance for all your help.
Not trying to be a smart ass or play know it all but if the problem didn't exist prior to the work you did on the bike my first thought would be to re-trace all the steps you took. I've had simillar kinds of problems in the past and that was ahere I found my answers. Again not trying to be a smart aleck but this is just a thought. RIDE SAFE
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:04 PM
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I wonder why the bike needed "several valve adjustments" in only 14K miles. That sure isn't right.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by siriusjoe View Post
I wonder why the bike needed "several valve adjustments" in only 14K miles. That sure isn't right.
OOPS. That was supposed to say ".....on MY bike...

This is the first valve adjustment on her bike.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:35 PM
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This is not an unusual issue after a valve adjustment.... Did you or who ever did the work put some Vaseline on the rubber o-rings that are at the top and bottom of the spark plug extension tubes? Most of the time, its due to dry o-rings or you crushed the back jug 0-ring when you inserted the extension tube. I've had this issue myself in the past and ended up going to the local hardware store for more 0-rings...(the dealer never seems to stock these, so I guess the experts never goof them up) but they have been working just fine now for 10,000 miles.... So, to answer your question, it's not anything major, but a PIA to have to take the tank off and redo the o-rings....
Good luck....

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kawa afterthought View Post
This is not an unusual issue after a valve adjustment.... Did you or who ever did the work put some Vaseline on the rubber o-rings that are at the top and bottom of the spark plug extension tubes? Most of the time, its due to dry o-rings or you crushed the back jug 0-ring when you inserted the extension tube. I've had this issue myself in the past and ended up going to the local hardware store for more 0-rings...(the dealer never seems to stock these, so I guess the experts never goof them up) but they have been working just fine now for 10,000 miles.... So, to answer your question, it's not anything major, but a PIA to have to take the tank off and redo the o-rings....
Good luck....
but wouldn't that cause the oil leak to originate from the top of the jugs then??? the top of the jugs are dry. the leak is from the center gasket (head to cylinder???) down.

give me a minute. i'm working on posting a picture. i found where the leak is coming, but now i have more concerned questions.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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so i cleaned the bike of all the oil, and then took it for a quick test run and checked it out to find the origin of the leak. i found where the oil is coming out of.


see the screw driver sticking out between the air cleaner and the exhaust??? now mind you it is a very small screw driver, but still. there is a hole in the side of the jugs. looking into the hole, it goes up at an angle and sure as shit looks like it's supposed to be there.



1) could any of you go and take a look at your bike and see if it's there???
2) is there supposed to be anything in it???
3) what's it's purpose.


oh and i also noticed that i accidentally overfilled the oil a bit.

and that trail of oil that you see coming down from the tube below the air cleaner is my fault. i decided to check the air box, and there was oil in there (which is why i decided to double check the oil level), which dumped out.........................
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
but wouldn't that cause the oil leak to originate from the top of the jugs then??? the top of the jugs are dry. the leak is from the center gasket (head to cylinder???) down.

give me a minute. i'm working on posting a picture. i found where the leak is coming, but now i have more concerned questions.
Ahhh, so jugs = Head + cylinders...good to know.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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think i found the answer.


Quote:
They holes are there to drain water that may get into the spark plug tubes during heavy rain or washing. Oil or water that collects in the tube would dump right into the cylinder when you pull the plugs. The drain tubes dump it "harmlessly" onto the engine case. Once you get the new O rings in, undamaged, the drip with stop.

https://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/s...+cylinder+head
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