1700 oil leak defies laws of physics! - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 1700 oil leak defies laws of physics!

So I have a bit of a mystery on my hands and I am wondering if any fellow 1700 riders have had this experience or may be able to offer up some clues as I am running out of theories myself. I have a 09 1700 Nomad that appeared to have an oil leak coming out of the lower left side of the engine. I noticed it after few days of the bike sitting in the garage. There were a few oil drops on the floor and a little oil moisture accumulated on the undercarriage. The oil level was a bit lower as well (not surprising), so I filled it back up, cleaned up the engine and kept an eye on it.

But over the the next week or so the leak appeared to have disappeared. No drops, no moisture on the engine. I checked the oil level though and it was almost down to the tip of the stick! I filled it back up with nearly 36oz of oil to get it back the previous level (75% of the fill level) and kept it in the garage (on the lift) for a week WITHOUT RUNNING IT at all. I checked it again and low and behold the same result! No drips or moisture but the oil level had declined by about a quart. This time I filled it up again but included 1 oz of UV dye to help highlight where any leaks may be. However now a week later (after only running it once to mix the dye) the floor and engine exterior are still bone dry and I canít confirm how/where the oil is draining or where it is going. Iíve checked the coolant and around the oil pump cover but no sign of oil. I figure by now Iíve put almost 3.5 quarts in the engine over the last 3 weeks to keep it level so unless somebody is coming in my garage at night and siphoning it, I really canít explain HOW THIS IS HAPPENING.

Has anyone else had this experience? Or have any ideas?

The only other thing I can think of to try at this point is to drain the oil completely (or just wait) and do a smoke test. What do you think?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 06:54 PM
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That is strange,got a ghost??Not running or leaking is the puzzle,but it is going somewhere
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 09:56 PM
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Poltergeist or Oil Vampires from the 12th dimension.

Like revrider said, it's got to be going somewhere so either it is going somewhere it isn't supposed to go, or somehow, your readings are misleading you and it was much lower on oil than you thought.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 06:04 AM
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Are you following the correct procedure to check the oil? The 1700 has a semi-dry sump which will give a false reading on the dip stick if not followed.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 10:02 AM
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I agree with CarGuy. Make sure you are following the proper procedure for checking the oil.

Check the coolant for oil contamination (symptom of a head gasket leak or a damaged cylinder head) or coolant in the oil.

My first thought is that the oil was really lower than you initially suspected since you checked it without running the engine, and you haven't made up that difference yet. Also, I suspect you will see drops again if you run the engine with the correct oil level, and that you have an oil leak that only shows up with the oil hot and under pressure.

Installed:
RAM mount for TomTom Rider 400 (with anti theft module)
6000k LED Headlight & Spots; Kisan Headlight Modulator (works with LEDs),
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Longer Kickstand
Dobeck EJK 3.0
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Misc. RAM Mounts for Cup Holder, SPOT, Phone, etc.
Chuckster BAK, Trailer Hitch and Cooler Rack
Wiring for Trailer
Ray's Throttle Mod
Things to do:
Drilling Baffle Plates (Maybe)
Paint HF Tag Along Trailer to Match Bike

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 11:50 AM
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Well, I think I would approach this in a different way. I think I would completely empty the bike of its oil and then measure the amount of oil that comes out to be sure exactly how much is there. Then I would put fresh oil back in to the exact right amount. Use it for a week checking oil level everyday then I would empty oil again and see how much comes out. This may give you a different perspective on to what is really occurring. Oh yeah, I don't believe in ghosts so there is definitely an explanation just need to find it.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetroBagger View Post
Well, I think I would approach this in a different way. I think I would completely empty the bike of its oil and then measure the amount of oil that comes out to be sure exactly how much is there. Then I would put fresh oil back in to the exact right amount. Use it for a week checking oil level everyday then I would empty oil again and see how much comes out. This may give you a different perspective on to what is really occurring. Oh yeah, I don't believe in ghosts so there is definitely an explanation just need to find it.
Measuring what comes out sounds like a good idea since I am likely going to drain it anyway. Luckily I buy my oil in bulk since I am loosing about 5oz. a day (according to the readings at least) and will likely be draining it 2 or more times till I figure this out! =)

Thanks!

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Scootworks bar risers & engine chaps
RAM phone mount & drink holder
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National speedometer cowl
Wolo air horn
Oxford heated grips
Vaquero engine emblems
Mustang touring seat
Irons in the Fire rack
Kuryakyn Triple Play tail light
Cobra Tri-Oval exhaust
LED custom driving lights, accents, and turn signals
Goodyear Tripletred rear tire (205-16-60)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre-t View Post
I agree with CarGuy. Make sure you are following the proper procedure for checking the oil.

Check the coolant for oil contamination (symptom of a head gasket leak or a damaged cylinder head) or coolant in the oil.

My first thought is that the oil was really lower than you initially suspected since you checked it without running the engine, and you haven't made up that difference yet. Also, I suspect you will see drops again if you run the engine with the correct oil level, and that you have an oil leak that only shows up with the oil hot and under pressure.
I had checked the coolant reservoir after running it for awhile and it looked clean. I may check the main system just to make sure though. I can't imagine the oil level being THAT low without experiencing other symptoms while running it. But at this point I guess I can't really rule anything out. Thanks.

2009 1700 Nomad (Black)
OPT7 LED headlamp
Painted brake disks
Kawasaki light bar
Scootworks bar risers & engine chaps
RAM phone mount & drink holder
Kuryakyn speakers & AC outlet
National speedometer cowl
Wolo air horn
Oxford heated grips
Vaquero engine emblems
Mustang touring seat
Irons in the Fire rack
Kuryakyn Triple Play tail light
Cobra Tri-Oval exhaust
LED custom driving lights, accents, and turn signals
Goodyear Tripletred rear tire (205-16-60)
Ivans ECU flash
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarGuy View Post
Are you following the correct procedure to check the oil? The 1700 has a semi-dry sump which will give a false reading on the dip stick if not followed.
Thanks for the input. I'm keeping the bike level (propped on a stand), twisting the oil cap all the way down before checking the dip stick (after wiping it initially). Personally I can't think of anything I am doing that would cause the readings to consistently go lower like they are (about 5 oz. a day). But another poster mentioned measuring how much oil comes out after draining it and see it corroborates those readings so that may help to confirm if they are correct.

2009 1700 Nomad (Black)
OPT7 LED headlamp
Painted brake disks
Kawasaki light bar
Scootworks bar risers & engine chaps
RAM phone mount & drink holder
Kuryakyn speakers & AC outlet
National speedometer cowl
Wolo air horn
Oxford heated grips
Vaquero engine emblems
Mustang touring seat
Irons in the Fire rack
Kuryakyn Triple Play tail light
Cobra Tri-Oval exhaust
LED custom driving lights, accents, and turn signals
Goodyear Tripletred rear tire (205-16-60)
Ivans ECU flash
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 04:56 PM
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The reason you have two oil plugs is because oil "resides" in two areas of the sump. While at rest, oil from one area can migrate to the other, causing your oil dipstick to err in it's reading. It's necessary to follow the owner's manual for the proper procedure. In a nutshell:

1) Warm engine to normal operating temp (the fan will come on), the last 30 seconds should be at idle speed only. Wait at least 3 minutes after.
2) Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean. Making sure the bike is level, not on the kickstand, screw in the dipstick all the way, then remove. This will give you your true oil level which should be in-between the hi/lo marks.

Go for the ride!
2014 Kawasaki 1700 Nomad ABS
2008 Kawasaki 900 Classic LT (sold 2015 42k miles)
1975 Kawasaki KZ400 (sold ~1985)
1970 Suzuki TS250 Scrambler (stolen 1971)
1968 Bridgestone 200 MKII RS (sold 1970)
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