Author Topic: Header pipes leaking  (Read 1493 times)

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Offline dutchman

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Header pipes leaking
« on: September 09, 2009, 08:55:00 pm »
Strange thing happened this weekend to my C14. Just had the valves checked at 32,000 miles , no adjustment needed by the way, new set of tires put on at the same time, trying out the Dunlop Road Smarts this time, really like them so far at 700 miles.....but. When I stopped for a break and starting it back up I noticed a loud noise at idle which had not been there before. Rode home another 75 miles or so and when I pulled up I started it again and noticed it louder. Sleeping on it hoping maybe it was my imagination more than anything else I started it again Monday morning and seemed even louder. Called the shop and took it in on trailer and service manager agreed with my thoughts that it must be an exhaust leak. He called today and said that all headers were loose. He was going to charge me, but I protested and called Kawasaki and they agreed it should be covered under warrantee. Dont know if the service department was trying to double dip or what, but anyway, it sounds sweet once again. Has anyone else had this? Have no idea why they would all of a sudden come loose like that, other than that the bike has been trouble free. Mechanic had no explanation for me, just seems strange that the pipes would suddenly be leaking like that, and now I also wonder if there could be valve damage riding with leaking header pipes? Maybe everyone should be checking their exhaust headers?  
2008 C14  2002 C10

Offline Boburns

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Header pipes leaking
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 09:56:00 am »
They were obviously loose to begin with. They should never have happened.     BTW, I highly recommend you learn to do your own valves. It's remarkably easy. Even better, watch his website to see if you can find a COG wrench session in your neighborhood. Almost always they do someon'es valves at one of those things. You'll meet some good folks, too.  
Bob "Flylooper" Burns  COG #5887  Former Editor, The Concourier  E Clampus Vitus, YB#1; '04 FJR 1300

Offline dutchman

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Header pipes leaking
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 01:34:00 pm »
Thanks Bob, but not everyone is comfortable with doing their own valve adjustments,especially on the C14 since they are the shim and bucket arrangement. I know my limitations in doing mechanical work and would not even want to attempt to remove my cams to adjust the valves. On my C10 I am actually going to try to check the valves this weekend with a fellow cogger who has volunteered to show me, but the C 14 I think I will leave to the pros. As far as my header leak, it would seem strange that they have been loose for 32,000 miles and then suddenly become so loose to where I heard the noise, would I have not heard some noise before this. I know for a fact that the noise was not there before other than the growl at start up which other riders have commented on. The growl is still there as before, but only does it for a second which it has done for as long as I can remember. Anyway, thanks for the input, but it still makes no sense to me why this suddenly happened.  
2008 C14  2002 C10

Offline Fred_Harmon_TX

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Header pipes leaking
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 02:12:00 pm »
There have been many reports of the nuts on the exhaust headers being found loose during/after break in. There is a copper gasket on the head that is probably the cause of it, since after it gets heated it can deform which will cause the header to loosen up. Its just one of those items that needs to be periodically tightened up as the engine breaks in.  
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Header pipes leaking
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 05:24:00 pm »
The header gaskets are the same design as was used since the first inline 4  Kaw rolled off the line. Once they compress, they are good to go. All the bolts/fasteners on this and anyother bike need to be inspected for tightness periodically, this likely slipped by on the 600 mi interval. You should be good for many years now, but as always I suggest they be looked at everytime you have the plastic off. Just part of the normal maintainence.  

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