Author Topic: Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help  (Read 2991 times)

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Offline Merlin97

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Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help
« on: August 20, 2017, 03:55:38 am »
I want to be brief as possible so will get right to it:

1997 ZG1000 (I think I am the third owner.)

I've made many changes myself (brakes, suspension, electrical harness, LEDs, ride position, lower fairings off, yadda yadda, but the only engine changes are:
1) Steve's Shoodabeen exhaust cam sprocket, and his
2) Two Minute Mod Jet (BUT my mechanic at the time did not follow the innovative instruction and installed them as per standard method - pizzed me off, but by that time I just wanted the bike back. Summer is short enough.

Odometer: 49,500 miles
Fuel: usually 88-90 octane mid-range or regular 87 octane
Maintenance: Regular as per manual

Situation

Preliminary: A few hard starts now and then this year, that seemed like things hitting each other that shouldn't be... Similar to a backfire but seemed more like metal connecting. ? That's how I can describe it, things may or may not have been doing as I've described. Then there would be nothing, as if the kill switch was off, for the next one or two starter jabs, so I'd sometimes pull clutch and move gears around or sometimes put up kickstand, and it would start normally on third jab. My engine start is always quick and smooth - usually takes barely a jab and its alive.

Added detail: Taking the rain cover off my bike has always had a bit of a gas smell, although I can see no leak or wet spots, nor ground drip. Just the smell of a machine?

The Event: Three weeks ago the bang start occurred again, but then for the first time there was also a ticking immediately after in what seemed to be the upper level.

So trailered the bike up to John at G&R Motorsports end of day Friday and we listened to it run for a bit. He didn't think it sounded that great and the sound was now a low-toned knocking inside the engine somewhere, rather than the higher-toned ticking I'd heard at the beginning of the trouble. It had started its normal immediate, smooth way - except for that new knocking.

Following Monday John started the bike to begin work on it, and it did its banging hard-start for him as well. But, it would not turn over for him again. He removed cover and manually turned it over by hand, but found it would not go past one point - back or forward. The crank jammed at a point after about 300 degrees of turn. He then took apart everything to eliminate the possibilities of valves, cam, pumps, clutch and starter. He says its down in the engine says the stethoscope. At that point he didn't want to go further until he talked to me.

So there I am. We either split the engine and see what's wrong (50-50 its major or minor after all the work/time/$$ involved to remove and split the engine), or go around all that and replace the engine.

Has anyone experienced this?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 01:17:55 pm by Merlin97 »
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Offline KellyfromVA

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Could be a broken connecting rod?  The bang at startup sounds like the classic hydro lock scenario.  With the other work you had done, were the overflow tubes added to the carbs?

Offline Merlin97

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Thanks Kelly. I thought of the hydro lock too, but always turn off my fuel (have Dan Bergman's petcock conversion) to avoid it. And if hydro-lock happens, its all over at once isn't it? I mean, I would not be able to start the bike at all if this occurred, correct? But the bang-start happened several times, then all ran normally smooth as usual - except this last time.

No, had not added over-flow tubes in the carb bowls - they were on my list at one time. I am pretty religious with using the petcock manually.
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Online Bud

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Before I did anything, I'd do a hydrolock test.  If it passes that then I'd look at the starter chain and tensioner.  They have been known to fail and create starting troubles and noise.  Hope that helps.  Keeping my fingers crossed for ya.

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Do the hydrolock rod test per my you tube video "zg1000 hydrolock rod test". if that checks out, the next place to go is to the starter chain / tensioner. Remember that it could have hydro'd on the previous owner and bent a rod, and now it's just bent more. And also your mechanic needs to be careful how he turns the engine, there's a roll pin he could shear that would throw all the cam / crank timing off, as seen in my video "zg1000 cam and valve.
Good luck - Steve
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Offline jettawreck

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Thanks Kelly. I thought of the hydro lock too, but always turn off my fuel (have Dan Bergman's petcock conversion) to avoid it. And if hydro-lock happens, its all over at once isn't it? I mean, I would not be able to start the bike at all if this occurred, correct? But the bang-start happened several times, then all ran normally smooth as usual - except this last time.

No, had not added over-flow tubes in the carb bowls - they were on my list at one time. I am pretty religious with using the petcock manually.


I can't imagine having the other carb work done and not the overflow tubes. Why??
Anyways, no. Many a engine has continued to run after a hydrolock "event". Depending on severity you may not even know it, supposedly.
Do that test before going any deeper into the engine.
Snowmobiles, I have a bunch.
Motorcycles-I haven't had anything except dirtbikes 30 years ago, so this will be all new to me.
2005 C10 with Rifle w/s, SISF Exhaust sprocket, overflow tubes, 2 minute jet mod. (SOLD)
2004 Honda ST1300-the current mule.

Offline Mcfly

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Manual petcocks may offer protection when you're not there, but once you turn the fuel on it becomes moot.  I seriously hope for a good result from that hydrolock test.  Best of luck!!
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Offline Merlin97

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Many thanks for all the suggestions above, and especially Steve - I was going to contact you direct if I fell short of ideas - I will let my mechanic know about that roll pin. He's not a Kawi dealership with that specific engine knowledge, but an experienced guy who works on all makes. When we had a house with a garage I used to do a lot more of my own work.
Thanks very much.

On to the hydro-lock test then starter chain tensioner.  AND carb tubes!

Yeah, my fingers are crossed on this too. Thanks again folks.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 03:32:38 pm by Merlin97 »
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Offline DC Concours

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Yes! Why??? :-[ :-[ :-[


Anyway, you could have one or more mini hydrolocks and still function much like having mini strokes.

How much is all this costing you??? Is it worth it?


I can't imagine having the other carb work done and not the overflow tubes. Why??
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 04:06:59 pm by DC Concours »

Offline Merlin97

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Yes! Why??? :-[ :-[ :-[


Anyway, you could have one or more mini hydrolocks and still function much like having mini strokes.

How much is all this costing you??? Is it worth it?


I can't imagine having the other carb work done and not the overflow tubes. Why??

Certinly. I'll leave my answer at that. I'm easy to criticize.
Here's my question, with knowing this situation over a 20 year production, why the heck would Kawasaki not have added these simple little over-flow tubes in the first place? Sounds like anyone can just throw them into their carb's bowls in a few minutes with little cost. I simply like MY Connie, all I've done to make it a better bike (except these damned tubes), so an engine, if needed, is better/less expense than buying another bike. Will send off carbs to Steve for overhaul, plus tubes and jets.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 02:16:29 pm by Merlin97 »
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Online Bud

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Yes! Why??? :-[ :-[ :-[


Anyway, you could have one or more mini hydrolocks and still function much like having mini strokes.

How much is all this costing you??? Is it worth it?


I can't imagine having the other carb work done and not the overflow tubes. Why??

Certinly. I'll leave my answer at that. I'm easy to criticize.
Here's my question, with knowing this situation over a 20 year production, why the heck would Kawasaki not have added these simple little over-flow tubes in the first place? Sounds like anyone can just throw them into their carb's bowls in a few minutes with little cost. I simply like MY Connie, all I've done to make it a better bike (except these damned tubes), so an engine, if needed, is better than buying another bike.

Asking someone after the fact why they did something you consider stupid only creates ill will and doesn't solve the problem.  I'm sure I've done it many times in my past, but I'm really doing my best to quit doing that.  It's like, I'll help you but not until I get to spank you. :??:

Asking why maw kaw didn't put overflow tubes in is different and much easier to answer.  Maw kaw didn't want to spend the money.  It seems with the C10 and others, that they weren't interested in refining the bike each year.  They want to throw a design out there and milk it as much as possible until they dump it for a completely different one.  In their defense, it helps them stay competitive in regards to pricing, but it doesn't allow any room for error for the owner.

As to whether or not "anyone" can install overflow tubes, I don't know that I'd go that far as to say that.

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Yes! Why??? :-[ :-[ :-[


Anyway, you could have one or more mini hydrolocks and still function much like having mini strokes.

How much is all this costing you??? Is it worth it?


I can't imagine having the other carb work done and not the overflow tubes. Why??

Certinly. I'll leave my answer at that. I'm easy to criticize.
Here's my question, with knowing this situation over a 20 year production, why the heck would Kawasaki not have added these simple little over-flow tubes in the first place? Sounds like anyone can just throw them into their carb's bowls in a few minutes with little cost. I simply like MY Connie, all I've done to make it a better bike (except these damned tubes), so an engine, if needed, is better than buying another bike.
Asking why maw kaw didn't put overflow tubes in is different and much easier to answer.  Maw kaw didn't want to spend the money.  It seems with the C10 and others, that they weren't interested in refining the bike each year.  They want to throw a design out there and milk it as much as possible until they dump it for a completely different one.  In their defense, it helps them stay competitive in regards to pricing, but it doesn't allow any room for error for the owner.

As to whether or not "anyone" can install overflow tubes, I don't know that I'd go that far as to say that.
Overflow tubes not being present is a gift from your federal government- the EPA mandated those overflow tubes to be removed so thank them and not Kawasaki.

Overflow tubes are not just ' easily thrown in there in a few minutes'  They have to be a precise length and they have to be pressed in so they do not leak. 

Manual petcock is the reason you hydrolocked the engine-  No over flow tubes AND a manual petcock is a very bad thing to do.

Normally aspirated engines have perpetual turbo lag
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Online Bud

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Oh I forgot the good ole EPA! :-[ :-[  How could I ever forget the government's concern for our poor ignorant selves. :-X

Offline Merlin97

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Thanks Bud and Mike, appreciate every answer I recieve here on the good ol' COG!
"As to whether or not "anyone" can install overflow tubes, I don't know that I'd go that far as to say that."
 ~ yes, I was being sarcastic when I said anyone could throw them in (but not obvious, oops), meaning: yes a good thing to do, but I certainly would rather trust someone like Steve to do it.

Mike: wow, I did NOT know that the manual petcock without the tubes was a bad thing for the engine... I thought that both were best but atleast the manual was better than the stock vacuum. Thank you.

The next engine going in Merlin's carcass will have the carbs completely updated. Maybe change the bike's name to Lazarasaurus....  :)
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Online Bud

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You're talking new engine already, but I don't see where you've reported back about the results of the hydrolock test.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Offline mnbikeguy

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Oh I forgot the good ole EPA! :-[ :-[  How could I ever forget the government's concern for our poor ignorant selves. :-X

The EPA didn't outlaw overflow tubes. It's unsubstantiated claim by people just looking for an excuse to remain pissed at the gov't. Several ATV's and motorcycles have them well into the later 2000's.

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Oh I forgot the good ole EPA! :-[ :-[  How could I ever forget the government's concern for our poor ignorant selves. :-X

The EPA didn't outlaw overflow tubes. It's unsubstantiated claim by people just looking for an excuse to remain pissed at the gov't. Several ATV's and motorcycles have them well into the later 2000's.

I have never been pissed. I just install overflow tubes on my carbed bikes that the EPA   mandated they be removed.
So why are they called EPA caps? You know, the ones we have to drill out that the EPA prevented you and I from adjusted our air mixture screw on C10's and just about any modern carb'd motorcycle..
Why is it the EPA made it so we cannot adjust the idle screw on  our lawnmowers? You have to be a certified lawn mower mechanic is what the EPA says.
I dont make unsubstantiated claims... I do not get pissed at the government... I read   and then  I just go to Ebay and buy the special tools that allow me  adjust a lawn mower carb.
Normally aspirated engines have perpetual turbo lag
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Offline Merlin97

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You're talking new engine already, but I don't see where you've reported back about the results of the hydrolock test.  Inquiring minds want to know.

You're right Bud. Haven't jumped the inspection gun, maybe preparing for the worst - which I should not do. Out of town on vacation, will tend to the bike next week.

Will report. This may be a new situation that could help others.
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Offline Merlin97

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Re: UPDATE: Hard Bang on Starts...
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 12:59:09 pm »
Back in town. We've checked hydro lock and starter chain (he already had removed that from the equation), even checked to be sure the dowel pins in underside of head cover had not fallen out. He'd removed everything he could from the equation (an experienced bike mechanic). Thanks again folks for all suggestions above.

So we're back to the problem lying in the crank case itself. Something seems to have jammed in there and the crank cannot be manually turned through 360 degrees (Steve, he was careful with the roll pin. Thanks).

Anyone know what sort of part/bolt/pin etc could come loose down there?
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Offline Redbarron

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Re: Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2017, 05:55:29 pm »
Hello Merlin:

I am thinking about selling the Barron for cheap dough plastic body work is trashed.

If you'r interested Mechanically she is strong runner, something to keep in mind.

I am located in Southern NH.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: UPDATE: Hard Bang on Starts...
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2017, 08:48:28 pm »
Back in town. We've checked hydro lock and starter chain (he already had removed that from the equation), even checked to be sure the dowel pins in underside of head cover had not fallen out. He'd removed everything he could from the equation (an experienced bike mechanic). Thanks again folks for all suggestions above.

So we're back to the problem lying in the crank case itself. Something seems to have jammed in there and the crank cannot be manually turned through 360 degrees (Steve, he was careful with the roll pin. Thanks).

Anyone know what sort of part/bolt/pin etc could come loose down there?

So what were the results of the piston height check???

Now, we have seen instances where the cam chain has experienced broken plates inside the stacked link pieces that are riveted together, and its very tough to find at times as when the cam chain rolls up top the gears press that inner plate back into position, masking its failed link.. and with the retainer bracket in position, its tough to see, this may have occurred, and when that broken link hits the bottom gear, it wedges against it... locking the rotation...
Other than a bad starter chain/tensioner mechanism, a bent rod hitting the cylinder skirt, the only other thing that comes to mind is that cam chain link thing...
And it starts off as a ticking thing, progresses to a knocking thing, and depending on which end the failed inner link fractures at, can and will be able to lock up the crankshaft when turned by hand...

Before splitting cases and such, completely analyze that cam chain, pressing on each of the links inner plates to see if one or more have fractured.. doesn't cost anything, and a new chain is dirt cheap...

You can furher examine the path with the timing cover removed, only costs a gasket...
Let us know what you find,
Good luck.

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Offline Merlin97

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Re: Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2017, 10:59:08 am »
...And it starts off as a ticking thing, progresses to a knocking thing, and depending on which end the failed inner link fractures at, can and will be able to lock up the crankshaft when turned by hand...

Man 'o Blues, many thanks for this nugget of experience and information on what could be the problem. Your description really sound like my situation. I asked him to check links/remove the cam chain if possible and turn manually - if the crank turns through 360, then I think we have it solved! Will also check with the mechanic on the piston heights - NEW EDIT: although he was sure it was not hydro'ed... He's an experienced guy and I think he was a little miffed with me asking him to do the piston height check and this cam chain inspect, because he says he'd already removed these possibilities out of the equation in order to determine where the prob is. Well, its my dang dollars going into this possible big job, so I need to feel certain - and I really appreciate the experienced comments here.

If I had a garage in our new 110 year old house I could be on this myself.
Many thanks man!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 12:01:09 pm by Merlin97, Reason: better detail on situation »
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2017, 02:03:24 pm »
Just saw this discussion, and will be monitoring.

MOB gave you good info. Hope it helps.

Ride safe, Ted

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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2017, 05:49:36 pm »
Just saw this discussion, and will be monitoring.

MOB gave you good info. Hope it helps.

Ride safe, Ted

I wish I could remember whose bike had that problem last, I remember a photo posted showing it when it was found... maybe Jen (coffee break)…?
Anyway, that one had the fracture on the front end of a link, when viewed from the side, and the chain stretched between the cam gears.. and it just made noise constantly... if a link fractured at the rear when viewed in the same position, it surely could cause this lockup scenario, either on the chain slider, or even on one of the gears it drives or contaccts...

Mind like a steel trap I've been told... :rotflmao:

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Offline Merlin97

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Re: Update: Hard Bang on Starts... new engine? help
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2017, 05:31:43 pm »
Cam Chain link damage results
The chain is fine. Thanks again MOB. John's taken everything out of the equation and the problem, as he'd found originally, still lies down in the bottom right side of the crank case (stethoscope) behind the clutch.
He says the crank shaft will turn normally/smoothly until 1 and 4 are near top of cylinder and of course 3-4 are near bottom, and then its a full, mechanical stop. There's a 'wrench in the works' somewhere.

Save a eureka moment here, next step I guess the engine comes out, invert and we'll remove the oil pan for a look-see. 
At 130 km/h my Connie went 480' without me. I stopped sliding after 220'. The coyote ended up going in two directions at once. Fredericton, NB.