I think I made a costly mistake... PICS INSIDE! - ZX Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think I made a costly mistake... PICS INSIDE!

it's been a while since I posted here at ZXForums but here I am hoping again for the Gods to smile upon me...

Lets begin my new story...

So just last week I picked up a 2006 ZX-14 with 18,500 miles on the clock. The guy was selling it because couldn't pay his rent and he said the bike had a rattle and stopped running on him. He took it to the dealer and they told him he needed the valves adjusted.





This apparently was a repair he could neither perform nor afford.

So he posted the bike for sale.

$2000.

Here I come all googly-eyed and drooling... I'm decent with the wrenches so I figured, I'll fix this thing lickety-split. I beat the guy down on the price and got it for $1500. I get the bike home, throw the battery on a trickle charger and wake the next morning to fire it up. Yeah, it stopped running because the battery was dead. A

nyway, I fire it up and am immediately greeted with the most awful metal-on-metal knocking. I immediately turn off the bike because honestly, the noise had me shook. I pick up my balls and I fire it up again. I blip the throttle and the noise goes away. Slowly increase the RPMs and the noise returns.

I frantically begin searching the interwebz and find that Gen 1's have a well-documented history of spun bearings. My heart sank immediately.

I go out to my garage and I start tearing the motor down to see if I can diagnose the problem. From my ears and my screwdriver stethoscope, it sounds like the top end. So I get the valve cover off and check the valve clearances. All the exhaust valves are tight, and two of the intake valves are tight. They're tight, but not tight enough to have this kind of knock. It sounds like a ball-peen hammer beating at the inside of the engine case.

So I pull off the exhaust because I'm gonna drop the oil pan and have a look at the crankshaft. I notice that all of the inner exhaust header bolts (around cylinders 2 & 3) are finger-tight at best. I get everything off and I'm feeling around on the crankshaft where the connecting rods bolt up... everything feels tight, no up down or lateral movement. Then upon closer inspection I see that the con rod cap on cylinder 4 is a bit discolored.

At the edges, where the cap meets the crank dampener and the counterweight, you can see some darkening of the metal. See below.



Here's a shot of the #3 cylinder cap for comparison:



The caps are clearly not the same color and the darkened edges are not visible on cylinder 3 either.

I rotated the motor so 1 & 4 are at TDC and on the downstroke, I insert a screwdriver into the spark plug hole of cylinder 4 and push down. No movement. Tight as a Tiger. Everything tells me, aside from my visual inspection and what appears to be possible heat discoloration, that this cylinder is fine.

But then I get to thinking... the noise is intermittent when at idle unless you blip the throttle. When you blip the throttle, the noise speeds up with the RPMs, but it goes away sometimes. In my mind, I wanna say when it goes away it's not spinning loose on the crank journal. But when I hear the knock, the bearing is maladjusted and banging around in there.

I don't want to remove the con rod cap because you're not supposed to reuse the bolts. And if I take it off and the bearing is fine, then I just pretty much f-cked myself because the bolts have to be replaced and you can't (shouldn't) re-torque the nuts on the old bolts. Plus the big end of the con rod may be out-of-round, causing all sorts of new havoc.

So I'm looking for opinions, does this con rod cap look like it's suffering a spun bearing underneath? Do you guys suggest I just bite the bullet and pull the f-cking cap? Is it possible that the knocking was a result of those loose exhaust header bolts? There appears to be no loss of power and the engine is still running strong on all 4 cylinders. Like i said, the rattle goes away sometimes.

I'm stumped... or frozen... HALP.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:08 PM
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I feel for ya, someone with K Knowledege will chime in, I adjusted my valves , but the timing chain tensioner was making a strange noise. Good luck
I also have a gen 1, at 8,000 miles 2-3 valves were below limit and i changed shims in all 16 . Runs like a champ at 32,000 mi.

Last edited by metalmechanic9; 05-15-2017 at 10:11 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 03:45 AM
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I think my curiosity would get the best of me and I would have to pull that cap before putting the oil pan back in place...no matter what else... but that is just me... remember...curiosity killed the cat...

Johnny
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:01 AM
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Sounds like timing chain?

Send the oil to Blackstone for material analysis, if you spun a rod bearing the material should show up.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for posting and explaining this issue. I'm no mechanic but man I'd love to know what the hell is what issue and how is was fixed.



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:21 PM
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I would remove the cap and inspect the journal and rod bearing. If it's bad, your pulling it apart or replacing the engine with another, but if it's good, all it cost you to verify is a couple of conrod bolts. Guesswork and speculation changes nothing.

It may be a pig, but it's a pig with a rocket in it's ass!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:22 PM
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And considering your investment, a new engine would not be throwing good money after bad.

It may be a pig, but it's a pig with a rocket in it's ass!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:54 PM
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rod knock increases with rpm but you say it sounds like it's coming from top end?
you can disconnecting spark plug wire to that cylinder and see if knock is minimized
Also pull the oil filter and drain it into clean pan or cut it apart and see if there are a lot of particles in it
Does the oil pressure light come on?
I'm with everyone else and just pull the rod cap.
Unless you really think it's coming from top end. Maybe cam chain tensioner failed? They seem to have a lot of issues

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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I'm gonna take off the con rod cap. See what's going on under there. When I pulled the pan, there were no shavings in it. Not a glint of anything.

I asked the bros in my club about it (a Few of them own shops) and everyone says it looks like a normal cap.

No oil pressure light.

When the cam tensioner fails, is it a gradual failure or does it just fuck up all at once and rattle like marbles in a coffee can?

I took the tensioner apart and it seems to be in order, I guess. I have to say the design is an interesting one. But I've read that visually it could appear fine and still be ready for the shitcan.

After I button up the bottom end, I think I'll remove the camshafts to inspect the valve springs and shim keepers.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:39 PM
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If the filter did it's job then you shouldn't see anything in the pan. it's in the filter.
Can't say if the original owner changed the filter right away
The chain tensioner only tensions after a certain period of slack so it can make the valve train noisey. Most guys put on a manual tensioner and all noise at start up is gone.
But from your description of the sound it doesn't sound like valve train

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 05:53 PM
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What about the fuel quality?

If it nocks here and there at idle then goes away then comes back.

Hell.
I dont know.
Just a thought.

If the guy selling was hurting for cash, u know he went to cheap gas.



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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:41 PM
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Rod knock doesn't sound like a can of marbles. And it doesn't go away with revs it increases in frequency

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Man I really wish I had recorded video of the sound. It does get higher pitched but when you rev the motor it doesn't sound the same speed as the RPMs unless you're holding it steady. If you blip the throttle, the noise is faster. I can't explain it week enough I guess. The noise changes.

I feel it could be rod knock but I'm not sure. Like the bearing is on the way out. It's spinning and slipping but then it catches. When it catches is when the sound goes away, when it's spins is when the knock comes back.

I wish I could dedicate all day tomorrow to getting it squared away but there's so much other shit I have to do. I just wanna ride it man.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll just put everything back together tomorrow night to see if I can record the sound. If the sound is gone, good. If not, I'll just pull the motor this time and tear it all down again. I'll get video of it running too.

This guy at a shop told me if I rebuilt it and did the work myself it wouldn't cost more than 5-600 so I guess that'll be the move.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 04:24 AM
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I just wanna ride it man.

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I think your expectations are a bit high considering what you paid. The noise isn't going away and nobody around here has a magic bullet to shoot at the sound.

First-gen 14's have a history of rod bearing seizure, especially if dropped on the side while running. And saying it'll only cost $5-600 to overhaul is also a shot in the dark. Quit screwing around wishing it's something simple and cheap. Get the engine out and torn down for inspection and you'll have a better idea of what your costs will be. You're working on total speculation until you do.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 05:29 AM
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If it's the rod you could have the crank repaired by Falicon or marine crank . Worse comes to worse you could part it and recoup easily . Don't put the cam chain tensioner back without retracting it .
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by quisp View Post
Don't put the cam chain tensioner back without retracting it .
The cam chain tensioner doesn't​ stay retracted. There's a big spring behind the piston inside the body of the tensioner and two clips around the piston itself on the body of the tensioner.

There's a pinch clip that holds the piston in the body of the tensioner and I'm not sure what the purpose of the forward clip is. It doesn't appear to do anything. Anyway, when it's pulled from the motor it appears to be in the fully extended position.

I'm more familiar with the racheting type tensioners and the manually adjusted ones. I have no experience with these hydraulic ones so I'm not sure how it should actuate.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:39 AM
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It sounds like the CCT in the Super Blackbird so check out their web site (cbrxx.com), which has a wealth of knowledge about them with pics, etc. Yeah, I know we are talking about a different bike but if they work the same you will get your answer.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
I think your expectations are a bit high considering what you paid. The noise isn't going away and nobody around here has a magic bullet to shoot at the sound.

First-gen 14's have a history of rod bearing seizure, especially if dropped on the side while running. And saying it'll only cost $5-600 to overhaul is also a shot in the dark. Quit screwing around wishing it's something simple and cheap. Get the engine out and torn down for inspection and you'll have a better idea of what your costs will be. You're working on total speculation until you do.

. Werd....
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