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As for if the petcock fails you won't just get a sniff of gas in the oil, it will fill the case to the top.
Interesting - didn't know that, but have never owned that bike before, so maybe I should have been more circumspect in my reply to Zed7.

Apologies Z.

Live and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Interesting - didn't know that, but have never owned that bike before, so maybe I should have been more circumspect in my reply to Zed7.

Apologies Z.

Live and learn.
No worries. Happy New Year. 馃嵒
Well I bought the 7S and have stripped it down for a cleaning and maintenance. And I was very surprised, when removing the tank, that the petcock wasn't leaking. The ZRX is famous for it. If you notice how high the carb vents are, a leaking petcock combined with a faulty float valve will fill an engine with gas quicker than you realize.

Before I start the ZRX, I always look at the oil level site glass with the bike on the side stand. Normally no oil should be seen. If you do see oil with the bike leaned over that means you have gas in the crank case.
And I can also stand the bike up to check the oil level before starting. If the cold oil rises to fast, that means the oil has been thinned by gas. 20 years of ZRX ownership will do that to you.
 

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I'm mega-late to the thread but I'm winding down from 7 hours driving and 8 hours working today.

I bought my '01 in 2013 with 12k miles on it. It now has 21k miles and I haven't done a valve check. I THINK I can hear a ticking on top of #4 cylinder but the bike runs so good, I've been reluctant to pull it apart just to check after all this time. Other than plugs, filters, oil, and Seafoam, the only thing I've done to the engine is make sure the carbs were balanced. I bought a set of gauges to do that early and then loaned them out to Smash, whose girlfriend had a 7, and I never saw them again. Bought another set of gauges to check and they were still balanced.

I posted a very detailed thread on brake rebuild back in 2014 I think; several folks on here gave me a lot of advice and help and I spent almost $500 rebuilding the brakes and replacing lines WITHOUT changing the pads! It was a good project, though. I had a $400 custom seat made by Loren Mock at Baldwin Motorbike Saddles, who I think is either deceased or completely out of the business (he disappeared). I did the aluminum tail tidy which I really like. Biggest expenditure was replacing the suspension: RaceTech front fork full rebuild with Gold Emulator and Nitron rear shock.... $1700!!! The front is completely new except for the OE lowers (they talked me into new uppers). But I can definitely tell the difference for the better and there is no more dive and no upset over crappy asphalt. EDIT: at first, I did the PVC mod to the fronts and noticed a difference. I LOVE the RaceTech forks though, especially since I paid a pretty penny for them; take that as you will, but they are noticeably better than OE or PVC mod or Chinese adjustable fork cap mod.

I did a chain and both sprocket replace with a 17T front, which was great for lowering RPM slightly. Smoked Zero Gravity touring screen, battery tender pigtail, GoCruise attachment, phone charger mounted to handlebar. The 7 is a great bike for just tooling around or touring medium distance. Mine's not perfect but I know her pretty well and she gets 52 MPG with very little attention.
 

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DF. good to "see" you again.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Daddy Flip, about the valves. They are not a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" type situation. You MUST check them, probably now.
As I said, I'm the 3d owner. 2nd owner didn't check them. 1st owner, I don't know if he ever had them adjusted. But judging the way all the bolts came out I'd say no. There were no overtorqued fasteners, a sign that somebody has been in there before. Nothing knackered.

Here's what I found...
I first checked compression.
1- 125 psi
2- 45-50 psi
3- 110-130 psi
4- 130 psi
Then I squirted some oil in the holes...
1- 160 psi
2- 150 psi
3- 160 psi
4- 170 psi

So worn rings. Maybe not. I know that's a sure sign but cannot the oil splash up to the valves?
Checking the clearances this is what I got. (And I bought my very first METRIC feeler gauge set. 馃憤 Oh happy days. What was I thinking all those years doing this with an inch set. Madness).
Three of the intake valves were at the low end of the spec .08/.09.
#1 intake was below spec at .05

#1 exhaust was below spec at .05
The other three exhaust valves were tight, as in zero clearance. Judging by how easily the buckets rotated on #3 and #4, I'd say their valves were closing (my feeler gauge goes down to .03mm).
#2 cylinder- the lowest psi, its bucket was tight enough that I couldn't rotate it with my thumb. So I'm sure that when I get them in spec the psi will rise up and get in line with the others providing there's not a burnt valve.
I'm just waiting for my shim kit to come in. The kit was necessary because of the tight valves. I want all my valves at the .18 spec.

I should also point out that the engine had been sitting, not run, for about three weeks and it was cold, about 28 degrees F.
The PO had the bike running when I got there to buy it but he did he did mention it was hard to start. It ran well and strong on my brief ride.
There was no smoke from burning oil and all the plugs are burning perfectly.

If you, at least,check your valves, make sure you buy a head cover gasket and side cover gasket. They are going to rip when you pull the covers.
Also, there is a tutorial here about adjusting the valves.
I read it and did the cardboard boxes and sandwich bag system. It's an excellent system.
And make sure you buy a set of METRIC feelers. I bought a Tusk brand which starts at .03mm and increases by .01mm

And also, I understand your pain with your carb balancer that you leant to your friend.
I have a mercury set and it is the one tool I won't lend out owing to the fact that mercury is getting near impossible to buy. I will have my friends come to my house if they need to balance their carbs.
Oh, I won't lend out my newly calibrated torque wrenches either.

Cheers, make sure you post up the results of your valve check. You might get lucky.
 

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@Zed7, so yes the lower compression could be worn rings or bad valve clearances but it could also be stuck rings if it's not been driven much. You'll know better once the valves are done and you re-compression test it.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
@Zed7, so yes the lower compression could be worn rings or bad valve clearances but it could also be stuck rings if it's not been driven much. You'll know better once the valves are done and you re-compression test it.
Yes, it could be any of those. As soon as I get my shim kit and the engine running, I'll figure out how healthy it is. I'm positive it's ok. I've seen bikes ten times worse run without problems.
But it'll be interesting to find out.
This is what winter is good for ... to maintain your bike.

I was looking for a winter project when I stumbled upon a guy with a 1980's Yamaha 350 2 stroke. He is the original owner (who was willing to let it go cheap) and the bike had low miles but it sat for years.
Upon researching the bike I found out that I'd have to split the cases and take the crankshaft apart and replace the crank seals. This I didn't want to do. So I hit Craigslist just to see what was out there. That's how I found the zr7s.
We shall see. 馃憤
 
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