Engine ring / whine noise - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-15-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Engine ring / whine noise

Bike is an 03 with 22k miles, and since fall of last year (right before it was put away for winter) the engine has been making a ringing type noise that concerns me. It does it in any gear, neutral included, all rpm's (so far as i can tell, it's drowned out by all the other noise at high speed), whether clutch is in or out. It is noticeably louder when the bike is hot or I've been riding it for awhile.
Had one of the mechanics at the local Kawasaki dealer listen to it, he thought it was coming from clutch, probably a bearing... or maybe from whatever the idler mechanism is that starter motor uses (vague technical terms are mine not his, lol). To my surprise he said he wouldn't worry about it. Suggested i change the oil since it was left from last season (probably less than 1k miles on it, rotella-t) and see if that helped.

Did change the oil (but not filter) and it didn't help at all. Was *maybe* a shiny flake or two in the old oil, but the magnet on my drain plug had nothing on it. Due to paranoia over the oil screen being clogged (i've never inspected it, previous owner did when he replaced Doo) i also just tried loosening the banjo bolt that feeds oil to the engine head while engine was running, it definitely has oil flow. Functionally, bike seems to be running fine.

/watch?v=pVBKe5dHVcQ is a link to a recording of engine running, phone captured the sound better than i expected. Your forum's anti spam system wont let me post the full link. Add that snippet to the end of youtube's home address.

Any thought on what might be causing the noise?
I am perpetually paranoid that everything is breaking... is this even something i should be worried about or just general KLR noisiness?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-15-2013, 10:33 PM
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OK, so this sound goes up and down with the RPMs? If so does the sound change in tone as it goes up in RPMs? Is it a metalic type sound? Does it sound like maybe two metal parts rubbing together? I have had 2 bikes with starter gear rubbing the DOO and the torsion spring. The spring slipped off the DOO and just touched the starter ring gear. The bearing inside the starter gear where it rides on the crank was worn also allowing the gear to be able to slightly wobble, just enough to rub. The other question is, which side does the sound come from ? If you use a hose and stick it in your ear and then use the other end as a stethoscope sort of, it will allow you to pin point where this noise could be coming from. Is the noise coming from the top or bottom? What are the engine temps like, getting warmer than normal?

Willys
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-15-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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It gets a little louder with RPM's, but its not a huge difference. Tone is pretty constant. Sounds metallic to me but higher pitched ring, not grinding at all... its pretty audible in the video i semi linked you to. Add /watch?v=pVBKe5dHVcQ onto the end of youtube.com. If someone who listens to the video could put the proper hyperlink in their response that would be nice (again, forum wont let *me* post it). Noise definitely seems to be from right side. Engine is not running hot at all, in fact post low-buck exhaust mod its been running cool.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 01:06 AM
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link to the video
i didnt hear anything.

Never ride faster than your angels can fly
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Just took the right side cover off. Was a lot of brown rubber spaghetti stuck to it, as well as some small chunks of black plastic and a few slivers of silver metal. Almost half of it was spaghetti covered.

The only thing i immediately notice as odd is the large gear with five holes in it, below and to the right of the clutch basket (oil pump gear??). I can move it and it's shaft back and forth inwards/outwards a good 5mm. Is that normal?

Also, are the water pump / clutch cover gaskets supposed to be rubbery? they are hard and brittle... aaand the water pump one has a tear in it

I also noticed over course of dis-assembly that the ringing noise is significantly quieter without the aluminum skid plate, but definitely still there.

Again, i would give pictures but the forum won't let me.

Last edited by Panzerfaust; 05-16-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 05:33 PM
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It sounds to me like possibly a loose bolt or bracket type of noise? Have you checked all of the engine mounts, front, top and rear. Also look at the exhaust guard to see if it has come loose at all? The oil pump does move a bit from what I remember.....
I would also be going inside the left side and checking the DOO and the entire ballancer system.
The engine sounds great other than that tingling sound. Maybe a bit fast on the idle, should be close to 1100RPMs....
Check the water pump shaft for play, becarefull when retorquing that nut back on as it has been known to snap.
I would be getting a small hammer type object and tapping everything to see if I could make the sound again when the cases are open. Tap anything that you think may move or vibrate. Not hard just to see if it moves in any way. The sound is like a washer rattling on a shaft possibly. There are three on the crank in the opposite side that could cause that noise, never heard it yet, just thinking outloud.
Did you say you have done the DOO? The ballancer systen is tied into the water pump shaft also and the sound could be traveling along the shaft...????

I'd go kick that mechanic in the nuts!!!! There is something not right and to tell you to just ride it is criminal! If it does go bang it could cost you large! But if we figure it out and it may only be a few bucks.......I would be concerned!

Keep us informed.....


Do the hose in your ear trick....it will enable you to pin point where that noise is coming from. You just need a few feet of clear fishtank type hose or small gas line for a sled...anything that fits inside your ear tight and then just hold the open end near the engine, moving it around slowly listening for the noise. It will easily find where it's coming from I bet!

Willys

Last edited by willys; 05-16-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Doohickey was replaced by previous owner, i have the stock one in a bag with other random stuff. Checked all the immediately obvious fasteners, header and all exhaust ones were tight, had taken the header off and painted it black last year. Also, might the sound being louder with skid plate on suggest it is less likely to be a vibrating fastener, as skid plate wouldn't affect that much as?

I think the case might hold that wiggling gear/shaft inwards (it aligns with its companion gear when its in, but i can pull it outwards). The idle was fast on purpose, i had sped it up to take the video because it makes the sound more audible. Usually put it 1300-1350 (warm). I had tried a stethoscope earlier, but it picks up so much low pitch churning noises that i cant find the high one. And yes, i think "washer on a spinning shaft" or "washer sliding down shaft" is a very good description of the sound. Sound was definitely louder one right side. Bike has been doing well in the not-vibrating department lately so that might exonerate the balancer somewhat.

By some miracle the bike has done nothing but run better and better since I've gotten it. It actually sounds *good* with the new exhaust... makes some funny extra hissing noises under heavy acceleration and pops under heavy deceleration, but from what ive read that's normalish. Were it not for this ringing i'd be happy as a clam.

And since i *know* i am paranoid about noises, i take you suggesting i go kick the mechanic as you thinking this is not a good noise as well?
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-16-2013, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Update -

The oil pump gear being able to move that much bothers me. I'm not sure if there is anything on the clutch cover/case that would hold that so it didn't move.

I took the oil pump off, that play seems inherent to the fact that the only thing holding that gear into the pump is a small pin.
Also just found a youtube video showing the exact same play and stating it to be normal. There is a small thing on the case that looks like it might align to keep the gear held in.

Something else odd... my Clymer manual clearly says the oil pump rotors should both have a mark on one side of them showing which side faces down... neither of them do. Anyone know for sure if they should have that mark, or if there should be so much in/put play in that gear/shaft?

Last edited by Panzerfaust; 05-16-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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