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Unread 2014-06-15, 02:53 PM   #1
nicksdelslow
 
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Default Vulcan classic crazy oil loss/consumption

Bought my dad a 98 kawasaki Vulcan 1500 classic for Christmas, beautiful bike and runs like a dream. Ran into an issue a few days ago though.

Basic info
98 Vulcan classic
1500 cc
37000 miles
Compression is still great

The bike uses zero oil in town riding. But with in 50 miles of highway riding the bike lost just shy of 2 quarts of oil. The bike DOES NOT leak on the floor not even a drop yet. The top half of the engine is spotless not a drop of oil. The only oil I have found is on the front of the crank case it appears that the split of the crank case may have a slight leak but has yet to leave a drop on the floor. The exhaust is dry and zero oil smoke. I did notice the over flow dropped a few small drops just yesterday but only did so when the bike was running. My concern is that it may be blowing the oil out the vent hose or overflow hose, but I'm at a loss at to how or why.

I did a few general searches but didn't find anything that sounded like the issue I'm dealing with. Any input or ideas would be helpful.
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Unread 2014-06-17, 01:51 PM   #2
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How does the pipe look? Sooty at all?

It's gotta be burning oil. No other logical explanation.

You mentioned over flow dripping a few drops. Is this the coolant? How does the coolant look? Any black floating/swirling oil dots/clumps in it?
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Unread 2014-06-18, 10:02 PM   #3
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Coolant is clear. The exhaust dry black sooty, but not oily like would be expected if that much oil was passing through the exhaust. The oil appears to be coming out of a vent hose from the crank case. Which would explain why the engine shows no oil on the block. I just can't imagine what would cause it or where to even begin.
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Unread 2014-06-19, 04:18 PM   #4
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Sounds like a typical case of pretty bad blowby - the rings aren't sealing up and at continuous higher loads/rpm's the crankcase is getting pressure built up into it and pushing oil out - should be going back into the intake unless someone has modified the PCV system.

If not there then check the valve stem seals and oil drainback passages on the heads - I've seen it where the drainback holes are sludged a bit and too small to handle the oil return and the rocker covers fill up with oil and cause high consumption because the head is filled with oil.

You would be surprised how much oil you can suck down and not see a cloud behind you - try running it at night with someone following behind a bit - run on the highway until you think it's sucking oil - snap the throttle shut and if it's using oil through the guides usually that's enough to create more vacuum to see a little oil - then once you slowed down a bit go wide open throttle and accelerate - if it's rings then you'll see it when you hammer down on the throttle.

Since you said you tested compression and don't see external signs - I'm going to say it's valve stem seals - they can be done in the bike most of the time... For a couple bucks worth of gaskets and seals I'd start there.
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Unread 2014-06-19, 08:50 PM   #5
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Thank you sir I will look into that.
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Unread 2014-06-20, 11:54 AM   #6
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Report back with what you find out. That is a helluva lot of oil in a short amount of time.
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