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87 Zl1000 lifter ticking noise

Mitchell May 3, 2018

  1. Mitchell

    Mitchell Member

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    Hello all my name is Mitchell and I’m a new ish owner of an 87 Zl1000. Apart from the slew of issues this motorcycle had, Ive taken care of most of them. It’s safe to drive on the road now.

    That brings me to the engine, it has a pronounced tick when cold, and goes away aclfter about 10 minutes of riding. The person I purchased it from had it diagnosed as a sticking valve on cylinder #2. The engine doesn’t miss a beat when idling or driving.

    I’ve ran a can and a half of sea foam through it hoping that would help. It hasn’t and with the recent oil change I made on the bike the noise seems to have gotten more pronounced and louder.

    Is there any additive I can add to the actual oil to help solve this? I’m thinking in my head how the oil also goes through the transmission and clutch and adding something like MMO or other mineral type solvents might damage something or make something slip that shouldn’t slip. I’m not a mechanic so that logic could be flawed.

    Has anyone ever had an experience like this? Are oil additives safe to use on this old engine? Any help would be appreciated thanks in advance
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Senior Member

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    It's more than likely your timing chain tensioner needing pulled out and reset. It may also be time for a valve adjustment. They are easy to do because it is a threaded stud and lock nut style, not the "shim under bucket" that require a special tool and different thickness shims to set valve lash.

    Download the manual, pull the tensioner and reinstall as described in the book. That should quiet things down for you.
     
  3. R. J.

    R. J. Senior Member

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    :hello: Does the noise seem to go away or get less as you rev the motor. You can buy a automotive stethoscope to better isolate the noise.
     
  4. Mitchell

    Mitchell Member

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    Yes it goes away at about 2.5 k.
     
  5. R. J.

    R. J. Senior Member

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    :hello: You can do 2 of 1 things either up grade to the 2006 ZG 1000 auto cam chain adjuster or buy a manual one.
     
  6. Ducky Dog

    Ducky Dog Active Member

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    My two cents ,,, for what its worth,,,,,,
    It may just be a sticky valve (as previously diagnosed) (valve noise is a tiny tick as a sloppy chain is much noisier)
    I suggest first off a fresh oil change
    then try this old trick from the automotive world,,,,
    remove the air filter, get the engine warm, the spray some ATF into the intake and rev the engine so it sucks in the ATF
    yes it will smoke like hell for a little while but will soon clear up
    what this does is the ATF gets in the intake tract and combustion chamber and cleans and lubes the other side of the valve stem where carbon builds up

    This may help unstick the valve and wont hurt anything
     
  7. R. J.

    R. J. Senior Member

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    :hello: I've heard of that. :notworthy:. Also I known of guys doing that with sea foam.
     
  8. Mitchell

    Mitchell Member

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    ATF as in automatic transmission fluid?
     
  9. markus56

    markus56 ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    Yes.....it's sure worth a try.
     
  10. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Senior Member

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    I'm still thinking it is a valve adjustment issue or timing chain tensioner needing reset. If it had a slew of issues from PO it probably hasn't had the valves adjusted. Personally I wouldn't believe a diagnosis from someone selling me a bike that needed alot of attention.

    Sticky valve, sorry got to call bs on that. more than likely a lack of maintenance.
     
  11. Mitchell

    Mitchell Member

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    I’m thinking you’re correct. Lifter tick does sound like bull. I just hope I don’t damage anything by trying to reset the tensioner. I’ve read the manual it seems easy enough to do. Might even buy a manual one
     
  12. Mitchell

    Mitchell Member

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    UPDATE

    Ordered a manual tensioner. Adjusted it. Noise is completely gone.
     
  13. R. J.

    R. J. Senior Member

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    :hello: Glad it was just the tensioner.
     
  14. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Senior Member

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    Glad to hear you've got it sorted.
     
  15. Mitchell

    Mitchell Member

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    Thanks for your input gents. So happy that’s sorted out :)
     

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