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Newbie Questions

Juan Gomez Oct 16, 2019

  1. Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez New Member

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    Hey Guys, I recently got a 1985 ZL900 off my local craigslist.

    A quick rundown on it: Pods & rejet, custom 4-2-1 exhaust with jardine slip-on, tank sealed inside, brand new tires, leather redone on seat, some aftermarket mirrors, aftermarket turn signals, and lastly it had a fresh matte black paint on tank/fenders/accessory panels.

    It has 30k miles and I got it for 1.2k . I think it's a little high but for all the add-ons I don't mind.

    I deleted the passenger seat, pegs, and hand rail for a sleeker look. I also took of the radiator cover which is my first question.

    1) Will I encounter any issues running this bike with no radiator cover? I find it is a bulky ugly piece and probably doesn't add much in aerodynamic efficiency, anyone here run no cover?

    2) My second question is whether anyone has been able to open up a speedometer. Mine had a bouncing speedo which I diagnosed to be an issue inside the gauge since the cable is good. Then my needle broke off LOL. I saw a post where it was basically said you have to get a new one do to the difficulty, is it true?

    3) Final question, the first day I got it I rode it home some 18 miles. It was smoking white right under the tank and when I stopped at a gas station it wouldn't start up despite the starter cranking. I let it sit for some time and added fuel as I thought maybe it was stale. It started right up after the new fuel and has never given smoke again. The other day I took off the oil cap and saw chunky oil as if some coolant got in. I understand this is a water pump issue, correct? Can someone tell me where the heck the water pump is and maybe give me an idea of what else can be an issue if not the WP. I'm going to do my oil change tomorrow and will look closely for coolant in it, but the oil I can see looks good, only the cap had the chunky coolant oil substance.

    Sorry for the long post, these are topics I couldn't find anything on search for. I appreciate any replies.

    Let me know how I did on the purchase btw :D
     

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  2. Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez New Member

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    Also wondering whether anyone has succesfully cut their duckbill? it sticks out so far I'd like it to end right under the tail light. Has this been done?
     
  3. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

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    CUT IT OFF! :laughing7:
    cutoff.jpg
     
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  4. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Supporting Member

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    Pressure test the coolant system at the fill cap and listen for gurgling of a head gasket leak.

    I think your SOL on the speedo but if it's broke already tear into it.

    Good luck on your new ride.
     
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  5. prfixer

    prfixer Senior Member Supporting Member

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  6. prfixer

    prfixer Senior Member Supporting Member

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    Water pump is in front of the shifter. Follow the lower radiator hose back to the left side of the engine, it goes into a metal pipe, metal pipe goes to pump.
     
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  7. Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez New Member

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    Looks much nicer, most likely will once I decide this is truly my bike and not something I'd flip
     
  8. Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez New Member

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    Nice, sounds pretty straight forward. The coolant flows from block to head? know of any other ways the oil / water mixture can happen ?

    will look into it, might go aftermarket if its too much of a PITA. Also thanks for the water pump tip.
     
  9. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Supporting Member

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    Flow direction or thermostat does not affect pressure on the coolant side. If the pressure leaks down there is a bad seal, which is usually the head gasket.

    Chunky oil is neglect, milkshake looking oil is coolant contamination.
     
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  10. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Oil in the Coolant/ Coolant in the Oil, blown head gasket usually, lumpy oil coolant in there n' possible complete neglect of changing the oil/Filter regularly! Duckbill n' chrome rack distinguishes the bike from a host of bland styling, sets the look off IMHO. If you cut/shorten i the original part ruined n' take off the rack styling becomes bland. Perhaps therefore buy another bike more to your liking!
     
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  11. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Juan Gomez likes this.
  12. 87kawzl

    87kawzl Supporting Member

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  13. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Good point, I wasn't old enough to see the "Chopper cult" but when I see what some did to BSA's n' Triumphs, n' Harleys mainly it was CRIMINAL!
     
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  14. Harriminator

    Harriminator Senior Member

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    Would be 'The Miami Chain Saw Massacre'; invite R. J. :laughing7: or try this:
    images(2).jpg :D
     
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  15. wuputt

    wuputt ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Technical Author Supporting Member

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    I will bet it was only condensation in your oil. Very seldom get coolant in the oil.
     
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  16. R. J.

    R. J. Supporting Member

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  17. Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez New Member

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    I don't like the chrome rack because I'm mostly a fan of bobbers, less stuff back there is sexier to me :). I see your point, probably won't chop anything but to me the bike is made by its low profile and the engine, couldn't care less for the rear fender area.

    LOL, I was looking at what a chrome rack runs for and wowie. Def wont be ruining anything, maybe fab a inner fender like you said.... definitely agree with you on not butchering a part that someone may need......

    I think you are right, I flushed out the oil and found that it is really normal looking. I opened up the crank case breather box (thing under the stock airbox) and it was FULL of gunk. Looks like whoever put pods on decided they would leave that hole with just a crappy little filter (looks like a mini pod but doesnt filter anything), and it let a bunch of water in. HUGE weight off my back right there.
    Nice, will look into these.

    THANKS FELLAS ILL BE ON THE ROAD IN NO TIME WITH HELP LIKE THIS:thumbsup:
     
  18. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I hope it is only condensation, but as everyone would/ should know, if someone doesn't change the oil n' filter regularly engines get stressed n' things blow!
     
  19. Trojan441

    Trojan441 Well-Known Member

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    If I had a engine that had a mild condensation problem! i would get a cheapest suitable oil! Take it, the bike on a good 500 mile run, a good day out! Dawn to Dusk get the engine to operating temperature for as many hours in one go, 250- 400 miles, then bring it home hot n' then drop the oil out n' change the filter n' oil to a higher spec!
     
  20. Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez New Member

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    Hey guys, so I flushed the oil and actually ran some old oil I had laying around in it for a little while and it looks good..... The original oil that I bought the bike with is kind of brown but not sludgy at all.

    The one that I flushed through didn’t show any signs of picking up coolant.

    I put in some fresh Rotella and a new filter, I’ll run this for 500 miles and keep a close eye for abnormalities.

    I had a new question... today I washed the bike real good and after I noticed something weird. When I turn the key to on, the clicking sound from the blinkers comes on.

    The blinkers operate as normal as well as the hazards, but the clicking sound starts as soon as the key is put in on and never stops. Anyone got some idea what this is? I hate electrical gremlins :/

    Lastly, theres an oil leak coming from the shifter. It’s only a couple drops after hours of sitting but I hate leaks. Anyone know whats missing there to seal it up? Must be a rubber seal behind the shift linkage or something....
     

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