Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This occurred on my '09 ZX6-R9F recently:

So about a day ago as I did my pre-work bike check I noticed that something seemed unusual about the way my bike was idling. With no FI light on, no oil or fuel or coolant on the ground, and no strange odors or smoke I decided to head down the street and back to see if anything would crop up that I could address. Before I could even get down the street (1/2 mile to a nearby high school parking lot) the bike was bogging down if I let the throttle go so I stopped immediately and shut it down.

One quick look confirmed that there was a low oil level in the bike which is crazy because I checked it the night before and it was nearly full. no oil on the tires, none on the ground. A quick call to a family member had me with several new quarts of oil. The bike never reached over 180ish, so temp was not a problem ( it was around 92F outside at the time) After making sure it was filled back to a proper level I promptly put it right back in the garage and began to tear it down.

Low and Behold! The small plastic oil/water catch from the air system hose had somehow managed to blow a hole in itself to the point it looked like the chest of one of those victims in the Alien movies (from the inside out mind you). Blasting the majority of oil all over my lower fairings and covering it with dirt so quickly that it had not run down onto the ground at all.

With the black charred edges I just assumed that it somehow had caught too much heat from being near my headers (a crack maybe?) but the way it was blown out from the inside indicates internal pressure. (which could be normal, though my NOOB self has no idea yet)

The part about the pressure does have me a bit worried because as someone fairly new to mechanical troubleshooting with bikes, that could mean a number of things if it is not standard. (wouldn't know yet, as it is my first bike. Though I do know that a small amount of oil/water runoff is normal and can be emptied out.)
Once I had it back in the garage the bike itself, idling and revving did not spit any oil at all from the line, until I put it in gear.
Obviously, I cannot ride until my new little plastic container comes in with oil spraying all over a hot exhaust and engine block... and definitely not worth wasting time with a plastic piece if the primary problem is elsewhere and I need to start breaking down components.
So I am here at the home of the forum gods to beg forgiveness for my ignorance.
I am currently looking through my service manual to gain some insight as to what exactly is going on and what I would be looking at doing IF I needed to start planning for more extensive repair.
I was still over 1k miles from my next oil change, oil was properly leveled, new k&n oil filter. Coolant with less than 2k miles and plenty in the system. Mobil1 4t racing 10w40. I don't ride hard either, I have been using it as a daily back and forth to work ATM
Any suggestions or clues as to how something like this could have happened? I am currently thinking a possible cracked exhaust or a case of the actual tube being located too close to it at the very least. However I do not see any visible cracking at this time.
Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

P.S. if you are wondering what catch I am referring to, see the Kawasaki service manual for a 2009 zx6-R9F PDF page 222, Figure 2, A
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,222 Posts
Ok here's what happened.

You panicked about the bike not running right, misjudged your oil level, overfilled it, rode it home, over-pressurized the crank case, excess oil from your crank case made it up the intake box and into the catch bottle and blew all over your bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
?

mhm. ok the other explanation is that I correctly measured slightly less than the max oil fill since I bothered to actually empty the old oil on the spot, so I am pretty sure it was not that which was the initial issue. If you'll note, I did mention that in the text I thought? Besides the actual discovery of the blown out plastic container occurred at that time so according to you, I am also marty mcfly and have a magical delorean which allows me to bring things back to the future.

not sure if trolling or actually thinking you're correct?

Either way I am not the sort of person that panics at much of anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Though I did think about that for a minute after you mentioned it, I had emptied it, not removed the filter(obviously not having an immediate replacement on hand, and put the specified 3.0quarts in (filter not removed) as I keep my handy-dandy pdf on my galaxy. was that an incorrect amount?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,978 Posts
How long have you had the bike? You mentioned it's your first -- congrats -- how many miles/days experience with it do you have?

What modifications do you know have been done to the bike? Pictures here, would likely help quite a bit.

My guess is that someone installed a mod to the air injection system so they could run an aftermarket exhaust without popping, and it's buggered up somehow. That's really the only area that would pump engine oil into the intake. That should be the only path for oil to get to that drain line.

This assumes we're talking about the same line and catch bottle.

The airbox oil catch bottle shouldn't ever overfill in normal street riding. It's purpose is to give any oil mist from the crankcase EGR valve a place to drain away to, to reduce the chance of hydraulic lock.

As you have mentioned that the line you are concerned with is near the header, I have to wonder if we are talking about the same thing. Again, pics would help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,223 Posts
It's common for those plastic reservoirs to have a little oil in them and it is also common for a hole to wear in them. Sounds like just the small amount of oil that was in it drained out inside your fairings. It will splatter all over in there from the wind when you ride it. Now, that hole should not cause your bike to bog but you should get a new catch bottle on there. You could at least plug the line and take it for a short ride to make sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the helpful information on that guys! Sorry about the late reply this is the first real day I have had off in a while since I am in the process of trying to move right now.

I have had the bike itself since last November and have only put about 2kish miles on it but did take the time to ride quite a bit before I ever purchased it. (friend of mine just happened to have two 600 bikes, taught me on his R6 while he zipped around on his cbr). I ride pretty reserved most of the time but I constantly keep my corner awareness going and keep making little improvements all the time. Mechanically, he made sure I knew what was what with basics before ever letting me sit on the bike. Also had time to speak with my brother, he's been riding for about 20 years now everything from cruisers to sport bikes and has constantly been going through the basic and advanced safety and handling courses on different military bases. I personally cannot wait to get moved so I can relax and ride a lot again.

If anyone knows the best areas to go riding around Virginia that are not too far from Richmond, let me know.

There are very few modifications. When I got it it was completely stock save for color (which didn't matter, just silver stripes still factory fairings and no scrapes) and an aftermarket Slip on exhaust its the MGP style (not an m4, I believe its hotbodies racing). Even had a brand new set of michelin 2ct tires.

I did the following: Immediately changed coolant, changed oil and filter to k&n and mobil 1 4t, replaced the worn sprockets and chain with a new vortex 520 sprocket and chain kit steel, added a 12oclock labs speedo corrector, added a power commander v with a map for my little slip-on exhaust and a new integrated tail light from competition werkes since the previous owner had some really tiny and dull cheap turn signals on it.

I did not get a chance to look it over yet.. but that is happening today as I am tired of it sitting there looking sad.

Yes we are talking about the same catch bottle, located near the exhaust. I had mentioned in the original post the exact page you can find the diagram of this catch in the pdf manual for this bike.

Pics coming soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,139 Posts
Ok here's what happened.

You panicked about the bike not running right, misjudged your oil level, overfilled it, rode it home, over-pressurized the crank case, excess oil from your crank case made it up the intake box and into the catch bottle and blew all over your bike.
This guy is not "blowing smoke" or trolling, as you put it. I think he could be spot on! There is no way you can judge the oil level in your bike through the glass window right after riding it! I have the same bike as you and it would take at least a half hour after stopping the bike to get an accurate oil reading. Oil only gets into the air box from the crankcase vent line, usually only after overfilling the crank case with oil.

If I were you, the very first thing I would do before going further is to drain the oil, measure the quantity if possible, and refill until half way up the glass window. Then I would run the bike at idle for five minutes, then let the bike sit. Come back an hour later and add oil until the glass is half full, if necessary. After that, unless there is oil on the ground in significant quantities, don't keep checking the oil level when the bike has just run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
^^

That is a good thought, but the problem is.. again .. that I pre-measured the oil during the previous change and made sure to check several times before ever riding off.

The problem was pre-existing is what I have been trying to say.

In other words, it would be very very very VERY slim chances that it was too full.
Also, from a physical standpoint and knowing somewhat about engines:
If that had been the original issue, I am fairly sure that the problem would've happened shortly after filling the oil originally and not 2200 miles later after multiple checks and rides.

Would that be incorrect?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,978 Posts
If there is not too much oil in the cases, then there has to be too much pressure, which is blowing the oil into the bottle. The EGR valve is supposed to recycle the oil fog in the cases to the intake so it can be burned off rather than venting it to the atmosphere.

Personally, I'd be happier with too much oil. If there is a problem with the rings, that will get expensive quickly.

The best way to resolve what is going on is to do a compression check. Make sure the rings are providing the seal between the cases and the cylinders that are supposed to be there.

You would get some insight by pulling the spark plugs and checking their condition. If they are oily, you might have a problem. If they are not uniform in appearance, you might have a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well in that case it would seem its time to dig in deeper. Since I am going to be doing all this anyways.. does anyone happen to know the part number on the NGK iridium spark plugs I should be using to replace the current ones.

If I going to do all this I am doing it right the first time.

Would it be the cr9eix NGK Iridium IX plugs? I already know the standard is the cr9e with the .028 gap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Photos- plugs and residue.

The following are some photos of my spark plugs just pulled. 2nd and 3rd plugs respectively. followed by some other shots of areas being worked on while I have this opened up.

You can see the residue on my finger as I rolled the plug thread across to see what would come off. Definitely a tacky feeling substance, seems to me they are all covered similarly with it. could be oil?>. Following up with a picture of my finger and oil freshly drained to show difference in coloration and viscosity.

the residue on the plugs is tacky and grimy feeling, does not feel like engine oil at all though I imagine with heat and pressure.. could be. :/
Though it could also just be grease and grime.
Thoughts?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
last photo.

For reference for earlier comments this is an up close of the area I described the oil catch being originally located at. The actual hose and clamp being in the top right. The burned up oil catch .. in the trash where it belongs.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,110 Posts
Well, I hate to tell you this Mr. McFly, but those plugs look terrible. Looks like oil on them, but a compression test would give you the real answer you're looking for. Anyway you can hop in your time machine and get your money back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Figured. Dirtiest I've ever seen. Good thing I like to work on stuff. Compression test it is. Though I will probably just end up doing a full on tear-down anyways. I already have a new set of plugs on the way. Just going to go ahead and get the test done and see whats what.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,139 Posts
That is a good thought, but the problem is.. again .. that I pre-measured the oil during the previous change and made sure to check several times before ever riding off.

The problem was pre-existing is what I have been trying to say.

In other words, it would be very very very VERY slim chances that it was too full.
Also, from a physical standpoint and knowing somewhat about engines:
If that had been the original issue, I am fairly sure that the problem would've happened shortly after filling the oil originally and not 2200 miles later after multiple checks and rides.

Would that be incorrect?
I was picturing you stopped at the side of the road somewhere, calling a friend to bring you some oil, and then (over) filling it accidentally since you are not in your garage under more controlled conditions; easy mistake. If your engine is blowing oil past the rings and/ or ingesting oil being pumped into the airbox it would produce the same burnt oil on the plugs. I like the idea of the compression test, except that it is my understanding that adding oil to the combustion chamber can increase the compression on a bad cylinder. So, if the compression is low you know you have a problem, but if the compression is normal it could be either a well sealing cylinder...or not. I look forward to following your diagnostics and hope for the best possible outcome..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,978 Posts
If you have oil physically dripping off the plug(s)...... wow. You've shown us two of the plugs. How do the rest of them look?

What does the engine oil look like? I would expect it to be getting dirty very quickly, if you have the sort of blow by I would expect you to have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Holy Update Batman!!

UPDATE:

All of the original problem was fixed. Fresh iridium spark plugs, driven block off plates installed, fresh oil filter, fresh oil change (measured, checked and rechecked), cleaned the air box out and checked the air filter.

purrs like a hungry tiger. NO OIL LEAKAGE :) or FI light.

Now my only issue is that because of the change to the air system my PCV is reading much differently.. and is running the injectors so rich they're trying to blast fuel out of the top-side injection sites. I guess there's always something!

If anyone knows of a properly calibrated map for my bike in particular (09 zx6r, block off plates, hotbodies slip on exhaust, stock filter) to solve this please let me know so I can remap it. otherwise I'm just going to ride it stock up to the nearest shop and have them tune it. (about an hour away.) I checked online through the power commander site and found about 20 but nothing as specific as block off plates or my particular exhaust.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top