Rod knocking? lmao fml.... - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Rod knocking? lmao fml....

So now that I have my vstar 1100 running perfectly and nice and quiet, i can now hear a very subtle quiet knocking coming from the engine. Doesn't happen all the time, only during certain rpms. Like when cruising in third gear in town, at a certain speed/rpm, i'll start to hear the very faint noise of knocking. Also, not a knocking from lugging the engine.

Sooooo is it a rod knocking? And if it is a rod knocking, would it only happen during certain rpms? Like i said, it comes and goes, and i only hear it because i'm ocd with my bike and how it sounds lol. When it happens, if i keep it at the same rpm, it will continue knocking. If i increase/decrease the throttle even by a little bit, it goes away.
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:18 AM
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I had an aircooled VW many years ago that had a bad connecting rod when I got it (saleman told me it was the exhaust)

I drove it to college for a year that way till it finally broke loss and smashed the piston into the head.

The thing I observed is I could hear it the best while holding a steady speed, or just slightly letting off the gas at a steady speed. I think the reason is that is when the piston is being pulled in both directions by the crankshaft with no real force on it - the expanded fuel is not pushing it down, and the compressed air is not holding it back on the exhaust stroke, so the bearing hits the rod at both the top and bottom of the strokes. Sounded like shaking a coffee can with a metal ball bearing in it.

You just adjusted the valves, where any of them tight? its possible you did not tighten the lock nut down on one of them and its coming loose, making the tappet noisy. But a tappet should sound the same all the time.

If it is a connecting rod you dont want to let it go for long, because the oil lubrication system depends on all the bearings being sound with the correct clearances. If you have one bad bearing the oil pressure will leak out thru that one, dropping the oil pressure for the entire engine, and soon all your other bearings will wear because the pressurize layer of oil between the bearing and the rotating surface is not as high as it should be.

On my VW the oil pressure light would flicker when the engine was hot and idling. I dont think there is a place to add an oil pressure sensor on the engine, or if a slightly knocking rod bearing would drop the pressure enough to notice, esp since you would have to know the idle speed oil pressure for a good engine with the same weight oil.

This might be a case where an experienced mechanic with trained ears needs to take the bike for a ride.
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Last edited by KCW; 08-19-2019 at 10:21 AM.
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
I had an aircooled VW many years ago that had a bad connecting rod when I got it (saleman told me it was the exhaust)

I drove it to college for a year that way till it finally broke loss and smashed the piston into the head.

The thing I observed is I could hear it the best while holding a steady speed, or just slightly letting off the gas at a steady speed. I think the reason is that is when the piston is being pulled in both directions by the crankshaft with no real force on it - the expanded fuel is not pushing it down, and the compressed air is not holding it back on the exhaust stroke, so the bearing hits the rod at both the top and bottom of the strokes. Sounded like shaking a coffee can with a metal ball bearing in it.

You just adjusted the valves, where any of them tight? its possible you did not tighten the lock nut down on one of them and its coming loose, making the tappet noisy. But a tappet should sound the same all the time.

If it is a connecting rod you dont want to let it go for long, because the oil lubrication system depends on all the bearings being sound with the correct clearances. If you have one bad bearing the oil pressure will leak out thru that one, dropping the oil pressure for the entire engine, and soon all your other bearings will wear because the pressurize layer of oil between the bearing and the rotating surface is not as high as it should be.

On my VW the oil pressure light would flicker when the engine was hot and idling. I dont think there is a place to add an oil pressure sensor on the engine, or if a slightly knocking rod bearing would drop the pressure enough to notice, esp since you would have to know the idle speed oil pressure for a good engine with the same weight oil.

This might be a case where an experienced mechanic with trained ears needs to take the bike for a ride.
Yeah when I adjusted the valves, 3 of them were tighter than spec. Had to loosen all 3 and set them and readjust. The noise was there before the valve adjustment. But it started after running the bike at max speed for 15 mins, that one night. So I think the rod bearing turned or got worse.

I'm guessing it's not an easy job to get in there and change the rod bearing eh? hahah
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn855 View Post
So now that I have my vstar 1100 running perfectly and nice and quiet, i can now hear a very subtle quiet knocking coming from the engine. Doesn't happen all the time, only during certain rpms. Like when cruising in third gear in town, at a certain speed/rpm, i'll start to hear the very faint noise of knocking. Also, not a knocking from lugging the engine.

Sooooo is it a rod knocking? And if it is a rod knocking, would it only happen during certain rpms? Like i said, it comes and goes, and i only hear it because i'm ocd with my bike and how it sounds lol. When it happens, if i keep it at the same rpm, it will continue knocking. If i increase/decrease the throttle even by a little bit, it goes away.
Can you try the old large, long, wooden handled screwdriver as stethoscope trick? Put the blade here and there on the engine, handle to your ear, vary the throttle up and down and maybe pin point the source of the noise? It may also help identify it. Amazing how much it helps with internal clicks and clacks.

If it doesn't do it while not in gear, that may also be a clue.
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:57 AM
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What weight of oil are you using. Did you go down on viscosity? Older engines with looser bearings will start to knock going from 20w50 to a 20w40. I nursed a rod knock for years with 20w60 weight in my younger days when I didn't have expertise to rebuild engine.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
I had an aircooled VW many years ago that had a bad connecting rod when I got it (saleman told me it was the exhaust)

I drove it to college for a year that way till it finally broke loss and smashed the piston into the head.

The thing I observed is I could hear it the best while holding a steady speed, or just slightly letting off the gas at a steady speed. I think the reason is that is when the piston is being pulled in both directions by the crankshaft with no real force on it - the expanded fuel is not pushing it down, and the compressed air is not holding it back on the exhaust stroke, so the bearing hits the rod at both the top and bottom of the strokes. Sounded like shaking a coffee can with a metal ball bearing in it.

You just adjusted the valves, where any of them tight? its possible you did not tighten the lock nut down on one of them and its coming loose, making the tappet noisy. But a tappet should sound the same all the time.

If it is a connecting rod you dont want to let it go for long, because the oil lubrication system depends on all the bearings being sound with the correct clearances. If you have one bad bearing the oil pressure will leak out thru that one, dropping the oil pressure for the entire engine, and soon all your other bearings will wear because the pressurize layer of oil between the bearing and the rotating surface is not as high as it should be.

On my VW the oil pressure light would flicker when the engine was hot and idling. I dont think there is a place to add an oil pressure sensor on the engine, or if a slightly knocking rod bearing would drop the pressure enough to notice, esp since you would have to know the idle speed oil pressure for a good engine with the same weight oil.

This might be a case where an experienced mechanic with trained ears needs to take the bike for a ride.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesblank View Post
What weight of oil are you using. Did you go down on viscosity? Older engines with looser bearings will start to knock going from 20w50 to a 20w40. I nursed a rod knock for years with 20w60 weight in my younger days when I didn't have expertise to rebuild engine.
The previous owner has been using 10w40 so i've been doing the same. Temperature out here ranges from 23C (73F) to 35C(95F). Should i be running thicker oil? I know the first number is cold temp/starting temp, and the second number is running temp.
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn855 View Post
The previous owner has been using 10w40 so i've been doing the same. Temperature out here ranges from 23C (73F) to 35C(95F). Should i be running thicker oil? I know the first number is cold temp/starting temp, and the second number is running temp.
At 95 degrees that's Houston temperature. I ran 20w50 year round on my 1100. You will get many different responses on oil weight, I'm just reporting what has worked for years in my bikes.
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Hrmmm okay, maybe I should try 15w50 oil and see if that changes anything.

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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Question: I just did the oil change 2 weeks ago (10w40). Can i just drain it, and leave the oil filter in there and just add 15w50? Or would i need to drain it and replace the filter as well?

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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Shawn855 View Post
Question: I just did the oil change 2 weeks ago (10w40). Can i just drain it, and leave the oil filter in there and just add 15w50? Or would i need to drain it and replace the filter as well?
Manual says to change filter every other oil change (8000 miles). I would just drain and put in new oil.

2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

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