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Kawasaki KZ550 motorcycle

I took the cover off again and seen what I did wrong. I had the gasket on backwards. So air was able to get out.

Glad you got it solved OP. I’ve heard of diy’ers getting car-engine head gaskets on backwards, but sometimes even when the head gasket is backwards the car still seems to run ok. Eventually a problem usually develops b/c one cylinder or one section of the engine won’t be getting a good-enough supply of oil or coolant.

I still find it odd that you have a noticeable volume of air coming out of the valve cover. It’s coming from the combustion chamber. I don’t see valve cover gaskets, with permatex or not, being able to hold it back.

Are the piston rings that worn on the engine?

You said you replaced the head gasket.

  • Did you use the correct gasket?
  • Did you check for warpage in the head?
  • Did you torque the head bolts correctly?

First this is a motorcycle. The gasket is correct. There are 2 air chambers or something on each side of the bike. Because the gasket was not on right it did not seal these chambers and it was leaking. It would be easier to show you a picture. It is much quieter now. It seemed to be running better today. Still a little missing. Of course if the battery was that drained that could have caused that problem. Hard to test it out in town, need to open it up. Turned over slow once I shut it off and tried to start it when I got back home. Thought it could be a timing problem, but after it cooled it still turned over slow. Battery couple months old but could be bad. It is a crappy road runner battery but under free replacement warranty yet.

yes did torque no did not check if warped. no more leaking now anyway.

Charge the battery. If it still breaks up at high revs it could be a lot of things. Old spark plugs, old spark plug wires, if it has points they could off a bit, the condenser could be failing, and if the float levels are low in the carbs that can cause sputtering at high revs. But I’d start with the battery. Check the voltage when the engine is running. As you rev it the voltage should go up to around 13.5.

I believe the problem is that the head gasket blew out again. That is why it ran ok for a while and kept getting worse after that. As the gasket started to get worse perhaps. I will have to pull it apart again when I get a chance, Maybe in a few months.

Check the head and block decks for warpage with a straight edge and get the milled if necessary before you install another HG.

Yes thank you I will do that when I get a chance to take it apart again. Could be a few months.