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Old April 25th, 2022, 02:06 PM   #1
Chocula
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Reviving 2007 Ninja 250

I have started working on a 2007 Ninja 250 that has been sitting outdoors under a tarp for the last 4 - 5 years. Gave it a bath, drained the fuel, cleaned the carburetors and put in new spark plugs.

She starts now but is a little rough. I let idle for about 2 minutes. When I drained the oil, it looked like a cappuccino. I pulled the filter and let that drain overnight.

According to the owner, it was running when she parked it, but occasionally had trouble shifting out of higher gears.

Coolant looks clean in radiator and overflow and is still full.
Brake rotors look good with slight surface rust, pads still have some depth.
Plastics are in great shape. No indication of physical damage.
Electrical all seems in good shape.
Makes a loud knocking when first starting, but so does my wife's 2006 Ninja 250.
Spot rust on the top of the forks, past where the seals travel. No leaks around seals.
No leaks around brakes.
Tires are date coded to 2016 and have good tread, no visible issues and still had air in them.

Current known issues:
1. How did the water get into the oil (blown head gasket, water pump, condensation, etc?)
2. Clutch does not currently disengage. I played with the adjusters for a few minutes, but have not spent much time on that yet. I suspect the cappuccino oil may be gumming the plates.
3. Chain had surface rust. Gave it a light cleaning and it moves freely at least for now.
4. Battery is shot (using one borrowed from another bike at the moment).


Considering I don't own any cylinder pressure gages to do a leak down test. What would be your recommendations?
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Old April 25th, 2022, 04:31 PM   #2
thedrewski86
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Sounds like rain got in the crankcase. Not too surprising seeing as it was parked outside under a tarp. I suspect the knocking and the clutch non-disengagement are linked.
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Old April 25th, 2022, 11:59 PM   #3
DannoXYZ
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Pre-gens have known issue with rubber centres on clutch disintegrating and causing knocking noises. Common upgrade is to replace with new-gen clutch.
https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=259395

Blown-headgasket very likely. Best to get compression-gauge to test. Can rent from AutoZone for free. Then you'd know for sure before spending lots of time and money fixing it.

Another easy check is to see if coolant-levels drop. Remove overflow hose from and top-off radiator. Then run bike for 5-minutes. Let this cool off and verify you have milkshake for oil. Then check radiator cap. If level has dropped, you know where coolant went.

Good Luck!

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; April 26th, 2022 at 10:20 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2022, 09:04 PM   #4
Chocula
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Pulled the clutch cover on my lunch break. The plates were "stuck" together but popped apart pretty easily when I was only apply force to one at a time. I did not see anything that looked scary inside. Once the plates were separate, I reassembled loosely and could spin the rear wheel until I tightened the bolts on the basket. Waiting on a replacement gasket before reassembly.

Inside was not ad dirty as I feared. There was still a little cappuccino where the oil pooled but mostly drained away. I was able to clean a bit more out with the clutch cover off so hopefully another oil change or 3 will get most of it.

None of my 3 auto parts stores had a compression tester with the right size adapter, so I purchased a cheap one from Harbor Freight.
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Old May 8th, 2022, 09:35 PM   #5
Chocula
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I rubbed down the clutch plates with oil then reassembled and torqued everything. New filter and fresh oil.

Ran the bike for about about 5 minutes then did a compression test. Both cylinders were similar but lower than spec. I expected this based on the review of the gauge indicating it would read extremely low when used on small displacement engines due to the hose to the gauge expanding.

Oil still looks like oil, which is encouraging. I am still now sure how the water got in. No change in the coolant level after running for a few minutes. No white smoke, etc.

I pulled the carbs, much easier the second time, and cleaned again. Found a couple issue and some fresh gunk in one of the carbs and a clogged jet. I should probably add an inline fuel filter. I had switched the floats when I hot tanked it so the levels were high on one and low on the other. I swapped them back and they measure correctly. I used a spray can of carb cleaner instead of the hot tank this time, allowing me to validate fluid flowing through the inside passages.
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Old May 13th, 2022, 11:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocula View Post
I rubbed down the clutch plates with oil then reassembled and torqued everything. New filter and fresh oil.

Ran the bike for about about 5 minutes then did a compression test. Both cylinders were similar but lower than spec. I expected this based on the review of the gauge indicating it would read extremely low when used on small displacement engines due to the hose to the gauge expanding.

Oil still looks like oil, which is encouraging. I am still now sure how the water got in. No change in the coolant level after running for a few minutes. No white smoke, etc.

I pulled the carbs, much easier the second time, and cleaned again. Found a couple issue and some fresh gunk in one of the carbs and a clogged jet. I should probably add an inline fuel filter. I had switched the floats when I hot tanked it so the levels were high on one and low on the other. I swapped them back and they measure correctly. I used a spray can of carb cleaner instead of the hot tank this time, allowing me to validate fluid flowing through the inside passages.
Awesome! Glad to hear the Ninja went back to the road without too much resistance, these bikes have great shelf life (as long as you don't consider taking the carbs out multiple times resistance lol).
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