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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:04 AM   #1
Navigon
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Took off fuel tank and petcock is dripping gas...

Hi I had some help yesterday taking off the fuel tank to clean my carbs after the bike was sitting for a few months. I noticed after removing the hoses for the fuel and vacuum line that gas has been leaking out of the vacuum line (like maybe one drop every 15 seconds). Is this normal after removing the fuel tank? It was sitting on the drive way and the only reason I noticed was because there was a small puddle forming under the tank.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:22 AM   #2
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You must replace or repair the petcock. I would strongly suggest a new one. If you leane it gas can seep past the carb while the bike is parked. This leads to thin oil and bearing /engine failure. You will not know what happen. This is a lucky find.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:51 AM   #3
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Same thing happened to me. You can get parts to rebuild it or buy a new one.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:12 AM   #4
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Is this a common problem?
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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Common, I wouldn't say it's so much a common thing. When you took off the tank, did you set it down on the petcock? Could it have been damaged in any way while it was off the bike?
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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i wouldn't say it common but, a 5 year old vacuum operated part with rubber internals is bound to wear out sooner or later.

eta: i recommend replacing it with a new one
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Old February 1st, 2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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Give this a try

http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=5DqvB_5gP20
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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Thanks y'all, the gas is actually dripping out of the gas line not the vacuum line, would I still need to replace? If the floats are valved wouldn't that prevent the carbs from over leaking to the engine? I don't think I damaged it but I did turn the metal L thing that the rubber hose attaches to thinking that was the on and prime switch... Would that damage the petcock?
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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Oh my gosh... We are terrible.

Welcome Richard, start an intro thread in the new members section. Hope you get your leak fixed. That video looks promising.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:34 PM   #10
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Yeah that video looks like its for a standard not a vacuum prime and on only petcock, thanks tho slick415!
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:43 PM   #11
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Is this a common problem?
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Yes. A lot of us have leaky EX250J petcocks.

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Common, I wouldn't say it's so much a common thing.
Except that it is. If you search, you'll see. Not everyone investigates why, but there is a common defect inside the petcock with a plastic-like ring (Teflon?) that is not a complete ring for the petcock to seal against.

Mine leaks too and my oil smells like gas and my cam chain rattles (probably way out of spec), so racer x's warning is particularly relevant.

Edit: Here's why.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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I guess common is "relative". I have had 10+ bikes in my life, some old and some new and still have never had to rebuild a petcock. Am I lucky?

It's a seal, it will fail at some point like many other seals on the bike. It's common to change the oil, it's not common to rebuild the petcock but it is "expected" at the end of it's lifespan.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 12:55 PM   #13
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I bet I just jinxed myself. I bet I will have to rebuild a petcock this year. lol
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:04 PM   #14
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I guess common is "relative". I have had 10+ bikes in my life, some old and some new and still have never had to rebuild a petcock. Am I lucky?

It's a seal, it will fail at some point like many other seals on the bike. It's common to change the oil, it's not common to rebuild the petcock but it is "expected" at the end of it's lifespan.
The problem is that most people have no idea and others never investigate that far. I had no idea except that Casey mentioned it getting a bit of gas on his floor when he did my valve job.

Also, instead of "leaky petcock" threads, you see "exploded cam chain!" threads. It's a LOT more common than you'd think.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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fair enough.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:08 PM   #16
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fair enough.
Also, I edited this in above so you might have missed it:
http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=44054
It's not always a simple case of "seals fail." There's a genuine defect that we should all be aware of.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 02:26 PM   #17
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:16 PM   #18
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You don't want to rely in the carb needle as a seal. You will not notice the little bit of gas seeping into the oil.

I have seen this a lot . The flat aluminum part that turns gets pitted.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:34 PM   #19
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It's not dead enough
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:43 PM   #20
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I'm pretty sure it's dead enough.

Parts need replacing. Things need adjusted. Things break. It's part of owning a vehicle. For $60, you can get a brand new petcock that works perfectly and never have to worry about it again. Just replace it and consider it a rite of passage.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 01:07 AM   #21
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I'm pretty sure it's dead enough.

Parts need replacing. Things need adjusted. Things break. It's part of owning a vehicle. For $60, you can get a brand new petcock that works perfectly and never have to worry about it again. Just replace it and consider it a rite of passage.
Ah! There it is. We have a basic misunderstanding about the type of issue.

If it's the petcock problem we were warning him about then it's not something that broke and then needed replacing, as you suggest. See? It's something that never worked and caused serious and expensive seemingly-unrelated collateral damage to the rest of the engine for me and other unsuspecting newgen users. It's also something that people would overlook as the cause of their engine trouble and specifically choose to do nothing about, assuming they ever even knew about the leak. Note racer x's quote above: "you will not know what happen[ed]." The only way some people can know is if we talk about it. I know I would have appreciated the warning. Even once I knew about the leak, I made no connection with my gassy-smelling oil because:
A) I didn't know oil wasn't supposed to smell like that (both are petroleum products),
B) it happened very fast after each oil change,
C) no one I inquired with about the smell warned me, and
D) I had no idea how gas flowing from where it was meant to flow would get in my oil.

I didn't know what was up until my cam chain started making a horrible racket.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 09:41 AM   #22
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Ah! There it is. We have a basic misunderstanding about the type of issue.

If it's the petcock problem we were warning him about then it's not something that broke and then needed replacing, as you suggest. See?
I've read that, and I stand by my statement. Navigon, replace it and move on.

CZroe, so far Andrew is the only person I've seen who had a bad petcock, and you're the only one who's taken up the cause and run with it, blowing it up out of proportion.

Whenever you are in the business of producing 100's of thousands of parts, there's going to be x percentage that aren't quite perfect. If we've only seen 2 cases of bad petcocks, I'd say that's pretty good.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:01 AM   #23
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I've read that, and I stand by my statement. Navigon, replace it and move on.

CZroe, so far Andrew is the only person I've seen who had a bad petcock, and you're the only one who's taken up the cause and run with it, blowing it up out of proportion.

Whenever you are in the business of producing 100's of thousands of parts, there's going to be x percentage that aren't quite perfect. If we've only seen 2 cases of bad petcocks, I'd say that's pretty good.
Mine was bad. #3

However, the internet makes every small problem big. While in most cases there is nothing to worry about, the information is nice for the few who experience the issue.

Fyi I replaced my cam chain as a preventative measure.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 08:42 AM   #24
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MINE was bad. #4. Do a search and you'll see a TON of J/K bikes with bad petcocks.

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I've read that, and I stand by my statement. Navigon, replace it and move on.
Then state it! The dead horse thing doesn't say "I disagree and do not believe the leaky petcocks are caused by a factory defect. These things fail on their own often enough."

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CZroe, so far Andrew is the only person I've seen who had a bad petcock, and you're the only one who's taken up the cause and run with it, blowing it up out of proportion.
Depends on what you mean by "bad petcock."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob138 View Post
Anyone else seen this happen?
Looks like it's happened to a few folks...

Leaky petcock

Uggghhhh... bad petcock
Clearly, Alex has a different definition. You've been involved in countless "new" EX250J/K leaky petcock threads, so you've definitely seen more "bad petcocks."

If you only mean bad petcocks like Andrew's, well, that's because absolutely no one else took theirs apart and took pictures. I mean, if we aren't publishing a meticulously researched and peer-reviewed study, why bother when he already showed us why they leak? The chances that the only person to take his apart happened to have a defect that none of the others with year-old leaky petcocks have are pretty slim, and when you consider just how many don't even know theirs leaks, the numbers simply must be high enough to be better explained by a common defect.

http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=99501
http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=82883
http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showp...93&postcount=3

Quote:
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Whenever you are in the business of producing 100's of thousands of parts, there's going to be x percentage that aren't quite perfect. If we've only seen 2 cases of bad petcocks, I'd say that's pretty good.
Really? Because I saw you in page after page of leaky petcock discussions, like these:
http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=113279
http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=120500

You're right though: We should get more proof. We aren't going to get it if we just act like there is no problems and keep telling people to buy replacements without pointing them to this problem. I'm going to take apart my petcock and start asking everyone else with a leaky J/K petcock to do the same.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #25
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Mine is leaky. I was plannin on takin it apart today.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:48 AM   #26
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We aren't going to get it if we just act like there is no problems and keep telling people to buy replacements without pointing them to this problem.
*By 'bad petcock' I mean one that has a physical flaw that causes it to fail prematurely. This does not include cases where the rubber parts degrade because of long term exposure to gasoline. Not all cases of leaky petcocks are due to flawed design; they do fail on their own over time.*

Lets take a step back and look at this without the sarcasm or capital letters.

Say that you somehow discover that every leaky petcock that we know of is due to a flawed design or a bad manufacturing process that leaves imperfections inside the petcock that cause it to malfunction.

Now compare the number of bad petcocks you find to the number of bikes on the road. Let's say you find 100 that are leaky because of a flaw inside the petcock. How many millions of Kawasaki Ninja 250R's are there on the road? I bet that small percentage of allegedly flawed petcocks falls right into Kawasaki's tolerances for faulty parts.

I guess I'm just not sure what you're trying to accomplish by proving that Kawasaki has a part with a possibility of leaking. Petcocks (on all bikes) are known to leak sometimes. It's not realistic to expect every single part on a vehicle to be perfect for the lifetime of the vehicle.

Are you trying to get a recall from Kawasaki? Are you trying to sue Kawasaki for selling flawed parts to the public? What is the point of trying to prove that there's a flaw? I'm not sure what you're going for with this whole thing. That's why I told you to stop beating a dead horse.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:35 AM   #27
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*By 'bad petcock' I mean one that has a physical flaw that causes it to fail prematurely. This does not include cases where the rubber parts degrade because of long term exposure to gasoline. Not all cases of leaky petcocks are due to flawed design; they do fail on their own over time.*
We actually have yet to have a single confirmation that a leaky newgen petcock was caused by normal degradation of rubber parts and most were discovered before the bikes were two years old. Replacing a petcock ever two years is not normal.

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Lets take a step back and look at this without the sarcasm or capital letters.
Sarcasm? Sorry if I sounded like I had an attitude. I was not being sarcastic and did not mean to give that impression. If I weren't lazy I would have italicized "MINE" instead of using caps, but I was adding to the poster above and not directly responding to you there.

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Say that you somehow discover that every leaky petcock that we know of is due to a flawed design or a bad manufacturing process that leaves imperfections inside the petcock that cause it to malfunction.

Now compare the number of bad petcocks you find to the number of bikes on the road. Let's say you find 100 that are leaky because of a flaw inside the petcock. How many millions of Kawasaki Ninja 250R's are there on the road? I bet that small percentage of allegedly flawed petcocks falls right into Kawasaki's tolerances for faulty parts.
I already explained that the vast majority of those with leaky petcocks don't even know it. Also, remember Microsoft hiding behind similar logic with the XBOX 360 fiasco? The failure rates were FAR higher than industry norms, but they only counted the customers who actually went through the entire warranty process even though numerous people were sitting on the sidelines waiting for a final resolution instead of sending their consoles in over and over and over. Some bought new consoles. Some got them working just long enough to trade in at shops (infamous "towel trick"). Some claimed purchase protection warranties. Many saw that journalists were on their fourth or fifth replaced console and decided to buy a second console and sit on the first while waiting for a final resolution. Some were outside of warranty and attempted repairs long before the warranty program was expanded to include them, thoroughly voiding their warranties. So many ruined their consoles that they couldn't and didn't claim warranty even when it was expanded to include them. Microsoft hiding behind those numbers to claim that their failure rate was "within industry norms" for as long as they did was willfully ignorant and, thus, was reprehensible and wrong.

Similarly, we can't ignore the realities of leaky petcocks. Most owners will have no idea because most owners don't ever try to drain a carb.

Quote:
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I guess I'm just not sure what you're trying to accomplish by proving that Kawasaki has a part with a possibility of leaking. Petcocks (on all bikes) are known to leak sometimes. It's not realistic to expect every single part on a vehicle to be perfect for the lifetime of the vehicle.
I thought I was pretty clear. I'm trying to save people engines from catastrophic damage. Regardless of the cause of the bad petcock, I want to make sure people know that if you smell gas in the oil, check the petcock! Now I want people to also look and see if it's defective so that we can know and not keep replacing defective with defective like the defective CDIs.

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Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Are you trying to get a recall from Kawasaki? Are you trying to sue Kawasaki for selling flawed parts to the public? What is the point of trying to prove that there's a flaw? I'm not sure what you're going for with this whole thing. That's why I told you to stop beating a dead horse.
I'm trying to save other people the serious engine trouble I and many others experienced as a direct result. I also want them to know while their bikes are still under warranty. I would have appreciated knowing while my bike was still in warranty. Even outside of warranty, I would have changed my oil more often at the very least. People can only act on the information they have. If it's something I would have liked to know, I assume it's something they might like to know and I don't think I'd be doing anyone any good not to share it.

Even if I felt the same way you do, I'd ask the OP to take his apart and show us instead of prematurely calling the horse "dead." How can it be dead if only one member ever looked inside and so many had leaky petcocks in barely over a year (IOW, barely outside of warranty)?

@Navigon: Will you take yours apart after replacing it and tell us if you find something similar to Andrew?
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Old February 4th, 2013, 02:04 PM   #28
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I want to make sure people know that if you smell gas in the oil, check the petcock!
This has always been the case. It's nothing new, and it's pretty common knowledge that if you smell gas, it's either the float valves or the petcock, or both.

Anyhow, have fun. I don't think this is as widespread as the xbox overheating issue, but if you think it is, go for it.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #29
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This has always been the case. It's nothing new, and it's pretty common knowledge that if you smell gas, it's either the float valves or the petcock, or both.
Yes, I know this now but I did not know it then despite asking everyone who would listen about the gas smell in my oil for over a year. Remember: Not everyone even changes their own oil, and changing your own oil for financial reasons does not imbue you with other common gearhead knowledge. I usually had it done when I got other services done at the dealer and I never once saw that information included in an oil change guide. When I first changed my oil and smelled gas I asked everyone who would listen and never even got a concerned response like "that's not good!" It was almost a year later when the person doing my valves discovered the leaky petcock and he didn't seem to share my concerns about the 1-week old oil that already smelled like gas. He was one of many. My point is that even with reasonable suspicion that it was abnormal, I couldn't confirm that it was bad without going to even greater lengths. I didn't have another bike around to sniff. I would have had to assume that it was abnormal for a petroleum product that breaks down to smell a bit like another more refined petroleum product and ignore the reaction of all who knew more than me and willingly park my only transportation and pay money to chase a problem I didn't know existed.

Eventually racer x and others on these forums began warning people with stuck float valves and leaky petcocks of the risk of gas getting past the piston rings and into the engine oil and I picked up on all of that, but it was never in response to me or the smell in my oil. My petcock leaks to this day, but I haven't ridden that bike in over a year (cam chain replacement is way beyond my comfort level). At least I know better than to use the unused Shell Rotella T6 that's been sitting in it.

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Anyhow, have fun. I don't think this is as widespread as the xbox overheating issue, but if you think it is, go for it.
Oh, of course it's not nearly that ratio of defective units vs. flawless units. I'm just saying that the actual ratio of defective petcocks would be similarly much higher than the ones anyone is aware of through statistics like dealer discovery and repair and, thus, much less likely to be discovered and fixed. Defective or normal wear, there are far more leaking petcocks than there are users aware of them for the reasons I discussed. Similarly, there can be a much higher subset of defective ones than anyone realizes due to the fact that it is seldom investigated further even once the leaky petcock is known.

Obviously, I can't keep expecting people to check theirs if I haven't even taken apart my own, so expect that shortly.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #30
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Okay, now it makes more sense to me. Thank you for spelling that out for me.

If you find that yours is flawed, not just degraded from long exposure to gas, what's the game plan? Fix it? replace it? if you replace it, I'm assuming you'd check the new one for the flaw as well?
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Old February 4th, 2013, 06:17 PM   #31
sLick415
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Just took apart my petcock and put it back together. Now its leak free!
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Old February 4th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #32
CZroe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Okay, now it makes more sense to me. Thank you for spelling that out for me.

If you find that yours is flawed, not just degraded from long exposure to gas, what's the game plan? Fix it? replace it? if you replace it, I'm assuming you'd check the new one for the flaw as well?
You bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sLick415 View Post
Just took apart my petcock and put it back together. Now its leak free!
Awesome. I hope most are that simple (mine included).

Edit: Nope. Took mine apart today.

Last futzed with by CZroe; February 5th, 2013 at 08:33 PM.
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