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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, guys, I've owned my '04 zx10r for nearly three months now and it's been a wonderful experience so far. That said, I thought I'd share one little problem I've had with her as it seems from other people's descriptions that they might benefit from me telling them what was wrong.

Within about three or four days of riding her and getting to know her "ways", the first thing that began to worry me was the sound of metal spoons being clapped together at around the 2,500 to 3,500 rpm. That was my reason for joining this site actually; to see if others were experiencing the same problem. Sure enough many of you were, and the sound was driving many of you as crazy as it was me. In fairly short order I came across the solution to that problem, which made me decide to stay here.

But my joy was short lived. Within another day or two, I began to worry about the temperatures the bike was reaching. At first I put this down to the fact that I live in Thailand and it gets pretty hot here. But then, sitting in traffic on my way home after a nice long ride (but at a slow pace), I watched the temp gauge reach 104 degrees c. Even though the fan was running, it wasn't until I got moving again that the temperature started to drop. When I got home, I decided to look around the bike to see if there were any signs of leaks in the cooling system. At first none were apparent. It wasn't until the next day that I noticed a long trail of green running down the driveway and a few dried coolant stains on the fairing. This leak appeared to be coming from the coolant reservoir rubber hose to the radiator, close to the radiator filler cap. No problem, I thought. And after cutting the rubber hose back to a clean area and then replacing the jubilee clip, all was good again. However, the temperatures were still too high for my liking, especially having done a search on this site and seen the sorts of average figures you guys were getting.

A short while later (a couple of days), I noticed the coolant level had dropped significantly (I had flushed the old coolant, replaced it and bled the air out after doing the hose work, so that wasn't the problem). I hunted all over the bike looking for a leak but couldn't find one anywhere. It wasn't until another two days had passed that I saw roughly where I thought the leak had come from. Having done another search on here, all fingers were pointing to the water pump seal. So, to confirm this was the problem, I fired the bike up and left her running. Sure enough, by now a lot of coolant could be seen around the pump. But something caught my eye. As I looked up, I could see the green stuff oozing out from under the idle adjuster. I downloaded the manual from here and looked up the cooling system to see what was around that area. I found out that the coolant reservoir has a feed to the thermostat. And that was the problem. That hose, would you believe it, was connected to the thermostat with a zip tie!!!

Now, it was a fair bit of work getting to the thermostat considering how quickly the problem was repaired once there. But, more importantly, it's a huge surprise how little could be seen leaking when you compare the bike's temperatures before and after the repair. The bike is now running far lower temperatures - between 10 to 15 degrees lower at any point, the fan cuts in earlier and is far more effective at reducing the excess heat.

I hope this info can help some one else who might be experiencing similar problems.
 

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La Flama Blanca
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How hot was your bike running? My 04 runs quite a bit hotter than my 06 normally. Alot of guys replaced the 04 radiator with a 06. While not a direct swap, it is a pretty easy job.
 

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what was the probelm with the "metal spoons clacking"? so did you replace your thermostat or fixed the hose going to it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How hot was your bike running? My 04 runs quite a bit hotter than my 06 normally. Alot of guys replaced the 04 radiator with a 06. While not a direct swap, it is a pretty easy job.
From the moment you fired her up, the temperature would just continue to climb slowly but inevitably until the fan cut in 99 degrees c (210 f) and then continue climbing til 104 degrees c (220 f). On a day that wasn't hot, I took the bike for a short ride to Kata (I live in Chalong). It was one of those rare days with very little traffic - 15 kilometres round trip. By the time I was parked outside my place the gauge was reading 89 degrees (192f). I had stopped and parked up twice for around an hour a time.

You guys might not think that's hot or that it's just an '04 thing, but I can tell you, now that I've done the repair the bike continually running about 10 to 15 degrees c less (50 - 59 degrees f). So what I'm trying to imply to some of you guys is, if your bike is running odd figures and doesn't seem to shed much heat when you're on the move then check out those annoying hidden hose ends.

Water pump seal is common to go off. That zip tie is not an original clip.
Yeah, I'm well aware that zip ties aren't part of Kawasaki's policy for sealing coolant pipes, which is why a brand new, well-matched jubilee clip replaced it. Actually the pump seal is fine. I haven't had to touch it, but I certainly did think that was the problem at first.

what was the probelm with the "metal spoons clacking"? so did you replace your thermostat or fixed the hose going to it?
Thermostat was fine. If it ain't broke don't fix it. I just replaced the zip tie with a good quality jubilee clip and tightened it up to the correct torque setting, i.e. fugging tight:crackup:

Clanking was the cam tensioner - as another poster on here said, with the bike switched off and in fifth gear, roll it back a few feet and drop the clutch. Then do the same thing forwards and backwards 4-5 times. Big difference now. She's much quieter.
 
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