Is this a bad connecting rod!? Please help! - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Is this a bad connecting rod!? Please help!

I recently purchased a 2015 Ninja 300 with 8k miles for $500. The seller said the motor wouldn’t run, but I was willing to take the risk for that price.

I got it home, tossed in a new battery, and tried to turn it over. The bike started right up, but it has a pretty significant knock. It sounds like it is coming from the top of the block, but I can’t be 100% positive.

I’ll post a link to the video of the engine running below in just a minute.

I’m not an expert, but it’s me somewhat mechanically inclined. I do my own brakes (including caliper rebuilds), tires, chains, injector rebuild, etc. on my ‘13 R1 and my wife’s ‘09 R6 That said, I haven’t actually cracked open a motorcycle engine block in the past.

Can someone tell me if this is a bad connecting rod? I know the 2014 ninja 300’s had that issue, but I thought it was fixed in the 2015 and newer models.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 09:20 PM
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Based on the sound alone it's kind of impossible to tell exactly what internal part has failed but it's kind of irrelevant as the engine is going to have to come apart no matter what.
It's very unlikely that noise is coming from anything but an internal component however I'd start by pulling the clutch cover and stator cover as well as the valve cover. Turn it over by hand and start diagnosing from there. There's always the possibility something has come loose on the charging or clutch side. Also drain the oil and see what it has to say.
Engines are reasonably inexpensive on eBay. If an internal component such as a rod, piston, crank etc has failed you would probably be better off just swapping the engine. It just depends on how deep you want to go.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennylxix View Post
Based on the sound alone it's kind of impossible to tell exactly what internal part has failed but it's kind of irrelevant as the engine is going to have to come apart no matter what.
It's very unlikely that noise is coming from anything but an internal component however I'd start by pulling the clutch cover and stator cover as well as the valve cover. Turn it over by hand and start diagnosing from there. There's always the possibility something has come loose on the charging or clutch side. Also drain the oil and see what it has to say.
Engines are reasonably inexpensive on eBay. If an internal component such as a rod, piston, crank etc has failed you would probably be better off just swapping the engine. It just depends on how deep you want to go.
Thanks for the reply. I’ve already dropped the engine oil and pulled all the fairing off of the bike. Oil is thick, and I’m going to run a magnet through it tomorrow morning (I don’t have any suitable ones on hand). Spark plugs are out, and the tank was full (seller claimed bike didn’t run for at least 2 months). I’ve checked out a few motors on eBay earlier tonight. Price for one with 1k or less seems to hover about 700 plus freight shipping.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 09:42 PM
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Yeah. You can go higher on mileage and still be safe I think. These engines are known to be pretty reliable. I've seen some decent ones go in the 600 shipped range. Even better would be to find one you can go pick up. Sellers are usually willing to cut a deal if they don't have to mess around with shipping it.

If the oil is nasty you can pretty much guarantee the bike wasn't taken care of. I'd go over the rest of it carefully to see what else it may need. These projects can turn into a money pit if you're not careful. Fortunately it's not very old so neglect probably hasn't taken too much of a toll.

Let me know what you find when you get the side covers off and when you run a magnet through the oil (put the magnet in a zip lock. Makes seeing particles easier and cleaning the magnet much easier.)
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Here are the pics of what the magnet was able to pull from the oil I drained last night.

Lots of little metal shavings / chunks.

Last edited by triple-tap; 07-18-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Pics posted below. Sorry for double post.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 25121612-20D0-47A8-A8AA-AD8555C33381_1563494222408.jpg (97.4 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 11CB410A-9399-4634-9D0F-B63D70D8AC37_1563494245630.jpg (89.3 KB, 14 views)
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:05 PM
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Obviously a bad sign though given the noise not surprising. The oil is shared by the engine, transmission, clutch, starter gears and alternator so the metal could be from any of those.
Are you planning on tearing this engine apart? Even at your skill level I say download the service manual and go for it. I don't think you're going to hurt much that isn't already hurt.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. I’m going to rip into it further tomorrow. I also have a lead on a used 300 motor with 11k miles for $599 shipped to my house if there is catastrophic damage inside the current motor.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennylxix View Post
Obviously a bad sign though given the noise not surprising. The oil is shared by the engine, transmission, clutch, starter gears and alternator so the metal could be from any of those.
Are you planning on tearing this engine apart? Even at your skill level I say download the service manual and go for it. I don't think you're going to hurt much that isn't already hurt.

I cracked the valve cover / rocker box cover off the top of the engine. No chunks or grinding in there. However, I had a serious problem finding the room to move parts around, take off the entire cover, etc. am I better off completely removing the motor from the frame? I did download a 2013-2014 service manual, but dang it is tight in there.
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