Replace Cylinder Head Cover? - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Replace Cylinder Head Cover?

TL;DR: Bought a 2013 Ninja 300 and found a puncture in the cylinder head cover. Looking for advice/instructions (Tools/Parts/Processes) on replacement of the cylinder head cover or any other options.

I am a new rider and I picked up a 2013 Ninja 300 with 4,900 for what I thought was a great deal. I took it out a couple times before I did an oil change with no problems. After I changed the oil I took it out a few more times and noticed a lot of oil covering the lower fairing on the right side. My first thought was that I under-tightened or over-tightened the oil filter but it was coming from higher up on the engine. After removing the fairings I noticed it was coming from the cylinder head cover. The previous owner had no-cut frame sliders installed and the brackets line up with the cylinder head covers. I was told it was dropped once and the only damage I noticed when purchasing it was a missing passenger peg and a few scratches. Turns out the frame slider bracket collided with and punctured the cylinder head cover. This puncture was the source of the oil leak.

I am considering replacing the cylinder head cover myself but have basically zero experience with motorcycle engines. I have some experience with basic car mechanics such as changing brake systems, suspensions, and cold air intakes. I have minimal experience assisting friends and relatives in engine and transmission work. Does anyone have experience in this process that could tell me how difficult of a task it is?

I have Kawasaki service manual for the bike but I feel like I might be missing some steps since I have never done work like this before. Does the service manual include everything I need to know? Do I need to drain the oil and siphon the gas before I remove the cylinder head? Do I need to remove the gas tank?

I would also like to know what I will all need to replace besides the cylinder head cover. I know I will need a new cylinder head cover gasket but will I need all new bolts and washers/O-rings? Will I need new plug hole gaskets and pins?

My last question was about tools. I believe I have everything I need to complete this replacement but I wanted to know if there was any special tools required? Will I need a compression gauge to check the engine after I install the new cylinder head cover?

I am open to any other suggestions on fixes even if they are temporary. I'll take any videos or links that may help me out. Apologizes for the lengthy post, I wanted to make sure I had everything covered.

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

Last edited by FaceMower; 04-25-2019 at 12:13 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaceMower View Post
TL;DR: Bought a 2013 Ninja 300 and found a puncture in the cylinder head cover. Looking for advice/instructions (Tools/Parts/Processes) on replacement of the cylinder head cover or any other options.

I am a new rider and I picked up a 2013 Ninja 300 with 4,900 for what I thought was a great deal. I took it out a couple times before I did an oil change with no problems. After I changed the oil I took it out a few more times and noticed a lot of oil covering the lower fairing on the right side. My first thought was that I under-tightened or over-tightened the oil filter but it was coming from higher up on the engine. After removing the fairings I noticed it was coming from the cylinder head cover. The previous owner had no-cut frame sliders installed and the brackets line up with the cylinder head covers. I was told it was dropped once and the only damage I noticed when purchasing it was a missing passenger peg and a few scratches. Turns out the frame slider bracket collided with and punctured the cylinder head cover. This puncture was the source of the oil leak.

I am considering replacing the cylinder head cover myself but have basically zero experience with motorcycle engines. I have some experience with basic car mechanics such as changing brake systems, suspensions, and cold air intakes. I have minimal experience assisting friends and relatives in engine and transmission work. Does anyone have experience in this process that could tell me how difficult of a task it is?

I have Kawasaki service manual for the bike but I feel like I might be missing some steps since I have never done work like this before. Does the service manual include everything I need to know? Do I need to drain the oil and siphon the gas before I remove the cylinder head? Do I need to remove the gas tank?

Cylinder Head Cover: Pages 236 - 237
Service Manual: manualslib.com/manual/804530/Kawasaki-Ninja-300.html?page=236#manual

I would also like to know what I will all need to replace besides the cylinder head cover. I know I will need a new cylinder head cover gasket but will I need all new bolts and washers/O-rings? Will I need new plug hole gaskets/pins and a new "VALVE-ASSY-REED" under the "CAP"? I put a link below so you can see what I am talking about.
Exploded View: kawasakipartshouse.com/oemparts/a/kaw/50aa3845f8700226a414661c/cylinder-head-cover

My last question was about tools. I believe I have everything I need to complete this replacement but I wanted to know if there was any special tools required? Will I need a compression gauge to check the engine after I install the new cylinder head cover?

I am open to any other suggestions on fixes even if they are temporary. I'll take any videos or links that may help me out. I'll upload some pictures of the bike (This is my first post so I can not upload photos or post links). Apologizes for the lengthy post, I wanted to make sure I had everything covered.

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!

Personally, until you decide exactly what extent you want to take the repair to, I would attempt a temporary fix. I would mix up some JB WELD and fill the puncture. But only if the puncture is minor and not a big hole in the cover, as you would not want any JB weld getting into the cylinder head.


If all you would be doing is replacing a cylinder head cover, then that and a new gasket is just about all that you would need.


Once again, this is my PERSONAL opinion.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Granpooba View Post
Personally, until you decide exactly what extent you want to take the repair to, I would attempt a temporary fix. I would mix up some JB WELD and fill the puncture. But only if the puncture is minor and not a big hole in the cover, as you would not want any JB weld getting into the cylinder head.


If all you would be doing is replacing a cylinder head cover, then that and a new gasket is just about all that you would need.


Once again, this is my PERSONAL opinion.
Thanks for the advice! I'd like to just JB weld it but I'd hate to create a bigger problem. Let me see if I can upload pictures now.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 05:59 AM
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Thanks for the advice! I'd like to just JB weld it but I'd hate to create a bigger problem. Let me see if I can upload pictures now.

Well I am told that I am a perfectionist, thus everything I own does have to be perfect. I would be replacing the cover and gasket.


But also after viewing your pictures. Until you decide exactly what and when you want to do and still operate the bike, I would do a JB WELD repair.


I would clean up the cover really well. When I applied the JB WELD, I would wait some time until it starts to harden , thus eliminating chances that it may flow into the cover.


The JB WELD may repair the cover and let you use the bike without it leaking, at least for the time being. But as I previously stated, I would be replacing the damaged parts.


Hate seeing people with such problem, and wish you the best of luck.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 09:12 AM
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Although I haven’t done one on these bikes yet, it’s really nothing more than nuts and bolts. Pull the fairings and the tank, and it should be right there staring at you (just like in your pics). You should need the valve cover gasket and probably 2 spark plug hole gaskets (may be called o-rings). The gaskets will go on dry, but if you want to add a dab (very small dab at that) of sealer to the corners of the “half moon” areas on the valve cover gasket, that will ensure it seals properly.

Torque it down properly and change the spark plugs while you are there. Call it a day.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 09:12 AM
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I'd probably replace it with a good used one also.

No need for a new one, they typically aren't going to wear out or get damaged. Cross-check part numbers, but the 300 valve cover may be the same as the "New Gen" 250 valve cover - so they would be a dine-a-dozen and easy to get used. Even if not, there should be plenty of used 300 covers out there.

You gasket should be fine, as it's rubber and reusable.

This video showing valve cover removal is for the 250, but should be the same or very similar -


Last edited by jkv45; 04-25-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:08 AM
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Yeah, I second @Granpooba in that, if need be, that looks repairable enough. I'd bet my money that a proper long term JB Weld fix is feasible, or even better, pass by a welder (with the cover removed) for a touch with the old MIG gun and that could be fixed in no time. The bike isn't going to care either way, and that isn't going to affect performance. Another option depending on the thickness of the metal is tapping it and covering the hole with some sealant, and securing the plate with some red loctited screws for a permanent fix. That cavity is probably not pressurized to any meaningful degree so it's not like you're fighting against anything there. There are definitely options if we were in some 3rd world garage.

Then again, I bet a replacement is cheap and ubiquitous so taking into account time and hassle I suppose there's no good reason to not outright replace it and be done with it. All in all it's your call.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 05:36 PM
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I love the J-B Weld idea but I like the tap and bolt idea even better just because I never get a chance to use my tap and die set. don't feel bad I'm about to go in to the top end of my 300 engine and do a valve check and see if it needs an adjustment and shims replaced and I've never done it before. Anyone got any advice on the cam chain tensioner?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 10:38 AM
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Here is another great video on valves adjustment for the N250 (very similar, if not the same) that will show you all you need to know to replace that cover.


Once you're there, you may check the valves clearance too. It won't hurt. And you may have some fun.


I guess I'm the opposite of @Granpooba, as I would put some weld there and check for leaks. If it doesn't leak, I'll leave alone.
But if you decide to change it, there must be tons of those covers on eBay. As it's not a part that moves and wears, any used one in good condition will work fine.

Good luck
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 06:33 PM
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I suggest doing a JB weld patch until you hit 10K-15K miles.
Then, buy a used cover online, and replace it at the same time as when you do the valve clearance check and spark plug replacement.

You could do it now.. but then you have to take the fairings off the other side to access the bolts, and either jiggle the valve cover off for 20 minutes or drain the coolant. It's a little annoying to do all that and not do the valve clearances, and it's annoying to do valve clearances when you are only at 5K.
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