Kawasaki Brute Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took my wife and kids for an easy trail ride this weekend. My wife was on my 2012 Brute. Level, simple road/trail. Never topped 20 MPH (was my 8 year old daughter's first time out). Everything was going fine until we stopped about 5 miles in and my wife pulls up on the Brute. Strong smell of oil, and I look down and there's oil dripping all over the engine. Looked like it may be coming from the bottom left hand corner of the engine, but was hard to determine exactly. Also there was oil on top of the airbox cover and steering stem also. Went and grabbed the trailer and loaded it up. Starting working on it yesterday, and had it running for 10 minutes in the garage with not a drop of leakage to be found. Oil level didn't look down very much at all.

What could cause oil to get on top of the air box cover and into the airbox intake (tunnel thing inside the front of the airbox)? Wasn't soaked with oil, looks more like splatter, but I don't see how oil could get splashed up that high. Anyone have any ideas on what might be the culprit here? Is there a list of items I could start checking and crossing off the list? Going up North to Ride the Wilds in NH in the beginning of June and that's the last place I want to run into this problem. Thanks in advance!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,746 Posts
Under the handlebars at the top of the steering stem is the vent manifold. It has the end vent tubes of the front and read diffs, the fuel tank and the vent tube for the radiator fan (Its a sealed motor). When anything comes out any of those tubes, it falls right where you are talking about. Diffs will blow oil if they get hot, are overfilled or.. have water in them so check both. Another thing that makes the rear hot is either the brake is set too tight, the rider is riding the brake, or the parking brake is left on (this happens more then you think). All these things will toast the wet brake disks is a short time and leave the oil dark. Really take a look at the rear and see if the adjustment has changed. Wet brake oil is light clear oil like engine oil...normally. The only thing low on the left is the water pump's weep hole and that will leak engine oil if the oil seal is bad...very rare. There is a large clear plastic bulb on the end of it's tube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you NMK this makes sense to me now and gives me a starting point! I drained and filled the wet gear oil when I picked this up over the winter, and filled to the threads as instructed, so I would think that one is all set but I'll double check. Might have to take a look at the front diff -- didn't change that oil as it looked full and pretty fresh. Wife swears she wasn't riding the brakes and Parking brake was off, but I'll check everything out. I'll also see if I can figure out which tube was spitting oil out and trace the issue back from there. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Took the display off and sure enough the vent line on the far right looks like it was the source of the oil. Is this the rear diff vent? I'll have to check it out tonight but I at least feel better knowing where to focus my attention!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,746 Posts
Took the display off and sure enough the vent line on the far right looks like it was the source of the oil. Is this the rear diff vent? I'll have to check it out tonight but I at least feel better knowing where to focus my attention!
I don't know which one is which. Just have to trace it..but if it's oil, it has to be one of the diffs...and on a 2012, the front has gear lube and has that smell where the rear is still wet brake fluid or tractor hydraulic fluid and smells mike regular motor oil. Take the fill cap off the rear and stick your finger in the oul, pull it out and wipe it on a white paper towel. If it's dark brown...the brake disks are the cause. Now in the old days...I say this because it hasn't happened in a link time, but there is no reason it couldn't, the bearing retainer for the pinion bearing would back off allowing the pinion to move under load and off power. This movement directly effected the wet brake which is on the pinion and would apply pressure on the disk pack making then drag and get hot...hotter then hell sometimes. You can check this by dropping the rear drive line and rocking the unit back and forth making the ring gear push and pull the pinion. Watching it close if you see the shaft move in and out...at all..while rocking it, that retainer has come loose. It's supposed to be torqued to a very high number and loc-tited so it never comes loose...but the design is still the same as it's always been so....it can happen. Just check.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now in the old days...I say this because it hasn't happened in a link time, but there is no reason it couldn't, the bearing retainer for the pinion bearing would back off allowing the pinion to move under load and off power. This movement directly effected the wet brake which is on the pinion and would apply pressure on the disk pack making then drag and get hot...hotter then hell sometimes. You can check this by dropping the rear drive line and rocking the unit back and forth making the ring gear push and pull the pinion. Watching it close if you see the shaft move in and out...at all..while rocking it, that retainer has come loose. It's supposed to be torqued to a very high number and loc-tited so it never comes loose...but the design is still the same as it's always been so....it can happen. Just check.
I checked the manual, and the vent hose that looks like was blowing oil is definitely for the rear diff (all the way on the throttle side of the vent manifold). I wonder if that could be the cause. Just pulling the fill cap off the rear diff it absolutely reeks of burnt fluid -- as in making the whole garage smell. Sounds like that is not normal. I recall it smelled pretty bad when I first changed it a few months ago too. And same smell when my wife pulled up on the Brute last weekend when it was puking fluid up through the vent (should have put 2 and 2 together then). I will check the rear shaft for any movement as you say. Thanks again for the great advice!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,746 Posts
Well, the brakes are on.. or draging hard. Just need to find out why. Start by loosen-off the adjuster wing nuts and check that pinion end play. The disks will be at or near shot by now but might get a few more miles ut of them if you can get this stopped. All that burn color and smell is from those brake disks...and all that is being run through the bearings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@NMKAWIERIDER I pulled the rear drive shaft and rocked the quad back and forth watching the shaft and I don't see any movement in or out. Previous owner must have driven it with the parking brake on or something. Any idea where to find the web brake parts? Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,746 Posts
@NMKAWIERIDER I pulled the rear drive shaft and rocked the quad back and forth watching the shaft and I don't see any movement in or out. Previous owner must have driven it with the parking brake on or something. Any idea where to find the web brake parts? Thanks!
You can get the parts from any Kawasaki parts house. I use Cheapcycleparts.com. The previous owner driving it with the park brake on doesn't account for it overheating while you are driving it. It's still on. The only possibility is that the disks are warn so far down the cam plate had rotated out of the ramps and is stuck on top. Remove the adjuster wing nuts almost all the way off on both and pull the arm toward you. If it pops back...this is what has happened. You will need all the disks and spacer plates. If you are not experienced with this as it is a bit involved, I suggest it get taken in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can get the parts from any Kawasaki parts house. I use Cheapcycleparts.com. The previous owner driving it with the park brake on doesn't account for it overheating while you are driving it. It's still on. The only possibility is that the disks are warn so far down the cam plate had rotated out of the ramps and is stuck on top. Remove the adjuster wing nuts almost all the way off on both and pull the arm toward you. If it pops back...this is what has happened. You will need all the disks and spacer plates. If you are not experienced with this as it is a bit involved, I suggest it get taken in.
Thanks again NMK. Gonna check the arms and wing nuts off the brakes as you recommend and then flush the diff a few times with wet gear oil and see where we're at. My good buddy is a BMW Master bike mechanic and has much more experience with all this stuff than I do and it usually just costs me a new tool or case of beer. Doesn't look all that much different than a clutch replacement actually, and if need be I'm certain with his help I can manage this. Its more the $300 in parts for the brake plates, bearings, and seals and everything that my wife will have something to say about. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top