'81 KZ550 LTD leaky petcock bolts - Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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'81 KZ550 LTD leaky petcock bolts

HIho-

Been restoring bikes in my basement as winter projects. I love riding but probably like restoring them even more. Just finished an '81 KZ550 LTD. The last detail is- seems like no matter what I do, gas leaks from the two bolts holding the petcock to the bottom of the tank. I see a couple of other posts complaining about this but am unclear on how it was fixed. It's driving me crazy... sometimes I put it back together and pour in some fuel to test the seal, and it's actually ok until I
reinstall the tank and push the rear post into the big grommet on the frame, at which point it begins leaking. A lot.

any ideas/pointers/ideas would be much appreciated!
thanks,
bill
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:15 AM
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Nice bike did you use any type of gasket sealer

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:19 AM
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There should be plastic washers on the bolts. check to make sure they aren't cracked or damaged. or missing.







....

1981 KZ650-CSR. Competition, Sports & Road.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Hi- thanks for replying!

I have tried that sealer to no avail and suspected it wouldn't work. Previous experience dictates that blind bolt threads into oil or engine coolant can generally be sealed but gasoline not as easily. There was no sealer remains on the threads when I took them out so I am
doing something wrong....

Will post the cure if/when I outlast the problem (8

cheers,
bill
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin-csr View Post
There should be plastic washers on the bolts. check to make sure they aren't cracked or damaged. or missing.
....

Thank you and there WERE slightly damaged plastic washers on those two bolts when I took them out- and replaced them with nylon washers. When it leaked, I pulled up an internet schematic and DIDN't order the washers when I noticed the
description said "92022-183 WASHER-PLAIN" but who am I ? So you're reply has prompted me to order these and see what
comes thru as their photo appears to NOT be of a metal washer. I had tried (2) 1/4" (6mm plastic washers not available
near me) nylon washers on it and that was one of those times the leak didn't resume until I pushed the tank back into
place. At that point, I removed the petcock and used the 2 nylon washers sealed with o-rings that were tight on the
bolt. Same result )8.... I'll let you know what happens when the Kaw washers show up but I bet they won't be here
for at least a week.

thanks again,
bill
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2013masterchef View Post
Nice bike did you use any type of gasket sealer

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Wanted to answer this again and included a quote to reduce confusion and correct an error on my part when I referred to
"blind" bolt holes the wrong way- "blind" holes DO NOT break in to water jackets, oil passages or into the other side of a
work piece so I had it backwards... sorry about that!

Again- thanks for your reply!!
bill
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 12:41 PM
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Well let us know how it works

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 08:14 AM
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I guess I would try teflon tape, but I don't know if sealing the threads will stop a leak around the bold head.
Another product to consider is Seal-All --- it's suitable for gasoline. available at the home depot.
When installing the new plastic washers, don't over-tighten the bolts.

Are you sure the leak is at the bolts and not the petcock body gasket?



.....

1981 KZ650-CSR. Competition, Sports & Road.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by martin-csr View Post
I guess I would try teflon tape, but I don't know if sealing the threads will stop a leak around the bold head.
Another product to consider is Seal-All --- it's suitable for gasoline. available at the home depot.
When installing the new plastic washers, don't over-tighten the bolts.

Are you sure the leak is at the bolts and not the petcock body gasket?



.....
ehyep. I put in a new oval o-ring last fall after cleaning the surface and making sure it was flat. I'd be surprised if you got teflon tape to work on anything other than pipe threads though. The other possibility is that the petcock mounting base may have a hairline crack although I don't see how that could happen. Washers haven't shown up yet-

will follow up as soon as they do.

btw...been restoring bikes in my basement for the past 8 or 10 seasons (although I'm really a car guy and wanna get back to it) . I like restoring them and usually intend to sell whatever it is but then when they're done, I typically take a step back and say "wow I'm not selling it now..." but am beginning to accumulate too many. Sometimes I think about toying with the idea of trying to find a sane kid (yeah right) that can't afford one but then practicality takes hold of me again.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well let us know how it works

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Jury not out yet but just received the washers- and you're right, they're plastic! So much for "plain". Unfortunately I won't
get to it today but am anxious to see what happens. Will post as soon I wash the gas off my hands... (8

thanks,
bill
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