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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, not monster-specific, but I assume that most of what I'm asking about is standard stuff. I'm contemplating taking a shot at rebuilding the motor on my EX250 racebike. What tools do I need? I've got the basics (including dremel and digital caliper), but no specialty tools.

I've got nothing to measure compression or to synch carbs. No piston ring compressor. No bearing puller. No spring compressor. Nothing for the cam chain. Nothing to split the cases if necessary.

So, what kinda stuff do I need? Please type slowly. Technical stuff gives me hives. ;)
 

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not sure on that bike
but i would suggest picking up a tech-manual for it
it should explain just about everything

just my $0.00000002
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've got the manual. It tells me to buy a billion Kawasaki-specific tools at eleventy billion dollars each.

I figure there are some standard tools for getting into an engine that I'd need (and that would be good to have around). Maybe they're always model-specific?
 

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you can tear down mostly any engine with a simple socket and open end set (metric of course)

basic tools are good enough, but you may want a very accurate torque wrench and feeler gages if you are building a race engine.

It's fairly straight forward especially with a manual.

Q
 

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ahh, yeah the factory manuals say **** like that
usually the 'special service tool' is something like a 17mm socket
or a pair of vice-grips in the right spot

that is wrong with your engine?
depending on the setup (again i don't know the engine) you may need to get ahold of a press of some sort for various parts
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MrFry said:
that is wrong with your engine?
Nothing is wrong with it yet. However, it's got a season and a half on it, and another 20 or so trackdays. It's gonna go boom soon. Really soon. Apparently, per all the grizzled 250 racers, all of 'em do. Normally I wouldn't care, cuz a replacement Ninja 250 motor is like $15 on Ebay ;D. But this is a built motor, and I can't imagine spending $2k or more on a new one when all I need to do is "refresh" this one before next season. Whatever that means. ::)

Me trying to rebuild an engine is gonna be an absolute mess. <sigh>
 

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Spidey said:
Ok, not monster-specific, but I assume that most of what I'm asking about is standard stuff. I'm contemplating taking a shot at rebuilding the motor on my EX250 racebike. What tools do I need? I've got the basics (including dremel and digital caliper), but no specialty tools.

I've got nothing to measure compression or to synch carbs. No piston ring compressor. No bearing puller. No spring compressor. Nothing for the cam chain. Nothing to split the cases if necessary.

So, what kinda stuff do I need? Please type slowly. Technical stuff gives me hives. ;)
I recommend using the 'sniper' approach.

Start taking it apart, and if you get to a point where you don't have the tool, go buy *that* tool.
Rinse and repeat as necessary.

The service manual special tools is the 'carpet bombing' approach.
Lots of expensive tools that you *may* use 3 times, and you can't write 'em off because you're not doing it for $.

Synching carbs can be done very cheap, I'll post a picture later.

A piston ring compressor will make assembly much less of a headache.
Depending on what the access to the pistons is like will determine which kind you want.
You may be able to borrow one from a tech who is doing those sizes/kinds of engines regularly.

If you're going to get the valves freshened up, just leave the valves in the head and hand it over to shop that way.
They should return it assembled, but make sure to ask.

Good automotive parts shops usually have a good selection of pullers for reasonable money.
It may be cheaper to have bearings removed and installed by a tech.

Take *lots* of pictures as you're taking it apart.

Make copies of pages in the sevice manual, and write notes on 'em as you go.
Or just write in your service manual, it's not a first printing of a Hemingway novel.

Put parts in ziplok bags with a label in the bag.

Get a piece of corrugated cardboard, draw a cartoon shape of the sidecover (or whatever) poke holes where the bolts go, and put the bolts in the holes as you take 'em off.
Usually the sidecovers or cases use a whole bunch of different lengths, and it's a real PITA to figure it out a month later.

Get 'tupperware' for bolts and parts, again, label as necessary in the container.

Get a big plastic tote bin (or 2 or 3) to keep all the crap in.
Keeps it clean and all in one spot.

The above advice is my Reader's Digest version of 3 decades of maintaining/rebuilding/modifying bikes and cars.
My toolbox was stocked this way, I bought 'em as I needed 'em.
 

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Spidey said:
Nothing is wrong with it yet. However, it's got a season and a half on it, and another 20 or so trackdays. It's gonna go boom soon. Really soon. Apparently, per all the grizzled 250 racers, all of 'em do. Normally I wouldn't care, cuz a replacement Ninja 250 motor is like $15 on Ebay ;D. But this is a built motor, and I can't imagine spending $2k or more on a new one when all I need to do is "refresh" this one before next season. Whatever that means. ::)

Me trying to rebuild an engine is gonna be an absolute mess. <sigh>
You could ask Jeff for help. >:D
 

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What else could you possibly need? :p

Already mentioned, but I'll second a good ring compressor. Also if you don't use air tools, a spare primary gear can be used to lock the crank so you can loosen the nuts on the crank and trans shafts.
 

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ducpainter said:
What else could you possibly need? :p

Already mentioned, but I'll second a good ring compressor. Also if you don't use air tools, a spare primary gear can be used to lock the crank so you can loosen the nuts on the crank and trans shafts.
Who-eee, a 3-pounder. Get a lot of work done in a hurry! [laugh]

I've used a piece of lead (a diving belt weight can be a donor) cut into a wedge shape for 'jamming' the gearset.
The engine that I did the most R&R on didn't have enough clearance to slip a gear in in there.
 

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i've always had good luck in finding a 'hole' behind or neer the gearset to lock them in place
 

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Speeddog said:
I recommend using the 'sniper' approach.

Start taking it apart, and if you get to a point where you don't have the tool, go buy *that* tool.
Rinse and repeat as necessary.
excellent advice!!!

that is how i got all my tools,.... trying to tear down and re-build my old FJ40 engine (F6, inline if i recollect)

i got her down to the motor mounts, so to speak, before i had to admit defeat and have it finished by someone who had a clue what they were up to. but i did end up with a shop full of decent tools.

and a quality re-buit engine too
 

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Speeddog said:
I recommend using the 'sniper' approach.

Start taking it apart, and if you get to a point where you don't have the tool, go buy *that* tool.
Rinse and repeat as necessary.
+1, in fact I'd suggest seeing if you can borrow some of what you don't have. In some ways the most useful tools often end up also being the most expensive as well as the one you most rarely use.

I don't own an impact wrench or a dial gauge, but I know where to borrow them. I _do_ own a ring compressor and a cylinder compression guage, but both of them only because they got "donated" to me by a friend who left the country (I also scored a really nice copper mallet at the same time, as well as a nice toolbox and bunch of other minor stuff, thanks Paul!).

Make sure you've got good allen keys, sockets, and spanners - "good" as in made of decent metal and actually sized to fit the fateners properly - you don't need to buy snap-on, but you don't want tools made out of cheese either - there's nothing more frustrating that taking your bike to a mechanic and saying "I rounded out this allen head in one of the clutch spring bolts, can you rescue me please?" Not that _I'd_ know of course... (and thanks Ron for sorting that out for me...)

I like to have a set of good screwdrivers as well as a collection of screwdrivers I'm prepared to use as drifts or levers or chisels...

There's a bunch of not-too-expensive things you'll want to pick up as you find you need them (preferably while reading thru the manual beforehand, rather than when you find you can't remove tab A from slot B in the middle of the job) - things like various sized pliers (get some nice needlenosed ones), circlip pliers, vice grips, etc...

Most importantly, if at all possible, invite someone who actually knows what they're doing to come round and drink your beer while you get your hands dirty... Ideally someone who's rebuilt the same motor you're playing with so they know the "tricks", but even someone who's been mechanic-ing for a while is nice to have around when you want to ask "how much do I force this before I give up, and what are the next steps to try if that doesn't work?" - the friend mentioned above who left me a bunch of tools was actually a Boeing 747 mechanic in real life, but having him look over my shoulder as I re-assembled this was very helpful...

big
 

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bigiain said:
<snip> - the friend mentioned above who left me a bunch of tools was actually a Boeing 747 mechanic in real life, but having him look over my shoulder as I re-assembled this was very helpful...

big
Did it ever get off the ground? ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Follow up--

Well, it's a coupla months after I started this thread, and I've begun the rebuild. Nick's been walking me through some of the basics. Check out the saga here if you're interested (remember, it's not a Duc engine). We're taking bets on when I cry "Uncle" and take it to a professional. ;)
 

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you can make a piston ring compresser from some thick plastic (cut from a bleach bottle) and a hose clamp.

I'm going to start racing 250's when i get to utah, any websites you could point me to?
 

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Plastigage is a wax/plastic string that is placed between the bearings and the crank at either the rod location or the crankshaft. Need to check both. As you retorque the bolts or case you are compresssing the plastigage. After it is retorqued open it back up and you can use the supplied width dimensions on the paper to check your clearance. In school we always used the green plastigage..The link is Not a bike rebuild but has some good photos. Hope this helps
Don
 

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Sorry i didn't get the link in..... it's late here. Scroll through the whole thing it's a long post. Has some good photos of using ring compressors too.
Don
http://www.iroczone.com/projeng02.html
 
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