220 piston replacement

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Mar 23, 2003
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#1
I've got an 03 KDX220 that I plan on installing an FMF pipe and silencer on. I figured I might just replace the OEM piston with a Wiseco while I'm at it. Are there any special tools needed to remove and install a new piston and rings? I've never done a top end before but I've got the manual, is it preety straight forward for someone with reasonable mechanical ability?
 
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Oct 11, 2002
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#2
Re: Special tools? No. You will have to come up with a way to torque the cylinder nuts down. Search this site for various ways to do this wihout buying the "special" tool. I went to a pawn shop and bought a fine craftsman stubby 12mm combo wrench for $2.00 and welded a cheap 3/8" dirve socket to the open end of the wrench. Remember if you use this method to keep the wrench 90 degrees to your torque wrench.

Re: Straight forward? Yes. You will want to pay close attention to the way the KIPS valve comes apart. Some of the earlier manuals had the valves reversed. Also when you remove the KIPS valve advance lever, remember that the nut has left handed threads and you need to hold the shaft steady, there are two flat spots on the shaft that are designed for that purpose, I used a small crescent wrench.

I also consider myself to have reasonable mechanical ability and had no trouble. I bought a new to me 97 KDX 220 with all the standard mods in the fall of 02 and decided to rebuild it just for the heck of it that winter. I'm glad I did becouse it still had the stock grenade in it.

Anyway utilize this site and your shop manual and you should have no problems.
 
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#3
Wash your bike. Then wash it again with the seat and tank removed. Remove all the kips covers and rotate the shaft to check for easy movement. If its not there disassemble and clean. If you're this far along I'd do it anyway. Lube everything with your 2 stroke oil as you go back together. If you get hung up, just ask!
 
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Jan 28, 2002
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#4
Unfortunately, you have to practically take 1/2 of the bike apart just to get to the piston so if you're not somewhat good with wrenches you'll never get that far ! See some past threads here on installing the circlips --there's been a number of engines ruined from them coming out. Stock circlips are easy to install but Wiseco's are really mean to get started into the hole. This can be remedied by chamfering the the wristpin holes [before installation] using either a countersink or dremel tool.
 
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#5
You might ask yourself why you want to replace the piston. I just did a top end job on my 99 220, and I have kept track of the total miles on it. At almost 5,000 miles, the piston snd cylinder were both still within specs, although the rings were worn. Also, my local dealer parts tech could find no aftermarket pistons for the 220, so you might have to get a stock one anyway.

More likely, your KIPS valve and componenets will need decarbonizing, and like the previous poster said, be careful to keep track of where everything goes.
 

Zerotact

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#6
Wiesco makes a piston for the kdx220...... Your parts guy was either stupid, to lazy to look for it, or not buying from the right suppliers.
 
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#7
McRider,

I agree with you to a point. I've read some threads that a 220 with aftermarket exhaust mods has a small chance of the piston self destructing. But I agree its probably unlikely, particularly since the FMF gnary pipe will reduce top end, not turn it into a screamer. I'm 50/50 write now on the changing the piston. However I am definitely getting the FMF pipe and can and having Fredette upgrade the forks. Those mods should add a lot a vaaavoooom to the ride.
 

Fred T

Mi. Trail Riders
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Mar 23, 2001
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#9
www.frpoffroad.com

Jeff can get you anything you need for your KDX including the Wiseco piston kit. On the 220 you want the wiseco and not the stocker -the stocker will crack the skirts off and cause you big troubles. I used a spoke wrench to hold on to the KIPS acuator shaft while removing the nut.
 
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#10
While your at it ship your carb and head to Jeff, you will not believe the difference combined with the pipe.
Swarty
 

trsrdr

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#12
I'm waiting to get my head, cylinder and carb back from Jeff. He said the '97's had good pistons, unlike later models, and replacement wasn't necessary. I guess Kawasaki decided to make an "improvement" which was for the worse. Jeff can modify the head for more compression and clean the ports for improved response. Check his site for more information.
 
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Jun 9, 2003
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#13
you guys that sent out your cylinder, cylinder head and carb to Jeff Fredette should be very pleased. I have Just reciently sent out my cylinder,cylinder head, and carb off my 99 220 and man what a difference. it made unbelievable improvements throughout the power band especially on top, it revs like a 250 now. hope you all get as much satisfaction from Fredette Racing Products as i did.
-Ross-
 
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#14
I am not sure if the head mod actually raises the compression or it is reshaped to avoid detonation. I have Jeffs carb mod running with a RAD valve, Jeff's porting and head work in combination with a FMF Torque pipe. I run the FMF silencer for Hare Scrambles and actually run the stock silencer for enduros. I stumbled on the stock silencer set up trying to quiet it down to ride in a particular area and found it becomes a torque monster. It signs off rather early but I run 3rd gear all day long in the same section I would need second with the FMF. You are right about Jeff's customer service, it is second to none. Nothing like logging on to the ole internet on your lunch hour and have your parts on your doorstep in a couple of days! I unwrapped the carb, put it on, did a plug read and have not touched it since.
Swarty