Total rebuild - strategy?

kev_rm

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#1
I'm embarking on a complete rebuild of my 92 KDX 200. I started out with "just" a total engine rebuild and replacing a bunch of parts that needed it, but I decided for another $500 or so I can probably just restore the bike to almost new. I can spin the wrenches, but I've never done a restoration/total rebuild project before so I'm looking for pointers as to both "content" and "strategy". So far what I know to do is the engine (which is at forward motion now), all the bearings, all the plastic, paint the frame, rebuild the forks/shock, refurnish or replace things like brake lines and cables, replace consumables like pads and chain guides/rollers, new seat cover and so on. It's actually a little shocking how few parts there are on a dirt bike compared to a car.

Any ideas, tips, tricks from folks who have done projects like this (on any bike, really) would be appreciated.
 

biglou

#2
Sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on things. We did Thunder33's 99YZ400F a couple years ago with a Hurricane kit and it turned out awesome. I'd have to say, organization will be key. Keep all the little parts sorted. Clean every single part, repaint if needed, wipe with grease all the pivoting bolts, etc. IMO, elbow grease is about 90% of what it takes. And I tell ya, it sure is a satisfying feeling when you're done and you can see your completed project. Kinda makes ya wanna cry the first time it gets dirty!
 

jmics19067

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#3
I'd have to say, organization will be key. Keep all the little parts sorted.
yep! what I did was take off all major components in big assemblies. for example take out the top rear shock bolt,swingarm pivot bolt,and linkage to frame bolt,rear master cylinder,brake resorvoir,and pedal. put all small bolts in a bag put all big bolts in thier respective holes with shims seals etc in order. duct tape all flopping parts down tight and the bag of bolts firmly to the large assembley. Although awkward to store and move around you wont loose anything or forget what goes where that way. If and when you have the frame painted and all parts ready<shock serviced, new bearings,sprocket, tires brake pads etc> spend whatever time is necessary to take a large subassembly break it down clean,repair, replace, regrease and reinstall before moving on to the next sub assembly.

I have found it easiest from a complete bare frame too loosely set the engine in with the front and bottom motor mount bolt only. Build the complete rear suspension,wheel and brake assembly. Then build the front end complete,next tighten all motor mounts, electric, carb, cables, radiators, subframe,exhaust, tank ,shrouds seat and your done
 

biglou

#4
jmics made me think of a few other things we did... When I said most of the work is elbow grease, that also means the preperation work. If you're going to have the frame powder coated or painted, take the time to sandblast it completely bare. You could probably rent one for a day and blast all your steel parts. Putting the bolts back into the shock, suspension components, etc. is a good way to keep track of them and their correct order. On rebuild, I like jmics' pattern. Also, place a thin towel over the top part of the bottom frame rails to protect them from scratching while you stab the engine mount bolts. Best to get a buddy to help with that. Really, the possibilities are almost limitless. Stripping, painting and polishing about all you care to. If I get a chance, I'll post the progress pics of the Hurricane we built. Keep in mind, though, that I have access to powder coating and polishing facilities at work. So, we got a lot of work done for free... ;)
 

biglou

#5
In general order of appearance:

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00002.JPG
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00006.JPG
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00008.JPG
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00009.JPG
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00011.JPG
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00017-2.jpg
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/big_lou/_uimages/DSC00024.JPG

Yeah, I know, in one pic I got suspension bolts scattered all over the place! Just to let you know how far we went with this bike, two of the rear susp roller bearings were a big rusted clump inside the race. I dug them out, soaked them in penetrating oil, sanded the races smooth, greased and reinstalled. Lots of work to salvage a $5 bearing, but we didn't have the money for a Pivot Works kit at the time. Lots of scrubbing with wire brushes, lots of brake cleaner to pretty up the carb and motor, etc.
 
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#6
If my bike, i would replace/refurbish, clutch, stearing head bearings, shock linkages, swingarm bearings, wheel bearings, rebuild shock, replace forkseals and oil, pads front and rear, plastics, graphics etc. Good luck
 

kev_rm

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#7
OK, cool, I like the idea of keeping parts seperated into sections. I was tentively planning on splitting the bike into three sections and working on those indpendantly, basically front (forks, clamps, bars, front brake/wheel), middle (frame, engine, eletrical) and back (shock, linkage, swingarm, rear brake, wheel). If I keep parts organized in those sections it will definately help.

I have a buddy with a sand blaster, so I may go ahead and blast the frame, too.

A couple followup questions:

Is it possible to get automotive paint in kawa green? I've got access to a proper spray gun and would rather go that route than rattle can PJ1.

Also, the swingarm has some sort of paint or coating on it, any ideas if this will come off and the swingarm can be polished or what's the best option there?
 
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#8
When I tore my bike all the way down to the frame this last summer I took notes on every nut and bolt I took apart and seperated them in to baggies. I put all the nuts and bolts for the shock in one bag, the bolts for the engine in another, so on and so forth, and I numbered the bags and put the inventory in my note book. When it came time to put it all back together it went very quickly and there was no guessing as to what went where. The only thing I would have done differntly is I would have taken alot of pictures with my digital camera, there was a few times I wasn't sure if I had the routing of the cables exactly right or not.
 

jmics19067

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#9
Sweet Bike Lou!

The digital camera trick is way cool and works wonders. With photoshop or PictureIt! you can effectively take the picture write down your journal of how what went where and print out your own reverse of dissassembley assembley manual. That you won't even have to worry about getting dirty because if you save the info on your 'puter you can just toss it away and print a new one.

As for the color I am not sure that auto body supply stores will have the proper references to cross over paint codes. But some do have some type of machine<chromotagrapher?> that can effectively scan a part's original color and give the recipe for a duplicate match,plus you always have the option of perusing their color chip book for a "close enough" match.

If you have accesibilty to body shop equipment I strongly suggest a polyeurathane enamel such as DuPont's Imron. Nasty to the human spraying it so a booth and supplied air respirator is highly recommended. I have sprayed a couple of trucks and with over 500,000 miles on them after I painted them they still look pretty darn good.
 

Gary B.

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#10
What a coincidence! I'm doing this very thing on my YZ. I'm leaving the motor in the frame, however, and I'm not into the painting thing as it's going to look just the way it does now after one or two rides. Here's a note: if your going to paint the frame on something with a dry sump oiling system like a YZF, don't sandblast it! You'll never get all the sand out of the frame and it'll get pumped into the motor first time you fire it up! (I've seen it happen) :scream:
 

BRush

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#11
The baggie thing worked well for me too. I had a box of zip-lock baggies and put all the nuts and bolts from each component and /or assembly in it's own baggie along with a 3x5 card describing what the contents were for. It was a lifesaver during reassembly
 

gwcrim

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#12
I redid a street bike a few years ago and powder coated the frame. That stuff is nearly indestructable when compared to paint. I forget what it cost but the price included sandblasting. Max cost was maybe $150.
 

kev_rm

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#13
I've given some thought to powder coating or electrostatic painting it, but it's not worth it for me on this bike. My KTM is powder coated, and it is quite tough, but it's not indestructable and I don't expect the frame to stay clean and scratch free anyway, a quality traditional primer and paint will be fine for me.
 
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#14
Jut a tip, do not even touch the suspension if its your first time. For me, I had a hellofatime tryin to figure it out. It's a whole different world down there, unless you know someone or you personally have some serious supsension understanding I wouldn't mess with it. I rebuilt mine with a manual and had no clue in what I was doing, but the rest of my rebuild went perfect. I can take the motor stuff, but suspension is a different ball game.
 

kev_rm

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#15
The shock was done professionally, the forks I put new seals springs and oil in a few months ago, so they are just getting dressed.