XR-400 splitting cases. How tough?

Rodzilla

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#1
O.K. Guess I'm gonna have to "Just do it" and replace my shift shaft.

If you'll remember a few months back I stripped the splines on my shift shaft and subsequently couldn't ride for a bit. So after several failed "in house" quick fixes I had the lever welded to the shaft.

Well that lasted one ride and the welds broke (they were pretty small) so I upgraded with a serious weld. This weekend I got exactly 1.5 miles in and the shaft broke. The break was away from the weld where the taper is for the lever bolt. So it may be stress from the heat but who knows.

Now the question. I'm faily handy with a wrench (not like Rich or Eric or anything) but I can find my way around. I've rebuilt car engines, replaced clutches etc... but never had to split the cases on a cycle. Is it something a backyard mechanic can do? or will I end up with a "Oh hell, where does this spring/shim/bolt go?" situation.

No I don't have a "full" shop manual but my buddy does, and when I see him I'll take a closer look. But until then what do you guys think?

While I'm at it I'll probably send the top end to get a 440 and fresh valves. It's only money right?:eek:
 
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#2
I don't believe that you have to split the cases to replace the shift shaft. On every bike I have worked on, all you have to do is remove the right side cover, all the clutch parts and basically everything under the cover then the shaft slides right out. That bike might be different, but check your manual. You might be pleasantly surprised with what you see!:)
 

Danman

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#3
I kind of in the same boat as you Ron. My shift lever was loose. I really needed replace the bolt, but I said "It will work for one more ride". I got about a mile or two from camp and I noticed that it was loose. I thought I would just tighten it up after the ride since I don't have a 10MM wrench in my pack(fell out on the trail). I smacked a rock coming up a hill and it turned the lever down with out moving the shaft. It damaged some of the splines on the end of the shaft, but only on one side. There is a notch for the bolt in the middle of the shaft. The toward the engine is fine, but the other side is damaged. I think that I can clean the damage up with a file and just put a new lever on. If not I guess I will be doing what you are. I will finish tearing it up before I got to the extreme of replacing it. I'm glad to hear that I might not have to split the case. Even if you have to split the cases I think that if you can rebuild a car engine you should be able to do it. Just document everything and keep the bolts separated. Take pictures if you have a digital camera or make notes on a peace of paper. Buy a full manual. IF you have any bolts left over when your done then worry. I sure it will be a learning experiance for you just as it would for me.

Good luck.
 
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#4
Howdy,

My friend has a 96' XR400 that also has a stripped out shift shaft! We have "jimmy rigged" it for over a year now (by drilling a tapping 2 holes inbetween the shift lever and the shifter...and it works really well) And now he is ready to sell the bike and get a 01' or 02' YZ426.

He already has the shaft and we cant tell if we need to split the cases or not? The shifter came with a shift fork (or something attached to the shifter, it looks like 2 prongs) and it was $85! If anyone knows whether or not you need to split the cases or not I would really like to know (eric or rich?) I replaced a shift shaft on a KX125 and it was easy...you just put it in neutral and take the right cover and clutch basket off and knock the old one out and put the new one in) My friend Matt would really appreciate it! Thanks,

Garrett Berg
 

TexKDX

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#5
Originally posted by Rodzilla

XR-400 splitting cases. How tough?
Taking it apart? That's EASY. It's the puttin' it back together thing that may present a problem ;) .

I dunno. Pulling the top end off the XR250 was quite the chore. Compared to a 2 stroke, man it was 3 times the labor. Typical Honda though, it was simple and straightforward.

If you have the time, inclination, a factory shop manual, and some friends that know what they are doing who can help out in a pinch, I say go for it. It is like anything else - tough the first time but doable. I have one friend who buys problem bikes and splits cases all the time. He can tear one down in an evening, figure out what is wrong, order the parts, and have it back together in another evening. He funds his bike habit this way - buy them cheap, fix them, then flip them for a quick $300-$400 profit.

Unless you have a good dealer mechanic you trust, what's the alternative? Pull the bullet and ship it to a mechanic you do trust is an option. A cheap plastic cooler and alot of packing paper will do the trick. No peanuts unless all the orafices are taped up though.

This assumes you do have the split them to replace the shaft. Lemme check with a Honda technician buddy and see what is involved. When I did the two-fity they let me copy the shop manual since they did not have any type of manual in stock for sale - claimed you never have to work on them Hondas :cool: .
 
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Rodzilla

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#6
Tex,

That would be great as I'm not fortunate enough to have a bike mechanic in my circle of friends :( (well except around here)

When I originally posted looking for "quick fixes" I was told you don't even need to pull the side covers, I was elated. Yet I went to the dealer and the parts guy looked on the micro-fich (sp) and said "Well looks like a case split is in order". So I went with the weld job as it was prime riding season. Now I'm up a tree with out a paddle.(or a bike for that matter!)

I'm not really intimidated by the thought of doing the work, I just want to go in with all the knowledge I can muster so I don't get caught short. You know make sure I have the parts/tools etc..

Thanks guys.
 
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#7
Rod I don't know I helped a buddy do his 400ex quad and it's basically the same motor and all I can say is WOW! after about 6 guys came over we got it back to other but it took us A LONG TIME! personally I think I would rather have a shop do it, If I were you I would completly remove the engine from the bike and bring it in! Because the will charge you for awhile just to take the motor out! My basic rule is , If I don't feel comfortable doing something on an expensive machine I won't do it, but if you have 6 buddies that want to go nuts??? You may just wanna take it in though:D
sorry wish I could be a better help
 

Rodzilla

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#8
Well John,

I wish you had better news for me! :scream: :( :scream:

I just confirmed it with another dealer, you gotta split dem cases (at least for the '00 XR4)

So I'm committed. I would love to have the shop do it but since I don't have money falling outta my BVD's, looks like a learning experince! Besides I hate to spend my $$$ for the 440 kit on this!


So one of you mec-a-niks need to step up. Do I need anything special to tackle this job. (I know the Japanese mfg. love those specialty tools!):think

Shiftless in Seatle (Well, Denver)