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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I bought a 1987 LT500R this past winter from a Craigslist seller only about 6-miles away. The guy was a member on here and 1st time 'Zilla owner. He had bought the rig for $1500 from a guy in Michigan, and then dumped $900-$1100 into it...87.50mm bore / wiseco piston kit / wrist pin bearing from Trojan Motorsports in Monroe Michigan, new gaskets, new wheel bearings, new Maier hood, $600 of new tires, new chain, new sprockets (41T & 13T), 10mm studs, and new FMF powercore silencer. Also came with nerf bars, another jug, head, extra TM38 carb, aluminum grab bar, desert front bumper, roost boost ignition coil, and some a-arm skid plates. I sold the extra top-end stuff for around $200. So...this is a $1300 Zilla (bought my '88 for $1200, so I'm on a roll!).

The fresh '87 top end has a wiseco piston & rings, and has been ported/polished rather nicely. Also has a PWK39 carb and a PTR pipe. BUT...the novice owner has the head installed 180-deg off -- the head stay is in front! LOL Amazing it ran ok. I have not started it since I test rode it b/c I don't know what all is going on inside the engine. No telling what the guy may have missed, forgotten, or messed up.

Carb needs attention since the guy was ''buddy-starting'' it, and had to pull start it when I looked at it. But when it was running...holy mother of God...it was noticeably quicker than my '88. Idle wasn't set either.

And someone had drilled a couple holes in the lower a-arms about 3" from the ball joint to mount the skid plates (morons).

Race-cut fenders have some mediocre graphics that are peeling. Seat is perfect. Polished aluminum wheels all around.

I was working on a Rotax conversion on one of my FL350R buggies, but this Zilla has sat in the corner of my shop long enough. My plans are to turn this into a powerhouse duner with a lot of stuff I've got in my stash, and includes...

  • PWK39 turned out to 40mm (my stash)
  • Cool-head with 52cc dome (my stash, need to order o-rings for it)
  • New V3 reed cage/intake (bought on eBay for $85 new in April)
  • Swap out the a-arms with a spare set (my stash)
  • Add headlight w/ chrome brush guard (bought on eBay this winter)
  • Add lights/run switch cluster (bought on eBay this winter)
  • New clutch pack & springs (my stash)
  • Aluminum thrust washers (need to order them)
  • Top-end gaskets (my stash)
  • Case saver (need to order)
  • Add an Armadillo rear skid plate (my stash)
  • Replace rear brake pads (my stash)
  • Replace fenders with an uncut glossy set of Maiers (my stash)
  • Replace bars (Honda East)
  • Replace hand grips (Honda East)
  • Swap clutch cover and stator cover with my clear-coated set (my stash)
  • I've got a SS cover bolt set I may or may not use (my stash)
  • Battery, rectifier/regulator install (my stash)
  • EGT (my stash)
  • Trail Tech Vapor (need to order)
  • Z400 extended hubs & paddles (my stash)
  • Properly installed a-arm skid plates (my stash)
  • Frame skid plate (fab)
  • Check all stock wiring & make it perfect
  • Closely inspect frame for any cracks, corrosion, etc and repair
  • Compression test before & after
  • Leakdown check before & after
  • Jetted & plug chopped
  • Dyno'd and tuned locally
Stay tuned!...

D$
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
And because I'm a man of my word, here is the guy's original ad from Craigslist. He was asking $1900. It wouldn't start, was missing headlight/switch, one of the rear tires were siliconed, and the extra jug had a broken sleeve ear. So I hesitated, told him I'd think about it, and he threw $1500 offer at me. DONE! Super nice guy & 100% up-front and honest, and needed the money to buy a house. Those are the best kinds of sellers! =)
 

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Nice to see the zilla you bought off me. At least you thought you did in my introduction. My zilla is near complete after a 6 month frame off rebuild. I'll follow this freshen up though considering rebuilding mine has me addicted. Here's mine as it sits now waiting on top end parts back from MHR and cometic afm gasket set.
 

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Nice to see the zilla you bought off me. At least you thought you did in my introduction. My zilla is near complete after a 6 month frame off rebuild. I'll follow this freshen up though considering rebuilding mine has me addicted. Here's mine as it sits now waiting on top end parts back from MHR and cometic afm gasket set.
I see yours is PC,d black,mine is as well,even have the same front bumper.Mine hasn,t progressed as fast as I,d have liked but hopefully in a couple months I,ll finally get it done.

Anyway,don,t want to hi jack Dmoneys build.Keep us posted,any idea why its so much quicker than your 88?I know the 87,s have the huge intake but I,ve heard arguments both ways as to which is better.I assume your going to go to the bigger cylinder studs?
 

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I thought he said it already had the bigger studs. And I'd assume it might have something to do with the port job why its quicker. That or its just the difference between big reed and small reed is just power in a different part if the curve than he's used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nice to see the zilla you bought off me. At least you thought you did in my introduction. My zilla is near complete after a 6 month frame off rebuild. I'll follow this freshen up though considering rebuilding mine has me addicted. Here's mine as it sits now waiting on top end parts back from MHR and cometic afm gasket set.
Unless your name is Allen from Northwood, OH...I did not buy this '87 from you. My assumption was based on your price, timing of the post, and location of "Ohio". =)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well, spent a few hours of tear-down and CSI work last night. Here's what I found…

1. Seller lied about the head studs. They are 8mm -- NOT 10mm.

2. Leakdown test yielded two medium-sized leaks (7psi to 0 in 2-3 minutes). Leak #1 was at the rear stator side cylinder nut. Leak #2 was a bad o-ring on the pvalve adjuster cap. The seal is compression set and needs replaced.

3. Cold compression check yielded 148-152 lbs with WOT and kicking in MX boots. Certainly feels and sounds like it has a lot more.

4. Rear of frame has been welded at the seat cross-member on stator-side, but its a nice, heavy weld. Also, the steering bumpers on the frame have been modified. It can be steered left ~25% further, and right turn feels/looks stock.

5. Swing arm has been welded at the front stator-side of the bearing carrier cage. Again, its a nice heavy weld.

6. Clutch-side exhaust header mount...looks like they stripped the frame mount threads and then decided to drill a 3/16" hole and used a #10 machine screw to hold the exhaust hangar to the frame. Skillbilly, but works. Will get fixed with a new threaded bung.

7. Upper stator-side intake bolt female threads are stripped. Prev owner used a rectangular nut on the back side.

8. It has a stock reed cage with fiberglass reeds. 3 of the 8 reeds have a slight gap (can see light through them). No stuffer pack used. Intake boot is solid and still pliable.

9. Business-side of head looks great. No dings, splatter, or anything. Was dark and oily (rich). Plug was dark and black-oily, too.

10. Carb is Keihin PWK, and the outlet ID measures 40.1-40.4mm with my crappy calipers. I thought it was a 39mm, so...Bonus! Has a 172 main and 60 pilot. Prev owner was using the CHEAP OIL, as I could see the blue-green residue. Also remember seeing the bottle in his garage. Carb was very clean inside and out. I'll have to do some searching on jetting the future setup.

11. Plug coil wire had melted a little bit on the header, but only penetrated the outer skin. Spark was very good and bright.

12. Wiring is all stock and pretty clean with all the bullet-style connectors there, no fixes, no tape nests. There is no key ignition. Instead, there's a kill switch w/ tether wired into the key ignition's wires.

13. Cylinder interior looks pretty clean. Some faint stripes, but with no depth to them. Can still see some hone cross-hatching. Clean-up work is evident. Looks like a mild clean-up polish without any timing changes or anything. I measured the wall clearance, but need to check it again. My initial measurements told me there was .008" wall clearance (too much), and either I'm wrong or January 2013 receipts for the bore/hone are for another cylinder (I bought it 3-wks after the receipt date). There are several markings on the outside of the cylinder including "MBR" twice, "MB Racing" once, "PRO CUT" right below the head deck on two sides, initials "RR", and a serial number "CB 11284.03". Any idea who this is or what any of that means?? If all else fails, I've got a +.020" over '87 cylinder w/ piston kit never used.

14. Has steel thrust washers. Will get replaced with aluminum, and bearing will get replaced with the RM bearing.

15. Crank is tight, as is the rod bearing. No signs of any thrash or other failure in the crank bowl.

16. Engine cases are stamped "M102-10233".

17. Prev owner was using the pink Dexcool coolant. I prefer the green "50/50 all makes/models" stuff from Prestone. Will flush the rad, leakcheck it, and will use green in the future.

18. There is no VIN code. Its simply not there and does not look like it was ground down, filled, etc. Did replacement frames not come with VIN-coded plates?

19. No coolant overflow bottle. But I've got an extra one in my stash.

20. Has steel-braided brake lines front & rear. Master cyl rezzy screws have seen better days and will get replaced.

21. Spring for rear brake foot lever is missing. I've got a few lying around though.

22. Prev owner fitted the brand new FMF pipe on pretty half-arsed. Only used one rear mount & bolt, but drilled a different hole for it in the brand new pipe's bracket. Used rubber washers instead of grommets. No coupler to the header. I'll get it on there correctly with both bolts, rubber grommets, and a coupler up front.

23. Fenders…rear fender is stitched in the typical spots near the mounts under the seat. Front fender is the solid 1-piece type and the cross-piece (near front of nose) is separated on the clutch-side. Surprised to see the hood hardware is all there, including the little mid-brackets. Fenders still look 'okay' for race-cut, but I hate getting soaked with mud & water. Graphics are peeling and look like poo.

24. Rear clutch-side tire is brand new (all are brand new HoleShots), but they silicone-****'d both beads on this tire. Black on the outside and red on the inside (Grrr!). Hoping I can get the tire unmounted, cleaned up, and re-seated at Belle Tire with no leaks.

25. Using a non-stock kicker bolt & washer.

26. Brand new FMF pipe looks to have developed a leak already (see the black trickle on the pipe). This prob from it being attached WRONG. Morons.


I've seen the stator previously and its very clean & dry. Anxious to drain & pop the clutch cover off to have a look at everything else. So far, the bottom end seems solid. I have no reason to suspect any surprises.


So my latest Need-To-Order list is as follows:
Immediates…
1. O-ring seal, pvalve cap, #09280-23002, $1.14 (Honda East)
2. Aluminum thrust washers (eBay), $20 shipped
3. RM250 w/p bearing, 18X23X22, #09263-18016, $10.86 (Honda East)
4. Cool-head o-ring kit (Honda East)
5. O-ring seal, pvalve, clutch-side, x2 to double up seal, #09280-12012, $2.71 ea. (Honda East)
6. The little plastic cap for the swinger bolt, # 61222-13A00-19F, $3.45 (Honda East)
7. Front radiator scoop, #47311-43B00, $19.40 (Honda East)
Eventuallys…
1. New chain (not the crappy $30 China special that's on there now) (Honda East).
2. Case-saver (E2S member)
3. New bars (Honda East)
4. New grips (Honda East)
 

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Replacement frames from Suzuki do not have VIN's, not sure how you would go about titling it. I doubt you could in Pa. but Ohio has always been more lax on their titling. Quad looks pretty clean but what's up with that front bumper? Is it for attaching plows and rototillers to? Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Replacement frames from Suzuki do not have VIN's, not sure how you would go about titling it. I doubt you could in Pa. but Ohio has always been more lax on their titling. Quad looks pretty clean but what's up with that front bumper? Is it for attaching plows and rototillers to? Lol.
LOL! I know, its friggin' huge. Duncan makes a chrome one similar in size. More a "brush guard" than anything.


Correction...I'm a [email protected] and did not truly understand the "10mm head stud" mod. Thanks to some clarification for Mr. Tice, I've got it now. =) 10mm on the cylinder side, and 8mm on the head side.

Anxious to re-measure the bore & piston with the right tools. I'll be ticked if the receipts were bogus!
 

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what do you mean by cylinder side and head side? I have 10 mils on the base and 8 mils on the head....is that what you mean??? I have pretty much the same build you do...it seems someone just did everything they could to make my bike "run" ...wish I could pick out all of the short cuts like you can
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The stud...one end goes in the cylinder/jug...the other end goes through the head and is held with a nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Some so-so news and bad news on this project...

So-so news...
Measured my piston and bore this morning with the micrometer & bore gage and I've got .006-.0065" wall clearance. Not horrible, but not .004-.0045" like I'd prefer. But this means the paperwork the seller gave to me was bogus and likely for another bike (the guy picked up the quad from the shop only 2.5 wks before I bought the quad...per the paperwork) OR the place that did the work is a sham.

Bad news...
The air leak at the cylinder base nut is actually a hairline crack in the corner of the cylinder. I'm going to pull the jug and media blast it so I can see what's going on down there. Hoping just a minor TIG weld will solve the problem. In the pic, where the little bubbles are...that's where the leak is.

IMAG1048.jpg
 

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That's actually a pretty common problem. Most of the guys that are putting out serious horsepower with these machines weld those up so that area is twice as thick as it is now and then redrill the hole and use longer studs. If you ever hear about guys welding the ears on a zilla cylinder that's what they're talking about. The bad thing is that once you put that much heat to it you need to bore it again because it deforms the bore. Might even need to take a few thousandths off the base. You might not have that problem if you are just putting a small weld on it though.

If you want to have it done rather than do it yourself Mike at full tilt muscle cars does a really nice job with them and his prices are pretty sweet. He is the same guy that makes the heatseeker temp gauges and goes by 500fanatic on the boards, pretty sure he did a lot of Rogue's engine. http://fulltiltmusclecars.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Welded ears...makes sense! Thanks Jerkin!! I didn't even realize it was a potential issue.

I bead-blasted the whole area in & out and it is indeed a pin-hole on the outside. But I cannot find any defect on the inside! Grrrrr!!! Hoping its not a hairline crack I simply cannot see. I'm going to pick-up a magnifying glass and inspect a little further. Thought we had one at work, but we only have video microscopes and stuff which is just too small for viewing a 500cc cylinder ear.

As long as its only a pin-hole, I don't see it getting hot enough to warp the bottom deck during the weld. There's plenty of air behind it, too, on the interior intake tunnels. I'm going to have a friend's machine/race shop here in town weld the hole really quick. They've got all kinds of experience with everything from aluminum V8 blocks, drag chassis, a-arms, and other stuff. Plus they're merely an hour away (Again...this is as long as I can find the source on the inside). And then we can check the deck's flatness on the CMM here at my work. If it needs more work, I'll have to consult the pro's about an ear-weld job. =) This will be a tangent side-project in the background though.

In the meantime...I'm going to use my "spare" '87 jug that's got a brand new never used bore and Wiseco piston kit. Its been stored for 6-months, but I gave it an oil bath before I sealed it in a giant ziploc bag. It isn't P&P'd, but it will certainly get me down the trail & up the dune!

Ordered my RM bearing, Al thrust washers, and cool-head o-rings today. Should be here before the weekend. About $60 for all.

Who sells the thick aluminum case-savers on here?? I need one for a 13T sprocket. I think the one I have says R.S.S Designs on it or something like that.
 

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SBLT500 makes te aluminum 500 cut out case savers. Not sure if he's on this site but you can purchase them through the store on SQHQ or contact him there if he's not on E2S.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
SBLT500 makes te aluminum 500 cut out case savers. Not sure if he's on this site but you can purchase them through the store on SQHQ or contact him there if he's not on E2S.
Thank you! I sent him a PM through E2S and SQHQ. =)
 
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