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Old 12-26-2014, 05:51 PM   #1
winter_rules OP
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Pulaski, NY
Oddometer: 41
DRZ Engine Swap - E into S

I have had a very low use 2003 DRZ 400E for several years now. I recently stumbled across a 2005 DRZ 400S with 1,400 miles. It was owned by a NYS trooper in our small town whose wife told him to just get rid of it. I bought it for $1,200!! It is bone stock and immaculate! I do not need nor want two bikes, so I'm considering swapping my 'E' engine and carb into my 'S' chassis. Is it that simple? How different is the wiring harness? Unforunately I have the bikes stored at my parents' which doesn't allow simple access so I can't look at it easily.

The most important thing to me is reliability and longevity - if there's much more than bolting/unplugging I probably won't do it. I don't get to ride much so I need it to be ready to rock when I get the time!! I am already questioning it just because of that, but I know I'll always be kicking myself about it later if I don't seriously consider the swap when I have the perfect situation. Thoughts?
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Old 12-26-2014, 06:23 PM   #2
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: San Diego, CA
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Major differences between the engines are the E has a different base gasket to give it a bit more compression, different cam or cams (not sure if both are different), the FCR carb instead of the CV on the S.....and possibly a different stator.

Lot's of people do the E mods to their S engine, so I'd just do a bit of research on the stator and if they are the same you should be good to go.

Oh, maybe the CDI box is different as well.
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:00 PM   #3
Got Snow?
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: South Jersey... Close to the Pines
Oddometer: 2,565
They should swap right out... get Jim to help you!

Whats wrong? No snow and you need a project?
Wayne 2005 BMW F650GS... 1984 HD FXRS
Gone but not forgotten...
'80 Montesa Cota 200, '03 DRZ 400s,
'80 Suzuki GS850G, '74 Honda MT250 Enduro
'71 Kawasaki 100,1971 Honda SL70, Sears Mini Bike
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Centennial,Co./ Grand Lake,Co
Oddometer: 4,042
Should swap with no problem. The differences are not in the engine mounts. So the "S" has bigger generator, bigger brakes, smaller carb, less compressions, smaller cams, smaller exhaust, foot pegs, fan, glass headlight, turn signals, horn, more wire, speedo, subframe under the rear fender,metal gas tank, vacuum petcock. Did I miss something? Anyway nothing effecting the engine mounts. There might some difference with the muffler mount. But not much. Question is why would you do this? You are making one bike out of two. Much less value there.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:26 AM   #5
winter_rules OP
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Pulaski, NY
Oddometer: 41
Wayne, yes the lack of snow is why I'm thinking about bikes right now! We were off to a good start with 10-12" of dense snow and things were freezing up - now it's all gone and we're back into the mud season! Depressing.

"Old man", I used to have a 2003 DRZ E which a guy had made street legal in CT and I was able to get it to transfer into the great state of NY. However, I sold that when times were a little tougher for us and have regretted it since. I then picked up the off-road only 2003 DRZ for cheap several years ago and have enjoyed that a lot but still missed the dual sport abilities at times. When I stumbled across this street legal gem for dirt cheap I figured I had to buy it and now I'm realizing that I could potentially have the best of both worlds and a bike that I could literally keep forever since I don't ride much thanks to having a young family, and since there is basically an unlimited supply of parts for these bikes that have been basically unchanged for 15 years. Will I reduce the value of the off-road DRZ 400E? Yes, by a few hundred dollars. Is that few hundred dollars worth it to have THE bike I have always wanted? Absolutely!!! The increased value of then street legal bike may even increase a bit to lessen the overall deduction - but that's not my concern now. We're finally at a point where I can spend the few hundred dollars to make the dream bike that I've wanted for years and that my wife is sick of me talking about!!!

With all that said, I'm looking for honest input from those with experience. Maybe it makes sense to just swap carbs to increase the spunk, but maintain the stock reliability. Or maybe I should just keep it 100% stock. Still open to suggestions!
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:05 AM   #6
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: North Central Washington
Oddometer: 3,255
Why not just keep the E for dirt, and ride the S on the street and/or dirt? There are four DS bikes in my garage, each with a different range of abilities.
Of course, one of them is a plated DRZ400E.

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Old 12-27-2014, 09:23 AM   #7
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bay Area, Ca
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Yeah, I'm still not sure what the advantage is, other than building up an engine to combine S and E parts. If you do that, you might as well do a big bore and make something really fun.

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Old 12-27-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Reading,Pa
Oddometer: 773
my thoughts

I think I would swap the E engine and suspension on to the legal S

and keep or sell the E . Recoup investment with sale or keep it as loaner or

project bike.

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Old 12-27-2014, 05:18 PM   #9
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
Oddometer: 2,691
I can't figure out why you want to change engines.

What is wrong with the "S" engine?
Sometimes wheelies happen

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Old 12-28-2014, 08:36 PM   #10
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: SoCal
Oddometer: 703
I own both . A 2005 S and a 2003 E.

Engines are identical except for base gasket, cams ,carb and neutral switch (on the S).
E's also have a larger diameter headed pipe , and a CDI with a 500 rpm higher rev. limiter.

2002 and up S's have the same suspension ( except the rear spring is stiffer on the S )

Generators are the same . (200w)

Many other components are lighter. Front brake rotor and master cylinder/ oil return line/ rear subframe .

I ended up using the E as a parts bike ( it had less than 100 miles on it) and putting all the "good/lighter" parts on the S.

10 years and almost 30,000 mostly dirt miles and i'm still loving it .
dreaming of moist soil
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:14 AM   #11
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 529
I understand your thought process on this, because I had considered the same thing when I had a DRZ400S. Put all the go-fast goodies onto one street legal frame and then you can either keep everything else for spares or sell it to recoup some of the money spent.

I got a cheap DRZ400S with a cracked frame about a year ago and parted it out for more than you paid for your E model, so this could work out if you have the patience and will to do it.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Westminster CO
Oddometer: 1,497
i dont know that the S motor is that much worse than the E. I dont think its worth the effort personally...

I have swapped a couple DRZ motors in my day, they were straightforward swaps. No major modifications.
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