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Old 05-26-2015, 02:43 PM   #1
cyclenoob OP
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Joined: May 2015
Location: Long Island
Oddometer: 2
Eh? 2007 Kawasaki EX-500 Rebuild

I'm going to preface this with letting everyone know that I know essentially nothing about motorcycles..... On to the project

If this thread does not belong here please kindly relocate it (I do plan to do a full tear down of every nut and bolt and complete mechanical overhaul of this bike)

History of the Bike: It's a 2007 with only 2,200ish miles on it. Was being ridden by a friend of a friend who was borrowing it from his family friend when the bike was dropped and damaged. Friend of a friend bought it, fixed it, then ended up gifting it to my friend after it inadvertently became a submarine.

Here's the interesting part - It is a Hurricane Sandy victim (for those who do not know Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast US in Oct 2012 and was the biggest hurricane to hit Long Island in quite some time) The bike was submerged up to about the engine head and the battery was left connected. The result was a completely flooded bike with most of its electrical connections corroded off.
My friend had drained all the fluids (mostly saltwater at that point), re-oiled and cranked the engine with no spark plugs to remove as much water from the combustion chamber as possible. As much oil as possible was added to the engine to be assessed at a later date as a project. Friend ended up buying another bike and the EX-500 sat in its sad state out in the weather since fall 2012 with no spark plugs and some residual saltwater in the engine.

I took on the bike as a project since I have the desire to rebuild something but no money to buy a project car, and even less space for one. The bike fits the bill because 1. its free 2. its small 3. parts for this bike are pretty abundant and cheap 4. its free. I have a clean title and pre-filled out bill of sale for it as well.

My Background- Engineering degree in Naval Architecture, love working on oily mechanical things. Own an R56 MINI that I have done tons of work to myself. At the moment I have very little knowledge and interest in bikes, maybe that will change.

The bike had been slightly disassembled before entering my hands, but the motor was still in place. So first course of action is making sure the motor is salvageable.

Did not take any pictures of the frame yet, but if you are curious what 2.5 years of saltwatery oil does to a motor keep scrolling.

DSC_0064 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0066 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0067 by Andrew, on Flickr

All looks pretty good from the outside. Some surface rust on the bare steel parts, so surprise.

DSC_0065 by Andrew, on Flickr

This was the "Oil" That drained out of it which included MANY giant slime balls that continuously clogged the drain hole.

DSC_0068 by Andrew , on Flickr

DSC_0073 by Andrew, on Flickr

The top side of the head is pretty clean. There's some minor surface rust here and there on the unmachined sections of the cams and rocker arms. The valve stems look clean from what i can see thus far and the bearing surfaces of the cams themselves are clean, there's some very light discoloration (rust) on the cam journals but is not raised or indented when running your finger over it.

DSC_0075 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0076 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0077 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0079 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0080 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0081 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0083 by Andrew, on Flickr

Found this lovely sludge in the combustion chambers. Cleaned up well, tops of the pistons are unaffected, cylinder walls have some surface rust. The cylinder walls look like they can be honed smooth and reused. Pistons are not freely moving in the cylinder at this point so not sure if the cylinders and pistons will ultimately be salvageable unless i can separate them without causing any further damage.

DSC_0085 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0086 by Andrew, on Flickr

Valves are filthy, while there is rusty colored slime all over them in the pictures when I wiped them down there does not appear to be any actual rust on the metal. Valves need to be removed to further assess the valve seats for corrosion.

DSC_0088 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0091 by Andrew, on Flickr

More slimy oil clinging to the oil pan. The oil pickup was completely hidden in a slime ball like the one pictured below.

DSC_0089 by Andrew, on Flickr

DSC_0090 by Andrew, on Flickr

Above is a close up of the gears, showing more spots of rusts.

That is as far as I have gotten so far in disassembling the motor before it started to get dark and cold.

From my initial assessment, I think I can save most of it, if not all of the original motor. I know I need the usual new items to rebuild it (gaskets, rings, bearing, etc and going to pick up second hand, non rusty chains)

My question is for anyone with actual experience, does this motor appear to be salvageable and worth cleaning and rebuilding? If so I am definitely going to stay persistent and fully rebuild the bike to as close to like new condition as I can possibly manage, while saving as many original and second hand parts (when needed) as possible. If this motor is not worth rebuilding, I will have to re-evaluate my plan and see if I can/want to find another motor for cheap.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
k-moe
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It looks salvageable, but is it worth the cost? A running low-mileage engine for those will only set you back $300 to $400.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:30 PM   #3
cyclenoob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-moe View Post
It looks salvageable, but is it worth the cost? A running low-mileage engine for those will only set you back $300 to $400.
As long as I can use the original parts, it is worth it for me. While it would be easier to pick up a running motor for the sake of rebuilding the bike and getting it running, I much more want to rebuild a motor. Originally my friend offered just the motor and then went hell take the whole bike I want it gone, so really the complete motorcycle is a bonus lol. Plus I like that the bike will still have all the same major parts it came with rolling out of the factory with an interesting life story.

If all I really need to purchase is gaskets, rings, bearings etc to rebuild the motor then I want to put the time in meticulously cleaning it up and reassembling it.

Even if I end up putting $1000 into the completed bike to get it running and looking good, I can probably get that back out of it in resale or just keep it as a spare mode of transport. My total investment in this project so far is about $40 in shop rags, ziplock bags, and 2 big sterilite containers to clean, categorize and store the dissembled parts.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:00 PM   #4
egoy2
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Well, as long as its just for fun.
http://www.ex-500.com/
This site has much good info on the engine if you're willing to do some searching. In particular look for posts by FOG.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
lobolator
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FOG is the man with these bikes.

Definitely check out that site. He was very helpful to me when replacing an engine from a different model year with a different ignition set-up.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:43 AM   #6
Roadracer_Al
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What you'll find is that the bearings will last a several thousand miles, wear out due to the rust, then start making horrifying noises as things start moving in axis where no movement should occur.

Iron oxide powder suspended in oil is essentially lapping compound, and it doesn't just affect the bearings - it'll wear everything the oil circulates to... all the other precision fits, in other words.

You need to decide right now what your goal is. If you want only to learn about how engines look inside, and how they work, great. If you want to part out all the rest of the bike on eBay, great (although ethically, you'd want to disclose that it was flood damaged).

However, if you're in it for the long haul and want to enjoy the bike for years, you should replace all the ball and roller bearings before running it. When I say "all", I mean ALL. That includes the chassis.

Find an industrial bearing supply place, and buy them there. You'll be able to get most of them there, costing about 20~30% of what a MC dealer wants for them. They'll love you if you walk in with a bag full of clean, dry bearings and ask for replacements instead of trying to learn all the terminology and order over the phone.

There may be some unique bearings: you need to measure all three dimensions: inside, outside, and thickness. Usually it's the thickness that makes it a custom bearing. Don't blow, for example, $60 on the main bearings which have the same part number but are 2 mm thicker than the OEM main bearings. Ask me how I know that....

And, I have a couple other suggestions:

I'd also recommend using electrolytic rust removal on all the steel parts. You can't scotchbrite or wire-brush rust away enough to prevent continued rust.

If you're into the rebuild for the long-term, that boring the cylinder would be the right thing to do. If the cylinder walls aren't pitted, you might be able to get away with just new rings. Don't bother trying to reuse the rings, they're fragile and won't seal after cleaning.
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:57 PM   #7
Scubawerx
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Looks like your engine may have been submerged for a period of time. Flood bike?
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:18 PM   #8
k-moe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubawerx View Post
Looks like your engine may have been submerged for a period of time. Flood bike?
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:51 PM   #9
swamp
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I think you should get the motor running then give it full throttle until it fails
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:05 PM   #10
Roadracer_Al
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Ha. Preferably at your high school career counsellors front door.

Was that too edgy?

Is my baggage showing?
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