1975 KZ400 bobber build

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by jgrady1982, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    Too tired to give a history tonight, here are some pics. Will post a more "wordy" reply tomorrow. Enjoy...

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    Super crowded garage...more on this later
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  2. Old fart

    Old fart Keen AG100 rider

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    Nice pipe work, pity you couldn't have sloted the axle plates into the tubes just to finish it off perfectly.
    #2
  3. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    The original diameter of the rear axle plates was something like 7.75". If we did notch the tubes and slid the plates into them this would have have this dimension almost a 0.5" smaller, and this might have led to some alignment/rear wheel issues down the road.
    #3
  4. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    Well here is to another build thread :freaky Where to begin..So the last couple days I was buying stuff from Harbor Freight, I know that sounds lame but let me explain. I was reading the reviews regarding their welding cart and service cart and people said that they were made well and did a good job. So I bought them, then came home and found a coupon for another $21 off the service cart price. So that took a day to deal with, and then another day to put them both together, and then finally today I got to take the engine apart. It was very important to get the welding cart ready to go, because I plan on using the MIG a bunch on this build. This is going to be new to me, but I can't wait to see what I can do with the MIG. So today, after riding my XL600R out to the hardware store to get new nuts and bolts for the welding cart (old ones were Chinese and crappy) I took the engine out of the frame and started taking apart he top end. I stopped at the cylinder, because I could not get it off of the bottom end. I have to go through the service manual and see exactly how it comes apart. Once some people chime in and let me know their thoughts on the state of the head, cam and rockers, this will then sway my decision on what to do with the top end in regards to machining. Here are the pics:

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    The delay in my progress:

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    Thoughts please...
    #4
  5. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Its a chopper, its supposed to handle like that...:rofl
    #5
  6. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    So my friend came over today when I got out of the hospital. We continued on the engine dismantle. I emailed mcma111 last night and he offered a great way to remove the cylinder, so I did. We finished breaking the engine down and right now it looks like this...

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    Main cap with bearings
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    This is the oil screen in the bottom half of the case, not a spec in it!
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    No scores on marks on the cylinder walls, probably need a hone, hopefully that's all, but we'll see...
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    No pitts on any of the transmission gears +1
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    Clutch looked good, but it will be replaced
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    My garage is a disaster!
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    So here is the plan, I have some BS to take care of tomorrow AM a the hospital, but after that I am going to get the welding gas and all that to make the Millermatic into a true MIG. Once that is done I am going to give Engine Dynamics a call, and see what they can do with this pile of parts. I am going to test the head (thanks mcma111), and see what that has to show. I am hoping that all I need is a hone job, because this will lessen the parts $ blow. But you never know...So yeah, the fins of the head, cylinder and rocker and rocker cover will be sand blasted and then washed in the parts washer. Then the two case halves will be cleaned in the parts washer. Once I establish all the parts that I will need to buy, the engine will be painted and then reassembled. Hopefully...this all goes as planned. I still need to buy a tank, seat, bars, battery box and electronics box, chain, sprockets, main bearings, internal engine chains, etc...the list can go one for a while. Let me know what you all think and...enjoy the porn!

    Thanks,
    Jack
    #6
  7. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    .
    #7
  8. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    When I was removing the pistons there was a bunch of side to side play in the connecting rods on the crank. This got me worried because I did not have the manual in front of me to see exactly how much play is normal. Plus I wanted to strip this thing down and do a good thorough cleaning and painting. I think that the engine had 14,000 miles so I agree that this was probably unnecessary. But I'm bored, and think that this stuff is cool. Plus now it's a challenge to see if I can put it all back together correctly. :huh It was super hot here yesterday, I think about 91 with a whole bunch of humidity.

    The claw hammer was for beating the 2x4 against the cases to remove the case bolts.

    There are these thin round pieces of metal rings in between the clutch plates, I have to look that up to see exactly what those things are.

    Off to the hospital now for some BS meeting and then to the welding place for some gas, and then to BSC cycles (custom European cycle shop by me) to pick up my new electronic ignition.

    -Jack
    #8
  9. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    Last night my friend came over and we built another wooden shelf for my garage. I had no place to put all of these parts that I was accumulating from tearing down this bike. And from the last build, I learned my lesson about being organized, so this time around I am going to try a little better about keeping track of things.

    So once we got the shelf done, I started to baggie and box up all the parts and place them on the new parts shelf. I also put the cylinder, pistons and head in the parts washer and cleaned them off as best as I could. When they were less dirty I blew them off with the air gun and sent them in two large UPSP priority boxes to Engine Dynamics in Petaluma, CA. I talked to the guy on the phone last night and he said that I should have them back in about 2-3 weeks from now. Which is fine with me because I can clean and then reassemble the bottom end while I am waiting. I think that I am going to reuse the main bearings so I don't think I am going to buy new ones.

    So right now here is my checklist:
    1. Order seat, bars, battery and electronics box, tires, brake pads and shoes
    2. Cut off all the un-used tabs on the frame
    3. Order CR125 carb
    4. New intake
    5. Fab jockey shift and foot clutch
    6. Powdercoat and paint (still not 100% on scheme)
    7. Finish wheels, sand or wire wheel spokes and get those powder coated
    8. Get gas for welder
    9. probably some other stuff that I forgot, but I am sure that I will remember

    O yeah, yesterday I picked up an electronic ignition for this bike. No experience with it, but we'll see how it goes! :huh

    Ok later,
    Jack
    #9
  10. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    Okay...Steve...and anybody else who is interested hunting down a hard to find part.

    I was thinking about ordering all the piston rings (standard 63mm), engine gaskets, head gasket, base gasket, etc... this evening. However for this bike, the 1975 KZ400-D, the head gasket is not available anymore. :huh

    There are head gaskets for the KZ400 all over ebay, but none for the 1975 model. Can I use a 1976 head gasket? Or will this cause a mess to happen? I am at a loss.

    The only place that I have found so far with parts is kawasakipartshouse.net.

    Basically...what I want to know is if I can use a head gasket from a 1976 model? I don't know, I wish I knew more about these bikes, but I am sure that I will once this build is over! :puke1

    Thanks,
    Jack
    #10
  11. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    Try babbitsonline.com . They have a parts fiche for Kawi's and I've had good experiences with them as a vendor. It breaks out the 74/75 and 76/77 but mentions a superceeded part. There is an early model gasket and a later model gasket but I don't know what's different just that there is a difference. I'm too tired to figure it out at the moment.

    Part # = 11004-1003
    Part Description = CYLINDER HEAD GASKET,11004-1259
    Model Count = 9
    KZ400 74 400 KZ400 STREET
    KZ400-A1 77 400 KZ400 DELUXE STREET
    KZ400-A2 78 400 KZ400 DELUXE STREET
    KZ400D 75 400 KZ400D STREET
    KZ400-D3 76 400 KZ400 STANDARD STREET
    KZ400-D4 77 400 KZ400 STANDARD STREET
    KZ400S 75 400 KZ400S STREET
    KZ400-S2 76 400 KZ400 SPECIAL STREET
    KZ400-S3 77 400 KZ400 SPECIAL STREET

    Found elsewhere on the internet:
    Kaw had a problem with the early KZ400's leaking oil from the head gasket and came out with a kit to fix them. The problem was that they leaked oil usually not compression. They solved the problem in 78 when they redesigned the engine to have an external oil line to oil the topend.
    #11
  12. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    Wow...thanks a lot man!

    I found this yesterday evening while I was searching around: http://www.armbell.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7307&mforum=kz400

    And this website: http://www.partsnmore.com/parts/kawasaki/kz400/?filters[fitting]=custom

    Which had an engine gasket set with the "clown smiley face" head gasket. So...I ordered it with a little help from mcma111 this morning. That way if it is not the right kit, it is all his fault! :lol3:lol3:lol3 jk

    Hopefully that is the right kit and everything will be fine...but you never know. Now I need piston rings, standard size 63mm, piston pins and the clips that lock them to the piston and some various rubber O-rings and I should be ready to put this thing back together.

    O yeah, I also may need a cam chain. Do you guys think that I should replace it? I think that the bike had 11,000 miles??? Perhaps I should since I am in there, I did this on my XL600 with about the same mileage mark, but then again that was a single cylinder. We'll see.
    #12
  13. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    Dude... you are going to a lot of trouble and expense to build a KZ 400 Bobber?

    Truly, isn't that kind of like putting together a Yugo drift car?

    Good luck to you, I admire your mechanical skills and energy, and I'll be watching to see how it turns out (although I feel it's kinda like watching a car wreck).
    #13
  14. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    No problem, I like a good hunt. Besides, my first bike was a 1975 KZ400S.

    I was surprised to see the head gaskets are ~$100. Hopefully the gasket set you bought was one of those less than $100 sets and will include the right head gasket.

    Cam chain.....don't know your budget but 11K doesn't seem like many miles. Think of it as pre-stretched. But I defer to the KZ400 forum that you already found. There will be much more KZ400 specific knowledge over there.

    What's the background on you bobboer build? Did you already have the engine and decided to use that as the base for the frame build or did you get the engine and frame together?

    Enjoy the project and stick with it.
    #14
  15. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    Briefly...cases have been sandblasted, oil pump, kick-start, and transmission in place, new clutch push rod seal and front output shaft seal, arrived today, thanks USPS. I hope to have this thing back together by the end of next week.
    #15
  16. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    There are only two of the four screws holding the oil sump pan thing in plce, I had to drill out the other two screw, and I did it crooked. Will this be okay? It seems tight and does not move.
    #16
  17. reepicheep

    reepicheep Been here awhile

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    Dusting off an old thread... How'd it turn out? I'm doing a cafe conversion on a 78 KZ-400 now. Mine does not have those cam "shells". I wonder if those are stock, or if they were a repair for a previously spun cam?
    #17
  18. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    just saw this thread. I did something similar a couple years ago except I went Dual Sport 440...

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    the whole series of the bike is an orphan though.... no rings, no pistons, etc. fun to do but an exercise in futility because the engine power it pretty underwhelming.
    #18
  19. jgrady1982

    jgrady1982 Been here awhile

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    My KZ is a 1975, I believe that those "shells" were only specific to the 1974-1975 models???

    It took me forever to find a gasket kit that would fit them. I ended up having to order one out of Canada.

    I have made absolutley no progress with the bike. I have turned my garage into a machine shop and right now the frame is sitting behind my lathe. Once I get my mill "de-greased" and hooked up to power. The next project is finishing the bike. I think that now I have all the tools needed to finish the job...hopefully!

    Hopefully this winter I will get that thing put back together. Thanks for the reply though...I need to get that thing completed!
    #19