1981 KZ440 LTD cafe/street tracker project

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by lamoson, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    795
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    Wiscompton
    ok so this will probably be a long ongoing post, as i don't always have tons of time to work on it, and money is REALLY tight. but i did get the bike for free, so that helps a ton.

    the bike is 81' 440 ltd. the plan is to make it into something a little more appealing. sorry all you ltd lovers. so lets go straight to the pics

    first the inspiration
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    this is where the bike was living for the past five years
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    something dead was in there
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    all washed up
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    the start of the teardown
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    i got her started!!!!! wahoo! but she didn't run all that great. could only get it to idle. any time i gave it gas, it would die.

    i know i need to clean out the carbs and that will help a ton. i just wanted to make sure there wasn't something that i need to do first or something that may be wrong. i am new to the whole twin thing. to help i decided to also include a video, i hope it is loud enough. let me know if there is anything that i should do before i continue the teardown.


    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/42player.swf" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="height=281&width=500&autostart=false&plugins=yourlytics-1&yourlytics.callback=http://vholdr.com/callback.php&repeat=list&file=http://vholdr.com/xspf/node/49885/emb&skin=http://vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/skin.swf&&logo=http://vholdr.com/contourhd/img/videoBug.png" height="281" width="500">
    #1
  2. CLynn85

    CLynn85 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    South of Northern Virginia
    Having just picked up an 82 KZ440, I'm definitely tuning into this one. I have the same inspirational photos, but I'm more worried about learning to ride better than customizing at this point.
    #2
  3. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Once you take the mouse nest out of the air cleaner/ carbs it should run better :eek1
    #3
  4. comes naturally

    comes naturally renewed hope

    Joined:
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    SE PA
    :lurk

    I just picked up a 79 kz400...
    #4
  5. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Wiscompton
    changed the oil today and surprisingly it didn't look too bad. no more luck on getting her running better though. i am trying to bring that battery back to life right now, added water and putting a charge on it, but i am doubting it will hold a thing. it is a bummer there is no kicker on this thing. i am debating weather i leave it together and try and get those carbs dialed before the teardown, or if i should just strip the thing to bits and work up from there. what do you think?
    #5
  6. kz1

    kz1 Been here awhile

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    780
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    Ohio North Coast
    #6
  7. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
    Wiscompton
    #7
  8. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
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    i have been doing some reading on carbs. looks like if i am gonna run these without the stock airbox, and different exhaust, they aren't gonna run so well. should i be looking for different carbs? if so what should i look for and should i go 2-1 with it? wouldn't be too hard to fab up the connections.
    #8
  9. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
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    progress! so i fiddled a bit today. i hooked up a jump pack and got it going when i would take off the pack to put the airbox on it would die. so i made a make shift filter with two paper towels. i couldn't believe it, revved right up! i was surprised. here is a vid. so how does is sound?

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/42player.swf" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="height=281&width=500&autostart=false&plugins=yourlytics-1&yourlytics.callback=http://vholdr.com/callback.php&repeat=list&file=http://vholdr.com/xspf/node/50093/emb&skin=http://vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/skin.swf&&logo=http://vholdr.com/contourhd/img/videoBug.png" height="281" width="500">
    #9
  10. comes naturally

    comes naturally renewed hope

    Joined:
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    SE PA
    What kind of video camera do you have?
    #10
  11. tenderfoot

    tenderfoot PRJ

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    Gauteng, RSA
    It sounds just as I remember the one my wife had BC. (Before Children)

    Believe me, you've got a seriously nice little bike there.:thumb
    #11
  12. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
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    http://vholdr.com/

    well worth the money. i love it. and the new model shoots in 1080p.


    as for the bike, planning on trying to ride it around the block tomorrow, just to see if there is anything i need to address before the tear down. i hope the tires last, got some pretty sweet dry rot going on em. i will just keep it slow. maybe i will take some video. :D
    #12
  13. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
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    took it around the block to see how she rides. not bad. the carbs could use some tuning, but everything else seems ok. here is the vid. sorry about the wind

    <embed type='application/x-shockwave-flash' src='http://vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/42player.swf' allowfullscreen='true' flashvars='height=281&width=500&autostart=false&plugins=yourlytics-1&yourlytics.callback=http://vholdr.com/callback.php&repeat=list&file=http://vholdr.com/xspf/node/50428/emb&skin=http://vholdr.com/sites/default/files/flv/skin.swf&&logo=http://vholdr.com/contourhd/img/videoBug.png' height='281' width='500' />

    now for the real work!!! time to TEAR DOWN
    #13
  14. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    760
    Location:
    Middletown, PA
    I also have an '81 440 LTD that I've been working on (seems like forever). But mine did not run llike yours. So far I've replaced the rubber intake manifolds (common problem in most bikes this old), removed the front master cylinder (mine was filled with rust and spooge - it's generally regarded as a piece of junk anyway) and am in the process of converting the "buckhorn" bars to more of a standard/superbike bar setup (need to install Yamaha straight-mount MC and different front turn signals). As you have found, the 440 LTD does not like to run without the stock air filter (but you can get away with MAC 2-1 exhaust for appearance sake) nor a fully charged battery (electronic ignition). Since your bike seems to be running quite well now, check the charging system, flush the brake lines, disconnect/clean/lube (with dielectric grease)/reconnect all the wires and keep it running while you decide about a custom appearance. The KZ Twins site has answers to about any question you can come up with.:deal
    #14
  15. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
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    yea my master cylinder is shot too. so nasty. i started to really tear it down last night. i am going to tear down to everything but the motor. then i will chop and weld, do lights, bars, new switches, seat, fork boots.

    i will re-assemble when that is taken care of, maybe address the carb issue then. still not sure if i can make those work with pod filters or not, haven't found a clear answer. if not, i will need to decide what to do with the carbs, still go two or make it a 2 to 1. anybody recommend any carbs. cheap is preferable.
    #15
  16. zap2504

    zap2504 Dave E.

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    Oddometer:
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    Middletown, PA
    My MC had a lot of rust in the bore, so I got one from a KZ550 LTD (same unit with the slant-mount for the "buckhorn" bars) which looks better, but I'm still on the standard-bar conversion road. The stock carbs need both the intake path (look inside the air filter assembly) and the slight restriction from the OEM filter to work well. There are some on the KZ Twin site that are working on a single carb setup, but it is only a 440cc engine in a fairly heavy bike so don't expect much. You might do better just installing the OEM air filter assembly (with home-made filter) and use a ColourTune plug to get the idle mix right, then sync the carbs and call it done. You can go crazy (for looks) with new yellow ignition wire and new NGK plug caps.
    On the routine maintenance - don't forget to oil the ignition advancer unit. It is easily missed and will rust up if ignored (and is no longer available).
    #16
  17. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
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    795
    Location:
    Wiscompton
    just a couple more pics of the bike in "slow" progress. shows the condition a bit.

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    #17
  18. teamxr

    teamxr soreass

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Warren,MI
    i had the same problem with my first twin. i went with pod filters on it and it would not run. this is when i learned how important jetting the carbs to any change is. If you change the exhuast at all or try to run with no airfilter you will have to re-jet the carbs. on that if you go pod filters and aftermarket exhuast i would start with two jet sizes up on the main and pilot and see what you have from there. if it is slow to idle down or bogs than try one more on the pilot. i found a guy localy that runs a small shop and does dyno tunning on bikes. he allways has the jets i need and only charges me like 10 bucks to do 2 carbs or 20 to do 4. i just tell him what i did to the bike and he tells me what jets i need. ive learned a ton just bullshitting with him as he changes my jets.
    #18
  19. CLynn85

    CLynn85 Adventurer

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    South of Northern Virginia
    Congrats on the progress. I started questioning the intake on mine after reading your post. I was having a hard time getting mine to run in mid-high rpms, kept sputtering and losing power. Today I took a t-shirt and cut 2 12x12 square rags, and stuffed on in each pod. It runs eleventy billion times better. Revs from idle to redline without a hiccup.

    Is this a sign that it needs rejetting? Or will a tweak of the mixture screws take care of it? It has a stock exhaust/intake setup on it.
    #19
  20. lamoson

    lamoson something catchier

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
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    i am thinking you should rejet, i would try messing with the mixture screw first and then go from there.
    #20