Highfive - WRR Athena Big Bore Project

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by HighFive, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
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    Hhhmmm....what's this waiting on the Rancho Highfive doorstep?

    [​IMG]

    Could it be...

    [​IMG]

    Yes indeed! My Athena 290 Big Bore Kit has arrived....along with a couple of companions. A pretty little pair of Power Commander V and AutoTune units. :clap And very quickly, I'm beginning to feel like this:

    [​IMG]

    So, let's dive in ! ! ! [​IMG]


    I am going to use this thread to document a step by step procedure for the installation of this Athena 290 Big Bore into my Yamaha WR250R. Lots of folks have asked me for a detailed pictorial and explanation. So, here you go! I'll take you through my very own "discovery process" as I disassemble my stock engine, and replace it with this bad boy. I'll also include my tuning procedures all the way through completion.

    You will notice I perform all of these procedures in my little 'ol cramped & messy garage floor. Nothing fancy about it. But someday, I hope to improve on that. [​IMG]

    Fill your popcorn and get a big drink....then kick back and enjoy the show. I will share some of my own little tricks along the way, which might make your wrenching efforts a little easier too. I've never dug so deep into this bike before, so we are bound to learn some interesting things together.

    Here we go....let's find out if this box of goodies is worth the expense.

    HF :thumbup
    #1
  2. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    10,999
    Location:
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    Mine came today.

    Doesn't look like yours....

    [​IMG]



    I'll follow your lead.



    .
    #2
  3. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    Ooooh, Auto-tune! :getiton

    :lurk :slurp
    #3
  4. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
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    First, let's see what's inside the box.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This new piston seems very light, and only has grooves for one compression ring plus one set of oil rings. The stock piston uses two compression rings (as we'll see later). Not sure if this is any issue for concern. "Back in the day" seems we ran one compression ring in lots of stuff. But what do I know. :dunno

    I was going to weigh all this stuff (for Machtig), but I didn't have a gram scale, and well, I got antsy to install it. So, somebody else do that step when they get theirs (hint...hint....Emmerson Bigguns). We'd all like to compare the weight of the stock piston/ring/wristpin to the Athena version of same. You can add the results right into this thread....that's what's its for.

    The Athena kit comes with a completely new casted aluminum cylinder. It is not a sleeve kit for your original stock cylinder. You swap out your cylinder assembly entirely. The nice thing about that is...if I don't like it, I could swap back to my stock assembly later. [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Well, it was a good thought.

    The Athena kit also comes with a very complete set of gaskets & washers, plus a custom electronic fuel programmer, which is needed for the larger motor (if you don't have another similar capable unit already). I won't be needing this item, as I have also purchased the much more sophisticated Dynojet Power Commander V fuel programmer, and the AutoTune unit. I'll get into those items later. For now, let's start wrenching.


    Where do we begin? I guess right here:

    [​IMG]

    Remove your seat, tank, & sidecovers. Then, remove the pipe (this is my FMF Q4 +Powerbomb Header). I love this thing, because it really works well, sounds sweet, and is SUPER lightweight compared to the stock pipe.

    [​IMG]

    Whether stock or aftermarket pipe, make sure you carefully remove this thick washer from your exhaust port on the head.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next up, the radiator removal...

    HF :thumbup
    #4
  5. Chadx

    Chadx my toot toot

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    In.
    #5
  6. ronvan

    ronvan Adventurer

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    San Diego, CA
    :lurk
    #6
  7. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    If I can do this, then you can too! That will be our "Motto" for this Thread. :deal

    I'm not an expert mechanic with a fancy shop full of specialized tools. Don't even have one of those big hydraulic bike lifts that puts the motor at chest height...for a good looksee. Usually, I just sit on my butt on the garage floor, getting a crick in my neck, and grease in my eye, as I probe around in places I probably shouldn't.

    The difference, I reckon, is that I'm not afraid of messing something up. I kind of like messing things up, then seeing if I can un-mess the mess I've made. Which usually just leaves in....well....a big mess.

    But, if I can, then you can too. Let's keep our focus here and continue...

    On deck, is this big hunk of aluminum hazardous waste:

    [​IMG]

    Aaaaaagh.....the dreaded radiator removal ! ! ! I hear lots of people skeeeered to remove this thing. Guess what? It ain't no big deal. In fact, its real easy. Just three bolts and two hose connections (drain the fluid) and voila, its off the bike easy as pie! Really.

    If you have a radiator guard, like my "Force" brand, then one of these long socket extension will make this task soooooo much easier.

    [​IMG]

    To do this:

    [​IMG]

    Without the extension, its nearly impossible to reach that frame bolt/nut. Ask me how I know....:baby

    So, that's a great TRICK. And, here's another one. Are you tired of making a royal mess when you pull the hose on the water pump to drain your radiator? Try this TRICK:

    [​IMG]

    It helps A LOT. Just hang a cloth rag beneath where your hose will drain (when you pull it loose), whatever fluid splashes out will soak into the rag and drain into your pan. It acts like a conduit for the fluid to follow. This is helpful, because fluid will continue to exit the water pump discharge on the motor as it drains from all the engine ports (slowly). Practice makes perfect....so you'll get better at it with each attempt.

    While we're at it, here's another little TRICK related to the Force Radiator Guard. My radiator wiggles back and forth within the mounts, rubbing and rattling against the guard itself. So, I just cinched it down tighter to the outside edge with this super duper, high-tech, zip-ty like this:

    [​IMG]

    Probably seems elementary.....so just rank it in that "why didn't I think of that" category. Don't ask me how long I rode around until I fixed this issue. [​IMG]

    Seems I'm on a roll, so here's another top secret HF TRICK:

    [​IMG]

    Put a towel on the floor beneath your bike. Its wonderful...:deal
    Keeps those nuts & bolts from flying across the garage floor....disappearing into the abyss....when you drop them. When they hit the towel, its with a thud, not a ping, and the little guys are always just sitting there smiling up at me.

    HF :thumbup

    p.s.....notice that circular container with the dividers. I bought a handful of those thingys (real cheap) at Home Depot. Terrific for keeping bolts & nuts sorted during a project like this. I put all the bolts from one general area in the same section.....like everything radiator related goes in one bin, while everything cylinder/head related would go in another. You get the idea. Old farts like me need all the memory aids we can muster.....as you'll soon see.

    p.s.squared......please notice there are two separate distribution lines coming from this radiator.

    [​IMG]

    This could be surprising & confusing, if you weren't expecting it. I'll show you where the "little guy" goes and what its for....tomorrow.
    #7
  8. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Gee....EB, I think you got a "used" one.

    HF :eek1
    #8
  9. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    You know I had to make you jealous, Cyborg. Its the rules! :deal

    Figured you might need a good winter project, Chadx. Its calling your name...

    Allright ronvan, glad you're peeking over my shoulder.

    HF :thumbup
    #9
  10. Fubars

    Fubars What would Scoobydo?

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    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/l1YmS_VDvMY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/l1YmS_VDvMY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
    #10
  11. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

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    HF's bike is going to have a radio that goes to 11 :lol3
    #11
  12. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Sure do appreciate the step-by-step, HF.

    Sarah
    #12
  13. simmons1

    simmons1 Long timer

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    :lurk
    #13
  14. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Patience Fubars....patience. Here's something to hold you over: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Mr. Fisherman......:poser Sounds about right.

    greer.....you are [​IMG]

    simmons1.....geez, you really have a deposit down on the Super Tenere? Oh Boy, oh boy, oh boy.....you're gonna make the Krabill wet his pants. Hope you start the first "Super Tenere - Pics of her naked" thread.

    HF :thumbup
    #14
  15. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Here are the two hoses which connect to those lines on the top rear of the radiator:

    [​IMG]

    The big one is the main line connecting to the thermostat on the back (left) side of the head assembly. But what does this little one do? The other end is connected to the fuel injector manifold back (up) here:

    [​IMG]

    Then comes out the back side and connects to the little nipple on the side of the thermostat housing which can be seen in this photo.

    [​IMG]

    No, don't look where I'm pointing (that's the clutch cable). Look above my knuckle near the middle of the photo and you can see the tiny shiny receiver line. This is very cool....er hot, I guess. We have a "heated" fuel injection manifold! So, I don't think we'll ever have "icing" problems clogging up our injector ports. Oh....how I remember the days of fighting Carb Icing. They are all gone now!

    And, here's one more TRICK for dummies (like me):

    [​IMG]

    There's getting to be so many wire connectors and hoses to be disconnected, that I decided I better start labeling them....for good measure. A roll of masking tape & a permanent marker make a great companion in a project like this. Your camera too! Take lots of "before" pics as you disassemble. Then, you have something to reference upon reassembly, if necessary. You never know how long you'll bike will remain in pieces when you start a big project like this. Could be a week or two later, before you put it all back together. So, steps like this can come in handy. Sometimes I find myself saying, "now how was this routed &/or connected before I took it off?" Man, those photos can sure come in handy!

    HF :thumbup
    #15
  16. BigFeet

    BigFeet Banned

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    501
    HF,

    Subscribed for sure! :lurk

    Thanks for another already excellent article! :thumb

    Artoo
    #16
  17. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

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    1,578
    Location:
    Louisiana (North)
    Yep, this is another one of those, how much is this going to cost me if it turns out good and I want one!!
    #17
  18. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma
    Now, let's get some more stuff out of the way so we can move the engine.

    Remove the skid plate, if you have one.

    [​IMG]

    Remove the rear brake pedal.

    [​IMG]

    This pedal is held on by a threaded clevis pin which has a rather unique clip on the back side. You'll have to crawl under there where you can see it, to figure out how to unclip it. Kind of strange, but works very well. And unhook the two springs out front:

    [​IMG]

    There is an upper one, and a lower one. Pay attention to how these are positioned before removing....so you'll know where to put them back on. Here are all the attachment parts in my hand:

    [​IMG]

    Note that flat washer. VERY IMPORTANT: it goes between your brake pedal and the frame.....not on the backside by the clip. Its easy to miss this washer, if you don't realize its behind there when you remove the pedal. Next thing you know, there is a washer on the floor....and you don't know where it came from. The washer is needed to ease rotation of the pedal, keeping it from rubbing into the frame.

    Now, move to the other side and remove the chain:

    [​IMG]

    If you don't have a masterlink clip, just slide your adjusters forward (loosen the chain) and roll it off the sprockets to get it off the motor. Next, let's remove the gear shift lever.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That bolt hole on the shifter can be hard to get to. Its a Hex-head bolt and you come at it from the bottom side. Easier if you have a long hex (allen head) extension for a 1/4" socket wrench. But you can move the shifter up with one head....holding it steady.....while you loosen the bolt with the other.

    I'm getting these things (brake pedal & shifter) off the motor because I'm about to rotate the entire engine downward (in the frame) and I don't want these parts "in the way"....limiting the rotation.

    There are two ways to perform this cylinder replacement: 1) leave the engine on the bike 2) remove the engine entirely from the bike....and do it on a bench. Each way has its advantages & disadvantages. I'm older & wiser (some say lazier)....and chose to leave the motor hooked to the frame. The cool design of this WRR leaves just enough room to perform this task, without dropping the engine out entirely (like is necessary for most bikes).

    Oh yeah, drain the engine oil and replace the oil filter sometime around this point, as you can see I've done. We want to start the new motor with clean fresh oil. And, I bet you've also noticed my high-tech bulletin board. I put a big piece of duct tape on the clutch cover to write myself reminder notes. Remember....it could be several days before you reverse this whole process to completion. I've learned, I'm likely to forget something so importantly simple as this. :lol3 Keep an eye on my billboard there, and you'll see my notes change with updates. I find it a handy place. Besides, a project just aint a real project, if you don't use duct tape!

    Now, remove the wire connection to the engine temperature sensor (green). Careful here....the release button is on the very backside, and hard to get to.

    [​IMG]

    You must squeeze it very firmly, then the connector slides off very easily. Don't force the connector off by pulling too hard. If there is much resistance, then you don't have the release clip opened far enough.

    Then, remove the Starter connection, right here behind the cylinder:

    [​IMG]

    Too rotate the engine safely, we have to unhook most everything attached to the motor, all the way around. That's what we are doing here. So, let's unhook the clutch cable....first up top:

    [​IMG]

    Then, down bottom:

    [​IMG]

    There is a little metal tab on the back side of this bracket (where my finger is pointing). You can't see it in this photo because its hidden by the cable. Just pry the tab up gently using a small screwdriver. Then the clutch cable can be removed from the bracket very easily. (Don't forget to close that Tab upon reassembly....a minor detail that could be forgotten easily)

    [​IMG]

    All right, enough preliminaries.....we're finally getting to the good stuff!

    HF :thumbup
    #18
  19. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    There is the main ground for the electrical system....with the gold ring terminal, behind the Starter. Remove that bolt and Do Not lose it.

    [​IMG]

    I label this bolt before tossing into my bucket, because its real easy to lose track of this one, for some reason or another. :dunno

    [​IMG]

    Now, let's get the coil (aka spark plug cap) out of the head assembly. Lots of folks seem to struggle with this item. Its a real long, and real tight seal, and there's not much to grab hold of for pulling. Plus, with the electrical connections on top, many are scared they might break it. And, you don't want to do that because these things are Ho-chi-momma expensive. :deal

    So, here's what to do. First, remove the electrical connection. It has a clip lock, like most others. Squeeze the release and pull the connection apart like this:

    [​IMG]

    Then, get ahold of it with BOTH hands like this:

    [​IMG]

    Using a combo lifting and twisting motion, pry the coil up & out of the head, and out she comes:

    [​IMG]

    Pay attention to the coil seal position before removing. Notice how tight the rubber lip is to the valve cover. Another good place for a photo (if you're a noob at it). You'll want to be certain you push & snap the coil back into place FULLY upon re-install. Lots of people think they've got their coil pushed all the way back on.....when they really don't. There always seems to be one more click (snap) down there than you think there will be. If the seal is flush - tight, you probably got it.

    Ever wonder why you have a "hole" in the side of your engine? Maybe like this hole...

    [​IMG]

    Its a drain hole for the spark plug chamber, so any water that might work past the coil seal can find its way back out of the motor, rather than pool up around the spark plug....rusting it out.

    But, its REALLY valuable for doing this, before you remove your spark plug:

    [​IMG]

    Shoot about 100 psi of compressed air thru that hole before you remove your spark plug! All the dirt, crud, etc in the well around your plug will be gone for good. Nothing left to fall into your cylinder when you pull the plug for maintenance. Just don't be looking down in there when the air comes up.....just sayin.

    I will loosen the spark plug at this point, but not remove it. I want it to remain there to prevent anything from falling into the engine, while I work in & around the frame and motor.

    Next up, disconnecting the main electrical line from the mag.

    HF :pynd

    We are almost there...
    #19
  20. Machtig

    Machtig Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    369
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    Monterey, CA
    Looks like you are going to remove the engine from the frame. NOT required.

    Just pop off the front of the engine cradle and rotate it down. Greatly simplifies this project.:deal

    I removed no cables, brake pedals, etc. FWIW
    #20