my most ambitious build - 79 KZ400 basket case - fully disassembled

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by noman, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. noman

    noman Long timer

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    picked up a 79 KZ400 stalled project yesterday, in plastic tubs. came w/large pile of new parts, including a NOS points plate, shocks, Flanders bars, brake pads and shoes, full set of motion pro cables, full athena gasket set, H4 headlight, LED tailight, allballz stem bearings, front/rear wheel bearings, new fork seals and shields, SS bolt kit, more. just found a complete spare head in a tub yesterday. PO is a welder by trade, and fab'd a custom sub-frame and a nice 'glass seatpan. gave me a thumbdrive w/approx 400 disassembly pics and a clymer's too. parts are bagged and labeled. the bad? need to weld on shock brackets and the cases are apart, my first time. $290 on vt craiglist. a year-long project probably, but no hurry.
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    #1
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  2. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    Looks to be a good project, what direction are you going with it, anything in particular?
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  3. noman

    noman Long timer

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    the previous owner was headed toward a "flat tracker" build with the F3 tank ( a little smaller), bars, smaller battery, curved LED rear light, modified frame and a fab'd flat tracker seat-pan. it would make sense to me to continue in that direction. i don't mind the look, and prefer it over the brat style. with little weight and going -1 on the front sprocket, performance should be ok.
    #3
  4. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    good luck, they are an orphan. there are no pistons, rings, or valves, etc. available from the dealer. the only things they will have are parts that fit something else by coincidence. there is a fair amount of parts on fleabay but that is variable. a good 400/440 forum:

    http://kz400.com/

    I think its these guys, they had some racing tips as well as general knowledge. one thing they were doing is removing the balancer (for racing). there is a quirk in the shifter btw... it will only select 1st or neutral unless the output shaft is turning. there are 3 little ball bearings that block the shifter unless you are moving. I took them out. I built one up (440) with an aluminum swingarm and mono shock and a DR fork.... it was an OK bike but not much power.
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  5. Grinder74

    Grinder74 Adventurer

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    He is the 1978 KZ400 I had 10 years ago. FB_IMG_1562959459308.jpg
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  6. TonyKZ1

    TonyKZ1 Long timer

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    Wow, your '78 KZ400 looks great, almost new/restored in fact. My '75 KZ400 never looked that good, it ran fine though.
    KZ400036.JPG
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  7. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Not that it matters, a quick search shows there are rings, valves, and pistons available
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  8. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    unless things have changed since I did mine 10 years ago, parts may be listed, but are not available when you go to order. there is stuff on fleabay.

    oh yea.... some of the carb boots were miss-marked at the factory and up is down, so they leak air. also, if the rubber is too hard it can be softened with wintergreen oil. there are threads about it, including one I posted here some years ago
    #8
  9. fast1075

    fast1075 Not a Lemming Supporter

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    All the KZ models used the "tiny ball bearings" neutral finder. Leave them in for a street bike. It only works sitting still. You will never notice it when riding. If you are racing, take em out, and have the shift drum modified for neutral on the bottom.

    Years ago I was given a KZ400. I used it to putt around the pits at the races. The carbs were ruined, so I made an intake manifold from some copper fittings and installed a random 34mm mikuni I had laying around. Worked fine for my use. One year at Gainesville it got stolen. Hated that I lost a good carb.
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  10. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars Supporter

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  11. noman

    noman Long timer

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    this is great, thx guys!

    ps looking thru the parts bins yesterday i found a NOS OEM points plate and a spare, complete head. valves/springs/keepers/cam/rockers everything.
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  12. fast1075

    fast1075 Not a Lemming Supporter

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    I re-read my post. It came across poorly. I like the 400. If the bike I had came with a title, it would have ended up as a café racer. It is a solid engine, and looks good. The one I had looked like it sat 10 years on the seashore, and then was beat with baseball bats. The absolutely most beat up POS imaginable. I can't believe someone stole it except to sell it for scrap.
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  13. noman

    noman Long timer

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    progress update: PO replaced the entire rear section w/a lightweight hoop, then de-tabbed the frame. i had a local welder fab shock mounts, came out pretty good. when the frame is dead level, the rear hoop and shock mounts are perfectly horizontal, with the shocks plumb. i spec'd 1/8inch plate with locating spools. new shocks are shorter than the OEM, so mounting holes lower. not available locally, so i ordered two stainless steel 12x75mm bolts w/hardware. shock preload is adjustable, as is overall length. i can dive the front end by jacking up the rear and dropping triples if there is a need.

    swingarm spacer that acts as inner race for the needle bearings has some corrosion on one end, that was polished up and will keep an eye out for a good, used replacement. needle bearings look and feel fine, so they'll be re-installed temporarily. swingarm and mounting area will be sanded/painted, then i'll re-furb the rear wheel and install that.
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  14. noman

    noman Long timer

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    progress update: triples, swingarm and frame have been sanded and sprayed w/3 coats of flat enamel. Allbalz head bearings and Flanders bars installed. full disass and thorough clean of fork internals, new seals and dust shields, then filled with some w/Belray 20wt i had hangng around. fork lowers were polished to a satin finish. rolled her outside for a pic w/wheels and tank plopped on. was told the tank is from an F3 and kinda like the look so far. engine mounting bolts were polished, but i gotta paint the brackets. next up is polishing the spokes, replacing wheel bearings as needed and polishing the brake panel. note: corrosion on the upper sections of the forks is pretty common on bikes with shrouded forks, i'll prob wrap w/tape or otherwise cover.
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  15. Mike944

    Mike944 Adventurer Supporter

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    Personally I'd dump the AllBalls bearings. I put a new set of rear wheel bearings in a KTM and they didn't make it one season. YMMV etc...
    #15
  16. noman

    noman Long timer

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    i've used 'em to upgrade stem bearings for prob 20 projects, gonna keep using them there. i only use name brand stuff for rotating elements, like on wheels. suppliers such as SKF, FAG, Steyr, etc.
    #16
  17. fast1075

    fast1075 Not a Lemming Supporter

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    Looking good so far. The frame has nice clean lines to it.
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  18. 9mm

    9mm Been here awhile

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    the gas tank looks like a F7 175
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  19. noman

    noman Long timer

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    it sure does, PO was mistaken i think.
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