WR426 short stories...

So, to entertain, here are several short stories involving the rehab of a 426 that was living in a barn. Hadn't been ridden in quite a while...got it for a very good price...couldn't resist it....

So, as part of the "get er going" campaign once I got er home, checking the valves was a given. I had already posted about this, but I'll tell the "rest of the story". Got a new set of feelers recently, and checked the WR426's exhaust valves and they are perfectly in spec! Great! Went to check the intakes and could not get the .1mm in there for nothing. Tried several sizes smaller...no dice! Oh crap....tight as can be! So...ordered up a shim kit and waited. I thought..."oh no...the titanium's worn off already...bikes been trashed...arhg"! Shims got here this week, so went out to start removing cams. Wait a minute....there's no way those valves could be that tight...I thought. Gotta be something stupid I missed? Started looking very closely at my feelers...hmm...something's odd here? Felt them in order and they didn't feel right? Bent the thin ones (including my .1mm) waaay over and guess what? The machine oil they ship em with...stuck several thin pairs together! It was sooo tight..you couldn't even tell unless you really bent em over. Once I got em apart guess what....I wasted some money on my shim kit! Intakes are perfect! Arghhhh....idiot move #1!

Ok, so I'm reading about changing the oil. People keep talking about oiling up the front fender and tire....whhhhaaat? I pop the engine plugs and the oil trickles out. Hmm...not much in there. I pop the frame plug and guess what? Yeh...a geyser of oil shoots like 3 feet straight out into the front wheel.....nice! Arrghhh....idoit move #2!

So, the carb is the biggie....varnished worse than a 1800 church house floor! Argh! Oh well...off we go! Pull just about everything out...jets..floats..all of it. However, I gander at the accel pump and I think for some reason..."well...I think that'll be ok"? Soak, scrub, blow. Carbs in good shape. Stick it on the bike. Pull the air boot and look in the throat to see if the accel jet is working....arggghhhh....nothing! Then, i realize the longest brass tube in the carb belongs to the accel jet...man. Off with the carb. Take it apart for another cleaning...this time, take the accel pump apart. Clean it good. Put it back on the bike. Ok....so for some strange reason, I had the carb attached to the tank and turned the exit throat to my face to see if the accel pump is working. Yeh...I know what direction it's shooting....but I did it anyway. Grab the accel pump push rod and give er a tug....just about got a complete t-shirt soak in fuel! Well....at least it's working now? Idot move #3!

Ok....here's a nice tip! Seen several ways to rig up the fuel screw for easier adjustment. Getting to it with normal tools just ain't gonna work. Some folks make brass tubes with screwdriver blades in em...some folks glue tubing over the fuel screw. Guess what? The red electrical crimp connectors....you know, the cheap butt connectors you get at walmart? They fit exactly over the fuel screw!!!! Just push it in...twist...and remove....eaaasy fuel screw tool that runs about 1/2 of 1 cent!! Doesn't mess up the fuel screw slot either!

So....got the bike put back together tonite. Still gotta adjust the fuel screw and idle but I got er started! Warmed er up and took it for a few spins in the field...HOLY CAJOLES batman!! I test drove a 09 WR450F that I considered buying just a few weeks ago. Guy has it set up right. But....it ain't running away from this old 426! Having ridden MX as a kid and street bikes later....I"ve been used to acceleration. I'll admit it's been awhile on a 1000cc street bike...but this 426 hurt my arms holding on. I actually got motion sickness when I quickly cranked er through a few gears.....WOW! I hope it holds together for a few years...I may even put some coin in the old gal soon...we'll see!

Amazing bike! I also have a WR250R....it's funny sitting side by side they look the same size almost. But the 426 is like 40lbs less and double the ponies....yeeeehaaaaa!

Great stories, and we all have many if them ourselves.

One of mine with the WR was taking the cams out to do a valve adjust working with my dad. While pulling the exhaust cam I see the bearing keeper sticking to the cam and to the holder and say to myself, shit, that could fall into the engine following the cam chain but is too big to go all the way down. Guess what? It's not. All the way to the very bottom and it dropper literally under the cam chain so a man gent would grab it. Off with the engine cover, and boom there it was.

Another was rebuilding an old 84 XR250 I had which had so many mikes on it that it shattered a transmission bearing. When I got it all back together it was very late at night and I had no oil where I was working on it but I just HAD to start it for some stupid reason. I found an old bottle with maybe a 1/4 quart in there but I figured, hey, start it for a minute, plenty of assembly lube was used you'll be fine, buy a quart tomorrow and yup I was fine and it ran.

And it ran fine the next 3 days of finishing up assembly and tweaking the dual carbs in which I drove around the land many times, maybe 20 minutes total where I COMPLETELY forgot about the lack of oil until I noticed the bike getting very hot in minutes, way more than usual. Still ran fine (and top end tear down a few years later showed no damage) but I thought I'd change oil after the hake down runs and maybe a cup came out. That was when I learned to not work 12-15 hours straight and WRITE NOTES on very important things because you might forget them. Rebuilt many bikes before, many after and still in writing this have no idea why at 2 AM I had to hear that bike run and would jeopardize an engine that way.


Ok, so one more bonehead move on my part....

So, after working on the bike the other day I notice this ugly little spring on the floor. "What's this?" Looked like one of those springs that comes on the bottom of those little toys with the suction cup. Hmm....odd...so I stuck it in my bolt drawer and didn't think much more of it.

So tonite....I"m really getting down to adjusting the fuel screw. But, seems like no matter what I do....I can't get it right...argh! This can't be that hard? After about 30 minutes of messing with it...I notice something odd...the fuel screw is moving by itself. Whaaaaat? Each time get it perfect...I let the bike idle for 10 seconds and then it goes to pot. Then I check the fuel screw and it's almost shut after I just know I turned it out 2 times.....what the????

Then it hits me....wasn't there a spring on the top of the fuel screw? Quickly, I pull my service manual...yep...there's a spring on there. I wonder? Surely not?

So...for the 4th time...argh...off comes the carb. Take out the fuel screw....guess what? Yep....no spring! O rings there...no spring. No wonder I could turn that screw so easily! Grab the spring out of the drawer...it's a perfect fit! Somehow I managed not only to *not* put the spring back in....but I managed to knock it off my workbench during carb work. Geez! I am a bonehead....

Now....spring installed...the fuel screw stays put. Nice! So, after about 10 minutes of fuel screw and idle adjustments...BANG! Fires perfectly on 1st kick hot or cold.....no bog when I bounce the throttle...perfect! Took it down the road ...with a few gentle shifts and a big throttle twist now and then...WOW! I am actually scared a little bit of this bike! Bout the only thing left is the chain slap's killing me. I'm probably a little over 2" on the slack, plus that chain's on it's last legs...need to tighten er up a bit and I think I'll be riding this weekend!

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