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should i rebuild my 91 or 97 xr250

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i have three honda xr bikes one being a 1991 xr250r.  I also have a 1997 xr250r. then my final project is a 1986 xr350r. 

 

My ? is which bike would be best to rebuild on a tight budget all of them needing MAJOR work. I know little history on them as i ran across them on a scrapping adventure cleaning up an old barn..

 

Good news is i have no money in them so far. Bad news being that the top end is all in milk crates and ziplock bags :lame: ..

 

Should i junk these bikes or try to restore an old beast? 

 

will take any advice thanks ahead of time.

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cheapest IN MY OPINION will be the 1997. ample parts train, lots of options. COOLEST resto, the XR350

Parts for the 91 year model are becoming scarce. even moreso for original parts on the 350.

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Thanks for the advice guys. the 350 is nearly impossible to get parts for plus lower end has been exposed to weather so i probably wont mess with it for awhile. I noticed on the 97 its has a oil cooled frame where as the 91 has an oil cooler. 

 

Any ideas on which is the best route? i have my doubts on if the oil cooled frame keeps the oil temp low enough..

 

Also does anyone have an idea if any of the motor parts are interchangable from the 91 to the 97. '

 

I know that they are built different on the lower end but the top ends look the same. 

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97 is not frame cooled, it's a dry sump engine so part of the oil is contained in the frame. A fair amount of parts may cross over from the 91, keep the spare bike and see what you need before you ditch it. Not knowing what really happened based off previous owner's "beliefs" would lead you to know NOTHING about the engine condition. If you're going to invest the time into rebuilding it, do it right. that means split the case, inspect everything. these are not complex engines, best case scenario you have a gasket set and top end to do. Worst case, bottom end work, transmission and shift fork replacement, bearings, etc. I have done a handful of these as total overhauls, if you have questions feel free to PM.

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Thank you for clearing that up. It was something i was not sure about. I will stay in touch and be posting pics and updates as i go through my build. It may take me awhile as i have a job and family to take care of..

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97 is not frame cooled, it's a dry sump engine so part of the oil is contained in the frame. 

 

If you are saying the frame reservoir doesn't cool the oiI, I disagree.  

 

I think getting the oil out of the engine into a tube in front of the motor definitely cools the oil.  The external surface area of the reservoir probably exceeds the surface area of the 250 cooler and perhaps the 400 cooler.  I speak from my experience with an XR250L and XR400 ridden on hot desert highways at sustained throttle.  The 250L ran much hotter than the 400, destroying it's oil within 500 miles or less.  That 250L now has a much needed cooler.  The late XR250 with reservoir and early 250 with cooler do not have the overheating problem of the 250L. 

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Im doing a 1997 rebuild at the moment.. first time ive split cases before.. putting the gearbox back together looks a bit daunting.

 

Bearings on order and full gasket kit arrived.

 

Reason for strip down was fairly loud bottom end (not knocky) but could hear it a lot with my sump guard on and gear lever went loose.

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I was just cleaning up parts and seeing what i have to work with.. I have pics to load later tonight. Between three bikes and milk crates full of parts I have a GIANT puzzle to solve..I Have sifted through most of parts and have only 250 parts to look through and decide whats still good.

 

My 97 engine is locked up pretty tight so it should be interesting to see what needs replaced inside..The 91 motor has a bent connecting rod.. so its a bottom end rebuild also. I am curious to see what the changes were made from 91 to 97.

 

Is there any special tools i will need for my rebuild? will i need to send any parts off ? I have never done bottom end work.

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be interesting to see pics. You will need a flywheel puller and a clutch removal tool. be good if you do the 1997 first we can bounce things off each other as im learning as I go also..

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