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2001 YZ250 resto project

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Hey everyone,

Rookie poster over here, but longtime reader.  I'm in the process of rebuilding my 01 Yz and though it was time to start documenting the build (who builds a bike in the summer?.... I know).  Its actually pretty far along and should be running next week, but I've been taking pictures pretty much the whole way through and figured it was time to dump the pics on here.  I'm sure some of you guys will appreciate another good ol two smoker build!  It may take me a bit to get all of them organized and posted but hey you gotta start somewhere. 

I bought this bike when I was 15 with a trade of my old 85 and some cash in 2005 back in Maine where I grew up.  Bike was owned previously by a somewhat local amateur who did some stuff to the bike and kept it in alright shape.  I rode the bike a lot in highschool, racing and free riding.  I was lucky enough to have a lot of land in the boonies growing up with no shortages of places to ride.  I kept the bike and brought it with me to college and rode a little in NY.  The bike was a little neglected for the college years though.  The broke-college-kid budget could usually only afford fuel and small maintenance.  Now, I'm graduated and living out in Michigan and its about time I got back into moto.  Why blow a bunch of money on a new bike or get someone else's headache when I've got the potential for a pretty dirty 250 sitting right in the garage right?! So there started the process to tear this bad boy down and start over.

 

Initial goals of the project: Replace every suspension bearing and seal, top-end, dress it up a little, and freshen up the forks and shock.  If you keep reading this, you'll see that those goals evolved slightly throughout the project.  And all for the better!  Check it out and let me know what you guys think.  Hopefully this will inspire some of you other gearheads to help revive that sweet smell of premix at the track!

 

Here's what the bike looked like in 2010 when I almost sold it (glad that didnt happen) Looked pretty much the same a few months ago when I started this project.

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2012 version: different bars and grips, sans handgards and a new crank later

2012.jpg

 

And finally at the start of the teardown after the stickers were ripped off:

IMAG0775.jpg

 

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More disassembly.

IMAG0778.jpg

 IMAG0799.jpg

 

Some crusty looking suspension.  And yeah I know, rag in the carb! I had just taken off the intake box and snapped a picture before putting it in.  I had lots of cleaning ahead of me.

IMAG0783.jpg

 

And finally the motor comes out.  

IMAG0811.jpg

 

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I have a new-to-me 2003 YZ250 and am planning a similar rebuild/refresh.

 

Thanks for posting the pics.

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Glad to see there's a couple others out there planning to rebuild these.  Great bikes, fairly cheap to maintain and a blast to ride.  Other people's rebuild threads definitely helped me with some inspiration.  That and endless hours on parts websites and google images lol.  But lets keep this train rollin.  Here's some pics of what I found when I started disassembling the motor.

 

Little scorching going on.  The bike ran great up until the last few times I rode it, and even then not that bad, but was clearly due for a freshen up.  

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Stock clutch basket was looking a little tired as well.  Ended up filing it down for the rest of this year.  I'll throw some before and after pics up soon.  

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Scuzzy power valve

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Not the best picture, but you can see some of the wear on the stock cylinder.

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After seeing the obvious, I decided that it was time to ship that cylinder out and get redone.  After some research and some good recommendations I sent it out to Eric Gorr in Wisconsin.  Decided to get a replate and power valve rebuild and picked up a Wiseco top end kit from Millennium as well.  While they had the cylinder they found a hairline crack once they cleaned it up, so I had them weld that as well.

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When the cylinder came back from the land of the cheeseheads I was super impressed.  Almost unrecognizable after the cleaning. 20140423_204054.jpg

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Also here's a shot of the file job on the clutch basket.  I plan on replacing this next year but hey the line had to be drawn for the budget somewhere.  I wanted to ride this damn thing sometime this year and I still had some other big plans for the bike (spoiler alert: SSS swap). There was definitely some clutch drag noticeable during in-gear starts and slow launches before I tore things down.  Hopefully this will get me by for a bit.

 

Before:

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After:

20140403_200659.jpg

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Now we're going to get to the meat of this project.  From the get-go I had been interested in some sort of suspension upgrades.  The pogo's and shock on the bike at the beginning of the project were stock valving and springs, with rebuilt seals.  The springs were a little stiff for me as I'm ~150lb without gear and definitely felt a little dated.  I rode a friends YZ125 not long ago with a full enzo setup still on cartridge forks and was blown away. Couldn't believe how plush things were and that I had been putting up with my badly tuned stockers.  

 

Now I had a decision to make: Get my stock goodies rebuilt, revalved, and resprung... or go with the SSS swap.  As far as price goes it looked like it was going to cost about the same to do either or, so I decided to go with the SSS swap.  From what I've researched, it seems that you can make the old stuff work just about as good as a stock SSS fork with a revalve and proper setup.  So the plan was to swap em out and just ride the thing this year and then get the SSS setup revalved and sprung if necessary during the winter.  Might as well start with the best foundation I can.  Since I don't plan on getting rid of this thing any time soon I looked at it as an investment.

 

A week or two of trolling ebay is all it took to find a deal I was looking for.  Picked up the full assembly off of a 2008 250f for around $400.  This should make a solid difference on the bike, and as a plus I really liked the finish of the triple clamps and tubes.  

IMAG0813.jpg

 

I knew the swap was going to require some modification to the steering stops, but had a co-worker who had a TIG welder so I went for it.  Since I just relocated from Maine to Michigan last year, I've been without a welder, torches, or air tools.  I'm slowly stocking up on more tools as time goes on but for now I've been doing it the old fashioned way: Macgyvering it and calling in some favors.  Stay tuned for some pictures of the frame modification and more!

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You have my attention! Been busy with my RMZ build and the racing season but I am finally done so it is time to venture back to this forum!

 

This is the perfect thread to come back to.

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Yeah the 05 does have the aluminum frame.  The one in the build is a 2001.  And the front forks and triples are off a 2008 250f.  The triple assembly doesn't care what frame its bolted up to, as long as you have the correct steering stem installed.  There's a couple good threads on here talking about part interchangeability and even some good info on the SSS swap.  I'll post what I did on the SSS swap soon.  Parts have been coming in every day so that's been taking up my free time.  Hoping to hear it run by this weekend sometime!!

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This is awesome. I'm actually in the middle of restoring my 2001 YZ 250 as well. Bought it new and it has given me 10 years of reliable service up until I bought my new WR 450. I do miss the old 2-stroke so decided on a frame up resto. So far I've repainted the frame factory color, replaced all the bearings, rebuilt and revalved the suspension with race tech gold valves. Next up is install of the brand new cylinder and piston which I should be getting done this week.

I look forward to seeing how yours progresses!!

Before the teardown

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1407874335.787162.jpg

Current condition

ImageUploadedByThumper Talk1407874444.426217.jpg

Edited by skip510
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I tore my 02 down this past winter sand blasted, powder coated the frame levers, clamps. Got a re valve and did a bunch of other stuff including a 295 kit. I really need to stop procrastinating and post a thread like this.

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@Skip510 Looking good!  Cool to see you've owned the bike for its whole life! Looking clean so far.  And gotta love that old budlight graphics kit, classic.

 

@StillSmoking I thought about doing the 295 kit as well but decided to hold off in case something happened to the cylinder down the road I would still have the big bore insurance policy.  I had a hard time starting this thread too, hard to find the motivation to dick around with this after working on the bike for hours.  But definitely worth it to have the story out there.

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Good news from the future of this thread: Got the bike running this past weekend. Like I said I'm a ways behind on this thread compared to where the bike's at today.  Such a great feeling to hear her run and to rip around the neighborhood a little.  I'm pretty sure that the neighbors in the crowded suburbia that I'm in right now weren't too impressed with listening to me rip some wheelies up the pavement but oh well, haha.

 

Back to the SSS swap.  If you check out any of the existing threads about the swap you quickly find that you will need to modify the steering stop to protect your CDI box.  After picking up the set of forks and trees from an 08 250f, I went up to one of my coworkers places to borrow his TIG welder and add some material to the frame stop.  After not TIG'ing for over a year and only having limited experience in the first place, here's how things turned out after zapping it and hitting it quick with a grinder.

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Not perfect, but not too shabby either for a quick guess at settings and a pretty beat up piece of Tungsten.  The pointed shape came from a couple of reasons.  First I just used a piece of scap stock that my friend had laying around his garage.  Somehow I lost the before picture, but comparing it to the stock stop I needed to add material outward radially from the stem and downward axially to make solid contact with the new triples.  It started taking shape as the Yama-spear after I first hit it with the grinder so I just kind of rolled with it.  

 

Here it is after some filing

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And this is how things lined up

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Success!  Now it was time to make things pretty.... Powder coat time!

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After doing a decent amount of research, I ended up going with a powder coat company here in metro Detroit called Q.C. Coatings.  I read some good things about them and they actually coated some fixtures for me at work.  Apparently they started doing small one off projects and have worked their way into the industrial side of things as well.  Definitely still a small shop, but great customer service and pretty quick turnaround.  

 

After looking at a million sample swatches online, I decided I wanted to go with a two coat setup with silver underneath and blue on top with a metallic finish.  I stopped into the shop in the morning to pick colors and found the blue I wanted on a valve cover in their samples.  Final colors ended up being Spare Silver and Lollypop Blue. Close to stock but different on purpose.

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Next its on to actually putting the thing back together.  Always a good milestone for the project! I was stoked to have finally gotten over the hump and closer to riding it.

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That's looking great!!! Really digging the color. Keep up the great work and can't wait to see when it's done.

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