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My 2005 CRF230 Project with Pictures

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I am in the process of rebuilding a CRF230 and I thought it would be nice to give play by play details along with pictures as this progresses. I bought this worn out bike very cheap as it did run nicely but only had first gear. I gambled that it would be an easy fix but lost. After splitting the case, I found second gear in pieces in the bottom of the crankcase. See attached picture.

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Attached is what the bike looks like now, stripped down. Simple green and a scotch bright are my friends.

I have a slightly used set of Maxxis IT tires that I got from a friend that are to be installed soon. 2nd picture.

The kickstand had cut a very impressive groove in the swing arm, so I welded it up as seen in the 3rd picture.

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I ordered a Wiseco std bore piston kit to bump up the compression. Unfortunately I found a nice groove in the cylinder. It did come out mostly after honing so I am using this piston pictures 1 and 2.

The cases have been cleaned up and all the bearings seem to be in good shape. It's a pain in the butt cleaning the gasket surfaces!

For the engine rebuild, I also ordered a Web cam 40/402. It shipped today so I should get it soon.

I also ordered new rockers, a new cam chain, and a new oil pump. New seals and a complete gasket kit are also on order.

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I lucked up and caught Bruce before he went on summer vacation and had him rework the terrible dangerous suspension that comes standard on these bikes.

Picture 1 is the rebuilt shock, note the schrader valve. That is not a standard feature!

Picture 2 is the reworked fork components. The damper rods were modified per Bruce's terrain taimer setup. The springs were cut and new spacers provided to provide proper rebound for my weight. Bruce also sent detailed instructions for reassembly and tuning. I can't wait to try this out as I have only heard good reports about his work.

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Okay.  With all that fun stuff you are in for a real treat.  Between the engine and suspension it will be like a whole new machine.

 

Bruce does incredibly good work and his written materials are excellent.

 

Wait until you feel that cam and piston working together.

 

Get ready for some serious fun...

Edited by VortecCPI
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Okay. With all that fun stuff you are in for a real treat. Between the engine and suspension it will be like a whole new machine.

Bruce does incredibly good work and his written materials are excellent.

Wait until you feel that cam and piston working together.

Get ready for some serious fun...

Don't forget to match the intake manifold to the intake port while its apart,

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I lucked up and caught Bruce before he went on summer vacation and had him rework the terrible dangerous suspension that comes standard on these bikes.

Picture 1 is the rebuilt shock, note the schrader valve. That is not a standard feature!

Picture 2 is the reworked fork components. The damper rods were modified per Bruce's terrain taimer setup. The springs were cut and new spacers provided to provide proper rebound for my weight. Bruce also sent detailed instructions for reassembly and tuning. I can't wait to try this out as I have only heard good reports about his work.  

You suck!!  I called Bruce today to send my forks and the  B-I-L forks to be reworked and he cant take them till May 10th, Oh well, good things are worth waiting for.  I have a 2004 230 in pieces sitting in the shop now and I have a BBR 240 kit for it and Web just shipped my 89A special grind cam today.  Nice write up and I will be following.   

Edited by Titanman

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It just so happens that the suspension and engine modifications that I am doing to this project bike didn't happen by chance! Thanks to you guys for sharing your knowledge and real world experiences that I can do one stop shopping and have proven results. Thanks and I do look forward to getting this thing rolling again.

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Hello, seem's like a great project. The crf230f is so fun to ride i find my self rideing that bike more than my other bikes. Judging from the picture of that cylinder you posted, that thing is toast, that vertical scratch may come back to haunt you. It will most likely consume oil, smoke, and leak combustion pressure. Did you happen to measure bore size, taper , and roundness. If not, oh well its a honda, bullet proof design. Fill it up with oil and go ride! Let us know how that web cam works for you, i've read great things about that grind.

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Hello, seem's like a great project. The crf230f is so fun to ride i find my self rideing that bike more than my other bikes. Judging from the picture of that cylinder you posted, that thing is toast, that vertical scratch may come back to haunt you. It will most likely consume oil, smoke, and leak combustion pressure. Did you happen to measure bore size, taper , and roundness. If not, oh well its a honda, bullet proof design. Fill it up with oil and go ride! Let us know how that web cam works for you, i've read great things about that grind.

 

I'm sure you have already read my posts and likely many of Adnohguy's as well with respect to that cam but I'll go ahead and type some more anyhow.  The 40mc/402 cam is a pure joy for riders like me who spend the majority of their time on short tight trails using the engine way down low.  I retained every bit of the off-idle grunt I had with the tiny stock cam but from low-mid on up to high-mid this cam is explosive.  Given its profile and what I read it does not have the wide spread of power of a cam like the 89a or 89a Coeshow Special but it surely makes more power in the low-speed areas.  Mike Coe and others have told me how this cam would deliver power and they were right.  Though it will allow the engine to rev all the way to the top this cam concentrates all the power in the middle.

 

Mike Coe and I spoke for almost an hour and much of that time was used to discuss cam profiles and riding contexts.  He told me for my needs this is The Cam for me and he was right.  For MX work or for long open trails a cam like the 89a or 89a Coeshow Special would be better as it allows the engine to make more power from high-mid up to redline.  As I do not operate my engine in that area very often those cams are not a good match for me.  For many other riders the 89a or 89a Coeshow Special is likely a better cam choice.

 

Too often we get wrapped up in HOW MUCH power a cam delivers as opposed to WHERE a cam delivers power.  On a dyno a cam like the 89a or 89a Coeshow Special will certainly develop more peak power than the 40mc/402 as the engine is making more torque at higher engine speeds.  However, the torque will be lower at lower engine speeds.  For MX work and long open trails this would be great but for short tight trails it would not.  "More Power" is in the user seat, not necessarily on the dyno sheet.

 

The downside of this cam is the power is abrupt and somewhat explosive down low, which is ideal for short tight work.  A cam like 89a or 89a Coeshow Special will have a broader smoother power delivery.  Adnohguy has provided a good comparison of these two cams elsewhere.

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Vortec is right, the "more power" is in the user seat not dyno.  I run a business out of my shop/house that deals strictly with Nissan Titan, Armada and infinity QX56 trucks and suv's.  I offer performance exhaust systems and headers with Uprev tuning for these specific trucks.  I have had guys make 330 RWHP and some make close to 380 RWHP on the dyno and the lesser truck run a faster 1/4 mile time.  The dyno is a tuning tool and a lot of guys get wrapped up with that final number.

 

 We selected to use the 89A special grind and I have another one being shipped to me now for another build.  My riding style is not flat out MX just cruising forest roads and trails not so much tight stuff.  Like Vortec I talked to Coe and he suggested his 89A special grind and with the high compression piston I knew the already stout low end the 230 had would be stouter so I wanted a cam to enhance the mid to upper end.  Boy!  The whole rpm range was enhanced a greatly over stock.  Do your homework on the build and select the parts the parts that fit your riding style.  I would also recommend Kibblewhite valve springs over any other as we had issues with RD and the call to them was no help, I will leave that  there..lol  

 

You are right there is a lot of good information on these sites from some knowledgeable guys and it was a big help to me also.

Edited by Titanman
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   Jeffrow68

 

what the frick is wrong with you ?

the Katoom in the back ground is not covered in deep south mud !

I hope you don't treat the Honda in the same way !

 

(if it ain't dirty its not a dirt bike)

Edited by daled

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Vortec is right, the "more power" is in the user seat not dyno. I run a business out of my shop/house that deals strictly with Nissan Titan, Armada and infinity QX56 trucks and suv's. I offer performance exhaust systems and headers with Uprev tuning for these specific trucks. I have had guys make 330 RWHP and some make close to 380 RWHP on the dyno and the lesser truck run a faster 1/4 mile time. The dyno is a tuning tool and a lot of guys get wrapped up with that final number.

We selected to use the 89A special grind and I have another one being shipped to me now for another build. My riding style is not flat out MX just cruising forest roads and trails not so much tight stuff. Like Vortec I talked to Coe and he suggested his 89A special grind and with the high compression piston I knew the already stout low end the 230 had would be stouter so I wanted a cam to enhance the mid to upper end. Boy! The whole rpm range was enhanced a greatly over stock. Do your homework on the build and select the parts the parts that fit your riding style. I would also recommend Kibblewhite valve springs over any other as we had issues with RD and the call to them was no help, I will leave that there..lol

You are right there is a lot of good information on these sites from some knowledgeable guys and it was a big help to me also.

As stated in several previous posts but I just want to be clear of my perception of different cam shafts, there design, and application, specifically the 40mc/402, the 89a shelf cam and the 89a Coe cam.

All three have there place in there own specific application, ease of installation, and riding style.

I am not a "cam design expert" by any stretch of imagination... Added that this is what I have perceived that I have learned from Terry Miller and basically my own observations and experience from personally running these cams in my own builds.

IMO:

These three cams are basically designed for stock engines.

With that said the biggest bang for the buck is the 40mc/402 hands down!

Assuming your rockers are in perfect condition, just drop it in, adjust the valves and ride. Easy and your able to reap very noticeable Benefits.

Next the 89a off the shelf cam from Web Cam.

Almost a drop in cam (many have) but is the largest cam lift for a stock head and a (stock) valve spring punisher. Meaning the stock valve springs can handle the lift with out coil bind, they are at there maximum design limit.

If your have a rev box and ride like Justin Barca, you in for a big surprise if you don't go to heavier valve springs that can handle 11,000 rpm and valve float. (A substantial cost increase for springs) and you really should consider new rocker arms to be safe. (yes I know many have chosen to use worn rockers and they have survived) it's your $ and bike so go for it if you want the excitement of running on the edge of reliability.

Now if you have never used the 40mc cam before using an 89a you will never know the difference and will be completely happy with the 89a and you should be because it will make your bike run really well and fun to ride.

Of course if you had a 12.5 -1 compression piston and a correctly ported cylinder head, even with a stock cam, it would spank a stock 230f with only an 89a cam. (IMO of course.)

Compression is the biggest bang for the buck,

A big bore or Stroker crank is next,

Then a camshaft that fits your riding style would be third,

Proper porting done correctly would be fourth,

Then,maybe, a rev box like a ProCom would be fifth. (Depending on your application)

Of course, throwing in a reverse cone megaphone exhaust system would be really good also. $500.00 + shipping + tax (in California)

May not be the best bang for the buck, but it would be nice if you already have everything else and looking for the last ounce possible.

A stock exhaust system will support over 25 HP quite well in most cases especially if you want a nice, quiet trail bike. It's also > FREE! <

Again, IMO, a Mike Coe "special" cam is a standard 89a with wider lobe centers designed to be closer to a "drop in" cam than the over the counter 89a from Web, meaning that the valve to valve clearance on overlap is increased on this cam so the average back yard tuner will have an easier installation expectancy because the possibility of the valves running into each other at high rpm will be much less when using a BBR CDI box AND with Justin Barcia riding the bike. (BBR rev boxes were the rage way back in the early days when 150s & 230's first arrived at the dealerships)

In the context of a Honda 230f only:

Tight lobe center cams (like the 40mc) Provide a harder hit at the low to mid range of the cam design usable power band. (Read about Vorteccpi and his new 40mc cam experience )

Wide lobe centers offer a much smoother and very wide torque curve with out a noticeable "hit" or surge during its designed power delivery.

(I call this "lazy" and "boring")

But that's just me and my opinion again.

A standard 89a will seem slightly more powerful than a Coe 89a just because it has slightly tighter lobe centers. Even though every thing else is exactly the same.

Now if you take an 89a cam and tighten the lobe centers up like a 40mc cam is, then you would have to sink the valves in the head to get precious Valve to valve clearance on overlap, but the results would possibly be extremely impressive.

So now you have my opinion on three cams that were designed over ten + years ago (at least)

Why do all the head/valve seat work to run a NON compromised 10year old design, 89a cam so your 230 will really perform like it should?

A 40mc cam is not compromised because it has less lift and shorter duration, meaning it's design is still relevant and a well designed cam for its intended purpose and application.

Again, yes I realize that an 89a cam of either flavor does make a NOTICEABLE improvement in available power to an average 230f. All I'm saying is it's a compromised 10year old+ design that is made to fit into the engine more that to wake up as much power as possible.

SO: if your really going to build your 230f to extract (up to) twice as much power as a stocker, then you need to not only sink the valves in the head, for valve to valve clearance, but also install shorter valve guides for a much higher valve lift cam.

With that said, this has been done for Ten years + also.

This is how the real power is made in a 230f (and still be completely reliable when done properly)

There are no "off the shelf" cams for a 230f than can do this that I'm aware of? (Other than possibly a MegaCycle Mc-3)

(And this IS NOT a "drop in" cam buy any stretch of the word(s)

Ready to step up and build a 230f into a single track trail weapon with HUGE gobs of torque (compared to stock) from idle to the upper mid range.

When your seriously ready to step up and spank your buddy's MX bikes in the tight stuff, PM Teamrude.

I'm just saying...

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Nice write-up Guy. I personally think the Stage 1-1.5 build as I call it ( wiseco, 340/402 cam, jetting, airbox/exhaust mods, pro com box) is such as easy and affordable package. The power gains would cost many times that in other engines to get same result.  Have not heard anybody say " it is a little better" all we hear is WOW or similar. Just goes to show how mild and detuned these were stock. 

 

Now a big-bore wossner and possibly a stroker with above parts would be a tank and have earth mover bottom. Gear it taller and just push thru obstacles. Actually a standard 89a with 247cc or so should be similar to the Stage 1-1.5 in powerband. yet it would be interesting to see the 340/402 in that combo. When you get the 270cc monsters going it ought to be wild. easy to do a tractor to a off road racer.

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Yes Terry, I am thirsting and lusting to Get R Done

Just the thought of tinkering in my (new to me) 1200 sq ft. Shop, has me thinking that I really need to take a 30 day vacation (yes I have that available) and get going on these three engine projects. (And the garage is completely separate from the shop)

But then again, my suspension will be so over taxed (again) that it just never stops....

But it's worth it !

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Nice write-up Guy. I personally think the Stage 1-1.5 build as I call it ( wiseco, 340/402 cam, jetting, airbox/exhaust mods, pro com box) is such as easy and affordable package. The power gains would cost many times that in other engines to get same result.  Have not heard anybody say " it is a little better" all we hear is WOW or similar. Just goes to show how mild and detuned these were stock. 

 

Now a big-bore wossner and possibly a stroker with above parts would be a tank and have earth mover bottom. Gear it taller and just push thru obstacles. Actually a standard 89a with 247cc or so should be similar to the Stage 1-1.5 in powerband. yet it would be interesting to see the 340/402 in that combo. When you get the 270cc monsters going it ought to be wild. easy to do a tractor to a off road racer.

 

I would tend to agree the 89a cam would be perfectly suited to the bigger displacement but I sure would LOVE to feel what the 40mc/402 would feel like with all that extra displacement!  It may be a bit flat on top but I'll bet the bottom would be ridiculously strong.

 

I can not imagine what the midrange hit would be like if we tighten up the lobe centers on the 40mc/402.  This cam is already a blast with the 108 centers and, just as Guy said, makes you smile ear to ear and talk to yourself as you ride.

 

I am working on getting an EO Outlaw exhaust system so that should help boost overall power as well.

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Vortec is right, the "more power" is in the user seat not dyno.  I run a business out of my shop/house that deals strictly with Nissan Titan, Armada and infinity QX56 trucks and suv's.  I offer performance exhaust systems and headers with Uprev tuning for these specific trucks.  I have had guys make 330 RWHP and some make close to 380 RWHP on the dyno and the lesser truck run a faster 1/4 mile time.  The dyno is a tuning tool and a lot of guys get wrapped up with that final number.

 

 We selected to use the 89A special grind and I have another one being shipped to me now for another build.  My riding style is not flat out MX just cruising forest roads and trails not so much tight stuff.  Like Vortec I talked to Coe and he suggested his 89A special grind and with the high compression piston I knew the already stout low end the 230 had would be stouter so I wanted a cam to enhance the mid to upper end.  Boy!  The whole rpm range was enhanced a greatly over stock.  Do your homework on the build and select the parts the parts that fit your riding style.  I would also recommend Kibblewhite valve springs over any other as we had issues with RD and the call to them was no help, I will leave that  there..lol  

 

You are right there is a lot of good information on these sites from some knowledgeable guys and it was a big help to me also.

 

All very good points.  BE SURE to do your research and ask builders and riders what they think and how and where they ride.  What's right for me or Titanman may not be right for another rider.  Many of you would ride my 230 and come back asking why the top end is not much better than stock.  Many of you would ride my 230 and come back saying it is hard to keep traction.  A novice would hate my 230 due to the abrupt and sneaky power delivery.

 

Power is in the seat of the user and each of us has varying perceptions of the power we need and want.  Titanman knew what he wanted and carefully discussed it with Mike Coe and got exactly what he needed and wanted.  I knew what I wanted and carefully discussed it with Mike Coe and got exactly what I needed and wanted.  Titanman's engine surely delivers more torque up high and my engine surely delivers more torque down low.  Whose engine is better?  Neither.  Whose engine is worse?  Neither.  Whose engine is best for the rider?  Both.  Two different engines with two different torque curves for two different riders with two different needs and wants.  I call that PERFECT.

 

Do your homework as it will surely pay off.

 

EDIT:  A little extra helpful information.  Most of you know we ride short tight technical trails.  How short and tight?  The maximum speeds attained are usually in the low 40 MPH area but the average speed is right about 10 MPH.  Maybe that will help you better understand why the XR250 carb was a great big zero for me as would be any cam bigger than the 40mc/402.  I need to make maximum torque between 0 and 10 MPH no matter what gear I happen to be in.  One thing I love about the CRF230 engine is its ability to generate large amounts of torque at very low/slow engine speeds.  Although it is no XR400 or XR600 it does make more way more low-speed torque than an XR250 and is likely on par with an XR350 with the cam and piston.  I would have to guess one of Terry's 270cc strokers with a 40mc/402 cam would make almost as much low-speed torque as an XR400.

Edited by VortecCPI
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In reference to daled:

the Katoom in the back ground is not covered in deep south mud !

I hope you don't treat the Honda in the same way !

(if it ain't dirty its not a dirt bike)

Does this count?

image.jpg

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I could not agree more with you guys on the topic of chosing the correct parts for the intended aplication, use and desired result. Torque is fun, like bb chevy, with old school 049/063 heads, good squeze and some decent cam timning. Now ad high rpm parts for more horsepower and now it becomes exciting and some times down right scary. Different strokes for different folks. Speaking of parts, does anybody have measurements regarding wossner's piston wrist pin offset {if any} for the crf230f? Always a wealth of iformation here on thumpertalk do to people's willingness to share there experince's. I learn some thing new everyday.

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Does this count?

 

much better, still on the clean side, but much better.....

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