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Suzuki 2006 LT-R450 Build/Re-Build Log

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I spent a lot of time while I was younger enjoying the builds and restoration projects that people turned into threads. Finally at a point in my life where a project and financially feasible, though perhaps more challenging on the free time side of things. Just a warning, I get very long winded.

 

Enter my 2006 LT-R450. I have always been impressed and interested in the LT-R450. It was considered the most race ready 450 quad of its time, and perhaps even still today. But as most know, it had short life. Used prices are fairly high and way outside what I will spend on a quad. One of the very busy managers at my place of employment had one that he had traded for and no longer wanted around.

It was run down when he got it and needed some work. So he took it to the local Suzuki dealership. Quad wouldn’t start with the starter, just kind of lugged and turned over too slow. So they took the whole top end apart and found nothing wrong with it. He went to look at it when they called and was surprised to find the state of disassembly. He immediately took it back home, after paying their crappy prices, where it sat for a few months. Hearing the story had me very intrigued. I am a sucker for a good project.

Ended up paying a bit more than it was worth to be honest, but loaded it into the truck and the box with the top end in the back seat. Got home and dug in to make a list of parts and get a better idea of the size of the project. This is where I started to realize that I likely over paid for it and would never be able to get my money back out of it. But I’ve had plenty of winners at this point already so I’m alright with it. Be prepared, this is going to be quite a list. Here is what I’ve found wrong with the quad;

Frame is bent at the lower left a-arm mount, the a-arm seems alright. Tires don’t hold air and even if they did, they are terrible. Plastics are chewed up and stained. The exhaust is some aftermarket crap that is weldedish back together and missing an end cap. The bore has signs of worn nikasil. Air filter is so dirty and holey that it is likely the cause of the wear on the bore. Piston has some deformed beat up area at the wrist pin. Wiring harness from the stator is chewed up to the point that 2 of the 3 yellow charging wires are broken. The fuel pump plug has a broken wire. Chain is so bad that it sounds like a tambourine when you shake it, which you can because it is so loose. Sprockets are worn. Seat looks great, figured I’d throw a positive in there. Bolts are broken off in the frame in 2 places, one being the massive foot peg mount hole and the other being the front bumper upper left hole. Front bumper is bent and barely hanging on. The nerf bars are zip tied on. The rear grab bar…what rear grab bar? Oh there the rear grab bar is, just the piece bolted in the sub-frame that holds the plastics up. Is that a dildo or something on the coolant overflow reservoir? Missing indicator lights. Broken clutch perch and switch. Rusted keyed ignition switch. What in the heck happened to this thing? I did check, not stolen.

Now let’s see a picture of it. If I am going to be honest, after looking it over once I got home…didn’t take many pictures. I’ve got one where I had already stripped it down and was questioning my wallet’s weight still. So here is that one.

 

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But, I continued. It took me 3 weeks and a lot of ebay used parts but it started up. The slow to crank issue really wasn’t that hard. The starter had two bad segments. I just used the manual that is available to check it. Which is embarrassing if you’re the dealer that took the whole top end down and still couldn’t get it fixed.

Put on a stock exhaust. Fixed the wiring harness with solder and heat shrink and a really nice guy on ebay who cut up a harness for plugs and sold them to me.

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They mixed up the valves so I had to put them in the best I could. Ended up messing up a bit and lapped them…don’t do that with Titanium valves. Messed up the coating. But oh well. Live and learn with a $400 mistake. It ran as is but after reading a bit I discovered that I jacked them up. There was also an issue with the seals on one of exhaust valves. Going to be nice to check it after only running an hour or so. Going to replace when I put in the cylinder worked standard bore kit.

It did run and ride and this is probably the first time that I realized that I didn’t mess up in buying this thing. It was a blast. Handled well and was just a lot of fun. Probably faster than I need but that’s ok. I’ll get accustomed to it.

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It dies every once in a while too and then won’t start. But I dealt with a similar issue on an XR200 for a buddy. New coil is on the way to see if that does the trick. New frame came in and even had a title, which I promptly took a buddies house to start welding gussets in. Not much of a welder but the gussets will certainly hold and don’t look too bad. It’s not going to be a show piece but I am learning more useful skills on this quad. This frame is probably the most impressive part of the whole build, got it for about $200 less than most frames on Ebay expecting total crap but maybe no bends. The thing comes in and looks like it hasn’t been abused at all. So pretty happy there.

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Bought all new bearings for the whole rear end. Sand blasted the swing arm and sub-frame and painted them black. Leaving the frame blue because I like it. So much will be black on the quad that I figured that black won’t hurt. Used some appliance epoxy as a test really. That stuff goes on thick and looks amazing, but make sure temps are good. I was really careful on the sub frame and not so careful on the swing arm. The swing arm has some metal showing through. So it needs a bit of touch up.

 

I’ve still got a lot of work to do and this is going to be quite a log. Pretty stoked about the PRM skid plate for the rear swing arm I got and the desert grab bar they fabbed up for me. They don’t make the desert anymore but I called and they made me one. Really great company to work with. 


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Reserved for update

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