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Looking to do a top end on an 08. This is my first time doing it on a four stroke.

Do I need to measure the cylinder bore or just check ring end gap in the cylinder? 

Is there a good way to clean the carbon deposits? 

Do I have to hone it if the cross hatch is still present?

bought the bike used and don't know when this was done last. 

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Looking to do a top end on an 08. This is my first time doing it on a four stroke.

Do I need to measure the cylinder bore or just check ring end gap in the cylinder? 

 - there are specs for the piston to cylinder clearance fit.  In practice, rarely have to do anything more than check ring gap and almost never have to do anything.  For this first time change, keep it simple and guaranteed results ... Buy a genuine Kawasaki piston, rings, circlips, wristpin.  Install carefree.

Is there a good way to clean the carbon deposits? 

- carbon from where?  WD40 soak or bath.  Scotchbrite pads, old tooth brushes, small brass wire brush on a rototool at low speed.

Do I have to hone it if the cross hatch is still present?

- No.  some will say you have to hone it to remove glaze.  waste of time and risk of doing damage to the coating.  A soak with WD40 and a rub down with the scotchbrite or brass brush is fine and all that is needed.

 

bought the bike used and don't know when this was done last. 

- Good on you for taking this step to open it up and do it.  You may find perfectly useable top end components.  Change the mains out anyways.  In this way you will know exactly what you have in there, and will have a few spare parts of known condition to keep your bike running if/when there is a problem and you need it ready to go in just a few hours.   Have a close look at the valve train and camshaft clearances while you are in there.  Check clearance before you take cams off, so you can order the necessary shims right away (if needed).

 

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Definitely will be checking the valves. I've read this cause a lot of folks grief. Thank you for the information. This helps quite a bit. 

Any negatives on a wiseco standard piston kit? Trying not to piss the wife off anymore than I have to. The oem piston 115 alone without components. 

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PS:  ensure all the gasket mating surfaces are squeaky clean.  Do NOT scrape or scratch anywhere on them to get old material off.  Keep knives screwdrivers and scrapers away!  Use the scotchbrite with soap or WD to soften, and patience.  

Include a new gasket set in your plan.  OEM is fine.  Or consider reusables such as Cometic.  Also, NO rtv or basketmaker type stuff anywhere near your engine.

PS2:  Do NOT use any carbon cleaner type solvents.  Those are acids which will dissolve and damage aluminum.  Patience and hand work only.

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Just now, Pastmyprime214 said:

Definitely will be checking the valves. I've read this cause a lot of folks grief. Thank you for the information. This helps quite a bit. 

Any negatives on a wiseco standard piston kit? Trying not to piss the wife off anymore than I have to. The oem piston 115 alone without components. 

With Wiseco, CP, Moose, etc .... the metallurgies are different.  If you want to go the aftermarket route, there are some problems that can develop (e.g. cold seizures).  The keep it simple principle says, OEM.

For the budget minded, perhaps the best approach is to simply take it apart and inspect.  You may find that it all looks good and you do not have to replace anything right now.  You can then make a plan to replace xx months later based on what you have seen in there.

If cash is available, just do the job with new parts.  Gives you a box of spares for the inevitable later.  

If cash is tight, go the inspection route and replace only what is absolutely necessary.  You may get away with needing nothing other than: stage1: gaskets.  stage2: +change shims:  stage3: +new rings:  stage4: +new piston etc   .......    I've gone into many bikes and come out having had to do nothing other than do some cleaning.  Afterwards having confidence in knowing exactly what is in there so if/when it starts acting up I know exactly what I need to order or find in the spare parts box.

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It definitely has. Thank you for the advice! Wd40 and red scotchbrite is what I've used to clean 80% of the metal on this bike so far. Might as well do this while the engine is out. 

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