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2004 CRF250R Top end rebuild questions.

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Hey all, first post here. Last fall I bought a 2004 crf250r, bike ran good and lasted me until about a week ago, wouldn't start. Pulled apart and shimmed valves, they lasted me about a day. So I ordered a full kibblewhite stainless valve kit for intake and exhaust w/springs and whatnot. Anyway, before I get into the rebuild I need some advice on a few things.

1. Should I have the machinist re-cut the head and install the valve kit, or order a brand new head and install them myself? How hard is it to set the new valves in the new head myself?

2. What parts should I replace while I'm in there? I've heard cam chain, tensioner, and piston and rings. The last owner said the bottom end was rebuilt with a new case half by the local Honda a year ago. 

3. What brand of piston kit and gasket kit seems to work the best? I do the majority of my riding in gravel pits and ditches. 

Any other suggestions and input greatly appreciated as this is my first 4 stroke bike. Thanks in advance!

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1. I would just have someone cut the seats for you unless there is damage to the head.
2. The parts you listed are what I would change. Take a good look at the crank and balancer seals, and see if there is any play in the balancer bearings.
3. Ive used oem, vertex, and wiseco in mine, no issues with any of them.

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