Removing Engine to Paint

How hard is it to remove the entire engine? I'd like to paint my frame and I have never pulled an engine before.

Can I do it myself or will I need help.

I assume I will need to drain the oil, is this true?

Do I even need to pull it to paint it right?

Will I be getting in over my unmechanical head?

One more Q: While I have it off, does anyone recommend I check the top end? I'm not sure I would do this myself as I don't even know what I am looking for. But I'd figure while it was off, I'd take it to dealer for them to look it over. Probably save a couple of $ with it out. Thanks, Doug

Ill help if you need it, I probably would take it out to make sure everything gets painted, and hell while we have it out well check the top end.



You might want to look at powder coating the frame. I saw where someone here had it done for around $200. This should be a once in a lifetime application.

I plan on doing mine next winter (in black) and going with the Hurricane yellow plastic.

Yep, I'm "old school" :)



97 KDX220, 86 TTR225, 99 WR400f, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. De-octopussed. Works frame guards and Thumper Rad Guards, Scotts steering damper. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank, IMS seat and number plate. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA, Happy Ramblers MXC.

Bill, Bill, Bill! What do you think this thing is, a Suzuki? :D

Dougie, yeah definately pull the engine. Great time to superclean everything and paint. If the flat contact points on the frame where the engine mounts are getting rounded, file them flat. Mucho vibration occurs at these points :)

I sent mine to Andrews powder coating in Cali and they charged $200 and might I say they did a excellent job!

Excellent people (very nice) I would recommend them over and over.

Dougie, I had never pulled a engine before either and I did it all by myself. For me it was just a matter of taking my video camera and filming everything as I tore it apart and if I had any questions about where something went.... "LETS GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE!" :) I dont consider myself a mechanical man but it wasnt that hard. Just take your time. And yes, you have to drain everything. Remember, the frame holds oil and there are 2 or 3 oil lines running from the frame to the engine.

p.s. Ive had mine painted for about 16 months now and the only place any paint has come off at all is under the right footpeg where I bashed a rock super hard. This paint is tough as nails.


Darin from Missouri - 1999 WR 400F

Enduro Heaven


How does the Hannah kit hold up? It would be great to find a yellow gas tank, instead of the sticker kit. Also, what is a good price on the FULL Hannah kit?


'99 WZ with all YZ mods, FMF PowerBomb header, Stroker SX-1 silencer, SS front brake line, forked over by Pro-Action, OEM YZ tank and IMS seat.


Don't think it's a Screwzuki. I'm just old and to me a Yamaha should be yellow :)

Besides, check out Darrins (milkman) bike on the pics page. It the BOMB :D


Thanks Bill, Kind of you to say. Although after a year and a half its starting to look a little tattered. Almost time to revamp.

Kevin, Dont get a yellow tank. I went with a clear tank from clarke and they go with vitrually everything.


Darin from Missouri - 1999 WR 400F

Enduro Heaven

Since I run the YZ stock tank, I'll be getting one of those paintable skins, to paint the tank yellow. Then the yellow graphic over the top of the paint.


Anyone use one of these skins?

If you go with powdercoating be very careful to get all of the sandblasting media removed from your oil tank before reassembly.

Proper cleaning and flushing post-coating will save you some serious problems.

Bill- You know I'm just joking :D

Actually, it should look pretty cool!

BTW, next winter I'll be expecting you to throw on some ice screws and enjoy the winter riding :)

Originally posted by Dougie:

How hard is it to remove the entire engine?

It ain’t hard at all. Follow the order given in the “engine removal” section of the manual, it references several other sections, just follow all the steps and use a different box for each set of parts.

You need to drain the coolant and oil, remove radiators and hoses, oil lines (watch those o-rings and dowels), gear sensor (get the little indicator rod and spring out of there with a magnet or it will fall out later) and motor mounts. Other than obvious exhaust, cables (throttle, clutch and decomp), chain, subframe, carb, seat & tank that is it. The motor will come out either side but I think left is easier. It can easily be done in less than two hours (but you don’t want to rush stuff like this).

An extra long 3/8 extension works good for pushing swingarm and two long motor mount bolts out.

As for the motor you may check the valve clearances while you have it out and then get a shop to do a leak down test (that way you know if it fails it ain’t due to overly tight valve hanging open).

As for coating (or painting) the frame keeping stuff (either abrasive media or coating/paint) out of steering stem bearing races and threaded portions of frame (seat & tank mounts, oil tank etc.) and regluing the rubber tank cushion are what concern me.

A friend of mine just bought some threaded rod and cut pieces for all the threaded holes in his frame, then used a bunch of washers and a long piece of the rod to seal off the steering stem before he blasted it and had it coated. Some places may have a hard time matching the color, you may ask for a test or just go with black if you are picky about this kind of thing.

Another thing you may consider after you have the motor out is taking a good picture from both sides so you will know the wiring harness and cable routing as it truly was (before you remove clamps/forks), because all this stuff will have to come off.

Don’t forget you can leave lots of stuff assembled like both brake systems (no bleeding required) and linkage/shock/swingarm. You can also leave the forks in the bottom clamps so you don’t have to realign them later.

Hope this helps!

Hick brought up a good point I forgot to mention about andrews powder coating. They have vast knowledge about painting dirt bike frames. They told me they have done several before mine that the frame held the oil. So I felt very comfortable sending it to someone that had done this before.

Plus, (this is a big bonus to me) they pluged every hole with a bolt or whatever was necessary so I didnt have to chase paint out. There was only a couple spots I had to file on to get the subframe back on and the swingarm on.


Darin from Missouri - 1999 WR 400F

Enduro Heaven

Thanks guys, Just what I was looking for and more. Not sure if I want to send it in for powder coating. Sounds interesting though. I was thinking along the lines of spray painting it. But now you got me thinking. I am such an impulse buyer. My wife hates it :) What the hell it is only money. You only live once and any other cliche you can think of.

Now I just have to work up the courage to take the entire thing apart and have the confidence that I can get it back together. I've had the Swing arm, subframe and forks and head all off at once, so I guess I might as well go the distance.

I figure it will be down for at least three weeks maybe a month. Darin, how much was shipping from Missouri? I figure I'll just pick up a couple of hours of OT if I decide to do the coating.

I have heard of guys using Grill paint, to paint their rims black (and it actually held up) im fairly sure that this paint would work on a YZ frame (because the grill paint will handle heat and looks great too...and the best part about it is: its only $4 a can!) Do you think this would work? Let me know...because whenever my bike starts looking like I rode it off a cliff, I will give it a facelift! Thanks,



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

Guys, one more Q...should I remove the engine first or last? Which whould be easier?

Pull towards the beggining of the process and like Hick said, take lots of pics along the way for re-assembly and wire routing.

Also, thought I'd mention that powder coating is super durable. Much more durable than any paint available. The muscle car guys, use it on suspension components such as A-arms. I think if you used frame guards for the high wear areas, this would be a one time application, unlike any paint.


$75 to remove 1.5 pounds, up high. When they come out with blue covers, I'll have an IMS Yz seat for sale, $75 :)



97 KDX220, 86 TTR225, 99 WR400f, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. De-octopussed. Works frame guards and Thumper Rad Guards, Scotts steering damper. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank, IMS seat and number plate. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA, Happy Ramblers MXC.

Dougie, Your right about he bike being down for a month. Mine was down for about that and I just barley made it through.

I had a really good deal on my shipping (through my work) and it cost me ..... $0

Cant beat that huh? They were even nice enough to let me ship it 2nd day air both ways. :)

Im guessing, but it would probably cost about $30-40 to ship out, $30-40 to ship back going UPS Ground. Does that sound high?

I remember it weighed somewhere around 60 lbs. (frame & subframe) Check on the shipping prices before you take my word for it though. Shoot, if you talk to them about it they might pick up the tab for the return shipment.

When I got mine back I was VERY paranoid about sand from the sandblasting of the frame getting into the frame and then into my engine so I flushed it with water several times, then gas, then ran oil through it, dumped that, put fresh oil in after getting it back together, ran it for a little bit, dumped that oil and filled it up again with fresh oil.

Might be a bit much, but like I said nothing is too good for my baby.

Dougie, once you get it apart you will find its not as hard to get back together as you thought.

The really sad part is looking at the parts lying around on the garage floor (and it dosent look like much) and you think to yourself "I paid $6 G's for just this much stuff!"


Darin from Missouri - 1999 WR 400F

Enduro Heaven

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