This will be my first post since joining the ThumperTalk forums, so I hope you guys can assist me.
Just picked up an 89' XT 350 for $400. Bought it knowing that it had a bad motor on it. Got the motor out tonight and took off the head and lo-and-behold the piston is destroyed, with pieces of it down in the engine case.
My plan right now is to tear the XT 350 down to a bare frame and do a complete restoration of it, the most expensive part being the engine, of course.. At a glance, im gonna need a new cylinder head, a new piston sleeve, and a new piston, holding out hope that nothing is too badly damaged inside the gear case. Add gaskets, filter, oil, maybe even a carb rebuild before its all said and done.
So my questions are:
1. Has anyone done a ground up rebuild of one of these engines by themselves, and if so, what did it end up costing you in the end, from the time the first screw was loosened to the first startup after rebuild?
2. Does anyone know of a business in the US that specializes in rebuilding older dirt bike engines at a reasonable price? Or possibly even selling remanufactured engines for dirt bikes as old as mine?
3. Is there a suitable substitute engine for this bike that will fit with minor mods to the frame?
4. Am I crazy for wanting to spend money on this bike to fix it and restore it? I fully know I could get a wicked newer model bike on craigslist for the $2k-$3k im getting ready to spend on this thing, but the way I see it, I restore it myself, I have the equivalent of a brand new bike to ride to the trails out here in Southern California. I just want a decent enduro bike to do mostly mild trail riding with the occasional steep hill climb, and I feel this is it.
I'll get off my soapbox and let you guys give me your input. Thanks in advance for checking out my post!
Antelope Valley, CA