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  #1  
Old 01-09-2012, 02:19 PM
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Usflag Resurrecting '87 KX500 from the mothballs

     

hi all, new to the forum, but have found some great info so far. i hadn't come across any previous conversations on my issues, so here goes...

my wife surprised me at xmas by buying my 87 KX500 from the guy i sold it to over 15 years ago. at the time i sold it to him, it had 0 hours on a full rebuild. i had to rebuild because a piece of the piston wall (flange?) chipped off, fell to the floor of the engine case, and ended up between the case and the crank and the impact cracked the case.

since he bought it from me, he put maybe 20 hours on it, so technically it's like new. unfortunately, over 15 years, he rode it only periodically and started it once/yearly until the last 3 years when he didn't even do that. so i have all these "new" parts that have aged while idle. it was not completely "dry" however, he had good antifreeze in it, so i'm not too worried about impellers, freeze damage, etc.

well i drained the crank case and the carb and cleaned & replaced, and the old girl started up about the 4th or 5th kick once i remembered where the sweet spot was. everything checked out in the garage so i took it for a short ride at the local ORV park.

it did well there too, but i saw a strange sight -- coolant weeping out of the top seal of the cylinder head (did i explain that right?). it was just dribbling out very slowly, like sweat down your forehead, and only *out* and not *in* or i would have experienced some sputtering as the coolant diluted the fuel (right? i had a cracked block in a boat once and it would sputter under load).

i didn't ride it much more, and not as hard as at first, and it didn't do it again.

questions:

are those gaskets paper-based and just needed a little fluid to kind of regenerate and fill the gaps?

could a mechanically-inclined owner pop the top of the jug and replace that seal relatively easily?

should i just pony up and have the whole thing rebuilt again?

what damage might i do if i just continue to ride and monitor it? note: i haven't drained the crank case yet, but it does not appear to have gotten in there. i can see thru the window that it's not milky or watery. i'll confirm when i drain it, and draining it after every day out for a little while was going to be my short-term plan.

any thoughts? any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

glad to be back among the KX'ers...

-johnny
liberty lake, wa
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuhlKX500 View Post
hi all, new to the forum, but have found some great info so far. i hadn't come across any previous conversations on my issues, so here goes...

my wife surprised me at xmas by buying my 87 KX500 from the guy i sold it to over 15 years ago. at the time i sold it to him, it had 0 hours on a full rebuild. i had to rebuild because a piece of the piston wall (flange?) chipped off, fell to the floor of the engine case, and ended up between the case and the crank and the impact cracked the case.

since he bought it from me, he put maybe 20 hours on it, so technically it's like new. unfortunately, over 15 years, he rode it only periodically and started it once/yearly until the last 3 years when he didn't even do that. so i have all these "new" parts that have aged while idle. it was not completely "dry" however, he had good antifreeze in it, so i'm not too worried about impellers, freeze damage, etc.

well i drained the crank case and the carb and cleaned & replaced, and the old girl started up about the 4th or 5th kick once i remembered where the sweet spot was. everything checked out in the garage so i took it for a short ride at the local ORV park.

it did well there too, but i saw a strange sight -- coolant weeping out of the top seal of the cylinder head (did i explain that right?). it was just dribbling out very slowly, like sweat down your forehead, and only *out* and not *in* or i would have experienced some sputtering as the coolant diluted the fuel (right? i had a cracked block in a boat once and it would sputter under load).

i didn't ride it much more, and not as hard as at first, and it didn't do it again.

questions:

are those gaskets paper-based and just needed a little fluid to kind of regenerate and fill the gaps?

could a mechanically-inclined owner pop the top of the jug and replace that seal relatively easily?

should i just pony up and have the whole thing rebuilt again?

what damage might i do if i just continue to ride and monitor it? note: i haven't drained the crank case yet, but it does not appear to have gotten in there. i can see thru the window that it's not milky or watery. i'll confirm when i drain it, and draining it after every day out for a little while was going to be my short-term plan.

any thoughts? any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

glad to be back among the KX'ers...

-johnny
liberty lake, wa
Yes replace cylinder, head, intake gaskets as well as any o-rings and crank seals as they have all aged and will be dry and brittle and subject to let you down at any minute. Also put in new rings and reeds. You need to pick up a service manual for you bike and then you will know how to replace the parts and what to order.

Those bikes were tough as nails and held up very well!

Paw Paw
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PawPaw View Post
Yes replace cylinder, head, intake gaskets as well as any o-rings and crank seals as they have all aged and will be dry and brittle and subject to let you down at any minute. Also put in new rings and reeds. You need to pick up a service manual for you bike and then you will know how to replace the parts and what to order.

Those bikes were tough as nails and held up very well!

Paw Paw
Thank you for replying. I have located a few manuals on eBay and plan to purchase. Without seeing them yet, can you tell me if this is "top end" work, and manageable as an in-home repair? As I mentioned before, I'm pretty mechanically-inclined, and have had this bike stripped to the frame once already, but am really not up for a big job where i'm cracking open the case, pulling gears & bearings, etc.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KuhlKX500 View Post
Thank you for replying. I have located a few manuals on eBay and plan to purchase. Without seeing them yet, can you tell me if this is "top end" work, and manageable as an in-home repair? As I mentioned before, I'm pretty mechanically-inclined, and have had this bike stripped to the frame once already, but am really not up for a big job where i'm cracking open the case, pulling gears & bearings, etc.
OK, get the manual and then deside if that much work is for you. You will need it for ring end gaps, bore size, piston clearances and many other things.

Taking the engine all the way down is the only real way to get it done correctly.

Paw Paw
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