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Discussion Starter #1
I am a new member to this forum but I was following other projects for a long time. I started the project about 1,5 year ago. I bought this bike just after my knee surgery as a winter project. Now I know I was naive thinking that I will finish it in less than 6 months. Good think is that it was quite cheap and the most important it was running. I have never ridden on this but my friend take a test ride for me to check if it's feel properly. It seems that everything works so I checked parts availability and decided to buy it. That is my first project and I used to watch shows on discovery channel so as soon as I get it in my garage I started to strip it down. The plan was simple: clean it up, make a cool looking seat, put some pods (it looks cool) and of course it should look like cafe motorcycle so clubman handlebar is a must. Hopefully I didn't strip it down to bare frame and thanks to Sabre Cafe youtube channel I started to study this forum. Soon I realized that my plan was actually to make my bike ride worse and I focused on how to make it better. I have to warn you at the beginning that this project is moving slow mainly because to lack of money at the moment.
This is how bike looked when I picked it up:
IMAG0128.jpg
The front brakes were poor when I got the bike and when I took the pistons from calipers it was rusty. I couldn't find new pistons so I decided to make a front brake upgrade: on thegsresurces.com I found a thread about brake upgrade so I followed that direction and get cbr 600 f3 rotors, I bought sv650 callipers and bandit 600 master cylinder. I had to redrill the rotors and get spacers fabricated cause cbr rotors are 4 milimeters higher than stock rotors and I wanted to have rotors in the same distance from wheel and forks as the original ones. It took some time to set everything up and get measurements. My new calipers had diferent mounting than my original one so I had to make a adapter. First I cutted my adapter from aluminium 5 mm thick plate to see if I have a good shape (it wasn't...) Next attepmt I decided to print on my friends homemade 3d printer. That was a cheap way to check if my design gives me clearances I need.
IMAG0612.jpg
After taking all measurements I finnaly ordered aluminium adapters
IMAG0810.jpg
These are made from 15mm thick aluminium plate. Calculations suggested that 8 mm plate should be enough but because it is a braking system I decided to go thicker. I will probably blame me for adding a lot of weight on the fork. My new braking system weight about the same as my old one but my new rotors are much lighter so I saved a rotating weight which I belive will improve the steering. (correct me if I am wrong)
I am satisfied how this mod worked but now I would consider making a front end swap instead of making this brake conversion, that could be better choice but on the other hand I really like this spoked wheels (I know alloys are better but spokes really looks good).
After brake upgrade I moved on to the engine. I started from taking carbs out and check them. It was in a good shape inside only from the outside it looked dirty so I cleaned them up and puted them back together with new gaskets.
I didn't want to take the engine out of the frame at the beginning but after cheching valve clearance and changing spark plugs, it turns out that one of the previous owners broke the spark plug thread so I had to take out the cylinder head. The head was glued to the cylinder and it was impossible to take it off with engine in the frame so I took it out and disassembled. There was no clearance on 4 valves so I am not sure if the head is in good condition. I tested it for leaks and two cylinders has a little leak on the valves. It is my first build so I have a lot of worries :) one of them is camshaft bearings or lack of them. This is how looks the place where camshaft seats:
IMAG0787.jpg
Could you tell me if I should be worried abotu these wear which can be seen on the right part of the picture?

I will move on with my build and I will post the progress and I will ask more specific questions.
Does anyone have recomendations what mods or things should I consider to make my bike run and handle better than it was? I appreciate any advice.
I don't want to build an ultimate racing machine because I don't want to compete with it but I would like to get it to track on a weekends and enjoy it.
 

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Why is it that new members come on here and say "I've been watching and reading on this forum for a couple of years and I finally am posting my build from what I learned here" and then make a list of all the dumb things we've been saying all along not to do. Just WTF were they reading for the last few years?
 

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Why is it that new members come on here and say "I've been watching and reading on this forum for a couple of years and I finally am posting my build from what I learned here" and then make a list of all the dumb things we've been saying all along not to do. Just WTF were they reading for the last few years?
Maybe you should read it again before jumping up the guys ass. It sounds to me like English is his second language and he did all of the fucking up before he discovered this site. After discovering the site through a SabreCafe video and doing a lot of reading, he realized he fucked up and is trying to seek the proper way to move forward from here on out. Am I wrong?
 
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Could you tell me if I should be worried abotu these wear which can be seen on the right part of the picture?
Looks ok but it's hard to tell from a picture. Use a green Scotch-Brite pad to buff out the visible marks and then take another look. If the scratches are deep enough that the green pad won't clean them up, there's still a chance that it will function ok. It just depends on tolerances and the reason why there's scratches in the first place. Check the cam shaft and it's tolerances as well. Mine looked worse than yours and here's what it looked like after the machinist polished out the scratches.


camjournal.jpg
 

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Maybe you should read it again before jumping up the guys ass. It sounds to me like English is his second language and he did all of the fucking up before he discovered this site. After discovering the site through a SabreCafe video and doing a lot of reading, he realized he fucked up and is trying to seek the proper way to move forward from here on out. Am I wrong?
Maybe you should read my post again and see where I mention him specifically. His initial comments are what are a norm here it seems for noobies. At least this guy figured it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It sounds to me like English is his second language and he did all of the fucking up before he discovered this site. After discovering the site through a SabreCafe video and doing a lot of reading, he realized he fucked up and is trying to seek the proper way to move forward from here on out. Am I wrong?
Thanks for the understanding. I thought that on this forum everyone gets sarcasm, next time I will try to not use it.

I want to make it the proper way, that's why it takes me so long. I will get my head to the machinist any way cause it needs new spark plug thread (I could use a helicoil and repair it myself but I don't trust it)

To makes my sarcasm straight I will explain my new plan:
- 4-1 exhaust with stock airbox and a rejet if needed. (Exhaust system I bought is dedicated to my model and producer claim that it only needs adjustments on the carbs)
- some mx handlebar (I don't have any rear sets that needs to be installed if I want to put lower handlebar or clipons)
-new chain and final drive gears(that which came with the bike looks like they have never been changed)
-new tires
-675 cc conversion(i started to collect all the parts I need but it will take a while. Gs650 were not so popular so it is very hard to find all the parts)
-new bearings (wheels and steering)
-progressive springs? (Is it worth it? These are not expensive but I don't know if changing one component in the suspension won't affect others? Do I need to change dumping force?)
-I have some Koni shocks which are not stock and I don't have any idea how to chech if its good or not. Any suggestion?

I think thats the plan for right now. (But the plan is flexible so if I will get any smart advice what to do and why I will consider any changes)
 

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o1marc,

Whatever! Just answer the guys questions or shut the fuck up. We already know there is a bunch of unwanted activity here. Half of it comes from noobs who ask dumb questions or think their opinion should count, and the other half from regulars bitching and complaining about the website. Go somewhere else unless you have some positive and/or constructive input. The message relayed in your post, vague as it is apparently :rolleyes:, has been regurgitated thousands of times here. We get it. You are tired on noobs and young egos. Now drop it already and stop polluting the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
l Just WTF were they reading for the last few years?
To be honest I started to read more about motorcycles not long before I bought one, and there is that thing with open internet where everyone can post what they want so you have to dig through a whole of things that are just crap and if you are lucky you find out it is crap fast, but some people say their crap in the inteligent way so it is well hidden and for newbie it is hard to filter that crap.
 

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" Soon I realized that my plan was actually to make my bike ride worse and I focused on how to make it better. "

You are not an idiot, stay around.

Danger, is my business.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a quick update.
I finally managed some free time to take measurements and I got some good and some bad news.
Good:
- Valves and valve springs are far away from service limit

Bad:
- These Koni springs which came with the bike are 35mm shorter than stock ones, so there comes the question what to buy? New shocks are very expensive, but I thought about buying used shocks from some newer bike and rebuild them? What do you recommend?
- Exhaust valves seems a little loose in the valve guide. I am sure I can feel play and it seems play is to big. I think this can be beyond limits, I need to get some gauge to measure that. I read that gs550 engine used to have problems with valve guides and it was recommended to change them for stronger one, but this sounds expensive to me and I am not sure if I gonna find someone who would make this properly.

What mods should I do with the head while it is off?
 

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Forget building a big bore GS 550. Buy a bigger bike.

Buy some Hagon shocks from the U.K.

Look for a good used GS 550 head off of eBay. It will be cheaper than fixing the head you have. You will still probably need to get a valve job done and fit valve seals.

Danger, is my business.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
being in Poland must suck. cause if you where in the USA you could find a good running engine cheaper than it going to cost to fix the one you have.
It really sucks when it comes to finding parts. Especially that in Poland "milage corrections" is still legal which means that when you buy a bike it can have a 10 miles on the ODO but in fact it can have 100000 real miles. Which means that I have no idea how many miles my bike have. Odo shows 35000 km when you consider age of the bike it means that it did about 1000 km a year and it is almost impossible.

I am waiting for dial gauge which I ordered to measure valve play. If it is over limit I will try to use valves from gs650 head which I have and if ti not gonna work I will try to order new valves. I found that new valves should reduce the play and it is much easier than replacing valve guides.
I may try to buy used engine but I am affraid that it not gonna be cheaper than fixing this one that I have + engine from newer model will probably need new carbs.

About the shocks I have found some offers on Hagon and it is reasonable price, cause when I searched Ohlins shocks my eyeballs almost jumped out. The price was up to 1800$ a piece!!! And a pair of them would be worth much more than whole bike
 

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It really sucks when it comes to finding parts. Especially that in Poland "milage corrections" is still legal which means that when you buy a bike it can have a 10 miles on the ODO but in fact it can have 100000 real miles. Which means that I have no idea how many miles my bike have. Odo shows 35000 km when you consider age of the bike it means that it did about 1000 km a year and it is almost impossible.

I am waiting for dial gauge which I ordered to measure valve play. If it is over limit I will try to use valves from gs650 head which I have and if ti not gonna work I will try to order new valves. I found that new valves should reduce the play and it is much easier than replacing valve guides.
I may try to buy used engine but I am affraid that it not gonna be cheaper than fixing this one that I have + engine from newer model will probably need new carbs.

About the shocks I have found some offers on Hagon and it is reasonable price, cause when I searched Ohlins shocks my eyeballs almost jumped out. The price was up to 1800$ a piece!!! And a pair of them would be worth much more than whole bike
Forget using GS650 valves, it would be cheaper and better for you to get a good used GS 550 head off of eBay. New valves would be very expensive. If you are not a pro, go get a good used head.

Hagon shocks are good quality, Ohlins shocks are much better quality and have far better performance. You get what you pay for.

Danger, is my business.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why should i forget using gs650 valves? They have the same part number according to suzuki genuine parts so I believe they should be the same. Am I missing something?
 

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Ok so I started to write about the progress and then suddenly I have lost all of my text which I already put in.
I will try one more time.

Today I finally get my gauges to make measurements. first thing which I did after work was preparing a workspace for measurements to be taken.
Image00021.jpg

After setting everything up I did a wobble test on all of my valves, and I was right about too much play in the guides. EX #4 valve has a 0,5 mm play which is 5 times more than service limit.
All of my valves has more than 2 times bigger play than it should be. So there are two possibilities: 1. They all needs to be replaced. or 2. I am taking measurements wrong.
I did a wobble test according to suzuki repair manual, but the manual doesn't say anything about how to take measurements. So what I did I measured the amplitude of two positions. first reading I was gently pushing the valve down and second reading I pushed it up. Am I doing it correct? Normal values of the play should be 0.03-0.06 mm and 0.1 mm is a service limit. Only two valves where about to be close to the service limit but still over it.
If my method of taking measurements is incorrect please correct me.

I took a closer look at my guides and I think that in the past they were already changed once. Stock guides should be made out of steel and my looks rather like bronze.

Image00018.jpg

If it was changed once maybe I should do that once again? I was even thinking about pushing one out and taking measurements to get it done in the shop that made my brake caliper adapters. I even read about the tolerances that guides should have and it looks like the shop should be able to do that. It can be still cheaper than stocks or replacement.

Next I moved on to check clearances on camshaft bearing. I ordered plastigauges and I gave it a try. Results are good and it looks like it is away from service limit.

Image00007.jpg

When I disassembled the head I was concerned about shape of the bearings because of the little part of the bearing which looked to me like an excessive wear. You can see that on the left side, where plastigauges squeezed only a little.

Image00011.jpg

First I was affraid that this big clearance can cause oil pressure drop in the bearing, but it looks like these bearings where designed to work like this. When I looked closer at the camshaft I saw a little chamfer next to thrust bearing (which looks like a ring on the shaft)

Image00012.jpg

The camshaft has a little play on the sides (it can move left to right) I thing the play is about 0.2 mm but I didn't cheack that yet. It is normal that it can move a little or I should dig through gs resources to find a way to eliminate that play?
 

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A little sideways play in a DOHC 2 valve Suzuki head's cams is fine.

If you are planning on getting new valve guides, you should know that they will need to be oversize to get a good press fit in the head. This is a job for a cylinder head pro shop, by the way.

Danger, is my business.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I didn't mean to do it on my own in my poor equiped garage. So I definately will go to the pro. I have found an auction on ebay

Suzuki GS550 GS 550 Bronze Valve Guides with Viton Seals | eBay

Does anyone know this Schumann motor works? The price is not so bad comparing to NOS guides. and theese comes with seals. I will ask those guys about dimensions to double check if these are oversized to make possibility of proper fit.
Before I will buy those guides I will have to remove at least one but best would be all guides to check what size hole is in the head.

Do you know any smart way to remove guides without any harm to the head? Suzuki manual sais that it should be hammered out using special guide remover. I don't want to hammer anything out of head especially that it is made of aluminium. Tried to look on the internet and found that some people drill it until it falls out. Other method that I found is cut a new thread inside the valve guide and take a very long bolt with one nut close to the head of the bolt, big washer snd a pipe to make some distance from the head. than screw the bolt all the way in the guide and than start to onscrew the nut.

What way is the safest? I will just add that I don't trust pro shops around my town. I found different opinions about them and if I will need to give them the head to take out these guides I want to tell them what methods can and what cannot be used.
 

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I didn't mean to do it on my own in my poor equiped garage. So I definately will go to the pro. I have found an auction on ebay

Suzuki GS550 GS 550 Bronze Valve Guides with Viton Seals | eBay

Does anyone know this Schumann motor works? The price is not so bad comparing to NOS guides. and theese comes with seals. I will ask those guys about dimensions to double check if these are oversized to make possibility of proper fit.
Before I will buy those guides I will have to remove at least one but best would be all guides to check what size hole is in the head.

Do you know any smart way to remove guides without any harm to the head? Suzuki manual sais that it should be hammered out using special guide remover. I don't want to hammer anything out of head especially that it is made of aluminium. Tried to look on the internet and found that some people drill it until it falls out. Other method that I found is cut a new thread inside the valve guide and take a very long bolt with one nut close to the head of the bolt, big washer snd a pipe to make some distance from the head. than screw the bolt all the way in the guide and than start to onscrew the nut.

What way is the safest? I will just add that I don't trust pro shops around my town. I found different opinions about them and if I will need to give them the head to take out these guides I want to tell them what methods can and what cannot be used.
You hit them out with a simple stepped punch that fits in the guide hole and a medium sized hammer. Put the head on thick wooden blocks.

Make sure you know which guide came out of which hole. Keep a record.

You need to get a proper pro valve job after fitting new guides because they will probably be slightly offset.

Danger, is my business.
 
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