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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit: IT RUNS!!

Cliffs at the bottom.

I bought my bike ('00 SV650) several months ago. The previous owner told me that he did a valve adjustment (or something to do with the valves- I don't recall specifically), and when he went to start it, it wouldn't turn over.

It had been dropped- dented tank, cracked plastics and twisted bars..but this was my first bike, so I wasn't too concerned about looks. The frame appeared straight, and I could deal with the cosmetic issues. Why did I buy it, you ask? Because I picked it up (with a clean title) for 500 bucks. Worth a gamble, IMO.





A friend and I tore into it yesterday- pulled the top head off. Everything appears to be okay, except the threads in the head for one of the cover bolts was stripped. Here's what we saw:


We pulled the front cylinder apart today- started like this, looking perfectly fine:


Here's the whole bike, as it sat:


Pulled the cam covers off. Looks a little funny, doesn't it?



And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present the other side of the picture!


Also notice the gap between the other valve and the head:


Better picture:


And one more, just for kicks.


Here's the missing link!


And, the unhappy piston:


Close-up:


I'm guessing that, for a bike that's been dropped this hard (and only cost me $500), it's probably not worth replacing the motor...but I thought I'd ask the collective opinion of you all.

At this point, I'm strongly leaning towards parting it out and buying something that won't require a complete rebuild. Any thoughts or suggestions (or part requests!) are more than welcome. smiley

Cliffs:
2000 SV650 - bought for $500 because it wouldn't turn over. We found the problem- the timing was catastrophically wrong and a valve snapped off and the stem punched the piston. Is it worth salvaging?
 

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If you have a factory service manual, and better yet access to someone who's done it before, I'd say this motor is salvageable. Being down to the short block already, it's only a few more steps to splitting the cases and replacing the rods and pistons (you'd still be ahead cost-wise, as my '00 SV was $3500 with 15K on it, in 2006). As long as the labor is free, perhaps $300 in parts and machine work, and it'll be rideable. Dented tank, as long as it holds fuel, is fine for a first bike, esp since you can't find 250 Ninjas for $1000 anymore...

Think of it this way... since all the parts are diassembled, you can then square-one the important stock parts -- crank bearings, rings, cylinder bore/hone for example -- and even add some hop-up mods, like a valve job or decking or degreeable cam sprockets. The amount you spend on that will still be less than my $3500, and that's with a new tank thrown in. ;)

P.S.: If I ever have to touch that cam chain tensioner/break loose those cam caps/remove any cam chain link from the sprockets, I double-check EVERYTHING, and ALWAYS hand-turn the crank one full cycle and verify the marks match through both heads, before signing off the work (and I have, despite the foot-tapping of a few impatient customers standing over me, waiting for their bike -- right comes before fast, buddy. :rolleyes: ).

I do admit, though, that I check valve clearance by removing plugs, and spinning the motor with the starter, onto the cams' base circles... but that's on a motor that was just running fifteen minutes before -- no chance of cam timing changing. ;)
 
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Gheesh! That's a crappy discovery.

If the rest of the bike isn't in need of too much work, then it may well be worth it. How badly is the cylinder wall scored?

Looks as though you're able do your own work, so it would just be the cost of parts plus your time. If you had to pay $75/hour for labor, then I'd say forget about it. Parting it out you'll easily get your money back. But if you had to spend $500-$1000 in parts, it would still be a decent bike for not a lot of cash.

A long time ago, I had a timing belt snap on my old Ford Escort. Pistons rammed every intake & exhaust valve, and bent them all.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
If you have a factory service manual, and better yet access to someone who's done it before, I'd say this motor is salvageable. Being down to the short block already, it's only a few more steps to splitting the cases and replacing the rods and pistons (you'd still be ahead cost-wise, as my '00 SV was $3500 with 15K on it, in 2006). As long as the labor is free, perhaps $300 in parts and machine work, and it'll be rideable. Dented tank, as long as it holds fuel, is fine for a first bike, esp since you can't find 250 Ninjas for $1000 anymore...

Think of it this way... since all the parts are diassembled, you can then square-one the important stock parts -- crank bearings, rings, cylinder bore/hone for example -- and even add some hop-up mods, like a valve job or decking or degreeable cam sprockets. The amount you spend on that will still be less than my $3500, and that's with a new tank thrown in. ;)

P.S.: If I ever have to touch that cam chain tensioner/break loose those cam caps/remove any cam chain link from the sprockets, I double-check EVERYTHING, and ALWAYS hand-turn the crank one full cycle and verify the marks match through both heads, before signing off the work (and I have, despite the foot-tapping of a few impatient customers standing over me, waiting for their bike -- right comes before fast, buddy. :rolleyes: ).

I do admit, though, that I check valve clearance by removing plugs, and spinning the motor with the starter, onto the cams' base circles... but that's on a motor that was just running fifteen minutes before -- no chance of cam timing changing. ;)
Thanks! Any recommendations on where to go for replacement parts? I'll start searching the FAQ's...

I have a manual, but not a FSM.

Gheesh! That's a crappy discovery.

If the rest of the bike isn't in need of too much work, then it may well be worth it. How badly is the cylinder wall scored?

Looks as though you're able do your own work, so it would just be the cost of parts plus your time. If you had to pay $75/hour for labor, then I'd say forget about it. Parting it out you'll easily get your money back. But if you had to spend $500-$1000 in parts, it would still be a decent bike for not a lot of cash.

A long time ago, I had a timing belt snap on my old Ford Escort. Pistons rammed every intake & exhaust valve, and bent them all.

.
The cylinder wall isn't scored at all.

Aas far as I know, this is what else is needed:
The tach needs to be replaced.
Bars are trashed- hopefully I can snag a stock set from someone.
The plastics are in rough shape & the tank is dented, which isn't a big deal.
One of the cam retainers is broken (found a guy on the board selling one).
Seat is trashed (same guy selling cam retainers has one).
The radiator is a little rough, but doesn't look too bad.
 

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The damage doesn't look that bad at all. There's barely an indentation in the piston. You probably wont even have to redo the bottom end, though you should get deeper in there and have a look-see. There's no damage to the cylinder head at all, it looks like. You probably can get away with just a set of pistons/rings, hone, and new exhaust valve, if thats all that is wrong with it. Or you could just do the one cylinder, one piston and valve. Ride it for a bit, sell it and make a couple of grand for the work you did. :thumbsup:
 

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well...

i think that if you ever have to ask the "should i?" question with these types of projects, it's probably something you don't REALLY want to bother with. it looks like you have the tools and knowledge to fix the bike, so you might come out ahead. maybe you should look around a bit more to see how much a similar motorcycle in running condition will cost you. if it's over the estimated $1500-2000, i'd stick with that sv. on the other hand, maybe the other bike with just a bit more money and a little bit of elbow grease will always be better in the end. i guess it entirely depends on what is available to you right now.

if the frame, wheels, and all the other rolling parts are ABSOLUTELY straight, I would go ahead and fix it as soon as you can. otherwise, i'm sure you can part that out for much more and get something that needs a bit of tlc, but is working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The damage doesn't look that bad at all. There's barely an indentation in the piston. You probably wont even have to redo the bottom end, though you should get deeper in there and have a look-see. There's no damage to the cylinder head at all, it looks like. You probably can get away with just a set of pistons/rings, hone, and new exhaust valve, if thats all that is wrong with it. Or you could just do the one cylinder, one piston and valve. Ride it for a bit, sell it and make a couple of grand for the work you did. :thumbsup:
When my uncle and I did a head gasket ('86 MR2), we had the head rebuilt...I'm not familiar with bikes (yet)- at 22k, would it be worth doing the same for this?

As far as the other head- aside from needing a helicoil (for the cover), I think it's all set. I wouldn't mind rebuilding it, but only if it's worth doing.

I found mrcycles.com for parts...is there anywhere else I should look? They seem a bit pricey.

well...

i think that if you ever have to ask the "should i?" question with these types of projects, it's probably something you don't REALLY want to bother with. it looks like you have the tools and knowledge to fix the bike, so you might come out ahead. maybe you should look around a bit more to see how much a similar motorcycle in running condition will cost you. if it's over the estimated $1500-2000, i'd stick with that sv. on the other hand, maybe the other bike with just a bit more money and a little bit of elbow grease will always be better in the end. i guess it entirely depends on what is available to you right now.

if the frame, wheels, and all the other rolling parts are ABSOLUTELY straight, I would go ahead and fix it as soon as you can. otherwise, i'm sure you can part that out for much more and get something that needs a bit of tlc, but is working.
I'm new to the world of motorcycles, and have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to replace pistons. It was a lot easier pulling the heads off this than it was doing the turbo gasket in my '91 MR2, so maybe the rest of this won't be too bad. :p

I'm looking at $2800-3500ish for an SV in good shape, if I could find one- there's not an overabundance of bikes in NH.
 

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This is one place you can go for Suzuki OEM parts.
http://www.suzukipartshouse.com/

The pricing for motorcycle parts always seem a bit steep compared to car parts. Just the way it is I guess.

As far as getting the head rebuilt... what is damaged besides the one exhaust valve? Looks pretty good to me. One other thing might have possibly been damaged in the head is the valve guide that goes with the broken valve... possibly. You will need some measuring instruments to check the clearances. The combustion chamber looks intact. Valve seat don't look like it took any damage. If you dont want to mess with all that you can always take it down to a machine shop that is familliar with rebuilding morotcycle engines and have them take a look and give you a quote to check or replace the valve guide and to hone the cylinder for a new piston and whatever else you want done.

If you've rebuilt an engine on a car, it shouldn't take you long to figure out how to do it on a motorcycle. Yeah there are slight differences between a motorcycle engine and a automotive engine. But basically a 4 stroke dohc engine is a 4-stroke dohc engine. It's not going to be all that different just because they are used in different kinds of vehicles.
 

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When my uncle and I did a head gasket ('86 MR2), we had the head rebuilt...I'm not familiar with bikes (yet)- at 22k, would it be worth doing the same for this?
Mind you, I'm a former (graduated? ;D) Hon/Kaw/Suz/Yam/Can/Pol/Bom certified dealer service technician, so I've done lots of motors to the crank -- that's my perspective and paradigm. I'd recommend a factory manual to make sure you don't miss anything, though.

I found mrcycles.com for parts...is there anywhere else I should look? They seem a bit pricey.
As Sol1 mentioned, the prices are going to be high -- motorcycles can't fall back on volume to lower the cost of their construction, so even though the part does the same thing or less, it'll cost more to get it to you.

I used my track crash last August as an opportunity to rebuild my bike in a fun way -- it was, and is. Then again, I'm a card-carrying tinkerer within my limits. ;D

I'm new to the world of motorcycles, and have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to replace pistons. It was a lot easier pulling the heads off this than it was doing the turbo gasket in my '91 MR2, so maybe the rest of this won't be too bad. :p
If your standard for difficulty is based on working on a MKI MR2, then splitting cases will be peanuts. ;D

Seriously, though... as long as you have some sealer (Yamaha and honda make excellent liquid gasket goop in tubes; look for the stuff that is meant for metal-to-metal contact surfaces), and double-check EVERYTHING, splitting cases will be easy. You may however, have some trouble with lining up the transmission shafts with the shift forks come reassembly time, as it is on all B4 motorcycle and ATV engines. Just post here when you get to a snag, and I'll do my best to talk you through it.

And an AW11 MR2, with the rear susp geometry update and a 1.8L 20V 4A, is still one of my favorite wish cars... as long as the rear quarter panels don't fall off. ;D

I'm looking at $2800-3500ish for an SV in good shape, if I could find one -- there's not an overabundance of bikes in NH.
This is the reality. Sure, SVs in CA may be cheap due to the sheer numbers, but you have to work with what you have practical access to. :p

Carolina Cycle has good prices on SV parts, but you have to give them time to fulfill your order -- they are NOT good at getting stuff to me very quickly (WA state). Oneida Suzuki may also have good prices, and they're a lot closer to you. ;)

One last thing -- I'd stay away from used cam caps. If you get a new one, at least it gives a fresh surface to bed into the cam bearing, where a used one will be worn into *its* original cam... and if that one was a bit more worn or a bit more crooked than yours... you'll have lubrication problems. You don't want that on a cam bearing. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This is one place you can go for Suzuki OEM parts.
http://www.suzukipartshouse.com/

The pricing for motorcycle parts always seem a bit steep compared to car parts. Just the way it is I guess.

As far as getting the head rebuilt... what is damaged besides the one exhaust valve? Looks pretty good to me. One other thing might have possibly been damaged in the head is the valve guide that goes with the broken valve... possibly. You will need some measuring instruments to check the clearances. The combustion chamber looks intact. Valve seat don't look like it took any damage. If you dont want to mess with all that you can always take it down to a machine shop that is familliar with rebuilding morotcycle engines and have them take a look and give you a quote to check or replace the valve guide and to hone the cylinder for a new piston and whatever else you want done.

If you've rebuilt an engine on a car, it shouldn't take you long to figure out how to do it on a motorcycle. Yeah there are slight differences between a motorcycle engine and a automotive engine. But basically a 4 stroke dohc engine is a 4-stroke dohc engine. It's not going to be all that different just because they are used in different kinds of vehicles.

Aside from the one exhaust valve, I'm not sure- the other exhaust valve doesn't appear to be seating properly, but I haven't pulled it apart yet to see what's wrong. The motor never actually ran, which minimized damage.

Thanks for the link- they're significantly cheaper than the other places I've found.

If I replace the front piston/ring, both exhaust valves (or at least one & check the other for damage), then helicoil the other head so I can put the cover back on, do you think I'd be good to go? Anything else I should do while I'm in here aside from replacing gaskets (head, cylinder, etc)?

Mind you, I'm a former (graduated? ;D) Hon/Kaw/Suz/Yam/Can/Pol/Bom certified dealer service technician, so I've done lots of motors to the crank -- that's my perspective and paradigm. I'd recommend a factory manual to make sure you don't miss anything, though.

As Sol1 mentioned, the prices are going to be high -- motorcycles can't fall back on volume to lower the cost of their construction, so even though the part does the same thing or less, it'll cost more to get it to you.
If I find a heated place to work, I'll have all the time in the world through the winter..haha

If your standard for difficulty is based on working on a MKI MR2, then splitting cases will be peanuts. ;D
LOL! Yeah, there's not a whole lot of room- did a head gasket on a Mk1 and a turbo gasket on a Mk2.

Seriously, though... as long as you have some sealer (Yamaha and honda make excellent liquid gasket goop in tubes; look for the stuff that is meant for metal-to-metal contact surfaces), and double-check EVERYTHING, splitting cases will be easy. You may however, have some trouble with lining up the transmission shafts with the shift forks come reassembly time, as it is on all B4 motorcycle and ATV engines. Just post here when you get to a snag, and I'll do my best to talk you through it.

And an AW11 MR2, with the rear susp geometry update and a 1.8L 20V 4A, is still one of my favorite wish cars... as long as the rear quarter panels don't fall off. ;D
I loved my Mk1- handled beautifully. My Mk2 is definitely heavier, but it's a tradeoff for power/comfort. I may get another Mk1 someday, though.

Carolina Cycle has good prices on SV parts, but you have to give them time to fulfill your order -- they are NOT good at getting stuff to me very quickly (WA state). Oneida Suzuki may also have good prices, and they're a lot closer to you. ;)
Thanks!

One last thing -- I'd stay away from used cam caps. If you get a new one, at least it gives a fresh surface to bed into the cam bearing, where a used one will be worn into *its* original cam... and if that one was a bit more worn or a bit more crooked than yours... you'll have lubrication problems. You don't want that on a cam bearing. :p
Good call...didn't think of that.
 

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Clean up the piston and see how bad the gouge is. If it isn't too deep then I'd just leave it.

You still got a great deal. Fixing it isn't a big deal, you're already most of the way there.
 

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I wouldn't split the case or replace the piston. It's minor marking and should be fine. The piston is many times stronger than the valve. Clean up, replace the valves, verify clearance, etc. A shop manual is a good idea. You can download one for free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wouldn't split the case or replace the piston. It's minor marking and should be fine. The piston is many times stronger than the valve. Clean up, replace the valves, verify clearance, etc. A shop manual is a good idea. You can download one for free.
I downloaded the shop & parts manual this morning- thanks! I may get this running a lot sooner than I expected. I also need to do fork seals...are they a PITA, or something I should be able to do?

Might as well start a complete parts list- if you think of anything else I need, feel free to add to it!

Both head gaskets (is it safe to reuse the head bolts?)
Cam retainer (for the one I broke)
Exhaust valves & possibly guide (will find out when I disassemble it)
Tach (thinking about getting an Acewell)
Seat
 

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I downloaded the shop & parts manual this morning- thanks! I may get this running a lot sooner than I expected. I also need to do fork seals...are they a PITA, or something I should be able to do?
No disrespect intended to Sol1, but the valve is steel, and the piston is cast aluminum -- I'd replace it. If the impact was hard enough to break the head off one of the exhaust valves (which will be harder than the intakes due to higher thermal stress), it may have cracked the piston or bent the connecting rod slightly, whereupon you'd have a knock that would definitely not fix itself, after all of the headwork had been buttoned up. That there is a stem mark in the piston means one revolution had broken off the head, and another stabbed the piston -- you have no idea how many times the previous owner cranked the poor motor like that...

Might as well start a complete parts list- if you think of anything else I need, feel free to add to it!

Both head gaskets (is it safe to reuse the head bolts?) Yes

Cam retainer (for the one I broke)

Exhaust valves & possibly guide (will find out when I disassemble it) definitely both guides, after what happened. Guides are soft, and they'd ream after something like what happened -- bad on the exhaust side. Get some buckets, too.

Tach (thinking about getting an Acewell) Your choice, but mine is a Vapor...

Seat have you explored reskinning options for seats? or is it just the passenger seat? If the passenger perch, then get it, as they're rare used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The front seat is missing foam...not in great shape. The rear seat is good enough.

It sounds like I'd be better off doing this thoroughly rather than the quick way- will I be able to tell if the rod is damaged just by looking at it?

Is there somewhere I can buy a complete rebuild kit, or should I order the parts individually? Part of me wants to do a complete rebuild...it's all apart anyway.
 

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The front seat is missing foam...not in great shape. The rear seat is good enough.
That sounds like a good candidate for a new seat, rather than reskinning. I've had good luck with reskinning slightly-damaged seats, but when the foam is the issue (not enough rather than too much), then unless you have foam of the right density, you'll have to replace...

It sounds like I'd be better off doing this thoroughly rather than the quick way- will I be able to tell if the rod is damaged just by looking at it?
To be honest, would you feel comfortable revving a piston to redline, with any chance of the rod being tweaked? Number one, if it is slightly bent, you won't get the same compression as a straight one, two, nor will the piston sit true in the bore going up and down at 4000 feet per minute...

It's your call... I see that Carolina lists their piston for $45, and the rod at $76, which are not inconsequential costs. If you compare the rear rod, and see *any* visible distortion (can also check for that by looking for patterns of small cracks in the surface hardening). I'd rather not take the chance, but that's me. Lots of time during the winter to save up for it. ;)

Is there somewhere I can buy a complete rebuild kit, or should I order the parts individually? Part of me wants to do a complete rebuild...it's all apart anyway.
It's pretty rare that full rebuild kits are available from bike factories... Honda and Yamaha stock seal and gasket kits, but none have car-like full rebuild kits, mostly due to cost. You'll have to select parts yourself, unfortunately. Because the bike isn't in front of me, I can't relive my tech days and write up a parts list... but in general, any gasket you damage, replace. Any rubber o-rings, replace. Head gasket/base gasket, replace always. post with any questions you have -- I'm subscribed to this thread, so when you get to a stopping point, ask away (pics help tons). ;)
 

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Valves are very hard steel, so they are quite brittle. It doesn't take much of a hit on one edge to break the stem. I've seen many engines drop valves or have valves broken and rarely will the piston fail. It will, of course, if the valve head bounces just wrong and winds up standing up between the head and the piston. In that case the piston would have a hole punched through it and the combustion chamber would show some damage.

Rods are very tough. I've never seen a rod or any rod bearing damaged by a valve hit, even when the piston was holed.

I would check all the seats carefully and replace the stem seals while you're at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'll pull the piston/rod and see what it looks like- I don't mind replacing it if it's worthwhile...I don't know if the starter motor would be strong enough to damage a rod, though..?

Tach (thinking about getting an Acewell) Your choice, but mine is a Vapor...
What model Vapor?

I'm not looking to spend a fortune, but I don't mind spending the money to do everything right the first time..would rather do it once than twice. :)
 
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