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TOPIC: A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included)

A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 20 Jan 2019 07:49 #797137

  • KZ_Rat
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I've been lurking here for awhile, looking at maintenance tips but now I've finally had something happen that may not have happened to other folks. A few months ago, I was riding my '83 KZ550 LTD and something so obnoxiously stupid happened that the roadside assistance tow truck guy who was inevitably summoned burst into laughter and said "Never saw THIS before!" As I'm riding home from work on a chilly afternoon, the engine suddenly dies and I pull over. I restart it, set it to neutral and first again and it dies as soon as I let the clutch go with the just the right amount of throttle in... To my horror, I notice that the scarf I was wearing was no longer around my neck and hopped off the bike thinking "No! This... This is impossible!" And lo, I saw little black fibers, sticking out of the front sprocket cover. I open it up and sure enough, there was one black scarf, wrapped up tight around the sprocket, soaked in chain lube and the tears of one grieving man... I towed it home and took the scarf out, bit by oily bit.

But now the shift lever is limp and won't spring back into place. I tried to open the exterior transmission to have a look but the screws are so rusted tight that a screw extractor kit proved useless (my vice grips, turnwrench and a drill only stripped the head of the extractor, though they were in the first screw deep and tight)

One summer ago I bought me this beautiful '83 KZ550 LTD as my first bike (I had a scooter before) and it was the best transportation I've ever had. Beautiful, fast and damn if that wasn't the lowest monthly gas bill I've ever seen...

It'll still run. But I can't get the damn transmission open and I see scarf fibers still sticking out if it..Has anyone ever had this problem..? Can she still be saved? I gotta get into that transmission case....

I've looked at other used, vintage bikes on Craigslist... but they're just not the same... And it'd seem silly to get rid of mine...

(also, hello everybody, I'm new to the forum, though I wish I joined earlier, under better circumstances)
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A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 20 Jan 2019 09:03 #797140

  • Daftrusty
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That is an unfortunate series of events!
But I can offer some insight into what you may be dealing with.
From your photo I can see that it appears the chain guard is hanging off at a weird angle because it ripped the mounts off the transmission cover. This means at the very least, you will need a new cover.
You will need to drain the oil out of the engine, or lean the bike on its side on some tires or something because as soon as you remove the cover, oil will start pouring out.
You might need to drill or cut off the heads of the bolts that will not come out. Once the cover is off then you can put penetrating oil on the remaining part of the bolt and then use vice grips to remove them.
If the shift lever is limp, then hopefully it only broke the shift lever return spring. This a dirt cheap part that can be replaced in seconds.
At worst....it broke the shift lever mount off the engine case.
That is means you will be looking for a new engine. Repairing the shift lever perch is something that needs to be expertly welded in (and no, JB Weld will not fix it) and you will have to remove the bottom engine case to do that. It is easier to find a new engine..or bike.


I hope this helps.
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A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 21 Jan 2019 07:53 #797186

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Yes. That helps immensely. ... Probably best that I didn't open it right off, anyway. I would've stupidly spilled oil everywhere... Ill at least know by the time I have money to git a new one..,

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A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 21 Jan 2019 08:46 #797189

  • shrap66
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If you are going to be cutting off stripped bolts you should not take this job for granted.

There are several ways to do it and several more to create more problems. It happened to me, I broke an exhaust stud and ended up destroying the head, had to remove the head and get it welded and a new bolt thread put in. Lots of time and money for a broken bolt.

Take your time, read about it, make sure you have the right tools and in doubt ask for help or go to a good machinist to help you out,
1979 KZ1000B3 LTD Glacier Green

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A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 21 Jan 2019 10:01 #797193

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A high quality penetrating oil, a great deal of patience, a hand impact driver and proper bits, and some more patience will get most stuck bolts, nuts and screws off without creating more damage.

Apply penetrant to the fasteners once or twice a day for a few days. While the penetrant is working, go to your favorite tool store and buy a hand impact tool with bits that properly fit the fasteners. If you do not own a hammer, get one. A 12 or 16 once one will do fine. Follow the instructions for the tool carefully. You may have to whack pretty enthusiastically on the really stuck ones. I am not a professional mechanic, but I have rarely met a fastener that would not yield to this method.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough
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A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 27 Jan 2019 04:30 #797669

  • ratchetface
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Please note - some screw extractors are cheap (soft), and even quality extractors only work well after following all of the solid advice above. I, personally, opt for shock and / or heat, in combination with the above advice.
Shock fastener with a punch and hammer. Light, yet solid raps - and not with the largest hammer you own.
Heat fastener and / or area it's threaded into with a torch. Carefully.
You're just trying to break the bond between fastener and part. Steel fastener and aluminum part makes it even worse (electrolysis).
Weld a nut to what's left of the fastener. This gives you something to get a proper tool on, and usually the heat from the welding helps considerably.
All the best.

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A lost cause, or no lost cause? (with stupid story included) 27 Jan 2019 05:24 #797671

  • M_a_t_t
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Aluminum expands faster than steel so if you keep the bolt cool by spraying it with some water for example after heating the engine around it it should loosen up easier as well.
83 KZ1100A (shaft)
17 Versys X 300 abs
90 Honda CBR600F (brother's)

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