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TOPIC: Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550

Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 16 Aug 2011 02:36 #469316

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I am desperately searching for an air box for my 81 GPz550. I've been looking on Ebay and they seem to have every other air box in existence other than mine. So I have two questions to ask this forum:

650ed gave me list of other kz's that had the same airbox:

KZ550-A1 (1980)
KZ550-A2 (1981)
KZ550-A3 (1982)
KZ550-C1 (LTD) (1980)
KZ550-C2 (LTD) (1981)
KZ550-C3 (LTD) (1982)
KZ550-C4 (LTD) (1983)
KZ550-D1 (GPz) (1981)

Had one hit from craigslist, he gave me a quote then never returned my call.

If anyone has one, I will pay you over market value and shipping. I DO NOT want to put pods on then have to jet a carb. I know nothing about them. I seriously know more about late 80's British fuel injection (Lucas :blink:) than I do about them. I also don't want to put more stress on a 30 year old engine by dumping more fuel and air into the combustion chamber, possibly shortening the life of my engine.

Second question:

Can I put an air box on from a different kz model? I've seen certain kz750's and kz1100's that have similar shapes as my air box, but I don't know the diameter of the tubes coming out of them. Has anyone ever retrofitted a different air box on to another bike? From what I can gather, my carb intake ports are 39mm. I can make the thing fit if I need to.


If this guy ever gets back to me, everything will be great, I would have found an obscure early 80's part within two days.... I've done bigger magic in my life trying to restore an 83 Mercedes 240D and an 89 Jaguar XJ40.


I'm begging here lol. Thanks for listening.
1981 GPz550

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Last edit: by Redox6022.

. 16 Aug 2011 10:43 #469351

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 16 Aug 2011 11:19 #469358

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bummer. just gotta watch...but you are ....for sure on e-bay one WILL surface, you can also do a parts yard search and post in one of those parts finders...i did this on a hard to find 84 550 tank...and got calls with stupid offers and a few decent tanks/prices....at the time there were none on e-bay
1976 KZ900
2003 ZX12R
2007 FZ1000
2004 ninja 250R for wife

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 16 Aug 2011 15:58 #469407

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1982 GPZ1100 B2
General Dynamics/Convair 1983-1993
GLCM BGM-109 Tomahawk, AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM)

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 16 Aug 2011 20:06 #469452

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Airboxes from other 550's (Than the A, C, D models) won't just bolt in, so I doubt airboxes from other size bikes will work, and if they did, you'd be back to rejetting anyway.

They will come up on ebay. I remember last year, for awhile, there was a bunch of them. It's usually when someone parts out a bike.

11010-1103 or 11010-1104 (Canadian version) are the part numbers. The Canadian version likely does not have the cutout for the air hose to the air-injection system, but that is a minor difference.

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Last edit: by loudhvx.

Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 16 Aug 2011 20:22 #469453

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The Kawasaki.com website is great with their detailed parts scheme. I did verify which year kz fits mine. I didn't know about the online salvage yards, will check them out tonight. Thanks for that.
1981 GPz550

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 17 Aug 2011 10:36 #469523

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Found one on motolane.com!!! Mfolks, I owe you a beer or three.
1981 GPz550

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 17 Aug 2011 16:03 #469562

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Glad I could help!
1982 GPZ1100 B2
General Dynamics/Convair 1983-1993
GLCM BGM-109 Tomahawk, AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM)

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 19 Aug 2011 18:50 #470119

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So I get the airbox in next week. Are you able to install it on the carbs without removing them?
1981 GPz550

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 19 Aug 2011 19:58 #470133

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Get new rubber ducting(boots) too, as new ones make the airbox installation much easier.
Soak the boots in very hot water with a little fabric softener to make them pliable. If they start to get stiff, use a hair dryer to make them soft again.
1982 GPZ1100 B2
General Dynamics/Convair 1983-1993
GLCM BGM-109 Tomahawk, AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM)

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 19 Aug 2011 21:25 #470156

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Having to put the box into its cubby hole in the frame section, yes I believe removing the carbs will be the best bet. Did you get the mounting hardware? Two little L brackets, the hose that goes down to the breather, etc?
1982 KZ1000LTD K2 Vance & Hines 4-1 ACCEL COILS Added Vetter fairing & Bags. FOX Racing rear Shocks, Braced Swing-arm, Fork Brace, Progressive Fork Springs RT Gold Emulators, APE Valve Springs, 1166 Big Bore kit, RS34's, GPZ cams.
1980 KZ550LTD C1 Stock SOLD Miss it
1979 MAZDA RX7 in the works, 13B...

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 13:44 #470318

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Yes, as Motorhead said, the airbox can only be installed with the carbs off. The back of the airbox has two slots for two small L brackets to hold it to the battery box. That's the only thing that supports the back of the airbox. The front of the airbox is supported by the short tube that goes from the crankcase breather to the port on the bottom of the box. That tube is what makes it more difficult to move the airbox around when installing the carbs.

You have to slide the airbox as far back as possible, (the L brackets have slots to allow for this). Then slide the carbs in from one side or the other between the manifolds and the airbox boots. I angle the nose of the carbs down below the intake manifolds as I line up the airbox boots. Then in one massive pull, you pull the carbs back into the airbox boots, make sure they are all on, and pull the carbs as far into the airbox as possible. Some of the boots will lip into the carbs, you have to prevent that or it will be difficult to get them right later. Then while still pulling back, I tip the nose of the carbs up into the intake manifolds. Then wiggle them in by pushing forward. I use a tiny bit of antiseize on the engine side of the carbs to help them slip in better, and it makes it easier to take out later (but only a thin layer smeared on).

Make sure the carbs go all the way in to the manifolds. The rubber casting has a rib that fits into the groove in the carb casting. Make sure it goes all the way in so the rib sits in the groove. When the carbs are seated all the way in, the rack's casting lip will partially obscure the hose clamps on the intake manifolds. (You still can get to the clamp screws underneath.)

The airbox boots all have an offset. You have to make sure all of the offsets are in the right position or the boots will not seal to the airhorns. Make sure the spring clamps are all on, obviously, because you can't put them on after the carbs are in place.

The hotter it is outside, the better. You won't know the true joys of the airbox unitl you try to install the carbs when it's 45 degrees F outside. :angry:

There are photos etc for the TK-22 carbs in my signature.

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Last edit: by loudhvx.

Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 14:43 #470337

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Yeah you will have to remove the carbs to put the airbox on. If you have soft boots this is the easiest way to do it. kzrider.com/forum/3-carburetor/468219-re...carbs-with-an-airbox
Hope it helps.
Take it from me cuz I found
If you leave it then somebody else is bound,
To find that treasure, that moment of pleasure,
When yours, it could have been.
1977 KZ650 B1 Being restored to original (Green)
1977 KZ650 B1 Original (Red) Sold
1977 KZ650 B1 Donor Bike for Parts

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 19:28 #470444

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how do you get the box back into the frame. i have removed the carbs, and the boots, but it is still really difficult to get the box, boots and carbs back together....i never knew it would be such a PITA to get this thing going. rejetting the carburetors and putting the pod filters on seem to be a pretty good option vs. fighting this old hard to work with, doesnt seem to fit OEM stuff.

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 19:38 #470449

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harmongreer wrote: how do you get the box back into the frame. i have removed the carbs, and the boots, but it is still really difficult to get the box, boots and carbs back together....i never knew it would be such a PITA to get this thing going. rejetting the carburetors and putting the pod filters on seem to be a pretty good option vs. fighting this old hard to work with, doesnt seem to fit OEM stuff.

New rubber connector boots between the Airbox and Carbs is the best way. Then they flex and fit properly. Rubber turns into some stiff brittle stuff after 25+ years. You wouldn't want to fight them for long, get new ones, then it is pretty easy.
1982 KZ1000LTD K2 Vance & Hines 4-1 ACCEL COILS Added Vetter fairing & Bags. FOX Racing rear Shocks, Braced Swing-arm, Fork Brace, Progressive Fork Springs RT Gold Emulators, APE Valve Springs, 1166 Big Bore kit, RS34's, GPZ cams.
1980 KZ550LTD C1 Stock SOLD Miss it
1979 MAZDA RX7 in the works, 13B...

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 20:51 #470466

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where is the best place to buy the new rubber boots. i cant find anything but overpriced used ones.

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 21:48 #470477

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It ain't Leggo's thats for sure. Some enjoy working on bikes but if you want simplicity and everything to go by the book it may not be for you. Once straightened out most can enjoy miles of worry free cycling. But some who just fix what is broke usually chase gemlins that eventually leaves a bad taste in their mouths. These are usually old machines that have had some abuse and needs some real work to get them reliable and enjoyable. My uncle and my father got a lot of those bikes that were too much for their new owners. After nearly taking them apart and going through them they would have great bikes but they took the time and did the work others refused to do. The dreams of riding down the road come easy but the reality takes some work. Keep at it and it will pay off.
Take it from me cuz I found
If you leave it then somebody else is bound,
To find that treasure, that moment of pleasure,
When yours, it could have been.
1977 KZ650 B1 Being restored to original (Green)
1977 KZ650 B1 Original (Red) Sold
1977 KZ650 B1 Donor Bike for Parts

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 20 Aug 2011 22:00 #470483

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Once the TK-22's are clean and all of the bowl screws replaced with stainless allens, and the bowl gaskets are good and have a tiny layer of antiseize on them, you can do most jetting and parts replacements without taking the carbs off of the bike. You just have to make some special shorty allen tools (and remember to not overtighten the bolts). On my TK-22 link in my signature, there is a link to the maintenance section which shows photos of the tools I made for rejetting while the carbs are on the bike. It still takes a long time, and you need to get the knack, but there's no back strain at least.

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 21 Aug 2011 13:22 #470649

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z1enterprises had the boots.

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Air box nightmare 1981 GPz550 22 Aug 2011 03:59 #470851

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Let's hope removing the carbs to put the airbox on isn't too hard. I should order some boots from Z1.
1981 GPz550

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