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Sunday, Jan. 27th 2013

Rebuild Journal: KLR650 Day 4

In case you missed them, here's day 1, day 2 and day 3.

First order of the day was to start taking care of some cleaning. The rat's nest below the starter was not kosher.

Definitely seems like some oil has been leaking from here.

Nothing some wire brushes and kerosine can't take care of.

Starting to look much better!

After cleaning, it was time to work on the left side of the engine and take care of replacing the doohickey, which I believe is really called the engine balancer chain tensioner.

To fully remove the left side engine cover, the wires from the stator needed to be unplugged.

They went in here.

Next was the specialty holder so that the crank rotor bolt could be removed.

All it took was my breaker bar and an extension from my car jack. It seemed like it was over torqued, even for 130ft/lbs.

I definitely put the key and rotor spacers in a bag for safe keeping. It seems like they would be prone to getting lost.

Here's the stock doohickey and spring exposed.

At this point, I decided to take a quick break to organize my workshop table. I also had a friend over helping. He did a pretty nice job giving the exhaust header a couple of quick coats of ceramic exhaust paint.

Annnd… back to working on the doohickey.

Next step for me was to start taking off the inner cover for easier access.

The furthest left bolt is shorter. This one is the bolt that goes inside the case.

Inner cover is off!

Looks like it's a stock doohickey.

Here's some comparisons between stock and the Eagle Mike Doohickey replacement. Considerably better quality.

The stock spring. I'm going to be using the torsion spring from Eagle Mike as a replacement.

Here it is compared with an Eagle Mike spring. I'll be using the torsion spring, so neither of these will actually be going into the engine.

Time to drill the hole for the torsion spring. The instructions called for it to be drilled just left of below the opening for the doohickey adjuster.

Here is a picture of the drilled hole.

Cleaning the old gasket material off.

The instructions didn't mention if silicone gasket material was needed or not, but I think that a small amount would help.

Lightly coated.

Putting the inner cover back onto the left side of the engine.

The new doohickey and torsion spring ready to go on! I put one end of the torsion spring into the newly drilled hole, then placed the new doohickey on.

After that, it was just a matter of hooking the torsion spring onto the doohickey. It wasn't too bad once I figured out the angle to get it. Fortunately there was an extra set of hands to help get it on.

After that was completed, I got a phone call from the machine shop. My cylinder jug was ready to be picked up!

Mmmmm… Look at that hone.

Putting the coolant connector back onto the cylinder. I later had to take this back off to torque the cylinder acorn nuts.

More glamour shots.

I kept getting distracted and taking photos of the newly bored cylinder.

Cleaning the engine bottom end in preparation for the new piston and machined cylinder.

Here's the fancy new piston from Eagle Mike. It's definitely a looker. It seems that the piston is an Arias piston. The machine quality on it is excellent. Considerably lighter than stock!

The machine shop also got all my ring gaps set. I double checked and they were spot on.

I always forget how thick assembly lube can be. Spreading it along the wrist pin for insertion into the piston.

Next, I put the left side wrist pin in, started the wrist pin going in and began working on getting the wrist pin and piston lined up with the connecting rod.

It took a little bit of force and patience, but it eventually slid in nicely.

New 688cc piston installed!

Next, it was time to add a little bit of assembly lube to the cylinder walls and piston to prepare it for installation. I also re-checked and re-re-re-re-checked the piston ring's clocking.

Stay on target…

One of these days I'm going to get a ring compressor… Fortunately this was just a single and not too terrible.

After the rings were aligned and in, the cylinder dropped down nice and smooth!


Then, I had to run out and get a crow's foot to torque down the cylinder mounting acorn nuts. This was the first time I had ever used one. It seems that as long as the driver is 90° to the crow's foot, the torque readings are correct and no conversion is necessary.

After the cylinder was in, it was time to return to finishing up the doohickey. Consequently, this is where things soon went pear shaped.

The new rotor bolt, ready to be installed.

Putting the spacers onto the end of the crank.

Here, you can actually see that the tension on the chain had dropped, (unbeknownst to me) become unaligned and in a position where it would end up being crushed between the block and the starter rotor.

With the rotor on, it was time to put the little key in and the stator magnet on.

Ready for the rotor bolt to be threaded in and torqued. Which would end up resulting in some choice words in a few moments.

Here is a picture my friend took as I was sliding the cam chain guide in. Something was clearly messed up. The chain was jammed and it prevented the chain guide from sliding in correctly.

At this point, we pretty much dropped the camera and took the rotor bolt, stator magnet and starter gear off pretty quickly to find out the extent of the damage.

Here's the starter gear. Chewed up a little bit and bent.

The worst was the block. In this game of rock-paper-scissors, the cast aluminum block definitely lost.

Fortunately, after much visual inspection, the cam chain looked untouched.

We cleaned up all the aluminum bits we could find and stopped working on the bike for the night right there. We had been working on the KLR for most of the day and, after the cam chain issue, we definitely needed a break.

The next day we started off with the easiest part to fix. Some fellow users on ADVrider.com recommended filing, smoothing and bending back into place the rotor.

It's starting to look better already.

It spins freely without catching on anything. I think this might be OK.

After a little bit more sanding.

Notice the spacing on these "teeth" (purpose unknown, oiling?) are slightly off.

After the spacing was fixed, it looked pretty good actually!

I was not mentally ready to deal with engine case yet, so we moved on to getting the right side of the engine wrapped up.

A little bit of kerosine to clean up the gasket surface.

The now clean oil screen.


Getting the impeller ready for the new seals and spring.

Driving out the old seal. Note: using a larger drift works better. You will soon see why!

This is why…

New seal for the impeller.

A 7/8ths socket matched up nicely to the new seal that needed to be driven into the side cover.

There's also an oil/water drain for anything that leaks past the seals. We made sure to clean it out. It was a tad crusty.

Here's the new seal driven in.

And the impeller goes on…

Side cover bolts? Ready.

Oiling up the ends of the bolts for a smooth install.

Cover ready for bolts.

Installing the bolts.

Once the cover was on, it was time to re-attach the clutch cable.

Side note: it's great to have friends help out on projects… just keep an eye on them before they start fixing everything else on the bike.

"These hand grips are toast!"

Next, the impeller bolt goes on.

Rear brake can be reinstalled now.

Here's a handy trick I picked up from my friend. If you cut the corner off of a baggy and fill it with the silicone gasket maker, you can apply a very thin bead. It's very similar to how bakers apply frosting to write "Happy Birthday" and such.

On goes the water pump cover!


OEM filter goodness. Definitely fit a lot more snug than the aftermarket K&N filter.

We also noticed that the oil pressure bypass valve had some crud in it. It didn't feel very smooth. Some WD-40 and pressurized air fixed that. It's considerably smoother now.

Now, it was time to finish fixing previous mistakes. The last part was to take care of the chipped case. The consensus on the ADVrider forum seemed to be that the case would be fine, it would just need some filing and cleaning up.

My friend decided to take the first round on the filing so that I could get a couple of action shots.

We made sure to catch any of the shavings with a shop towel that had WD-40 on it. We were also extremely careful about cleaning the surface and surrounding area after the filing.

Here's the end results.

It holds the cam chain guide just as firmly as it did before. I think I'm in the clear. Hopefully!

Now, feeling a sense of relief we decided to call it a night. Everything is caught up on the bike for what parts I have. At this point, I'm mainly waiting for the refreshed head from Eagle Mike to arrive.

Be sure to continue with day 5.

Updated on Sunday, March 29th 2020