Project Genji - A 2005 636 is spared an ignoble death - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 09-17-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Project Genji - A 2005 636 is spared an ignoble death

Howdy dudes and dudettes! I'm Aaron. I have a sickness, the primary symptom of which is that I have a compulsive need to repair machinery, which frequently involves buying broken things.

Those amongst us who have played the video game Overwatch will likely recognize the name 'Genji' as the name of name of a ninja who is horribly mauled in a bitter quarrel with his brother. Thanks to the intervention of some well-meaning, but perhaps misguided, strangers, Genji is given a new, titanium body, and allowed to live on as a cyborg. This sounds about right for this bike, to me.

I'd been hoping to find a project bike for a while, in the free or nearly free price bracket. About a month ago, I was helping a buddy check out a KLR650 he was considering buying, when I got to talking with the seller, a veteran racer, who told me he had a pile of parts that theoretically go back together to for a ZX-6R, or at least most of one, in his garage that he wanted to get rid of. The asking price fell within my desired "close to free" price range, it had a title, and enough parts that I figured "well, if I can't save this thing, I can probably make a few bucks parting it out..."

About a week later, I brought home my prize.


Here it is that evening, having displaced my daily driver BMW from its space in the garage. The seller was good enough to sorta-kinda reassemble it, so it no longer could be described as "a pile."



Obviously, a bike like this that can be had this cheap is not going to be perfect, and perfect it is definitely not. The seller told me that it had been used as a race bike, and that during its last track session, it developed a nasty rod knock, but suggested the engine might be repaired with just the replacement of the crank and affected rod bearing. I had my doubts about that, but I set to tearing the bike down to assess the damage nonetheless...

Compared to my last project - the 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata you see in the background - disassembling this was a piece of cake.




Ruh-roh! It took me three tries to get a not-totally-crap photo of this. Not looking good for the engine.


The wiring harness is kind of a mess. This was a race bike, and apparently, "it just has to work" was this team's mantra.


The tiny hex screws that fasten the intake boots onto the throttles fought me tooth and nail - you need LONG Allen wrenches for these, and I'd left my long ones at the office.


At length, I prevailed, and the engine was freed from the chassis.



It was at this point that I forgot to take any more pictures of the teardown. The next day, having been relieved of the engine, the chassis was considerably easier to move around.


At length, I was able to liberate the crankshaft from the engine. Most of the bearing journals look OK, but #3 rod journal is um... not smooth.



I considered attempting to repair the original engine, but, after some browsing of Ebay, I concluded that a used engine would be a far less expensive and risky proposition. So, I found and ordered an engine from Ebay. For some odd reason, the best deal I could find, shipped to my house, came from the UK. The Ebay seller tells me it was last sighted in Poland, as of Friday morning US time.
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Last edited by MR2Aaron; 09-17-2016 at 04:43 PM.
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post #2 of 49 Old 09-18-2016, 04:10 AM
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Thanks for posting this up.... I enjoy watching the dead brought back to life. Looking forward to the follow up posts.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #3 of 49 Old 09-18-2016, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting this up.... I enjoy watching the dead brought back to life. Looking forward to the follow up posts.
Thanks, I do too! Like I said, I'm pretty sure I have a sickness. You should see some of the things I've repaired for work... Ex:
https://hardforum.com/threads/phoeni...ckage.1858333/

Anyway, back to the bike... While I wait on the engine, I took some time yesterday to wash the remaining portions of the chassis. I think I cleaned about a pound of tire dust out of the tail section, and while it's too scratched up to ever look new, it does look a lot better than it did.

Some of the parts from Ebay have started to trickle in, and I've been fitting them as free time and energy allow. I replaced the race clipons that came with the bike with these weathered but totally serviceable stock ones. Because my goal is to be street legal eventually, I needed all the switchgear, and I wanted it to fit correctly.



I noticed, only after I'd already ordered them, that the turn signal switch is missing the little plastic nubbin thing. If anyone has one they took off in the process of building a race bike, I'll happily buy it from you. A search for just that part on Ebay came up with nothing, and the dealer network apparently only sells the clipons or switch housing as a whole assembly for like a gazillion dollars.

I also acquired a mostly straight rear fender liner to replace the ghetto-fabulous piece of sheet metal from home depot that had been riveted in its place. It's amazing how much better the electronics fit with that in there. I'm actually kind of surprised the previous owner removed it. I also followed up with the guy I bought the bike from who told me he has the rear hub in storage, and promised to hook me up with it when he comes back from vacation.



I've run out of new parts to install for now, so it'll likely be a few days before I have anything meaningful to add.
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post #4 of 49 Old 09-19-2016, 01:15 PM
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U may have a ZX636D6F special edition, or just the tank off of one. I am not suffering from the same sickness as you. My problems comes from wanting to figure out what the full potential is. Now I have a perfectly fine 636 apart getting ready to become a 14.2:1 674 cc. I hope to see 140HP with additional cylinder head work and a few other tricks.

Dude.....you're about to get roasted. You pour soul
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post #5 of 49 Old 09-22-2016, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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U may have a ZX636D6F special edition, or just the tank off of one. I am not suffering from the same sickness as you. My problems comes from wanting to figure out what the full potential is. Now I have a perfectly fine 636 apart getting ready to become a 14.2:1 674 cc. I hope to see 140HP with additional cylinder head work and a few other tricks.
It takes all kinds. I'm more of a ride to work kind of rider, and for that purpose, 130 horsepower, or whatever this bike comes with stock, is plenty.

Anyway, the big ticket items have started to arrive, including an uncut wiring harness, and the engine (all the way from Latvia!). But...

Fack!



If it were just the cam cover, this wouldn't be a big deal, but unfortunately, it looks like the cam retainer plate is also damaged, as seen through the hole. Perhaps more worrisome is what happened to the missing chunk of cam cover.

The seller seems to be pretty good about customer service, so we'll see what they say. Worst case scenario seems to be that I could swap the head from my old engine onto this one, but I was hoping to avoid the need to do any of that by buying a complete engine. Bah.

Edit: The service manual says that the cam retaining plate has to be replaced with the head. Has anyone ever successfully transplanted one of those from one head to another?
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post #6 of 49 Old 09-24-2016, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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The seller had me pull the cam cover off of the new engine to get better look at the damage yesterday. Gnarly.



It sounds like they're probably just going to issue me a partial refund, vs. making me send the whole engine back to Latvia. That in mind, I put in my order for a pile of gaskets and seals and things from PartShark. I'll be swapping the presumably good cylinder head from my dead engine on to this good bottom end.
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post #7 of 49 Old 09-25-2016, 06:40 AM
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Are you planning on complete disassembly and inspection before you get too far down the rabbit hole?

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #8 of 49 Old 09-25-2016, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Are you planning on complete disassembly and inspection before you get too far down the rabbit hole?
I take it you think I should?

I had not really planned on getting too deep into the new engine, as the risk of failing to put it back together correctly, or getting some grit in one of the bearings, seems to be greater than the risk that something else is wrong with it. My experience generally is that motorcycles end up in junkyards far more often due to crash damage than engine failure, and that a used engine is probably still perfectly good. In the car enthusiast circles I run in, this is generally standard practice.

I'm planning to pull off the oil pan and make sure there's no loose bearing material or anything loose in the crankcase, though. I'll measure rod play while I'm at it.
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post #9 of 49 Old 09-25-2016, 10:46 AM
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It's a matter of investment, in my mind.... if you just plan on getting it into running condition and 'flipping' the bike, or if you plan on long term ownership.

This is likely to be the only time you will ever get this far inside the cases -- I am not enough of an enthusiast to delve any deeper than what you are planning, TBH. If you are transplanting your known good head onto a motor with physical damage to the current head, I personally would want to ensure there were nothing else wrong with the recipient motor.

With the damaged head in place, can the motor rotate? Could you do a compression test on it? Obviously you will be able to look at the cylinder bores if you remove the head; but you wouldn't have any indication if it would benefit you to do the rings while you had the chance.... same is true of your head -- have you given thought to a valve job on it while you have the chance? I know they are already pretty good, far better than any mass produced car where flow is concerned; but port and polish or whatever is considered most effective is going to be most easily incorporated before you mount up the motor.

It's a lot like buying a 'fixer upper' house. The Cardinal Sin, is to move in and try and finish up the repairs it needs. Once you decide 'good enough' it becomes much more difficult to take it down to the studs again.

I'd want to inspect the clutch, and the pumps (water and oil), transmission dogs (if it's a cartridge design.... splitting cases is not one of my favorite activities).

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #10 of 49 Old 09-25-2016, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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It's a matter of investment, in my mind.... if you just plan on getting it into running condition and 'flipping' the bike, or if you plan on long term ownership.

This is likely to be the only time you will ever get this far inside the cases -- I am not enough of an enthusiast to delve any deeper than what you are planning, TBH. If you are transplanting your known good head onto a motor with physical damage to the current head, I personally would want to ensure there were nothing else wrong with the recipient motor.

With the damaged head in place, can the motor rotate? Could you do a compression test on it? Obviously you will be able to look at the cylinder bores if you remove the head; but you wouldn't have any indication if it would benefit you to do the rings while you had the chance.... same is true of your head -- have you given thought to a valve job on it while you have the chance? I know they are already pretty good, far better than any mass produced car where flow is concerned; but port and polish or whatever is considered most effective is going to be most easily incorporated before you mount up the motor.

It's a lot like buying a 'fixer upper' house. The Cardinal Sin, is to move in and try and finish up the repairs it needs. Once you decide 'good enough' it becomes much more difficult to take it down to the studs again.

I'd want to inspect the clutch, and the pumps (water and oil), transmission dogs (if it's a cartridge design.... splitting cases is not one of my favorite activities).
Heh, I actually almost went through that with my house. It was a foreclosure and I had about a week to fix all the things that were wrong, like installing new floors and painting between closing and having to move out of my old place. That week was... intense.

I totally get what you're saying, though. I'll be doing a lot of things you mention as just normal preventative maintenance. I actually don't have the new engine's oil and water pumps for some reason, so the oil pump rotor is getting replaced, along with the water pump seals. I'll adjust the valves once I get the head installed. I think I may forego inspecting the clutch for now, but that's something I can easily address later, if I need to.
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post #11 of 49 Old 09-25-2016, 12:45 PM
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post #12 of 49 Old 09-25-2016, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Lacking an installable engine, I did some work today test fitting all the various other parts I'll be needing to install. I suspect I'll have to remove a lot of these things before I'm all done, but it was good to see how they all fit together.

I got my hands on a stock exhaust system, so I set about fitting that. I was surprised by how heavy it is - the race pipe the bike had on it before weighs like 5 pounds for the whole system. Just the muffler on this stock one must weigh 15 or 20. In my opinion, though, it looks nicer than any aftermarket option I've seen, and more importantly, it won't make me look super douchey, riding around with a super loud exhaust.


The exhaust system came with some of the trim pieces, including this plastic piece that had the bracket for the rear brake reservoir attached. It looks much better this way, vs. attached haphazardly to the rearset.


It took some fiddling, but at length, I figured out how the servo mechanism fits.


I also installed the new triple clamp, which came with a complete lock set. I'd have preferred black, but whatever.


The front end on this bike seems to have come off of an 03-04. There are some subtle differences besides just the wheel and brakes - namely that this combination seems to have a lot more steering travel. With the bars in the prescribed position, they contact the frame at full lock.


The new wiring harness mostly just fit right into place, but it has a few wires that are just loose. I suspect these two may be for the rear turn signals, but I haven't been able to investigate yet.


Anyone know what these two are for? Colors are yellow/red and brown/white.


The routing of the wiring harness seems to be kind of a mystery. Does anyone have a photo of how this is supposed to be route? I obviously need to fasten it down, but is it supposed to come out from under the frame, and up around the right hand fork tube like this?



Last, I got the kickstand safety switch installed.


Edit: Responding further to RJ2112 up above, the current plan is to get the bike back into rideable shape and enjoy riding it to work and on errands for a while. My tolerance for riding a bike with clip ons may be limited, but I've always thought these supersports looked like fun, so I'll give it a try for a while. After that, if I'm not totally in love, I might see if I could trade it for some sort of 650ish twin, like an SV650 or a old entry-level monster, which is really what I'd had in mind originally for my "initially almost free project bike."

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post #13 of 49 Old 10-01-2016, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Got a little bit done on the new motor during the week.

The motion of the clutch lever seemed odd, in that it was really... notchy... and I could turn it 360 degrees. So, I pulled the clutch cover to have a look. Can you spot what's wrong with this picture?



If you spotted that the little nubbin at the end of the clutch plunger rod was broken off, you win one internetz today. So, I swapped out the little plunger rod with my good one from the original engine. Oddly, I didn't find the broken off piece, even after giving the engine a pretty good shake, and pulling the oil pan to look for it.


Also oddly, an inspection of the clutch cover revealed a hairline crack on the inside. There's very little evidence of damage to the outside of it, so I can't help but wonder if maybe this is the reason this engine is not still in a bike somewhere, and the previous owner removed the cover to inspect the damage to the clutch.


I also got the new head installed, after what seemed like days (probably only hours) of scraping with a doofy plastic scraper and rubbing with a solvent. Ho. Lee. Crap. are the cams on this engine a pain in the ass to install. I swear I stood there cussing at it for like three hours, trying to hold the chain on the sprockets with one hand and tighten the bolts with the other.

An initial cursory attempt at measuring the valve clearances reveals that all of the ones I checked are either out of spec at the tight end, or close to it. Hopefully, the other head that I have will have enough shims that I don't have to go hunting for them.
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post #14 of 49 Old 10-01-2016, 09:42 PM
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Keep up the good work and keep us updated on the progress.

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post #15 of 49 Old 10-02-2016, 04:00 AM
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Knowing there is some sort of issue with the throw out rod.... did you take the opportunity to mic the plates and frictions? Did the clutch basket look okay? Notchy?

When my throw out rod failed, it did it standing still in my garage with the engine off...... I pulled the cover and found the piece laying right there in the cover. If you have an alternate cover, that's probably why you didn't locate that chunk. If anything, as you have surmised, it should have gone down to the pan and stayed there.

I have to admit, you have done a nice job of cleaning up the outside of that motor. I'm sure it will continue to build up into a nice bike.

At 50 something, I had reservations about getting a bike with clip ons and rear sets. Coming from a dirt bike background, and riding 'standards' for 30+ years.... well it didn't seem like the best of ideas but I was willing to give it a go. Took me less than a week to adjust. It's critical to carry your body weight with your feet, and to brace into the tank with your knees. Once you master keeping the weight off your hands, it's actually a nearly neutral position.

Thanks for the updates.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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