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Library Home Page > 1st Generation (1983 to 1993) > Engine
A Discussion Of Engine Swapping vs. Splitting
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A Discussion Of Engine Swapping vs. Splitting

Splitting the engine cases, and removing the rod big ends, and lifting the crank out to replace the chain (it is actually a HyVo rather than roller chain and should not have failed except as a response to a failed chain tensioner) is not such a big deal. You need an enclosed area for cleanliness, a torque wrench, and otherwise just the standard tools. You will also need to mark where the crank engages the balancer shaft with a bit of nail polish, so that correct installation is easily confirmed. (I find the punch marks almost impossible to see) You will need to build yourself a special tool to remove the clutch housing, using a piece of 2by2 and a couple of 3by3 metal corner braces. The manual shows what the tool looks like in use, and you could build one that copies its design. Your mechanic will not have this tool. You do not need to remove the pistons or head or cylinders. On the head side, you can just remove the cams to slide the chain over. If this was MY bike, I would probably do the whole job. To tell you the truth, getting the engine out of (and back into) the bike is considerably more labour intensive (but not "Grade A mechanic" level) work. You should really try this yourself, and see if it seems OK to you.

Working INSIDE the engine requires a higher level of skills, and ABSOLUTELY requires a Yamaha service manual. For example, when reassembling the engine cases, there are two spots that need a dab of sealant to ensure that the oil gallery does not bleed off into the engine sump. A competent mechanic without a manual will miss this.

Once the engine is out, you could bring it to your local mechanic, who should be able to do this in a careful and considerate manner in about 8 hours (here I am assuming that he is familiar with this engine - which he is not). It will certainly be much cheaper to pay to have the cam chain changed now that the engine is out, rather than to pay a grand for an exchange of engine. Of course here I am assuming that the valves were not damaged by this failure, and I have not any knowledge of the condition of the cam chain tensioner devices.

There is certainly the advantage in an engine exchange that: you know how much money is involved you get your "fixed engine" immediately you do not have to worry about your mechanic. I am thinking while I am typing and now come to the conclusion that an engine swap is probably a reasonably good choice for you. I would have pushed for YOU to disassemble the engine if a month's down time for a relaxed stress free "half an hour a day" job was being considered, but this is not January. Still, if it was MY bike, I would disassemble it and repair it no matter what the season. That way also I get the satisfaction of working on this puzzle (which in the right frame of mind is as much pleasure as driving), and I only lose 500 dollars.

I hope that some of this information is useful for you. .........Scott MacMartin


Last update: 11:45 AM Sunday, September 26, 2004

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