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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-05-2019, 12:35 PM   #1
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Default Trying engine for first time

Hi all. I've got a Kwak GT550 (1989) which was sat for 17 years. I was foolish and stripped the whole bike down without first getting it running. I have cleaned and rebuilt the carbs, fixed the wiring loom, bought a new coil and a new (used) CDI. SO basically my engine is on the floor and all the rest is in boxes.

I have tried turning the engine over by hand on the clutch; it would turn about 1/8th of a turn but then didn't want to go much further and I didn't want to force it.

Where do I go from here? I want to avoid taking the engine apart if I can help it. Should I just install the carbs, loom, tank and engine and see if it fires up? Or does it sound as if it's seized (or at least seized enough not to run properly)?

The reason I don't want to split the engine is because I'm pretty sure the gaskets will all need replacing if I do, and I'd rather keep them nicely sandwiched for now if nothing's going to leak.

Thanks,
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-05-2019, 12:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

if it doesn't want to turn over easily, I'd start off by pulling the plugs and putting a tablespoon of Marvel Mystery Oil in each cylinder. Repeat on a daily basis for a few days and keep trying to turn it over.

A steering damper dampens steering oscillations. If it starts to leak, it may become a steering dampener. There's no such thing as a dampner.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-05-2019, 01:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

...or it's possible that it doesn't want to turn much further because you're coming up to TDC, or up on a cam lobe. if you're turning it by hand on the clutch, there's no way that forcing it is going to hurt anything. using a cheater bar etc is a different story.

A steering damper dampens steering oscillations. If it starts to leak, it may become a steering dampener. There's no such thing as a dampner.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-05-2019, 03:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

chances are, if its sat for that long without running, the gaskets are all toast anyway. itll probably start to leak right about the time you think "hey, its been idling for a bit with no probs, I'll go for a quick spin", then oil all over...

Junkies idea with oil and working it through rotation are about all you can do without opening it up.


edit: are you turning it with plugs in or out? compression will probably stop you from turning it over by hand without tools if the plugs are in.

another thought: if that doesnt have a manual cam chain tensioner on it, Id be careful trying to turn it backwards. hydraulic and spring tensioners can go slack and timing can jump if spun backwards (at least on cars they do...)

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-05-2019, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I put warm diesel in it before turning it over, and took the plugs out. Yes i was worried about the cam chain and timing. Shall i just try and start it? Could it do any damage to the pistons, rings or bores?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-05-2019, 05:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

I'd get it to where you can turn it by hand (plugs out) before trying to get it to fire up

I'd also use something with a little more lubricant than diesel when trying to free it

A steering damper dampens steering oscillations. If it starts to leak, it may become a steering dampener. There's no such thing as a dampner.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-06-2019, 05:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

So I tried it again last night, plugs out and squirted some WD40 down the bores. Tried turning on the big nut in the centre of the clutch as I did before (with a short ratchet). There was a bit of a clunk and felt as if something let go. Now the clutch just just turns around and there is very little resistance. Could it be that the cam chain has snapped? I think I have no option now but to open up and rebuild the engine. I got a glimpse of one of the valves and it looked quite rusty.

SO my plan is now to take the engine apart, order a full set of gaskets, and then see what needs replacing. I am now venturing into something that I've never done before!

Thanks for all your help up to now, it may be a while until I get around to doing this but I'll try and take some pics and update within the next couple weeks
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-10-2019, 04:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

Cam chains and Primary chains are pretty beefy. I doubt you would be able to break one by trying to rotate a shaft. You may have released the stiction on the clutch pack and its not grabbing the steels any more?

There should be a cover on one side of the Crankshaft that hides a hex in the proper orientation to turn the engine over. Pull that cover first and try to turn the engine over (in neutral if you can find it) directly on the crankshaft. (No spark plugs for this; tranny oil also works well to cut the rust that builds around the rings when engines sit.)

I would personally get this engine to fire over and idle before I tore it down and replaced everything.

As for trying to start it via the starter, I would hold off on that to not burn out that motor. You should be able to get this turning over by hand using the right place to turn the crankshaft.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-10-2019, 06:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casper View Post
You may have released the stiction on the clutch pack and its not grabbing the steels any more?
Yes that sounds as what's happened, it was turning the engine over and I could see a piston moving up and down a touch, and now the clutch is just turning I think. I'll try your suggestions, thanks very much
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 10-16-2019, 04:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trying engine for first time

Success (for now). Engine turned over fine. A friend helped me hook up the start motor which spun the engine over really well. Haven't tried it with fuel and spark yet but fingers crossed.
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