Change your oil more regularly and pay attention to it to make sure it doesn't get worse.
The way the tranny works is pretty simple once you take one apart and play with it. A lot of people are weary of it though. Its basically two shafts with fixed gears and gears that slide on them. The gears are slid back and forth on the shaft by the shift forks. The gears that slide on one shaft engage with what are called dogs (4 little machined bumps on one side of the gear into machined holes on another gear, same shaft) . Those gear mesh and rotate the gears on the other shaft. By having different sized gears on the mainshaft and countershaft you can change gear ratios that way.The shift forks are moved into precise positions by whats called a shift drum. The shift drum is a cylindrical drum with zigzagged groves on it that the shift forks follow. The shift stop mechanism behind the clutch basket stops the rotation of the shift drum in the right position to engage the gears with out letting the shift drum rotate to much or to little so that the forks are in the right position and there by the gears are precisely placed on the shafts.
The third driven gear on the z is mounted on the countershaft without a bushing and it is moved by a shift fork back and forth. If it gets better with oil it could just of been getting stuck on the countershaft because of lack of lubrication and normal wear of the gear and shaft. The other cause could be the gear rotates inside the shift fork with metal on metal contact. Lack of oil inside it could of caused excess wear on the fork or the gear below the minimum recommended by suzuki. With that excess wear on it, it may not be pushing from side to side far enough by just enough to cause it to be hard to engage and make it miss a shift. Or the problem could be on the main shaft. The other half of third gear rides on a bushing on that shaft. If the bushing is warn the gear kind of wobbles on there and makes it hard for the engagement dogs to align properly for that gear.
You'll know when a shift fork is really bad or bent because it will cause a complete misalignment in the tranny which binds the gears and shafts together and the front sprocket will only complete like 1/2 a turn back and forth.
Labor costs depend on shop rates per hour and how long it takes to get the job done. I'd estimate it about like this, get the quad stripped 1 hour, top end off 1 hour, engine out 1 hour, cases split 2 to 3 hours, inspect gears and bearings another 2 hours, replace parts 2 hours. Then reverse the process. Those times are estimated and may change, but I would say they're pretty safe for a mechanic who knows his stuff but not completely familiar with a z. I was able to get my engine stripped, out, and split in about 3 hours after the first time because I wasn't so cautious. I'd guess about 4 hours getting it back together and double checking everything taking my time if it goes smooth. So you can see that you really save alot of money doing it yourself or having a friend you trust doing it. Labor is the most expensive part of any shop repair 9 times out of 10.
LRD Attitude Aluminum Frame, 462cc Stroker, 41mm FCR, 540/539cams, Curtis Sparks Exhaust, Dyna Prog, Fox Float EVOL DSC up front, +2 Burgard A-arms, Janssen Outlaw Rear Suspension Kit with Elka stage 3 shock, Team Industries +3 Axle, Hipers, Flexx Bars, Laker Plastics, intake by me, front mounted battery, Rekluse EXP clutch, Trailtech flywheel, and a few other goodies
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Last edited by 711streetfighter; 03-14-2011 at 12:54 AM.