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Discussion Starter #1
03 z400... Been rode hard and put up dry before I got it... needle bearings went out on the pin for the rod... I have it apart and I cleaned all bearings inside the case.. (I’ve rebuilt straight drive transmissions, prior job, & have reused many many bearings..) that being said We’ve never changed any bearings unless they were completely shot... so one of my questions is.. does anyone know where to get all the bearings? Or does the other bearings ever “go out or go bad”.. seems like all the main concerns is for the crank itself.. I have cleaned them and they roll great, all besides the two that are completely inside the case. (Not open, closed inside the case on one side.) not sure what exactly they are... ones at the clutch lever, other is what the primary trans rolls on I guess.. has anyone ever changed them? Or had any go out? I just got any to make sure after I rebuild this I won’t have to go back through it again just for forgetting something minor that turns major.. any other tips are welcomed. Only mods (that I can tell) is a cp piston and hot cams cams (intake & exhaust) everything else is stock besides a 400ex carb and throttle (stock airbox and boot)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Another thing... I tried to “make shift” take the clutch basket off and dented the top (right side) of the bottom cases.. in between the piston and timing chain side.. does this matter? It’s not deep deep and they don’t go all the way across? Thought I could prob put light rtv at the Dents and the gasket down and it’d be okay? Ps.. the gasket and jug covers it too & sits on top
 

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I would only be concerned with the crank bearings as well. Could you take a pic of the dent? I think you could get away with jb weld or possibly silicon inthe area as its low pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
These are the “knicks” on the timing chain side
 

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Just use a light coat of black rtv on both sides of the gasket and it’ll be fine. Fully-vented case, so there’s no pressure to speak of.

I’d only be concerned with the crank and counter balance bearings, but these guys make a full kit if you need it:

Boss bearing, from EBay
Bottom End Engine Bearing Seal for Suzuki LT-Z400 LTZ400 2003-2008, $129
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Will the blue rtv be fine? Done a water pump on my truck and have a whole tube left... And what do you mean both sides of the gasket? Like top & bottom, around the piston? Or should I go lightly around the whole base?.. I’ve rebuilt tons of (straight drive) transmissions in the past and have done gasket work & have shaven ends on a trans case bc of nicks... even thought I might be able to do it with this but that cuts my valve to piston clearance and so on so would rather not do that. But if there’s really no “bad” can come from this then just light rtv or just a gasket I’m fine with that
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I cleaned all bearings... the crank bearings are smooth! Hit with air and it spins freely for a minute, the balancer I have had moving freely but only locks up every now & then. (Not lock up completely, just dirt/metal something sticking every now then) there was metal shavings in the case from my shift stopper and I got that ordered. But for the most part bearing is free just sticks for a slight second every now and then, but when going continuously, it’s completely fine. Don’t think it would be a issue.
 

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I’d coat the entire base gasket, just try not to leave a lot of excess that will squeeze out when bolted down. Ultra black is best, but plain black rtv is oil resistant. Not sure about blue. Not a terribly sensitive area like a transmission pan on a car or something.

I actually used rubbing alcohol to clean out all of mine during a rebuild. Just get as much out of the case as you can and give it time to dry. Pre-lube with some oil afterward, if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just on the base to the case? Or case base and the bottom of the jug too? What about the case itself, rtv too? Or is there something else you’re supposed to use? I would honestly probably prefer rtv if I get the right stuff
 

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I put the actual head gasket on dry, since that’s what the manual calls for. Everything else, including the base gasket, side cover gaskets, and even the case halves themselves; I use ultra black rtv. It’s highly oil resistant and sticky. If you order Suzukabond from a dealer, it’s pretty much the same stuff and it’s what the factory uses. I had gouges much like yours on the top of the case and never had a leak.

Yeah, just put a thin coat on the top and bottom of the base gasket, not on the actual engine parts. It takes very little. Anything more than looking like you painted the gasket black will just squeeze out, break off, and be floating around in the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes I’ll def be putting the head on clean&dry... but case halves and what about the metal gaskets? You still use them on the bottom end with the rtv? Both sides or just the bottom where the nicks are? On vacation have to talk when I dock at Florida
 

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Ohhhh, I got ya. The base gasket comes in 3 layers. Most of us only use one of the 3 layers, either the top or bottom one. This drops the cylinder down a little, making the combustion chamber smaller, and raising the compression ratio. Valve-to-piston clearance doesn’t become an issue unless you have a stroker crank and a high-comp piston combination.

So, cut the gold rivets out of the gasket by removing just enough material to get the rivet out and seperate them. Thinly coat one of the outer layers with ultra black rtv and install it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So when I do use only one of the base gasket(s), should I rtv the bottom side at those nicks? Or should I do the top side or both? Or does any of that even matter
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One last thing, while on gaskets,... would you even fool with buying the gaskets or a gasket kit? Or just use the ultra black rtv for it all (sides, cases, etc..) besides the layered gaskets.. for the base and jug..?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
& with the gasket set up, what about running stock with a CP piston? Will it clear or hit the valves with the single layer ? & I’ve read a lot on the base gasket deal.. which is best, running the single layer? (I think) or taking the middle layer out and running the 2?
 

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If you spun dry bearings with air you should replace them anyway, IMO. I would run 1 or 3 layer. The pistons are rated with the single layer base, for their compression ratio. Unless you have cams with outtageous lift, clearance wont be a problem. You will need to run high test with the single layer though.
 

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Yes, coat the top and bottom of the single-layer gasket with rtv. Not much pressure involved, but it’ll keep it from leaking. I ran 91 pump gas in mine with no issues. I wouldn’t try 87 octane. Single layer will be fine with your CP. The DRZ400 setup runs a single layer and yes, the advertised compression ratio on your piston is with using a single layer.

I re-used my side cover gaskets many times with RTV, but if it’s torn then replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I thought I’d lost my gaskets.. dog got em or usps didn’t deliver, turns out they put them in the Jeep while I was gone...... so, for the rest of the gaskets do you need to put rtv or glue or anything on them to “secure” them? Or just dry and put them on? Also ALL the o rings, should I put oil on them to make sure they don’t wear out? I always do that but didn’t know if I might do something as in with the water pump o ring...?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One other thing I might add, when I turn my key to the “light” (2nd position) switch, it blows my main. (20a fuse) but it runs perfectly and doesn’t blow on the first. Any idea what this could be? I’m not really an electrical guy.. I mean, carpentry/house work yea all day, running something electrical for a engine not so much. So I’m not sure where to start here.... haven’t checked any wires or anything yet, I don’t really know where to start & I hate running down a break in wires
 

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You can use rtv on the rest just to ensure no leaks, but most are made to go in dry. I usually rtv them just because I don’t want minor case imperfections to cause a problem.

If I remember right, there’s a connector for the headlight as well as the tail/break light. You can disconnect those and see if it fails again. If it does, it’s a short to ground somewhere in the harness that you’ll have to find. Could also be in the dimmer switch on the “blob” on the handlebars.
If it doesn’t blow, plug them back in one-by-one to find the culprit.
 
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