It's time to start the next project. I plan on pulling the engine off my 1981 Kz1300 parts bike and completely rebuilding it. I don't have a ton of experience when it comes to this level of mechanical work, but I'm also not one to be intimidated by much. The goal is to obviously get it running, and honestly it probably doesn’t need a full rebuild. Ultimately I want to learn everything I can about the bike. So before I get started.... any words of advice?
Follow the service manual line by line and mark off the steps as you do them. As much as I like to condemn the Service Manual for the lack of as new measurements, it's pretty good at defining the service limits and how to dismantle/reassemble the engine.
Take LOTS of pictures as you're doing it.
When you go to pull the cylinder head off specifically look for and retrieve the small rubber blocks that sit on top of the camshaft tensioner arm pivot pin. How many times have members lost /misplaced those rubber blocks or when they go to install the cylinder head, can't remember where they put them.
Consider also buying replacing the rubber tension wheel for the camshaft drive chain. I can't remember who was manufacturing replacements but there was a pic on this site about them.
When you go to clean the oil pick up tube for the oil pump, inspect the debris/crud found on the strainer. It will give you some clues as to what to pay particular attention to during your rebuild.
Get familiar with the parts manual for exploded pics of the different assemblies.
Bottom line- it's not a tough job but attention to detail will be your friend. Take your time. Do it once. Do it right. and when your stuck, we are here to help.
I did a complete teardown on my 1981 years ago. Parts were hard as hell to find, availability and aftermarket support comes and goes. The replacement ignition module for the 81 model year was made by a guy in Finland I think they are no more. Just be aware if your ignition dies you have to find a working module as the 81 is a stand alone design. They even changed the engine cases, so you can't retrofit.
I had a thread on KZrider chronicling my build but the attached images are long gone. Here was my punch list for a rough Idea of the project. I included my parts for the carbs and the electrical work as some of that is related to the engine build.
Finding everything was the fun part. I had to source parts from the UK, Finland, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and all over the US.
I really enjoyed the project, it's a very unique engine, cutting edge for it's day. My advise is not to cut corners, do it right the best you can with the parts you can source. Tear down, inspect and evaluate, then make a list and go for it. It's best to run the engine before a tear down and take note of the obvious issues, if it's not a running engine you are going in blind looking for possible problems, and sometimes that is what you have to do.
Here was my list.
Parts and Repair List
Carbs ultrasonically cleaned
Enrichener tubes repaired
(3) Carb Kits (Z1-Enterprizes)
(3) Brass Floats (Forum Member at KZ1300.com)
Jet Kit (6 Sigma, Cheap on E-bay)
Air box Top “Snorkel” Replaced
Carb Boots (Used E-Bay)
Pingle Fuel Tap w/Adaptor (Dennis Kirk)
Fuel Line and Filter
Uni Air Filter (E-Bay)
Fuel Level Gauge (Used, E-bay)
All Engine Mount Bolts and Nuts (Used, E-Bay)
Gasket Kit (Generic)
OEM Base Gasket
Custom Comitec Head Gasket ( they have the pattern if you call them)
OEM Timing Chain Rollers (Updated Version)
ZX-10 Tensioner ( modified spring for proper tension)
Timing Shaft (Used, E-bay)
Water Pump Drive Gear, Plastic (Used, E-bay)
Water Pump Mechanical Seal
Water Pump Oil Seal
Thermostat Cover Gasket (OEM, pattern gasket was crap)
Radiator Hoses (Cut Pieces from Single Automotive Hose from NAPA)
Colling Fan Switch Sensor (OEM)
Repaired Colling Fan Wiring
(6) Forged Pistons from Ross w/Wrist Pins and Clips
(6) Total Seal Piston Ring Sets
(6) Vesrah Intake Valves
(6) Exhaust Valves (possibly Vesrah from the UK)
(12) Valve Seals, Steel Bucket Type from Z1-Enterprizes
A Few Valve Shims (Two from Z1-Enterprizes, One from E-bay)
SS Allen-head Bolt Kit (E-bay)
Custom Blanking Plates for Emissions Reed Valves ( self fabricated)
A Ridiculous Number of O-rings (All OEM)
Valve Job, Re-Surface, and Mild Porting from Cavanaugh Racing
Cylinders Bored by Quality Machine in Fargo, ND
(4) Rubber Cam Plugs form Z1-Enterprizes
OEM Clutch Cable
Chrome Engine Covers Stripped and Polished
Ignition and Electrical
(3) Dyna Coils, Green (Ebay, One at a Time)
Fabricated a Plate to Mount Coils Where Tool Tray Would Normally Be
Added Wires and Loom to New Coil Location, Threw Old Coil Resistor in Garbage
Spark Plugs, NGK
Plug Wires (Generic Automotive 6 Cylinder Kit)
Battery, AGM Type (Batteries Plus)
Battery Tray (Used, E-bay)
Battery Hold-Down Bracket (New OEM, Found One Cheap Old Stock)
Rear Turn Signals (Generic ones from Dennis Kirk)
Turn Signal Stems (Used Parts I Already Had)
Rubber Mounting Grommets for Turn Signals (American Classix)
Repaired Wiring for Rear Lights, Replaced Diode for Running Lights
Cleaned all Connectors, Replaced Stator Connector and Contacts (Z1-Enterprizes)
Lower Head Light Bracket with Rubber Parts (from Germany)
Rubber Side Mounts for Head Light (OEM)
Spare Ignition Module (from Lauri in Finland)
Miscellaneous Other Crap
Screws, Nuts, Bolts, Washers, Etc.
Used Bore Gauge (E-bay)
Sealants, and Silicone
Honda Bond 4 (for the Water Jackets in the Head Gasket)
Grease, Gear Lube and Engine Oil (Filter Too)
Permatex Gasket Remover
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kawboy, Whiskey1300
It's been a while since we've heard from you Tyler. I've missed your input and Trikebldr's. Hope you stick around.
What a great list for Whiskey1300 to work with. I remember your investigative work searching for pistons and knowing your background in engineering, would have expected no less. The other great resource for Cometic head gaskets is on my list thanks to you. Cometic can manufacture head gaskets for the KZ1300 and accommodate any bore size and who knows, if I put my mind to it and attempt a 66mm big bore, will be going to Cometic for sure.
Hope to see more from you.