Re: 954 Smoking blue
You're going to have to drop the engine. Get yourself a Haynes manual - one for this bike is well written with excellent attention to detail. I just did a barrel lining replacement. I had blue smoke then pot 3 eventually failed to fire - all valves etc were in good order. In answer to your question, this is a re-build so you may as well spend 200 on new bolts gaskets etc and do it properly.
Mate of mine is coming up to 94k on an '02 blade, they're well built and will keep going with good maintenance Good luck, it's a project!