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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately I am not all that knowledgeable when it comes to engines. I can change my oil and filter, thats about it. But now that I have my the time, money and space to work on a bike, I am looking to get a cheap busted up bike that i can take apart the engine and rebuild it. I've looked all over amazon and barns & noble but can't find a book that actually teaches a non-mechanical person to do so. If anyone knows of any such book, even a textbook from a school, or another way I can teach myself how to rebuild an engine you would be my hero. Thank you

Cooter
 

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find the bike you want to build and then go to that brand dealer and you can purchase that bikes specific shop manual from the parts counter.
 

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I think, the best way to learn about engines perairing is to wach how profesional is doing that work, and ask him all you can. it could be your friend ...
 

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Also check your local library, the library here and in my hometown have multiple books about engines and rebuilding them, but then again, I am in Wyoming, haha
 

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Haynes manual? You can get the full guides which basically cover every nut and bolt within the car?

I would "shadow" someone (professional) who is re-building one - do you hope to do a full rebuild from scratch or strip down first?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At first I would like to strip down a working one so when I get it back together and it doesn't work I know it was me and not the engine. I don't know any professionals out here and I don't think one of the shops would let me come learn without working there.
 

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I was going to suggest a Haynes manual too, or even a Clymer from your side of the pond, I was impressed with a clymer manual for a KX500 I bought.

I would go cheap, rebuild a scooter engine or a cheap little 125, even tune and make it go bang! The manuals like Haynes and Clymer do 'take you by the hand' on a build giving usefull tips on difficult operations. I've built a maybe a dozen engines, mostly different, and i'm still learning on all levels and making mistakes to be honest, but as long as you catch them before you do damage, you've lost nothing and gained knowledge.

Just have a go, but with something cheap....
 

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ur best friends are the shop manual, the haynes manual, and the interweb. the shop manuals usually go into more detail, but are hard to visualize what you are doing. the haynes manuals are provide good pictures and explanations of what's being done, but don't always cover everything. the interweb is for when you still can't figure what either are talking about.

if you can't watch someone work, start by studying the shop manual first and get familiar with the process. i remember the first head gasket/head swap i did on my car, took me 2 days, but it came out perfect!

learn what to do before you actually start and you should be fine
 

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I grew up in a shop building race car engines. A word of advice don't just tear an engine down... There is a lot that can be learned about the internals during tear down. For example bent rods will show an uneven wear on the bearings...even if bent so slightly you can't see it with the naked eye. Also find a reputable shop to do your machine work...I.E. boring and honing the block, decking it if necessary, a valve job, and other machine work that needs to be done. Also you want to invest in a Quality set of micrometers. Most crank journal size specs are in tenths of a thousandth of an inch. Normally a .0008 range being a + or - .0004 of an inch. Just for reference the average human hair measures .003. By all means if you are not sure of something don't be afraid to ask. I am making good note of crank size because most oil clearances are .001-.0015 of an inch and if that is not correct you will spin a bearing very quickly. Factory manuals (at least honda) do have enough necessary info to help you along the process. Also if your crank is within spec atleast have it mirco-polished.
 

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Get hold of a CG125 or even a Honda 90. These are about as simple as any 4 stroke internal combustion engine gets.
Find a book on the 4 stroke principle so you get to know which bit does what, then one that describes the names of the parts.
Buy a good socket and spanner set.
Slowly work your way down from the cylinder head to the crankcase identifying in your mind each part.
You learn far more from hands on than any manual and when you are baffled, yell out here, everyone loves to show off their knowlege!
 

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Everything I have learned about working on engines has come from just getting my hands dirty and just doing it. The service manuals are invaluable to anyone working on an engine solely for the fact that it has your torque values. Other than that if you are anal and organized engine teardowns are pretty simple. Its when you arent organized that it becomes a night mare.

Since we live in the wonderful age of digital cameras, you also have the benefit of taking pictures of how things look before you take them apart so you can reference that later.

As far as a good bike to start with...well all these people talking about singles and such are kinda right, it wont do anything for you when you need to tear down an inline 4. I would suggest a late model 600, perhaps a 98 GSXR, something fuel injected so you get a feel for how to set up injectors and fuel rails, plus you have DOHC, which will get you used to timing and valve clearances. Its up to you how you want to start, but if yoou were like me as a kid and had to have the 2000 piece lego sets then you will get bored of the singles really fast. Plus with the late model 600 you could even track it, make it better, and you may even find newer understanding of your bike and the way it does what it does instead of taking it for granted.

Oh yeah....invest in ziploc baggies, they make life easy.
 

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Oh yeah....invest in ziploc baggies, they make life easy.
:plus1:
LOL I was going to say Zip-Loc Baggies and a magic marker are your best friend when tearing down an engine(the gallon and quart sizes especially), but you covered that in you very last sentence.:thumb:
 

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Pretty much what The Gerd said was dead on.

I learned how to rebuild engines from my Father who's an auto mechanic. Watched him do one, then went an did one myself. Manual's help, and organization is KEY!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to all of you that gave advice, my buddy is about to have a kid and wont have time to ride for awhile so he is being so kind as to let me rebuild his 2002 katana 600. I'm getting a haynes manual later this week and will start on the bike this weekend. I will keep yall up dated on my progress and I am sure I will be back needing help. Thanks again.
 

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Thanks to all of you that gave advice, my buddy is about to have a kid and wont have time to ride for awhile so he is being so kind as to let me rebuild his 2002 katana 600. I'm getting a haynes manual later this week and will start on the bike this weekend. I will keep yall up dated on my progress and I am sure I will be back needing help. Thanks again.

im glad i found this.... my buddy is doing the same, he needs a little tlc on his 02 zx6e (which i think just may look similar to that katana), i plan on taking that monkey apart and replacing the cam chain on it......... keep us all posted on the difficulty (if any) or any progress. Im a big believer on getting hands dirty and learning, so :clap: :clap: :clap: keep us posted mr. cooter
 
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