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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently bought a 03 954 from a local dodge dealer off of their showroom floor. They brought it to my house in a truck and I went to service it right away. I flushed the coolant system, and as I was adding new coolant, I noticed that it was leaking from the engine. I removed the fairings, radiator, and exhaust and saw that there was a crack from in the "jugs" that ran from the #3 cylinder to the #2 cylinder.

My guy at the local machine shop said to grind a groove out over the crack with a carbide bit and JB weld it. I did so and it stopped leaking but after ~8 miles of riding it, it died and wouldn't start back up. Got towed to my place and tried to restart it a few times, the motor locked up. Took apart the engine and found the #3 rod bearing spun. The head gasket had been blown.

I found an 02 954 motor on here and just picked it up. The guy said second gear was out on the transmission and his buddy had told him it had a burnt valve after it started running poorly. I figured that since I had a good head and good transmission, I could just open this new one up and swap em out. Took the head off and found no evidence of a burnt valve. Started inspecting the cylinders and found a nice crack in the #4 cylinder wall.

I'm looking for advice as to what to do here. Should I try and get my other case (with the crack) professionally welded while it's apart and use it with the good rotating assembly out of the 02 motor, or should I try and go with the overbore pistons on the 02 motor? Or is there some other option available to me here. Thanks in advance.
 

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I recently bought a 03 954 from a local dodge dealer off of their showroom floor. They brought it to my house in a truck and I went to service it right away. I flushed the coolant system, and as I was adding new coolant, I noticed that it was leaking from the engine. I removed the fairings, radiator, and exhaust and saw that there was a crack from in the "jugs" that ran from the #3 cylinder to the #2 cylinder.

My guy at the local machine shop said to grind a groove out over the crack with a carbide bit and JB weld it. I did so and it stopped leaking but after ~8 miles of riding it, it died and wouldn't start back up. Got towed to my place and tried to restart it a few times, the motor locked up. Took apart the engine and found the #3 rod bearing spun. The head gasket had been blown.

I found an 02 954 motor on here and just picked it up. The guy said second gear was out on the transmission and his buddy had told him it had a burnt valve after it started running poorly. I figured that since I had a good head and good transmission, I could just open this new one up and swap em out. Took the head off and found no evidence of a burnt valve. Started inspecting the cylinders and found a nice crack in the #4 cylinder wall.

I'm looking for advice as to what to do here. Should I try and get my other case (with the crack) professionally welded while it's apart and use it with the good rotating assembly out of the 02 motor, or should I try and go with the overbore pistons on the 02 motor? Or is there some other option available to me here. Thanks in advance.

The crack is a defect that affected a few '03 engines.
I'd probably measure up the '03 engine to ensure everything is straight first and if it checks out weld it up (be sure to wrap everything with wet rags to control the heat), have the block faced and put the '02 head on it. Then you'd have to get new main bearings to fit the '02 crank into the '03 engine and new rings.
The other option is to see if it's possible to weld up the cracked cylinder and re-bore the cylinder - US Chrome should be able to tell you if it's possible.
Frankly, I think it would be cheaper to buy another good engine (929 would also do in a pinch) and drop it straight in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know the owner of the local machine shop pretty well so he can get me a good price on the welding of the 03 engine if it's reusable. Just curious why you recommend reusing the 02 head if I go this route instead of the 03 head (02 engine has unknown mileage, 03 has 5,350 miles). And by faced, do you mean having the motor decked? I'm used to cars so I usually have the head shaved, don't really know how it's done on bikes.

I looked at US Chromes website and because my cylinder has a crack, if it's repairable, it looks like I would need to get the strip, weld, re-plate, and hone option which is $245. I'm assuming I would be able to reuse the rotating assembly (from the 02) after putting new rings on the pistons. What is the price list below for the 4-stroke monoblock? They list $707 to bore and plate the 900 motors, is this only if I wanted all 4 cylinders done? I just want the cracked one repaired if possible.

I also talked to the local motorcycle salvage yard and he has a 929 motor he said is good that I can have for $600. I'm just a little wary as I've read something about differences in wiring harnesses and injectors/throttle bodies and what not. Would that swap entail a lot of schematic chasing to make the 954 harness work with the 929 and a power commander to adjust for the smaller injectors? If so, this seems like it could end up being more costly and a bigger headache. I can read schematics and wire stuff up, I'd just rather stick to basic mechanical stuff like building a motor if I can help it.

Thanks for your help bladeracer.
 

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I know the owner of the local machine shop pretty well so he can get me good price on the welding of the 03 engine if it's reusable. Just curious why you recommend reusing the 02 head if I go this route instead of the 03 head (02 engine has unknown mileage, 03 has 5,350 miles). And by faced, do you mean having the motor decked?

I looked at US Chromes website and because my cylinder has a crack, if it's repairable, it looks like I would need to get the strip, weld, re-plate, and hone option which is $245. I'm assuming I would be able to reuse the rotating assembly (from the 02) after putting new rings on the pistons. What is the price list below for the 4-stroke monoblock? They list $707 to bore and plate the 900 motors, is this only if I wanted all 4 cylinders done? I just want the cracked one repaired if possible.

I also talked to the local motorcycle salvage yard and he has a 929 motor he said is good that I can have for $600. I'm just a little wary as I've read something about differences in wiring harnesses and injectors/throttle bodies and what not. Would that swap entail a lot of schematic chasing to make the 954 harness work with the 929 and a power commander to adjust for the smaller injectors? If so, this seems like it could end up being more costly and a bigger headache. I can read schematics and wire stuff up, I'd just rather stick to basic mechanical stuff like building a motor if I can help it.

Thanks for your help bladeracer.
Only because the '03 is likely to require machining if it blew the head gasket and may even be warped. Mileage is irrelevant, use whichever head is in better condition.
Yes, between blowing a head gasket and welding the block it's very likely the top face is not going to be true. You may get away with it though.
$245 is a bloody good price if they can do that.
You can use the '02 crank/rods/pistons but you'll need to replace the main bearings to fit it according to the codes stamped on the crank and cases. Be sure to check the cases aren't bent through the main bearing tunnel before you spend any money on it.
Yes, that price would be for all four bores. You'd have to ask them for a price to repair just one.
You can swap the engine with no problems. If it's from a salvage yard does that mean you have some kind of waranty if it's no good? I'm running 954 throttle bodies on my 929 which I swapped in in a few minutes - no modification of anything. I would recommend the Power Commander regardless of what engine you run.
 

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I am going to second the suggestion to find another used engine. I think it will be cheaper than all that machine work. Sounds like both of those engines you have, have seen some pretty serious abuse. If you watch the for sale section on this forum, there are some really good deals that roll across there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went ahead and bought another used motor with a warranty on it. I finally got the whole bike put back together but now it won't start! The fuel pump isn't priming, very weird. I can get the bike to start and run fine when I run jumper wires from the hot and cold sides of the battery to the fuel pump. I tested the harness connector that goes to the pump and my green wire has good ground, the middle brown wire has good power, but the outer brown wire gets nothing at anytime. When I jump the pump, I give ground to the green wire, and power to the outer brown wire. I'm also getting an error code from the MIL, #19. In the manual it says that with this malfunction, the bike will not start. Could a faulty crank sensor be what is keeping my bike from running?
 

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I went ahead and bought another used motor with a warranty on it. I finally got the whole bike put back together but now it won't start! The fuel pump isn't priming, very weird. I can get the bike to start and run fine when I run jumper wires from the hot and cold sides of the battery to the fuel pump. I tested the harness connector that goes to the pump and my green wire has good ground, the middle brown wire has good power, but the outer brown wire gets nothing at anytime. When I jump the pump, I give ground to the green wire, and power to the outer brown wire. I'm also getting an error code from the MIL, #19. In the manual it says that with this malfunction, the bike will not start. Could a faulty crank sensor be what is keeping my bike from running?
Without the pulse generator the ECU can't send a signal to the injectors telling them when to fire.
But I wouldn't expect it to run with the pump jumped.
I'd be looking at the killswitches and bank angle sensor.
Do you have power at the fuel pump relay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Figured it out! Had the fuel pump connected to the speed sensor and the speed sensor hooked to the fuel pump connector. I feel a little stupid but oh well, it's the first bike I've ever worked on so I don't feel too bad. Runs great now. Thanks for the help.

On a side note, me and my boy decided to take it out to the tail of the dragon and see what was up. He bought some anodized valve stem caps to put on his GSXR and decided to put them on my bike too because I didn't have any.

Apparently the one in the rear was just a cm or two high and after about ten miles of the valve stem cap hitting the brake caliper every revolution, the valve stem split right at the base and I got a flat.

I had to ride five miles at 10mph all up on the tank to get to a gas station that had air. I held the valve stem tight to the base, filled it to 42psi, stuck a fairing bolt in what was left of the valve stem and booked it home. Fun fun fun. At least it runs good.
 

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Just my opinion, but if I had gone to a dealership and bought a bike from them, got it home and noticed this big of a problem, I would have promptly been on the phone demanding my money back, unless you got an absolute steal on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got it for 3500, not an absolute steal in my mind. I was on the phone within two hours of purchasing the bike but when the dealer says there is nothing they will do, and two different lawyers specializing in consumer protection type stuff say that I don't really have a case, I just figure I'm taking it up the ass and there is nothing to do about it.

The bike does have a lot done to it so now that it runs great and my grand total is around 4200, I don't feel too raped. It's been 100% chromed, has the VFR swingarm, Vortex rearsets, Two brothers exhaust, a custom pearl paint job that was very well done, only 5200 on the clock, and a really nice undertail piece with led blinkers.
 

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All in all for 4200 turns out pretty damn good! Nicely done, I'd still have words weekly with that dealership, at least try to get back the money you had to put into the engine... doubt it would work, but always worth a shot if you have receipts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm going to talk to the salesman that sold me the bike about that. He and I have a pretty good rapport because we both spent time in the military. He still calls me and asks me how the bike is going and says that he feels really bad about the way the dealership is doing me. He told me that he has been telling the sales manager that I've been raising hell with him and has told me the service manager said that when I get the bike going, I can bring in the receipts for the repairs and they will do what they can to help. Unfortunately I don't have a receipt from the salvage yard but they are a small business and I've gotten stuff from them a few times so they would probably write me a receipt if I explain my situation. I doubt the dealer would reimburse me for the cost of the motor but if I can get 300-400 back from them, I would be happy.

After all the headache I've gotten from this bike and after talking to a local motorcycle guru (Rocket Rex, originally from Detroit and longtime owner of Master Mechanix) about the CBR design in general, I'm going to see if anybody around here would trade a tricked out, one of a kind 2003 CBR for a stock 04-06 R1.
 

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Stick with the 'blade, R1's have their own box of troubles! They seem to have a carb fault that Yamaha are keeping very quiet about and the gearbox pinions are known to be weak. Its up to you but a good running 'blade will serve you well.
 

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I'm going to talk to the salesman that sold me the bike about that. He and I have a pretty good rapport because we both spent time in the military. He still calls me and asks me how the bike is going and says that he feels really bad about the way the dealership is doing me. He told me that he has been telling the sales manager that I've been raising hell with him and has told me the service manager said that when I get the bike going, I can bring in the receipts for the repairs and they will do what they can to help. Unfortunately I don't have a receipt from the salvage yard but they are a small business and I've gotten stuff from them a few times so they would probably write me a receipt if I explain my situation. I doubt the dealer would reimburse me for the cost of the motor but if I can get 300-400 back from them, I would be happy.

After all the headache I've gotten from this bike and after talking to a local motorcycle guru (Rocket Rex, originally from Detroit and longtime owner of Master Mechanix) about the CBR design in general, I'm going to see if anybody around here would trade a tricked out, one of a kind 2003 CBR for a stock 04-06 R1.
04-06 were great years for the R1. If you could make that trade, aI would say do it.:thumb:
 
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