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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, not been on here for some time now, not been riding much after a bad injury. But anyway, I had stripped my 954 blade down and repaired all the cosmetic damage, put a lot of hours in, and got it all back together and looking fresh again. 600 miles later the engine started running rough and eventually was going off a cylinder on low rpm and idle, also a mate said it was puffing smoke odd times on deceleration. To cut a long story short, I have split the engine, and the cylinders are all scored on the front and back. I have not got many options now other than rebore/plate the cylinders. I bought the bike with 13,000 miles on it, now it is around 30,000, had oil and filter every 1000 miles since I bought it, so I was quite surprised how bad it was for the mileage. What my concern is, if I get the engine replated and new wiseco pistons in there, will this problem re-occur as it is clearly a bad design with the piston skirts being so short, so I can't see rebuilding it curing the problem of scoring. Has anyone here done the 980 and covered a lot of miles afterwards, did you have to split the engine again later, have any problems etc?? I am in two minds as to whether its even worth fixing given the scoring problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here are some pics of the damage to the cylinders. The cylinder with the stained bit on it was the cylinder that was leaking oil and fouling the plug. And some damage to the head.
 

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Wow, that looks pretty rough...

I'm curious what others have to say as-well for a future reference. I know there were at least a few on here with theirs bored out. One was making upwards of 150hp to the rear.

I know Bladeracer had his bored and he was the king of this site, haven't seen him in a while though. Hopefully he will chime in... :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I was expecting it to make around 150 at the wheel, was 145 before it was stripped down. Not sure I want much more power, the more I think of it, if the engine design can't even handle what its got already, then more power will lessen the rebuild life even more as there will be more force pushing against the short piston skirts, which will result in scoring faster than before. Its an old bike now, but I am very annoyed that the flagship model of 2003 only lasted for 30k miles!
I have been given a price today for rebore and plating, just over £500, then the oversized wiseco pistons £470, head gasket set £120, bearings for bottom end £-still unknown. That over £1000 just for the bottom end, then I will need some headwork done, possibly valve guides, seals at the very least, again, price unknown yet, as I don't know what it needs until it has been tested. All in all, a very expensive bike to run £ per mile, if it needs rebuilt every 30k miles, oil and filter every 1000, that adds up to a lot of money!
 

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Yes, I was expecting it to make around 150 at the wheel, was 145 before it was stripped down. Not sure I want much more power, the more I think of it, if the engine design can't even handle what its got already, then more power will lessen the rebuild life even more as there will be more force pushing against the short piston skirts, which will result in scoring faster than before. Its an old bike now, but I am very annoyed that the flagship model of 2003 only lasted for 30k miles!
I have been given a price today for rebore and plating, just over £500, then the oversized wiseco pistons £470, head gasket set £120, bearings for bottom end £-still unknown. That over £1000 just for the bottom end, then I will need some headwork done, possibly valve guides, seals at the very least, again, price unknown yet, as I don't know what it needs until it has been tested. All in all, a very expensive bike to run £ per mile, if it needs rebuilt every 30k miles, oil and filter every 1000, that adds up to a lot of money!

hmm odd my 954 is an 02 I bought with 13k sittin at 44k an goin strong burns about a 1/4 quart between oil change is all ive noticed. idk about the 980 Id just pick an ebay engine an get back on the rode
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You may be lucky, or I may be unlucky, I have seen 60k mile bikes for sale, it may depend on how much time the engine is spent in the high rev range. I can say for sure my bike has been rode hard since I bought it, but I did change oil every 1000 miles to try and compensate. I have a feeling that if a scope was put down through the plug holes on the engines of these bikes, there would be a high chance of scoring on the cylinders. I wonder how many people who have done the 980 conversion noticed it when they split their engines, curious to know!?
 

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ive never spilt the case on my 954 personally but ive seen a great number of them split here and other places and i have never seen a single one without the same engine scoring. i think its typical and considered normal on these blocks. its hard saying what the cause of your failure was but i wouldnt attribute it to the scoring.
 

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I have 980cc Wisecos on 954. Haven't had any problems with them yet but i have ridden only 5000 km:s after the rebuilt. But the oem cylinders aren't plated at all and i hope the nicasil is little bit stronger/wear resistant.
 

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You may be lucky, or I may be unlucky, I have seen 60k mile bikes for sale, it may depend on how much time the engine is spent in the high rev range. I can say for sure my bike has been rode hard since I bought it, but I did change oil every 1000 miles to try and compensate. I have a feeling that if a scope was put down through the plug holes on the engines of these bikes, there would be a high chance of scoring on the cylinders. I wonder how many people who have done the 980 conversion noticed it when they split their engines, curious to know!?

am going to say unlucky amigo my 954 spent most of her life on the drag strip I defiantly beat on her, even a couple wet shots at one point. seems like boring the cylinders on an all ready bored engine would make thing pretty thin. wondering if it would have over heating issue ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
am going to say unlucky amigo my 954 spent most of her life on the drag strip I defiantly beat on her, even a couple wet shots at one point. seems like boring the cylinders on an all ready bored engine would make thing pretty thin. wondering if it would have over heating issue ?
Yes, I have came to the conclusion of much the same, seems the jump from 929 to 954 was already causing problems, so going to 980 may just be asking for trouble and could prove to be nothing but a headache longterm. I have decided to get it re-bored and re-plated to the original spec and maybe use the original pistons with new rings, thats if the pistons turn out ok. Its at the point of breaking the bike and selling off the parts, as the repair price vs bike value scale is beginning to tip the wrong way, it is £500 for the rebore/plating alone before pistons and headwork! :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ive never spilt the case on my 954 personally but ive seen a great number of them split here and other places and i have never seen a single one without the same engine scoring. i think its typical and considered normal on these blocks. its hard saying what the cause of your failure was but i wouldnt attribute it to the scoring.
I had started to think that all these engines are like that, in my opinion this should not happen to an engine that has been well serviced, and is therefore a manufacturing fault that should have been rectified by Honda, no wonder the engine only ran for two years. Then you have the other fault of the crank cases cracking and leaking coolant. I really regret to say it , I have had Honda for years, but I wish I had never bought a 954, its tarnished my whole view of the brand!
 

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Well you never know how it was treated before you. Maybe the break-in process was flawed or something.
Mine has 40k and runs fine purchased at 16k. I know it was beat a bit before me but I don't abuse mine now. Run hard occasionally, but no abuse. Oil changes at 3k or less...

There are so many that have theirs run for a long time, sooooooooo many variables to consider that could've led to your bike's demise...
 

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I had started to think that all these engines are like that, in my opinion this should not happen to an engine that has been well serviced, and is therefore a manufacturing fault that should have been rectified by Honda, no wonder the engine only ran for two years. Then you have the other fault of the crank cases cracking and leaking coolant. I really regret to say it , I have had Honda for years, but I wish I had never bought a 954, its tarnished my whole view of the brand!
I've seen few of tear down engines from 929 and 954 and all of them have had scoring on the cylinder walls. The rings do somehow still seal and the problems starts normally when the piston to cylinder wall clearence comes too big. 04-07 1000RR sufferes allso from the same scoring. From 08 up the cylinders are nicasil plated from the factory. SC-33 to SC-57 cylinders are Alusil which isn't plating at all.

Mine hasn't had any problems with overheating and it has allso stiffer valve springs, grinded cams, ported head and rev-limiter at 13250.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I have 980cc Wisecos on 954. Haven't had any problems with them yet but i have ridden only 5000 km:s after the rebuilt. But the oem cylinders aren't plated at all and i hope the nicasil is little bit stronger/wear resistant.
Ahh, I thought the 954's had plated cylinders as-well! Thats half the reason I have been stressing out with the rebuild price, if it doesn't need plated then that takes a huge chunk off the rebuild. The head is in getting 3 angle valve seats and cleaned up, then re-faced, been told it needs 8 exhaust valve guides as the guy said there is play in the valves, so thats another £150 added onto the ever growing repair cost. I was not aware that the scoring problem was present right through from the 929 to the 1000's, surely Honda could not have been oblivious to this design flaw. How these engines seal compression with scored pistons is beyond me, and I have seen some high milers!
How much power did yours make with the 980 and head-work? Mine had 145 RWHP with full exhaust, bmc air filter/flapper removed, rev extend, and power commander tuned on dyno, dont need any more power, just curious!
 

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Cylinder liners are alusil which is little tricky to work with and needs special rings and plated piston skirts. Not steel/iron. My bike makes 18hp more from the wheel then it did before with Devil half exhaust, BMC race filter and custom tune. It has allso Akras full exhaust now.
 

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I really don't now how the rings stay sealed. I have thought about it allso many times. My bike had perfect compression numbers before the rebuilt but it devoloped a pretty nasty piston slap so i had to tear it open.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had a look at my pistons tonight, and I could move them to the point they were making contact with the cylinder walls, so clearly the piston skirts will be eating away into the cylinders. And I am now more convinced that regardless of history, these bikes all have scored cylinders, here are some pictures from the manual which would have been a relatively new engine, look at the piston skirt and cylinders walls, exactly the same as every other, scored front and back! This is clearly a manufacturing defect that Honda should have put right! :thumbd:
 

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It's designed that way and they have thouhgt that it will last x amount of miles and thats good enough. I have the same manual and i allso have noticed the same thing as you. I haven't seen a one motor that hasn't the scoring and i've seen few of these :)
 

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Have not managed a dig into my engine, at least not that far in. I'm at 34k miles right now with great compression numbers that are fairly even across the board... makes me wonder how long you can go before this becomes an issue... though I do not burn even a drop of oil (not noticeable levels at least) between my 2500 mile oil changes.
 

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Have not managed a dig into my engine, at least not that far in. I'm at 34k miles right now with great compression numbers that are fairly even across the board... makes me wonder how long you can go before this becomes an issue... though I do not burn even a drop of oil (not noticeable levels at least) between my 2500 mile oil changes.
Really hard to say. Normally the rings seal fine so the problems usually start with pistons slapping. Mine didn't burn any oil before the rebuild. Just piston slapping but when it started it did it only when the engine was could. After 8 tkm:s it did allso when warm. Normally when it starts to burn oil it's valve stem seals. We have put many engines back together with scored cylinders when changing gears and they have worked without any problems. All of them that i know still work and haven't devoloped a slap yet.
 
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