Back on the Road

shampson shampson at
Thu Nov 6 09:19:13 PST 2008

My blue Gpz has been off the road this past month due to one job leading to
another to another.


Initially I thought I had a major problem. Whilst on a day trip my brother
in law told me I was smoking after a blast down a motorway but it seemed to
clear up during the ride. A week later another blast down a motorway and the
smoking reappears. A white cloud viewed through the rear view mirrors
following me down the road. Though performance did not seem to be impaired
at all.  


Well, my limited knowledge concluded only three ways for oil to get in the
combustion chamber, bypassing the valve seals, oil ring bypass or a cracked
head between the oil ways. I stripped the bike to find out. 1st tell tale
sign was wet oil residue in the headers on cylinders 3 & 4. After removing
the head I found wet residue on the exhaust ports and around the valve
stems. Good news as valve oil seals are cheap. 

As the head was off I gave it a good clean up and stripped it down, reseated
the valves, all inlet valves seem Ok and required minimal work, nearly all
the exhaust valves required a few minutes on each. I decoked the combustion
chambers which were’nt to bad as the motor only has 28500 miles on it. 


Like I said on job leads to another, so I checked the bores pistons and
rings, all were well within tolerance when measured, in fact they showed
very little wear at all. 

Paint on the cylinders was showing its age and flaking so I got hold of some
pearl cosmic grey 400ml rattle can £34 ($62)not cheap and gave them a fresh
coat after blasting them clean.

All was reassembled using new base and head gaskets.

When I came to check the valve clearance I thought they might be a bit out
due to new gaskets but I completely forgot that reseating the valves will
lessen the gap between the valve head and followers. Doh! I had to wait a
few days for some new shims. 

I also bought a new head cover gasket on ebay for zrx1100, I thought they
were the same but this one did’nt fit. The rear lefthand corner on the Gpz
is angled 45 deg  the zrx gasket was at 90 deg. So I reused the original
with a splash of silicone sealant. 

When I came to connect the oil feed pipe to the cylinder head I noticed the
thread on the casting that fits on the head left side was cross threaded. It
came of easily after the initial loosening, so must have been done by a
previous owner or at the factory. This was to cause me the biggest headache
as the casting is £15 ($30) reasonable,  but the pipe is £65
($130)extortionate. In the end I bought a full set plus the casting for £35
on ebay Germany. 


Onto the next job, the gear change shaft oil seal. Only weeping very
slightly but as I was ordering parts why not do it. I did it without
removing the cover by using a bet screwdriver blade to hook and drag the
seal out. Cleaned up the shaft and fitted the new seal.


Next up was a new xring chain 17t front and 47t rear sprockets. All went
well after I had worked out which way the countershaft nut comes off. On
reassembly I thought I must have something wrong. The chain was 133 links
and would need shortening to 112. Before hacking the chain I pushed the rear
wheel all the way forward as far as it would go. When I linked the chain up
it was only just in the 35mm to 45mm slack limit at 35mm. It seem a bit to
close for my liking but at the other end which would require a further two
links it would of had very little adjustment left. 

Anyone else encountered this when using a 47T rear sprocket?


Onto head race bearings, top was dry and going rusty, bottom was well
greased but on removal and cleaning, was found also to be going rusty. So
both were replaced and liberally packed with grease.


Dropping down the fork legs to the callipers, I thought I would just give
them a clean out and fit some EBC pads I’ve had for a while now. However
this turned out to be an expensive episode. A full refurb was required
before I could fit new pads. The pistons were corroded on the top 5mm, which
gets exposed to the elements when the pads wear down. A new set of pistons a
seals were ordered £115 ($230) ooouch!. While the callipers were off I
blasted the flaking paint off and used a two pack calliper paint for cars on
them. The finish was awful, lumpy and streaky. So it was stripped of and
replaced with a silver paint and clearcoat. Much better but may not be too
resistant to brake fluid.


All in all its took nearly 4 weeks to get done, including balancing the
carbs and changing all fluids, oil, coolant, brake and clutch fluids and
fork oil. 


16 valve seals                                                     £28.20

Head gasket                                                       £30.56

Base Gasket                                                       £12.16

Oil pipes

Valve shims                                                        £8.00

Gearshange shaft oil seal                             £2.33

Caliper pistons, seals, rubbers, pins         £114.69

Caliper paint 1                                                   £19.99

Caliper paint 2                                                   £14.00

Front EBC HH pads full set                            £25.40

X-ring chain and sprockets                           £69.50

Cosmic grey paint & primer                         £33.93

Engine oil

Engine Coolant                                                  £15.00

£443.76 ($887)


Some of the parts and consumables I already had so it was that great a hit
to the wallet but it was’nt cheap by any means. 


Here’s to a good few thousand miles free riding, with exception of oil,
filters and tyres and ohh! Cheap fuel, yeah right.





Back riding the winter salt filled UK roads.






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