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Discussion Starter #1
Folks

It's been almost a year since I have been on the forum. Amber has been sitting in the garage but now I could use her services. She needs some top end work as she is burning oil, leaking oil at the head, leaking oil at the base cover and now starter won't work. It spins free and I believe the starter clutch is at fault.

I have began the tear down in the frame and already messed up as I forgot to label the valve buckets and was surprised to find no shims under the buckets. I will post pics and update progress soon.
 

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the shims should be on top of the lifters. if you get a gasket set from z1enterprises it should have valve seals and everything you would need besides the lower/bottom of the cylinder block/jugs oil passage O-rings.
 

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The whole top end rebuild isn't nearly as daunting task as it seems. Im a pretty decent mechanic but don't think it's required to do this. Biggest thing is to label everything/take pics with phone.. You can't take too many. Most if not all machine work will be done by machine shop. Ape did my 76 Kaw 900. Punched it to 1015, honed cyl and labeled rings and pistons to cyl. If you have shop manual and tools you can do it. Don't be in a hurry. They can also port and rebuild heads.
 

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Many years later, through unemployment and a divorce, now I am getting back to Amber. I have moved to Dallas, TX and will begin to rebuild this bike this week.
 

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Welcome Back! Keep us updated on your progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Many years later, through unemployment and a divorce, now I am getting back to Amber. I have moved to Dallas, TX and will begin to rebuild this bike this week.
Awesome, I'm a big fan of KZ's and used to live in Dallas. Looking forward to your updates.
 

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i did an '83 gpz1100 last year that had the shim buckets out and scattered (shim under). some were even slightly rusty. i refitted by oiling up and trying a fit, using a magnet to check ease of movement in the bore. after 500 miles so far, so good.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Today I started to inventory the parts I pulled off the top end. I will begin the rebuild tomorrow and do a video diary via YouTube. I just did one for my 1982 Suzuki GS1100G.

Here is where I am at:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Folks

I need recommendations for a complete engine gasket set. I bought one years ago but I only just noticed that the head gaskets are a paper/metal combination where as the original one was all metal. What I have is called NE Brand Super Gasket.

video update -
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update - 10/17/2020

Started work today.

 
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Discussion Starter #13
Guys

Something I noticed that I hadn't paid attention to 5 years ago when I pulled the topend off of the engine. In the picture attached I am pointing to the engine crankcase where I assume an O-ring shaped like an ice cream cone should go and which is below the cylinder base gasket. I don't recall if there was an O-ring there and there aren't any such O-rings in the complete gasket set that I purchased.


This has me stomped because on my 1982 Suzuki GS1100G there is such an O-ring in that very spot below the base gasket. Can anyone shed light on this for me?
 

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Partzilla diagram does not show an o ring on the crankcase.
Kawasaki Motorcycle 1983 OEM Parts Diagram for CRANKCASE | Partzilla.com.
but it does show 4 of them on the top of the cylinder block. At least it appears to be at the top. Hard to say for sure. Have a look and see if this helps.

Any idea what that hole is for? If base gasket covers it, what is its purpose? If this is oil supply to the cylinder head you gotta get it right obviously. I hope someone who has recently torn down their engine can definitively answer your question.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Partzilla diagram does not show an o ring on the crankcase.
Kawasaki Motorcycle 1983 OEM Parts Diagram for CRANKCASE | Partzilla.com.
but it does show 4 of them on the top of the cylinder block. At least it appears to be at the top. Hard to say for sure. Have a look and see if this helps.

Any idea what that hole is for? If base gasket covers it, what is its purpose? If this is oil supply to the cylinder head you gotta get it right obviously. I hope someone who has recently torn down their engine can definitively answer your question.
It can't be for the cylinder head oil supply as the hole isn't present on the block itself as it just stops right where it is. My concern is whether the base gasket alone can be effective in preventing a leak at the location. If I hadn't just done the GS1100 then I would not have even noticed this but on that engine that O-ring is needed.

I will review the link you posted for guidance.

Update:

 

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Discussion Starter #16
I disassembled the instrument cluster as the speedo does not work.

Video:

 

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I have to confess to never having torn down a 4 cylinder Kawasaki to the crankcase level. The engines were so reliable we never had the occasion to need to strip one down, so I don't know where the oil feeds are for the valve train. But one speculation is that it could use the very hole your finger is pointing to. Note that the hole is surrounded by a groove that joins the hole to the cylinder head stud. The hole in the cylinder block is larger than the stud, thus providing a passageway directly to the cylinder itself.

If you study the cylinder head itself you may be able to locate oil feed holes. Try following the oil feed holes that are in the camshaft bearings to see where they go. If you plug or seal off the hole on the crankcase, you may starve your cylinder head of oil. Be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have to confess to never having torn down a 4 cylinder Kawasaki to the crankcase level. The engines were so reliable we never had the occasion to need to strip one down, so I don't know where the oil feeds are for the valve train. But one speculation is that it could use the very hole your finger is pointing to. Note that the hole is surrounded by a groove that joins the hole to the cylinder head stud. The hole in the cylinder block is larger than the stud, thus providing a passageway directly to the cylinder itself.

If you study the cylinder head itself you may be able to locate oil feed holes. Try following the oil feed holes that are in the camshaft bearings to see where they go. If you plug or seal off the hole on the crankcase, you may starve your cylinder head of oil. Be careful.
I won't plug any of the holes. I was noting that the base gasket alone is what will cover the hole and prevent leaks out of the edges and prevent oil from spilling onto the engine. I suspect the oil will hit the base gasket and splash onto the stud and from there it will go up to the cylinder head. These engines use a copper washer at the cylinder head studs on the four outer corners of the cylinder head to prevent leaks, therefore this must be another path for the oiling of the cylinder head. I will use copper washers at all 12 studs not just the outer four.

I had torn this engine down 5 years ago because it was burning oil and back firing from the cylinder head. Life got in the way and its only now that I am resuming the restoration I wanted to do back then. The bike ran back then but after one ride I saw oil running down the block. Since it also burned oil out of the exhaust I knew that the valve seals were shot as well. As I disassembled the cylinder head two days ago, all my suspicions were confirmed so I am glad I stopped riding her when I noticed the leak. The exhaust valve on cylinder #1 was in the process of becoming burn. It required a small tap with a rubber mallet to free it once I removed the keepers and the springs. I then had to use a 7mm valve driver to reseat the valve guide which did move about 1/4 inch when I tapped on that valve to free it.
 

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Correct but it won't be a splash of oil. I have confirmed that the oil will be pumped under pressure and will follow the stud up to the cylinder head. As I recall these engines have very low oil pressure (less than 5 PSI) but that is plenty to get the oil up to the cylinder head. Putting an o-ring under the base gasket would impede or prevent flow of oil to the stud.

Good progress on the valves.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today's Update:

 
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