How hard is it to do a motor swap? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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How hard is it to do a motor swap?

As the question states. Swapping stock motor for another. I live in an apartment & have no garage. At best I can sneak in the bike in the living room while the wife is at work & then hope that she doesn't notice it

Seriously, how involved is it? What tools would I need? I am guessing that I need another person to help? Too bad my 2 dogs can't help

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post #2 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 02:04 PM
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It's not rocket science. Just the basic tools are needed. I'm assuming you mean a motor swap in a motorcycle. I've never done it in my living room, but I wouldn't recommend it either. A milk crate is handy to have nearby. It's the perfect height for the motor to side out onto.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 02:50 PM
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I have pulled and replaced a 919 motor three times before. Its not hard and requires only basic tools.

The hardest part is due to the angle the motor mounts at when u pull the front mount bolts it wants to tip forward. When it does the manifold studs catch on x-brace of the frame.

Also be warned the motor is heavy and awkward to lift and balance.

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post #4 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickard919 View Post
It's not rocket science. Just the basic tools are needed. I'm assuming you mean a motor swap in a motorcycle. I've never done it in my living room, but I wouldn't recommend it either. A milk crate is handy to have nearby. It's the perfect height for the motor to side out onto.
I meant a motor swap for the 919.

I usually perform most of my non messy maintenance/mods in my living room since I can be in & out without affecting the living space much. However an engine swap is a tall order so I wanted to know from those have had first hand experience. I don't think I want to do it in my parking spot for obvious reasons.

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post #5 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 02:55 PM
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Yeah I figured that's what you were pulling. Fairly easy but heavy. Nowhere near the weight of a CB750, but still a heft. Why are you pulling it?

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post #6 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 04:21 PM
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Just pulled one today. Like helimech said the motor wants to roll forward after the front bolts are pulled. Now I cheated and had removed almost everything off the frame so it was super light. Put a block of wood under the motor. Pulled the front wheel and forks which doesn't take long and then lifted the frame almost strait up with some wiggling.
Keeping the motor balanced is by far the hardest thing to do. I did it with my pug/bull terroir helping but if you had a friend and a good shop size car jack I think it would be easier. Two friends would be sweet you wouldn't need to strip so much stuff off the frame which I'm sure you don't want to do.

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post #7 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickard919 View Post
Yeah I figured that's what you were pulling. Fairly easy but heavy. Nowhere near the weight of a CB750, but still a heft. Why are you pulling it?
There was a patch of dirt & grease combo right behind the motor on the right side. Basically right behind the clutch cover. I didn't give it much thought & wrote it off as chain lube accumulated over the years. So, I wash it down with brake cleaner & there is a huge weld or JB weld patched on or whatever the $#@% it is. It is a few inches long & extends slightly below the clutch cover. This bike wasn't just involved in a minor crash as I was told. Any crash that cracks the crankcase is not minor IMO. Anyway I can't replace just the crankcase as Honda sells the top & bottom as a set for 1700! Even IF I manage to get hold of a used one, I have to drop the motor anyway & THEN tear into it. Its cheaper to just get a used motor for $$$ & swap it.

Now that area hasn't gotten greasy yet, but I suspect that it is a crappy job like the rest of the bike. Who knows if the motor was starved of oil, although it runs quite good so I doubt my own suspicions.

So yeah, thats my story

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post #8 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkeigan View Post
Just pulled one today. Like helimech said the motor wants to roll forward after the front bolts are pulled. Now I cheated and had removed almost everything off the frame so it was super light. Put a block of wood under the motor. Pulled the front wheel and forks which doesn't take long and then lifted the frame almost strait up with some wiggling.
Keeping the motor balanced is by far the hardest thing to do. I did it with my pug/bull terroir helping but if you had a friend and a good shop size car jack I think it would be easier. Two friends would be sweet you wouldn't need to strip so much stuff off the frame which I'm sure you don't want to do.
That sounds like a lot of work involving resources which I don't have. Oh well, I tried.

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post #9 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arshishb View Post
That sounds like a lot of work involving resources which I don't have. Oh well, I tried.
Man give it a try. It looks crazy trust me but it's not that bad. Get a paint pen and start numbering the connectors and put bolts back in the same holes they came out of would be the most fool proof way of doing it. It took me a total of 6 to 8 hrs to go from complete trashed bike to a rolling frame. That's even pulling the swing arm and wheels and forks and then putting them back on to make it roll again. It is surprising how easy they come apart. Once the fuel injection and exhaust is off the motor is basically free in the frame and can be swapped by one guy in one weekend easy.

A normal metric socket set and a set of metric Allen keys and a 27 mm socket for the rear axle/swingarm bolt is the only thing that was an extra. I mean it doesn't come in a cheaply socket set. That's only needed if you are pulling the swingarm and rear axle.
Other than take you need a Phillips head screw driver and that's it man.

I'm sure I can speak for Helimech when I say feel free to ask us both all the questions you want. I know I have bugged the hell out of him over the last few days!!

Good luck man!

K

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 06:52 PM
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Not technically hard, but the motor is heavy and you have to twist and turn it to get it in/out. Lots of cursing will be involved.

It would be advisable to have a strong helper.

Also, watch your back. Your will be using muscles in a way that you are not used to, and if you are not careful you can really hurt yourself. AMHIK.

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post #11 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 06:56 PM
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All good advice. Maybe throw in $50 for a mini storage unit or a month. You can keep the parts organized and heck you can still bring dirty parts home and put 'em in the dishwasher after the wife goes to bed.

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post #12 of 16 Old 10-16-2013, 07:37 PM
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Can't you just have the thing welded properly by a pro? Easier and cheaper than an engine swap.

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post #13 of 16 Old 10-17-2013, 01:25 AM
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Coming from a trail bike back ground heres a suggestion.

Get it close to dropping out and drain fliuds then lay it on its side on blankets and undo engine mounts then lift the frame off the motor.

Could that work for a 919?

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post #14 of 16 Old 10-17-2013, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advise folks, I will give this serious thought.

As for welding, it is currently welded & painted/powder coated over & the fact that it leaks oil tells me that it was a poorly done job. I live with it & regularly keep washing down the accumulated oil or change the motor. More damn money on this bike. Talk about money pit!

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post #15 of 16 Old 10-17-2013, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Phenix View Post
All good advice. Maybe throw in $50 for a mini storage unit or a month. You can keep the parts organized and heck you can still bring dirty parts home and put 'em in the dishwasher after the wife goes to bed.

If you don't tell her you're working on a motorcycle into the long hours of the night she'll suspect a mistress.
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-17-2013, 05:48 AM
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"How hard is it to do a motor swap?"

It's so easy a caveman can do it.... sorry I just couldn't resist. Good luck with the bike, I hope you come out alright on it. lew

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