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Old 05-26-2015, 10:39 PM
07hardtop 07hardtop is offline
H Rated - 130 mph
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Suffolk County L.I. NY
Posts: 87
Default Kawasaki 2007 EX-500 restoration

I'm going to preface this with letting everyone know that I know essentially nothing about motorcycles..... On to the project

History of the Bike: It's a 2007 with only 2,200ish miles on it. Was being ridden by a friend of a friend who was borrowing it from his family friend when the bike was dropped and damaged. Friend of a friend bought it, fixed it, then ended up gifting it to my friend after it inadvertently became a submarine.

Here's the interesting part - It is a Hurricane Sandy victim (for those who do not know Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast US in Oct 2012 and was the biggest hurricane to hit Long Island in quite some time) The bike was submerged up to about the engine head and the battery was left connected. The result was a completely flooded bike with most of its electrical connections corroded off.
My friend had drained all the fluids (mostly saltwater at that point), re-oiled and cranked the engine with no spark plugs to remove as much water from the combustion chamber as possible. As much oil as possible was added to the engine to be assessed at a later date as a project. Friend ended up buying another bike and the EX-500 sat in its sad state out in the weather since fall 2012 with no spark plugs and some residual saltwater in the engine.

I took on the bike as a project since I have the desire to rebuild something but no money to buy a project car, and even less space for one. The bike fits the bill because 1. its free 2. its small 3. parts for this bike are pretty abundant and cheap 4. its free. I have a clean title and pre-filled out bill of sale for it as well.

My Background- Engineering degree in Naval Architecture, love working on oily mechanical things. Own an R56 MINI that I have done a lot of work to myself. Really should make a garage thread for that too, been lingering for like 3 years now. At the moment I have very little knowledge and interest in bikes, maybe that will change.

The bike had been slightly disassembled before entering my hands, but the motor was still in place. So first course of action is making sure the motor is salvageable.

Did not take any pictures of the frame yet, but if you are curious what 2.5 years of saltwatery oil does to a motor keep scrolling.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0064 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0066 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0067 by Andrew, on Flickr

All looks pretty good from the outside. Some surface rust on the bare steel parts, so surprise.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0065 by Andrew, on Flickr

This was the "Oil" That drained out of it which included MANY giant slime balls that continuously clogged the drain hole.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0068 by Andrew , on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0073 by Andrew, on Flickr

The top side of the head is pretty clean. There's some minor surface rust here and there on the unmachined sections of the cams and rocker arms. The valve stems look clean from what i can see thus far and the bearing surfaces of the cams themselves are clean, there's some very light discoloration (rust) on the cam journals but is not raised or indented when running your finger over it.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0075 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0076 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0077 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0079 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0080 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0081 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0083 by Andrew, on Flickr

Found this lovely sludge in the combustion chambers. Cleaned up well, tops of the pistons are unaffected, cylinder walls have some surface rust. The cylinder walls look like they can be honed smooth and reused. Pistons are not freely moving in the cylinder at this point so not sure if the cylinders and pistons will ultimately be salvageable unless i can separate them without causing any further damage.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0085 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0086 by Andrew, on Flickr

Valves are filthy, while there is rusty colored slime all over them in the pictures when I wiped them down there does not appear to be any actual rust on the metal. Valves need to be removed to further assess the valve seats for corrosion.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0088 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0091 by Andrew, on Flickr

More slimy oil clinging to the oil pan. The oil pickup was completely hidden in a slime ball like the one pictured below.

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0089 by Andrew, on Flickr

Click the image to open in full size.DSC_0090 by Andrew, on Flickr

Above is a close up of the gears, showing more spots of rusts.

That is as far as I have gotten so far in disassembling the motor before it started to get dark and cold.

From my initial assessment, I think I can save most of it, if not all of the original motor. I know I need the usual new items to rebuild it (gaskets, rings, bearing, etc and going to pick up second hand, non rusty chains)

My question is for anyone with actual experience, does this motor appear to be salvageable and worth cleaning and rebuilding? If so I am definitely going to stay persistent and fully rebuild the bike to as close to like new condition as I can possibly manage, while saving as many original and second hand parts (when needed) as possible. If this motor is not worth rebuilding, I will have to re-evaluate my plan and see if I can/want to find another motor for cheap.
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