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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the site. Recently (6 months ago) got rid of an '05 400EX that was in pretty much perfect condition because I needed the cash :(. I've had a few machines and I enjoyed this one enough that I recently got an '07 that was a bit abused so that I could rebuild it. I am mechanically inclined (light to moderate engine work experience), have the space to do the work, the time, resources (not unlimited but adequate) and motivation. I have been doing some research into the basic parts I will need (bolt/gasket kits) and have started ordering things that I know will get used. Before I start spending bigger money I wanted to find a forum to get some advice from and here is focused and active so .. what I am hoping for is some 'wish-list' style suggestions that aren't over the top expensive. I want the machine to be solid and slightly faster/more powerful than stock. I do not intend to race or do crazy jumps but I do ride some moderately rough and muddy trails.

Ok, some pictures.. (pardon the mess)



Right off the bat I noticed the front lower left a-arm was slightly bent. Not terribly bad but the steering gets wobbly at max throttle. I may end up replacing more than just the bent a-arm if there is a compelling enough reason otherwise 'good enough' will be it. Front brakes work well and likely will not need work/replacement.



Though the picture does not illustrate, lights work both hi and low so thats good. Pretty sure I will be replacing the front bumper as it is both not my taste and the way it mounts is not very solid. It is also missing mounting bolts.



While not likely obvious, most of the plugs are missing from the plastics making things flop around and rattle. Also I've already removed what stickers I could in prep for possibly repainting the plastics. Even if I don't get around to painting it, the guys who owned this poor machine before me had all kinds of stickers all over the thing. Most were very poorly put on :rolleyes:.



Some blacked out wheels would be nice but these one's are functionally sound. The rubber will be getting replaced. Back left has a flat out ghetto plug consisting of a rag and some glue. No, it does not hold air very well. Thankfully it held enough air to go riding around for a couple hours when the engine was still cranking.



So here is the HMF I mentioned. The jetting that was apparently done I know not a lot about so any info there would be appreciated. Rear brakes work on par with the fronts.



Rear light is busted out. Probably will just replace it with a stock one. I did see a skid plate that wrapped up and around the rear mechanics that will likely be put in.



So one significant issue with this guy is the gas leaks out the overflow at an alarming rate; not exactly sure why yet but seems like something is stuck. The tube that drains the fuel comes from the fuel/res/off dial. Rode fine but it sure cost 10x in fuel so it required work before the gasket blew. It is probably better that it does not run enough to ride as I wouldn't have quit till it blew up or caught fire.

At any rate thanks for reading and hope you enjoy the shots. We'll see if I can keep up the motivation to go through with doing the rebuild, and more-so, properly. Any advice or pointers or humorous banter would be greatly appreciated :D

Cheers!
 

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Sorry I missed your post and welcome to the forum.

There are many helpful members here and your post is huge. Many members may have been intimidated by the number of issues presented. Try attacking one issue at a time for better response.
 

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I don't know to much about rebuilding engines so unfortunately I'm not much help to you in that aspect.

When I was looking at your pictures I noticed that the brake and clutch levers are not in allignment. I can't tell if one is bent upwards or the other is bent down or if that is how they are supposed to look. When my brother purchased his first dirt bike (a Suzuki 125), he had to replace the clutch lever because the previous owner had rolled the bike over and bent it. It functioned but strained your hand.

The ATV looks like they rode it hard and put some aftermarket accessories that the previous owner evidentely thought was more fashionable than it really was. Once you get that front bumper and awkward metal contraption on the rear off it, it'll look better. That is unless you prefer the look it has right now.

What I would do is prioritize what you need to replace first to get it running so you can get some enjoyment out of it. The swing-arm on the front that is bent probably isn't your first replacement part needed. Sounds like you have a fuel leaking problem to fix first.

And as far as the stickers go, you know you get 5 more horse power per sticker... That can add up. :D
 

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I would look into suspension before any go fast mods. Good suspension will make you a lot faster. I have elk stage 4's on order and can't wait to get them. I really noticed on my last ride how much the stock suspension is slowing me down especially when the trails get rough.
 

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When I was looking at your pictures I noticed that the brake and clutch levers are not in allignment. I can't tell if one is bent upwards or the other is bent down or if that is how they are supposed to look. When my brother purchased his first dirt bike (a Suzuki 125), he had to replace the clutch lever because the previous owner had rolled the bike over and bent it. It functioned but strained your hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Repairs .. Round 1 ..

I actually did this work a few months back just never got around to posting. I've got more parts coming and will be finishing this bike up at the end of this month at least for making it run properly. I'm considering this a lesson to myself and going the full distance to make sure I never. ever. forget. to really look closely at a purchase like this before forking the cash over. :D Anyway, I had a lot of fun tearing it down and putting it back together. Really feels like 'mine' now.

Here is what was done:

- Neutral/reverse indicator lights rewired
- Nets/footpegs cleaned/reseated
- Reverse cable tension adjusted
- Front lower left a-arm replaced
- Front brake line flushed
- Cables rerun
- Wiring cleaned/connections inspected
- Carburetor disassembled, cleaned and reassembled
- Grommets for seating installed
- Air intake ducting replaced
- Airbox cleaned
- Plastics cleaned
- Headlight casing cleaned/reseated
- Seat latch cleaned/reseated
- Head gasket replaced

Those were my notes anyway. I believe there are a few things left out like the valve cover gasket and cleaning virtually everything on the bike. So here are the shots that came out of it:



Most of the plastics off. The one with the reverse cable gave me a little trouble.



Parts, tools and manual.



Fuel tank drained (on its own as the thing leaked like mad) and pulled with the fuel line capped.



Try to keep things clean for the carb intake.




The front lower left a-arm removed. That was not fun at all. The cotter pin and then beating the assembly apart felt like I was going to break something. I think all the caked on grime made this part harder than it should have been as it went back together pretty easy.



Front lower left put back together. The frankensteining begins..



Lights check to make sure I haven't broken something electrical before I start pulling the top end apart.



This might be out of order or something but this was the first bolt I pulled that started telling me that things were no good with the cylinder head. It was floating around and came out without tools. I am guessing the upper threading had been stripped away previously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


Just before I started breaking the bolts on the top end.



I think at this point I was unable to do much with the engine as I needed to go get a few helicoils to get it back together so switched to taking care of some cosmetic stuff. Pegs and guards cleaned up and reseated.



Wiring for neutral and reverse cleaned up and patched.



Ok, back to pulling the top end apart.





Bolt that twisted itself broken. Had to flatten the top, drill a hole into the middle of it, hammer a bit i never wanted to use again into it then very slowly unscrew it.



Thankfully it came out. There were a few others that had problems that I had to get out similarly and all in the same general area. Obviously not a good sign.



Anyway, got it back together and running though half the bolts holding the cylinder head are either missing because there was no re-helicoiling them (some had already been done) or they were being held with helicoils i'd recently put in. Frankly I am amazed it cranks. Actually has some decent power but the head gasket is not gonna last long so I got a few days of fun before I put it away for the next round of repairs.

The cylinder head and a few other parts (gaskets, etc) are on the way and I should have the bike in full working order by the end of this month. Time consuming and expensive and not something I will ever do twice but so far I am happy with the results.

Cheers!
 

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Sounds like you've had quite the journey with this bike so far. It's too bad that there were a lot of hidden problems that you didn't know about before purchasing the bike.

I did this last year with my very first bike- a 350 Warrior. It ended up working out for me in the end as I paid $1000 for the bike, around $300 for the repairs (luckily both myself and my boyfriend are mechanically inclined) and ended up selling the bike for $1700 and upgraded to a 2003 400ex.

So far, no issues with my 400ex. I hope you get the bike to where you want it and don't have to worry about it for a long time!
 
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