Just picked up an 03 WR450 project. Advise for trail readyness appreciated.


16 replies to this topic
  • tighe

Posted May 27, 2013 - 06:21 AM

#1

Just picked up my first real thumper! Ive had some air cooled XRs but this is my first high compression 4 stroke. Until now, Ive been riding woods on KTM 300s.

Its a bit of a project, but I got a STELLER deal on the bike. It runs strong but the prior owner told me it has some kind of coolant leak that burns off on the header.

Ill be checking this out today. I imagine Ill be buying a water (and oil since im in there) seal for the impeller shaft based on preliminary research.

Any advise for a first time WR owner would be appreciated.

My plan is
seal check
full fluid change
Battery check
Compression check
Valve clearance
Document jetting
replace heated grips
replace plastics

Posted Image

  • miweber929

Posted May 28, 2013 - 04:54 AM

#2

My advice is to read the stickys and search as everything you'll need to know on that bike has been discussed, done, redisussed and redone.

If its truly an 03 check to be sure the starter upgrade has been taken care of then simply ride, rinse, repeat; then keep up on oil changes and valve checks and it'll last a long time.

Edited by miweber929, May 28, 2013 - 04:55 AM.


  • tighe

Posted May 28, 2013 - 12:39 PM

#3

I tracked the coolant leak to the water pump. Tearing into it tonight...should be an easy fix. The bike runs GREAT.

  • Rocky739

Posted May 28, 2013 - 01:15 PM

#4

Here is my rundown on the 03 I fixed up.. Pretty good old bike so I think you will enjoy it!

http://www.thumperta...-450-dialed-in/



My advice in a nutshell though

1) Free mods.. But I'm guessing they are probably already done by the looks of the bike though.

2) Jetting, I'm really happy with mine now, runs good and starts perfect hot or cold.

3) Starter idle gear, if it isn't already done this is a must, easy ten minute job, the parts aren't cheap but the worst case scenario of the stock parts is worse.

BTW if you are buying plastic the shrouds for it will need to be for a same year YZF to fit the acerbis tank and if you change over to a YZ style rear fender you can shave a lot of weight off for cheap.

Have fun!

  • Just_a_trail_rider

Posted May 28, 2013 - 06:53 PM

#5

You will need both seals and the impeller shaft for that water pump. No real way around that once you take it apart and look at it.

03 had a woodruff key issue. Check that. Read up on it. But its probably already handled.

The lower steering stem bearing gets rusty on that bike. You simply cannot grease that thing enough.

Don't neglect the greasing the swing arm. It may take a little time and blunt force to get the bolt out but you can maintain it well after that.


You need a leakdown test, not a compression test.

It doesn't look like a project. It looks like it needs gas so you can go ride it. You just bought a very, very reliable machine. Do the basics and it will run forever.

  • Do I Care?

Posted May 28, 2013 - 07:44 PM

#6

If you need genuine Yamaha parts, be sure to check out THIS SITE

Enjoy!

  • tighe

Posted June 01, 2013 - 08:23 PM

#7

Thanks for the tips. Ill check all these items.

Turns out it was leaking from the radiator and the weep on the water pump. Drained the coolant and it looked brown...bad. I can definitely feel grit in the coolant hoses so Ive ordered replacements, flushed and replaced the radiator and no more weeping from the water pump. Pulled the outer cover on the water pump and internals look clean. Ill still get in there for the inspection...but damn its tempting to go riding.

no lights work. Don't care yet. The YZ fender is tempting. This beat up plastic is driving me nuts. On the hunt for a set.

Next issue is the carb.

Posted Image

Im not sure how the damage happened, but it looks like somebody messed with the fuel intake pipe...

Posted Image

Its snappy and runs well when enrichment lever is pulled, but push it in, and it struggles and dies, even if warm....Hoping I can clean it out without tearing into it mid season.

Something else of note...My manual notes by the original owner says that the main is a 178 with a #48 pilot.

Edited by tighe, June 01, 2013 - 08:50 PM.


  • D-rek07

Posted June 01, 2013 - 10:03 PM

#8

By enrichment lever, do you mean choke? The little black knob at the top of your second picture?

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  • MaxPower

Posted June 02, 2013 - 04:30 AM

#9

Plastic is not too big of a hit on price . Instead of new side plates you can make them look fresh with backgrounds
When you install a YZ fender you will have to make holes for the coolant line and electric
Don't forget you will need a new tail light



  • Cooksend

Posted June 02, 2013 - 04:44 AM

#10

My advice is to read the stickys and search as everything you'll need to know on that bike has been discussed, done, redisussed and redone.

If its truly an 03 check to be sure the starter upgrade has been taken care of then simply ride, rinse, repeat; then keep up on oil changes and valve checks and it'll last a long time.


Perfect advice! Put almost 10,000 dual sport and hare scramble miles on mine before doing the top end! The first time the valve were out of adjustment was at 8500 miles!!! If I would have replaced the piston and rings before it started burning oil my valves would have still been fine as it was carbon on the exhaust side valves that pitted them! This is a bullet proof bike! Run good oil and have a few ready to go air filters on hand! Gas and go!

  • miweber929

Posted June 02, 2013 - 06:14 AM

#11

Thanks for the tips. Ill check all these items.

Turns out it was leaking from the radiator and the weep on the water pump. Drained the coolant and it looked brown...bad. I can definitely feel grit in the coolant hoses so Ive ordered replacements, flushed and replaced the radiator and no more weeping from the water pump. Pulled the outer cover on the water pump and internals look clean. Ill still get in there for the inspection...but damn its tempting to go riding.

no lights work. Don't care yet. The YZ fender is tempting. This beat up plastic is driving me nuts. On the hunt for a set.

Next issue is the carb.

Im not sure how the damage happened, but it looks like somebody messed with the fuel intake pipe...

Posted Image

Its snappy and runs well when enrichment lever is pulled, but push it in, and it struggles and dies, even if warm....Hoping I can clean it out without tearing into it mid season.

Something else of note...My manual notes by the original owner says that the main is a 178 with a #48 pilot.


Find a junk carb, that is not right and will be starving the bike for fuel, don't think that's available from Yamaha either. Might be the reason for the way huge main jet because in most normal jetting situations (and being from Wisconsin, I know the elevation is normal) that 178 is way big. Not saying its not right, if the bike runs good it may be, but it seems off.

Seriously though, just tear it apart and do it right once. The half clean may work but regardless you'll be in it again and most likely will not do the job completely and you'll struggle a lot longer than just doing it will take.

Think my manual is at my dads place (with my bike and where its written down) but if I can find it, I'll let you know what I'm running as my 04 was purchased in western Wisconsin and runs perfect in the northern area it's in now.

Mike

Edited by miweber929, June 02, 2013 - 06:17 AM.


  • Rocky739

Posted June 02, 2013 - 07:55 AM

#12

I'll bet the PO was trying to turn the inlet down as it'd angled up a bit stock and looks odd with the Acerbis tank. Some FCR carbs have removeable inlets that you can adjust but the stock FCR on the WR isn't. Keep a eye out for a carb on Ebay if you don't like it as sometimes they come up pretty cheap. As far as dying without choke on that's always a clogged pilot circuit. Put in a new 48 PJ and make sure all the circuit holes in carb body are clean also make sure the adj fuel screw is in good shape and the spring,washer, oring are installed correctly on it. Its a pretty percise system and even a tiny bit of crud makes a huge problem.

  • tighe

Posted June 02, 2013 - 06:44 PM

#13

By enrichment lever, do you mean choke? The little black knob at the top of your second picture?

Yeah....cold starter knob...Choke like mechanism ;)

Water seal is done. Going to hunt down some "High Quality Ethylene Glycol anti-freeze containing anti-corrosion for the aluminum engine" this week. Roseville Yamaha wants $12/qt for the yamalube. Thinking of going with Lucas.

Turns out, fiddleing with the red fuel screw (the one with the numbers) after going out and tearing it up for 15 minutes cleared up the idle issue. Im hesitant to pull the carb at this point.

Whats left are all those grease points, getting mush out of the front brakes, proving woodruff worthiness, tires, battery, maybe grey wire mod.

Im learning a ton about my new bike.

Edited by tighe, June 02, 2013 - 10:38 PM.


  • Rocky739

Posted June 03, 2013 - 06:36 AM

#14

Awesome! The fuel screws are senstive, I have to change mine about every 20 degrees of temp change to keep it running as best as possible. I order all my fluids from Rocky Mtn MC as they have the best prices and fast shipping. The front brakes suck, but I put a CR style hose on mine and it helped the lever feel a lot plus it looks less antique than the old school under the fork stocker. I'm going to try some different pads to see if anything can boost stopping power short of a oversize rotor.

  • tighe

Posted June 20, 2013 - 09:15 PM

#15

Yeah...this front brake is soft. The PO pulled the speed cable and mileage gauge so I'm going to probably just cap that off.

The good news is that it runs like a raped beast!!!

I love this power...Low RPM knocking kind of sucks, but I read thats normal on these motors. Im just running standard 87, will an octane change help that at all?

I did not pull the carb because its running so damn good. I do sometimes need to pull the "choke" on warm starts, but I can live with that. Its not running rich at all at 500 ft so Im just going to leave it and ride.

Thanks for the tips!

  • Rocky739

Posted June 26, 2013 - 05:57 PM

#16

Get some premium pump gas in there asap..

  • tighe

Posted June 29, 2013 - 08:04 PM

#17

Get some premium pump gas in there asap..


I did.

It helped.

Thanks




 
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