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* * * * * 2 votes

2004 WR450F bringin' her back from the dead project




232 replies to this topic
  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted December 20, 2011 - 02:04 PM


np Maniac, I also answered your question in the pm about what style pins to order.

  • osubucks1044

    TT Newbie

12 posts
Location: Maine

Posted December 21, 2011 - 07:19 PM


same here, just picked up an 04 wr 450f as well for a hell of a deal (free) but motor will need some tending to. piston came out the front of the jug and theres a small hole in the case, the rest of the bike is in about the same shape as yours when you got it. in the proccess of plastic removal i noticed there was no battery, or starter button so the previous owner wasnt a fan of electric start lol. look forward to seeing your progress and i may have some questions- electric start and motor related

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted December 23, 2011 - 12:16 AM


osubucks yeah that's no problem about contacting me with any questions. Just remember to take your time, and double check everything. I'm almost in the same boat, I don't use my starter system at all, after it was jetted properly she's never given me any problems with a simple kick.

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted January 29, 2012 - 04:33 PM


wow, it's been a while since I've updated this thread as I've been away on vacation for quite some time.

Well, the only real update that I've got is I've almost completely fixed the dented header. I tried probably 10 or so times filling the pipe with water and freezing it, unfortunately nothing appeared to work. I tried everything, from only partially filling the pipe hot & cold, to fully filling it hot & cold (ends open), fully filling it hot & cold (ends plugged), to freezing fast (using dry ice), to freezing slow (using just a standard fridge freezer). Then finally what I did to actually push out the dents....

I filled the pipe half full of hot tap water. Then I wrapped the most dented section of the pipe in a microfiber towel and put the whole assembly into the fridge freezer over night. When I checked on the pipe in the morning, there still wasn't any change. So I ran the most dented section of the pipe under hot water for a few mins (taking care not to melt the "frozen ends" until you could hear water moving inside the pipe if you tilted the pipe. Then, I re-wrapped the pipe again and left it in the freezer over night.

When I came back the next morning, the dents were almost completely gone. Here's the before and after shots:

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I'd say it's a sucess.

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted February 12, 2012 - 01:45 PM


Update time :bonk:

Officially the wiring harness is function tested serviceable, and FINISHED :smirk:

So just to recap, when I started my wiring nightmare I had a 06 WR wiring harness running a 04 WR with a BajaDesigns Dual Sport lighting kit. Unfortunately I wasn't satisfied with having a zip tied together, bulky multiple wiring harness sitting behind my headlight. So with the knowledge of working on aircraft wiring harnesses that the Canadian Forces taught me, I decided to build a one off, from scratch lighting kit from aircraft grade teflon coated wires to satisfy my OCD needs to have a clean install. This is what the wiring looked like in the fall. It sure didn't look good, but granted it did the job to get the bike past a safety inspection for road usage;

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Most of the supplies I had to order. Keep in mind every different colour of wire here is between 20-25ft long, and there really isn't much raw stock left.. lol

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And this is the final product. Almost 4 months worth of work to complete this, and I'm really satisfied with the results. Everything has enough length to reach where it needs to go to do it's job, the wiring harness is dummy proof (i.e. you really can't hook anything up backwards), and the whole assembly is smaller & lighter than the two wiring harnesses it's replacing.

Here's the dashboard section;

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Here's all the connectors under the tank;

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Here's around the carb, and battery tray connections;

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And, lastly heres the tail section wiring harness;

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  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted February 18, 2012 - 07:05 PM


Finished stripping the frame today. Word of advice if your going to do this yourself... Tal-Strip Aircraft paint remover HURTS like a MOFO if it comes into contact with your skin, so P.P.E. is HIGHLY recommended (facesheild, long sleeves, pants, gloves).. in other words.. absolutely no exposed skin. I made the mistake of assuming that goggles/gloves would be adequate protection... umm NOPE !!!

Anyways, after the stripper was finished doing it's job, I used various wire wheels to remove any stubborn paint sections. Now I'm waiting for a price quote on getting the frame powder coated, if it's too expensive, then I might send it into a body shop and get a few coats of enamel put on it.

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  • MANIAC998
4,960 posts
Location: New York
Garage View Garage

Posted February 19, 2012 - 06:24 AM


Damn! RS25, you do some fantastic work! What color are you thinking? Maniac

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted February 19, 2012 - 05:12 PM


The frame is going semi gloss black. Subframe is staying untreated, and I'm undecided if the swing arm will receive a makeover or just new decals on the sides. So with the black tank & seat, combined with the yellow plastics (hurricane kit) should change up the look significantly.

Anyone out there have a alum frame WR headlight for sale? I've decided not to go with the new KTM headlamp setup I picked up, instead I'll use it as a trade item to get a OEM headlamp.

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted February 20, 2012 - 05:34 PM


So today I decided to dive into the engine related systems. First thing to check was the wiring on the motor iaw the stator, and neutral switch.. on both wiring harnesses I found issues so I'm glad I did. To perform the inspection, I cut off all the outer wire shielding so I could take a look at the individual wires.

On the neutral switch wiring the Lt Blue wire was worn almost completely through. There was maybe 3 strands left to complete the circuit, luckily for me I never throw anything away (unless it's not repairable) so I had a spare switch on my parts shelf which was in better condition. Again I removed all the shielding, reinspected it and recovered everything with 3:1 double wall heat shrink tubing to provide some extra abrasion resistance.

The stator wiring was another issue. The Red wire which goes to the pickup coil had worn through the insulation which left exposed wires from what I believe dirt getting under the outer shielding, causing a sand paper effect. So I desoldered that wire from the coil, and replaced just that individual wire. The rest of the wires were in decent shape so I left them alone. Again, I covered everything in the double wall heat shrink tubing and sealed the ends so it couldn't happen again.

After that, I decided to do a valve lash inspection. Which, I probably should've done earlier. 4 out of 5 valves were too tight.

Measured gaps;

#1 intake @ ~0.0015" [color=#ff0000](0.0024" - 0.0044" too tight)[/color]
#2 intake @ ~0.0015" [color=#ff0000](0.0024" - 0.0044" too tight)[/color]
#3 intake @ 0.005" [color=#008000](good)[/color]

#1 exhaust @ 0.004" [color=#ff0000](0.0039" - 0.0058" too tight)[/color]
#2 exhaust @ 0.004" [color=#ff0000](0.0039" - 0.0058" too tight)[/color]

So, removed all shims and buckets noting their locations, and raided my spare parts locker again to source out more shims and buckets. Armed with a piece of paper, a pen and the service manual I headed into work so I could use our calibrated measuring equipment.

First, I measured the thickness of all the parts I had including the parts from the locker.

Set Location....................Bucket Measurement........................ Shim Measurement

1 IN................................ 0.090"................................................. 0.071"
2 IN................................ 0.091"[color=#ff0000](worn)[/color] ...................................... 0.072"
3 IN................................ 0.090"................................................. 0.0665"
1 EX............................... 0.090"................................................. 0.070"
2 EX............................... 0.090"................................................. 0.069"

Spare A.......................... 0.090"................................................. 0.067"
Spare B.......................... 0.090"................................................. 0.070"
Spare C.......................... 0.090"................................................. 0.070"
Spare D.......................... 0.090"................................................. 0.072"
Spare E.......................... 0.091" [color=#ff0000](worn)[/color] ...................................... 0.070"

Now, with all parts measured, I did some pretty basic math to figure out how thick each set needed to be and I made some equal thickness stacks. Using the above measured list I came up with a individual combo for each valve;

Location....... Bucket #............ Shim #
1 IN.............. original .............. E
2 IN.............. C ....................... 1ex
3 IN.............. original .............. B
1 EX............. original .............. 3in
2 EX............. original .............. A

I installed everything, rotated the motor multiple times and now after the feeler check, some are tighter but they all appear to pass... Job completed :bonk:

Tomorrow if the parts come in, I'll show you another project I'm working on... and it's probably nothing you'd expect haha

Edited by rs25, February 20, 2012 - 05:53 PM.


  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted February 21, 2012 - 05:27 PM


Well, the post man did come today bearing the gifts I was waiting for.. :lol:

So here's my other project, or should I say hobby. I'm refereeing for a local Roller Derby team known as "LakeLand LadyKillers" and well, as everyone here can tell, if I purchase something, I can't leave it stock. HAHA I was pretty nervous about mounting the plates myself, being as though I've never done that before... but, I managed to get'er done.

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So the parts involved;

Riedell 265 boot
Sure-Grip Avenger plate, mounted short forward
8 Ball bearings
Gumball toe stops
Sure-Grip Mid wheels 87A (also a pusher wheel setup in my kit bag)
Custom Tough Toe applie
Waxed hockey laces
Custom orthotic insoles.

Ok, I've gotta go, it's almost derby practice time :bonk:

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted March 04, 2012 - 07:16 PM


This weekend I dropped the frame, swing arm, subframe, engine mounts and pegs to the powdercoater... Hopefully everything turns out alright. Only issue I noticed after disassembling the swing arm is the pivot area of the swing arm was damaged from chain rub.. Hopefully pressing in new bearings will help strengthen up that area again... because the bearing there was destroyed.

Edited by rs25, March 04, 2012 - 07:18 PM.


  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted March 08, 2012 - 09:48 PM


I just got word from the powder coater like.. 15 minutes ago, that the frame powder coating is finished... I can't wait for this weekend to go pick it up to check it out in person.

Here's a sneak peek he sent me;

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Also some more recent news.. I found a replacement swingarm off of kijiji.ca which appeared to be in better condition than my existing one. The seller agreed to send it directly to the powdercoater, instead of sending it to me so it can get coated too. I love when plans finally start to come together. Lastly, the rear sprocket I purchased came in... so now my gear ratio will be 15T / 43T which.. should yield a fairly potent highway gear ratio to keep the revs down while cruising. I just hope the motor has enough snot behind it to make passing reasonable.

  • MaxPower

    TT Platinum Member

1,742 posts
Location: New Jersey

Posted March 09, 2012 - 07:14 PM


with the HotCams and pipe I think the 15/43 is a good compramise for road gears.You are running a 17 in the rear so that brings the ratio a little lower over all too.
The frame looks kind of cool stripped.
I have your address and the clutch and cams are boxed to go out USPS in the AM
What spring are you running? Did you ever get a Ti YZ spring for your bike?

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted March 09, 2012 - 10:16 PM


nope, I'm still going to run the factory springs. It's not that I wouldn't mind swapping them out, its just I've got other priorities to spend my pay check on right now.. haha.. As I said in the email, here was a recent project I've been working on.

The hurricane graphic kit didn't really like lining up with aftermarket tank.. so... I used my copy of Adobe Illustrator CS5, scanner, ruler and a lot of patience (about 16hrs worth of the stuff) to recreate a vector base drawing of the hurricane shrouds (making subtitle changes) and completely modifying the tank shape. I think it turned out really well. Now, if I ever damage a graphic, I can take my artwork into a local shop and get them to reprint a replacement.

Don't mind the water mark.. I figure I may as well make it more difficult for someone to seal my work;

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Yeah.. I'm just that OCD...

  • n16ht5

    TT Addict

3,344 posts
Location: Washington

Posted March 11, 2012 - 12:26 AM


Wow,, looking good

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted March 19, 2012 - 05:06 PM


Thanks n16ht5, and MaxPower, did you get them out the door yet?

So, once I got the swingarm disassembled and sandblasted I realized that in fact, the swingarm was junk. So I needed to find a new one, here's the pictures of the damage.

Look closely at this shot, and you can actually see the bearing;
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and, you can see how the actual casting around the pivot was actually weak enough to deform;
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So, I found a new swingarm from a 2004 YZ450f on Kijiji within a 5hr drive from my place, so this weekend I went and picked it up to drop it off at the powder shop. Anyways, the powder shop was pretty backed up and couldn't get to prep the part, so in the interest to save time (and gas money) I asked if I could just prep the part for them. So, here's a semi step by step intro to professional powdercoating.

First, sandblast your part. Absolutely no shinny metal can remain, then unlike what's pictured on Youtube about home powder kits, the shop really didn't seem concerned about doing a mad frantic whip down of the part. All they really wanted was a really good squirt with an air gun. It took about 20mins to blast the part with a pretty aggressive sand element. After I was finished I hung part on a fancy dancy automatic conveyer system.

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Next, wait for conveyer to move part thru a pre-heat oven. It took about 3 minutes for the part to be pre-heated to around 100 degree's;

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While the part is getting pre-heated, clean your equipment and prep the tools/work area for the next color.

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And here's where the magic starts.. here you can see the semi in the middle of coating part shot just before it goes into the final inspection lights and vacuum area.

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Once it leaves that area, it's a short ride before the part is baking in the oven.

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About 10 minutes later, the part was checked for achieving at least 200 degree's to make sure the coating would've fully adhered to the part;

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Once it passed the heat test (about 10 mins bake time), here's the swingarm all finished up, waiting to cool :thumbsup:

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It was such a cool day, getting to see and help out with powdercoating. Now, I'm not so intimidated about the mystical art of coating, and I'm extremely grateful for them letting me observe and work in their work area. In a short bit I'll unwrap all the parts and show how they turned out.

Edited by rs25, March 19, 2012 - 05:40 PM.


  • redhurricane

    TT Titanium Member

2,880 posts
Location: Colorado

Posted March 19, 2012 - 05:37 PM


nope, I'm still going to run the factory springs. It's not that I wouldn't mind swapping them out, its just I've got other priorities to spend my pay check on right now.. haha.. As I said in the email, here was a recent project I've been working on.

The hurricane graphic kit didn't really like lining up with aftermarket tank.. so... I used my copy of Adobe Illustrator CS5, scanner, ruler and a lot of patience (about 16hrs worth of the stuff) to recreate a vector base drawing of the hurricane shrouds (making subtitle changes) and completely modifying the tank shape. I think it turned out really well. Now, if I ever damage a graphic, I can take my artwork into a local shop and get them to reprint a replacement.

Don't mind the water mark.. I figure I may as well make it more difficult for someone to seal my work;

Posted Image

Yeah.. I'm just that OCD...


Looks strikingly similar to graphicmx.com's retro yellow/black set.

  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted March 19, 2012 - 05:41 PM


So on route back home, I guess winter isn't ready to leave yet.. so far we've got about 15 cms (6 inches) of snow fallen in about 3hrs, and it's not supposed to let up all thru the night. Weather report stays it's expected to have about 35 cms accumulation and the roads were HORRIBLE.

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anyways, here's all the parts unwrapped. Now, I'll prep them by installing new bearings, feeding a tap thru all the holes, and stripping the engine mounting points of all of the coating. Sexy sexy sexy

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  • zibbit u2

    TT Bronze Member

345 posts
Location: British Columbia

Posted March 19, 2012 - 05:44 PM


Looks strikingly similar to graphicmx.com's retro yellow/black set.


you're right. But, it's almost a carbon copy of the famed One Industries Hurricane kit with a few subtitle changes. As a matter of fact, my design has changed yet again from that picture. But I'm going to leave the unveil for the final assembly photo's.

  • Just_a_trail_rider

    Get Help Now

6,822 posts
Location: California
Garage View Garage

Posted March 19, 2012 - 05:56 PM


RS25... Its looking real, real good. I have my 05 refurbish going on another thread. I think I can see already that you will have me beat when it comes to appearance. That powdercoat looks great!

I thought about the powdercoat and a color change, but then wondered how I'd maintain it when it gets chipped from riding in the rocky sandy desert where I ride. I went the paint route.

How will the powder coat hold up on that swing arm? Do you ride in a lot of rocks?

Are you concerned about those spots that are now powdercoated that will ultimately house a bearing (steering tube, swingarm, etc...)?




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