'03 WR450 Starter Conversion Tutorial

I am looking for some good solid info on this. I have search alredy but most of the links are gone on the '03 Starter Conversion Tutorial. Thanks in advance,

E4x4Eric,

Yes, you are correct. All of the links to discussions of this topic appear to have disappeared. I was one of the first to install the 2004 starter update in my 2003 WR. It is simple to do and takes less than 20 minutes. I don't have the parts list at hand, but all you are replacing is the 2003 Idler Gear with the 2004 Idler Gear, a round bushing, two spacer washers, a new Idler Gear Cover and a gasket for the cover. You can look at the parts list on the Yamaha Motors website and see what you need. Or, you could ask your friendly Yamaha parts person to help you. Yes, I'll answer questions for you.

E4x4Eric,

Yes, you are correct. All of the links to discussions of this topic appear to have disappeared. I was one of the first to install the 2004 starter update in my 2003 WR. It is simple to do and takes less than 20 minutes. I don't have the parts list at hand, but all you are replacing is the 2003 Idler Gear with the 2004 Idler Gear, a round bushing, two spacer washers, a new Idler Gear Cover and a gasket for the cover. You can look at the parts list on the Yamaha Motors website and see what you need. Or, you could ask your friendly Yamaha parts person to help you. Yes, I'll answer questions for you.

I am new to the WR world and it was a big surprise to find out about the 03 wr450 issues after I bought the bike, so now I am scared to ride the bike.

Nothing to be scared of. The bike is almost 10 years old; if it hasn't had a problem yet, it likely won't. The '04 upgrade is just insurance.... and really easy to do.

Hey guys what do you do this for like what problems does it bring?

as i just upgraded my kickstart side as it snapped and i put a 09 model one on my 03 model 450f

Just did mine last week on my barely used 03. Super easy as I'd say it took less than five minutes, well less than two sips of beer anyways..

Here is the parts list and link to online dealership I purchased mine from as they had the best price I could find and offered great service.

If you have any questions let me know and I'll lend a hand as best possible.

Torque-limited idler gear (called 'Damper Assy' in the parts fische): 5TJ-15560-01-00

2 x Thrust washers (needed for either side of the idler gear): 90201-105A8-00

Idler gear cover plate: 5TJ-1549B-00-00

Bushing for idler gear shaft to flywheel cover fitting: 90380-10002-00

http://www.ronayers.com/

Just did mine last week on my barely used 03. Super easy as I'd say it took less than five minutes, well less than two sips of beer anyways..

Here is the parts list and link to online dealership I purchased mine from as they had the best price I could find and offered great service.

If you have any questions let me know and I'll lend a hand as best possible.

Torque-limited idler gear (called 'Damper Assy' in the parts fische): 5TJ-15560-01-00

2 x Thrust washers (needed for either side of the idler gear): 90201-105A8-00

Idler gear cover plate: 5TJ-1549B-00-00

Bushing for idler gear shaft to flywheel cover fitting: 90380-10002-00

http://www.ronayers.com/

Hey mate why do you do this mod for like what does it stop or prevent from happening?

The stock 03 has a direct idler gear that links the starter to the flywheel if the engine kicks back while using the e-start it can shear the woodruff key off the flywheel thus causing the timing to be off and you sitting dead in the woods unless you carry a spare key and a flywheel puller, I sure don't.

Yamaha fixed this issue by fitting a damper idle gear to the 04 model so if the engine kicks back it asorbs the energy. I sure wasn't going to chance not fixing the issue as I bought a WR mostly for the e-start and reliable engine.

The 04 parts easily retro fit the 03 so it was mostly painful to the wallet but I'm too old to be pushing bikes outta the woods!

I am going to be doing a story about my 2003 WR resurrection (it is Easter ya know). Mostly because I have enjoyed working on it after a ten year hiatus from dirt bikes, don't feel too bad as I have been mountain biking but they just don't have as many parts to tinker with.

I have used this forum to get most of my info, bit of a pain weeding through usless info but do read all the pinned forums as they have a ton of good info and I believe there is even metion of the starter thing in the FAQ part.

Check this out..............http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/136806-wr450f-stator-fault-2003-model/page__p__998675__hl__2003%20wr450f%20woodruff%20key%20recall__fromsearch__1#entry998675

and how can you tell if this has been done to your bike as i just brought mine.

More info here......http://dirtbike.off-road.com/dirtbike/project/project522.html

Look at the cover plate for the idle gear (the one on the left engine cover on the outside of the starter motor), if it is domed versus being flat then you have new parts. Still not sure, pull the cover if there is a funky looking thing with circlips and stuff then your good, if its a solid gear then your screwed.

You can look at the pics on the parts fische also to see the difference between 03 and 04 parts.

Yea that was the fix at the time untill the engine cases gave way due to the design flaw if you loc tited the flywheel on and tighted it down. Then they did what other manufacturers do and put a damper gear in to stop the issue. It's a easy fix and worth it to me as I plan on riding this bike a lot and it's like new. you still need to jet the carb correctly and get rid of the crap that comes on the bike for emissions to minimize the chance of a kickback but sooner than later it will do it and with my luck it will be the farest location from the truck.

E4x4Eric,

Rocky739 is dead on regarding the history of this issue and Seduce correctly identified the parts required. It is a little pricey, but it will prevent you from having the woodruff key shear and turning you into a walker and not a rider. My new 2003 WR fresh from the showroom floor sheared the woodruff key in my garage with 0 miles on the odometer.

There was a change bulletin issued by Yamaha early in the 2003 model year that instructed the dealers to torque the fly wheel nut to a higher torque value and use Loctite on the fly wheel nut. This caused a much worse problem. It indeed kept the fly wheel from slipping, but it didn't allow the force generated by a backfire to be dissipated as the woodruff key sheared and the fly wheel slipped. It instead transmitted the force back toward the starter motor and this often caused the side case to crack.

A little known fact is that the Idler Gear in the 2003 was actually designed to allow the gear ring to slip on the axle shaft above a preset torque to prevent the cases from cracking. The torque was set too high and that contributed to the problem. Yamaha released a modified Idler Gear in mid-model year 2003 with a lower torque value ( I installed one). The problem apparently continued, because the problem was only solved when the 2004 WR model hit the showrooms.

I ride in Mexico and am often miles from roads, telephones or help if I break down -- I paid the money and installed the change as soon as it became available. My Alpine Stars are not "made for walking".

Hey guys will 07 model WR450 parts fit a 03 model for this upgrade or only 04?

Check part numbers on fishe to see if they are the same.

No they are not the same part number but have found previously that doesn't exactly matter if part number is different as I fitted a 08 rh side engine cover to my 03 450 and Yamaha said they don't recommend it as different part number

Hi Seduce. I've got an '03 myself and thinking about doing this mod as well.

Just did mine last week on my barely used 03. Super easy as I'd say it took less than five minutes, well less than two sips of beer anyways..

Here is the parts list and link to online dealership I purchased mine from as they had the best price I could find and offered great service.

If you have any questions let me know and I'll lend a hand as best possible.

Torque-limited idler gear (called 'Damper Assy' in the parts fische): 5TJ-15560-01-00

2 x Thrust washers (needed for either side of the idler gear): 90201-105A8-00

Idler gear cover plate: 5TJ-1549B-00-00

Bushing for idler gear shaft to flywheel cover fitting: 90380-10002-00

http://www.ronayers.com/

I just ordered mine using this info and I saved almost $100. http://www.ronayers.com $230 for everything.

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