Last year I bought a Suzuki DR800, the biggest one-cylinder available. Unfortunately it came with some unexpected engine problems. So I took it all apart and learned all parts of this bike thoroughly. So now I can plan to take it on a long journey. Underneath you can see the process in pictures!
The Suzuki DR800 just bought and driven to Rotterdam. When I brought it to a garage for some routine maintenance they found a serious gearbox problem. The engine needed to be taken apart. I decided to do it myself.
This add says ‘you don’t understand each others language but you do understand eachother’ was my inspiration to start this project.
Through noppenforum.com I came in contact with Zappa, who was so nice to give a second opinion (yes, you need to take it apart), gave the tips and how-to’s about the reparation and let me drive his well-tuned DR. Then I knew for sure it would be worth the time and energy!
The DR in front of the DIY-garage, before I took it all apart :)
First/second session: Take of all the plastic, tank, carburator, hoses and wires and drain the oil.
Third session: Fred Lentz aka Lentz Sr. helped me to take out the engine!
The 800cc one-cylinder finally free.
The gap in the frame makes the motorcycle feel like a bicycle when you move it :)
The engine waiting to be taken apart and split in half in order to fix the gearbox bearing.
Fourth session: just the engine block and me (and a BMW above my head :)
Took the cilinderhead and cilinder off.
The giant piston of the 1-cylinder is revealed!
Getting the magneto rotor off is the next step.
Next time I hope we can split the engine block and finally see what is actually wrong with the gear box.
Together with my brother we got the magneto rotor off! Quite some force was neccesary :)
Only also a bit too much force on the clutch housing. Broke off a part and have to search for a new one…
Catch of the fifth session
Sixth session, found a lot a dibris under the oil sump filter.
Probably pieces of the clutch cover and some of the bearing cage of the clutch.
Finally can see where we were working on, you can clearly see the damaged bearing behind the clutch housing.
Close-up of the damaged bearing.
Victory moment: splitted the engine housing into two.
No only the bearing, but also the plate keep the bearing in place is broken.
Also maybe replace other bearing that don’t feel smooth like this one from balancer shaft.
At the end of sixth session, wondering what is behind the clutch axle on the other side at the gearbox. Also a bearing that needs to be replaced???
Seventh session, new parts finally arrived. Got out the bearing on the other end of the clutch axle. Left the new bearing, right the completely worn out one, all needles and the cage were gone.
The axle damage the surface of the block casing, but the surface where the bearing will be placed look flat/undamaged.
The surface of the end of the clutch axle look deformed. Might need te replace it (?)
Two of the gears have mayor damage and need to be replaced. End of session, now look for parts again.
The two gears and axle that need to be replaced.
Got a nice new gearbox on German Ebay thanks to a tip on noppenforum.com
Reassembled the gearbox and balancershafts
Used liquid sealant as prescribed
Reassembled the balancersprockets and chains, rotor and startergear.
But on the other side during assembly I found out that there is a some movement along the axis of the oil pump.
And worse, the sprocket doesn’t rotate smoothly…
Didn’t check the oil pump when I could :(
So I will take the engine apart again…
when I get back from vacation to check the oil pump.
Even my plan to keep my shoes clean
Really glad I took the engine apart again since the oil pump is al warn out and doesn’t rotate smoothly. Buy and wait for a new one….
Got the new oil pump in and the base of the engine together (no pics). Now rebuilding the cilinder: View of the four valves
After reassembling the entire engine once again, one part remained…
…but I found it on the technical drawings…
… and gladly I could install it without too much problems!
The cam chain was put back…
The cams show some colour difference…
… but no severe damage so I didn’t replace it.
The cilinderhead and the corresponding screws.
More detailed pictures of the inside of the cilinderhead just in case.
I used the original rings for the cilinder head bolts while not sure if the replacements would fit just as good.
Finally the engine completed!
Time to get it into the frame again.
The table in the workshop looks really empty after a year :)
The engine starts!!! After a year, within a few tries the engine came to live.
But with some fuel leakage.
So I took apart the carburetor after intensive online study :)
A lot of the rubber sealings were bad…
and I replaced them with fresh ones!
I also cleaned all parts thoroughly.
Got some online advice about remarkable signs of wear, like this black residu, but no need for replacement.
A close up of the floater bowl that was leaking the fuel.
I replaced the wheights and adjusted them to close the fuel input earlier to prevent overflow.
The result: a clean carburator with new rubbers and better bolts.
With transparant tubes I rechecked the fuel level, a bit high but it will do for now.
The automatic decompression cable has some slack but does what it should do: open the outlet valves while starting the big cilinder.
Handsome help along the way.
Very keen on learning more about mechanics.
The spark plugs were black so cleaned them for now, new ones will be purchased later.
For the first time outside!
Test driving step by step, first close to the garage, then around town and finally the highway.
After a few testdrives decided to attach the covers.
Back where I started more then a year ago, but with a smooth running engine, a lot more knowledge about motorcycle mechanics…
…. and much more proud to drive this unique motorcylce!
Now I am testdriving/fintuning it more and more and planning the first trips abroad!