Kawasaki KZ650 cafe-racer. Cleaning and measuring. Part 1.

I had an ambition to shoot exploded view of Kawasaki KZ650 engine. To shoot that exploded view I have to put on canvas all engine parts, clean and dry. It’s unadvisable to keep engine internals not oiled. May  be it’ll work somewhere in Mojave, but not in Kiev, Ukraine: in long run humidity will make steel parts rusty. So I keep most of engine internals as I take them from engine: even thin old film of oil would keep parts safe from rust for long. My intension was to clean parts right before shooting exploded view of engine and then oil them with new fresh oil. But as it was said: man proposes, God disposes: issues with cylinders and two cylinder heads (if shortly, they all were wrecked during  quite a standard works performed by specialized workshops) and upcoming winter made this ambition unattainable goal.  So I shoved my ambition where the sun does not shine and used last few relatively warm days for engine parts cleaning.

As it always happen with old engine, I had to play gasoline raccoon for quite a long to get result that satisfied me. I cleaned part after part, then I oiled them with new oil that I am about to use in engine after assembling. After such treatment I packed them in boxes which I protected from dust with stretch wrap:

Units like transmission I put apart before washing them.

The engine, parts of which I use, sat for a long years, thus gasoline, numerous brushes and yet one time gasoline applied under pressure is the only way to clean out dirt, hard particles and other depositions. And that’s why this work must be done on fresh air.

Even as service manuals describe in which order all parts should be assembled, with things like gearbox it’s advisable to place all parts in their “natural” order.  However, even if parts were messed, their order still may be “read” from signs of their contact with adjacent parts.

Tools I used for oiling and assembling:

And tools I used for “by-the-way” measurements.

I did all measurements according to the book and in result I got confirmation that most of parts were not only in specs but in those range that book calls “standard” which means dimensions of new part. The only “out of spec” thing was copper bushing of first gear on output shaft. It’s curios, even taking into account that it’s the largest gear on the shaft of smallest diameter as it means intensive use of first gear. I could only assume that previous owner of engine was learning how to ride bike. However, looks like he didn’t own the bike for a long enough as most of engine parts look like new.  And sure, I found and ordered new first gear to get perfect gearbox for my project.

To be continued.

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  1. Enrique Estrada

    Hello Nazar,

    I have been working on my KZ650 engine cleaning internal parts like camshaft components, I cleaned them with mineral spirits, rinse them with water and blowed them dry with compressed air. I plan on storing them for a few weeks in clean ziploc bags until I am able to rebuild again. The question I have is should I re-oil all of the parts again? Or just certain parts need re-oiling? And if so, can I use wd-40 or a silicone-based lubricant? Or does it need to be the exact oil I will be using to run the engine. Thanks a lot!

  2. gazzz (Post author)

    Hi Enrique,

    Bare steel (not plated with zinc or chrome or other kinds of platings) is vulnerable to rust. So it’s advisable to keep steel parts like camshafts, valves, crankshaft, transmission parts, steel clutch plated and so on and so forth oiled. The best for this purposes is clean engine oil. The best is oil you’ll use to run engine.

    Kind regards,


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