KZ650 cafe-racer. Engine assembling. Part 3.

I had no time for photo shooting  when I was applying sealant on crankcase contact surfaces. So next photos I took were those of the engine case already assembled, with all bolts torqued to specs.

Kawasaki KZ650: engine assembling Kawasaki KZ650: engine assembling Kawasaki KZ650: engine assembling Kawasaki KZ650: engine assemblingMy next task was pistons and cylinders. First thing I installed new original plugs into the bottom of the cylinder block.

Kawasaki KZ650: cylinders rubber plugs Kawasaki KZ650: cylinders rubber plugs Kawasaki KZ650: cylinders rubber plugs Kawasaki KZ650: cylinders rubber plugsWiseco forged pistons look as always fancy.

Wiseco K700 piston Wiseco K700 pistonHowever, the complete big bore high compression piston kit (K700) in combination with cylinders painted in black look not just fancy, but absolutely awesome. I couldn’t stand the desire to shoot more photos than really was necessary:

Kawasaki KZ650: Wiseco K700 big bore piston kit Kawasaki KZ650: Wiseco K700 big bore piston kit Kawasaki KZ650: Wiseco K700 big bore piston kit Kawasaki KZ650: Wiseco K700 big bore piston kitPutting  rings on pistons and installing pistons themselves are routine works. However some skills and accuracy are (as always)  of essence.

Kawasaki KZ650: engine assembling Kawasaki KZ650: engine assembling Kawasaki KZ650: engine assemblingWith pistons in place and rings gaps aligned according to Wiseco recommendations it was time to prepare things for cylinder installation. First came brand new (Liska Racing) lower idler roller, new genuine roller shaft and damper rubbers.

Kawasaki KZ650: lower timing chain idler roller Kawasaki KZ650: lower timing chain idler rollerThen I put in place oil restrictors with new O-rings (genuine again, one couldn’t trust aftermarket rubbers when it came to the oil distribution system).

Kawasaki KZ650: oil restrictorsNew genuine gasket finished setup.

Kawasaki KZ650: cylinder base gasket Kawasaki KZ650: oil restrictorsKawasaki KZ650: engine assemblingAfter this it was time for some special tools again. For cylinders installation Factory Service Manual proposes to use two special tools: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston Bases. Both tools came in one set of tools (under part number 57001-531). Well, all is clear with the piston ring compressor: it allows you to slip pistons into bores without working on each and every compression ring. However, I suppose not everyone has a piston bases in the workshop. They are merely two U-shaped rods that have to be inserted under the pistons to hold them level while you put cylinders on pistons. However, they turned out to be mighty useful, especially in cases like mine, when the secondary shaft and clutch aren’t installed and therefore the crankshaft is disconnected from the gearbox.  Without these components it’s hard to fix the crankshaft in the chosen position and therefore hard to work out the rings. But even with the clutch components and secondary shaft in place, when the position of the crankshaft may be more or less fixed by switching to one of gears it’s more secure to use piston bases when installing  cylinders…

Therefore, I decided to make it all by the book and produced myself another set of special tools. It was very simple with piston ring compressor as I had this ideal in my mind for a long time: I cut off skirts from four carburetor cleaner caps, just like these:

Kawasaki KZ650: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston BasesAnd took four wide reusable plastic ties (I use them to mount wiring to frame etc, works much better than ordinary wire ties).

Kawasaki KZ650: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston BasesAs for the piston bases, I was lucky to find two pieces of stainless steel pipe of acceptable diameter. They were bent a couple of times before and therefore far from straight, so I straightened them as well as it was possible and made U-bends of acceptable dimensions.  Not the best of special tools I made, but pretty decent for 15 minutes effort.

Kawasaki KZ650: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston BasesComplete set of improvised special tools looked like this:

Kawasaki KZ650: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston BasesAnd here is how they work. Initially I made bands for rings too wide, so later I narrowed them so cylinders went down further and covered oil rings with bands installed.

Kawasaki KZ650: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston Bases Kawasaki KZ650: Piston Ring Compressor and Piston BasesAfter this was ready for cylinder installation. However, it is another part of the story.

Thus: to be continued!

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