'86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Reference and discussion for the various air-cooled KDX models
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Clatter
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'86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Post by Clatter » 04:42 pm Feb 11 2019

So, it all started years ago;
Having not had a dirt bike in many, many years, then later on having two boys,
It was only logical what needed to happen...

They started on a PW50, then up to a CRF50, then finally a proper KX60 for each of them.
Here, we finally made it all the way up to the top of the hill at Hollister..

Image

The aircooled KDX is of course the perfect bike for a dad to tend to beginning riders.
Need a kickstand so i can get off,
Help them pick it up,
Get it started,
Wipe tears,
Etc.
Then, be able to start right up and catch back up with them(!)
Nice to have it aircooled, simple and light, easy to work on.


So,
Having had really good luck with junk from Craigslist, (insert ominous doom music clip here)
And a reasonably well-equipped shop to work from,
A non-mechanical friend wanted to have his kids do some riding too.
Of course, here in the PRC (People's Republic of California) you have to have a bike from '02 or earlier,
Otherwise, the man legislated that you can't come to any state parks except when they say so.. :butthead:
So,
A one brother helps another from another mother,
And now a few more 15+-year-old Craigslist dirt bikes become my responsibility! :boogie:

What could go wrong?
Image

We'll get to the '86 KDX200 here in a bit..

Clatter
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Re: '86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Post by Clatter » 05:35 pm Feb 11 2019

So,
My friend hasn't ridden in a long time, and a quad at that (we're learning to forgive him for the quad part),
And needs a dirt-bike to ride with kids as well..

My experience with Craigslist is that you either get great stuff that needs nothing, like my white '88 pictured above,
or total junk that needs everything, um, like the green '86, here.. :doh:

So, it seems that '86-'88 KDX 200s are getting a bit hard to find anymore.
When one comes up on CL, you have to jump, or drive a long ways away (or both).
Because I'm already tooling up to work on the '88, we needed to find another.
One came up a couple hours' drive North in San Rafel or something,
And it was a weekday,
So my friend Dave, who was homeless and staying with us at the time,
Volunteered to use our truck and trailer and $1000 to go get it for us in the middle of the week.

He came back with little of the $1000, and the sorriest actually running dirt bike i had ever laid eyes upon...
:blink:
As a matter of fact, it stopped running after starting ONE time because the kicker stripped out the second time we tried to start it.

Will try to find some pics, but it had old battered KX plastics on it, had been painted three times in different colors,
And about half the bolts were missing, or SAE bolts cross-threaded in place.
The pipe had been hit hard enough that the cylinder at the exhaust ports was cracked.
Total POS...

So i dove in to making the thing actually usable (Dave was MY fault after all).
It got a kicker assembly, throttle assembly, petcock, carb rebuild, shock linkage rebuild, etc. etc.
Just the basics to get it ride-able..
Put some plastics on it so it didn't look completely sorry,
Image
But,
Alas,
Sorry it indeed was.
It had been ridden hard and put away wet.


My friend got to ride it a few times,
But it was time to make right.

To be continued...

Clatter
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Re: '86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Post by Clatter » 06:18 pm Feb 11 2019

So my oldest and my friend's both seem to like the vintage bike thing...
Wouldn't it be cool if they both had an aircooled KDX to ride to school?
I hear you can get a plate if you pay off the right person..

Since Mom had to work all weekend, and it was raining,
We broke some child labor laws, and put them on disassemble/clean.

Big kids on motor teardown:
Image


Little kids on cleaning and paint stripping:
Image


This frame was bent, and had paperwork issues.. That's why you see a silver frame being paint-stripped above:
Image

Later on,
I got a hand at stripping things down.

Forks (luckily) responded to the impact treatment.
Image

Because the cylinder was wasted, and i needed the studs out of it,
Some carneage was required:
Image

There was this short bolt, and a broken (?) bolt in here:
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Turns out it had this repair; they made up this threaded extension piece..
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Not sure if I'm keeping it; it did work, though, right?? :hmm:


The battle rages on; Do what you have to:
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Bought a couple more parts motors off of ebay..
After tanking, it looks like we have a good one here.
The case that came with the bike had too many stripped threads, too many oil leaks, too many coats of old paint. :evil:
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Glass bead Before:
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And after:
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Found an NOS cylinder :supz:
$500!! :partyman:
Had my friend buy it.. :kick:
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Do i really want to bodywork and paint that case cover?? :doh:


Anyways, the bike had the kickstand, top motor mount, chain guards, chain guides, etc. all stripped off of it.
KX plastics, and this shock, make me think it was maybe raced back in the day?
Image

Maybe the bike had been loved way back once,
But it had since been left outside for a long, long time..

Now, i (we :oops: ) have purchased a thousand or so dollars' worth of additional parts for it,
And are waiting for things to roll in.
Still need to strip down the swingarm and forks so they can go to powder coat along with the frame,
Then we can hopefully start assembling things.
I'll be showing off (bragging) about things we got and will be doing here in a bit. :rock:
Image

If anyone is reading this, I'll definitely be hitting you up for some info.
And maybe some parts,
Because,
Dang,
it takes a village,
And I'm in WAY too deep on this one! :blink:

Clatter
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Re: '86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Post by Clatter » 06:52 pm Feb 11 2019

Does anybody know the right paint to use for the cylinder/heads/cases?

The picture on the front of the manual shows the entire engine painted black;
That's correct for '86, right?

Have a real paint spraying rig, so I can do real paint with hardener vs. rattle-can, FWIW.

Real experience from those that know is so valuable when a newbie flails like this..
Thanks in advance.

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Re: '86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Post by KDXGarage » 08:50 pm Feb 11 2019

WOW! Great thread!

Thank you for your efforts to keep one going.

Can you post a pic of the shock? It looks like the wrong reservoir.

1986 and 1987 engines are black. For 1988, they were silver, I think whether it was a white model or lime green.

Nice couple of older and real older Craftsman boxes under the bench!
Thank you, Julien D for keeping the site going.

If you have a question about YOUR BIKE, please tell us what model YOUR BIKE is. :-)

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Also Too Stupid To Stop!!

Post by Clatter » 01:40 pm Feb 13 2019

Here we roll along, no stopping now...!

Newbie has a bunch of questions. :hmm:


First, a couple of pics of the shock; it says 'Lindemann Engineering' on it.
The shaft seems smooth and not pitted, which is nice because most of the white inner fender plastic pieces were missing.
Can you tell from looking if this was a factory shock, or maybe where/what it came from?
Image
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Is this a good pic of what a correct '86 KDX200 should look like?
Image


Went to the paint store yesterday, looking for some good high-temp semi-gloss black.
Pretty much struck out; this was at an auto paint place that carries DuPont (now called Axalta or some such)
They had a bunch of that silly "high temp" rattle can VHT and whatnot,
But my experience with this stuff is that if you spill gas or carb cleaner on it, it just washes off.
Even if you do the whole 'bake it in the oven' routine..

They did have some Por15 high-temp 1200 degree stuff that comes in a spray can,
Was maybe going to try it.
Supposedly flat black, but it also says 'black velvet' which kind of sounds semi-gloss?
Usually the stuff gets brushed on, and is the classic mark of a hack builder in the car circles i run in,
But maybe if i do the whole motor and pipe in the stuff from a spray can it will look and work OK?
Lots of black on the factory motor and pipe, if the pic above is correct..

If anyone out there reads this has any suggestions, I'mm all ears. Mother Kawi obviously had good paint for this.
Anyone?



Here's a couple of pics of the old pipe that came off.
Not just dented, but bent out of shape.
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Image

Impact to the pipe likely caused this crack at the exhaust flange on the cylinder.
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Woulda tried to save a cylinder if i coulda, but, alas, we must move forward..


Parts piling in..! Moneymoneymoneymoney!!
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Chain/sprockets, dogbone/rocker parts lot, seals, stator cover, shoes, pads, etc. etc.


Pushed the bearings out of the rocker we got, the other was bent bad somehow..?
Image

It -looks- to me like the rocker and swingarm pivot use the same bearings and seals..
if this true?
I see swingarm kits but not rocker..
Anybody know?
Please?


Got an extra trans complete from one of the ebay core motors,
Kept it 100% together for tanking in the hopes that i can keep track of where everything goes.. :shh:
Image


No way to use a drift to knock bearing races out of the frame;
Had to use the welder to stick a piece of metal in and knock races free.
This old car axle made the perfect knocker-outer tool. :mrgreen:
Image


This seal set was advertized on ebay for '86-'04 model years KDX200.
Looking at the label, it says '90?
Seems like, save for a few water pump seals it might work for an '86?
Is this true?

I have heard there are quality issues with some of these seals..
Am i setting myself up?

Image


Anyways,
Except for the fork sliders,
I have the whole pile for silver powder-coat.
Image

If i can get the black paint figured out,
We can maybe start some assembly!

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Re: '86 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Post by KDXGarage » 06:06 am Feb 14 2019

Hi. The shock looks to be from a 1983 - 1985 maybe. Look on Google or eBay and you can see what the standard shock looks like.

On the parts, look on www.partzilla.com and you can see the parts diagrams. They also have information on what other models used that same part. Some of those seals will be for your model as well as newer models.

Look up a "bearing race punch". I have this one, besides the factory steering bearing race remover.

http://mayhew.com/product/model-62015-4 ... punch-set/

That pipe has had a rough life. :-)
Thank you, Julien D for keeping the site going.

If you have a question about YOUR BIKE, please tell us what model YOUR BIKE is. :-)

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