EFE Rebuild project.. updated august 2011..

yup.. one year later and the EFE is still running fine.. several issues have been popping up though..

starting the EFE when it's been warmed up has been becoming more difficult for some time.. also the starter clutch had been producing loud clunking noises on these starting efforts.. so the time had come to take off the alternator cover and inspect the starter clutch more closely..

the rollers inside the clutch proved worn and also the hub of the starter gear was covered in dimples from collisions from being hit by the rollers.. luckily I already had a set of -cheap pattern- replacement roller.. didn't have a better starter gear so just cleaned up the battered one hoping it would last several km's more..
in the meantime I started my search on ebay for a better gear that was affordable..

taking off the rotor to access the starter clutch requires the use of 2 special tools: a tool to hold the rotor steady, keeping it from turning while you're using the second tool: the rotor puller itself..
both tools an be ordered from Suzuki but I reckoned I could just as well make these myself..
my "rotor steadier" is just an old front of a MTB with allen headed bolts on the ends that slot into the wholes on either side of GSX rotors..

making an actual rotor puller was a bit more work as you need to find out what parts you need and where to get them..
here's a pic of the DIY rotor puller I welded up (M30x1.5 nut, M20x1.5 nut +bolt)

keep in mind earlier GSX's have a bigger thread (M35x1.5 instead of M30x1.5) when you're also thinking of building your own puller..
despite the sturdy puller it still took quite a bit of effort (big lever on the wrench and lots of heat) to make the rotor budge..

months later when I had finally found a good starter gear I took the rotor off again to swap the gear out and found the once new installed rollers were in a terrible shape.. meanwhile the clunking had returned too which would explain it..
needless to say (but I will anyway) these cheap pattern rollers ARE RUBBISH! DON'T BUY THEM! ..only the genuine Suzuki rollers will stand up to the task..
I was happy to see the replacement starter gear also came with rollers in decent shape..

the result of worn rollers is that they don't grip well.. and as they slip you'll hear a loud clunk as (at least) one of them is fired outwards hitting the roller housing hard.. if this happens often enough the housing suffers (pins and springs inside too) but mostly the steel sheet housing cover starts to bulge outwards.. on my EFE this bulding was so bad that the steel sheet of the roller housing actually started to rub against the starter gear!

strangely enough this only affected hot starts.. starting the bike from cold always worked well, but it seemed the heat from the warming enigine expanded the steel sheet part of the housing.. it was clear this was what causing my problems with the hot starts: the rubbing of the parts onto each other produced so much friction that the engine would barely turn over on the starter motor at all.. at first I thought the starter motor was bad but as replacing it with one I knew was good didn't change anything, I knew it was the starter clutch at fault..

one last thing on this whole issue grabbed my attention when the replacement roller housing didn't fit my rotor at first.. it turned out the starter clutch parts I got were from an GSX1100ESD or EZ.. this model first got the modified rotor which went on to the EFE-models too.. but only the starter clutches on the EFE's were uprated further by the addition of a single pin.. this is a very clever pin as it takes all the heavy side loads from the 3 allen bolts that hold the roller housing onto the rotor.. on earlier GSX's these bolts often snap and people tend to weld the ends to the rotor as a prevention.. the pin seems a far better solution to me..


another matter that has been troubling startup on the EFE has been failing regulators/rectifiers.. not once but twice the reg/rec-unit at some point packed it in.. at first it was the stock one, second was an Electrex replacement I had grabbed off the shelf from the old GSX..
it being my second ever Electrex unit that now broke down too I wasn't keen on getting another one.. despite people still advising them as a good investment..

on my Kat I used a Honda regulator, a Shindengen SH232-12, to great satisfaction as it always worked fine.. so while I was searching online for another one I stumbled across a forum post actually recommending a later type Shindengen reg/rec, the Shindengen FH012AA..
this a mosfet controlled unit instead of the old way of doing it, the SCR shunt type.. this upgraded part has many advantages (stays cooler, so less likely to break down, and way better power regulation) so this was the one to have..
found one on ebay soon..

right.. another thing to fix was the oil leaking from the oilstat..(when using a big oil cooler also plumb in a thermostat to shorten warmup time on cold days).. first I suspected a failing o-ring but after some headscratcing it turned out one of the "push-on snouts" had a pin hole in it..!
I used aluminium solder to plug it up..

with all major troubles fixed it was time to focus on the smaller complaints.. like the spongy feel in the front brake lever..
having tried all sorts of bleeding methods -which produced a better feel only for a short time- and having replaced nearly every component in the brake system, I was close to giving up and just try -yet another- set of calipers..
these current ZX-7rr Nissin calipers are generally well regarded though and are also used on the early MV Agusta bikes like the F4 and Brutale.. so they "should" be good enough..

another close inspection showed especially one piston in the calipers was pitted badly.. so, I decided that if a replacement piston would cure the sponginess I would hang on to these calipers..

afterwards it did take some extensive and repeated bleeding but the feel in the lever did get a lot better.. so much so that only now I started to notice the brake pads actually weren't grabbing the PFM cast iron discs as hard as could be expected..!
so, now I'm looking for pads that fit the Nissins and suit cast iron discs too, which is proving hard.. :-/

soon after the brake riddle I decided to spoil myself and finally get that lathe I've been promising myself for a long time..
it's just a cheap used chinese hobby lathe but once I had it for a while I couldn't imagine doing without it..

as you might notice my kitchen errr.. workshop isn't that big, so moving the lathe in makes it feel a bit cramped.. but it's well worth the sacrifice in space

one of the parts I made on the new lathe is an end piece of a home made baffle for the V&H exhaust can..
(didn't help much though.. the exhaust is still -beautifully- loud.. ;-)

a number of issues still need attention on the EFE.. slight oil weeps on the cylinder blocks, the RS flatties needing further tweaking, etc..
last bit of work was making a new bracket for the instruments as the old one had snapped off..

and also modified the headlight mounts to fit the headlight closer to the -also relocated- instruments..
it makes for a tidier looking front I think..

nice or what? :-)

..go back a page for the story leading up to this current state of affairs on the EFE-project..

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