sharpecostumes (sharpecostumes) wrote in bike_shop,

KZ440 restoration job: Day 1

Hi! New to the group and most certainly new to what I've just taken on. I guess you could call me one of the idiots that thinks they ought to take on the tough stuff for their first project.

Bought a Kawasaki Z440-D LTD a couple days ago for a song and got it home. It's missing the ignition cylinder (has its coils thankfully) and a headlight is gone. The story behind it's been in a barn since 1987. The wiring harness seems in alright shape, no fluid in the engine and very little (very bad) brake fluid in the reservoir. The clutch case has a hole that has been JB welded shut (previous owner was a shiny fella, even JB welded one of the bolts!) so after chipping that away we got all of the screws off, including the stripped rusted ones. This is just day one so not much has been done, but here is the progress so far...

Here's the bike the day after we got it. All there but the bottom is rusted a bit from sitting upon a dirt floor (pardon the wolf pelt, I was using the bike as reference to show the size of the wolf). You can see the mass of wiring where the headlight, front turn signals, and ignition should be. The gas tank has been painted that color but the badges have been removed.

Inside the destributor is needing a little bit of cleaning. Cranked it around to get the engine to turn over. Good strong compression (had removed the spark plug on that side to check)

Tank is off now as is the carburetors. The right side "LTD 440" cover has been removed to check the fuses and to my surprise, they're all good! Placed paper towels on the carb ports to the engine so nothing ventured in and began to cover the bike back up before it rained again.

Ordered a carb kit so that should be in here in a few days. Both float bowl coveres are off and new floats are secured inside. The main jets came off with ease but the pilot jets had been stripped by the previous owner, I couldn't get a good solid grip with the flathead to do much good... To the right you can see the main jet resting on the case.

Had to peel out the old gaskets. Will be nice to replace those.

Thanks to the previous owner once more, two of the screws on the top of the carbs have been stripped. PB blasted all screws though in hopes they could be worked loose, sadly, it was to no avail. All other screws came loose though...

Had been looking at a diagram while working with this area. I'd seen there was a spring inside and had readied myself for a rather angry one. Once those screws came off though I wiggled the top off to be met my a rather docile spring. The gasket in there I may leave as it seems in pretty sound condition. The gas tank on the other hand....

No ignition meant no key. No key meant no key to open the gas tank. So! Grabbing a flathead screwdriver and gently placing it in the tank cap hinge, I pried gently till to popped open. No damage to the tank or the lock! All of my excitement pretty much vanished once I saw the inside.

The entire interior is peeling and rusted. I was told though of a method of removing all the paint inside and how to reline it so I think I may go with that...

...aaand that's it for Day 1. Not much more I really can do currently. I'm needing to order a decent list of things, an ignition being one of them as well as a new driving belt (81's were chain driven, but this one was retrofitted with a belt as well as a few other parts from a few other bikes as well), new front forks (current ones are rust pitted), most likely new brakes, head light (bike has the bracket and pigtails for the wiring) front turn signals, and a few other things. Seat is in good shape as is a good portion of the bike.

Up next will be adding new jets/gaskets ot the carbs, going through the clutch, installing the ignition, going through the rest of the wiring, putting in the battery to check the electrical parts on the bike, and Flushing out the old brake fluid...

Any tips, information about the Kawasaki Z440, or anything you may see on the pictures, I'm more than willing to learn what I'm able. Thanks for viewing!

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