GS500 top end rebuild




I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m replacing a few gaskets in the top end of my 1995 GS 500.  It was leaking oil from the cylinder head gasket.  I got a complete engine Genuine Suzuki gasket kit on Ebay for $110 shipped.

I wrenched on this sucker all weekend.  I had a stuck header bolt, which took about 4 hours to get off.  The block is made of aluminium, and the bolts were steel.  So steal expands and bonds with the aluminium.  I replaced the header bolts with stainless steel threaded rod and nuts.

On top of all that, the piston crowns are quite fowled with carbon, and I left them that way.  I coulda scrubbed it off, but I didn’t want the crap to fall down into the engine, and I didn’t want to pull the pistons.  The valves were also really carbony, and I likely shoulda spec’d everything out while I had it opened.  But I figure, it ran ok before I took it apart, I’m cleaning some of the crap out, so it should run better, right?  We’ll see.

After I got ‘er all back together at 10:30pm Sunday night, I turned it over with the starter a could times to circulate the oil into the top end.  Everything sounded ok, and I could hear the compression opening and closing the valves.

Then I put the carbs on it and started it for real.  It’s got an exhaust leak where the headers hit the engine.  I tried to chisel out the old gaskets, which must’ve damaged it and caused the leak.  It’s wicked loud now.  There’s also some clicking under the valve cover.  I’m hoping it’s just the cam chain tensioner, which is the easiest fix.  If I hafta take this bitch all the way apart again, I’m gonna be pissed.

Wrenching on bikes is only fun when it works.

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2 Responses to GS500 top end rebuild

  1. Martin_j001 says:

    Sounds as if you’ve learned a universal truth in working on motorcycles. If you think the job will require x number of hours, y number of new parts, and z pairs of hands to complete task a one time, reality is more like x^3+y^2+3z=2a+b+c where b and c are tasks you didn’t think you’d have to do to complete task a, but turns out those were required too. :)

  2. norcalbarney says:

    Haha, yup!

    Refers to motorcycles, office projects, and everything else : ” Everything costs more, everything takes longer.”

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