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Last of the Minoans
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Discussion Starter #1
I know there have been questions like this posted before, but every case is different and finding good replacement engines seems to be getting harder.

This is a question about what future strategy I should take. My RD07a AT will have covered 100,000 miles by the end of July, but at that time I'm likely to be moving house further from work, increasing the commute on an already tired and increasingly rattly old campaigner. The chassis components have always been renewed and refurbished as they need it; I rebuilt the forks a few years ago, and fitted a new rear shock among loads of other work, so that side of things doesn't concern me.

Dealing with the engine would be a lot cheaper than buying another bike, even something like an old TA with lower mileage. In any case, what is there out there for reasonable money that's like an AT? Basically I would want to keep the bike another eight years or so, and perhaps go around the clock again. However, the last time I saw a decent low mileage AT engine was at the Kelso BMF show last year, when the particular breaker wanted £500 for it. That looks like pretty much the going rate for a good one, but finding a good RD07 engine is probably not going to be straight forward (the RD04 engine has different ignition electrics - something I would prefer not to have to mess around with).

The question is, with the cost of parts and the associated hassle, would it be worth doing a major strip and refurbishment with this mileage? The work would have to be extensive - I was thinking in terms of new crank bearings, changing the cam chains and tensioners of course, a rebore and new pistons and rings, reground valves, new clutch and I might as well change the output shaft, seal and bearing for piece of mind even though there is nothing wrong with it at present.

That's a lot of work and is likely to match or exceed the cost of a replacement low mileage unit that can just be swapped over. A low mileage engine may not have been looked after of course, but all the other components (e.g., gearbox) will have less wear. Is a refurbishment the best route to keeping my AT for many years to come, or would it be better to start looking for a really good replacement?
 

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Enquire at a few workshops to see what they would charge for a rebuild.
Remove the engine from the frame your self and take it for them to do the work.
The highest cost for labour is removing and refitting the engine.
A rebuild is :thumbup:the way to go.
 

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First thing that springs to my mind is, wait for a low mileage engine with a trashed output shaft.

Split that and renew the shaft with a new Honda jobby (enabling you to just switch the new engine with your one) or use the shaft from your existing engine.

I reckon a fair few engines get cast aside and forgotten or scrapped because of output shaft failure or because nobody is inclined or brave enough to split them, which should make their value much lower.


Just an idea.



:thumbup:
 

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Last of the Minoans
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Discussion Starter #4
Good point BobA - I hadn't thought of that. That would be a lot of work, but I was planning on that job anyway as a matter of course. StumpyFingers - I can do this all myself, so labour won't be a concern at least. I already know from previous threads that parts cost will be a killer. Just the timing apparatus will be over £120: I know because I already priced that as a job I should be doing as a precaution...
 

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That'll be from sully22252 of this forum.

I've bought loads of stuff from Chris and everything always seems to be better than described and top notch.

Worth buying as a spare I reckon.



Bob :thumbup:
 

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if the engine is not burning oil and not giving any noisy signs of impending failure..

I would continue to run it .. :thumbup:
 

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I'd say either do a basic top-end rebuild inc cam chains and piston rings if required or get a replacement engine.

I suspect that if your's is rattly/worn, a whole host of other items not on a usual rebuild list will rear it's ugly head like cam bearings that are machined into the head, do you have the equipment to accurately measure these, if they are worn it'll be big £££s to put right. And when you have spent all that time & money it still won't be as good as a good low mileage motor.

You have time on your side, find a decent motor for the right price and run yours till it goes pop (which it probably won't!)

Phil
 

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Last of the Minoans
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Discussion Starter #11
there was someone on here selling an engine (ebay) for about £350- did you see it?
Incredible! No I didn't see this, and I have to say for the money it seems like a reasonable bet even with the mileage. As Raymo says, mine's probably unlikely to go bang any time soon, but having this as a reserve sitting in the shed would be good piece of mind. Typical that I don't have £375 to hand at the moment (and that it's about as far away from Fife as you can get without leaving the UK...).

Thanks for the replies - much appreciated!
 

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Last of the Minoans
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Discussion Starter #12
Just an update - I've put a deposit down on Chris's engine and will get the balance to him as soon as I can. As everyone said, a top man, and a wealth of knowledge on AT engine rebuilds.

I've not finalised how to collect it, but there are several options. The top end overhaul seems to have included bore honing, new piston rings, new valve seals and springs, with the valves reground as well as the new cam chains - not done by Chris, but likely to be genuine. All in all a pretty decent engine as a reserve :thumbright:

However, even after I get it I'll probably keep this one in - at least until it's completed the magic 100,000. I'm thinking I might as well grind the rust off the frame and apply a nice thick coat or three of Hammerite while the lump is out (I'm going to go for black rather than silver - shame you can't get matt or vinyl finishes rather than 'gloss'), and might as well change the swing arm bearings while that's apart - I have most of the bearings, colars and seals ready to go.

Maybe one day I'll buy some other bike, perhaps when Honda bring out a genuine replacement;). However, for now the future of my particular well-used AT seems assured for another few years. Unless I crash it or it gets nicked...
 
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