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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'08 Ninja sat too long and is getting refurbed. Its in great near-mint condition with only 1100 miles on it.
I plan to bring it back to life to sell it for extra cash as truck down payment for my son. Mostly its small stuff so far.
  • Needed a carb rebuild - I did a trade-in with Custom Carb Services but have yet to install
  • Ducts between airbox and carbs - bought replacement
  • New air filter needed obviously
  • Tank cap was stuck locked shut. Found a YouTube trick to get it open without drilling by turning the key enough to unlock but still able to pull the key out, then put in a flat-head screwdriver and turn it. You can put a lot of torque on the screwdriver where the key would break. That worked but now the tank cap needs either replacing or rebuild because it still doesn't operate cleanly and is sticky. Have seen some whole assemblies on eBay for under $20 and might try that route, hoping it really is the correct valve assembly.
  • Tank fuel valve - clogged and dried out gaskets. Bought a replacement that is near identical and believe will work. Otherwise have to disassemble and clean / repair the old one.
  • Tank needs cleaning. All I know to try is filling it with vinegar that supposedly will remove rust if any is there. It had old gas sitting for maybe 4-5 years (which is why it has all the other fuel path problems)
Remaining is to check the brake system, cooling system, engine. I pulled a plug which looks fine but could not see into the cylinder well. My son got a endoscope type camera for Christmas so we will be using that to peek inside the cylinder. And the gas tank.

Is there anything that should be done in the cylinder/piston/oil before trying to crank it? Like spraying some PB Blaster in to soak away any possible gumminess from old oil/fuel?

Figured on draining whatever oil is there, adding new oil with some engine flush, the plain cheap kerosene type flush, and running it with that for a few minutes then draining and refilling with good oil+new filter. Or is there some other magic engine de-gunk I should use?

Not sure what to do with the brake system, it seems okay but only used during moving the bike on/off a trailer. Is is likely that there are any rubber gaskets or o-rings or other stuff that might be dry rotted and will pop at the worst moment? Should the old brake fluid be okay or should it be bled out and refilled?

Most important is what other things should be checked out to get it into good shape? I'm hoping with all the guru's here that somebody will point out any super important things I need to look into while getting this old bike up to snuff.
 

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See:


especially 3.3 shows interchange of GEN1 and GEN2 EX500 parts
 

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hi, it's hard to suggest what to do seeing as how your trying to get it up and running in order to sell it. the more you spend on it the less return you will get in the end.
doing it up to keep and run is a different story a bike stood so long should be completely refurbed. with a complete fuel rebuild, complete brake overall, (with new fluids) complete rear suspension overall, rocker and bushes. chain and sprockets. new battery and cleaned connectors. valve clearance check, coolant change, new oil and filter, in general anything that moves re lubricated like cables and pivot points. the clutch is also probably stuck on and will need freeing when the bike is running, also those tires are probably as old as the bike so 14 year old by now so should really have new ones fitted.
the list can be endless and all of it will eat away the profit margin. what I'm trying to say is you only need do what is required to sell it and let the new owner worry about doing all the other stuff just be honest and tell them it's been sat awhile and needs checking over. then get it running and turned around ASAP.
or do all the work and try to get a premium price for it but it could cost around 1200 bucks by the time it's finished, (no need to ask how I know) lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hi, it's hard to suggest what to do seeing as how your trying to get it up and running in order to sell it. the more you spend on it the less return you will get in the end.
doing it up to keep and run is a different story a bike stood so long should be completely refurbed. with a complete fuel rebuild, complete brake overall, (with new fluids) complete rear suspension overall, rocker and bushes. chain and sprockets. new battery and cleaned connectors. valve clearance check, coolant change, new oil and filter, in general anything that moves re lubricated like cables and pivot points. the clutch is also probably stuck on and will need freeing when the bike is running, also those tires are probably as old as the bike so 14 year old by now so should really have new ones fitted.
the list can be endless and all of it will eat away the profit margin. what I'm trying to say is you only need do what is required to sell it and let the new owner worry about doing all the other stuff just be honest and tell them it's been sat awhile and needs checking over. then get it running and turned around ASAP.
or do all the work and try to get a premium price for it but it could cost around 1200 bucks by the time it's finished, (no need to ask how I know) lol.
Yeah, I'm not planning to do a full rework, but wanted to hit major areas that should be easy to take care of. Agree that there's no return on money spent after a point. With only a few miles on it, there shouldn't be any internal engine, clutch or trans. components (i.e. valve clearance) that's gone out of spec or has problems. Some things don't cost much like changing coolant but are worth doing. I don't know much at all about brake systems so that's a question mark for now.

One thing that concerns me is if the inside is possibly gummed up from old oil. The clutch is working BTW, I can change between 1-N-2 already without turning the engine. I think next will be looking inside the cylinders and spraying inside a little PB Blaster to help disolve anything that might have formed around the rings before cranking it for real. Also, when its to the point of trying to actually start it, plan to add some motor flush to some new oil to help clear out the internals. That will be "wasting" 3qts of oil and filter but that's okay at only about $20.
 

· Moderating: Fair & Just
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The bad news is, there is a high likelihood that bike is in need of a valve adjustment. It could very well have missed its most important one at 600 miles. I have seen many of these bikes at a local used bike dealer that had a similar mileage you're stating. More than likely bought (or traded) from owners that blew off the break-in maintenance and just dumped it once it started running like crap.
The good news is, there's no real money involved in a valve adjustment.

Something else to consider:
If the bike is in top notch condition. Consider selling the engine separate from the rest of the bike. The engines on these bikes are drawing a lot more money than they were a few years ago. I would be willing to bet the bike without the engine would also draw a respectable bit of cash, especially if the fairings are pristine. Even I would have an interest in buying an EX in near new condition minus the engine for a substantial higher amount of money that most of the used EX's go for. Just wouldn't want to buy an engine that has had motor flush run through it.
 

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yes @bpe agreed, ok you have my input take it as it is just a suggestion, not sure of US federal or state laws but here in the UK there are literally only 3 ways to sell a used bike legally, a non running restoration project (barn find) a running but non road worthy bike that requires work to put it on the road, and fully running road worthy machine with vehicle inspection (MOT).
in order to sell it (option 3) the tester will ensure the bike is roadworthy in every way and fail it if not up to a good standard. so fully working engine, brakes, suspension, tires, and so on. this is the bit that costs money.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The bad news is, there is a high likelihood that bike is in need of a valve adjustment. It could very well have missed its most important one at 600 miles. I have seen many of these bikes at a local used bike dealer that had a similar mileage you're stating. More than likely bought (or traded) from owners that blew off the break-in maintenance and just dumped it once it started running like crap.
The good news is, there's no real money involved in a valve adjustment.

Something else to consider:
If the bike is in top notch condition. Consider selling the engine separate from the rest of the bike. The engines on these bikes are drawing a lot more money than they were a few years ago. I would be willing to bet the bike without the engine would also draw a respectable bit of cash, especially if the fairings are pristine. Even I would have an interest in buying an EX in near new condition minus the engine for a substantial higher amount of money that most of the used EX's go for. Just wouldn't want to buy an engine that has had motor flush run through it.
Why would you think it has a high likelyhood of valves out of spec? I am the only owner of it, bought from the showroom floor. It ran great prior to its long period of sitting untouched, and don't think the valves can go out of spec from sitting but I'm not a mechanic. Actually I'm pretty sure it went to the dealer for the first maintenance, to make sure that couldn't be used to deny warranty if it ever came to that. In addition, later took it to a place to clean, sync and tune the carbs, just to see if I could sqeak a little extra out of it. Its always run perfect and no maintenance was blown off until life suddenly got real complicated and it sat unused for a long time.

But I'm not interested in parting it out, that would mean finding multiple persons interested in different parts and I don't have the time to deal with that. I suppose somone who wants the major / expensive parts could buy the whole bike, in near immaculate condition, then take whatever parts they need to install on some other bike then sell the rest on their own. Personally I'd rather know someone bought it to enjoy the ride, but that's up to whoever buys it. If someone wants to just remove fairings other parts to put on their favorite old beater thats up to them. On motor flush I've run it through several other vehicles and never had any issues. Its petroleum based and all it does is thin the oil and act like a mild solvent to dissolve old deposits enough to get into the filter or drainpan. Should never be a problem if it isn't run for long, nor at high rpm, and the oil is changed right away. I have read about people starting up vehicles with gummed areas at the piston rings that develop problems in the cylinders leading to rebuilds though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yes @bpe agreed, ok you have my input take it as it is just a suggestion, not sure of US federal or state laws but here in the UK there are literally only 3 ways to sell a used bike legally, a non running restoration project (barn find) a running but non road worthy bike that requires work to put it on the road, and fully running road worthy machine with vehicle inspection (MOT).
in order to sell it (option 3) the tester will ensure the bike is roadworthy in every way and fail it if not up to a good standard. so fully working engine, brakes, suspension, tires, and so on. this is the bit that costs money.
Only some states here in the US require inspections, as the majority of that business has largely been determined as non-productive regarding its slated purpose, and ends up as an unecessary burdon but the shops like it becasue its like welfare for repair shops, probably especially the ones near the testing centers.

In this case its not an abandoned bike from a barn, its been either in a garage or storage unit its entire life so there isn't any abuse nor strange / unknown things that have been done to it. I'm pretty sure that I don't really have to do anything other than put the carbs back on, change the oil and it will start and run without issues (for now). Once its up and running a "tester" at one of the testing centers won't be able to distinguish it from a new bike. Being a little OCD and it being my own bike in perfect shape, I want to put a little extra in to make sure its good to go.
 

· Moderating: Fair & Just
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@FL500 I didn't realize you were the original owner. If you already did the 600-mile valve adjustment, then I would fully agree that another valve adjustment wouldn't be necessary. ;)
 

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Why would you think it has a high likelyhood of valves out of spec? I am the only owner of it, bought from the showroom floor. It ran great prior to its long period of sitting untouched, and don't think the valves can go out of spec from sitting but I'm not a mechanic. Actually I'm pretty sure it went to the dealer for the first maintenance,
with due respect if we are not given all the relevant information how are we supposed to guess what condition it's in.
if all you say is correct just get it running and sell it on. and btw yes any tester would know the bike has been laid up most of it's life due to the age and mileage. and would flag up things like 12year old tires for sure.
main thing to check for is rodent/insect intrusion on the wires and in the airbox if all is clear just off load it and move on.
 

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'I'm pretty sure it went to the dealer for the first maintenance"

Honestly, many dealers blow off the 600 mile valve adjustment. I'd choose to sacrifice a few hours of labor to be absolutely sure valves are, in fact, spot on.
 
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