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So It Begins: 06 XC/Desert Build

2593 Views 34 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bullvine rider!!
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Some of you may recall that last year I went to Glamis. I got all of 10 mins or ride time and the valves met the piston and that was the end of a 4k Athena 490 build I did. We only reused the cam tower and just saved all the parts in a box in disgust since it tore up the cases and through the motor. As she sits now its a custom done 12.5:1 98mm piston (thank you Matt @ AZ Quad parts!) 470 cylinder by Advanced Machining in Mt. Carmel PA, web cam, race port, steel ferrera +1 valves all the way around, 43mm carb, outwears box lid kit, houser +1 arms, elka 3 legacy fronts, and GT Thunder MX setup in the rear with stock shock.

I tore it down the other day b/c the frame has seen better days and there is a ton of stuff that needs attention. Im again building it up to be a desert/xc quad as I ride in the local sand pits and trails and its like a desert here-all sand. Maybe Glamis again one day but meh been there done that and its fun but it looses its allure after you go a few times.

So far I had one mishap. My old houser +1 arms use a unique aluminum bushing system that they no longer use. Its a AL bushing, with needle bearings thats held in the upper arms with a pinch bolts. I tried to change the bearings but galvanic corrosion-they are a part of the bushing. Houser doesnt make them anymore, BUT I gotta hand it to Alexa at houser-she found me the old supplier whom was more than happy to get me a set. Better than buying new arms. But i still sorta want the arched style arms

my build in many ways was inspired by dirt firsts old school build » Honda TRX450R Race Quad Build Dirt First Racing

Anyways game plan thus far:
-new CRF450 clutch. I think I might go back to stock springs as the feel with my tokyo mod springs is pretty hard. Right now my buddy and I put a CRF500 clutch in there, but I feel as though the plates are to thick causing little play in the clutch setup. its on/off lol and if your not used to it you stall A LOT
-Glann tie rod end kit. this replaces the stock nuts with castle nuts. for the $20 bucks its easier to just buy the kit than source the nuts lol
-Either Im polishing up my pro armor belly skid or more than likely I found this company called BCC that makes very nice poly skids..I think 3/8" is thick enough but they do have a 1/4" and 1/2" option
-I have had enough of bending the swingarm skid. The best one was PRM and sadly they went outta biz and mine is pretty beat by now. I wish I had someone who could bent up alum and fab up some new ones. So Im going to use a glann one. the design is steel so its very strong and you use a poly or AL sprocket guard. Close possible 2nd idea is the lonestar setup with is similar to PRM but steel
-Poly sprocket guard-really interested in this setup. Ive bent to many skid plates on the rocks in PA
-my pro armor nerfs are toast, only set i like and seem decent are made by xfr..the pro armors were a beast so im hoping these are good. otherwise ill pay a fabricator to fix those pro armors lol
-Send my shocks to hygear suspension to be rebuilt and slightly revalved or sprung. rear is slightly to soft and fronts are too hard all the way on soft.
-powdercoat frame, arms, stem. im thinking of going all black, all dark grey metallic or go black or grey and do the a-arms in honda red. Grey color: Prismatic Powders - KINGSPORT GREY

So anyways thats the plan. Too damn cold here at 9F right now to ride so not like I need to go anywhere. Plus theres always the 400ex to ride.

Im also SUPER tempted to buy white plastics, do the frame red and powdercoat the wheels gold to mimic the old 250r-but by the time I do that..another 1000 bucks of junk that doesnt do anything but look nice. Im going to sand the plastics down and heat them up with a torch-it works very well to restore them.
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What do you think caused the piston to valve issue with your Athena 490 kit? My Athena 490 13.5:1 CP kit should be in soon and I’m thinking about doing a manual cam tensioner to help avoid the valves hitting the piston, I know there are other factors that contribute to that but I know that’s one good way towards preventing it.
I and my engine builder believe the stock tensioner failed. Build was brand new build with less than 10 hours on it. There is no other real explanation we can figure out besides it jumping time. I have had them fail randomly before too. Once on a trip to glamis (we truck the stuff out there), while warming it up to load it it began to make noise from the valve train. Its a non refundable thing, so I put it on a truck and bought a tensioner with me for later. Slapped it on and done.

Went to glamis last year, it blew up 10 mins into riding it. BUT there is a chance of mitigating circumstances, 3 months prior a dirt bag stole my quad and we believed the head gasket had failed (dont use the pos paper athena gaskets buy cometic) and the thief beat on it. Either way it failed due to a valvetrain issue

I went with a more mild build to hopefully
1. get more time out of the engine before rebuild, its no fun tearing it down basically every 3 months
2. less chance of failure.
3. manual chain the spring loaded stock one cannot fail if you dont have one lol.

keep in mind a 490 is a 100mm piston, (that is alot more weight even with a better piston) slapping around in there. After a long discussion with the guy who actually does all of my porting, and builds drag bikes he figures the parts wear faster and easier. We had planned on rebuild with piston drop every 25-35/hr depending on wear, crank every 50/hr and cylinder too depending on wear. I did a 470 kit which is only 98mm but I should get more longevity out of it, we figure 50-75/hr before piston drop. I had well over 125 hours before the crank just randomly let go on the stock setup with just a piston drop maybe at 50/hr. Who knows how many hours it had since I bought it used, it was clean but ya never know.
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uh, could ya please delete your posts and put them in your own build thread?
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uh, could ya please delete your posts and put them in your own build thread?
My bad lol I’m very new to this forum stuff. I just posted to get your opinion
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Sounds like a nice build that you got planned!! Looking forward to seeing it come together!

The BCC skids are pretty nice, and their sprocket guards are thick and beefy. The only thing I don’t like about the sprocket guard is it doesn’t work on higher tooth count sprockets. I have a 42 rear on the quad I was going to use it on and it is way too small to protect that size sprocket.

The stainless skids are nice too. They don’t gall like aluminum does which is nice, but the thinner ones bend a bit too much. The RJR ones are pretty thick and beefy.

I agree, I love the Pro Armor nerfs! I have a couple sets that are brand-new and I’m just saving for when I need them. With that being said, I have repaired nerfs in the past and they turned out really well. I had a bunch of the net loops bent and tore off. I had another crappy set of nerfs that I cut the loops off of and then welded onto the PA nerfs. I straightened everything out, welded some stuff, and after powdercoat they looked brand new. Depending on how bad yours are I recommend trying to bring them back to life.

very interested to see how your experience goes with Hygear. Keep us posted.

The 250R theme would be sweet, but yeah, a lot of dough for no go lol.
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@hoser ..I need a favor.. Remember that frame.. Check your PM

But yea its going to come along nicely. I need to drop some coin at rocky mtn and will be ordering up the skids soon. I think the combo glann skid (which looks beefy) and rotor guard should work well. the skid has a nice beefy portion thats built up on the sprocket side. once i get the frame back from powdercoat then the pics can begin.

Oh ars-fx BOUGHT the rights to PRM I found out..I LOVED their skids and its what I currently run on the swinger. They said production should start soon.
Waiting on the powdercoater to finish the frame right now. Freaking 20F here in NJ where I am. Reddy heater in the garage just dont cut it lol so I havent done much

-BCC Skid and sprocket guard ordered
-Glann tie rod nut upgrade kit and swingarm skid ordered
-New EHS lid came. my old one is still functional but getting worn out.
-Need to place an order to Rocky Mtn, thankfully bugging dirt wheels they FINALLY sent my $25 credit you get when you sign up. I swear this is the 3rd year in a row I gotta call or email them for it. I liked when they used to send a gift card. Tons of new goodies, OEM parts, etc will be ordered. New chain, sprockets, clutch, etc.
-Found this site: Honda TRX450R They carry a lot of poly stuff like Glann does but man I LOVE their case saver, chain slider and roller set up. If they offered a sprocket guard with teeth Id buy it. Gonna order some goodies soon

To do:
-New bearing carrier. those ebay ones are so cheap I just toss them every year lol. I keep the old one for a spare if its halfway decent lol
-New swing arm bearings
-Disassemble the swing arm and paint it. Powdercoat is nice but doesnt last. black gloss rustoleum is 6 bucks a can and you can always touch it up.
-Dig thru all the spare parts and make sure I have a swingarm bolt and nut. Yes I know I can get the fancy ones with grease zerks and junk. BUT slathering antiseize all over it and the swingarm itself (where the bearings go) I aint EVER had an issue in years.
-The XFR nerfs are meh, I like the pro armors better but cant find any and fixing them is just not gonna happen right now. The XFR has a large 4" x 3" hole behind the footpeg I assume is for clean thanks. I picked up black diamond plate from lowes and will be mounting it in there with some allen head socket cap screws.
-Going to sand and polish the plastics. If you smart and wet sand them going all the way up to 2000 grit and then polish them with some heavy cutting compound it makes them shine super nice. MAYBE ill even put the gfx on them (fyi they dont sell the stock gfx anymore) I got from some repo company online. B-tards removed the gfx when they stole it 2 years ago
-give the powdercoater the pro armor grab bar I forgot. Debating if I wanna run the PRM with the cooler rack I keep a small gas can on I hardly ever use or what. Even in Glamis going all the to the border from gecko road flat out I still had more than 1/4 tank left.
-Contact hyger suspension and send the shocks out.
-Maybe use some of that left over diamond plate to make a link protector for my GTT MX Link
-Maybe ill buy some GPS beadlocks. I have a set of paddles with them, but I REALLY would like the carbon ring version. Beadlocks are nice I can mount my own dang tires. My ITP grand prix wheels they no longer make have held up well. One is bent, but I got a replacement before they stopped making them.

Im sorry for the lack of pics. Not much progress till I get the frame back from powdercoating.

Thankfully no glamis trip this year so I save about 2500 and can spend it here instead lol
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Can you post a pic of the damage on those pro armor nerfs? I do allot of tig welding, if they are bashed on a strait piece of tube... I cannot bend hard alum tubing with what I got, well never tried at least. Not sure if it its worth shipping em back and forth to Wisco. Just spit ballin here. I know how much you like em.
Ill snap a pic tomorrow

They are literally crushed where nets mount by the foot peg, the mounts would have to be recreated. The rest of the bar is fine and not damaged at all, just the net mount itself.

I know you had a set you said were damaged? Cut the mounts off and send them to me if your gonna junk them? I got someone here who can tig good. Prob cost a small fortune to send it back and forth.
Automotive tire Wood Bicycle part Rim Auto part
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See how the mount is crushed inwards? This bar I actually cut so I could get the net off. If powdercoated the thing would be fine, the underside of them is sorta worn but who cares lol I think only the larger mount would be hard to re-create, the others probably not so much since they are the same as everything else on the nerfs
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Dude, those ain’t bad at all! A couple of mine were bent worse than that. I even had some of the angled ones bent up. I just whacked them all off and welded new ones on. And I actually just MIG welded them and they look factory, well at least after I had them powder coated lol. I would just strip them, find some new mounts, weld them on and get them powdercoated.
Gotta agree with hoser on this one. Heat the bent ones with some map gas, bend em back with something like a screwdriver or a chisel. You'd be surprised how easily they will bend to your will. As for the busted one, any competent welder/fabricator could make something up for ya. Very doable for not allot of money. I feel like the pow coating will cost more than the fix, well in here in Sconni anyway. we got more welders than pow coaters. They're worth it. I'm gonna fix mine cus the Albas are junk and quality nerfs are way to expensive.
Im gonna try and see if my buddy can fab some mounts up. otherwise Im gonna chop them off once I find a set of cheap nerfs I can cannibalize.
Table Textile Tablecloth Red Bicycle handlebar
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Mounts ordered for the nerfs. Rath is sending me some and I found a company out of Austrailia called Van Vliet Racing that makes specific tabs for the nets for pro armor bars. Per pro armor there is no new old stock, they sold everything to atv galaxy who is less than reputable anyways but they dont have squat either. Lets see how that goes once they come in

Frame is back from powdercoater, thought it would be more black than gray but Im happy none the less. Maybe I should have coated the arms and stem black, too late now. Arms are done, need another ball joint tho and waiting on that. The lower arms they got a little to sandblast happy and def wore the metal slightly inside the hole where the bearings ride, I also think they coated them by accident and sanded the insides down :( bearings literally slip right in with prob a good mm or so but no play. I have some delrin so I may try to make bushings. Reality is I applaud houser for a good design using bearings like you would the linkages and shocks-but what a PITA to make work. everyone else uses delrin bushings for a reason including honda.. I have enough material so that if I ever want to make them I can. I like houser arms the best as the uppers have an extra cross bar in between the arm from side to side that really makes them sold compared to other makes. YFZ arms are pretty similar just the cross bar on the end. The lowers are also quite beefy as well.

Havent accomplished much, its very cold here and the garage is poorly insulated so even with a hot dawg heater it zaps the heat right out after about 15-20 mins of the heater being off. We also got a foot of snow friday into saturday. Plus Im sitting there cleaning every nut, bolt, wire and hose, waiting on parts as well. I dropped some coin at rocky mtn for a ton of odds and ends, nuts, bolts, etc that I either broke or just are worn out after all these years.

To do:
-Put some self adhesive rubber on the subframe, where the plastics ride over the years the plastics literally rubbed a gouge into it.
-Send shocks to be rebuilt and redone
-Still waiting on seat from quadtech. i placed the other a month ago and they said 6-12 weeks, last email was like "eh when we get to it, we get to it"
-Possibly rebuild flex bars
-Re-pack exhaust
-Front wheel bearings, maybe paint the hubs.
-Tear down rear axle, new ebay carrier and keep old one as back up (there so cheap why bother replacing the bearings?)
-Clean up plastics. Planning on wet sanding up to about 1200 then polishing with cutting compound and wax. Also need to take a propane torch on low and melt imperfections. You can make them look 100% again.
-Install engine, wiring, etc into frame
-Polish wheels
-Polish bumpers
-Powdercoat the pro armr grab bar I found in my shed :)
-Fix nerfs and powdercoat, new nets from JSR
-Oh and rebuild top end of the 400ex and clutch while Im at it in preparation for hatfield-mccoy in june, and rebuild 2 of my buddies quads too.

Table Textile Tablecloth Red Bicycle handlebar
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread
Automotive tire Bicycle tire Bicycle fork Bicycle frame Motor vehicle
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I really like the frame color. More black would just show wear more. Gonna look trick!
thanks. I think its gonna turn out well in the end. I have so much wrapped up into this one its not even funny. I think theres 8k in the engine between all the rebuilds and then it blowing to bits last year in Glamis. Funny thing is if I had the cash Id have a garage just for toys thats 2x the size. this ones only 18x24. Id also buy a YFZ since there is actual support for them. Cant deny riding a friends we just did up with an exhaust, cams, air filter/intake/box and power commander it is quite powerful. Probably just as much as my 450R. Plus ya know fuel injection. One of these days if I can get me a way to e-start a water cooled CR 650 engine Its going in a TRX frame. Ah to dream lol

Now if only the damn parts would come. I have so much junk on order Im starting to lose track lol.
Yea it doesn't take long to add up. I bought my 450 for 2300. I've got enough into it now that I could have bought one new. Not new Yamaha money, new in 07 trx money. That's mostly resto, with minor mods like an axle. Bearings, tires, new bolts and bits and pieces add up, but at least I know what I got. I guess I've spent money on dumber things. Today I watched a 1990 honda pilot fl400 go for $30,000 and change on Bring-A-Trailer. Good trx 250rs are like 14!
^ Insanity
It’s looking good! I like that frame color a lot. How much are the JSR nets now? Last time I talked to them They were $45, I need a couple sets and hope they haven’t gone up much. I’m also still curious to see how things go with Hygear.
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