Author Topic: 05 cracked head, advice on how far to go with replacement used head  (Read 347 times)

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Offline johnnyfingers

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Hello All,
I am a First time poster, new owner of a buddies 05. he was the original owner, it was well maintained.

He got in a slight mishap, dropped the bike and it has a small oil leak / crack on mounting boss. insurance totaled the bike, and we made a deal.

I bought a used head on EBay, intending to just swap heads, but a few questions:
the bike has around 40K miles. doesn't use any oil, so I plan on just swapping the head.
no idea of miles on used head... super clean though, cam journals look like new.

Are these bikes hard on valves valve guides or seats? should I be concerned? (I will take a look at valves and seats, but really don't want to do a entire tear down)

a head gasket is about 80 bucks...  do I need to go for the base gasket as well?
any thoughts or suggestions on aftermarket gasket sets?


thanks for any advice, I look forward to putting some miles on this baby!

Johnny Fingers


Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: 05 cracked head, advice on how far to go with replacement used head
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 05:36:13 AM »
Don't buy an 86 head, some had issues with valve tupliping. Personally I would buy the lowest mileage / newest head I could. They don't have any inherent issues at all; not like an old chevy or ford, and you'll get a 200k+ out of a maintained connie engine, so even a 50k miles head has alot of life left in it.

  As far as head gasket - it's a stamped steel unit. you can clean it, coppercoat it, and re-use it. If you buy one, buy a new one from Kaw. No need to buy a base gasket unless you're pulling the cylinders too. HTH, Steve
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 05:40:42 AM by Steve in Sunny Fla »
Shleper of the 7th gear unit, jet kits, and performance exhaust cam sprockets.   For more information visit the Shoodaben Engineering Website    My bike - "SHOODABEN" - 1109cc's of what an 04 concours "shoodaben"!

Offline johnnyfingers

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Re: 05 cracked head, advice on how far to go with replacement used head
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 05:10:57 PM »
Thanks Steve.
assume you have used the copper spray method... you are referring to the permatex 80697 spray a gasket?.... makes me nervous, but will consider it (I own a KLR 650, and notice that KLR and Connie owners share a similar "Thrifty" manner)

Is there an easy way to identify a 96 head? serial or casting numbers? I already own the head, it was listed as an '02. the seller has a good reputation, so I think I am OK.

thanks again for the help :great:

Johnnyfingers

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: 05 cracked head, advice on how far to go with replacement used head
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 05:57:45 PM »
I don't know of any way to date the head, so run with what you have and don't let it bother you. As far as the copper coat - it's not just a thrifty way, it is a proper way, because the head gasket is stamped steel and re-useable. I would suggest that if you do re-use the head you separate the 3 "sandwich" pieces, clean them well (ecetone or brakeclean), and then lightly dust with the copper coat. Reassemble and run it as is. If you're not comfortable with that, just buy a new gasket, install it as is, and call it good. HTH, Steve
Shleper of the 7th gear unit, jet kits, and performance exhaust cam sprockets.   For more information visit the Shoodaben Engineering Website    My bike - "SHOODABEN" - 1109cc's of what an 04 concours "shoodaben"!

Offline Charlie_Gary_NWAD

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Re: 05 cracked head, advice on how far to go with replacement used head
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 09:04:53 PM »
Your valves will be fine as long as you don't beat the snot out them like I did mine.  Many repeated trips to red line take a toll.  I got a different head that was treated properly, and I only had to adjust two valves when I put my cams into it.
Later, 
Charlie - NWAD
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