Will Bar­ber fin­ishes this amaz­ing ma­chine!

Will Bar­ber con­tin­ues the jour­ney of tak­ing a rough and ready rare Kawasaki from strip-down to restora­tion.


Last month I in­tro­duced you all to this Kawasaki Z1-R TC, owned by Chris Kitchen. He asked me to get this bike sorted, so let’s crack on to com­ple­tion! Fol­low­ing on from sort­ing the fuel tap, it was time to get on with the front end of the bike. There was lots to do and the han­dle­bar fair­ing was re­moved for ac­cess to the var­i­ous com­po­nents. Ba­si­cally here I needed to sort two new Uk-spec in­di­ca­tors, brake ca­ble, front brake light switch, bleed the brakes, sort a ‘pull’ throt­tle ca­ble, H4 head­lamp bulb, check all the in­stru­ments and tidy up some paint­work. The front brak­ing sys­tem on the Z1-R and TC mod­els are unique in the fact that al­though the calipers are hy­drauli­cally con­trolled, the mas­ter cylin­der which sits below the top yolk is op­er­ated via a stan­dard ‘Bow­den’ ca­ble from a con­ven­tional brake lever on the right-hand bar. This in turn pulls the ac­tu­a­tion lever on the mas­ter cylin­der which then hy­drauli­cally op­er­ates the brake calipers. This was to keep clean lines at the front of the bike with­out ac­com­mo­dat­ing the chunky mas­ter cylin­der on the bars. The brak­ing sys­tem needed a thor­ough go­ing over, with a change of fluid, re­plac­ing the kinked/stretched lever-to-mas­ter cylin­der ca­ble, fit­ting Ferodo brake pads and sort­ing the brake light switch. Af­ter us­ing my Mi­ty­vac vac­uum brake bleed­ing kit I got a good solid feel on the lever. The rear brake needed sim­i­lar treat­ment to the front. Elec­tri­cally, there were a few is­sues, such as cor­roded ter­mi­nals and dam­aged block con­nec­tors which were iden­ti­fied and re­placed. The rear brake light switch had its pin turned up­side down so the brake light was on con­stantly, hence the last owner sim­ply dis­con­nected it! The bul­lets were also badly cor­roded and had al­ready been re­placed with bits of in­cor­rect coloured wire, sim­ply twisted to­gether and wrapped in tape. Fif­teen min­utes’ work saw the brake light switch back to full func­tion­al­ity with new wires and bul­lets sol­dered on. I also took the op­por­tu­nity to add a dou­ble fe­male bul­let socket in readi­ness for a pos­i­tive sup­ply for a new Dyna 2000 ig­ni­tion sys­tem. Other is­sues in­cluded cor­roded ter­mi­nals in the fuel gauge con­nec­tor block from the main har­ness and the odd ter­mi­nal block held to­gether with ca­ble ties! These con­nec­tor blocks are lit­er­ally not avail­able any­where! How­ever, af­ter putting up a post on the fo­rum, a fel­low Z1-OC mem­ber kindly do­nated the two fe­male ter­mi­nal blocks I need. With the ig­ni­tion lights go­ing off when the bars are turned, I sorted this by check­ing all the con­nec­tions and clean­ing them, also sort­ing the bent and cor­roded pins which caused the flick­er­ing. I used the Dyna 2000 sys­tem to re­place the con­ven­tional points and con­denser sys­tem, in­clud­ing the Dyna 2000 ig­ni­tion con­trol mod­ule, Dyna 3-Ohm

mini coils and Tay­lor sil­i­cone leads with in­te­grated plug caps: these en­sure longevity of the en­gine and give the rider peace of mind that the en­gine will not self-de­struct! I fit­ted the unit just be­hind the bat­tery with a U-bracket and foam. I set up the sys­tem in­clud­ing the boost re­tard switch, which means that at 4psi of boost, a cir­cuit is com­pleted, send­ing a sig­nal to the re­tard func­tion on the Dyna 2000 con­trol mod­ule. Along with the leads I fit­ted one stage ‘hot­ter’ plugs, hence the re­place­ment of NGK B8ES with NGK B9ES spark plugs. Time for a test ride: I gen­tly rode the bike but it wasn’t be­hav­ing, cough­ing and splut­ter­ing un­der even the slight­est of load. Af­ter just a few hun­dred yards it got so bad that I had to limp home and try and suss out what was go­ing on. It felt so rich but I’d even fit­ted a smaller pri­mary jet so this called for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion! There was noth­ing wrong with the carb, the ig­ni­tion sys­tem was checked, plugs changed, so – hav­ing had a chat with owner Chris – we de­cided I should take off the cylin­der head and have a look. I found that the cylin­der head had ob­vi­ously had work done on it due to the fact that we were al­most out of the ser­vice limit of valve clear­ance; down to just 2.20mm shims in some cases and while the head was off I sug­gested it be sent over to SEP in Derby for re­me­dial work. Be­fore I re­moved the cylin­der head, I had to de­ter­mine what com­pres­sion ra­tio we had, but I didn’t yet know the cylin­der ca­pac­ity. I could work this out af­ter I’d re­moved the head. I brought No.1 pis­ton to TDC and mea­sured how much oil it took to fill the com­bus­tion cham­ber up to the spark plug hole. I got 38cc, which I made a note of! Re­mov­ing the cylin­der head, I im­me­di­ately spot­ted prob­lems. The cop­per one-piece head gas­ket was clearly leak­ing thanks to a poorly fit­ted cam­chain tun­nel O-ring. Also some of the cam-chain ten­sioner wheel dampers were badly fit­ted and

crum­bling and the cylin­der bores were so glazed that the cylin­der block had to be re­moved for in­spec­tion. Mea­sur­ing the bores gave me 1075cc ca­pac­ity and some maths showed we had a com­pres­sion ra­tio of 8.1:1 – bang on for turbo use with forged flat top pis­tons! Check­ing the rings/bores/pis­tons I no­ticed that the top ring on all four pis­tons had been fit­ted up­side­down, this had led to premature wear of the bores and ‘fuel wash’. The fuel mix­ture had been al­lowed force its way un­der the top pis­ton ring and push it out­wards, leav­ing a hor­ren­dous wear lip on the edge of each ring and stop­ping any seal­ing: there was our rich run­ning then! The only saviour was that the ac­tual pis­tons were good. In ad­di­tion to these prob­lems, the cylin­der had been honed out too much and I could eas­ily get a 0.1mm feeler gauge down be­tween the pis­ton and cylin­der bore! So, time to source a new cylin­der block to suit the 72mm MTC pis­tons, re­place the stan­dard cylin­der studs with APE high-ten­sile ones, re­place the rings, cam-chain wheel damper rub­bers, sort Vi­ton stem seals, new ex­haust port seals and get new gas­kets. Lots more work was done, and while the cylin­der was off for re­pair I cleaned, pre­pared and re­fin­ished the ATP plenum cham­ber in gloss black. The cylin­der block came back from En­gine Tekniks and was also painted satin black to match the orig­i­nal fin­ish. The cylin­der block, from a donor Z1000A1, was bored and honed to suit the 75mm MTC pis­tons and ran a pis­ton to bore clear­ance of 3 thou. With the mo­tor fi­nally back to­gether af­ter much work, the TC fi­nally fired up. Af­ter a sec­ond thor­ough warm-up, the en­gine oil and oil fil­ter el­e­ment were then re­placed as all the oil was con­tam­i­nated with fuel from the pre­vi­ous fuel wash­ing is­sue. I was still not happy with the way the en­gine was run­ning: it still seemed to be over-fu­elling, so I de­cided to pull the turbo from the bike and thor­oughly strip and check ev­ery­thing over and it was then that I found some bad news: the tur­bine spin­dle was heav­ily scored and way be­yond ser­vice. With a full turbo re­build now re­quired, I could hope­fully rec­tify the is­sue of the oil feed be­ing in the wrong port, but where on earth was I go­ing to find spares for the ul­tra-rare turbo? I used my net­work of con­tacts from when I used to drag race. I hooked up with Ja­son Flather, a true turbo en­thu­si­ast. He has a garage full of tur­bos and is only 40 miles away, so af­ter a few calls we ar­ranged to let him cast his eye over the dam­aged parts. He con­firmed my worst fears: the main bear­ing and tur­bine im­peller shaft were shot. He also found that the spring loaded car­bon seal was stuck in the com­pressed po­si­tion, and this would al­low co­pi­ous amounts of fuel do be drawn into the oil cav­ity and the tur­bine (ex­haust) side: that ex­plained a lot. Ja­son found an­other 370 F40, but this one had the later and im­proved two-piece die-cast cen­tre bear­ing sec­tion, a dif­fer­ent tur­bine hous­ing and a dif­fer­ent com­pres­sor hous­ing. He worked his magic and soon had the turbo stripped and in­spected, con­for­ma­tion that this one had an ‘as new’ tur­bine im­peller and main bear­ing fit­ted. What a star Ja­son is! Thanks mate! Af­ter a few more is­sues (crank­case breather needed mod­i­fy­ing again) the Z1R-TC was fi­nally sorted. She fi­nally runs and idles much bet­ter than be­fore, though I did rec­om­mend that Chris books his bike in with Ben at RTR Motorcycles dyno tun­ing to get the thing fully sorted – with Al­lens Per­for­mance (Mikuni carb spe­cial­ist & spares) right next door, it couldn’t go to a bet­ter place for fine tun­ing! It was a plea­sure to work on an­other gen­uine TC (this is my third) though this one was a bit more de­mand­ing than the oth­ers. When one of these rare bikes is pur­chased as a non-run­ner, it’s only in­evitable that you’re go­ing to be faced with more prob­lems than you care for!

1 2 1/ Main junc­tion box ter­mi­nal saw many of these con­nec­tors past their best. 2/ Dyna pick-ups and ro­tor and other mod­ern parts should give peace of mind. 3/ Will found a new friend called Ja­son to help with the trou­ble­some turbo! 3

ABOVE: There’s a real ag­gres­sive beauty to the TC...

ABOVE: Will (right) with owner Chris.

4 5 4/ Stronger studs would be used for the re­build. 5/ Some parts/gas­kets are get­table! 6/ That clas­sic paint work needed a lit­tle touch­ing up. 6

BELOW: The lucky (even­tu­ally) owner. Con­grats Chris, top work Will!

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