Question for all you out there or several questions. I am looking at getting a housing replated and will be going to see several companies over the next week and want to get a feel for how many others might be interested?
1. Would you be interested in getting side plates and housing fixed. If so how many in case you have several bikes. 2. Do you know of others not in the forum that could be interested? 3. Do you have failed parts available for reworking? 4. Do you have housings with cracks? I may try and find a suitable welding process to fix the cracks depending on how bad they are.
In general I want to understand how many we could need as that will help offset tooling and jig costs.
Likewise how many people could do with seals (Apex, sides etc)? Does anyone still have a set of unused Apex seals we could get accurate dimensions off to create a drawing from, otherwise I will need to extrapolate the sizes from a worn set.
If you reply to this message with numbers I can see what can be done as some parts are reaaly needing to be sourced to ensure the proper units can be brought back to life.
You are on the right track with this on the long term ....problem is very few owners need parts on the short term ...There are a few UK owners that would help you with this ....I go back to the primary chain threads ....lots of chat about how rare they are NOS then three came up on eBay and they took a month to sell and i brought two of them ...Am sure all members will support you with this but any idea of sharing costs upfront is very unlikely .........Am very interested in what you are trying to do and support you all the way ....Thanks Glenn ....
RE5M,,XT660,XS500s, Triumph Tiger 900, HD 883, Velo valiant"s
I do not think this will pay off in the short (20yrs) run. Too many good units out there to pick from to invest in that expensive a process. All you really want is a good proper unit to put in your bike, right? Buying a good used one and installing it will be faster that you just finding someone to make the tooling. I like your enthusiasm, but apply it to where it is needed more. Jeff
While I appreciate your enthusiasm, I have been down this road myself. I believe you will find the cost to be prohibitive to have even a "rebuild kit" made. I investigated it years ago and the costs were staggering.
Most Re5 engines die from neglect, not overuse. In other words, they very rarely just wear out. Neglect causes catastrophic failures and unless a supply of good side housings, center housings and e shafts is unearthed, a rebuild kit is only effective in a small percentage of engines.
That said, if you get some apex and side seals made and come up with the prongs for a rebuild kit, put me down for several.
Keep us posted.
1952 HD Servicar, 1970 FLH HD, 1997 FXD HD, 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 2008 Suzuki BKing, 2010 Can-Am Spyder, Several "Floor Sweepings" Customs,... and oh yeah... one or two, Rotary Bikes. ESTILL SPRINGS, TN.
"Too many good units out there to pick from to invest in that expensive a process"
+1 (edit, make that +2, just read Jess's post)
Jeff is giving you financailly sound advice. It would be in your best intrest to keep looking for a good proper. I occationally find entire bikes with low miles that cosmetically look bad. You may find one reasonably priced that you can source many parts from.
Out of interest where all the spare good proper units as all I have come across is one new one that Jess has and possible used ones he could build? Due to costs of importing and apparent lack of housings elsewhere this is why I am looking at getting mine fixed.
I hear all your comments but being cost centric is not part of an engineers forty. Having said that I am not stupid. I have a wide variety of vehicles/toys and I will spend money wisely to fix an issue. I am offering my knowledge and expertise to try and help others but really need your help. I can see parts are drying up and guess most people are by now using seconds that are perhaps with defects and not ideal. Tell me what you need not just what you don't need and I will try to help. I have a passion for keeping old things running otherwise I would not be running a 1926 car. It is a Trojan so you can guess how hard it is to find parts for it and have had to get bespoke parts made for it! There are ways of getting things done and that is by numbers. Glen. Has told me of quotes of £800 to get a set of Apex deals made. That sounds far to high as the machining is relatively simple in the anealed form so I question is someone is trying to take us for a ride. I am going to get my bike running again and if others can benefit from that the I would be pleased. I am still looking for any old housings that are close to scrap as we may be able to recover them for use later but I need some samples to see. Note I am not wanting costs up front but trying to explain that increasing the numbers to a reasonable amount helps reduce costs. I would be the one deciding to do it and live with the outlay.
Am sure Suzuki spent a whole lot of Yen on development on the Apex seals alone ....Am i right in stating that the Apex seal and Apex side seal are made of different composite material to enable them to expand at the same rate .....Am sure the chamber cost a whole lot more ....All seals would have to be made by a rotary specialist .....or like SS stated it will rape your chamber !
RE5M,,XT660,XS500s, Triumph Tiger 900, HD 883, Velo valiant"s
There are better areas to apply your talents at this time than to try to rework rotor housings. You will be surprised at the cost to do this, and the lack of interest others will have in purchasing a product that will only get them 1 step further in a rotor assembly that they have no other parts or expertise to assemble. I have purchased 6 RE5 bikes over the years, all of them have had usable proper units. I turn down used bikes about once a year, most of them have stopped running because of neglect, not malfunction. Tim and his wife both have bikes they have ridden well over 100,00 miles. Tim still has them and still rides them. So, in my experience, the supply of usable, serviceable, power units is not a problem. As with most motorcycles, rubber and plastic parts are the first to go south. Electrical is unusually poor and a bit complex on this bike. Most of my money is spent on finish such as paint and chrome, not mechanical. After you have completed 2 or 3 of these, you will have a better understanding of what is needed more. I do appreciate your enthusiasm, I hope you see my point. This site is not littered with people that have bikes not running because of bad proper units. It is not the norm. Jeff
I'm not entering the debate as to what's best in this situation, just a little input into apex seals and rotor housings.
Apex seals were made of a ferrotic alloy, basically a modified cast iron. So I've been told! If I was to make new apex seals, I would use a high quality cast iron but get the tips plasma sprayed with molybdenum disulphide. That's a trick the two strokers and others use for piston rings in nikasil bores.
The housings. I have re-used a couple of housings now and found that both had bad chatter marks- lumps in fact- and grooving from the side pieces. I ended up reprofiling the surface so that it was smooth again. It was a very ghetto method where I used a new oil stone with lots of oil and did it by hand. The end results looked nice and flat and the motors certainly had decent compression and started instantly.
The major problem that I've seen housings have are cracks from the spark plug insert to the outer edges of the housing. I don't know how deep those cracks go- whether it's just the nikasil coating or goes deeper into the aluminium casting.
I have seen one rotor on this forum completely fail and break apart- I wondered if the housing had those spark plug cracks which became a fail point... who knows.
Obviously anything can be fixed, remanufactured etc and I get a real kick out of making something. I can also see the benefit of finding decent used parts first (or NOS if you can find it)... I rebuilt my motor twice but ended up putting a NOS unit in it as I wasn't happy with reusing old oil control rings (she was a tiuny bit smokier than I'd like and I had to use antoher rotor which wasn't perfectly matched to the counterbalances I had). I was going to reprofile them in my jig but in the end decided to use my NOS motor. The rebuilders are getting cleaned up and will be the base of my two rotor motor which is second on the list of projects now. Couple of years I hope!
Bottom line- go for it if you want but as people have found out, there's not much scope for a 'group buy' type scenario as not that many people are doing full rebuilds out there...
Perth, Western Oz 1975 RE5M x 2 02 Beemer R1100S mature conveyance Some dirt bikes for fun! Wish list: Just about everything in Jay Leno's garage