Friday, May 1, 2015

GY6 - Buy or Rebuild

It is decision time - Do I buy another engine or rebuild the one I have? I am not sure there is an easy (no-brainer) answer to that. But ultimately, I did make a choice. Here is the though process I followed.

Looking at the prices of parts, they all seem pretty reasonably priced. But I quickly discovered that buying a lot of $30-$50 parts would add up to a pretty high bottom line. On the other hand, I could easily find whole motors for $300 to $400 dollars.

The reviews of the lower end ones I found were not so encouraging - many complaints of leaks. That would mean essentially rebuilding portions of the motor anyway. But I did find one for $374 plus some shipping. I wasn't finding negative feedback on them so it was very tempting. After all, from an ease standpoint - buy and install seems pretty easy.

Building on the other hand is certainly going to provide the ability to really take ownership of the scooter. Remember - "If you didn't build it, you can never own it." And I do want to "own" the scooter from bottom to top.

I researched the cost of parts, pieces, kits - just about every configuration of part gathering I could find. There were numerous places that offered top end kits, individual cylinders, pistons, rings, cams, heads, etc. Not as many placed offered all the parts and pieces I thought I might need.

Here is a quick tip that I have followed over the past 60+ years (yes - I really am that old!).
The fewer sources you use for any project, the better chance you have of receiving good service after the sale.
Lets face it, if you buy parts from 8 vendors, that means for any one part that is not up to your quality, there are 7 other vendors for that one to blame for incompatibilities and for damaging the parts they did sell you. So I like to get as much as I can from any one vendor. Especially parts that directly interact.

There are a few places that offer relatively complete packages. I ultimately but a kit from one. The complete package contains:

Cylinder Kit
  • Cylinder
  • Rings
  • Wrist Pin
  • Cir Clips
  • Head (with valves installed)
  • A9 Performance Cam
  • Valve Cover
  • Gasket set
Additional Parts
  • Roller Weights
  • Oil Pump
  • Oil Pump Gear
  • High Performance Coil
  • High Performance Racing CID
  • Chrome Exhaust
  • Chrome Muffler
These are all parts I was planning on getting anyway, so one-sourcing it for $200 made sense to me.

I doubt that the gasket kit will be everything that I need, but once I start tearing down the old motor, I can identify what else I will need (lower end gasket kit, for example) and get those ordered.

From the same company, I also bought a complete new carburetor. I seriously considered rebuilding the one I have, but for the $15 difference in price, I decided to reduce the headaches and go with the fully assembled one. I can always rebuild the old one for $15 to get the inner knowledge later.

I also bought their carburetor intake manifold. They are rubber and the old one is badly weather checked and cracked and probably leaks like crazy.

I also bought from the same vendor a set of seals for the bottom end of the motor. Way easier to replace them now while the engine is torn down instead of waiting till it is mounted back in the scooter and I find out the old ones were leaking.

From a separate vendor, I bought the center stand and spring for the scooter. Both are missing from my scooter and I know having it will make life a lot easier.

So, obviously, I choose to mostly rebuild. The dollars will be close to break even, but the experience is pretty valuable to me.

When everything arrives and I have a chance to evaluate the parts and service, I will let you know (good or bad) about the vendors I choose.

While I am waiting for the packages to arrive, I will have to be off line for a few days. The day job is turning into a night & day job for the next week. We are going live with a new software version and I will be onsite pretty much around the clock till things settle down.

Hope to see you all when I return and we can start tearing down the engine. I am planning lots of photos and possibly a video or two.


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