1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

1978 Kawasaki KZ400 Resurrection

Discussion in 'Motorcycles' started by Maticuno, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Jun 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM
    #1
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    27 years ago, someone who owed my dad money gave him a 1978 KZ400 with 11,000 miles on the odometer. The title was lost in the process and my parents, who had me to raise, just covered it and put it in the garage. 8 years ago, I pulled it out, cleaned it up, and got it running. Due to complications with registration and other priorities, I lost interest and put it back in the garage. Now, with more knowledge, tools, and skills, I have a renewed interest in bringing this classic beauty back to life.

    To get it road worthy it needs:
    New tires
    New Battery
    Left side cover
    Rebuild carb with new slide diaphragms
    Front brake master cylinder

    I think I can have this thing saving me gas money on my commute for less than $500. Here's a picture from my first attempt 8 years ago.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jun 24, 2013 at 5:08 PM
    #2
    BTR

    BTR Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Member:
    #79411
    Messages:
    187
    Gender:
    Male
    Mass
    Vehicle:
    06 Tacoma 4x4 v6
    nice I have a 77 kz650
     
  3. Jul 4, 2013 at 9:22 PM
    #3
    oldtimertoyota

    oldtimertoyota Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Member:
    #20697
    Messages:
    278
    Gender:
    Male
    New Mexico
    Vehicle:
    2009 4X4 Double Cab
    Nice classic styling, looks great! Now don't put all your effort into it until you get the title issue figured out.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2013 at 9:13 PM
    #4
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    Definitely not sinking funds into it until it is registered in my name. Right now I'm waiting for my radiator to arrive so I can fix my Tacoma so I can go pick it up from my parents' house and take it to highway patrol to be inspected. I could technically inspect it myself, but that would be unethical.
     
  5. Jul 6, 2013 at 4:09 AM
    #5
    mdcmn7

    mdcmn7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Member:
    #79977
    Messages:
    590
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chuck
    East Coast
    Best of luck on the resurrection. I had a 1975 kz400 I got for a few hounded buck out of an airplane hangar looked almost exactly like yours. Rebuilt it from the ground up, it was an awesome little bike

    Years ago there was a forum like this one for the kz, search the net for parts, they are still around. It gettng a little harder to find

    Best of luck with the build
     
  6. Jul 6, 2013 at 4:35 AM
    #6
    Petrol

    Petrol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Member:
    #102781
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    Central Va.
    Vehicle:
    Tacoma
    Nice KZ. Those 1970's Japanese vertical twins where good simple machines. Everything you need and nothing you don't. Amazingly reliable even today. I had a 74 Honda CB 360 with drum brakes! Those variable venturi carburetors are great when they work but suck when they don't. You might want to look inside the gas tank and see if you have a rust issue. You don't want to get those carbs fixed only to dump rust back into them from the tank. Good Luck and a Cool 70's machine!
     
  7. Jul 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM
    #7
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    All loaded up and ready to be brought home!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jul 31, 2013 at 4:10 AM
    #8
    Petrol

    Petrol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Member:
    #102781
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    Central Va.
    Vehicle:
    Tacoma
    That pic brings back memories. The vinyl...oops Naugahyde, seat with the pleats that hold water until you sit on it. The folding kick-start level with the rubber cover that is lost in the woods the first time you use it. They are surprisingly fun and simple machines. Good Luck.
     
  9. Aug 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM
    #9
    2013TuRD

    2013TuRD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Member:
    #93039
    Messages:
    130
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bruce
    SW BC
    Vehicle:
    TRD OFF ROAD
    Back in the day me and my friends referred to that particular Kawi as a pickle, probably because of the old Arlo Guthrie song. Great bike, nice and simple.

    You should include all new non metallic brake parts, keep only the metal bits. Safety first.

    Expect to rebuild the carbs. Can't remember if those had a vacuum petcock, if it does, you'll likely be rebuilding that too. Look for rust in the gas tank, if found, look for a product called Kreem to seal the inside of the tank before the rust goes into the carbs.

    Expect the fork seals to leak at that age, so new oil and seals in the front, and you should probably put new shocks on the back.

    Points and condenser? I can't remember those having electronic ignition. Add fresh spark plugs as well. Maybe plug leads. Don't forget to check the valve clearances.

    Best of luck with your resurrection.
     
  10. Aug 2, 2013 at 4:17 AM
    #10
    Petrol

    Petrol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Member:
    #102781
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    Central Va.
    Vehicle:
    Tacoma
    I'll second the advice on the gas tank. Rust is common in all old Japanese gas tanks.
    Yes to points and condenser. The points are driven off the end of the overhead cam, there's a plate on the side of the head that's removed to access the points. If the bike was in running condition when it was parked the points will likely be OK, I might get everything else right (gas tank & carbs) before I replaced the points. Keep us up-dated, that's a good project.
     
  11. Aug 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM
    #11
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    Stripped and ready for cleaning/new parts.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Aug 19, 2013 at 5:49 PM
    #12
    mdcmn7

    mdcmn7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Member:
    #79977
    Messages:
    590
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chuck
    East Coast
    Lookin good
     
  13. Sep 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM
    #13
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    To any of you who own something classic or clad in chrome, you need to try this. I didn't believe it when I first heard about it, but I'm glad I did. If you need to polish your chrome parts, the cheapest, most effective method is a folded up and wet piece of aluminum foil. The foil is softer than the chrome, but harder than the rust. As the aluminum/rust combine, it creates a paste which helps polish even more. Just make sure to keep the foil wet with water, and wear gloves as the paste takes days to get out from under your nails.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sep 15, 2013 at 6:37 AM
    #14
    Petrol

    Petrol Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Member:
    #102781
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    Central Va.
    Vehicle:
    Tacoma
    Never heard of that trick before but it looks like it works! Good job.
     
  15. Sep 20, 2013 at 8:06 PM
    #15
    Runn0r

    Runn0r Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Member:
    #94656
    Messages:
    495
    Gender:
    Male
    NC
    Vehicle:
    07 Prerunn0r
    I love old resurrection bikes. There was no surge like the 70's and 80's Japanese imports. There were so many models from so many companies at so many sizes.... all of which were superb quality. It looks like you have a good ride there. Just go through every bolt and nut to make sure you are safe at 50mph. Oil it up and test it out, you will have a retro ride like no other. Bikes like this are pure, I love the old ATV's too. The Honda ATC70 for example. Simple small engine genius design built to Mil-Spec quality.
     
  16. Sep 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM
    #16
    ToyotaKTMracing

    ToyotaKTMracing The Blue Warrior

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Member:
    #54976
    Messages:
    3,413
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Shay
    West Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2008 DCSB Ink 4WD Auto
    285 BFG ATs, Custom dual exhaust system, 4" total lift (adjustable billies with 885 coils in front and AALs with 1" block in rear), interior LED lighting, LED reverse lights, LED license plate lights, fog light anytime mod, JVC KW-R500 stereo, 20" okledlightbars.com LED light bar, coverking seat covers
    I love these type of vintage bikes :popcorn:
     
  17. Oct 14, 2013 at 2:40 PM
    #17
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    New tires mounted and balanced, front installed.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Oct 23, 2013 at 7:05 PM
    #18
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    Rear wheel now installed along with the new chain. All I need are some new rear shocks and I'll have a rolling chassis again!
     
  19. Nov 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM
    #19
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Weapon Mechanic

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Member:
    #57287
    Messages:
    2,163
    Gender:
    Male
    California High Deserts
    Vehicle:
    08 DCLB Sport
    Pioneer AVIC-D3, SWI-PS, Sirius Satellite Radio, 2X In-Cab 110V Outlets, Constant Fog Light Mod, Inverter Always 400W Mod, Anti-Pack-Rat-In-Intake Mod, Eibachs on 5100's, 2" Toytec AAL, B.A.M.F Rear Diff Skid, 265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires
    Got some new bolts for the new carb boots and reassembled almost the entire bike...at least enough to test fire the engine. She's idling a tad rough, but revs just fine. I think running a full tank of brand new gas through it along with an oil change will help. Now I am just waiting for the new rear shocks and front brake master cylinder before it's road test time.
     
  20. Nov 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM
    #20
    68dave

    68dave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Member:
    #91096
    Messages:
    773
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dave
    Baltimore, Md.
    Vehicle:
    $500.00 project 04 TRD 4x4
    Toytec Boss kit & OME leafs, tundra brakes
    Nice project. I love those old Kaws, i have a 76 900 and a 78 1000 sitting in the back of my garage.
     
To Top