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Thread: Welded crankshaft..to be or not to be, that is the question.

  1. #1
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    Default Welded crankshaft..to be or not to be, that is the question.

    So, in the course of dealing with rebuilding my 83 1100E engine I have posted several questions that have been answered by some pretty knowledgeable site members. The trouble is, the more info I get the more questions I have. I have tried to search for my answers on-line but the results of my search are leading me back to here to see what other members have done and to see what does and what doesn't work. More importantly, what's necessary and what's not.

    The question of crankshaft welding has come up and I'm trying to place it's importance in this build. As I've posted before, I am taking an 1100 to an 1134 with 2mm oversize Wiseco pistons and installing '84 1150EFE cams and feeding the whole thing via a set of 36mm slingshot carbs. The crankshaft I'm using is the standard crank that came with the engine and I was actually running this engine for several years before removing it from the frame and boxing it for later use. The crank has never been dismantled and by the way the engine ran I don't believe it has suffered anything detrimental over the years.

    I know its not easy to determine how much hp this engine is going to make but I'm guessing it's not going to be a huge increase over its former configuration. So..do I need to consider welding the crank or will I just be wasting my time and money..?

    Thanks for reading. Hope someone can enlighten me.

  2. #2
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    Not really needed on a normally aspirated street engine unless you plan on doing some sprinting ,racing or slapping a turbo on it in the future etc.
    Apart from missing a high speed gear change the main cause of twisting a crank is by shoving the power through a wide sticky tyre such as a 10in slick used in drag racing which seriously loads up the crank and gearbox on the launch.
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  3. #3
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    I think I'm remembering right. Suzuki started welding the GS1100 crankshafts in mid year 1982. They left one journal, the one at the primary gear, not welded. My opinion & just my opinion, yours will be just fine with what you are doing. I don't remember any crankshaft problems with the 1100 or 1150's after they started welding them.
    1983 GS1100E, 1983 CB1100F, 1991 GSX1100G, 1996 Kaw. ZL600 Eliminator, 1999 Bandit 1200S, 2005 Bandit 1200S, 2000 Kaw. ZRX 1100

  4. #4
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    rphillips has it right; the 1983 1100E has a welded crank. The 1100E makes a lot of torque and cranks have been know to twist from relatively normal street riding for certain unlucky folks.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for all your thoughts. All very good info. I haven't checked but next time I'm in my shop I'll take a close look at the crank for any signs of welding. I did buy the wrecked bike this engine came from in France so I don't know if globally ALL the 83 1100's were welded or if Suzuki did it only for the voluminous US market knowing that if they got it wrong they'd be sued from here to eternity..)

    I guess the only thing I need now is for Dirty Harry to chime in and ask.."Do you feel lucky, punk..?"

    Lot's to chew on. Thanks as always for the great help. If it makes sense I'll post some pics of what I've got.

  6. #6
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    First thing you need to do is make sure it is not already twisted. We have 18mm rod long enough to fit through all four rods. If it won't go through all four, it is twisted.

    You can also check to see if the crank is twisted is an assembled engine.
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  7. #7
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    82 1000 Katana's also had welded cranks. Its kinda like buying an extended warranty. They suck until the day you need it. With the amount of work you are doing to your motor it would be nice to never have to worry.
    Current Rides: 82 GS1100E, 00 Triumph 955 Speed Triple, 03 Kawasaki ZRX1200, 01 Honda GL1800, '15 Kawasaki 1000 Versys
    Past Rides: 72 Honda SL-125, Kawasaki KE-175, 77 GS750 with total yosh stage 1 kit, 79 GS1000s, 80 GS1000S, 82 GS750e,82 GS1000S, 84 VF500f, 86 FZR600, 95 Triumph Sprint 900,96 Triumph Sprint, 97 Triumph Sprint, 01 Kawasaki ZRX1200, 07 Triumph Tiger 1050, 01 Yam YFZ250F
    Work in progress: 78 GS1000, unknown year GS1100ES

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    Re: "Unknown year GS1100ES"

    I believe an 11ES would have to be an '83.
    1982 GS1100E V&H "SS" exhaust, APE pods, 1150 oil cooler, 140 speedo, 99.3 rear wheel HP, black engine, '83 red

    2016 XL883L Two-tone blue and white. Almost 42 hp! Status: destroyed, now owned by the insurance company. The hole in my memory starts an hour before the accident and ends 24 hours after.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by limeex2 View Post
    82 1000 Katana's also had welded cranks. Its kinda like buying an extended warranty. They suck until the day you need it. With the amount of work you are doing to your motor it would be nice to never have to worry.
    I kinda agree with you. It would suck if something as preventable as this turned my engine into scrap. I'll have to find a shop here in Vancouver who would have the experience dealing with this kind of work.

  10. #10
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    My thoughts, when the 16 valve 1100 first came out I believe Vance and Hines put a turbo on a stock engine bike and ran it at the 1/4 mile track. Granted it didn't have a monster slick. The last I heard it went 3 plus seasons without opening up the engine. If the crank ever breaks and you get it built, have it welded. That is assuming you can get it built, the parts are getting pretty rare.
    1981 GS1100E
    1982 GS1100E



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