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Thread: '83 GS450L Rebuild - advice welcome!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4

    Default '83 GS450L Rebuild - advice welcome!

    Hey All,

    I just recently bought a GS450L for $200 as a project bike and have been doing a lot of research on how to get started. I thankfully found this forum and have been reading through as many topics as I can to get an idea of the plan. I've previously fixed a Ninja 250 that wasn't running, but I think the effort it will take to get this running and to where I want doesn't compare.

    Background:


    • There really isn't much detail about the bike besides that it has been sitting for years. The PO wanted to start a rebuild but quickly realized they didn't have the experience and decided to let it go for cheap
    • I haven't attempted to start it at all in fear of causing any potential damage before I get some feedback
    • Visually it's in good shape (planning to upload a picture soon)


    I'm continuing my research across the forum to get an idea of what I want to do, but I can use some advice on how to get started. My plan is to build this into either a brat or cafe racer, but I'm not entirely sure if I should:

    1. Strip it down first and work through the transformation piece by piece
    2. Focus on getting it to run before going any further


    I was leaning towards stripping it down and start tackling the frame and work my way towards the carbs and engine once I'm ready to put things back together. If I go with that route, I was going to rebuild the carbs, check the valve clearances, and go through the service manual for recommended replacements/maintenance of the engine (spark plugs, etc.). Should I tear down the engine and clean it through since it's been sitting idle for so long? Is changing the oil and following the recommended service manual enough until I try to get it running? I've done valve clearances with my Ninja, but I haven't gone past that. I'm willing to put in the work if needed and am patient enough to learn if that's what is recommended.

    Or should I focus on just the carbs and getting it to run first? Any advice on how to get started would be greatly appreciated!

    Edited to add -

    In the meantime I'm continuing to do research from other posts to add to my plan and parts lists. I just want to make sure I at least start working on this soon while I'm waiting for things to arrive.
    Last edited by melfonts; 03-22-2021 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    NSL, Utah
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I would make sure the engine is workable, mechanically sound. No major issues. The electrical can all be bought & wired. Other than the engine, tear it down & build back up.

    The bike is your canvas, what you want it to look like..... OEM look, street tracker, Cafe Racer, bobber etc....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    After thinking it through this week I think that's the best plan. I'm going to clean out carbs, change oil, and see if it runs this weekend.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Mifflinburg, PA / Land of Tar & Chip
    Posts
    2,652

    Default

    If your going to bother to clean the carbs, recommend doing it right the first time. There's an excellent, very thorough CV carb cleaning / rebuilding tutorial on BikeCliff's website written by Nessism. May take longer than you intended but it would be worth your while to to it right.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4

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    I started working on the carbs last night and got a bit confused on the guide I was following. I was originally following Mr. Flaming Chainsaw's since it's supposed to match the GS450L carbs, but while taking them apart I saw that there were a few differences for some of the steps. For example, the float bowls are completely different and match Nessism's guide like you mentioned. I switched over to Nessism's and continuing to work through it before the carb dip. Though I'm still confused about the adjustment screw mentioned in Mr. Flaming Chainsaw's guide compared to Nessism. I don't want to start drilling the wrong plug. Based on Nessism's it looks like my plugs have already been removed by a PO since I can see the screws on the diaphragm side. Wanted to confirm that I shouldn't be drilling any other holes along the side instead.

    Also, does anyone know where I can get a fuel tee/nipple? Looks like it's not available on partzilla and I can't find one on ebay specific to '83 GS450. Looks like there's one available for '80-'82 and some for GS750/850 '80 - '83. Anyone know if either would work?

    Edit - Looks like Nessism is the correct guide in terms of the pilot screw. Weirdly enough one of them didn't have a spring, washer, or o-ring so time to look around and see if I can find any. The pilot jet was also stripped on one of them and I didn't want to risk stripping the other so I'm going to try find a good flathead to take them out. Unfortunately my vessel screwdrivers were too thick for them and the pilot air jet.
    Last edited by melfonts; 03-27-2021 at 03:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Keperra, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    13,581

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    It's been quite a while since I had to deal with stock 450 carbs (I've been running GS500 carbs on mine for years now), but the 80 - 82 model carbs are very specific, and very different to the 83 onwards, so yes the Flaming Chainsaw's guide will be wrong for your carbs. Can't help too much on the fuel T though except to confirm that yes it does appear to be NLA. These are the other models it's used by though in case that helps: http://www.mickhone.com.au/part/suzu...511400#content

    If it does turn out you have too many issues with the stock carbs, GS500 carbs will swap straight out, although I'd recommend using the GS500 intake boots as opposed to the GS450 version, and you'll need to find an alternative to using the stock airbox as they won't work with that. I'm running velocity stacks with foam filter material over the top.
    1982 GS450E - The Wee Beastie
    1984 GSX750S Katana 7/11 - Kit Kat - BOTM May 2020



    450 Refresh thread: https://www.thegsresources.com/_foru...-GS450-Refresh

    Katana 7/11 thread: http://www.thegsresources.com/_forum...84-Katana-7-11

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4

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    Been a while since my last update. I've been working on rebuilding the carbs and luckily got it to run on the first try this past weekend. Started to begin the tear down now. The plan is to work on the frame first and figuring out sizing of electronics to fit under a new seat. I like the look of the upswept seats from tuffside so will start to look into that.

    Here was the bike earlier today and in progress tear down:

    https://imgur.com/a/QQcAVtK

    The air filter was the hardest thing to take out hah.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    SE Iowa
    Posts
    1,874

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    I've seen a whole lot worse than that. Good base I'd say.

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