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thefleshrocket

Estimated labor to R&R transmission?

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Several years ago, I started taking apart my '99 with the intent of replacing the shift forks and second gear.  (When I'd shift into second gear and accelerate, it would skip a tooth, but just once.  Like if I rode in second gear for a while, accelerating and braking, it would not skip a tooth more than once.  It wasn't a deal breaker, but I wanted it fixed, so I started on it myself.)

 

Fast forward to the present, and the bike is partially disassembled on a lift in my basement.  The swingarm is off and the motor is about ready to be dropped.  But since it's been so long since I messed with it, I kind of just felt like paying someone to finish it up.  A highly-recommended local guy who runs a small shop came by to take a look at it.  I initially wanted to just have it repaired in my basement (since it's on a lift with the parts all around it) but he wanted to take it back to his shop.  He got back to me with a quote for $1100-$1300 for labor, and said that he expected it to take about 20 hours.  (I'm guessing that the shop rate is around $65/hour.  We're in rural southern Illinois, so not paying city prices.)  

 

That number seems high to me.  Ten years ago, I had transmission issues on my '01 GSX-R600 track bike.  I literally dropped the motor and R&Red the transmission three times before I finally got everything replaced that needed to be.  The first time took me about a day and a half--probably 12-14 hours.  The third time, I had the whole project done in under 8 hours.  I don't feel like the VFR is a whole lot more challenging than the Gixxer was--surely this isn't more than a 10-12 hours job.

 

So, what do you guys think--approximately how many hours of labor should there be in R&Ring the transmission on a fifth-gen?  

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If you are paying for labor IMO a used engine/trans assembly would be a better value as it can just be bolted in with no particular skill or ability.  Probably find an engine for $350-$450 if you are patient or a whole running parts bike for $500-ish.

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I’d rather not go with a new engine—this one is in good shape and it’s a known quantity, unlike a used engine.

R&Ring the trans doesn’t appear to be all that hard—flip over the motor, remove the oil pan, and there it is. I just lack the time and motivation to get it done.

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57 minutes ago, thefleshrocket said:

I’d rather not go with a new engine—this one is in good shape and it’s a known quantity, unlike a used engine.

R&Ring the trans doesn’t appear to be all that hard—flip over the motor, remove the oil pan, and there it is. I just lack the time and motivation to get it done.

I believe you need to remove the camshafts, cylinder heads, clutch, & oil pump to split the cases to allow access to the transmission.

Hence why I replaced my engine with a younger, lower mileage unit when my 3rd gear dogs failed, I understand that just the new gaskets required approached the price of a second hand engine

 

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I'm looking at the shop manual now and it says that you must split the cases,  But that's not as scary as it might sound.  Basically you flip over the motor, remove the oil pan, and then remove the bolts that hold the part of the engine case that holds the crankshaft and transmission in place.  None of the motor's top end needs come off, and the crank doesn't need to come out either.  Honestly, it looks really similar, in principle, to  R&Ring the transmission on my GSXR600.  

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6 minutes ago, thefleshrocket said:

I'm looking at the shop manual now and it says that you must split the cases,  But that's not as scary as it might sound.  Basically you flip over the motor, remove the oil pan, and then remove the bolts that hold the part of the engine case that holds the crankshaft and transmission in place.  None of the motor's top end needs come off, and the crank doesn't need to come out either.  Honestly, it looks really similar, in principle, to  R&Ring the transmission on my GSXR600.  

 

Not sure which manual you have, but both the workshop manual on here (see below) and the Haynes manual say:

 

The crankcase must be separated to service the crankshaft, piston, cylinder and transmission.

• The following parts must be removed before separating the crankcase.

-Alternator/flywheel (Section 16)

-Clutch (Section 9) 

-Cylinder head (Section 😎

- Engine (Section 7)

-Gearshift linkage (Section 10)

- Oil pump (Section 4)

-Starter motor (Section 18)

 

 

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Oh.  Yeah, I see that now part of the manual now.  (I'm using the same manual, sourced from here.)

 

I can sorta picture why some of those parts might need to be removed, but others just seem unrelated.  For example, why would the heads need to come off?  I get it if the crank is being R&Red, since the cam chains are connected to the crank and the heads might need to come off to disconnect the cam chains, but I'm not going to touch the crank.  

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29 minutes ago, thefleshrocket said:

Oh.  Yeah, I see that now part of the manual now.  (I'm using the same manual, sourced from here.)

 

I can sorta picture why some of those parts might need to be removed, but others just seem unrelated.  For example, why would the heads need to come off?  I get it if the crank is being R&Red, since the cam chains are connected to the crank and the heads might need to come off to disconnect the cam chains, but I'm not going to touch the crank.  

No cam chains on a 5th gen,

I don't know for sure why the heads need to come off, maybe the head bolts go thru into the bottom case??

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Oh yeah, duh.  It's been so long since I've ridden this bike that I forgot that one of the things that I love about it is the sound of the gear-driven cams.  Since the cams are still driven by the crank, maybe the manual assumes that you're going to be R&Ring the crank if you crack the cases, and therefore the heads need to come off.

 

Eyeballing the exploded diagram on page 8-0 of the manual, it doesn't look like the head bolts are making it into the bottom case.

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Used engines are $500 so I'd just look that route personally. 

 

It's a VFR, so if the used engine is under 40k miles it's going guaranteed to be pretty much a-ok....

For what you are getting charged you can just buy a second VFR and test-ride it to ensure the engine is good LOL

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Trying to just remove the bottom crankcase on a 5th Gen, with heads and cam drives in place is not really an option.

There are M10 bolts that need to be torqued at assembly that are hard up under the rear head that you may not be able to get to.

Also, the spring loaded  anti back lash gears on the cam drives may also force the crank up and disengage the cam drives causing the cam timing to be lost.

You would want to be very careful.

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I had the same 2nd gear issue at 93K with my original '99 motor. $300 for a lightly used motor with about 25K on it and I've put another 25K on it since without issues. The money saved on shop labor you can throw at new hoses, seals, clutches or Sebspeed clear clutch covers. 

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