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Thread: 550 rebuild

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    550 rebuild

    Ok it's winter now so I think I'll start my rebuild.(Orange sealant SXV550)

    My engine is barely broken in (450-500 street miles) so I'm not expecting to have to replace any parts do to wear. I will address any worn parts as I find them.

    My question is for any one who has a good amount of experience building these engines.

    I know I will need to replace the head gaskets, are there any other parts that I will HAVE to replace? Any oil seals that I will HAVE to destroy during disassembly? Do I need to order a complete oil seal $207.99 and gasket set $129.99 or can I save some coin and only order the ones that will get destroyed during disassembly?

    http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scrip...idproduct=4383

    http://www.af1racing.com/store/Scrip...idproduct=4097

    I'm not to worried about gaskets like the clutch cover and such. I have already had all of the covers off the engine for torque checks. All of them are stuck to the covers not the engine and are in good condition. I can get any "O" ring I need locally so I'm not worried about them either.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Will N.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    I don't know about seals, but I would atleast replace the head gaskets with the updated ones.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    [QUOTE=pickle311;2046480]I don't know about seals, but I would atleast replace the head gaskets with the updated ones.[/QUOTE

    Already sent AF1 an email asking for a price on the new head gaskets. Waiting to hear back from them.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    apriliaforum expert cal550b's Avatar
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    you dont need the full kits but you do need a few loose seals ,anything inside the cases to the sealed area is worth changing,remember the fitting of the seals etc has been one of the biggest down fall areas in the assembly of these motors,make sure you do it right,sealant must be of high quality,and orings and seals are made of high temp materials so,if you decide to find better quality like i use,do your homework ,this is harder than it sounds,tooling is required and not using the correct tooling at the right time can destroy the motor later .good luck

  5. #5
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    Thanks CAL, Amauri
    Parts are on order.

    I'm not sure which head gasket I need, neither is AF1.(new tech bulletin does not make sense to me) I'm going to take the engine apart and look at the shape of the head gasket around the timing chain and get back with Ed at AF1.


    Any one here use Hondabond 4 to seal up a set of engine cases? (replace orange sealant)
    How well did it work?


    I have used Yamabond 4 on other bikes and never had any issues. Yamabond 4 is no longer available, Three bond 1194 is supposed to be it's replacement but I can't get that here, or should I say it would take a few months to ship by container ship do to it being Hazmat. The only thing I can get that is close to Yamabond 4 is Hondabond 4.
    Thanks

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert cal550b's Avatar
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    the head gaskets you need are the square ones not the cut ones

  7. #7
    apriliaforum Junkie
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    Any one use Hondabond 4 to seal the case halves? If not what did you use?

    Has any one done any head work to an SXV, was it worth it? Deck the heads 5-10 thousands. Is there enough clearance between the valves and piston to deck the heads. I will measure the piston/valve clearance when I get a chance to.

    How about polishing/cleaning up the castings in the exhaust and intake ports?

    Port matching the intake to the throttle bodies and exhaust ports to the exhaust?

    Are any of these mods worth any power gains on this bike?
    Thanks

  8. #8
    just another Aprilia fanatic amauri's Avatar
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    Hondabond sounds like Yamabond, they're all ThreeBond anyway.

    IMO port work does little or nothing for these motors (everyone flame away now).

    We had three sets of heads ported at three different shops last season and ended up going back to stock heads.
    There is plenty of valve to piston clearance, we’ve experimented with as much as .030” off the heads with no ill effects.

    The key to a fast lap time is not so much to have more power but putting the power down and not spinning the wheel.

    The 450 is as much as one full second faster per lap than the 550 with the same rider on the same track, it's just easier to ride.

    Build it stock and accurately so you don't have any reliability issues. You have to finish before you can win.

    We raced two full seasons on stock motors without one single mechanical DNF.
    That was with two riders ridding both 450 and 550 in 2007 and 08.
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  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert cal550b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiak AK View Post
    Any one use Hondabond 4 to seal the case halves? If not what did you use?

    Has any one done any head work to an SXV, was it worth it? Deck the heads 5-10 thousands. Is there enough clearance between the valves and piston to deck the heads. I will measure the piston/valve clearance when I get a chance to.

    How about polishing/cleaning up the castings in the exhaust and intake ports?

    Port matching the intake to the throttle bodies and exhaust ports to the exhaust?

    Are any of these mods worth any power gains on this bike?
    Thanks
    i did a little head work last year and for the work the gains are small, you dont need to skim the head ,take out the silver spacer from your head gaskets ,drill the 2 rivets ,a skim of good head sealant where it was and this will make it snappier,but i have a saying ,there is nothing for free ,to gain something you must loose something ,i made some stuffers to alter the flow through the heads and it gave in some places and took away in others,but in all, worthless to me.i agree that reliability is the most important issue on this bike and thats what i have concentrated on over all .and it is when put together well.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert Alice Racing's Avatar
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    Had reasonable improvements with a combination of headwork, lighter crank and internals, but not huge, only with full mapping do you get big gains in power AND driveability, and make use of all the small improvements you have made elsewhere.........otherwise Rossi would not be able to tell the difference.

    Had minor water issues with my 550 race bike, but the 450 which is getting on for 3 years old and has been ridden by AT LEAST 30 different riders, has very rarely missed a beat. ( gone on one cylinder in the rain once or twice, thats about it)

    450 motors are bulletproof, 550 CAN occasionally shit themselves for no reason whatsoever it seems ?
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  11. #11
    apriliaforum Member
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    Once you've bolted a pipe on, and done the filter, there's nothing inside the motor that makes enough difference to justify taking it out to do it.
    If you are starting from scratch, then thats when the other stuff is worth doing, just so you know its as good as it can be, and its how you learn.



    The beauty is mapping, is that if it dont work, you go back, no way back once the metal has been removed. For me , the proof is when we loan out an ECU, and then have it back. Nobody ever says that they cant tell after we've had it back.

    I'm just glad i get the best map first, its always the difference.


    The next six months is going to be fun, now the jap 450's are FI, it'll be fun to see what the porting maestros do now that the skill has moved from rotary files, to computer files, and everyone will have to do there own work, not copy someone elses.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert irie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Racing View Post
    Had reasonable improvements with a combination of headwork, lighter crank and internals, but not huge, only with full mapping do you get big gains in power AND driveability, and make use of all the small improvements you have made elsewhere.........otherwise Rossi would not be able to tell the difference.

    Had minor water issues with my 550 race bike, but the 450 which is getting on for 3 years old and has been ridden by AT LEAST 30 different riders, has very rarely missed a beat. ( gone on one cylinder in the rain once or twice, thats about it)

    450 motors are bulletproof, 550 CAN occasionally shit themselves for no reason whatsoever it seems ?
    Alice Racing remapped my 550 road race bike and the difference before and after is like night and day. It spins up really fast and is dead easy to ride.

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert Alice Racing's Avatar
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    The hardest thing this year was getting a dry race meeting, we had a string of very wet and muddy races early in the season where it was just not practical to try to map, but then i had a run of 3 meetings using 4 riders on 4 different spec bikes and we made some very big improvements.
    Sometimes its easier to find gains by taking them away again, as a double check, and then add each liitle change one at a time, because when i gave David Farmer ( who went on to win the SXV Cup) the latest map with a lot of changes he said he had to learn to ride it all over again.
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  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert Olof Eriksson's Avatar
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    From what I hear from many sources the SXV engine is well built when it comes to performance. The big gains is what you get from making it breath right. You get very far from getting a good air filter, exhaust and complete it with a good mapping.

    As stated above, theres no point in power if you cant control it, which is done by the Engine Control Unit. I am honored to say that I've got the actuall tuneboy mapping file of the map that Alice racing has put so much time and effort into making. Compared to the VDB or silmoto mapping its smoother and stronger. Which is both reflected in the graphs and on the asphalt. It sure made the bike stronger but what really makes its worth is that it is smooth and easy to ride in all situations.

    So to all of you out there, smack on a exhaust and a airfilter, and get yourself a proper mapping (most preferable Alice racing's)

    About the 550 vs 450, I dont think the 550 is hard to ride with a proper setup, its just that on a smaller track theres power everywhere which means that you always have more power than you need at your hand and theres no point with that. If you have throttle control and a good map you still have more weight/spinning mass than the 450. Its like the Husaberg 650, you have LOADS of power in the range from where the engine barely runs towards the top rpms, but its flat, and corners arent

    Ofcourse it comes to a limit where having less grunt makes it harder to ride even on a small track, like a 125 for instance, or even worse a 85cc. A friend of mine had always ridden big fourstrokes (400cc and up) and I got him to try a CR80 I had borrowed. At first he came back saying that it was wozzie, off he went again, and when he came back he looked up in my eyes and said only this line: "this is a manly bike.".
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  15. #15
    apriliaforum Junkie kingwarrior's Avatar
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    my bike was not starting towards the end the season so stuart kindly spent all day trying to get it going .. we had to put the standard map in so the bike could spin over more than 10 seconds ... i went out and raced with the standard map the bike felt so flat it was unreal .. so after i came in we put the alice race map back in it was so apparant then that the work put into these maps is unreal .. as it very hard to really feel small adjustments he does when its already in and your used to it ... its only when you get a standard map and the fully sorted alice map in that you really apreciate the genius work thats done and gone into the mapping

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