The new style clutch basket and starter drive assembly has arrived for the 1974 GT550 I’m rebuilding, together with most of the seals, gaskets and other bits and pieces I need. I managed to track the starter clutch assembly down in the UK from Suzuki-Dave who is a member of the UK Kettle Club, and from whom I’ve bought other items previously. Tracking down all the other seals I needed has taken some time, as some have not been available from Suzuki for quite a while – for example the oil seal that goes behind the drive sprocket ( 09283-25050 ) I finally sourced from a dealer in New Zealand. Most of the crankshaft bearings and the connecting rods are no longer available from Suzuki either, so I’m hoping that the crankshaft I have will be OK.
I spent a very pleasant day up at Fred’s earlier this week washing the engine cases in his parts washer, and they are now look much better. I also rinsed out the crankshaft assembly just to try and flush any remaining small bits of aluminium off the big end bearing etc., and that all looks pretty good as well. As my wife is out of town this week, I very seriously thought about washing the crankcase halves in our dishwasher – this has been done by a number of folks and supposedly works well, however my guess is that they are all single (or divorced) so in the end I decided that I’d better not push my luck with SWMBO’d.
As per Suzuki Service Bulletin #GT-26 of August 15, 1975, the new starter drive assembly ( 21200-34820 ) was introduced with engine number GT550-63692 and is quite different from the older style, as can be seen from the photo to the right – the new style is on the left side of the photo with the new starter clutch gear above it (just ‘click’ in the photo to see a larger version). These assemblies come as matched sets and per the bulletin must be replaced as a unit. Of course none of these parts are still available from Suzuki, so anyone restoring these engines will likely have to take their chances.
With a bit of luck, I should have the engine back in the frame by mid week,