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PettyRage

What a Pile! (1992 TRX250X)

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So a few months back, I picked up a 400ex. It's been the only bike I've ever really wanted. My lady, who is new to atv's and riding altogether, wanted a bike too. Like most things I buy, it's broken, cheap, but in the end is worth all the money put in to it. We found her a 1992 TRX250X, as thrashed as could be, sat for years, but was relatively cheap. We drove a long ways for it, but so far, it's been worth it.

 

Here's how it sat on day one, once reassembled a bit:

Gross to say the least, according to her.

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Long story short, it had been rolled over, parked, probably rolled over again, and then sat for many years. The right front tie rod was bent, right side of the handlebars were very bent, it didn't want to start, the stator cover was destroyed by the chain, and the list goes on. Just take a gander at the snapshots, and you'll know just what I'm talkin' bout. 

 

First thing I did was get all the plastics off (as seen below) so I could start the diagnostical procedures. I put some fresh go juice in it, gave it a few kicks, but got nothing. Bypassed all the kill features, gave it a few kicks...and still nothing. Then out came the multimeter. Everything, minus the spark plug, checked out well within spec. Replaced the not so terribly bad spark plug, kicked the snot out of it, again nothing. Got the ol' compression tester out, she kicked out a whopping 90 psi, no bueno. Popped off the valve covers, and wouldn't you know it, the intake valves were stuck RIGHT open. Backed 'em off to get some play for the time being, got 'er up to 125 PSI. Ready for this thing to start, I gave her a kick......nothing, still....nothing, just a sore leg. At this point, I'm about done with the bike. Wiring, electrical components, fuel, compression, all the things check good. My lady, seeing my frustration, takes all of two seconds on the interwebs, sends me a link for more troubleshooting, and I'll be dipped if the dang reverse-o-matic wiring wasn't another kill switch. Grabbed the circuit completer 5000 (paperclip and electrical tape), completed the reverse circuit, and gave it a kick. Sure enough, fired right up. Other than my finger gauged valve adjustment, the engine sounded healthy as can be. 

 

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Now that we knew we had a heathy engine and a good foundation to work on, it was time to get this thing nekkid, and give 'er a bath! 

I wish I had taken more photo's along this journey, but I like to just put the hammer down and get stuff done.

After 30 gallons of degreaser, a water tower full of water, several toothbrushes, and maybe 300 (wo)man hours of spraying, scrubbing, and rinsing, we had ourselves a clean frame and parts to work with! 

 

 

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This bike needed all the things, so we got to work on the ol' computation device ordering stuff and more stuff. After repairing a crack in the mid case, and putting the new stator cover on, we started to put the bike back together. 

 

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So Amazon, eBay, and Partzilla showed up with a metric sh** ton of parts. We ended up replacing (deep breath in) chain, sprockets, front tie rods/ball joints, front brake calipers/pads, rear brake caliper/pads, front master cylinder, rear master cylinder, muffler, clutch perch/lever, fuel line from tank to carb, kill switch assembly, and I'm sure more that I can't think of right now. I put the Tag bars from my 400ex on her bike, since they sat too low for my comfort. Got some ODI clamp-on grips. Added new brake fluid all around, and bled the lines. We stripped and painted the heat shield as well as the complete exhaust. Painted the front and rear grab bar, and replaced various hardware around the bike with new. Since we're not running reverse, I used a TRX250R kill switch assembly and wired the factree 250X connector to it. I also rid the bike of wiring and linkage for reverse. She won't need reverse, and if she needs reverse, I am the reverse. She did almost all the degreasing/scrubbing of all the components throughout the journey. It's amazing the shiny that hides behind 28 years of neglect, dirt, grease, and poor paint jobs.....

 

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We're almost done with the bike at this point. Need a few odd's and ends like: seat bushings, a fairing bracket, air filter, carb, and some tires. The bike idles very good and will rev. If you hammer the throttle it bogs and dies, if you creep on the throttle, it'll rev to the moon. I'm honestly surprised the carb flows at all. We opted for some brand new Maier plastics, as the old ones were no where near salvageable. Also rebuilt the seat with new foam and seat cover, using the existing plastic base. I bought her a DG slip on used from eBay, which ended up being a complete waste. It sat too far forward and would cause the fairing bracket to hit and not let the rear end snap in place. We ordered a new OEM replacement, which should arrive soon. (Fingers crossed).

We also need to find a new headlight bracket, as this one was broken in the roll over. 

 

 

 

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We will post the final product pics once we get it trail/dune worthy. It's so close we can taste it. We thank those of you that popped in to check out the progress thus far. I wish it was more pics than words, but pictures tell a thousand words.

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looks like you, and your wife ? did a great job .... bringing this one back to life.... great history of the rebuild..... I'm not a sport rider ... but  slammedranger is the leading sport guy here ... also @TRX2FiveO.... 

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Oh my... a ragged out 250x... that takes me back lol

 

I'm a 400ex guy and bought my wife a 91 250x we are converting to 350x. (not far into it yet but check out the thread)

I think we'll get along just fine 😂

 

Cosmetically? It is beautiful! Great work on the restoration! Love the front... reminds me of a 250r

Would love to see a set of rear skid plates, big rear grab bar and a white front bumper to match the plastics 🤤

 

I would think you are in the market for a top-end rebuild sooner than later.

The chances of the piston doing damage to the bottom end is high when it does fail. 
I might of missed but do you get smoke? When?

 

Needs timing chain, valve seals, machine the cylinder, lap the valves, new piston/rings and anything else you find.

300ex carb is a direct bolt on upgrade if not what it already has. 400ex carb will also work with a different boot and jetting from stock. That one would give you an accelerator pump.

 

I'll take the old blue handlebar top-cover off you. I would restore and put on wife's bike

 

Please feel free to get the service manual from the site banner if you haven't already and tell us more about the 400!

Thank you for sharing! 

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Wow! That thing was legit trash when you got it. And you guys polished that turd! Looks like a whole different quad! Good thing is you got 2 of the most reliable quads to work with. The 250x is just a mule. Will just work for ever. And the 400ex IMO is one of, if not the most reliable sport platform honda has ever made. Hands down. Keep up the great work both of you! And make sure you enjoy those hondas like they were built to be.

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2 minutes ago, oh400ex said:

Oh my... a ragged out 250x... that takes me back lol

 

I'm a 400ex guy and bought my wife a 91 250x we are converting to 350x. (not far into it yet but check out the thread)

I think we'll get along just fine 😂

 

Cosmetically? It is beautiful! Great work on the restoration! Love the front... reminds me of a 250r

Would love to see a set of rear skid plates, big rear grab bar and a white front bumper to match the plastics 🤤

 

I would think you are in the market for a top-end rebuild sooner than later.

The chances of the piston doing damage to the bottom end is high when it does fail. 
I might of missed but do you get smoke? When?

 

Needs timing chain, valve seals, machine the cylinder, lap the valves, new piston/rings and anything else you find.

300ex carb is a direct bolt on upgrade if not what it already has. 400ex carb will also work with a different boot and jetting from stock. That one would give you an accelerator pump.

 

I'll take the old blue handlebar top-cover off you. I would restore and put on wife's bike

 

Please feel free to get the service manual from the site banner if you haven't already and tell us more about the 400!

Thank you for sharing! 

I don't think it'll need a top end anytime soon. No smoking other than fuel from running rich with the choke on. Once it's warm, no smoke or issues. The only noise from the engine is the rockers, both intake and exhaust are loose from me adjusting to get compression back. Need to go in and actually set the clearances to spec. The previous owner stated it was bored and rebuilt before it was rolled. I'll know more for sure once I can ride it. As far as a manual, I purchased the eManual from emanualonline.com when we got the bike, I should have joined here first lol. Needed to make sure I had proper ohm readings on the wiring etc. when I was diagnosing. As far as the 400ex goes, bought it from an older gentlemen here in town. Has a 416 top end with a stage 1 hot cam, K&N filter, jets, and a DRD slip on. Got some paddles with it too. I put some taller Moose racing bars on it with some ODI clamp-on grips, and put the Tag bars on the ladies bike. The race brake was broken, so I got a delete plate and threw a CR250 perch/lever on it. That's all that's really done to it. I may strip it and powder coat the frame next winter. Not sure how ambitious I'll be. I'll try to take some pics and do a proper thread on it. I just don't have a lot of plans for it other than ride/enjoy it.

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24 minutes ago, _Wilson_™ said:

looks like you, and your wife ? did a great job .... bringing this one back to life.... great history of the rebuild..... I'm not a sport rider ... but  slammedranger is the leading sport guy here ... also @TRX2FiveO.... 

Thanks! I appreciate the positive feedback. And the lady might as well be the wife at this point lol. I lean towards the sport quads, but honestly, put me on and engine with wheels and I'll enjoy it!

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17 minutes ago, SlammedRanger said:

Wow! That thing was legit trash when you got it. And you guys polished that turd! Looks like a whole different quad! Good thing is you got 2 of the most reliable quads to work with. The 250x is just a mule. Will just work for ever. And the 400ex IMO is one of, if not the most reliable sport platform honda has ever made. Hands down. Keep up the great work both of you! And make sure you enjoy those hondas like they were built to be.

Thanks a ton! I still can't believe we were able to turn this thing around. If this thing had knocked, smoked, or just straight not started, I probably would have scrapped the whole project. I'm a Honda fanboy through and through, from cars to toys. Suzuki has always done right by me, buy I always crawl back to Honda. Once we get this 100% safe for riding, we're gonna ride the ever living crap out of them lol

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1 minute ago, PettyRage said:

The previous owner stated it was bored and rebuilt before it was rolled.

 

As slammed said above the platform is rock solid and knowing that it has been gone through recently I would just hope it was done well.

If the timing chain wasn't replaced it will need one. Don't be scared of engine work if you have to. No biggie on these engines. (most engines)
To do everything you needed on the top would cost under $200 and you would have a brand new engine.

 

1 minute ago, PettyRage said:

K&N filter

 

I know people love these but they let trash into your engine. Either get a pre-filter (like Outerwears) or better yet ditch it for a UNI foam filter.

Clean and oil a foam filter often for best ratio of performance to protection IMO.

 

Would love to powder coat but haven't pulled the trigger because I do like the stock look a lot. (and paint is cheap lol)

 

This was posted to me nearly 10 years ago on the old forum by @TRX2FiveO and was the catalyst to change my opinion.

I took his seasoned advice. Years later he was right or course! 🤣

 

Quote

No doubt K&N are great filters but not for dirt. The 400 I built for my friend had a K&N and he was anal about keeping it clean, ! after playing in the yard for 45min he wouls remove it and clean it out and re-oil it. but I'm gonna bust your bubble. we both ran the same set-up he like you was die hard K&N. after riding in the field one day he pulled the filter and was cleaning it I swiped my fingers around the intake tube and came out loaded with dirt. so we took it off cleaned it out with purple power and dried put it back cleaned and oiled the filter and cleaned the outerwears, We went to Busco that next weekend for a day trip. Sunday morning we got out the bike and started the cleaning again, He removed the filter and checked the intake tube and it was loaded with Busco dirt. We haven't ran K&N since. UNI traps 99% of what K&N missed. Being well maintained and oiled has nothing to do with it. The K&N simply will not trap the dirt a UNI or MOOSE Foam filter will

 

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16 minutes ago, PettyRage said:

Thanks! I appreciate the positive feedback. And the lady might as well be the wife at this point lol. I lean towards the sport quads, but honestly, put me on and engine with wheels and I'll enjoy it!

 

ah..... you hang around long enough.... we'll have you on a utility. .... nothing against sport quads ... I've been wanting one myself ... but slammed want price his .... just joking chief ... 

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2 minutes ago, oh400ex said:

 

As slammed said above the platform is rock solid and knowing that it has been gone through recently I would just hope it was done well.

If the timing chain wasn't replaced it will need one. Don't be scared of engine work if you have to. No biggie on these engines. (most engines)
To do everything you needed on the top would cost under $200 and you would have a brand new engine.

 

 

I know people love these but they let trash into your engine. Either get a pre-filter (like Outerwears) or better yet ditch it for a UNI foam filter.

Clean and oil a foam filter often for best ratio of performance to protection IMO.

 

Would love to powder coat but haven't pulled the trigger because I do like the stock look a lot. (and paint is cheap lol)

 

This was posted to me nearly 10 years ago on the old forum by @TRX2FiveO and was the catalyst to change my opinion.

I took his seasoned advice. Years later he was right or course! 🤣

 

 

If the lady ends up liking the bike and driving manual, I may just do a big bore and re-jet/300ex carb while doing the chains too. Engine work doesn't scare me, that's why I obtain the manuals and take my time. That's also how we got our super clean 2001 CR-V for $600 (cracked exhaust valve). I'm no way attached to any brand of filter, but we did get a UNI for her 250. My 400 is due for a cleaning, as we just took it to the beach/dunes. It has a filter cover, but I might just go to the UNI filter as well. I appreciate the feedback. I was thinking of painting the frame myself, as long as I got it professionally sandblasted first. I used to paint professionally in the automotive world about 8 years ago. I love painting, but hate prep work lol even though that's 99% of the paint job. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, _Wilson_™ said:

 

ah..... you hang around long enough.... we'll have you on a utility. .... nothing against sport quads ... I've been wanting one myself ... but slammed want price his .... just joking chief ... 

I mean, I'd love to trek deep into the woods and camp, while also carrying all the things, so I'm not opposed to a utility. I tried to talk the Mrs. into a utility before the 250, but, like myself, she prefers form over function if given the choice. 

Edited by PettyRage
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 I'm a die hard uni filter guy.... laced with bel-ray foam oil.... plus plus IMO . 

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uni will do nothing..and i mean nothing !, but let dirt into the engine, folks like them, cuz they let more air into the engine, when you get more air ?, YOU GET MORE DIRT !. stock is the only way to go. then again, when you start changing jets and all that crap, then your just tossing parts at it, and seeing what sticks ?!..lol.

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OP, great save and build !. i've just gotta ask this ?!..when ya was kicking it over and over..and discovered about the reverse problem ?..why didn't ya pull the spark plug out, and check for spark when ya was wearing your leg out kicking it over ???..lol. future advice: ALWAYS CHECK FOR SPARK AT THE PLUG :-).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, shadetree said:

uni will do nothing..and i mean nothing !, but let dirt into the engine, folks like them, cuz they let more air into the engine, when you get more air ?, YOU GET MORE DIRT !. stock is the only way to go. then again, when you start changing jets and all that crap, then your just tossing parts at it, and seeing what sticks ?!..lol.

 

ooh ooh I want to be the one to get yelled at today 🤣

 

I think you are wrong on this one... don't hit me lol

 

I didn't just take moose at his word... I cleaned and oiled my K&N and Outerwear's pre-filter and threw it in my bike and did the finger sweep on intake test as he described. Sure enough even clean and freshly oiled the K&N let trash in. The UNI did not. I run stock filters in pretty much everything. They are cheaper than UNI and are what the bike needs but UNI is only an upgrade from stock. Same foam filter design but UNI has more surface area. Test it for yourself and prove we are wrong but after Moose did the work and I didn't take his word I now know for a fact that UNI keeps intake clean as stock. I maintained the 400 after nearly every ride in that area and can speak with confidence in this regard.

Edited by oh400ex

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I'm not opposed to the honda oem foam filter ... i just prefer the uni..and bel-ray. but ... I'll swop back to oem soon... as for the k&n 

 

The PreCharger / outerwear is designed to run dry. 

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3 hours ago, oh400ex said:

 

ooh ooh I want to be the one to get yelled at today 🤣

 

I think you are wrong on this one... don't hit me lol

 

I didn't just take moose at his word... I cleaned and oiled my K&N and Outerwear's pre-filter and threw it in my bike and did the finger sweep on intake test as he described. Sure enough even clean and freshly oiled the K&N let trash in. The UNI did not. I run stock filters in pretty much everything. They are cheaper than UNI and are what the bike needs but UNI is only an upgrade from stock. Same foam filter design but UNI has more surface area. Test it for yourself and prove we are wrong but after Moose did the work and I didn't take his word I now know for a fact that UNI keeps intake clean as stock. I maintained the 400 after nearly every ride in that area and can speak with confidence in this regard.

i could yell at ya, and show you over 100 motors that were damaged from dust/dirt intake ?, but i won't waste my time trying to convince someone that '' thinks '' he knows more than me when it comes to engines. use and run what you think is better ?, myself ?..i'll stick with oem..cuz i KNOW ITS BEST !.

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45 minutes ago, shadetree said:

i could yell at ya, and show you over 100 motors that were damaged from dust/dirt intake ?, but i won't waste my time trying to convince someone that '' thinks '' he knows more than me when it comes to engines. use and run what you think is better ?, myself ?..i'll stick with oem..cuz i KNOW ITS BEST !.

 

I don't know more than you when it comes to anything Honda. Full stop not claiming I have near the experience you do.

 

OEM is a safe and best option for a stock bike no argument from me there.

Your statement was that UNI lets in junk and if properly maintained that just ain't the case. I have tried it and like you... I believe my own eyes. 

Sport bikes suck air like nothing else and we take off the airbox lid and get rid of some factory protections for performance. We see air movement is all I'm saying.
Test for yourself. Stock filter is arguably inferior when it comes to protection on a well maintained UNI. I do know something about destroying engines with dust and dirt lol

Maybe... just maybe you haven't given old UNI the full try with an open mind and it might be great?

 

I owe a lot to your advise from years ago. Can go look over my 400 rebuild thread on the old forum if you get a chance. You helped me a lot and I don't discount your experience.

 

Quote

Jun 3, 2012 shadetree said:
i think you're learning a lot !..nice job !. and thanks for the write up !.

 

Gave me credit once so I guess that's my one 🤣

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11 minutes ago, oh400ex said:

 

I don't know more than you when it comes to anything Honda. Full stop not claiming I have near the experience you do.

 

OEM is a safe and best option for a stock bike no argument from me there.

Your statement was that UNI lets in junk and if properly maintained that just ain't the case. I have tried it and like you... I believe my own eyes. 

Sport bikes suck air like nothing else and we take off the airbox lid and get rid of some factory protections for performance. We see air movement is all I'm saying.
Test for yourself. Stock filter is arguably inferior when it comes to protection on a well maintained UNI. I do know something about destroying engines with dust and dirt lol

Maybe... just maybe you haven't given old UNI the full try with an open mind and it might be great?

 

I owe a lot to your advise from years ago. Can go look over my 400 rebuild thread on the old forum if you get a chance. You helped me a lot and I don't discount your experience.

 

 

Gave me credit once so I guess that's my one 🤣

i think we are getting this thread off topic, so with that said, we'll end it here.

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Oh boy, things got a little hot in here lol. I appreciate all the input and feedback! So we've got a small update. We ordered a new carb and got that installed (no pics unfortunately). I made a generic LED light bar headlight for the bike. Just modified the brackets it came with to make it bolt in the same area as the factory light. 

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Also put my Moose Racing bars on the bike, looks better with black and taller bars imo. 

 

 

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So we finally took it out for a ride. Went to a local college parking lot. Aaand immediately knew something was off when I took off. Look down at the right rear wheel and that sucker was a' wobblin'. The axle was bent pretty bad. The bearing carrier was shot as well, tons of play. So I ordered a new axle and bearing carrier, and installed it at work. You can also see the new muffler (Caltric, doesn't fit well, and the gasket from them was worthless). Hopefully going to spring for a decent full system in the near future, but this does the job minus a leak at the pipe/muffler clamp.

 

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Going to try to upload a video of it out for it's first ride. We went to Browns Camp here in Oregon. All levels of trail difficulty, and more riding than you could do in two weekends. 

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