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2008 Suzuki LTZ 400 Manual


Chris41586
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Does anyone know which manual is the best to use to crack the case on a 2008 Suzuki LTZ400? What I think is the general manual I found online, is a little hard to understand, unless you know what you're doing. I'm starting from scratch without knowing anything about quad mechanics, and need to split the case to change out third gear. I've heard that the OEM manual is the best and most detail, but what about Haynes or Clymer? Can anyone tell me if they have experience with these? I'd rather pay for one I can understand, vs a free one that is like reading a language I can't understand. 

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The haynes and clymer manuals have terrible photographs ! They are for the casual mech though and tell you simple ways to do things without the special tools. I prefer the genuine suzuki workshop manual.  Wherever you get the manual, they vary in the quality of the copying. Some are nice and clear, and some are blurry and missing whole sections. Keep downloading till you find a good one. I think you might find the DRZ400 is the same engine and box.. It looks the same as in that youtube video.

https://www.manualedereparatie.info/en/categorii/suzuki.html

https://www.manualslib.com/l/ltz400+suzuki.html

Edited by Mech
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I saw that one in manualslib.com, and it looked like the best one I found so far. I'll check out every link shared with me and read through a bit, to see what is easiest for me to understand. It's a lot to take in, never have worked on them before, and the confusion comes, when I go into a section, and there was different work done up to that point. Hopefully I'll be able to find a good starting point, and go from there. Thanks to all input. It's definitely a bummer, and not something I expected to do after buying a bike that I only rode one time, but hopefully a good learning experience

Also, any good video links would also be greatly appreciated. Just like the manual, it's hard to find a project from scratch to the point I need to go. Honestly, I don't even know how far to go to get to the gears. That's the first thing I need to figure out

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You are in for a complete strip down Chris. You need a big bench/table, a big petrol proof dish to wash things, a mechanics cleaning brush, a tube of loctite master gasket, some clean lint free cotton rag(old tee-shirt or bed linen), a garden hose and compressed air if possible.

Don't try to take short-cuts. Strip it right down, every bit except the oil pump(and maybe even the oil pump), lay everything out methodically as you remove them. When you take a part off inspect it for damage/wear, and to make sure you know what it is and what it does and how it fits back again. After the whole things stripped, wash the parts you are interested in with petrol followed by a hosing off with the garden hose. Inspect those parts thoroughly and make a parts list, seals, gaskets, parts, machining to be done. Crc those washed parts. Most of the parts can sit dirty.

When it's time to put it together you start by washing and hosing and drying one crankcase, hose out the oil galleries in the cases.  Then wash one part at a time, hose it, dry and inspect it again to verify you are putting it in the right way.  First the gears and shifting mechanism. The gears are one of the most common problems people have. When they are sitting in their one case you need to operate the changer while turning the shafts. It must be able to get all the gears, fully engaged. You need to be gentle on the shifter, and you have to turn both shafts sometimes to get them to change, but they have to change correctly or you will get the whole thing together before you find the problem.. Once you are confident the gears are all correct, fit the crank, balance shaft if it has one, anything from between the  center cases. After that you put everything on in the outer cases, then finally before you fit the outer cases you fit the cylinder, head, set the cam timing etc.  

If you do the disassembly carefully, and lay it out at one end of your bench methodical, then you can reassemble it at the other(clean) end of the bench methodically. I used to teach apprentices and the first thing I used to teach them was to use all their senses, sight, feel, smell, hearing.. but generally not so much their sense of taste.  When inspecting parts, look carefully and run your fingers over them. Your fingers will feel wear of one-thousandth of an inch, which your eyes won't detect. Tiny burrs on the cases, thin layers of gasket or sealer, you need to get off, and it's your fingers that will verify they are clean and smooth. Wash parts really thoroughly one at a time just before you refit them, cleanliness is essential. Give everything a light oil or crc before fitting them.  If you aren't sure if something you have done is right, don't assume it will probably be/come right.. It won't. Back-track and re-do the part you aren't sure about, even if it means re-splitting the case to recheck the gears(for instance). It's better to do a little back-track than having to do the whole thing again.

If you take care about how you are working, the rest will fall into place. If you have to leave it for a bit, lay a big bit of cloth or newspaper over the assembled part to keep dust off. If you have paper-wasps over there that like to make nests in holes in things, cover everything really well so they can't get in.

If you have any questions.. ask.

I'll be looking in. You can message me if you want some off line advice. 

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When you are fitting bolts into cases, drop them all into their holes but don't wind them in. Every bolt should show the same amount length. If one bolt shows less length that the rest, you've go the wrong bolt or in the wrong hole. They should all wind in by about 10 to 12 mills. Muddling up the bolts is probably the second most common problem people have. If you tighten a short bolt it will strip. If you fit too longer bolt it will bottom out without clamping the parts.

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Thanks Mech. This is definitely a little scary to get into this big of a project without experience, but I want to break it down one step at a time and not overthink. My biggest fear, is having to walk into a shop with a bucket of parts, and have to ask them to turn it into a bike for me! Some of the videos I've seen, there's people fixing and setting things with these metal shims(I don't know what they're called). Do I need those and the thickness gauge just in case to check things, even though I'm only taking those parts out and putting them back in? Honestly, I don't know yet, if I'm taking these complicated parts out in entire sections that I can reinstall, or I'm completely taking every single thing apart that I'll need to set timing and cams and all that. That's what's intimidating to me. Up to now, I've changed the oil in my car, an alternator, and random simple things like that. I'm a do it myself type of person, but haven't done so much with mechanics. Well I'm going to learn now. About the petrol, are you talking about gas? Wash parts with that instead of dish soap? Also, what's crc?

Also, the first thing I bought yesterday when I found out the work I need to do, is a torque wrench. The one that matches the sockets I already have, is 5-80 ft pounds of pressure. Will that be good for most things I need to tighten? 

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Pertol/gas is the best thing to wash with, followed by a hose off with water. Crc is water dispersing, rust proofing spray, WD40 is much the same.

Yes that torque wrench will do. You need spanners, sockets, allen/hex wrenches(ones that fit your socket set are best), probably an impact screwdriver set, you might need circlip pliers, feeler gauges, an old mill file with the end ground to a sharp square end to use as a scraper to get old gasket and sealer off.

I doubt you will need to change any shims. A new gear should go straight in where the old gear was, with the same shims. It's easy to check though with a set of feeler gauges and the workshop manual.

Some things, such as the crank and possibly the gear shafts you could leave assembled if you aren't having to dismantle them, but only if you are sure you can get them spotlessly clean. It depends how blown up things are, and whether bits of metal dust have got everywhere. If it's just chipped that one gear, and there isn't signs of metal dust/flakes in the oil, then you can probably just wash the crank in a fresh lot of petrol and then hose through it's oilways. If you wash the crank first in that big dish of petrol, before washing the case for reassembly, then the petrol will be clean and not contaminate the crank. It;s always a good idea to wash the crank and gears first, put them aside somewhere clean, then wash the dirty muddy cases. After the cases have left their mud and old filth in the petrol it's probably time for fresh petrol to clean the rest of the bits before fitting them into the clean cases.

You are going to need to strip the entire thing down Chris. You can't separate the left and right side cases with the cylinder on there. It all needs stripping to clean it thoroughly too.

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I think the feeler gauges are what I was calling shims. They are numbered and fit into tight spaces to size right? Do you suggest using the engine oil my bike runs on for oiling engine parts? And the petrol, it was suggested to use non ethanol in the tank for riding, but I can use anything to clean parts right? 

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Yes feeler gauges are thin strips of different thickness steel measuring gauges.

Yes use engine oil when assembling things.

Any sort of petrol/gas is fine for cleaning. You could use kerosene or special cleaning fluid which is like kerosene. The kero and cleaning fluid are better on your hands, but expensive, and in your case disposable. In a workshop we use our bath of cleaning fluid for ages.. I use petrol mostly because it's cheaper and always available if I want some clean stuff, and I keep my hands out of it as much as possible.

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Haha.. Yes Chris, you need to take the head and barrel off before you can separate the main/center cases.

I'd get it on the bench and take both outer side cases off. Then I'd loosen all the tight nuts on the shafts. You'll have to take the clutch apart to get at one tight nut. To lock the shafts you can put a bit of thick aluminum, copper or lead/solder between gears to jamb them while you loosen the nuts. Even a bit of soft steel will do if you don't let it get crushed between the gears as you do with the softer metals, but wedge it between gears a few teeth out from where they mesh, so it's getting jammed against teeth rather than between teeth.

Then take the head off, then the barrel. Next all the bits from in the outer cases and on the ends of the shafts, then finally you split the cases and get the gear shafts out. When you take the gears out, take real care to identify the shift forks and where each one goes, mark them with a felt tip pen if you need to. They all look similar and can be mixed up in some bikes. When you are taking things off, check which way is in or out facing, and lay them out on the bench following some order, such as inner sides down. Lay things out left and right, near and far from you as they are on/in the bike. Take photos, make notes, or mark parts if you think you will forget how they were.

Work slowly, carefully, and make sure you have identified where and how each part fits as you disassemble them, and before you lay them out.

 

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Yessir, I'm definitely going to be labeling everything and laying them out in order. I'm cleaning a work space right now, and I'll lay down plastic to set things on, and then maybe cover up over night as well. Thanks for the tips mech. I'm sure I'll have questions along the way, even if they seem dumb, I'd rather ask than guess or assume. 

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I think I'm going to try to go step by step with the manualslib one. Mech, can you do me a really big favor to get this going? Can you look where it says in the table of contents, top end removal? There's two sides to all the pages. Do I just go down the left side, and than the right side of the page? The step numbers don't seem to line up that way, but maybe the end of that particular step is on the left, and a new step on the right? And do I actually start with "removable parts with engine in place" before going to disassemble? Once figure this out I should be on my way

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Most of the genuine manuals do read down the left column to the bottom of that page, then back to the top right of the page to continue.

The jobs that can be done in place are just to let us know what can and can't be done in place, and what needs the motor taking out of the frame. You will be taking the engine out so you just start at the disassembly point in the manual.

If you tell me the exact file name of the manual you got from manualslib I will download it to be sure we are both reading the same manual.

It's probably a good idea to browse the manual from front to rear Chris, to familiarise yourself with the manual's layout, sections ext.

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It's the one with 492. The way the table of contents has two ways to look at it and they're different is a little confusing, but I think I'm figuring it out. I've been flipping around it for awhile now, and yes I'm going to read everything

My understanding is that page 158 is where I start, and the pages tell me where to go for removing the body and other things

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Yeah page 158 is the start of taking the motor out. It starts at the top right of 158, then goes onto the next page(159) top left, then top right, then next page(160) top left..

If you open the side pane(top right "view", then side pane), you can click on the arrows next to each heading in the side pane, and it will expand the heading/subject.

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