Lets face it, the FJ has
a monster engine. The FJ power is so smooth and tractable that
some don't realize how fast they can be until they learn to wind
it out properly. As with anything though, sometimes you want
I read that the original coils are weak, and that a hotter
ignition system was better if you tune up your FJ.
I fitted Dyna Coils with HT leads
in my 1100. The only I can say is I could not feel
any difference at all. It seems to be than hotter spark is
better suited for elderly, oily motors. Well, my FJ 1100 did
165.000 km and when I checked the cylinder compression it was
between tolerances. (When is old an FJ
So I think fitting the coils only is a good idea if your FJ
burns any oil.
bought them at eBay and I didn't spend too much money, so I can say
that these are shit: the bike stalls like a bronco bull between 1000 to
2000 rpm. Exactly the same that my FJ 1100 did when I fitted Dyna Coils
without the ignition advancer. The ignition curve vary abruptly at that
range and the carbs can't cope with a hotter spark without an advancer
that smooth the ignition.
can't recommend it. If you have a problem with your OE coils, look for
a 2nd hand ones at eBay like a cheap alternative, unless you want to
start to play with ignition and carb settings, like myself when I owned
my 1100... and I remember that at the consultory section I have a
question about this too. Read it. It is the same problem.
UPDATE: new info about coils: the OE ones are the best
(Thanks to Randy, expert FJ owner, mechanical, tuner &
product developer for FJs from
The coils have them same values between O.E. and aftermarket. The
difference is at the plugs wires. The aftermarket utilizes carbon core
automotive style spark plug wires with a connection at each end; coil &
plug. The wire ends are then crimped on the soft wire and are a weak
connection point. They then use the spark plug wire as the resistance of
the secondary ignition circuit.
The stock coil uses a stainless steel solid core secondary wire. The
wire, while replaceable at the coil, is sealed and does not have a
failure point at the coil base connection as there is a needle that
pierces over an 1" into the solid core of the wire. The spark plug boot
then screws onto the end of the spark plug wire for another positive
connection. The spark plug boot is bake-o-lite and is not susceptible to
breakdown due to hear.
If you ensure there is the proper voltage source at the stock coils, you
cannot generate any more spark voltage, as long as the coils test within
the specifications of the service manual.
Coils relay installation
to improve the ignition, getting a hotter spark at the plugs
Like Randy said, you're not going to get a hotter spark with new coils,
but anyway you CAN improve your ignition system: using a relay to feed
system voltage to the coils directly (using a fatter wire), avoiding
voltage drops elsewhere in the system.
The power to the coils runs thru
the main (key) switch, and a bunch of connectors. Each connection/switch
will have some resistance and an associated voltage drop across this
resistance. These voltage drops add up and, in consequence, the device
being fed this power gets less than battery voltage..... The relays
eliminate the resistive connections and each device fed thusly will get
nearly-full battery voltage.
Using a tester I checked that the coils were feed by only 10 v. With a
relay I've gained 2 v. More voltage in means more voltage out from the
coils: better and hotter sparks.
I fitted the relay in the battery box, and the fuse at the front of the
battery to have good access. (Watch the pic)
The fatter wire from the battery goes to the front of the bike and under
the fuel tank, where the coils live. I've done all connexions with
travelling in mind: like every year I ride a lot
of kilometres for Europe, in case of a relay breakdown I simply
disconnect the relay wires on the OE connexions and re-connect the OE
The connexions are as follow (my bike is an European 3CV)
To earth: from relay nº 85 connection to a chassis point
To battery: from relay nº 30 connection to the positive
Red fatter wire from relay nº 87 connection to the coils
White female clamp: - Red/white wire:
White male clamp: - Red/white wire:
red fatter wire from the relay from battery 87
- Grey wire: connected by a grey wire with the white male clamp grey
Grey wire: connected by a grey wire with the white female clamp grey
Yellow female clamp: -
Red/white wire: to the relay, to activate 86
Yellow male clamp:- Red/white
wire: red fatter wire from the relay from battery orange wire
- Orange: connected by a green wire with the yellow
male clamp orange wire -
Orange: connected by a green wire with the yellow female clamp
Today I´ve tested the new relay mod and, like Pat told me, new float
bowls fuel level, 23 mm, from the previous 21 that I found them
I´ve chosen the worst possible scenery: hot day temperature, curvy,
tight, slow known road that go from level sea altitude to 2.000 m. high
in 40 kms where I drive very hard form 2 - 6.000 rpm all the time in
2nd/3rd gear (more is impossible: you go to the ditch... and the ditch
is at the bottom of a 500 m cliff. Scary! )
The bike accelerate with fierce power, I´ve near eliminated the
backfires... but I´ve got HOT. Even with cold sparks and with big oil
cooler, the oil went to 120ºC in 30 kms, when last week, with similar
temperature, didn't pass from 105ºC in the 40 kms
So I revised the float bowls level one more time, leaving
them in 22 mm.
little backfires have appeared again, but less than the OE settings, and
the temperature have come back to the normality
plugs SF416C or SF 416B (colder ones)
They promised more power and,
surprise!, better fuel consumption. I think that you would need a Dyno
to check it, and yes, It is possible that the bike runs more mpg because
the bike feels so much sweeter, with less
vibration, and start even better with the Splitfires. Recommended!. Buy
them at www.bellrockracing.co.uk.
Buy them with confidence: nice, fast delivers and professional people.
It is a good idea to change
the 25 years old spark plug caps for a new ones.
NGK VD05F caps fit in our FJ.
Unscrew the OE caps, cut 1cm. of the wires to eliminate the oxidation
and screw the new ones.
obtained the idea from my Honda CBX 750 owners manual: living in
Tenerife and riding long journeys in Mainland Spain too in spring or
summer It's recommended the fitment of colder Spark plugs, NGK DPR
EA9 or Splitfire SF416B. I've checked that the bike runs
around 5º colder and feels sweeter too. Only for warm / template
climates. When cold the engine doesn't get enough temperature and drinks
Changing the clutch
fluid & hose
Think that better clutch engagement
means better shift gear movement, a good idea thinking about the
agricultural feeling of the FJ gear change.
The clutch lever itself is prone to wear on high mileages bikes and, as
there not adjustment at the lever itself, it can have trouble engaging
the master cylinder rod. The symptoms are the same that the other clutch
faults: clunky gear changes and difficulty selecting neutral because the
clutch is not able to fully disengage with its travel limited. When
rebuilding your clutch, don't miss to change the lever!
Improving your clutch
When slippage starts on your clutch, it is due to the weak OE
clutch spring. When the spring worn, the plates start to warp &
slip, and it is time to replace them. It is a good idea apply
any of the following clutch springs ideas.
- When a
new clutch kit is fitted, throw to
the bin the wire clip (8) and the spring damping parts(4,5). See
the parts at the picture.
OE kit are 2 thin plates and 6 big ones. The thin plates are
fitted one at the front (11) and one at the end of the plates
(6). When the above pieces are removed, you can replace the last
thin plate (11) with a big one. You will have 7 big plates and 1
thin, with improved clutch surface. The clutch feels more
responsive and don't slip anymore at high rpms..
- I fitted a set of Barnett clutch plates in my 1100 when the
originals ones started to slip. Ticker than the original ones,
and no feeling differences at all. Now, I have fitted an EBC kit,
reference number 2285,
and even although is ticker than the OE ones too, there is no
difference at all too
- Fit a metallic hose (Goodridge or similar).
You get more pressure at the circuit.
- The cheap solution:
fit another diaphragm spring on top of the OE, the only down
side (and it is a BIG down side) is this leaves the clutch lever action a little heavy. This is the
solution that I have just applied, and the lever is not too
heavy, getting a very good clutch engagement and making the gear
engagement more positive and less agricultural. But I've got a
left hand injury too, so I've extirpated the 2nd spring.
Install a Burnett clutch spring kit conversion.
At the photo you can see
the FJ clutch spring compared with the XJR 1300´s one. There is
no difference at all!. It is exactly the same unit, with the
same thickness. A total waste of money of you think that the XJR
spring is harder
cheapest and best solution is simply install the FJR 1300 clutch
pressure spring. No extra hand power needed!. It is checked that the
diaphragm spring from the FJR1300 is a beefed up version of our
own FJ1200's. I have no tested this solution myself.
Clutch master cylinder
is recommended to change the clutch master cylinder to gain
sweetness at the lever in conjunction with the improved clutch.
The FJR master is the most popular conversion, because it fits
straigh on, but because those are expensive 2nd hand, I opted to
fit a ZZR 1100 master cylinder. It fits straight on too, only
you must cut the little protruding piece of metal at the left
side of the mounting bracket, to cleared space for the fitting.
A tiny paint with a pencil and it looks like it is designed to
fit onto the FJ.
You must adapt the connectors that fit on the clutch switch, but it is
an easy task. With the change the clutch action is sweet, more positive
engaged and you can regulate the lever to your size.
and CRONCH noises are continuously surging from the
gear shift, concluding in a long term 2nd gear
breakdown in FJ 1100 and FJ 1200 models. (And in FZ 750
too). The cure is to replace the gears with new parts
and to replace the selector fork at the same time, an expensive
fix, because it involves dismantling the crankcases. To prevent
this, don’t abuse of the 1st to 2nd high
rpm changes and use good oil.
very cheap improvement: replace the shift spring with a harder
one. The problem is getting there to change it: you have to
disassembly clutch plates, clutch basket, gear lever, gear
selector inside the right hand of the motor… near 4 hours job
and needing an expensive Yamaha special tool to dismount the
clutch basket. The gear selector get so much harder than before,
but the FJ1100 missing gears when changing at high revs don't
May 2.012: FACTORY SHIFT KIT (2)
revised kit contains the same spring than before, the clutch
gasket and a new shift inner lever with a little bearing instead
the OE pressed-shim lever. The idea is that the new lever
softened the harder spring.
NEEDED to buy the gear selector shaft oil ring, PN
93102-12321, because if there is an oil split after the assembly it is a hard work to change
And it is
RECOMMENDED to but the following parts:
99006-10600-00 Gear selector shaft clip
93109-12075 sprocket cover oil rings (2 units)
5VK-18127-00 shift gear shaft spring stopper
90215-25218 basket clutch nut blocker shim
It is a
false economy no to change this parts: all of them are less than
$12 and you're exposed to a oil split or a mechanical failure.
the FJ 1100, it is necessary to dismount the front sprocket
cover, gear selector shaft and clutch assembly including clutch
box. So a clutch holder tool is necessary to dismount the
big clutch basket nut (30" socket).
pictures at the gear selector drum and at the OE lever position.
If the gear is in neutral, the lever is located in the only leg
of the star-form gear drum that looks to be broken. Situate a
rag to avoid the screw or the spring going into de sump and
extract both and the lever at the same time. To fit the new
lever and spring it is better get assisted by a friend: while
you're installing the screw that holds the lever and spring in
place, your friend must press the spring with a large flat
screwdriver in order to take everything to place.
reinstall the shift gear shaft, fit the shift gear shaft spring
stopper screw with Nural 50 and fit electrical tape to
the axle gear head to avoid to damage the new gear shaft oil
conclusion is clear: the 2 hours to fit the kit as described by
the instructions are hyper optimistic: both my friend Mingo and
myself are expert FJ owners and we dismantle our FJs with our
eyes closed. And we last 3 and half hours. Apart for the
company and the laughs, its is better to get help to
dismount/refit the clutch basket screw (7 kgm.) and to install
the new spring/lever and the screw.
Riding the bike: is it worth
the expense and effort?. Mmmmmm... Yes and no. Let me explain:
get a Suzuki type gearbox with the kit fitted, or even
comparable to my Honda. The gear change
continue being very noisy, and aggravated by a even
harder shift than before, problem that is not completely fixed by the kit
bearing type lever. If you do find traffic jams in your usual
riding , or if you riding is calm type, going
touring or using the gear change like a mere process to go form
1st to 5th, leaving the monster torque engine to do the job
don't fit the kit.
other side, it is not expensive if you fit the kit yourself,
even if it is not an easy work. And the gear engagement is much
better, with less play at the shift lever making the changes
much faster and precise, perfect to play with the guys with much
you own a FJ 1100 or 1986-87 FJ 1200 is a big improvement to
avoid the 2nd gear problem that could affect to your bike
UPDATE JULY 2.012: after 10.000
kms the hard spring has just bed in and it is no more hard at
all. The gear engage with less noise, less gearshift lever
travel and more positive, resulting in a more pleasant riding,
with less vibration, less effort on the up shifting and less
worried about down shifting at high rpms.
2.013: RPM SHIFT KIT
2.013 we fitted a different shift kit on Mingo´s FJ: it is an evolution from the
Factory kit made by
CA, EEUU. The owner is an excellent chap that develop, built and
sell spares and improvements specifically for our loved FJs,
from shocks to special valve guide oil seals.
improve the bearing and the lever and uses the OE spring, so the
gear is not only much more precise from the 1st moment, its
silky smooth since the first moment too. Randy, the owner, has
got a BIG improvement over the Factory kit. IT IS FANTASTIC!. RECOMMENDED
LEVEL: IMPORTANT TIP
method describe to check the oil at the workshop and at the
owners manuals is wrong!. These explain that the bike must be
at work temperature, checking the level after 2 min with the
engine switch off.
My bike wasted around 0,5 litres per 1000 kms because I followed
that procedure. Instead of, my friend Jose Carlos, long distance
motorbike courier, told me to test to do it with a cold engine,
let it overnight. In our past summer travel I started to check
the oil level like J Carlos told me and the oil consumption was
niggle!!!! even although 600 kms fast journeys. I checked then
the KN filter and it was black, soaked in oil. It was clear that
if you check the oil with the motor hot the engine throw away the
oil by the breather hose to the air filter box
There are millions of words written about oils and I have read a
great part of them. My personal conclusions, based in my
personal reading and experiences, are as follow:
Synthetic vs. mineral based oils:
synthetic based oils are thinner and their molecules are more
resistant to the enormous pressure forces generated between
parts contacts inside the motor, and they are less affected for
the temperatures. But be careful when you use it: you would
never use synthetic in your motor before around 12.000 km from
new because you will never get a good break-in: so much the oil
lubricate parts than they don’t get fitted together . Use
mineral oil minimum the first 12.000 km
Brand oils and car vs. motorbike oils:
I have read comparatives between different brand oils and car
vs. motorbike oils. My conclusion: the “moto” brand only add
price to your oil. And I worked in Audit Accounts multinational
and I have see how in a refinery plant they make oil that after
they carry it to a bottling-plant where the only thing that do
is filing with the same oil different bottles with different
So, when buy oil, look only at the SAE (or temperature) grade
and API standard.
In reference to SAE, it’s recommended use 50w oil if you live in
a hot climate (like me) or 5w in winter, in a cold place. It
could be a good plan using mineral 20-50w oil in summer and
10-40w in winter the first 12.000 km, and after this period,
change it to semi-synthetic or 5-50w synthetic oil.
It is said that the last API SJ oils have a lot less of zddp
(whatever they are) and a lot of saving fuel
and anti- slippage additives. It seems that zddps are valve
lubricants, but, for example, Motul 300 V motorbike oil is API
SJ rated….¿¿¿¿¿????? And I have used cheap Carrefour mineral and
synthetic car oils from 10 years without apparent problems in my
Specially in tuned
motorbike motors the clutch slip with the new SJ rated oils.
Well, it seems that you must look for
not a fuel saving rated
And, if it is possible, a SG rated oil, with more zddps and less
anti-slippage additives. Krafft and Elf make SG oils.
And in the FJ, mineral oils are the oil to use, FJ air cooled
motors, with big tolerances, drink synthetic oil. And with
the temperature and the synthetic additives the valve guides oil
rings get hardened and the
engine starts to spend oil without solution.
Today I use 20-50
w mineral oil, SG rated, and I change it with the filter every
6.000 kms. Sonic makes a good oil too, specially formulated for
old-oil consumer motors
Bigger oil cooler
ordered from the
FJOCUK. It seemed me a good idea to fit it to run cooler my
loved FJ, because my last FJ 1200 were running too hot here in
Tenerife because of the ignition advancer. And, like you know,
in Tenerife the minimum average temperature are 18ºC.
The instructions speech easy fitting was a mere marketing
fantasy: get ready to swear and fight with the cooler for about
3 hours, and with a pair of
spare hands to help you, because its near perfect finish and
tight fit do it a pain in the **** to mount it. The most
difficult part is to fit the old rigid hose to the new flexible
hose: you must use a handsaw to separate the rigid part and you
must be very carefully cutting it, because you could damage the
rigid hose (like I did BOH!). And like the
new cooler is rigid mounted, be ready to built your own flexible
support with a pair of grommets.
As you can see, I bought a flexible car radiator grill and I cut
a piece to protect the cooler from debris and stones, fixing it
with the same cooler screws. The problem is that my bike runs
between 5 - 10ºC hotter, so I can't recommended because you have
spent a lot of money and swear to fix the cooler to return to
the same place fitting the grill
The bike now looks gorgeous, and the finish of the cooler is
excellent. I vigorously recommend it, even although only for the
look of the thing.
it is effective too: Mingo & myself bought a couple of oil
thermometer at eBay. My bike runs between 80 to 100ºC and the Mingo's
runs between 90 to 110ºC, so my bike runs consistently around a 10ºC
RPM Spin on oil filter conversion
When received I
was amazed: it is an outstanding piece of kit!. It is a pity that you
have to screw the oil filter into and no leave the aluminium piece at
The fitment is
very easy even when Randy, the RPM owner, miss to send you the
bit of internet search and I assured that the long screw go into the
engine (like looked logical at first impression). Soak the gasket on oil
and with a 25 mm. head fit in 2 min... if you have the head, of course.
I discovered that for 30 years I've never used that measure. Half an
hour to make a fast visit to my local hardware store and
ready. Be careful don't overtighten: it is not necessary. You can feel
the end of the engine thread when screwing the nut.
fitment is another 2 min. issue.
You don't trap
the wire that is guided by the rear of the filter case, you don't loose that
big shim that fit on the old filter, (so consequently you don't soak your
hands in oil looking for it), you don't have to refit a new inner
& outer gaskets... Change the oil filter is a doddle now.
To me the main
advantage is about changing the oil filter during my travels: I don't
carry a torque-wrench with me to give the 1.5 kgm. specified torque. And
it is difficult with a head and a socket due to the spring pressure to
get the correct torque, with the always pending danger of overtighten
and destroy the engine thread and stay f**ked in the middle of nowhere,
at 4.000 kms. from home and with an Ocean in the middle...
Another plus is
that the engine carry a little more oil with the conversion, always a
And yesterday, on
August 2.013, my bike run a little cooler than usually in a very hot
day. (about 2 ºC) Its possible that the exposed total area to the air
flow be wider now than with the OE case. I will confirm with my friends
I had only three
concerns before to know and fit the kit:
1.- The filters
specified on Randy site are difficult or impossible to find in Spain.
Problem solved, because I checked that HI-FLOW
202 fit perfectly, and by coincidence it is the same that fit
my CBX 750. Even in an emergency, any std Honda filter fit (even these are
2.- The main
concern was the aesthetical issue. And it was not only me: all my
friends were saying "f****ing horrible" and other less polite things.
Well, NO, no way. The Randy pics don't do justice. (Sorry, Randy). The engine looks
tricky now with the new filter and the spin on, even better than with the old
ugly oil filter case protruding nut. Only take a look to my bike.
3.- We all know
that the only weak point in our beloved FJs is the clutch push-road
seal. Is it more exposed to the elements with the conversion?. There is
no more means of debris to be able to reach the seal and 99% of the
debris that does reach the seal is from the chain, so there is no
concern from the spin on conversion. If anything is actually just the
opposite happens now and it might keep the area cleaner. The stock
canister housing has a lip that material could build up on and not
drain/fall from the area. The round oil filter allows all moisture and
debris to fall completely away from the bike and not get trapped by the
lip on the housing. Anyway I
will update this issue in a year of use and abuse...
CONCLUSION, my only complain
now is not have tested this conversion before. IT IS FANTASTIC!.
cranckcase oil seal change
Just seeing the oil leak, although very small, I though
the worst: the original seal is made with a rim which is imbued in a
groove inside the crankcase (the seal on the left in the photo) so all
the signs were that it was going to be necessary to open the crankcase
to change the seal.
But the ignition is a point where FJs do not carry oil pressure, so the
replacement original Yamaha oil seal does not made with that edge, and
change the seal is a simple task of removing the old seal with a
screwdriver and fit the new one. The replacement measures are 34 48 7
when the original is 6, so the replacement is deeper than the OE one.
Anyway if you have this problem over the course of a holiday, in a
travel, and you do not want to spot your boots with oil, it's okay to
cover the tiny hole evacuation of water from the ignition cover with
silicone and wait to arrive home to repair it. The ignition will work