Purchasing engine parts, Honda Super Cub guide

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Purchasing engine parts, Honda Super Cub guide

Post by AE86 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:27 am

How to plan your build.

This is the follow up post to the "How to Disassemble a Honda Super Cub (Series 84) motor" and the "prequel" to the "How to rebuild a Honda Super Cub (Series 84) motor".


[The Old Forum link removed.]

Reassembly, in the making

[The Old Forum link removed.]

**Sorry, most of this is text so a bit of a bore to read.**

In this post, I am going to go over how to choose what parts to get for your new motor, meaning, I am going to suggest what to buy for a full rebuild specifically in Cambodia.

**All of this info is based on purchasing parts from Russian market in Phnom Penh. If you want to try and order through a dealer you’ll get a genuine part, but it’s not always easiest to buy. So often dealers don’t bother with parts and can often send you away saying “I’ll call you” but never do. Russian market is always there though, and people always sell parts, so it is your best bet.


1st, the crankset. For simple ease of use in Cambodia, I strongly recommend a decent Taiwanese or Vietnamese crankshaft that is already assembled. It’s relatively inferior in terms of quality, but it’s also consistent. The problem doesn’t lie in the quality of the parts only, but also from the skill of the mechanics. I’ve seen so many Khmer bodge jobs that have stuffed up balancing the crankshaft or installing the bearings that I feel it’s not worth the effort to purchase crankshaft bearings and a conrod set and then try to get them fit. That having been said though, that’s exactly what I did except that I pressed the bearings and conrod on myself, so I know they are correctly done and balanced, so I have no worries about later on.


If you have a good mechanic that you trust, then go ahead, you might (emphasis) on might, get a better crankshaft set complete with Japanese OEM bearings and OEM conrod, but I promise you that the Taiwanese (Sangyang), Viet and even Chinese cranksets are actually pretty good. I’ve used many of them before without any trouble for years, the main thing is, keep things CLEAN when installing and don't bang it up.

If you really must do your own crankshaft though, the Yoko brand and Crocodile conrods are pretty good (I’ve used both), and for crankshaft bearings (6203 size), I like the genuine Nachi bearings but beware, fakes exist for those so unless you trust your seller, don’t try and find Japanese bearings and just settle for the HCH brand bearings which are Taiwanese. Cheaper and decent.


2nd, the piston, rings, etc. If you want to get your cylinder rebored with a new piston fit, then that is a possibility of course, however for ease of use, purchasing a new barrel and then “upgrading” the piston and rings I think is the best bang for the buck. This means purchasing a standard bore aftermarket barrel and then buying a high grade piston and ring set to replace the very rubbish Chinese/Vietnamese one that comes with it. I've done this at least 2 dozen times on my business bikes and several have clocked over 20k no problem with hard use, so I am very confident in this method as being a sensible way to get a quality build done.

Why this works is (in my opinion) because Chinese and Vietnamese barrels offer a much better “finish” on the liner itself, meaning the cylinder liner, than a cylinder bored and honed out here in Cambodia usually. This I believe is because major companies have access to CNC bore machines and hones, where as anything here is really just meant to cut the bore to the right size, finish and cross hatch pattern be damned. Again if you know a good machinist that you can trust and want to reuse your old barrel then go for it, but if not, just buy a new barrel altogether and then get an OEM piston and ring set to match with it. It’s well worth the money and the hassle saved.


As for pistons themselves, Japanese OEM grade pistons are available from Thailand. ART pistons are widely available here but are manufactured in Thailand, however, it is widely accepted amongst many mechanics I’ve talked to here (both Viet and Khmer) that the Taiwanese J.C.C. pistons are of better quality. I agree as well after having used both. The J.C.C.s are better finished from the factory, and their price reflects so. Maybe 20% more expensive.





As for the piston rings, there are generally two types. Fake number 1 and fake number 2. Fake number 1 is found in a cardboard box with a fake Honda sticker on the front. It is labelled to look identical to the Honda rings as seen in this picture.


Fake number 2 are found in small white plastic containers that say “Made in Japan” They are not made in Japan.

Sorry for no pic, I should have bought some to show you.

Both are “good”, but fake 2 are better from what I’ve been told. I can not tell any difference having used both in multiple engine builds except that maybe fake 2 are slightly higher tension rings.

So, what do you choose?

Personally, I order OEM Honda pistons and OEM Honda piston rings from Japan for my own personal use bikes usually, but that’s because I am ethnocentric. Don’t be stupid though, they cost 12 times more than the stuff here and offer no practical benefit.

Buy whatever you want listed above because I’ve never had any issues related to cylinders, pistons or rings on any of my rebuilds in Cambodia, and I’ve seen some serious mileage and stress on some motors with any combination of parts listed above. Two bikes I’ve built over 3 years ago are still running with no appreciable loss of power of oil consumption and are used daily still, and many more are still running with no issues. I know it might be scary to go “cheap” on pistons and rings, but if there is one thing that is really quite good over here, it’s the quality of the parts available in this regard.


3rd: Gearbox and drive bearings.

Japanese bearings are available here but so are many well disguised fakes, so unless you can ensure you don’t get a fake, I’d purchase the “well known” Taiwanese or Thailand versions of these bearings and call it good. HCH and CXCL bearings a decent, that’s all I’ve tried and had good success with.


If you want to try though, the genuine bearings I have seen are the NTN 6201, 6001 and 6000 bearings in small supply but no 6203, 6003 (the ones above I brought over) or needle rollers. Nachi gearbox bearings have always been fakes in my experience and believe me, I’m tired of being faked out so I’ve stopped trying to find genuine ones. Only Nachi crankshaft bearings I’ve found are genuine. Things might have changed, not sure, I don’t bother to find out.


4th, misc “hard” parts. For a Super Cub, these parts include the cam chain, cam chain tensioner wheels, oil pump drive, gasket kit and (if you have a 3 speed gearbox), the gearbox itself.

For the cam chain, use genuine DID chains (box shown in pic above). These are made in Japan and imported here. They are available in 84 or 82 link and are very nicely packaged in a rather dowdy looking box. They have production dates, codes and link # stamped on them and look very different to the Chinese cam chains which have nothing but a shiny box and plastic wrap on them.

**Misc** The KMC cam chain is supposed to be Korean and did seem a bit better than the Chinese ones I tried, but I am not entirely sure. Still works after 3 years on one of my old Daelims so it can’t be that bad.

Tensioner wheels and oil pump drive, ask for the “good” one (l’awh). If you’re not sure if it is the good one, ask to see the regular one. A good seller will show you the not so good one and it will look cheaper. Usually it’s lighter weight and not as well finished, so if you’re good, you can spot the better part just by looking at it.

The gasket kit, the sealed up packs with green nitrile seals are almost always good and are prepreg gaskets with good “rubber” seals as well. These appear slightly faded green as opposed to bright green. Used several dozen, all with good results. The cheaper gaskets (individual) need sealant and also tend to leak anyway even if you do add sealer, so just ask for the “good” ones.

The gearbox itself, ONLY BUY NEW or USED OEM, NEVER BUY A CHINESE VERSION. Shenzhen, Fuli, Lifan or Loncin, all NO GOOD and if there are other brands not listed such as Sum Ting Wong, Wai Yu No Run, or Moto Go Bang, then I'd avoid those as well. This is one area the Chinese are very bad at, ho li fuk. I’ve had so many problems with Chinese boxes that unless I modify them or pair them up with OEM original parts here and there, I’ll never use them again. Avoid at all costs.

5th: Misc and lastly?

Threebond sealer, pick up a tube, it’s good stuff for non hardening gasket.

Silicone, pick up any tube, grey, red, black, it’s pretty much the same. Sparko is decent stuff.

Oil? I’ve been told that ELF and Sharlu brands are the “best”, but I usually use plain old Cosmic oil or Caltex. It’s the cheapest (Cosmic) but in my experience with everything I’ve owned, clean oil is the best oil. Change regularly and your bike will be happy.

Hope this helps anyone. Any other questions, feel free to ask as always.

AE86/Akira S.
Reckless driving cucumber - 成
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