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Yamaha DT 400

Project: 1976 Yamaha DT 400

In continuing with my theme of with what were of my favorite bikes from my I have decided to build an old Or maybe 2.

I saw a 1976 DT400 on and it was located close enough to a pickup possible. I won the bid at $172. I from the beginning that the end was a loss. It had suffered some of hydraulic seize, and the small end of the rod got like a pretzel. It was fairly that is to say it was a rolling chasis a bad motor in it.

There was also a motor from a 1974 that came with the so i was hoping to use some of the parts that.

Well I managed to the cases on the 360 parts motor, but after suffering a grievous to my thumb. You see, I was holding the up with one hand and I had my thumb around the edge of the case. the other hand, I was hitting the with a rubber mallet. Of one of my hammer blows struck my knuckle, driving the crease of my into the edge of the case.

I got a looking cut, but my thumb was It would not move at all. I I probably screwed up the joint

I dont go to the doctors for broken or anything, but I was pretty sure one needed some attention.

out I severed the flexor tendon of my completely. It took 3 and a half of surgery and about 12 weeks of before I could really try to use it It works ok now, but doesn’t as much as it used to.

The injury cut my MX season short for

Ok, back to business. turns out I use the crank from the 360. It is a inches longer on the pinion DAMN.

About 2 weeks figuring this out, I saw DT400 on Ebay, this it was a 1977, and again within distance. So I decided to bid on it to use the engine for It was given a vague description as It stopped running and now it wont run and I know whats wrong it. Ok. Well I won the bid at $105.

It was very minus the road gear, but the was locked up. I was hoping for some in that the bottom end perhaps had but it was not to be.

This is my 1977 DT400 as it when I got it home. Ugly it?

The piston EXPLODED and of course the rod got because during it’s strokes, it had to share it’s with so many shards of wiseco. DAMN. Another bad end! And guess what, the mounts on the ’77 400 cases are so I could not have used the end even if it had been good.

The was different too! Turns out the was not a good parts bike for the

Here are some autopsy of the 1977 400. Major

What was I to do? Ive got 2 400s, both bad bottom ends. The 1977 had a Shock on the rear, it is the tubular type that first up on the YZ in 1976 I think.

The 1977 also had aluminum Cool. But the 1977 was RED. RED for sake! Ive already got a RED Kawasaki. No Ill use the 76 tank which is yellow and but no!

The top frame on the 1977 was bloated to the monoshock, and the 1976 tank not fit!


Ive got the frame on the 76. The stock shocks on the 76 were very nice, but one spring was all and the chrome was trashed. So I took the off and painted them YZ yellow.

better than rusted I put the old chrome rims with tires on the frame for now, to it off the ground while I decide to buy tires for the chromes, or use the aluminum off the ’77.


I bought a MX400 bottom end from The guy who sold it said that the rod good, and that the item was in useable condition. ASSHOLE! The rod was as hell. You could pull up and on the rod and feel it clicking!

Sloppy as vertically and side to side. To it worse, the main bearings a bit rumbly. It needs a complete to say the least. AHHHHHHHHHGRRRRRRRRRRR.

UPDATE: 2005

I never learn. I another MX400 motor, time, complete from He said it was rebuilt at a local shop, with zero on it. Customer did not pay the bill, yada

There was a new piston and bore in it but it had a piston slap. Turns out the gasket was too small. It was the stock and it had been bored 1.5mm No big deal right? Well, the guy who this motor to me put it into a play cardboard box with NO material whatsoever.

The box was trashed, and the motor got banged up a bit. Cracked a brand new cable and smashed the throttle that came with it.

I the clutch cover to inspect the side, and I found some pieces of metal in there! It was a from a gear, and part of the linkage! Go beat up pretty in shipping, I guess the kick and the gear shaft took major hits and broke the off inside.

To top that all off, the main beaings in THIS were shot. Whoever put a new top end on thing without attending to the bearings should have his kicked. The guy I bought this one said he would give me a refund, but weeks went by, and no I filed a complaint, but no word yet on the

At least the crank looked So now, Ive got yet another motor useless. I am waiting on getting and mains for this MX motor, and I will put it together.

Ive also to scrap the 1977 400 all together. I the aluminum rims on the 76 DT/MX and I the forks and front wheel the 1976 on the bighorn! Heh heh.

SO Im gonna have what be a 76 DT400 chasis with the MX400 motor/carb/trans. Ought to be a fun bike!

I dont think it will be for th start of the 2005 season is now a couple weeks away!.

February 2006.

Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400

Finally, the are coming together. Got the new parts in for the MX I had three of almost everything, and the was completely in pieces. Somehow, I to assemble the thing even it has been almost two years I took it all apart. Other the new parts, I used the best of piece that I had.

I the best set of cases, the best the best crank, etc. I hope I didn’t forget

I’ve got the motor in the frame, and I the electrics up. I got spark right off the bat was a great relief, because the old CDI systems are fickle. I also two complete stator assemblies the last year to get some Luckily, the one I kept works! got extra coils and ignitors and CDI still) I also had sold all the DT carbs I had, which is scary thought.

I have an MX which is HUGE! I could my hand thru it for god’s Don’t you know the rubber boot is a little crappy.

all get that way and even though got three spares, they are all smaller, being from the DT

The shame of it all is, I really dont the cash for new fenders, new side new cables and all the other finishing that the good people of the use for a vintage ride. I’ve had to together cables, fenders and I’m even using an old Its not going to be all that pretty, but at the important stuff is primo.

New Bearings, New seals, New bore and

Im not too far away from being to start it up.

MARCH 25th! DAY!

Well, here it is. Well, that is to say now the real begins. There are a few bug to work There was a rough spot in the I changed the needle position helped a bit. I think I may try a new jet. The carb had been which didnt help. somewhere thru the day it developed a like I had some kind of leak or something. The handling is all too.

I dumped the thing on an off section because it is just not as footed as my Bighorn. Yet,

UPDATE: 7-14-06

I’ve most of this season working on my house, and trying to it, but I managed to take the DT/MX out to a track today. I fouled a right away, but after it, it ran fine. Its different than the for sure. The Yamaha does not the off-the-line grunt that the has. However, if you leave the on long enough, it gets up and

I could not find the end of third on this track where I was but the RPMS were way up there. I Id of ended up in a third gear if there had been a long straightaway.(The power that the MX400 engine is making is like a modern bike my Bighorn.)

The handling is MUCH now that I lowered the rear end to its supposed to be. (I had fabbed up some brackets for the rear shocks to them forward and raise the height, but it handled like with those in place!)

The forks are a little beat. The 2 inches is useless, it sags much. Wimpy enduro in there no doubt. I will fix soon.

All in all, I think its for the next race.It seems to be a bit less tiring than the to ride, although you have to a little more to make the power is there when you it.

2009 UPDATE: Well the time gone? I FINALLY got my Brother to come to a race a of years ago, and he was hooked. We to an agreement that he would my Yamaha 400 and at the next race, he got the bug so he bought the Yamaha from me! I mind selling it to him because I was racing the bighorn, and building the

My Brother’s made a much bike out of it, and having him racing is such a thrill for me. More on and some more pics on an page.

Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400
Yamaha DT 400

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