Author Topic: FL350 or 440 Motor?  (Read 8361 times)

castone001

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« on: November 08, 2004, 10:47:25 AM »
Howdy all,

I have seen a couple folks reference putting a 440 motor in their Odyssey to replace the stock one. I have a 1985 that was running wonderful until the surprising hole in the top of the piston required the hook and not so wonderful tow back to camp  


Can anyone enlighten me as to the benefits and downsides to doing this?

How much modification is required or is it a drop in replacement?

Where does one get a good 440?

Is there a special year to look for?

Does it need to be water cooled?

Is it cheaper to rebuild the 350 and upgrade to water cooling?

Thanks much in advance.

Chris

Bucked

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Re: FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2004, 06:41:10 PM »
Quote from: "castone001"
Howdy all,

I have seen a couple folks reference putting a 440 motor in their Odyssey to replace the stock one. I have a 1985 that was running wonderful until the surprising hole in the top of the piston required the hook and not so wonderful tow back to camp  


Can anyone enlighten me as to the benefits and downsides to doing this?

How much modification is required or is it a drop in replacement?

Where does one get a good 440?

Is there a special year to look for?

Does it need to be water cooled?

Is it cheaper to rebuild the 350 and upgrade to water cooling?

Thanks much in advance.

Chris


The hole in the piston is likely from improper carb jetting, not from a lack of head "cooling". Thousands of 350s have run for years with air cooling.

Let me start by saying I have never done this so I'm speaking from opinion and not experience. The 440 motors you might be thinking of come from snowmobiles and are relatively cheap and easy to find in the North. The most logical thing to do would be to buy a complete working sled and cannibalize the motor and all the accessories needed to put it in a 350 frame.  What I have read is that quite a bit of modifications will have to be done to get the bigger motor in there. I bought a new Rotax motor several years ago with the intention of putting it in my 350. After spending many hours staring at the parts I decided it was not worth the trouble.

Consider the following:

A used motor that runs will cost you over $1000 if not many $ more.
A "do-it yerself" top end job on a 350 should be less than $200.
The used motor you get will likely need some sort of parts or repair.
Time needed to do the conversion will be lengthy. Wrench or wride?
Cutting and modifying the frame will be necessary.
Fabricating engine mounts and other parts will be hard.
Removing the stock fuel tank is necessary to create ample motor space.
Exhaust pipes will have to be fabricated to fit you application.
Air Boxes and radiators will have to be fabbed customized.
The power from a 440 is not likely to be much greater than a tuned 350.
An air cooled snowmobile engine is designed for winter riding so a water cooled engine would be right for an Odyssey ridden warmer climates.
A good running 350 can be faster than a Pilot.
The most common complaint about 350s is the suspension, not power.
A properly rebuilt 350 can last a long time.

In my opinion, it's not worth the time and trouble. Rebuild the 350 motor and spend your cash on Works shocks and other things like a good seat and better tire/rims. Go fast parts for a 350 can be cheap. A torque pipe is less than $300. Bigger carb <$250. A water cooled head is only $2-300 and simple to install. I don't think one would have save your meltdown though. BTW - they always run their best before they blow up!

castone001

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2004, 04:13:24 AM »
Bucked,
Thanks so much for the detailed synopsis, That is exactly what I came up with after reading what hoser went through upgrading his motor.
I have recently been talking with stugatts and will definately be talking with more. He just finished his 350 rebuild and sounds just like what I want.

Again I appreciate your time to detail to prods/cons of switching power plants.

Talk soon,
Chris

Moskito

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2004, 08:36:17 AM »
Unless you have the time, money, ability and facilities to do a conversion, stick with the 350.  They run like raped apes when properly set up.  Don't be afraid of Wiseco pistons, regardless of what you read on other sites.  (yes, even I have changed my tune)

One other aspect of the twin is the fact that it's twice as much money to rebuild, two times the amount of things to go wrong and such.  (and my triple is three times the expense - glad it's been pretty bullet proof...)

Rebuild the engine you have and then put the excess money you'd spend on the 440 conversion into the suspension.

There are a couple people out there that are doing upgrades.  Shocks are the easiest and, when properly dialed in, give the greatest increase in performance for the money.

There is also a long travel front end (a-arm conversion) available, but I don't know anything about it other than it's out there.
Moskito - Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming \'WOW-What a Ride!\'

PilotSniper

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2004, 09:02:27 AM »
Quote from: "Moskito"
Don't be afraid of Wiseco pistons, regardless of what you read on other sites.  (yes, even I have changed my tune).


(as I open the notorious can of worms...)

Skeeter, I'm glad you brought up the whole Wiseco piston thing. I, too, have read where they are not liked. What's not to like about them? Theoretically, one would imagine (don't have the hard facts, though) that they would be the same as the multitude of OEM pistons they are replacing. Is this a safe assumption? I've had two "poofkabooms" while using Wiseco pistons, but they were not the fault of the piston.

I guess my question is, what's supposedly so bad about Wiseco pistons?
I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left!  :shock:

Moskito

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2004, 01:26:09 PM »
The more I listen to people that build engines, the more I learn.

Please keep this in mind; This is info that I've learned and am just passing on.  If my sources are incorrect, then I am passing on bad stuff - but I tend to believe these guys as they've been playing with performance engines for a long time.

So much of the Wiseco issue stems up from the older stuff they used to make.  The Wisecos were heavy, tended to be "softer" than cast pistons - hence the issue with the skirts collapsing, have a different expansion rate than cast pistons, so on and so forth.  They were not the best product around.  Not the worst, either.

Nowadays (great word, eh?) Wiseco, like the majority of large manufacturers, use the best available materials & processes to make their stuff.

Blame Honda - they pretty much single handedly forced all motor vehicle manufacturers to step up to the plate - Honda uses the best materials and develops the best materials.  They take second place to nobody and it made everyone say "Shit, we gotta keep up or get our asses kicked".

Was one of the best things to happen to us as consumers.

Wiseco makes pistons for just about everything - so that right there tells you that they must have some sort of clue as to what they're doing.  They also have a huge four stroke market aimed at performance bikes, so once again, the stuff they make must have some merit.  You see their products used an a huge amount of racing stuff - from boats to cars to bikes to sleds.

They sell a lot of pistons to the motocross crowd - both two and four stroke.  A modern day MX bike stresses the internals way more than a Pilot ever though about, so show me how a Wiseco's bad in a Pilot.

You do have to treat them a bit different than a cast piston.  Setup is often a different clearance (usually looser) than a cast, but once the piston warms up to operating temperature, the running clearances are just the same as w/a cast.

You have to warm them up more carefully than you do a cast.  Most of the time you can get away with start and flog a cast piston.  Not wise with a forged unit.  So big deal.  Just use your head.

I'm guessing here, but I'll bet that the materials used in forgings are different than those used in castings, so you'll have pistons with different properties.  Forging produces a different crystaline structure than casting does too.   These difference would help explain the larger expansion rates.

Forgings are tough, but are bendable.  Castings are tough too, but brittle.  Ever try to bend a cast mx lever back into place?  You end up with two pieces.  You can bend and straighten a forged lever over and over.

I guess what's being said is that it's a different animal and it requires a different way of being cared for.  They use the latest and best processes to produce them and they have one hell of a track record.

What most people seem to forget is that our, er, your toys are 15 years old now.  The materials and processes used then are far behind what's done now - as was Wiseco's stuff.

So why not stick a new, modern design piston in an old ride.  Way I see it, it can't hurt.

Also, just for grins, I've never had a Wiseco let go because of an issue with the piston itself.  The two failures I've had w/Wisecos both had to do with fuel issues, not Wiseco issues.

Some people are afraid to let go of the old and give the new a try.  They might be pleasantly surprised if they did.
Moskito - Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming \'WOW-What a Ride!\'

PilotSniper

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2004, 02:24:22 PM »
Quote from: "Moskito"
Some people are afraid to let go of the old and give the new a try.  They might be pleasantly surprised if they did.


AMEN!
I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left!  :shock:

dhjunkie

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yaaaay
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2004, 05:00:10 PM »
very well put skeeter.  I personally have blown just as many cast pistons as I have Wiseco's.   Only twice have I had a Wiseco failure from a manufactures problem.  one was a break at the wrist pin boss  and the other was a skirt failure.  Both times they paid for my engine repairs.  These pistons were from the late 80's ,  I have installed Wiseco's in friends and family members toys with current pistons and haven't had one problem*.




*  with this statement I most likey jinxed myself  :)

LiveWire

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Size and locator pins
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2004, 04:35:17 AM »
One issue that I had heard about and did see for myself many years ago was inconsistant sizing between pistons of the same size. When I first got into FL350s, there were quite a few old stock Wiseco pistons still out there. So it took a little while longer to get to the 'newer' pistons with the FL350 than other machines. I still see the older ones pop up on eBay, the ones with a yellow instruction sheet. The sizing did not initially bother me that much until I started to consider cylinder plating where I would need to get new pistons the same exact size. I started measuring every piston I got in and set the aside the ones on the small side and large side of each rated size. This would give me an extra bore. The newer pistons are very consistant in size. Their CNC mills probably now compensate for tool wear.

A rumor that I heard about, but never saw for myself was loosing locator pins. I have seen it happen a couple times with Honda pistons. That was due to excessive ring wear. The ring tips no longer covered the pin. I am sure the same issue is the basis for the Wiseco rumor. The problem I was told with Wiseco pistons is that the pin is not in tight enough. But a steel pin in aluminum is always going to get loose when heated. It is the ring tips that hold it in, not the press fit into the piston.

I do think the Wiseco rings are thin compared to the Honda rings. Although I have been happy with their wear in my motors. They have still been in spec when I have taken motors apart years later.  They still get replaced. They are cheaper than the gaskets required when checking them. Several engine builders I have spoke with say it is bad to resuse the rings once the cylinder has been removed anyway. They say the rings will not be back in exactly the same rotation they were.

Moskito

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2004, 05:50:31 PM »
Another thing about Pistons - all types.

Certain engines require different setups.  Perfect example is the CR500 conversion that ATV Racing does.

The Pilot CR500 needs to be set up with a larger clearance than a CR500 in a bike.

Why?

Dunno!  But talk to Neil about it and he'll tell you that it took them many attempts and experiements to finally get the optimum clearance.

Just a guess, but the engine lives in a different type vehicle that requires a different power delivery and that variance may be what's causing the need for the different setups.  (does that make sense???)

It's also different between an OEM piston and a Wiseco for that setup.

If you're willing to spend the time, listen to someone that's been there, done that - even if the setup sounds way off, experiment and the likes, you can probably make your setup work well and last.

Be open to suggestion.  :)
Moskito - Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming \'WOW-What a Ride!\'

FL670R

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2004, 08:40:40 PM »
Quote from: "Moskito"

Another thing about Pistons - all types.

Certain engines require different setups.  Perfect example is the CR500 conversion that ATV Racing does.

The Pilot CR500 needs to be set up with a larger clearance than a CR500 in a bike.

Why?

Dunno!  But talk to Neil about it and he'll tell you that it took them many attempts and experiements to finally get the optimum clearance.

Just a guess, but the engine lives in a different type vehicle that requires a different power delivery and that variance may be what's causing the need for the different setups.  (does that make sense???)

It's also different between an OEM piston and a Wiseco for that setup.

If you're willing to spend the time, listen to someone that's been there, done that - even if the setup sounds way off, experiment and the likes, you can probably make your setup work well and last.

Be open to suggestion.  :)


Moskito...

Do you know what ATVR runs in there CR500 conversion for pistion to cylinder wall clearance ?

CW racing never did get me the figures they used for there Bad500 setup
(Bad500 is my term for punching out a FL400 cylinder to 500 like my LT has)

Previously I was runnig .0045 but as many know after two seasons I suffered a seizure...
(I haven't torn into it yet to see but it feels like a 4 corner seizure)

If you don't know can you ask Neil (or your engine guy) next time you see them

Thanks
Dennis

Moskito

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2004, 05:44:35 AM »
No, unfortunately I don't recall.  I want to say it was closer to .006, but don't hold me to that.

Give Bill Moeller at Bore Tech a call - he and Neil had a long discussion about the CR500 conversion setup.  BORE TECH
Bill Moeller
5977 Hutchinson Road
Batavia, Ohio  45103
513.625.8374
http://www.bore-tech.com

One last thing - you can NOT use a Pro-X piston in a CR500 setup if the jug has had even the slightest modifications to the exhaust port.

The area around the wrist pin is cut away farther on the Pro-X than on stock or Wiseco and allows blow by around the exhaust port.  Instant siezure.
Moskito - Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming \'WOW-What a Ride!\'

macdanny

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FL350 or 440 Motor?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2004, 07:41:16 AM »
Probably one of the main reasons for the different tolerances in the motor setup is the location of the motor in the machine. In a bike the motor doesn't have a seat blocking air flow from helping to cool the motor.