Buying a VMax tomorrow... Need advice

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RVR

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Checking out a 1992 VMax with 11k miles tomorrow. Killer price for it but the HUGE issue is that 2nd already is faulty and the owner is telling me it won't shift up to 3rd past. Says it won't turn on due to the starter but could be the solenoid as well.

Anyways...
Does anyone have an estimated ballpark at what a transmission rebuild would cost for the VMax? I have been looking for parts but they are very scarce.
 

Julian Tomkins

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you might be lucky and find it is just the selector pins that have come out, if that's the case you can update to the later design,
it seems very low mileage to have those issues, does it have service history and how many previous owners, is the mileage genuine
 

RVR

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Not sure on the service history, from what I was told the guy was given the bike as payment for some job he did and he is selling it now.

I imagine to figure out the problem I’d have to pull the engine regardless correct?
 

Julian Tomkins

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not if it's a starter clutch and/or gear selector drum pins, do a search on this forum to find out about both of those things, there are much more knowledgeable people here than me that can guide you
 

Parminio

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Killer price for it but the HUGE issue is that 2nd already is faulty and the owner is telling me it won't shift up to 3rd past.

Sounds like the shift segment has split its pins. Not a rocket science fix but you do have to pull the engine side cover. They make an upgraded one that's better than factory, but probably best to pull it first to see exactly how bad it is. I think @one2dmax sells complete assemblies.
 

02GF74

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A used engine costs around £1000, assuming you will do the work, factor that amount into the costs.

That would be the worst case scenario.

If you can get away with replacing a few gearbox parts, then you should be quids in.
 

RVR

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It actually had 30k miles. They gave me the title mileage. Didn’t have a battery so wouldn’t start. Brakes were disassembled so not sure about those either lol. Might have just thrown away $500 but we will see.

The transmission did move between 1st and 2nd but it wouldn’t move at all for third so it may be just the pins I assume? Lmk, any feedback helps. Going to be my first project
 

Fire-medic

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Just pray that's as-far the prior owner got in the "I'm gonna disassemble this, and fix-it!" mindset.

Yes, it sounds like the shift sector 'star' segment is shot. When you open things, assuming that you discover the pins are out, you want to be able to locate them, all of them! You don't want one of the left-inside loose pins to end-up locking-up the gearset someplace.

The brakes should be an easy fix. I like a Dremel for cleaning-up corrosion on brake calipers and pistons. I use a large-wire wheel brush with brass bristles, be sure you use eye-protection. The wire bristles tend-to shed. I usually end-up picking the bristles off my shirt. Harbor Freight sells inexpensive assortments of brass-bristle brushes for rotary tools in a bubble-pack, but mind what I said about eye-protection.

You can use fresh brake fluid to lubricate the square O-ring that seals the caliper pistons in-place. Ensure the groove for the O-ring is clean of all oxidation/corrosion. Immerse the O-ring in a pool of brake fluid, then insert it into the caliper groove, and use a bit of that brake fluid on the circumference of the brake piston. It should easily slide-into the caliper.

If you order OEM parts from this diagram, you will get the upgraded shift 'star' segment.

At-least ensure that the engine is NOT frozen, get it to turn-over, either manually, or by jumping to the starter terminal sticking out the side of the starter case, and yes, you have-to ground the negative of your battery to somewhere on the bike. You can also turn the engine over on the end of the crankshaft. Remove the two screws on the left side engine case cover to expose a end of crankshaft bolt. You need a 4mm allen wrench. If the engine won't turn-over, you may be facing a whole engine replacement. If that's the case, and you still want it, I'd negotiate a lower price.

You need to digest the contents of this thread and comments, lots of info here you need to know, and it will keep you from asking the questions answered here. RaWarrior no-longer owns a VMax, but his contribution is going to help you understand the VMax ownership, common fixes/repairs, and 'what oil should I use?' All-that, and much-more.


Don't forget to put your location below your screen name, and the year bike for your signature. These help us know where you are, what you have, for used parts sources, helpful members, riding companions, and more.
 
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desert_max

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If it were me, I would keep looking. There are too many Vmax’s out there in various states of repair and at various price points to have to kill yourself.

...Unless “killer deal” means not much more than free.
 

RVR

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I appreciate all of your guy's input and tips.

@Fire-medic we have the same bike, would it be alright if I direct message you for help later on?
 

Fire-medic

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I appreciate all of your guy's input and tips.

@Fire-medic we have the same bike, would it be alright if I direct message you for help later on?
Sure, that's OK, but in actuality, as the more technologically-inclined here will inform you, all VMaxes are nearly, 'the same bike.' Yes there are some significant differences: the '85-'89 have the early ignition box, while '90-'07 have the digital box, a different pick-up coil, with its different wiring harness and stator, the '93 ("missed it by this much!" Get Smart tv fans will know what I'm saying) and up bikes have two-pairs opposed piston calipers in-front and 43mm downtubes/sliders front suspension; I forget when the two brush starter became the 4 brush starter, a better design. There are other changes, but those are some of the big ones. If you read Ra Warrior's new owners tutorial, these truths will be revealed Grasshopper.
 

Zeus36

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To me there seems to be two separate issues with the shift problems. If second gear is going out, it is a transmission gear issue as in the gear teeth. The other issue of not shifting above third sounds like the segment pins as others have commented. My second gear pops out only on acceleration, so I just bypass it when upshifting. If you can live without second gear, not a problem, but it is an in depth fix and you have to pull the motor, split the cases and disassemble the trans. Second gear will need to be replaced or you can get a beefier one from Sean Morley. You are looking at hundreds of dollars depending if you do it yourself or send in the whole engine.

This would be a bike that I would pass on. Depends on your desire for a V-max and mechanical/electrical aptitude.....
 

one2dmax

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$500 is cheap enough if it's in otherwise decent condition. I can get you an undercut trans but would start by checking the shift segment (which I can provide as well). We also have options for the starter clutch from used to new OEM (actually just ran out but can get more) and a heavy duty option. Usually best to email me at [email protected]
 

MaxMidnight

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At-least ensure that the engine is NOT frozen, get it to turn-over, either manually...You can also turn the engine over on the end of the crankshaft.

NB: If you are going to use this method the crank turns anti-clockwise. Use the larger hexagon which is part of the flywheel. This will ensure that you don't inadvertently undo the (smaller) retaining bolt.
 

CostalGrey

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Checking out a 1992 VMax with 11k miles tomorrow. Killer price for it but the HUGE issue is that 2nd already is faulty and the owner is telling me it won't shift up to 3rd past. Says it won't turn on due to the starter but could be the solenoid as well.

Anyways...
Does anyone have an estimated ballpark at what a transmission rebuild would cost for the VMax? I have been looking for parts but they are very scarce.
Pass on it save your money and wait
 

Parminio

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Pass on it save your money and wait
The more issues he mentions (brakes and all broken down, no battery to test it with, suddenly it has 30,000 miles, etc.) the more I tend to agree. I tried to talk a friend of mine out of buying a money pit Max a few years ago and it didn't work. He threw 1200 dollars at it (AFTER he gave 800 dollars for it) and it now sits in the corner of his garage in pieces.

You can get a Vmax in decent running order for not a whole lot of money. 500 dollars isn't a deal at all if you have to spend 2000 dollars to get it running.
 

DreamV4

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I have dead (so far) 92, hopefully after repairing carbs and other problems to start it, I will not have to deal with transmission.
 

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