Hi guys, I bought a used kart with a well used Leopard motor and only realized it after messing around with it 2 summers ago. Now I want to get back into karting and would like to do so with a fresh engine.
Does anyone have any engine rebuilders they would recommend in the NY tristate area? Or is a rebuild DIYable? I have some car experience but just getting started with karts.
It’s been a while since I ran a Leopard but will give you some feedback…
While not in the location you desire, I had success using Comet Kart Sales. They had good pricing, response time, and were unbelievably helpful over the phone in guiding me through the things I wanted to do myself.
A top end is fairly easy to do (may need/want to buy a wrist pin removal tool and circlip installation tool); however, the bottom end requires specialist tools to split (and reconnect) the crank to remove the connecting rod. The bottom end also requires removing the clutch using a special tool but this is definitely a tool to have for when you need to replace the clutch.
The “advanced” do-it-yourselfers in my area will do everything to disassemble the top and bottom end but will still send the crank out to be disassembled/assembled. Given that these things spin at 17,000 RPM’s, I used to do top ends but sent the motor out for complete rebuild when the bottom end needed done.
If you haven’t done this already, Google Iame Leopard rebuild and you should find a rebuild manual that walks you step by step throught the process.
You’re supposed to use your full real name on this board.
If “some car experience” means you’ve personally overhauled an auto engine, the Leopard shouldn’t present too much of a problem. As Pat noted, the primary issue is splitting the crank, as the conrod on a 2-cycle is a single piece and has to be slipped on and off the crank pin. This can be fairly tricky as there are special plates required for different cranks and your local machine shop might not have the correct ones for a Leopard. You’ll probably need to have the cylinder turned/bored to the next piston size, assuming it still has some meat left. Rough guess, you’ll be looking at $500-700 for a DIY including parts and shop time, excluding tools you don’t have, and assuming the normally reusable parts are in fact reusable.
You’ll also want a circlip installation tool: http://www.italianmotorsusa.com/collections/tools-and-machines-specialty-tools/products/125cc-circlip-assembly-tool
Might be out of your price range, but this is killer deal where you trade in your leopard and get a whole new motor including radiator, wiring harness, etc.: http://www.italianmotorsusa.com/products/x125t-mx-engine
Thanks for your insight guys. If a DIY rebuild will cost me roughly about the same as sending it out I’d rather send it out and know that it was done correctly. Especially since I don’t have any kart experience at all.
By car experience I mean basic maintenance and part swapping. I’ve never rebuilt an engine. Seems like this kart engine would be a great place to start but I’d rather drive the kart than tinker with the engine all summer.
I’ll call around and see if Comet can do it and how I should ship the motor to them.
Check with Jim russell at Russell karting specialties