Honda CRF450R Kickstarter & Water Pump Installation

As part of our 2005 Honda CRF450R complete rebuild, we installed a new kick starter mechanism and replaced the water pump under the right crankcase cover. 

This project includes replacing seals, bearings, washers, spindles and OEM clutch parts with Wiseco aftermarket clutch parts. Watch the video above and follow the steps below to do a kick starter and water pump replacement on a Honda CRF450 motorcycle.

Honda CRF450 water pump kick starter upgrade

Tools and Parts - Honda CRF450 Kickstarter +Water Pump Installation

  • Soft blow hammer
  • Torque wrench
  • Wrenches 
  • Ratchet and sockets
  • Screwdriver
  • Driver
  • Grease
  • Assembly lube

Buy Honda motorcycle radial ball bearing

Buy Honda nmotorcycle water pump shaft

CRF450R Kick Starter and Water Pump Replacement Steps

Step 1. Assemble the kick starter by first installing the washer on the shaft, then the collar inside of the gear, and then the gear itself onto the shaft. Make sure the teeth on the gear are facing in when assembling the shaft. Place the other washer on top of the gear, then add the ratchet gear — which has a dot on it that needs to match up with the dot on the shaft — and the spring.

Honda CRF450 kickstarter installation

Honda CRF450 kick starter assembly

Step 2. Put a little bit of assembly lube back in the base where the kick starter goes on the crankcase, and have the stop arm go against the bar on the right. 

Honda CRF450 motorcycle kickstarter install

Step 3. Install the collar onto the shaft, and line it and the spring up with the hole on the shaft, then bring the spring around, lock it in and get it over the collar. 

Honda CRF450 motorcycle kick starter installation

Honda CRF450 motorcycle kick starter upgrade

Step 4. Install the idler gear, which has a collar that goes in from the back side. 

Honda CRF450 kick starter idler gear

Step 5. Pry out the old radial ball bearing and its oil seals (#8 in the water pump diagram) from the crankcase cover with a screwdriver or a drift.  

Honda CRF450 water pump installation

Honda CRF450 water pump radial bearing

NOTE: The two oil seals go back to back in orientation.

Honda CRF450 water pump bearing oil seals

Step 6. Clean up the crankcase cover, then pop in the new oils seals until they bottom out. Next, install the new radial ball bearing by hand, then lightly tap around the edge of it to get it seated. 

Honda CRF450 water pump oil seals installation

Honda CRF450 water pump radial bearing installation

Step 7. Install the new water pump seal by lightly tapping it in with a driver and soft-blow hammer to seat it in, then bottoming it out with the hammer and a 15 mm socket that reaches out to the edge without damaging the center. Add a little bit of grease to both seals.

Honda CRF450 water pump seal installation

Honda CRF450 water pump seal

Step 8. Remove the old kickstarter shaft oil seal from the right side crankcase cover and replace it with a new oil seal, then grease it. 

Honda CRF450 kickstarter shaft oil seal

Step 9. Put a little assembly lube on the water pump shaft, then bring it up through the new bearing and its seals.

Honda CRF450 water pump shaft

Honda CRF450 water pump shaft installation

Step 10. Install the sealing washer over the shaft, followed by the impeller. Torque the impeller to 9 foot-pounds by holding it in place with a 14mm wrench on one side, and a using a 10mm socket on the other. 

Honda CRF450 water pump impeller

Step 11. Install the two water pass collars, making sure the lower collar has its O-ring attached before you install it.  

Honda CRF450 water pass collar O-ring

NOTE: The next steps involve transferring over parts from the OEM clutch basket to a Wiseco aftermarket clutch basket and installing the assembly. Skip the next step if you’re keeping the current clutch basket. 

Step 12. Transfer the drive gear (or starter gear) from the old clutch basket to the new one. 

Honda CRF450 clutch basket

Honda CRF450 clutch basket gear installation

Step 13. Install the rear collar, the needle bearing and the clutch basket onto the crankcase. 

Honda CRF450 clutch basket installation

NOTE: Watch the video below to see the clutch installation upgrade for our Honda CRF450, which includes the full steps for installing the clutch assembly. 

Step 14. Make sure the crankcase is clean and free of oil, then install the crankcase dowels, followed by the crankcase cover gasket.

Honda CRF450 crankcase cover gasket

Step 15. Install the crankcase cover, then tap it lightly with a soft-blow hammer to get it to seat down. 

Honda CRF450 crankcase cover

Step 16. Reinstall the crankcase cover bolts, starting with the bolt that has the little guide, then working your way around. Get the bolts seated, then torque them down to 7 foot-pounds.

Honda CRF450 crankcase cover bolt

Honda CRF450 crankcase cover bolt installation

Step 17. Install the water pump housing and its bolts, making sure the housing has its gasket on. Make sure the bottom bolt has its copper crush washer attached before installing it. Torque the bolts to 7 foot-pounds and you’re done.

CRF450 Honda water pump housing installation

CRF450 Honda water pump installation

Want to see more of our complete CRF450R rebuild? Watch the playlist below to see more of our Honda CRF450 motorcycle rebuild. 







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