1997-2001 Honda CR250 – Top End Service – Part 6: Cylinder Head Inspection

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1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Top End Service - Part 6 - Cylinder Head Inspection

How To Inspect The Cylinder Head On Your 97-01 Honda CR250

1997 - 2001 Honda CR250 - Top End Service - Part 6 - Cylinder Head InspectionThe Tools You Will Need

  • Plastic Scraper
  • Soft Brush
  • Shop Towels
  • Spark Plug Thread Follower
  • Metal Lubricant/Oil
  • Machinists Straight Edge
  • Feeler Gauges
  • Emery Paper
  • WD40
  • Plastic Wrap
  • (Master Tools & Parts List Below)

Pre-Service Notes

  • I recommend opening the Service & Torque Specs in a new tab for easy reference.
  • If you need parts and tools, make sure to buy them on Amazon!
  • Pictures with captions are after the steps below.
  • If you need any help don’t hesitate to ask!

Cylinder Head Cleaning

  1. Clean the entire head with parts cleaner and a soft brush.
  2. Clean the cylinder head mounting surface with a plastic scraper.
  3. If you have carbon buildup in the combustion chamber, soak it in parts cleaner, then gently scrub it off with a scouring pad.
  4. Clean the spark plug threads by threading a rolled-up shop towel through the hole.
  5. With the surfaced cleaned, inspect for any signs of obvious wear or damage
  6. Check the water jackets are free of obstruction, and the mating surface is smooth.
  7. You can smooth out small burs and pits with 600 grit emery paper, but be very careful, 1000th of an inch could take your head out of spec.
  8. Gently run your spark plug thread follower all the way through the spark plug hole to correct any potential misalignment.
  9. If your threads are stripped out and your follower cannot correct them, you will need to install a Helicoil.
Clean the entire head with parts cleaner and a soft brush.
Clean the entire head with parts cleaner and a soft brush.
Clean the cylinder head mounting surface with a plastic scraper.
Clean the cylinder head mounting surface with a plastic scraper.
Clean the spark plug threads buy threading a rolled-up shop towel through the hole.
Clean the spark plug threads buy threading a rolled-up shop towel through the hole.
Gently run your spark plug thread follower all the way through the spark plug hole to correct any potential misalignment.
Gently run your spark plug thread follower all the way through the spark plug hole to correct any potential misalignment.

Inspect The Cylinder Head for Warp

  1. Lay your straight edge across two adjacent mounting holes, and try to fit your feeler gauge underneath.
  2. If you find any gaps, double-check the head for smoothness, and try again.
  3. If the gap still exists, record the measurement.
  4. Repeat this measurement around the head.
  5. The warp limit for your cylinder head is two thousandths (0.002) of an inch.
Lay your straight edge across two adjacent mounting holes, and try to fit your feeler gauge underneath.
Lay your straight edge across two adjacent mounting holes, and try to fit your feeler gauge underneath.
If you find any gaps, double-check the head for smoothness, and try again.
If you find any gaps, double-check the head for smoothness, and try again.

How To Surface The Cylinder Head

  1. You may be able to bring your head into spec with a sheet of 600 grit emery paper.
  2. Tape the emery paper to a sheet of glass, and dampen with water.
  3. Run your cylinder head in a figure-eight motion against the paper, using light pressure.
  4. Stop and measure your clearance every 3 passes.
  5. If you cannot bring your head back to spec, you will need to take it to a machine shop.
  6. Clean your cylinder head with HOT soapy water, and rinse thoroughly.
  7. Dry with compressed air and double-check the mating surface for smoothness.
  8. If everything looks good, apply a light coat of WD-40 to avoid oxidation, and wrap your cylinder head in plastic wrap to avoid contaminants until you are ready for assembly.
  9. Finally, check the hanger plates for damage.
  10. If the plates are bent, or the holes are elongated, they need to be replaced.
  11. These have some dents on the top, but they are still straight with round holes.
Run your cylinder head in a figure-eight motion against the paper, using light pressure.
Run your cylinder head in a figure-eight motion against the paper, using light pressure.
If everything looks good, apply a light coat of WD-40 to avoid oxidation, and wrap your cylinder head in plastic wrap to avoid contaminants until you are ready for assembly.
If everything looks good, apply a light coat of WD-40 to avoid oxidation, and wrap your cylinder head in plastic wrap to avoid contaminants until you are ready for assembly.
These have some dents on the top, but they are still straight with round holes.
These have some dents on the top, but they are still straight with round holes.

← Part 5: Piston Inspection

Part 7: Cylinder Inspection →

Top End Rebuild Tools List: (Links to Amazon)

  • Piston Pin Puller
  • Piston Holder
  • Machinists Straight Edge
  • Feeler Gauges
  • Telescoping Bore Gauges
  • Digital Calipers
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Spark Plug Thread Follower
  • Motion Pro Torque Wrench Adapter
  • Molybdenum Grease
  • Lithium Grease

Top End Rebuild Parts List: (Links to Amazon)

  • Top End Gasket Set
  • Cylinder Alignment Dowels
  • Exhaust Valve Cap O-Ring

Keep Your ’97-’01 CR250 Running Right!

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