HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

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HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby mrfreeze5 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:08 pm

YZF600r Tank Swap for FZR600

There is a great write-up for the YZF tank swap and R6 tail conversion that has been around for quite a while and had been the only real reference online for this swap. This is a common method for converting but I will try to build on it and add some details and alternatives that I’ve learned of during my custom build.

YZF Tank and R6 Tail Swap Write-Up


The stock FZR gas tank consists of a steel tank, mounted between the frame rails with a plastic tank cover mounted on top of it. This design is weak and dated looking. The FZR also has an airbox in front of the reservoir and under the tank cover containing the air filter. The stock tank is perfectly fine for the bike and most riders, and the design remained unchanged during the course of the FZR’s production. The stock tank and cover quickly becomes limiting and problematic, though, when someone decides to customize their bike beyond stock configuration.

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The YZF600r (not YZF-R6!!) tank is a steel tank with the tank and shell made as one piece. This adds durability and also updates the style and appearance of the bike with more modern angular lines and also allows the opportunity to wire a low fuel LED using the sensor built into the YZF tank. This tank has a slightly higher fuel capacity, so it increases total miles per tank, but increases weight and alters the COG slightly.

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Tail Swaps

The FZR600 was first produced in 1989 and its appearance and design varied very little over the course of its production until 1999. When the FZR debuted it was cutting edge, but was quickly outpaced by a rapidly changing industry and market and it shows its “retro” roots, especially in its bulky tail section. Many riders are pleased with the rest of the bike’s appearance, but most want to change to a tail section from a newer bike to give their FZR a more modern look. These tail swaps have been done using parts from numerous types of bikes with varying amounts of difficulty and success, but the most common is the R6 tail. Depending on the desired use of the tail, swapping the tail section out can vary greatly in method, but one common problem with all R6 tail swaps onto a stock FZR is seat to tank fitment.

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The FZR600 seat is shaped much differently than later sportbikes. It has a raised portion in the front that rests in a recess in the stock tank cover. When changing to a R6 tail the R6 seat must be used as well since the FZR seat will not fit properly on the R6 tail. Since the R6 seat does not have a raised section in the front and is generally flat, it leaves a gaping hole in the back of your tank. While this does not harm anything per se, it is an eyesore. By converting the tank to a YZF600 tank, which has a solid shell, the R6 seat mates up perfectly and matches the curve of the tank as well.

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With so many options and methods for tail swaps, I’ll leave that for another topic but for the sake of the writeup we’ll assume the bike already has another tail on it at this point.


Finding a Tank

Any year YZF600 tank will work for this swap, but the best years are 96-07. The original tanks are not quite as sleek looking, but will still work. My tank is from a 99 YZF600. Ebay is a good option for buying a tank since they are fairly common, or you can occasionally buy one off a board member. Tanks can vary greatly in cost depending on condition and shipping costs. $100-$200 seems to be common. The tank fits the FZR frame well, but is not a completely bolt on upgrade. Used tanks may need servicing before they are suitable for install. Excessive rust inside and particles need to be cleaned out and the petcock may need a new seal and replacing the fuel filter is probably a good idea as well. Be sure to get a cap and key with the tank or separately. The FZR cap will not work on the new tank.


Removing the Stock Tank

The stock tank must be removed before the new one can be installed. The less fuel in it the better since it will make it lighter and easier to handle. Drain the fuel out or turn the petcock to off and disconnect the fuel line. Be ready to catch any dripping gas. Remove the seat and unbolt the bolts holding the tank cover to the frame and remove the screws securing the front of the tank cover to the mirror stay. The mirror stay/tank cover mount needs to be removed from the frame as well. This bracket can be modified to use as the new mount, but if it is to be reused, the support arms for the mirrors need to be cut off. The tank is mounted to the frame by a small crossmember between the frame rails and to the seat bracket. Unbolt this tube and remove the tank. This bracket will not be reused and will not fit with the new tank. You can remove the mounting bracket for the crossmember from the frame at this time, but it is not necessary.

Mounting the YZF Tank

The YZF tank mounts to the frame differently than the FZR’s tank cover does both front and back. I will contribute what I know about ways to mount the tank and hopefully others who have swapped tanks can offer their tips and tricks here too. It is possible to modify the FZRs front mount which requires no additional cost, just labor. The write-up listed earlier shows how to modify and reuse stock FZR hardware as well as how the tank needs to be trimmed to fit properly.

When I purchased my bike, it had FZR1000 fairings modified to fit and had a FZR1000 tank mounted up. The FZR1000 tank is also a single piece steel tank like the YZF and has similar mounting dimensions. The FZR1000 tank is not a good option for a swap on the FZR600. It is much wider and the controls will hit at full turn. But the front tank mount for the FZR1000 is a perfect fit for the YZF tank.

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An example of reusing the stock front mount

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This bracket screws directly to existing holes in the FZR600 frame and match the bracket on the YZF tank making the front mount completely bolt on provided you can source one of these brackets. They are available to order from the dealership. I am using a long pin with a retaining clip instead of a bolt and nut for easy removal of the tank for service or tuning, but a long bolt and nut would work just fine. I found that modifying the bracket bolted to the tank that I could get a better fit along the FZR frame. I trimmed about ¼” off the lower end of the bracket so that it did not contact the frame, and elongated the bolt hole about 1/8” forward with a dremel tool. This allowed the tank to move forward slightly and narrow the gap between the rim of the tank and the frame. To help mask some of this gap as well as protect against vibration, and dirt to an extent, I took some bulk rubber vacuum tubing from the auto parts store and slit it with a razor blade. I then filled it with light silicone and ran it along the lower lip of the tank. This pic shows the gap before modifying the mount. Its more than ¼” gap and doesn’t sit flush at the bottom angle of the subframe. Trimming the mount slightly greatly improves the fit.

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The rear mount can be fabricated from the stock FZR bracket as seen in the earlier write-up or the FZR1000 or YZF600 mounts can be modified to fit as well. Some sort of mount needs to be made and a rubber grommet/cover included to reduce vibration and to securely hold the rear of the tank. I cut and rebent it myself to fit the frame and then reinforced it as best I could. Or its possible to fabricate a completely new bracket with very basic tools and a few important components. I had originally planned on riveting it to the frame, or just bolting it down.

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I ended up going a different direction with my project at this point and had to come up with a one off solution for mounting to my R1 subframe instead of the stock subframe like in these pictures. So hopefully others who have done this swap and used a different method for the rear mount than in the original write up will add them here.


Fuel Pump

The FZR has its fuel pump mounted to a bracket on the tank reservoir itself. The YZF tank does not have a bracket for this. One can be fabricated to reuse the FZR pump or a different model of fuel pump can be used. For a while I had what I think was a FZR1000 pump that bolted directly to the underside of the rear tank mount I already had. It was a much larger pump and I have since made a bracket to use the FZR fuel pump.


Airbox

The stock FZR airbox will not fit under the YZF tank shell unmodified. Some people have trimmed it and reshaped it using various methods and mediums. I did not have an airbox so I never bothered with this step.

The alternative to modifying the airbox is to switch to pod filters. Pod filters are individual filters for each carb(or sometimes one filter for 2 carbs) and allow for complete removal of the airbox. Switching to pod filters can increase the power and performance of the bike but can also make tuning difficult and inconsistent, but when tuned properly can greatly increase performance. Using pod filters makes modifying the airbox unnecessary since it will no longer be used at all, but using pods may require tuning modifications for correct performance. An example of a modified airbox is in the original write-up. If the airbox is removed, it’s a good idea to put a filter on the transmission breather tube. There is a vent tube that goes from a nipple on the top of the engine case to the airbox to allow filtered air to vent the engine. When the airbox is removed, dirt and other nastiness can get into the engine. One option to remedy this is to purchase a small K&N style filter from the auto parts store and attach it to the end of the tube. The filter can be secured to the frame with a zip tie. There is not enough room to slip the filter directly onto the breather tube. It will contact the bottom of the tank. Leaving this vent uncovered and open is not recommended.

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Low Fuel LED

The YZF tank has a low fuel sensor built in from the factory. It can be wired to a LED somewhere else on the bike to notify the rider when fuel reaches a very low point. This is useful to have since the YZF tank does not have a reserve selection like the FZR tank does. With the YZF tank, once you’re out of gas, you’re stuck. With the FZR tank, turning the petcock knob will allow a few more miles of travel. My personal setup is different since I am using a custom aftermarket gauge setup, but here is a wiring diagram. Wiring up a LED is a pretty simple process with the diagram.

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If anyone else has used different methods, please share them.


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Last edited by mrfreeze5 on Sat May 30, 2009 6:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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ragedigital
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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby ragedigital » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:05 pm

This is useful to have since the YZF tank does not have a reserve selection like the FZR tank does. With the YZF tank, once you’re out of gas, you’re stuck.


Not exactly true from what I hear. Apparently, there is some switch that can be activated that will in turn activate the "reserve" electronically. I just saw a thread about it on the YZF forums. I'm not certain if this is true of all years or not. The low fuel light just tells you that the main selection is almost out and that you should activate the reserve.

Since the YZF forum is down, I'll check it out later.

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby megaloxana » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:16 pm

I can't make out how to wire in the LED with that diagram. Got a larger one?
'92 FZR 600
Airtech R1 kit \*/ 520 conversion \*/ 14F-47R gearing
K&N pod filters \*/ Stage 3 jet kit \*/ Factory Pro shift kit \*/ Full V&H SS exhaust
Custom '02 R6 undertail \*/ YZF gas tank \*/ Raised via dogbones \*/ custom flush turnsignals
Full R6 brake set-up \*/ SS lines \*/ Progressive fork springs \*/ ZX2 coilpack


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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby thatkid » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:26 pm

ragedigital wrote:
This is useful to have since the YZF tank does not have a reserve selection like the FZR tank does. With the YZF tank, once you’re out of gas, you’re stuck.


Not exactly true from what I hear. Apparently, there is some switch that can be activated that will in turn activate the "reserve" electronically. I just saw a thread about it on the YZF forums. I'm not certain if this is true of all years or not. The low fuel light just tells you that the main selection is almost out and that you should activate the reserve.

Since the YZF forum is down, I'll check it out later.

darrin


I would call BS but since I don't know all the models I couldn't tell you. I know on my tank, which is a 2000 I believe, the fuel lines in the tank are the same length. The petcock only has on and off. There is no reserve setting so I would tend to agree that when you are out of gas, you are stuck.
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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby megaloxana » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:33 pm

I forget what year mine is but it definatly doesn't have any electronic reserve.
'92 FZR 600
Airtech R1 kit \*/ 520 conversion \*/ 14F-47R gearing
K&N pod filters \*/ Stage 3 jet kit \*/ Factory Pro shift kit \*/ Full V&H SS exhaust
Custom '02 R6 undertail \*/ YZF gas tank \*/ Raised via dogbones \*/ custom flush turnsignals
Full R6 brake set-up \*/ SS lines \*/ Progressive fork springs \*/ ZX2 coilpack


ADD YOURSELF TO THE OFFICIAL FZRONLINE GOOGLE EARTH MAP :bunny :banjoman

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby ragedigital » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:44 pm

Apparently, the 96' YZF600 models had a diaphragm in the petcock that would shut off the fuel flow. I'm still researching.

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby 95FZR600 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:15 am

I must add that I love my YZF 600 tank swap NOT R6 TANK!! The low fuel light has saved me a couple of times on the road.
2002 Yamaha R6-----2003 Yamaha R6

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby ragedigital » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:11 pm

Can you guys who have done the Tank conversion give some COST details:

Cost of Tank
Fabrication Costs

Thanks,

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby 95FZR600 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:06 pm

Mine is off a 2000 YZF 600 and it costs me $80 shipped. It had a few small dents that I had to repair but you cant tell now.
2002 Yamaha R6-----2003 Yamaha R6

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby mrfreeze5 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:13 pm

My tank was about $100, $10 for a new fuel filter $20 for a cap and I had everything else already.

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby diztroy » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:00 pm

The 95-96 YZF's electronic reserve shuts off the fuel pump when a low level is sensed (and the low fuel light starts to come on), then to start the fuel pump back up you hit a reserve switch to turn the pump back on an the low fuel light stays on constantly. The 97+ YZF's don't have this reserve switch; so if you see the low fuel level you just go to the gas station, so for the 97+'s seeing the light is the "reserve". As stated, the 95-96 YZF's have a vacuum operated diaprahm that shuts off fuel flow but it doesn't have a petcock, whereas the 97+ YZF's just have a petcock (ON/OFF) and the electric fuel pump should stop fuel flow when its turned off.

I wrote something about this on the archives, here's the link, Oh and I've spoken to supefly....he's been running this circuit for several months now without any problems.

http://www.fzrarchives.com/ipb/index.ph ... =38744&hl=

For those that are interested (with YZF tank swaps that is) I've bench tested a few circuits for wiring up your low fuel level sensors,

http://www.oldskoolyzf.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=925

I tested them on both old (95-96 YZF600) and new sensors (97-07 YZF600) for 1 hour with the tanks empty and it seemed to work fine. The lights went out when the sensor was placed in gas. Please note that lighting of the circuit (when the fuel level is low) is not immediate, it has a time constant associated with it. From the time it is powered on it takes approximately 30 seconds to be fully illuminated if the tank is empty.

The circuit using the 194 bulb is pretty straight forward as it is just a copy of the OEM circuit, 95-96 here, 97-07 here.

However the LED circuit took a little more work because it requires a larger load then the LED can produce to work properly; the sensor is kinda picky about that. Without the 50 ohm 4 watt resistor in parallel with the LED, the LED would just light all the time. Basically the 50 ohm resistor is just simulating the 194 bulb's current load and fooling the sensor into working. The 50 ohm resistor should be at least 4 watts, otherwise it may burn out over time. The 680 ohm resistor is just a current limiting resistor for the LED, it can be a 1/2 watt resistor. FYI, that 4 watt resistor can get kinda warm when the light is on, so make sure is won't melt anything.

Also if you wanted to get fancy you could also add a bulb test by adding some wiring between the starter button and bulb ground side (so it grounds out the bulb as it is also grounding out the starter relay circuit for starting). Then the only thing you'd be missing was the tach error code that the YZF's have to tell you if the sensor is unhooked or the bulb is burnt out. Can't have everything I guess.

Like I said I've only bench tested this, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work on a bike. Good Luck, but use at your own risk (I won't be held responsible if you run outta gas! :D ;) )

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby ragedigital » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:22 pm

Thanks for clearing that up!
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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby megaloxana » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:17 pm

Thanks for the info distroy, been looking for the low fuel light diagram for a while.
'92 FZR 600
Airtech R1 kit \*/ 520 conversion \*/ 14F-47R gearing
K&N pod filters \*/ Stage 3 jet kit \*/ Factory Pro shift kit \*/ Full V&H SS exhaust
Custom '02 R6 undertail \*/ YZF gas tank \*/ Raised via dogbones \*/ custom flush turnsignals
Full R6 brake set-up \*/ SS lines \*/ Progressive fork springs \*/ ZX2 coilpack


ADD YOURSELF TO THE OFFICIAL FZRONLINE GOOGLE EARTH MAP :bunny :banjoman

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby 95FZR600 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:44 am

This is one of the easiest swaps since it lines up with the frame so well.
2002 Yamaha R6-----2003 Yamaha R6

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Re: HOW-TO: YZF600R Tank Conversion Write-Up

Postby Genesis » Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:25 pm

Freeze on the airbox, the fzr400 Airbox fits, I will try to snap some pics while I am fitting the tank with the fzr400 airbox.
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