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Thread: SBT sucks!

  1. #1
    Resident electronics hacker UnityRacing's Avatar
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    SBT sucks!

    I've read very mixed reviews over the years on SBT, so I really didn't have an opinion of them until yesterday.

    I bought a used 140 motor from someone on ebay with a damaged PTO cylinder and piston. When it arrived it was labeled on the MAG cylinder as SBT. I still got a pretty good deal on it so I didn't even say anything to the seller about it (He just buys and parts out, probably didn't know)

    I finally got around to tearing it down last night, and each hole had a different piston in it. MAG and CEN were labeled SBT on the inside of the piston, and the PTO was ELKO or something like that. Ok so figuring someone *may* have changed the PTO piston out at some point, I can overlook that. What bothered me is the other two pistons were not the same. Fit and function yes, but one was coated and one wasn't. Each looked different underneath. One had the wire circlips holding the pins in, and one had snap ring clips. It's like they just cobbled together an engine from whatever they had lying around.

    Also the heads. The restrictor plate appears to have been welded in, then machined flat. The heads are pitted all to hell and completely unuseable. No other damage in the other 2 cylinders, so I know they bolted them up this way. I'm not even sure they are MSX heads as they appear to have been spray painted silver and not factory powdercoated.

    I've yet to split the cases and inspect the crank, it seems to be in great condition, and I *have* heard great things about their crank building abilities.

    Just a warning to anyone even considering SBT for MSX engine parts.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    My impression is that someone assembled a bunch of random parts, some of which originally came from SBT. Perhaps the entire engine was rebuilt by SBT at some point, and since then people have been swapping parts around.

    SBT runs production line style, each engine of a given type is rebuilt in the same way using the same parts. An SBT rebuilt engine will have all new pistons, the heads will all be the same, cylinders, etc.

    They will repaint the engine after rebuild, but I have not seen an MSX 140 engine from SBT so I don't know whether they repaint the heads separately.

  3. #3
    Been around for years...seen it all Kawi-Guy's Avatar
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    I would agree with k447 on this, SBT parts maybe but don't assume it was a barn job on their part. Could have been the previous owners'

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    yeah the elko is a factory piston and would have never been used by sbt someone slapped it together and sold it off

  5. #5
    Resident electronics hacker UnityRacing's Avatar
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    FLMike I have no issues with the ebay seller as I paid $650 shipped and got a case, and a good crank - both of which all I really needed. Already sold the flywheel and stator and got half my money back right there. I didn't buy a running engine, i'm simply stating my observations from teardown thus far.

    The cylinder base nuts were still painted black, they had not been removed. This motor came with the 2 mismatched SBT pistons, and mismatched circlips. The ELKO piston may have been replaced at some point, that I don't know as the jug was already removed. The heads have the restrictors welded in, and I compared them to the other MSX heads I have, and that is something that is for sure not OEM. Unfortunately the heads are so nicked up that I can't even CC them against some stock MSX heads to see if they are even the same.

    I'm really interested to see if they even put the center circlip back on the crank, or if they built it like a standard 1200.

  6. #6
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
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    You can by SBT pistons only too. Also do cylinder swaps. And top ends. Truth is, you can't really tell if the entire thing is an SBT "reman" motor or not.....

    Sounds like not....

  7. #7
    Resident electronics hacker UnityRacing's Avatar
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    They paint the cylinder nuts (actually the entire engine) after assembly. The nuts were untouched. I don't care how careful you are with a wrench, putting one on a painted nut will leave marks. These had none, and I seriously doubt that anyone would bother to repaint the cylinder nuts after swapping parts.

    I'm not sure how it couldn't be an SBT reman motor? Each rod is marked SBT, 2 pistons are marked SBT, the front cylinder is stamped SBT, and the other 2 cylinders have steel/iron sleeves and not the typical nik'd cylinders.

    You guys can chose to believe me or not, I'm not bitching about it, but I AM shocked at what I saw.

  8. #8
    xxx2's Avatar
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    Should have an sbt sticker with a number on it if it was a complete engine. Give them a call with that number and they can tell you when and to whom it was sold. to me sounds like an sbt engine that eventually had issues and someone repaired it,or tried to at least

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnityRacing View Post
    ... the other two pistons were not the same. Fit and function yes, but one was coated and one wasn't. Each looked different underneath. One had the wire circlips holding the pins in, and one had snap ring clips...
    I don't recall if SBT makes/sells two versions of their MSX 140 pistons. If they do, perhaps they consider each version to be equivalent, coated or not, snap rings or circlips.

    I do recall in the early days SBT was using pistons meant for the red 1200 engines (1 mm oversize, per SBT normal) in the MSX 140 rebuilds. I do not recall if they changed to an MSX 140 specific SBT piston later

  10. #10
    Resident electronics hacker UnityRacing's Avatar
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    Yes the MAG cylinder has a sticker. The oiliness of the engine has worn away the adhesive and it slides around. This is how I saw the stamping under the sticker.
    I agree someone could have tried to repair the PTO cylinder and put in a different/wrong/stock piston, however the heads, all 3, were pretty pitted, and as I said welded and milled. No other damage to two of the cylinders or pistons, and the cylinders were never removed. The pistons should have had equal damage to the heads if it happened after SBT built it. IMO they bead blasted the heads, welded, milled, and painted them as-is and slapped them on. Purchaser of the engine would never know about the pitting, or differences in the pistons as you can't disassemble the engine AND keep your one or two year warranty.

    I can't say how old the engine is age wise, but it doesn't appear to have much wear on it other than the bad cylinder. It appears the rings caught a port and it went south from there. Of course the ski it was in could have been sitting for years after the failure before being parted out.

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