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Old 07-25-2009, 10:35 PM   #7546
Thunder Dan
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Oddometer: 691
2003 Honda XL650V Retrofit to 1988 Honda XL600V.

The following details & pictures may help provide some guidance to overcoming some of the problems in completing this conversion. The XL650V engine is from an Australian release 2003 model. It has been installed to an Australian release 1988 model XL600V. The donor engine required TIG welding repairs to both front engine mounts (the donor bike was extensively smashed up). Also repaired, was 1 x front tappet cover mounting bolt & aligning dowel, which were bent in the accident.

Q). Do the mounting points for the engine line up?


A). Yes. Above: mock fit up in spare frame




1. Pulse Coils.


Above: Remove the 2 x Pulse Coils & Rotor Button from the XL600V.

The ignition systems vary between the two models. Looking at the electrical schematics, I couldn’t see a simple way to introduce the 650 ignition system to the 600 chassis harness. The 650 runs a single pulse coil, with x2 tips on the rotor button (sorry, no photo). The main problem is that the 650 CDI (ie, only has x1, not x2 like the 600) is linked to the HISS immobilizer / security system on the 650. Maybe someone with more electrical know-how could over ride it. However, I found this swap works fine.


Above: Install 2 x Pulse Coils & Rotor Button (from 600) to the 650.

Remove the single pulse coil, rotor button & harness from the 650 engine. Honda has carried over similar crankcases from the older bikes. The 650 case still has the mounting positions for the older pulse coil arrangement. Install as shown above.


2. Stator Windings.

I wasn’t sure if the 600 chassis electrical system could handle the increased power output of the 650 stator. It’s not a large increase, though I wasn’t prepared to risk frying the bike! I removed the windings from the 600, and fitted to the 650.


Above: 650 windings (top) & 600 windings (bottom).


Above: 600 windings fitted to 650 engine cover.

Note: Neither the 650 LHS or RHS engine covers use a paper gasket. They require a flexible sealant. I used a Caterpillar product I had left over, though a similar loctite product or equivalent could be used. I still applied a generous amount of clear silastic around the harness entry grommets.



3. Water Pump.

The water lines on the 650 are slightly larger than the 600. Correspondingly, the water pumps are different in some respects. The 600 water pump will not swap into position of the 650 water pump. However, the outer manifold will swap over from the 600 water pump to the 650 water pump. Below:


Above: 600 (black, with red arrow) outer manifold fitted to the 650 (silver) water pump body.



Note: Order 1 x new mounting seal for the 650 water pump & a new gasket seal for the outer manifold.

The outer 600 manifold (black) allows you to run the standard diameter water supply lines from the bottom of the radiators to the water pump. The standard 650 water pump body still allows the use of the standard pressure line to the front cylinder. Below:


Above: Water pump discharge line to engine.


4. XL650V PAIR System.

Inside each tappet cover is an exhaust gas recirculation valve. Each cylinder head has a drilling from the exhaust port to this valve in the tappet cover. On the 650, these gases exit via pipes from the top of the engine. These lines connect to a Medusa of hoses connected to a valve that controls the re-introduction of these gases to the inlet system. The 600’s inlet system cannot facilitate this system & there is little room to incorporate it. I left this system out & blanked off the supply pipes. I made up some blanking plates from 3mm aluminum.


Above: Blanking plates to replace the PAIR supply ports.



Above: Front Cylinder blanking plate. Note std bolt clearance below coil.






Above: Rear Cylinder blanking plate with countersunk bolts.

Note: I originally had the std bolts inserted on the rear cylinder. The rearward bolt (above, left) was putting a pressure point on the inlet manifold. Using countersunk bolts eliminates this pressure point.


5. Chassis Cross Member / Brace.

Some material needs to be ground off this brace to make room for the blanked off PAIR system port on the rear cylinder.


Above: Cross – Brace that has been filed (between two arrows) to provide clearance.


6. Crankcase Ventilation Line.

The standard 600 ventilation line configuration requires modification to suit the 650 engine.


Above: I am pointing to the standard 600 line. Note that the end is not compatible with the outlet on the 650 rear tappet cover (blue arrow).



Above: Modified Vent line.

Using the original vent line in addition with a spare line, an internal barbed joiner & some clamps – I made up the above line. It now follows a different route in front of the battery. The picture above shows the orientation – as it sits in the bike. Note: the line slips into the existing rubber port (blue arrow in first vent line picture) on the tappet cover. This will need to be clamped in position.


7. RHS Lower Radiator Line

The 650 front header pipe orientation runs directly in the way of the standard 600 RHS lower radiator line. See below:



Above: 650 Front header pipe is further ‘forward’, blocking RHS Lower radiator line.

A visit to the local aftermarket automotive parts supplier yielded the following heater hose from a V8 Holden Commodore (VN – VR Series) for about A$20.00:


Above: Australian VN – VR Commodore Heater Hose.

The blue end connects to the bottom of the RHS radiator. The red arrow connects to the t-piece that links both LHS & RHS radiator supply lines to the water pump. To accommodate this hose, the RHS upper front engine mounting bracket needs to be modified:


Above: Modified RHS Upper Front Mounting Bracket.

As per the picture, some of the mounting bracket needs to be cut away to allow the new RHS radiator line to pass through. After cutting the material out, the edges were all filed – especially the inside edge that adjacent to the hose which is generously chamfered to prevent any pressure point on the hose.


8. Lower Fairing & Engine Protection Support Brace.

This part of the conversion is probably the most time consuming part of the conversion. It took me 3 attempts to get this correct, though the pictures below may help reduce this for anyone else wishing to carry this out. Problem: The orientation of the coolant feed/supply line to the front cylinder fouls the original location of the lower fairing support brace.


Above: Note the Blue arrows. Fairing Brace & coolant port to front cylinder.

I mounted the fairing brace to a piece of 5mm x 25mm flat bar. This became the jig so I could cut & shut it to fit (sorry, no photo). I cut out the offending section of tube. I purchased a 1m (1 yard) length of 13mm (1/2”) square section tube. This material cold bends quite easily using a vice & your hands. Use something like a 14mm (9/16”) socket as the die to radius the bends. Below:


Above: Offset section in Fairing Brace.

Tips:

- Note the offset is approximately the thickness of the tube (13mm);
- With the remaining sections (ie, the ends) of the brace still connected to the flat bar jig, cut the newly made offset section to length so it fits into place;
- Remove from jig & re-assemble in position on the bike;
- Remove petrol tank, etc & shield any delicate areas. Now, with the coolant hose connect to front cylinder, orientate the new offset section so it isn’t contacting anything & tack weld into place;
- Remove the brace & completely weld the section into place;
- Dress welds & refit to ensure it is still ok, Below:


Above: Test fitting Fairing Brace after welding offset section into position.

If this is all going well, remove the brace & paint it up.


Above: Modified Fairing Brace upon final assembly. Note clearance for coolant line.


9. Exhaust System.

This heat shield was fouling on my rather large bash plate. If you are using a smaller bash plate, you may prefer to keep this guard in place:


Above: Remove heat shield if necessary.



Cut off the mounting tab on the lower side of the headers (red arrow). Grind off excessive weld (blue arrow) as this fouls on the bash plate. Below:


Above: Remove mounting tab (red) & grind away excess weld material (blue)

The catalytic convertor needs to be removed as it does not fit on the 600. It fouls on the 600 Pro Linkages. Below:


Above: Remove the catalytic convertor.

From this point onwards, the exhaust system will depend upon the muffler you are using & how it is positioned. I used my existing Remus Innovation muffler, but changed its position. I rotated the intermediate section almost 180 deg. This allowed the pipe to placed in an upswept position.
The factory 650 headers are stainless steel. To produce a suitable connection between the headers & muffler, the nominal material is 38mm (1 ˝”) diameter stainless pipe.
I mounted up the muffler first. I made the following two mounts for the Remus:


Above: 20 x 20 x 65mm Square Bar with M10 thread. Longitudinally welded to sub-frame. (Note: this part of the frame is in compression).


Above: Intermediate Support Brace. 20 x 5mm Stainless Steel flat bar & 16mm round bar, bored for the 8mm mounting bolts.


Once the muffler was in position, I cut the 38mm (1 ˝”) stainless steel pipe to length. I marked it’s orientation & took all the items to a machine shop that could TIG weld with stainless steel filler rod. Below:



Above: Joiner piece TIG welded into place with stainless filler rod.


The next step was to produce a new heat shield. It may be possible to use the original 650 shield, though the one that accompanied this engine was damaged from the accident. I made up the following out of 1.6mm stainless plate:





Above: Stainless Steel heat shield.

Optional modification may be to polish the headers & muffler. Clean off all the oxidization with a wire wheel in a power drill. An intermediate buffing wheel (hard cloth) to remove any light scratches, followed by a proper stainless steel polishing wheel (soft cloth).

10. Carburettors

I'm still running the 600 carburettors. I have retained the #40 pilots that I fitted a couple of months ago. I swapped over the mains from the 650 carburettors which are both #132 in both the front & rear. The 650 carburettors have a throttle position sensor & a sensor in the bottom of each bowl. I'm sure they would work fine, but was happy to run the existing units.



So, was it worth it? Yep. The bike has quite a bit more bottom end & midrange power. Easier & quicker off the mark - and that is with -2 teeth off the rear sprocket from the standard 650 gearing. That seems to work out at approximately 4600rpm at 100km/r (60mph). This engine doesn't use oil like the old engine, which is a bonus. The fuel consumption is expectedly higher (16 - 17km / Litre), though I've been having some fun with it, so a steady touring speed may see that figure improve slightly.


Cheers,

Dan.

Thunder Dan screwed with this post 07-26-2009 at 04:41 AM
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:33 AM   #7547
locorider
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Dan:

This is a well detailed mod! Well done! Thanks for sharing!

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Old 07-26-2009, 11:16 AM   #7548
Andy G
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Dan,

thanks for that detailed report, description and pics! Great work!

THX, Andy
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:03 PM   #7549
nomiles
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Nice job!!!

Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:31 PM   #7550
mas335
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Fantastic report, I know that took a lot of time. Well done.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:50 PM   #7551
la fletche
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Hey Dan, great work. I realy envy blokes like you doing these type of mods. Could never imaginge doing anything loke that. Hope thay you get out to Byrock for the Honda V-Twin rally.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:30 AM   #7552
icekube1
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Great work Dan; both post and bike.

Seems to me that yours is the Transalp Mr Honda should have built. All you need now is one of these to add the final touch.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:55 AM   #7553
Jim Rowley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icekube1
All you need now is one of these to add the final touch.
Indeed.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:49 AM   #7554
combustion cycles
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Whats up Guys!

I finally got organized and put all my Transalp pics in one place...

http://picasaweb.google.com/CombustionCycles

There are pics from various Rally races, and pics of motor building, race prep, etc.

I'll be racing at http://www.blackriverstages.com in upstate NY in Sept if anyone is nearby, there is also a dual-sport ride the same weekend for folks not racing.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:43 AM   #7555
Ladder106
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Great Job, Dan

I printed this out to save for the future. I think most of you work will apply to the US riders who may wish to transplant a NT650 Hawk engine into our TAs.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:00 PM   #7556
gothamAlp
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paint job

i'm thinking about repainting my TA in part because i can't afford to buy a new bike

i remember seeing a very cool paint job on a TA in oregon that was in the fleamarket a while back but the thread is no longer available.

guy had a dual headlight set-up and a white/blue/yellow paint job that was killer... anyone have a pic of that thing?

also, i PM'd rowley and norcal on this, but does anyone have a US source for transalp decals? please advise, thx.

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Old 07-28-2009, 12:29 AM   #7557
Thunder Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la fletche
Hey Dan, great work. I realy envy blokes like you doing these type of mods. Could never imaginge doing anything loke that. Hope thay you get out to Byrock for the Honda V-Twin rally.
Hey Fletch,

Sure hope so, the Milparinka OCR is about the same time as well.

Cheers,

Dan.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:33 AM   #7558
Thunder Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rowley
Indeed.
Icekube & Jim,

Yeah I know, I've got the close up image saved as the background on our home computer!! Likely to be next year at this stage - the Aussie Dollar is still relatively weak against the Euro. I'm pushing for this year, but not likely.

Cheers,

Dan.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:42 AM   #7559
Thunder Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladder106
Great Job, Dan

I printed this out to save for the future. I think most of you work will apply to the US riders who may wish to transplant a NT650 Hawk engine into our TAs.
G'day Ladder,

Well I hope it helps. The only thing I'm wondering about is the coolant line into the front cylinder? Is that the same on the Hawk? Santa.. can you shed some light here?

The other consideration for the 650 re-power is that a low km Hawk (or 650 Transalp) engine may be considerably cheaper than overhauling a high mileage 600 Transalp engine. Just a thought...

Cheers,

Dan.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:30 AM   #7560
icekube1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Dan
Icekube & Jim,

Yeah I know, I've got the close up image saved as the background on our home computer!! Likely to be next year at this stage - the Aussie Dollar is still relatively weak against the Euro. I'm pushing for this year, but not likely.

Cheers,

Dan.
Hi Dan

Was only kidding really, BUT if you do decide to do something with the Boano fairing next year then let me know. I might be able to go for one as well and we can split the freight.
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