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Old 03-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #76
XTwarrior OP
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So....how hard are forks to take apart and put together?

My weekend project will be doing the forks, adding the higher weight oil, new fork seals, and possibly a PVC preload piece if it will work. The problem is I have never pulled forks apart and not sure how to go about it
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:59 PM   #77
royalthumper
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Question burning oil....

Hey thumper fans. So I popped my cherry when I bought an 83' Xt550 last fall. Its been sitting in the garage all winter until yesterday when I pulled her out. She starts up fine although when i'm in first she coughs out blue smoke. I remember the guy i bought it from said that there were some leaky valve seals. is this most likely the problem and if so is it a pain to fix. Also where can i find a kickstand for her? Also cleaning the carburetor would probably help her run more smoothly.
Thanks for helpin out a NOOB
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalthumper
Hey thumper fans. So I popped my cherry when I bought an 83' Xt550 last fall. Its been sitting in the garage all winter until yesterday when I pulled her out. She starts up fine although when i'm in first she coughs out blue smoke. I remember the guy i bought it from said that there were some leaky valve seals. is this most likely the problem and if so is it a pain to fix. Also where can i find a kickstand for her? Also cleaning the carburetor would probably help her run more smoothly.
Thanks for helpin out a NOOB
I would definitely clean the carb and maybe replace the gas if it is old. I've seen old gas put out blue smoke, though not a ton.

The valves on the XT are relatively easy to get at if you are handy with tools. It is possible to remove the top end from the bike with the engine bolted in, but it is a very VERY tight fit. You have to take the gas tank off. Then I loosened the cam cover and slid it out over the cam chain with some coaxing. It seems like it won't clear the frame and cam, but with a little puzzle solving skills it does

I admittedly haven't gone farther than that, having no consumption issues at this point. I went that deep to service the cam chain itself when we thought it had skipped.

Whether or not the valve seals are the issue stands to be seen. I'd say replace the gas, and clean the carbs good and see if the smoke cleans up. I mean, it is the cheapest and easiest thing to do first, and it never hurts to clean the carbs. If it doesn't then I'd dive into the valve seals, and maybe pull the cylinder to look for worn/bad rings or piston wall damage.

Also, I haven't looked into it, but maybe see if XT500/XT350 kickstands are the same from around those years.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #79
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Was wondering, does everyone else's XT550 topend sound like it is being starved of oil all the time? I don't know how to describe it well, but my top end makes what seems to be the sound that poorly lubricated cams would make, minus any scratchy or squeaking sounds. I'd almost say knocking but I know my engine is jetted rich so it shouldn't be knocking, and the engine is stock minus a pipe and a jet kit. The noise doesn't get better or worse with warming up.

I'm worried maybe somehow a line is clogged or my oil pump could be bad? Can I test the oil pump in any way?
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:39 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
So....how hard are forks to take apart and put together?

My weekend project will be doing the forks, adding the higher weight oil, new fork seals, and possibly a PVC preload piece if it will work. The problem is I have never pulled forks apart and not sure how to go about it
I did the seals on the XT550 I had many years ago. I don't recall any problems taking the forks apart, they are simple. If I remember correctly I had to make a "holder tool" (I hope I am not mixing up bikes). This holder tool was a bolt and a steel rod welded together. You need it when you loosen the bolt at the bottom of the fork.

Are you sure the seals are shot? If they are leaking you can often clean them, sometimes seals leak because of dirt, not wear. Unlike the modern forks, there are small screws at the bottom of the XT550's forks you can use to get the oil out... so oil replacement is dead easy.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:43 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
Was wondering, does everyone else's XT550 topend sound like it is being starved of oil all the time? I don't know how to describe it well, but my top end makes what seems to be the sound that poorly lubricated cams would make, minus any scratchy or squeaking sounds. I'd almost say knocking but I know my engine is jetted rich so it shouldn't be knocking, and the engine is stock minus a pipe and a jet kit. The noise doesn't get better or worse with warming up.

I'm worried maybe somehow a line is clogged or my oil pump could be bad? Can I test the oil pump in any way?
You can loosen the small screw on top of the oilfilter lid, the oil should squirt out of there when the bike is running...
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:49 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G600
You can loosen the small screw on top of the oilfilter lid, the oil should squirt out of there when the bike is running...
I guess I could do that
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:53 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G600
I did the seals on the XT550 I had many years ago. I don't recall any problems taking the forks apart, they are simple. If I remember correctly I had to make a "holder tool" (I hope I am not mixing up bikes). This holder tool was a bolt and a steel rod welded together. You need it when you loosen the bolt at the bottom of the fork.

Are you sure the seals are shot? If they are leaking you can often clean them, sometimes seals leak because of dirt, not wear. Unlike the modern forks, there are small screws at the bottom of the XT550's forks you can use to get the oil out... so oil replacement is dead easy.
Well, the seals are actually pretty good, but I want to replace the fork oil with heavier weight and I figured I could just do the fork seals for piece of mind while having them off. One fork lost 13 pounds of pressure over a year, which isn't terrible but the other one only lost 2. (air assist)
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:31 PM   #84
XT_Driftwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
Was wondering, does everyone else's XT550 topend sound like it is being starved of oil all the time? I don't know how to describe it well, but my top end makes what seems to be the sound that poorly lubricated cams would make, minus any scratchy or squeaking sounds. I'd almost say knocking but I know my engine is jetted rich so it shouldn't be knocking, and the engine is stock minus a pipe and a jet kit. The noise doesn't get better or worse with warming up.

I'm worried maybe somehow a line is clogged or my oil pump could be bad? Can I test the oil pump in any way?
Yeah, mine does the same thing. There used to be a thread over at TT regarding an oil mod that fed more oil up to the cam, but I don't think it's around anymore. The oil that does make it up there is fed through a channel on the right side of the cylinder, maybe 1/4 inch OD, and some probably flings up and off the cam chain as well. To look at it, there should be plenty of oil to feed the top end. But apparantly there isn't. Most XT550's were jetted kind of lean from the factory, which doesn't help.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:40 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTwarrior
So....how hard are forks to take apart and put together?

My weekend project will be doing the forks, adding the higher weight oil, new fork seals, and possibly a PVC preload piece if it will work. The problem is I have never pulled forks apart and not sure how to go about it
I've done fork seals on my bike twice (corroded fork tubes make for a short lifespan for seals) and my buddy's XT once, and if you have an air impact wrench it's a snap. Pull the front wheel and have somebody pull up on the bottom of the fork a little bit to compress it, then you can run the bolt out of the bottom easy as pie. If you don't compress the fork that bolt will spin all day and you'll never back it out. If you don't have a helper, wrap a ratchet strap under the bottom of the fork and around the handlebars to compress the forks. No need to built a bolt holder thing unless you don't have an impact driver.
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:57 PM   #86
royalthumper
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thanks for the advice XTWarrior. I plan on cleaning the carbs this weekend.
As for the fuel issue I put new gas in it before i started her up. I think the smoke might the engine burning oil thats leaking in through the valves seal.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:47 AM   #87
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So I definitely have oil pressure, so that's not the issue with the starvation sound. Popped open the bolt ontop of the filter and nice beautiful 10w40 came spewing out. Unfortunately, due to the stupid dry sump this bike has, it's impossible for me to measure the actual amountof oil in this bike. One day it'll be full, the next it'll be bone dry, and then the next day barely on the dipstick. It is definitely irritating, and I've been measuring right after rides when it was suggested to check.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:08 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalthumper
thanks for the advice XTWarrior. I plan on cleaning the carbs this weekend.
As for the fuel issue I put new gas in it before i started her up. I think the smoke might the engine burning oil thats leaking in through the valves seal.
There is not alot of room to get the valve springs off. I'm not goiung to say it can't be done without pulling the head, you could use compressed air to hold the valves up while you do it. But I've never seen a valve spring compressor that would fit into that hole and compress the spring.

so in a nut shell. You get to pull the head and change the vlaves seals. Since your there might as well add a set of rings to your shopping list.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:54 AM   #89
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Woot, bike has a front brake sensor for the first time in probably over a decade

Next on the list is polishing the rims again since 2 years of neglect has tarnished them a tad.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:29 PM   #90
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KX250 Front End

Here's another Disk Brake option. Don't know anything about it as its on ebay AU.


And heres's mine



Thanks guys and keep up the good work.
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