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Old 03-30-2009, 10:46 AM   #1
PigTrail OP
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Dualing Dual-Sport Builds - XR400 and XR600

Reasonable people take on reasonable projects. This is probably why most of us have no problem ripping into more things than our budgets, schedules or wives should allow.


Contestant number 1 is an '02 street legal Honda XR400. It was purchased in the summer of '08 from a deranged gentlemen who moved from Big Bear California to Paris, TX where he now lives surrounded by meth dealers. He was sorry to see the XR go, but needed rent money. Ouch.

The goal of the XR400 build is to provide an update to the engine and have a fun and potent ds bike capable of single-track woods riding as well as 300-400 mile ds jaunts over a long weekend.




The parts list as it now stands....

-440 JE Piston Kit w/sleeve
-hot cams stage 2 cam
-XRs only temperature dipstick
-magnetic oil drain plug
-hot rods connecting rod kit
-NGK-DPR9Z spark plug - runs cooler than stock 8Z
-165 main, 65 pilot, pilot screw 1&3/4 turns out, needle clip in 3rd (middle) groove. Carb setup guide.
-replace stock valve springs and guides
-ss valves
-CRF 450X Cam Chain - Part number SC0409 x 112 from DID. Bikebandit part # is 1469321-001.


The other contender is a 1994 XR600 that I purchased in March of '09 for $900. It runs fine, but clearly needed a carb cleaning, oil change, and new chain. Naturally I decided a frame-off resto was the only way to go.



That's one sweet looking rear end....









Parts list includes...

Acerbis Cyclops headlight
New Chain & Sprockets
Assorted Hoses, bolts, and fittings
Wide Foot-Pegs
Bearings and Seals
Carb Cleaning
Oil Change
Frame Powder Coating
Spray Paint for plastics

An engine update will of course be needed, but likely during round 2.

The 600 already came with a Ceet aftermarket seat, pro-taper handlebars, and acerbis handguards in addition to a very loud e2 white bros pipe.

BTW, a lot more XR600 inspiration can be found here.
Calling all xr600 owners thread here.
XR600R Engine Rebuild
XR600 Build for Mexico

The goal of this build is to provide a longer range, but lightweight ds bike comfortable for trips into Mexico or the Western TAT. My dad, who lives in Virginia also periodically comes to TX to enjoy our warmer weather and so the 2 bikes will make his visits even more fun. A dirt bagz setup or similar may be added at a later date to accomodate longer trips.

I should also mention that aside from changing the stator on my xr400 and replacing the doo-hickey on my klr I've never opened up the inside of a motorcycle engine. I've also never done a full exterior restoration of a bike, but a few unreliable sources tell me it'll be no problem. Let the fun begin!
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:50 AM   #2
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The XR6 torn down to the bones...






When did the idea of a sub-frame come along? Probably after somebody bent the back side a few too many times. Hmmm.






On the right front side of the engine this oil fitting is clearly weeping fluid. I've ordered the longer hose that goes from the base of the reservoir at the top of the frame down to the engine, but the shorter hose that goes from the base of the frame to the right side shown here is proving difficult to find. Is this the oil strainer? Both bikebandit and Ron Ayers show this part, but not the hose? Any help?



Whew, glad to see that in one piece. Seems silly to buy the billet bling choke plate with so few cold days down here.







It's amazing how little time and how few tools it takes to break down one of these bikes. Basically an 8,10,12,14, and 17 mm sockets along with a few wrenches and you're set. Edit...don't forget the 30mm for the steering stem nut!




Off to the powder-coaters with the frame. I've selected gloss black similar to the xr600 inspiration thread linked above.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:00 AM   #3
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So back to the xr400.



To go from this......





To this.....





takes a few steps. More detailed description later.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:06 AM   #4
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Swheeet!

I love a good XR build,but TWO!
Makes me want to go rip the XRR apart,again.

I'll be tuned in.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:11 AM   #5
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Nice work! If you get to feeling ambitious while the XR6 is apart, an HRC 628cc kit and cam will give a nice performance boost while still being fairly reliable (don't push too hard on compression and don't go larger on displacement). I'd also fit an SRC (XR400 based) oil cooler to the big XR as they tend to be a bit on the toasty side.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
I'd also fit an SRC (XR400 based) oil cooler to the big XR as they tend to be a bit on the toasty side.
I've seen a few of these listed on ebay. I'll have to think about this.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
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I understand that doing top-end rebuild can be done with the engine in the frame, but I'll be replacing the connecting rod on the xr4 and this will require splitting the cases, so the engine needs to come out.

Although you could use buckets or remember where cables go I find it much less stressful to label things with masking tape and use lots of ziplocs.


Home for the engine mounts for a few weeks...


I was suprised to see the dramatic wear on the kick-start bolt. Perhaps this is normal for a 7 year old bike?



Disconnecting the various levers, breather lines, and cables is fairly straightforward. The oil lines on the 400 have little dowels and o-ring seals that help seal the hard lines against the case. The 600 has a plate which presses the flanged oil lines onto the case.

Here's the 400 - watch for the little dowels and don't let them fall out when you're not looking.


I plugged the breather tube with some more masking tape to keep out nasties.



Turning to the left side I disconnected the stator wires. I have a ricky-stator 200w unit, so this may look different than yours.



With these items detached the engine is free to move about the garage once the mounts and dreaded swing-arm bolt are free.

My swing-arm bolt spun easily after backing the nut off, but did not want to budge. A little prodding with the business end of a gargantuan puller helped things along.



I got to this point and then had to get creative as to how to continue to help the bolt out.



With the bolt out and engine removal underway I used to 2 screw drivers to make sure that the swingarm didn't more around.




What is the preferred lubing agent for reinstall? Plenty of grease or simply some WD40?

The new internals are almost all here.




Here's a shot of the 600 vs. the 400.

The 400 is on the left in the first photo and on the right in the second (it has the slightly darker side-cover).



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Video - Best of 2012

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Old 04-01-2009, 10:32 AM   #8
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What is the recommended valve spring replacement kit for the xr400? I'm looking at kibblewhite, but am not sure if the titanium ones are necessary. The xr's only valves seem to be the ticket. Anyone care to educate me?
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:44 AM   #9
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Xr600 + Xr400

XR600 Oil line hoses. You should not have to replace the hoses. They rarely fail or leak. There are small o'rings on the hose as it engages the engine. Replace those first. The oil strainer is at the bottom of the down tube where the oil hose attaches.
When you get the frame back from the powder coaters you will need to clean out the oil tank in the frame of all the blast material that is gonna stick to the residual oil. I'm doing one now myself. Probably best to clean it some before you send it out for paint. Don't forget to send the kickstand, right footpeg mount and the rear brake pedal for paint. You need some IMS footpegs. The deal is on e-bay.

XR400 Swing arm pivot. Same thing happened to a buddys bike. Had to break out the 6lb hammer and a real long punch. The bolt will spin the swingarm bushings but are in fact rusted TO the bushings. Required a new bolt and a set of bushings. Yes lots of grease, No to WD40. Why do you want to replace the valve springs?
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:01 AM   #10
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:53 PM   #11
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Just to fuel your project a bit. Consider a front end swap on either of the bikes. A CR250 front end is practically a bolt up once you swap steering stems. It makes a nice overall difference in handling and adjustability. I did a complete front end swap for about 350 bucks with parts from ebay and some machining done locally.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PigTrail
I was suprised to see the dramatic wear on the kick-start bolt. Perhaps this is normal for a 7 year old bike?

Not uncommon. Check your shifter bolt to see if it looks the same

What is the preferred lubing agent for reinstall? Plenty of grease or simply some WD40?

Lithium grease, AKA engine assembly lube. Available at all auto parts stores.

good pics, BTW.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:18 AM   #13
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:28 AM   #14
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It's amazing what a little spray paint can do.

For the white I used the usual Rustoleum paint from Lowe's. Seemed to go on pretty smooth, but the standard nozzle put off lots of over-spray.

These are the xr600 side panels after painting.




For the black I selected the Dupli-color engine enamel from Autozone. The can has a more sophisticated nozzle and seemed to provide much better coating with less mess. Paint spray was very focused and 2-3 coats over ~20 minutes yielded a pretty nice finish. I scuffed up the surface with some sand-paper to remove surface rust debris and help the paint hold.

XR600 Brake lever and kick-stand.

Before...




After...



Hopefully the frame will be back from the powder-coaters this weekend. What is the recommended method for cleaning out the oil reservoir. Run a quart or two through, swish it around, and drain it?
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:31 PM   #15
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So it's time to get into the guts of the matter.

Here we are with the clymers manual, a sturdy work-bench and a stripped motor.



Start by taking off the valve access caps and rotate the crank counter clockwise until it's at top-dead-center. You can tell it's at TDC when the rocker arms have a little slack in them.



Begin by removing the bolts off the top of the head-cover. I used some cardboard to make a template to help me remember where the bolts go.

Empty...



And populated...



Yup, looks like an engine...



Check the cover and rockers for damage and wear



Remove the cam chain tensioner. Phillips heads always scare me, so make sure you have the right size screwdriver head.





Remove cam bolt #1



Now rotate crank counter clockwise and do bolt #2. Wrap a piece of wire or ziptie around the cam-chain to keep it tight.



Pull the chain back and remove the cam. Careful that the bearing in the front doesn't fall down into the engine.



The cam has a little spring underneath that doesn't readily pop out (at least on mine), but you can get it with a little screwdriver.



New hot cams stage 2 on the left and original on the right. All the other parts for the cam here too...



The next step is to remove the 4 nuts holding on the head. Wholly crap mine were tight. This was one of the disadvantages of removing the engine from the bike. It was a bit difficult to hold things steady and get a lot of torque on the bolts.

Here is what I found after pulling the head!



I'm an engine newby, so comments are welcome.



The spark plug looked pretty black.

Here we are with the three main pieces. All bolts and little pieces are in baggies or on the card-board template.

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