'83 XL600R project

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ohtechwiz, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. ohtechwiz

    ohtechwiz Adventurer

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    I am new to the board and am starting a complete overhaul on a 1983 XL600R today. I purchased it off craigslist for $500.



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    #1
  2. Stretch67

    Stretch67 Mad Scientist

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    Does it run?
    #2
  3. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    Hell, if it runs I would ride it just like that. Those bikes are anvil tough.
    #3
  4. ohtechwiz

    ohtechwiz Adventurer

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    No, it does not run, here is a picture at lunchtime yesterday.

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    And here it is at the end of the day.

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    #4
  5. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    One thing I did was ditch the oem battery and over engineered brackets in favor of a little sealed battery. I also found a stainless header pipe and was in the process of finding a lighter muffler when it was reclaimed by its rightful owner. I hated the number plates. So I peeled the graphics off and cut back the plastic on a set of spare covers. Maybe not to anybody else's taste, but I liked my alteration.

    It looks like your bike came with a Clarke tank. That, to me, is better than a rusty steel oem tank. But they are a little on the fat side and don't do a lot for how the bike looks. Like I said, I was headed for an up to date muffler and I also wanted to freshen up the headlight and mask with something modern when I had to sell it back. An aluminum can and fresh face would do wonders for how they look.

    But my 86 was still a solid dual sport. It had the best seat EVER, maybe the worst brakes since drums, it cornered great, had excellent power and suspension that wasn't quite as awful as other 1980's dual sports. An XR shock helped. Which is actually the only rear suspension part from an XR that crosses over. Decent oil and a preload spacer helped the forks handle my 190 pounds.

    Have fun. I enjoyed mine before it went home.


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    And just because I love this picture of the rightful owner fixing the XL's bent dog bone. The trail marshalls were ready to call for a sweep truck for the mighty XL600R. But the rock adjustment worked.

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    #5
  6. ohtechwiz

    ohtechwiz Adventurer

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    Nice pics. Thanks for the advice. Now that I have it apart I am deciding what I want to do with it. I am considering a Wiseco Piston and Moose Racing Jet Kit. I also intend to paint everything, I am just not sure what color I will go with. I am considering gun metal grey with details like an old B-52 bomber, not sure about that yet. I will be working on it more today.
    #6
  7. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    A jet kit was a big help on mine. I am trying to remember what kind of emissions gizmo was on the carb. IIRC it was some kind of lock on the air screw but the insides were normal. Plus both carbs are the same (unlike the monstrously bad Yamaha system). So it is easy to work on. You are going to love that engine when you get it sorted.

    Even with 25,000 miles and a worn out top end mine had plenty of power. I miss that John Deere low end power that let it climb like a mountain goat and slog through snot without spinning. My LC4E is better offroad but it has the power characteristics of an MX bike. So it can be a handful on steep hills and in mud where the old Honda just cruised through it.
    #7
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I like mine in high vis OEM red, but would love to see a militarized version.

    If you haven't tracked down the starting problem yet, you might start with the stator (assuming you already know about the dangling spark plug wire shown in your picture). It seems like 95% of non-starting XL600's are due to a bad stator. If you replace it, I recommend getting an upgraded stator from Ricky Stator or something.

    xrsonly.com and xlintperformance.com are both good resources for various aftermarket parts.
    #8
  9. ohtechwiz

    ohtechwiz Adventurer

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    Thanks for the tips. I have not even tried to start the bike. The person who sold it to me told me it had issues and I want to learn the insides. I just finished fixing an '82 XL500R, I am only waiting on one more part and I also did some minor maintenance to get a legalized XR200R up and running. The 200 is the one I am using to get around town right now. I will be selling the 500 and the 200 soon to finance the XL600R project.

    One question for anyone, I am looking at the Wiseco piston, is it drop in or do I need to modify the motor for it to fit?
    #9
  10. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Have the cylinder measured and then order the piston.
    #10
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I think the stock bore is 100mm, but who knows if thats been enlarged. As long as you are measuring, I recommend checking for roundness (ie. measure in forward and sideways, top and bottom of the cylinder). It may need to be bored straight, or re-sleeved. At that point, you could opt for a big bore kit or stock displacement. I've not heard any negatives about wider bore, but have heard that hot cams can wear out the cylinder head more quickly than stock.

    If everything is straight, the Wiseco should fit same as stock, with a light honing to make sure the new rings seat well.
    #11
  12. Ghost_Mutant

    Ghost_Mutant looking for bionics

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    +1

    And remember the difference between forged pistons (Wiseco?) and cast pistons (Honda), they take different clearances with the cylinder bore.

    Really need the fancy bore gauge to accurately measure the bore. My telescoping gauges and decent caliper were not accurate enough for this job.
    #12
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Any automotive maching shop can get you an accurate measurement, as well as perform any boring/honing you might need.

    If you want to do it yourself, many auto parts stores will loan/rent you the tools.
    #13
  14. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    The OP probably already knows this, but make sure it is an XL600 piston rather than an XR600 piston. They are the same basic motor but don't have the same bore and stroke. An XR standard bore is 98mm bore and an XL is 100mm.
    #14
  15. ohtechwiz

    ohtechwiz Adventurer

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    I will be opening up the engine this week to see what is there. I scored a complete OEM gasket kit off Craigslist for $40. Once I have it open I will determine which piston it has and decide if I will upgrade or not. I am also expecting the final part for my 82 xl500r so I will be finishing it and selling it, hopefully. It will help me fund this rebuild. If anyone in the Seattle area is looking for a running 82 xl500r you can PM me. I am hoping to not lose money on it as the problems it had were not apparent when I bought it.
    #15
  16. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER

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    Love that picture. So focused. "this ride is not over!"
    #16
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    The look on his face is like he is making lunch. He looks calm, and sure that it will work...
    #17
  18. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    The trail marshalls were being :ddog about the sweep riders passing us. But we knew it was under control.

    I had just cleaned and regreased the suspension before giving the bike back to him so I was like .... :augie

    But then my XT350 had grenaded under his ass a couple of years before that so I was also like .... :ksteve
    #18
  19. GSBruce

    GSBruce Been here awhile

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    Greatdog, where did you get your stainless header and how much did it cost? Thanks.
    #19
  20. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    It is was from FMF and relatively cheap at the time. I don't know if they still sell it.
    #20