Reviving my new (used) '83 Honda XL600R

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Zombie_Stomp, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I have just scored the deal of all deals: a 1983 Honda XL600R for $50! I had posted an ad on Craigslist wanting an old XL, for under $800. About a month later, this guy says I can just haul it away for $50. I must be getting back some good karma I deserved.
    It is complete except rear turn signals, the front fender sags a little because of a lateral crack near the mounting bolts, the front headlight fairing cracked, the speedometer is beat up, I don't know if it still works, the manual decompression valve panel (I think that's what it is) on the side of the engine is not pt back together, and it has not been run in about 2 years. The tank is clean, but the carbs are probably not. The title is there, the prev. owner gave it to me just signed by the owner before him- he didn't bother 'cause it was just his trail bike.
    The course of action I would like to take is to apply for the title, then get it running, and go take it out somewhere to get a feel for it on some dirt, then go through with my endorsement and plate, and possibly MSF course.
    I've ridden scooters since I was 15, have hopped them up plently (aftermarket 70cc kits, carbs, pipes, variators and gears) and have *some* idea how to ride, just need to get familiar with the gears, and the size of the bike.
    I'm thinking of starting with reassembling that decompression valve, cleaning the carbs and air filter, clean and regap the plug, and seeing how far that gets me. I'm all ears for any input from you guys who have worked on these XL's. So I'm new to the forums, and wanted to introduce myself and my new wheels, so Hello, I'm Joel!
    #1
  2. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Sweet. Almost free is even sweeter.

    Add an oil change.

    You can find everthing on the Internet.
    #2
  3. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    42941.0 miles. Any stats on how much longer well maintained 600cc rfvc engines tend to go on running for? This will help me decide whether to A) raise money and rebuild the top end, b)whole engine, or c)just run it till it needs rebuild.
    Or any other suggestions...
    #3
  4. mountain eagle

    mountain eagle terrorist

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  5. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Oh yeah, I read all his resto/rebuild projects so far, an I'm hooked! I'll contact him directly then.
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  6. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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  7. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    Thanks, Mountain.
    Yes, I've got a little bit of knowledge about these things... :wink:
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  8. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I read that whole thread from beginning to end! Addictive, these resto threads are, ere109 and gregster!
    I am going to give getting it running a shot, and hopefullly come across a good engine to rebuild while I still ride the original out. Then I could continually cycle one out for the other. I'm sure you can attest, gregster, judging by your engine installation, that the XL600R engine must be taken out to do the top end, as ere109 warned may have been the case, whereas the XR600R does not - have we come to a concensus on that?
    #8
  9. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    Once you've got all the peripheral stuff removed,
    the engine isn't that bad to take out and put back in.
    I've had mine out and back in 3 times now because of my own stupidness.
    You'll learn the trick to sliding in, without even scuffing the paint,
    though it may seem like a pain in the but at first.
    #9
  10. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Is it true what the honda book says, you need a jack under the engine to maneuver the engine out? Or will a milk crate under the frame to hold the bike level suffice? I'm also wondering how heavy the engine is by itself and if I'll be able to do it alone. Thanks. And I hope you get yours running really soon, gregster. I will feel victorious since I've been reading and watching the thread intently.
    Z
    #10
  11. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    I lifted my engine out and put it back in by myself. That may not be the ideal way to do it, though. There were a few scuffs when I was done. The thing probably weighs 90 pounds.
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  12. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

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    Naw, you don't need a jack.
    Put your frame on a strong box or a milk crate (you may need a piece of 3/4" plywood if you're using a milk crate because the milk crates aren't quite tall enough). Just make sure the bike will sit still and not fall over.
    Remove all the peripheral stuff.
    Then take the 5 mounting bolts out, remove the rear, front, and head brackets,
    The engine will just sit where its suposed to be in the frame.
    Stand on the right side of the bike facing the rear.
    Reach over the frame with your right arm and grab hold of the head or what ever you feel comfy with, and grab hold of the stator cover with your left.
    Rock the engine back and forth a tiny bit to see where it wants to go.
    It moves one way or the other to clear the brackets.
    You need to move the engine forward about 1/2 or 3/4 inch to clear the rear lower bracket (it is fixed).
    Then I think you tip the head out towards the right side (towards you).
    There may be a tiny bit more rocking involved.
    Find a position where the engine will rest while you move your right hand back over to the right side.
    Lift her out.

    You may want to place a rag over the lower frame tubes or tape them with electrical tape if you are worried about scratches.
    Watch for the stator and pulse generator wires if you have not removed them already.
    Go slow, don't be rushed, and plan your moves before you make them.
    Have a second strong box or milk crate right beside the bike so that you can place the engine on it when it is free from the frame.
    ***Watch your fingers so that they don't get pinched between the frame and engine***
    ***And for God's sakes watch your back !!! These engines do weigh upwards of 100 pounds, so if you can't remember what it feels like to dead lift 100 lbs, you'll soon find out.***
    #12
  13. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I will surely remember this for future reference. Right now I'm still hanging on to the idea of getting it running without rebuilds- I got the carbs out and cleaning them and shimming the primary needle jet is underway.

    Attached Files:

    #13
  14. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Carb:

    Attached Files:

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  15. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    Yeah, it'll just start like magic with some new gas, oil, and a carb clean. Maybe a new plug wouldn't hurt.
    #15
  16. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I shimmed the primary needle jet with one washer today. Then I cleaned and reassembled the carbs, put them on, checked for spark through the spark plug, (which I have), and reassembled the rest of the bike. I just have to put some oil in (it must have been drained, I get nothing on the dipstick) heeding the warning in the manual to put in 1.5 liters first, let it idle, and add the rest. Then I am going to crank it up! The only thing I think might not work is the "burp chamber" gasket, as ChopFather called it, on the left side of the engine. It's a warped, separated, 3-layer metal gasket I put back in as tight as one can with the supplied allen-head bolts, seems to still fart a little air when I turn the engine over. Might run anyway, compression seems stronger with that plate on. Worst case scenario, I put on fiber gasket material, and I wait a week for the gasket to arrive. (I once used fiber gasket material to make a head gasket on a scooter and it lasted a few weeks!) Where does everyone here order their gaskets from? I hate ordering parts throught my local motorcycle dealer because they suck. I ordered $15 worth of jets for a mikuni carb one time and they still haven't called me back after like 6 months! (needles to say that project's on the back burner anyway, which is why I haven't bothered this time....) I need a speedometer and mirrors to be legal, if anyone knows who to aks, lemme know!
    P.S. also looking for one of those in-place-of-a-battery capacitor devices.
    Less urgent is a red front fender and skid plate.
    #16
  17. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I added gas and oil and haven't got it started yet, mainly because I am not fully recovered from my sprained ankles. I don't have a manual, but it seems like neutral is at the bottom, and one through 4 are up from there on the shift lever. This is such common knowledge among owners of running xl's that it's not posted anywhere, so can someone verify this for me? I don't even know how many speeds there are, and I won't until I find a place more wide open than my driveway to go riding.
    #17
  18. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I got a few putts out of it at first, then I finally got it to run... for a while. I whizzed to and fro around the u-shaped driveway behind my apt. Then, I couldn't keep the idle up and didn't get it restarted. I'm going to have to wait for my ankles to fully heal before I try to start it without help from my brother. A couple key things I noticed:
    -a popping sound every once in a while, coming from the head- probably the burp chamber
    -the bowls of the carb leak a little on the primary- do these tend to swell back up after being exposed to more gas?
    -only ran with choke on.
    -my oil is aboutr 2-3mm on the upper side of the operating range on the dipstick
    What is this? should I adjust it?

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. Trailbst

    Trailbst Motor n00b, Salty 4x4er

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    There are some mirrors on ebay right now. Search Ebay motors for xl600 or xl 600.
    #19
  20. ere109

    ere109 Ride On!

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    Glad to hear you got it running for a minute. For future reference, it is a five-speed, with neutral in between 1st and second.
    If you can't find anything else, I won an XR600 speedo and cable on Ebay a while back, and would send them for what I paid, as long as your speedo gear is still on the wheel. No bracket, either.
    #20