The XL600 thread

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Gregster, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    I recently had it with my '98 xr engine I had stuffed into the XL frame and rode east to west coast with. Its timing chain went slack on me and it ended up running rich and nasty. The last straw was the choke lever falling off while I was in downtown Portland, leaving me to a last resort of ripping off my homemade intake made of plumbing parts and k&n, and stuffing a hoseclamp sideways into the throat of the carburetor to keep the choke flap open, and blasted home with the open intake (no filter).

    I'd had my old XL engine (low mileage head, bad tranny) sent to me. I put the dual carb head back on, the timing gear for the wider timing chain so I could use the one from the XL, the kickstart shaft for it's decompressor cam along with the corresponding side cover and cable, as well as the original airbox, as the frame was designed more for that kind of setup with the shock being in the middle. I'm not sure if it was the fact that I had fixed the bad valvetrain or just the better carburetion, some combination of both I'm sure, but having the level of power that I did after so long was great. Going 50 and want to be going 80? No problem! Tilt your wrist back a couple inches and wait about 3 seconds. It's been a while since I tested the single carb versus the duals, but I think the duals have it over the singles for sustained upper end power. But the low end has a lot more "balls" now too, but that's probably entering the territory of just how crappy it was runnng before.

    The piston had a small dent from each valve, I guess the timing chain was that slack. Another cool thing is that the wider timing chain of the XL engines, as opposed to the the narrow XR and XRL timing chains, makes the cool whirring sound, I missed that and I know where that sound originates now.
    #61
  2. CNRED

    CNRED It'll be OK

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    The bright red motor was what drew me to the bike. My '86 runs well, I ride it every once in a while. The power is still there and on the trail, it rivials most of the thumpers built today. When I finally tear it down, I want to bring it back exactly as it was in 1986.
    #62
  3. SantaSack

    SantaSack Adventurer

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    Saginaw, Michigan
    [​IMG]

    I just got 1984 XL600R couple of weeks ago. I found it on craigslist and the guy just wanted to get rid of it. I payed 300 bucks for it and it fires up with two kicks. It needs some work, the front brake is stuck and it needs some new tires. But other than that it is just really dirty. I rode it around a little bit and I think this is going to be a good bike to compliment my hog. If I could figure out how to put pics on here I would.
    #63
  4. CNRED

    CNRED It'll be OK

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    I just got 1984 XL600R couple of weeks ago. I found it on craigslist and the guy just wanted to get rid of it. I payed 300 bucks for it and it fires up with two kicks. It needs some work, the front brake is stuck and it needs some new tires. But other than that it is just really dirty. I rode it around a little bit and I think this is going to be a good bike to compliment my hog. If I could figure out how to put pics on here I would.[/quote]

    I just looked at your pics, you stole that bike!!! It looks great.
    #64
  5. SantaSack

    SantaSack Adventurer

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    Thanks! I have it cleaned up and it looks even better! Now I just have to get it to my dads barn and get everything taken care of.
    #65
  6. fully_geed

    fully_geed Listens to Tom Waits

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    I'll be first in this great thread to welcome Joel back to the DUAL CARB tribe where RFVC engines love to play. Joel: your experiments are a true inspiration about tinkering with this great bike. Not sure why XL600's are so amenable to this process but they are.

    Joel swung by my house in Oakland,CA on his way to Oregon late last year on this bike. Truly experienced XL600 guy here to be able to pull stunts like switching heads out, carbs, seeing how they go...shit. can't imagine.

    Please indulge me with my XL-600. I'm taking it backwards in time in one smear, and then pulling it towards the future in the next:

    [​IMG]

    subscribed!
    #66
  7. CNRED

    CNRED It'll be OK

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    Anyone know where to get the red paint that is used on the 86-87 XL600r engine? The Honda dealer I have been dealing with is clueless concerning this issue. I'm almost sure it will have to be some type of engine enamel. I was hoping for an original Honda paint number or color name.
    #67
  8. CavCPT

    CavCPT n00b

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    8
    Restoring a 1983 Honda XL600R. I'm in desperate need of the two side panels for the bike. Checked BikeBandit.com but they're no longer avalible. Can anyone help? Craigslist has been short on options this month.
    #68
  9. JStory

    JStory Long timer

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    Dixon, CA

    I have an '86. I curse the day Honda made the rediculous decision to paint an engine red.
    #69
  10. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    When I put the rocker box gasket back on, I used copper coat gasket spray on an unused metal gasket I had. I think it was a Japanese aftermarket one. Not a honda. It looked like it had a coating of shellac. Not sure if thae two coatings were incompatible or anything, but I cleaned the other two surfaces and was careful about my torquing and order of tightening, and it still leaks soon after the swap, on a 3" area of the gasket at the left front area. I'm glad it's not the front area where the spark plug cavity is, as that has usually been the case, and an unnecessarily messy pain in the ass when doing anything spark plug related.

    The gasket between the head and rocker box has always been a big pain in the asson this bike in general, always leaking. The same thing happened to my single carb XL head. I had ok luck with a coat of silicone on either side of the stock metal one. Even the silicone gave way to an oil leak in the same place I'm having one now, left front, so I know it's not a warped matting surface. Or I should say, if it is, these two are freakishly both warped by unlikely odds. But I know everyone has trouble with that gasket. Some fiber gaskets hve been alright, maybe I should try that again. I heard that there is a guy out there who makes custom-shaped gaskets out of a sheet of solid silicone for any application, and they are durable and reuseable.

    The only problem with using different gasket materials is that it is hard to know the right thickness. Too thin, and the cam bearings will be too tight and could be binding up and adding resistance to the cam turning, stressing your timing chain and tensioner, and the center cam journal can rub, also adding resistance. Too thick, and the cam bearings can move around. Both of these can also throw off your valve clerances since those are... wait, no, they wouldn't since you would adjust those after installing the rocker box and then they are still whatever you adjust them to.

    So what someone with two absolutely flat plates of metal and taps, dies, and possibly a machine shop at their disposal should do is this: trace a stock gasket out on one of the plates, drill and tap holes in the appropriate places, and drill holes in a corresponding plate to go on top. The plates would be used to mock up the head and rocker box going together. Take your stock gasket and put it in there and torque everything up. For the 10mm and 12 (or is it 14)mm-headed bolts, shorter versions from the hardware store can be used in place, which would be fitted to accommodate the plates. They are there just to simulate the squish that occurs when the gasket is tightened. Now the plate and gasket sandwich can be measured and the thickness of the plates subtracted for the gasket-under-pressure measurement. Now you can cut gaskets from other materials and see if they are the right thickness based on Honda's intended spacing, which had been established for the cam bearings and journals to be happy. You could also use the plate to pre-manufacture some silicone coated gaskets based on the stock ones. I used brake cleaner to clean the old gasket and the surfaces before using silicone and it still eventually leaked. I wonder if it is the cleaner I was using.

    Sounds like a big deal just to stop an oil leak, but if this helps a community of XL people, it would be well worth the while of a couple of individuals. What say you, XL loving machininsts or friends of machinists?
    #70
  11. CNRED

    CNRED It'll be OK

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    They are impractical I would agree, but I like the way they look when they are properlty manitained. The problem is, I'm having a difficult time finding out the color they painted them and what type of paint/coating they used. I don't want to improvise but it may come to that.
    They painted some black in 1985.
    #71
  12. WhereAmI

    WhereAmI Hop a Long

    Joined:
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    So my new to me XL had a few issues, some of them minor, still have to check the valves which will be done on sunday (my garage is the back yard). My main issue right now is that when I turn the key all the way to on, none of the dash lights go on unless i jiggle the key somewhere between on and off, sometimes leaving it as is does nothing, but the other day I had the bike warming up and the horn didn't want to go off until I jiggled the key around. Would I have to replace the ignition and lock or is there something else that could fix it? I have to take the bike in for inspection when my papers come in the mail and I don't want them to nitpick about that, also the whole safety thing too what with living in the city and all that jazz.

    Also is there a way to add a locking gas cap to the stock tank, its in good condition so no need to go for a full aftermarket tank, but a locking cap would be good in a big city, you just can't trust these folks out there.
    #72
  13. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Oh yeah, as you will find, Adam, your chain is too tight. It should have the most slack when unloaded like it is in the photo. When the suspension is compressed, the chain tightens, so you should adjust it so that the chain still has a little slack when the suspension is bottomed out. A few minor tests should get you in your comfort zone.

    Not that you will be riding anytime soon. :D
    #73
  14. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Hey, XR and XL fiends. My XR600 piston has had it. It is just so thrashed and low on compression that I really need a replacement, it won't idle without choke and has a realy hard time starting sometimes. I wore myself out to the point of exhaustion trying to start it last night. This bike is my only mode of transportation so although I can borrow other modes of transport until I get it back together, I really need this done soon.

    I am quite low on money and I'd like to make it as cheap as possible. I can get the bore done by a good machinist for $40 locally, i just need a piston kit. I've dropped off my spare XR cylinder with him. I may need to sell some parts I have, but I would like to spend less than $138+shipping on a 1mm overbore XR600 piston. Anyone have anything on their garage shelves they could sell cheap or get rid of that I could just buy a set of rings and a wristpin for and call good?

    mcma111 had an XL one, but that won't work since the bore and stroke are different, 75x100mm in the xl and 80x97mm in the XR. I have the XR engine in the 1983 XL frame with the XL's head, by the way.

    I'll post this in the xr600 thread too, and thanks again Steve in SF for the offer!
    #74
  15. fully_geed

    fully_geed Listens to Tom Waits

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    Oh, no, that tension was planned! My fabricator did it to keep the suspension from bottoming out into exhaust muffler because the clearances are so tight. Makes perfect sense once you think about it...

    I predict my first kickstart in anger before...BEFORE...the month of June hits our calendars this very year. :rofl

    I have a piston from my tear-down...XR's only rebuilt the top end and said the cylinder needed a few sizes overbore; they didn't do anything with the piston that I sent them. How would I know if it's still good? Here's how it looks, I'd be totally willing to send it in an emergency piston delivery ahead of all the other XL600 body crap I have:

    [​IMG]

    #75
  16. handirifle

    handirifle Been here awhile

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    You sellng them or giving them away?

    I'm in Palmdale.
    #76
  17. handirifle

    handirifle Been here awhile

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    That is really cool looking. I like it. I see a rear disk back there. How'd you do that?
    #77
  18. God of Speed

    God of Speed brrraaaaAAAAAAAP

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    #78
  19. Zombie_Stomp

    Zombie_Stomp Aspiring human

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    Black magic!

    Naw, he paid an expert lots of money (probably) to do it for him.

    To his credit, though, even though FG doesn't know how to fabricate on his own disk brakes, he DOES do some amazing, top-quality fiberglass work. Check out his blog, it's amazing to watch the process of some of his parts being made, such as the airbox, gas tank, and seatpan he is/has been working on.
    #79
  20. fully_geed

    fully_geed Listens to Tom Waits

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    Thanks Joel. Right, I had a local guy do the brakes on both ends of the bike. labor wasn't so bad because he knows flat trackers really well and what to do. www.bankeperformance.com

    IIRC The expensive part was the hub: because you need a cushdrive and disk tabs. so we went with a supermoto hub by RAD racing designed for a CR/F. Could probably have E-Bay'ed an XRL, or KLR hub for cheap, but if I had my druthers I'd nuke E-bay from orbit:

    [​IMG]
    #80