XL600R 'soft rebuild' - I'm changing a broken shift shaft, anything else I should be doing?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by kraftkarl, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    Thanks, I didn't think about that! Haven't talked to the workshop yet, about measurement in general, of valves and piston. Shouldn't I be able to use my feeler gauges? The smallest size on my set is 0.05 mm ~ 0.02 inches.

    I was a bit reluctant with taking the valves apart. My Haynes' service manual is a bit scary with a lot of details on that part, but now I understand, that the worst part is repairing and reinstalling after a 'grounding' - and what is that? Cleaning the valves, is that grounding them, in a way where I should apply new lapping compound on the heads?

    As I understand it, I should take them out of the head, clean them carefully, including the combustion side, to be able to inspect and measure it. Hopefully, no problems are revealed, and then it's a simple 'reverse your steps' re-install.
    #41
  2. MaverickAus

    MaverickAus Long timer

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    The striped speedo drive gear is nylon (a sacrificial part) in case the cable seizes as plenty of people don't lubricate the cable. Hopefully you can buy the new gear. When you put it all back together make sure it is all clean and well lubricated. It should be all covered in the manual.
    Good luck with the rebuild.
    #42
  3. AlpineRAM

    AlpineRAM PartsChaser

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    Well, no way to check piston to cylinder clearance with a feeler gauge- you just measure the diameter of the piston and the diameter of the cylinder and calculate the difference. The tools for this are very expensive, so let the machine shop do it for you.

    Grinding the valves means that you remove material from the valves to get them back into the correct form to seal against the valve seat. (Also a machine shop work)
    After grinding the valves and cutting the seats you still need to do the lapping of the valves to their seats to achieve good sealing.
    Another thing to check with the valves out is the clearance between the valve stem and the valve guide.
    I know all that sounds scary, but it is necessary to check and repair so that you won't have a lot of troubles down the road.
    Maybe you can take a day off and lurk in the shop of a small engine repair shop. There you can see the parts and the tools to make them work.
    (If you were closer to me I'd invite you)
    #43
  4. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    ... if I had an extra trans-alp 1200cc something waiting around for a quick trip from Denmark to Austria. If I could, I would!

    This whole 'check and repair to prevent troubles down the road' is where I have my doubts. But the service manual gives me the impression, that this work, once the engine has been taken apart, is pretty easy with the right workshop and the right professionals, and pretty cheap too, especially if the parts are in spec and it's only the measurements.

    So I guess the reason that I feel the overall consensus here is pushing towards going this extra mile 'just to be sure / now that you did the disassembly' is, that it's worth the small cost now. It would be nice with a log on all previous repairs, because if this odd-colored valve is because it had a similar job done 10.000 km ago, then I guess I wouldn't need to go to the dreadful and expensive shop.

    My conclusion is that I will be taking out the valves, clean them and then bring the piston, the cylinder and the valves to the shop to measure them. Still feels a bit like a scary detour, but it might save me a lot of kilometers and many years of commuting, if something shows up.
    #44
  5. AlpineRAM

    AlpineRAM PartsChaser

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    Well, I see where you are coming from.. but I think that it is really well worth it to do it correctly.

    It ain't really scary and it won't be expensive. You have the seal and gasket kit anyway so no extra costs here.

    Pull the valve spring retainers and the valves.
    If you don't have a spring compressor and don't want to make one, the guy in the machine shop usually can remove and reinstall these 4 valves in less than 5 minutes.


    If you go to the machine shop make sure that your parts are really clean. Cleaning takes time, and time is money.
    Also clean parts show respect for the professional you ask for help.
    I do have a good working relationship with a shop down here, and the normal prices for measuring a piston and cylinder is less than 20 €, and about 25€ if you get it honed. (if you just do new rings)
    Boring and honing around 50€ (if you intend to install an oversize piston)

    And since you don't know who was in there when, and why, and you have no idea if it wasn't just a "slap it together the cheapest way possible so I can get rid of this piece of junk" repair go and inspect carefully.

    The valves are always getting hot-cold and hammered on the seats, so they will wear and deform.
    [​IMG]
    And if the wear gets too much you have some catastrophic failure.
    By pulling the valves, inspecting and, if necessary regrinding or changing them, you can prevent that kind of damage.

    It's the same relation of costs as with your speedometer drive- some drops of oil and a bit of cleaning over the years would net you a still working speedometer drive.
    For each step where you remove something take a piece of cardboard, trace the contour of what you are working on and stick the bolts and tidbits in their respective position into or on the cardboard.
    #45
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  6. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    Thanks a lot!

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    #46
  7. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    These cylinder bolts are really giving us a hard time! Started trying yesterday, and especially the fourth one won't give in (the three others have already given a 'click' noise).

    [​IMG]
    We ruined one extension, when we tried two extension on top of each other...

    [​IMG]

    We are spraying some more WD40 decreaser before we try again tomorrow... Any other methods?

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    #47
  8. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    Not a powder coat on the frame, but the next best batman boost can be done, while we wait for tools.[​IMG]

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  9. RFVC600R

    RFVC600R SAND EATER

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    Your gonna have to get a hammer gun, proper breaker bar or some tools that can withstand a cheater bar and give her a good crank. WD40 sucks for that application. You need some good PB blaster, it reacts with the rust/corrosion and breaks it down. I fell in love with the stuff when rebuilding suspension on my old ass car.
    #49
  10. gravityisnotmyfriend

    gravityisnotmyfriend Long timer

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    You don't need a valve spring compressor to remove the valves. Just get a socket that is close to the size of the valve spring - or just a touch smaller. Put it on top of the spring and give it a whack with a hammer and your valve retainers will pop out. You might want to add some grease to the square socket opening to make sure you don't lose a retainer - but I don't think it's much of a risk.

    You will need a compressor to put them back together, though.

    And yeah - you can't measure the piston/cylinder clearance with feeler gauges. I did mine with an outside micrometer and a snap gauge. Unfortunately, my dial bore gauge didn't have an adapter small enough to work.
    #50
  11. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Get a 1/2" ratchet, socket and extension. Lay the engine on it's side as it makes it easier to apply pressure to the ratchet handle. Or a 1/2" air gun.

    Putting something to lubricate the threads is a waste of time and effort.
    #51
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  12. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    An effective and cheap penetrating lube for breaking bolts loose is a 50/50 mix of acetone and automatic transmission fluid. It does come out of suspension after a while, so I keep some in a squirt bottle and give it a good shake before use.
    #52
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  13. AlpineRAM

    AlpineRAM PartsChaser

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    For the cylinder bolts- use a blunt tool and tap them lightly with a hammer.
    I concur on WD40 not being of use there, either get a good penetrating oil or, because I suspect that the bolts have been glued in with threadlocker, keep them soaked with acetone (or nail polish remover) for at least 48 hours before your next attempt.
    (if you round these heads you are in for a nasty piece of work)

    And, as stated by @mcma111, get a 1/2" ratchet set of good quality!
    (In Austria you can get Carolus or Proxxon- both are rather cheap but of good quality.)
    Cheap tools will make you need expensive bolts and expensive drilling out of said bolts!
    #53
  14. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    I got a new return spring today!

    [​IMG]

    The one to the right (blue) is the new one. It's smaller, actually, and much tighter.

    Here I've inserted both of them, to show that the new one actually doesn't reach the place I thought was the right place. And if I force it up, it's so tight, that one 'shift' of the moving element makes the blue, new spring jump out.

    [​IMG]

    I thought maybe there's something I have misunderstood about how it's supposed to sit. And yes, consulting the service manual saves me from the horrible embarrassment of assemblying the whole engine with a spring pressing it the wrong way.

    But still, the original spring seems stronger, than the new one. Actually, inserting BOTH seems to be the strongest solution:

    [​IMG]

    Should I aim for the strongest return 'force' possible? This might be one of those totally irrelevant miniature questions that doesn't matter - but now I'm paranoid after almost installing it the wrong way...
    #54
  15. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    Well, okay, actually my girlfriend thinks the opposite, that the new spring is a bit stronger and seems to sit a bit better. Inserting both seems a bit too much / too creative, maybe... She thinks it might actually create too much pressure...

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    #55
  16. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    We just returned from the local motorcycle workshop, and it was very weird. He didn't seem interested in helping at all, just tried to end the conversation.

    1. He didn't think it was necessary to measure the piston and cylinder,

    2. He didn't believe me when I told him that valve seats existed (he just smiled and said there's 'no such thing'),

    3. After I said I was looking for measurement of the cylinder, the piston and a check-up on the valves he told me I should just get new piston rings,

    4. When I asked him if he had the clutch-holder-tool needed to take off the clutch, he just said it was very expensive, and went over to his computer ending the conversation.

    I wasn't looking for hugs and kisses, but we were both pretty surprised, because it felt like he wanted to end the conversation as fast as possible, and in general make us realize that we should not work on the bike ourselves, but leave it to him or get lost.

    I have the feeling he is pissed that we're doing stuff ourselves, instead of leaving all the work to the professionals. Not cool. And my favorite toolshop was closed, because the guy who owns it was in the hospital (so said the note from his wife on the door). What a crappy day.

    We will try another workshop in another town, and in the meantime paint and clean :-)
    #56
  17. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I'd go with the new spring alone, not both. The spring just returns the jaws to their outmost position after one has selected a gear and the shifter returns to center. As the shifter returns the ramp side of the jaws rides up on the pins in the shift drum and pushes the jaw back so that the next time the shifter is moved it will engage the face of the jaws to again spin the shift drum. This works going either up or down, so you can rotate the drum in either direction.

    Which I'm sure you already figured out by messing with all the parts, but suffice to say if the spring force is too strong the ramp will not be easily pushed back and the shifter could possibly not return to its original position.

    Also, double check the part number of the spring: since it'sdifferent than the one you removed its likely to be an iimprovement by Honda. Most parts lists will show the part number for the original part followsby the replacement.

    Your dealer's response was sad but not atypical: had you taken you bike to him for the repair of a shift shaft he would have not bothered to measure or inspect anything else in the engine as that was not what he was hired to do. If it wasn't burning oil and had been reported to run fine his messing with anything else wouldn't have been authorized. This is the difference between a repair and an overhaul.

    It's just too bad he was also a rude jerk about it.
    #57
  18. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I would stay away from bike shops and go to a machine shop. They are specialists in testing/checking/repair of engine components and are likely where a bike shop would take their parts when doing an overhaul.
    #58
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  19. kraftkarl

    kraftkarl Adventurer

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    This bolt in the cylinder is really killing us, even more than the spark plug already did!

    I've been in 5 stores now, and the longest I can find won't fit in the hole, and even if I did hammer it in (because it almost fits), then it still won't reach the bolt, because the socket bumps out near the end of it. I see others (and myself) has a lot of trouble with finding the right tools for the spark plug also, where the problem also is: 1) I need a hole in the middle, caus' of the thread or spark plug, 2) it needs to be super slim, to not hit the surroundings. With this bolt in the cylinder, I just also need bolts that can handle a lot of torque, so using 3/8 or 1/4'' probably won't work.

    Is this a 'only original Honda tools' situation?
    #59
  20. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I was able to get to those bolts with Craftsman deep well 6pt sockets, and the sparkplug (barely) with a Craftsman deep well 18mm 6pt.

    This likley will do you no good as the newer Craftsman tools are not the same and llikely unavailable to you.

    Look for a professional grade 6pt deep well socket- these tend to have smaller outside diameters for their bolt size and should do the job.

    If you can find the factory plug wrench it's worth having- on a transalp 600 it's the only tool that can reach half the plugs.
    #60