1983 XL600R Restoration

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by mkoski, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Oddometer:
    20
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    Alberta
    Hey guys! I'm new here but not new to old bikes. I have rebuilt a 77 CB750 and did an 04 KTM 450 EXC last year!

    Recently picked up a beautiful heap of XL600R parts that I have been working on for the last week or so and have made some decent progress since then. Was planning on keeping a build log because it's always nice to hear about the bolts I missed on assembly!

    Going more or less for a restoration of the original but was also thinking of making it into a semi-serious adventure-touring bike with lots of storage available.

    Thanks for looking!

    Matt
    #1
  2. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Alberta
    My biggest inspirations in terms of build was from another post here, with the orange and blue scheme. The headlight design, windscreen and luggage fabrication are something I would like to emulate. In terms of colors I'm after, I will be following the beautiful paris-dakar scheme, which I know many of you love!

    What is completed already:
    • Full disassembly
    • Powdercoated frame
    • Bored, honed cylinder
    • New piston, case seals, bearings
    • New valve seals
    • New clutch
    • New needle-bearings in stem
    • Rebuilt oil pump
    What I need to do next:

    Engine
    • Finish engine assembly (waiting on cam-gear bolts)
    • Clean and paint engine
    • Install engine
    Rear End
    • Clean and paint swingarm, spring
    • Rebuild rear end, install onto frame
    Front End
    • Clean and sand/paint forks, install onto frame
    • Clean and paint/polish top triple clamp
    Wheels
    • Order new rubber
    • Clean/blast rims, hub, spokes. Refinish/paint
    • Install rubber, mount wheels
    Tank/Seat
    • Repaint tank
    • Re-cover seat


    Thats as far as I'm looking ahead right now. Looking to finish all of this build by mid-September so I can test-ride before winter! Should have the engine completed by the end of the weekend!

    Attached Files:

    #2
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  3. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    Jul 23, 2018
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    Engine work, just posting to attach some images. How do you feel about my rocker faces? They all look similar to the ones pictured. Cam looks really good.

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    Shouldn't this be in "Some Assembly Required"?
    #4
  5. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    And my last post for today, frame, swingarm, fork and my snapped head bolt! Going to get back in there and replace it. I was planning on re-using my head gasket. Thoughts? Was going to copper-coat and up the torque by a few ft-lbs.

    Attached Files:

    #5
  6. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    Oh boy. Maybe it should be. Hopefully a mod will move it over!
    #6
  7. WilliamArcher

    WilliamArcher Been here awhile

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Oddometer:
    108
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    San Diego, CA
    The picture isn't very clear, but those don't look bad to me. I've never seen any without some discoloration. I think as long as the cam hasn't started digging into the rocker surface (which you can feel running your fingernail sideways across the face), it should be fine.

    I don't think the head gasket will be very expensive. Why not use a new one?
    #7
  8. bultacobill

    bultacobill Been here awhile

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    Feb 26, 2014
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    729
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    Dawson PA
    After that much engine work a new head gasket is cheap insurance.
    Whey don’t you post some info on the XL/XR thread. There would be a curious audience. I finished an 82 XL500R not too long ago.
    #8
  9. bultacobill

    bultacobill Been here awhile

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    Feb 26, 2014
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    Dawson PA
    572CD19C-9D35-4A2B-91AF-79B893CC63B2.jpeg Here is what I built for luggage. Works well for me. 87F89C3D-8E6E-4AC4-85B8-8F6DC90F4EA7.jpeg
    #9
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  10. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    That is one heck of a nice and clean looking 500R! Hoping mine turns out similarly! Your luggage rack is exactly what I'm after, I'll definitely be referencing it later on.

    Since the last update I have been mostly stalled but made some progress over the last couple days.

    Did some quick restoration of the skidplate:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]

    I also finished up my cleaning efforts on the forks and triples, which have been mated to the frame.

    Before and after:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #10
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  11. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    I also "finished" putting my engine together! I compromised on your guys' advice with the headgasket. It would have taken weeks to get a new one (the issue, not price) so I copper-coated it, as I read lots of success stories with it and I didnt even get to full torque values first time around. I pulled out the offending bolt...

    [​IMG]

    ...and I torqued everything down as per spec, attached the valve cover and everything is looking good. Even my cam chain is in decent shape with almost no stretch to it.

    I do, however, have one problem that I havent been able to sort out myself! Take a look at this image:

    [​IMG]

    This picture is my finger on the clutch push-rod coming out of the left side of the engine. When I install the left cover (and the clutch actuation arm) the clutch lever doesnt touch the rod, thus wont push the clutch apart on the other side. From what I have been able to find, it looks like my clutch rod is not sticking out far enough, which matches my initial thought, as the clutch actuation arm is a centimeter or two deep into the left engine cover. I'm fairly sure I assembled the clutch components on the right side of the engine correctly but have no idea why this is happening! Anyone have some insight?! Thanks guys!
    #11
  12. OrangeBandit

    OrangeBandit Adventurer

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    Location:
    Tryon,NC
    Some of the early to mid 80's Honda 2 strokes has a single steel ball on the end at the clutch pack. It was about the same size as a BB for your bb guns! Maybe its missing that ball if the 4 strokes had the same design. Just a thought.
    #12
  13. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    Well, been delaying an update for the last little bit, but have made some progress that I am very happy with. Working on all sorts of different aspects at the same time, which keeps it interesting for me.

    Engine is 100% completed. The clutch issue I was running into was solved by finding a cylindrical rod that fit into the bore in the engine cover and cutting it to length such that it engaged the push-rod correctly. After that I put it together, cleaned, prepped and painted it. Rear-end is also done up, so those have been put together with my frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I also ripped the wheels apart, painted my hubs in black epoxy and just need to clean and polish the spokes and rims. Tires are ordered and should be here next week, along with my handlebars and grips. Besides that, I recovered my seat, which only drew a little blood! Things are going very smoothly on this build!

    Attached Files:

    #13
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  14. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    Oct 21, 2009
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    Location:
    southcentral PA.
    Wish I'd have seen this thread when it started. I had a couple of these things over the years and only had one major issue and it happened twice. A valve seat came loose in the head and would shift a nd cause a lack of compression. I pulled the head apart and the seat fell out when I pulled the valve. I purchased a used head and when I pulled the valves to do a quick lapping before installing it a seat fell out of that one also. I learned that Honda had an issue with that happening with the bigger radial valve heads.
    #14
  15. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

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    2,235
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    Oakland, CA
    Ayup. Me too.
    #15
  16. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    Oddometer:
    20
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    Alberta
    Just some more linear progress to report. This has gotta be the least exciting build thread ever! Question for you guys: What is the preferred method to flush the oil tank in the frame out? It's been sitting for 6+ years and I have no idea whats in it and want to make sure its nice and clear before I install my oil lines and fill it up later on...

    I just received the few parts that I needed to continue on today, the tires and a new handlebar! Those are going on asap and I'll have a roller. Just need to polish up the rear spokes and lace em and true em up! Might just be able to get that done tonight, although I also want to install my exhaust (as that's painted now) and start the repainting of my gas tank... Just been working through the odds and ends. Foot pegs, rear brakes, rear guards and other misc stuff has been cleaned and painted.

    Attached Files:

    #16
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  17. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    Alberta
    I also made some big progress with the tank, as it's now ready to go for bondo/painting. Used compressed air to blow out a huge dent, there's still a big scratch and smaller dent that need filling. Besides that, just adding stuff to the bike and working through it slowly but surely.

    Attached Files:

    #17
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  18. mkoski

    mkoski Adventurer

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    Jul 23, 2018
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Alberta
    After cleaning up the (72! Blah!) spokes and getting the rims tidied up, I laced em with the epoxy-coated hubs and installed new shinkos. I also threw on electrical, tested it out and it gave me no issues. Exhaust was also completed. I cleaned it up, painted it with a nice and thick coat of VHT black and installed the heat-shields, which I painted silver. With all these items completed there wasnt much else to do but try starting it! Filled her up with oil, 1L in the frame, 1L through the valve cover and then a hundred kicks or so to prime er with oil. On my second kick through with gas in her she kicked back HARD. Great! That means I have fuel, compression (holy crap do these things ever have compression!) and spark. A handful more attempts and she fired right up! I did this a couple times to heat-cycle the new piston/rings/other metal bits. A day later I took her out and through a couple gears nice and gentle! Very well mannered bike. I think I just need to give it a more full ride to dial in the adjustments and what not.

    This is my fastest build to date, purchased July 18th, fired up Aug 18th. The remaining list of items includes:
    • Install side covers
    • Paint gas tank
    • Install speedo-cable
    • Bleed front brake
    • Mirrors mounted
    • Black "decals" added (front and side covers)
    • Turn signals
    Hope to finish those up this week and put the stamp on this restoration!

    Attached Files:

    #18
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  19. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    2,970
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    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Try the hair dryer/compressed air can technique on the dents. Use the hair dryer to heat the dent area. Then turn the compressed air can upside down and spray the heated area. The sudden cooling spray of the compressed air can causes the heated metal to shrink and pop the dent out.
    #19
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  20. Kaw4Life

    Kaw4Life Chief Dark Cloud

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    Nice man! Had an '86 XRR that I loved.
    #20
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