New Airhead Project

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by guywithchickens, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Oddometer:
    719
    Location:
    Central CT
    Greetings all!

    I've been active on the DR350 and V-Strom threads, but this is my first visit to the Airheads area.

    I'm finally getting my father's 1980 R65 shipped to me later this month. He bought it new in Casper, WY in 1980. Rode it a bunch in the early 80's (with me riding on back). I don't think it has been ridden since ~1986. Has 11K miles. It's been in his storage unit in Colorado for the last 20 years. At least it's not humid.

    My winter project is to get it back to running condition. I know there's lots to do. Looking for any convenient references/checklists on what I need to do to get a bike running after 30 years of sitting. Obviously rubber, fluids, etc. Hopefully there isn't much/any rust.

    [​IMG]
    #1
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  2. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    Airheads can be quite resilient and have been know even after such a long period to start with just a new battery and some fresh fuel. Realistically I would drain and replace oils with a cheap brand you don't mind dumping after a short while, look in the carbs and if they are not full of crap or varnish give it a try assuming the electrics come to life when you connect a battery.
    If no life then start with a carb strip and clean and go from there. Motorworks do a complete carb rebuild kit with all seals, gasket and diaphrams for a reasonable price.
    #2
  3. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing Supporter

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    10,901
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    I went through something similar with my R65LS that was parked for 14 years prior to my ownership.

    If the engine is free, and has compression, I would rebuild the carbs, check the valves and points, drop the sump to clean it out and start the bike to see what you have.
    #3
  4. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon 1992 R 100 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
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    992
    Location:
    High Desert of New Mexico
    How can I see the image?
    Thanks,
    BR
    #4
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  5. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

    Joined:
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    Here's a list posted here awhile back:
    1) Change ALL oils.

    2) Torque cylinder heads (25 foot pounds, loosen each nut 1/2 turn,
    then torque, use crisscross pattern)., adjust rocker arm end play (zero
    play, no rotational binding), adjust valve clearances (cold engine) to
    .006" Intake, .008" Exhaust.

    3) Service auto advance unit (don't snap the thread off the end of the
    cam, tighten GENTLY!), grease point cam felt with a smear of grease.

    4) Set points gap to 0.016" (0.40 mm) using a good feeler gauge, or
    better yet a dwell meter, look for 39 degrees on the four cylinder
    scale (gives you 78 degrees on a two cylinder).

    5) Set ignition timing static setting to S mark on flywheel.

    6) Check full advance timing at 3200 RPM, the dot (or hole if the paint
    is gone) above the F mark should be steady in the center of the timing
    hole, aligned with the machined groove in the side of the hole.

    7) Service the air filter, i.e., put a new one. DO NOT blow out air
    filter with compressed air, do not leave a K&N filter in at all.

    8) Drop carb float bowls and clean the tiny jet in the little well in
    the corner of the bowl using a single strand of wire from a wire brush,
    held with needle nose pliers. Make sure contact cleaner will spray
    through the jet into the bowl.

    9) Remove the main jet and jet holder (make a mental note of the depth
    of engagement of the jet holder), drop down the needle jet and emulsion
    tube, (keep your finger over the hole so they don't fall out and get
    lost.) Use some Gumout carb cleaner spray to clean the gunk that has
    accumulated above the jet holder. Spray the jets and emulsion tune
    clean, then reinstall the emulsion tube, needle jet and jet holder.
    Visually align the jets onto the needle carefully. As you screw the jet
    holder up in with your FINGERS, if it doesn't seat fully (remember the
    mental note?) then back it up about 1/32 of a turn and wiggle it as you
    screw it in gently (FINGERS ONLY!) You will feel when the emulsion tube
    finds its way up into the carb body hole. If you can;t get it , remove
    the air tube from the air cleaner housing and visually see that the
    emulsion tube projects up into the venturi about 3-4 mm. You can wiggle
    the needle to help align it as you screw it up in with your FINGERS.

    10) Check the float level setting by lifting the float gently with your
    fingers. When the needle seats, BEFORE the spring loaded part begins to
    depress, the seam in the float should be parallel to the float bowl
    gasket surface. Reinstall the bowl carefully, making sure the gasket is
    fully seated in the groove all the way around.

    11) Check that the throttle cable has a tiny amount (1-2mm) free play
    when the throttle grip is all the way back. Get the two sides as close
    to the same free play as possible.

    12) Check that the choke cable fully seats the lever on the post when
    the lever is in the horizontal position. At half choke, the lever on
    the carb should be halfway between the posts. At FULL choke position of
    the hand lever, the choke lever should be all the way up to the top
    post.

    13) LIGHTLY screw the idle mixture screw IN until you feel the screw
    seat. Now back the screw OUT by 3/4 turns (this setting varies for
    other models).

    14) Turn the idle SPEED screw OUT until it does not contact the
    butterfly lever at all. Now screw the screw IN until it JUST touches
    the lever, now turn it IN one FULL turn.

    These are the baseline settings. Now take the bike for a LONG test
    ride, at least five miles, to get it to FULL operating temperature.
    Riding around the block or starting and revving on the stand will NOT
    work.

    At this point you need to synchronize the carburetors. This is
    accomplished either by shorting one cylinder at a time (this takes some
    practice to get right, usually you need somebody to show you once) or
    using a vacuum gauge on the vacuum takeoff ports on the side of the
    carb. Set the idle mixture on each carb at the point that gives best
    running, usually between 1/2- 1-1/4 turn out. Balance the idle speed
    screws, then balance the cable pull off idle. Recheck to be sure that
    you still have a tiny bit of free play of the cables. If not, readjust
    the cables.

    This should get the bike running pretty well. Idle speed should be
    at 1000-1100 RPM. DO NOT set the idle for a super low "tickover", as
    this will severely reduce oil circulation in the engine and make the
    transmission rattle like a bag of rocks.
    #5
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  6. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    Good stuff BB!
    #6
  7. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    I believe the original author was Ted Porter... (anyone know?)
    #7
  8. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile

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    Sweet! Thanks!
    #8
  9. costellon

    costellon Directly above the center of the earth

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Galway, Ireland
    I got a non running (9 years) R80 a few years back. Changed the fluids, filters, fitted new plugs and battery but had only turned the engine over using the rear wheel in gear. That evening a friend visited me with a few beers - egging me to fire it up - but I had a strange feeling that something was amiss. I had noticed earlier that the nut and washer that holds the air filter housing on were missing (the other bolts were in place) - so, much to my friend's protests - I pulled both carbs as something in the back of my mind was niggling at me to do so .... Low and behold - inside the inlet manifold of the RH cylinder head sat a NUT and a WASHER !!!!!!
    I removed them of course, stuck it all back together and she fired up second spin of the motor ... sweet as could be.
    Had I not checked the manifolds it would have been a very sad tale indeed ... I would have wrecked the piston, head, valves and possibly the cylinder.

    So, whatever else you do, pull your carbs and check inside the inlet manifolds with a flashlight just in case anything has made it's way in there over the years !!!!!!

    Take any crud out with a vacuum cleaner (don't blow air in unless both valves are closed !)...... and give them a good wipe with a clean rag soaked in petrol. You should be able to pull the carbs without removing the cables or upsetting the adjusters.

    That's my 2 cents worth.
    #9
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  10. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile

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    Good tip. My Dad is a pretty good mechanic, so I doubt he has intentionally done anything dumb. Regardless, I'll go over the bike pretty thoroughly (including inside the cylinders now).
    #10
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  11. Uke

    Uke visualist Super Supporter

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    From the first photo it looks like th gas tank and carbs are already off the bike and the inlet to the heads has been taped-off. Should be easy to check before putting bits back together.
    #11
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  12. AndrewSJC

    AndrewSJC Been here awhile

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    It's Tom Cutter's.
    #12
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  13. costellon

    costellon Directly above the center of the earth

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    "From the first photo it looks like th gas tank and carbs are already off the bike and the inlet to the heads has been taped-off. Should be easy to check before putting bits back together."

    Oops ! Didn't look too long at the pic ... my bad, sorry !!
    #13
  14. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    What Big Bamboo says is correct. In addition, though, check the greases.
    I re-incarnated my late brother's R60/6 after 19 years of being just parked, (but inside, fortunately) and about 15 of that was in San Jose, CA, so no rust issues.
    I did find that the grease in the steering head, swingarm, and wheels was about like beeswax. It all needed replacing. The steering felt like it was moving through heavy molasses.
    Of course the tires were toast, but at least held air.
    After about 5 years since then, all the seals in the engine (except pushrod, which I replaced) are leaking pretty copiously, and they all will be replaced this winter. You may want to plan for that in a year or two- I've been ignoring it for a while, but it was good for a couple of years.
    #14
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  15. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Correct.
    #15
  16. Square1

    Square1 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I got a bike that the PO ran with an Oil pick up laying loose in the Oil pan!
    Something I check from then on ...
    #16
  17. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    If he kept the oil high enough it would work. Sorry I don't know how high that would have to be. I guess close to full.
    #17
  18. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Next time you have your pan off, look up inside the motor and note where your dip stick ends. The tip just barely goes below the bottom of the engine case. If the oil level was never allowed to get to the minimum mark, I think you'd be ok.
    #18
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  19. sky44

    sky44 Been here awhile

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    looks like a pretty good example. give it a good going over, fresh grease, oil and gas like these guys are saying... nice.
    #19
  20. lucky6600

    lucky6600 Long timer

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    Where are you about in CT? I am in 06033
    #20