The Honda XL (and other vintage singles) thread!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by dorkpunch, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. hawkboy647

    hawkboy647 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    NH
    716AAF84-0D30-498B-8FA7-98F3E333AC2B.jpeg I miss riding this old girl. I need to put the top end back together soon.
  2. bultacobill

    bultacobill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,007
    Location:
    Dawson PA
    Yea that’s a beauty. You gotta get it together and ride.
  3. discochris

    discochris Stayin' Alive

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
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    1,714
    Location:
    Sometimes the Twin Cities, Sometimes NW Wisconsin
    Very cool!
  4. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Hi all,
    I am Paul from the Netherlands and I own a '82 Honda FT500.
    As you might know the FT500 engine is more or less a XL500 engine without the kicker and with an electric start, CDI and sump.
    Not a lot is standard on my FT as I've build a little bratstyle bike out of it:
    IMG_20180929_105234-03 (1).jpg
    Just to some up some of the things I've done to it:
    - Honda CBR900RR front forks
    - Yamaha XS650 front wheel
    - Yamaha FZR1000 front brake rotors
    - Ducati Multistrada calipers
    - BMW F650 rear wheel and brake setup
    - custom rear frame and seat.
    Whole build thread (mostly done on the street or in my living room) can be found here: http://ascot500.com/index.php/topic,28.0.html

    Now the reason why I posted on this site is because my electrical starter gears have broken and they are completely unobtainable, even if I was to get them the starter remains a huge weak point of the FT500.
    Therefor I am contemplating putting a XL kickstart assembly in the FT.
    I've done my research so I know what parts I need to get and I have been offered them for a very reasonable price (cheaper than 2 frikkin FT gears).

    To install the kickstart shaft I have to split the engine. I know it is possible to split the engine without removing the top-end.
    What I was wondering:
    - Does anyone have experience with splitting the engine to get to the bottom case without removing the top-end?
    - Can I leave the cluch and generator in too?
    - Any other stuff to remove or can everything stay on/in the engine (apart from the side covers)
    - I know reassembly can be tricky due to the shifterforks, are there any best practices on how to do it?
    - Are there any other things to be mindfull of when doing this? (Camchain, balancer chain, stuff like that?)

    Thanks in advance,
    Paul
  5. kaengurooo

    kaengurooo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    MacArthur NSW
    Went out today to get my self a new project !
    It will be a lot of work but I think it will be worth it! Since I had my first XL I always wanted to get one again!
    Cheers Klaus!

    Attached Files:

    bultacobill and Yeti2ride like this.
  6. boolaid

    boolaid n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2020
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Ontario
    Is any one able to help me i need the toque specs for the header of a 1974 250xl
  7. 250

    250 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    West of the Sierras
    Clymer's manual says "tighten nuts securely". No specific values given. I can't find my other manual, so it must be in storage.
  8. boolaid

    boolaid n00b

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    Apr 9, 2020
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    Ontario
    Ok thank you for your help
  9. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Location:
    The South
    Yeah, the cases split horizontally, so you could technically remove the bottom half of the case without removing the top end. But man, that's gonna be kinda tough. There's a chain for the balancer shafts that runs from the crank, to the transmission input shaft while hitting another balancer along the way (there's a balancer on the input shaft). They are easy enough to get timed, but also easy to mess up. With the engine completely disassembled you orient all the crank and trans in the bottom half on the main cases, then lay the top half down while ensuring alignment of everything.

    If it were me, I'd be pulling the whole engine apart, but it should be doable, I guess. But it sounds like the hard way to go about it.

    You'll have the clutch basket out to get at the kicker gears. The stator will come off with the side cover, but you'll have to pull the flywheel off to get access to the balancer chain setup. Here's a pic of my XL500 I recently did up to have a look inside. Note the front sprocket is mounted to an eccentric shaft to allow proper tensioning, and it's mounted in the top case half. The crank bearing and trans bearing sit in the seam of the cases. I suppose if you are careful you can just pull the bottom half and make sure not to disturb the balancer chain timing. Let us know hot it goes for you.

    [​IMG]
  10. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Thanks for the explanation!
    It's going to be a challenge for sure.
    I have someone on the Dutch Honda XL forum who has removed just the bottom half before and he is talking me through it.
    I'll keep you up to date.
  11. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    den haag, the netherlands
    Split the engine yesterday.
    It is actually quite straight forward and easy to do if you want to split the engine from the bottom.
    First remove all side covers.
    Then remove the casing bolts on the top of the engine casing.
    Flip the engine around.
    Clean up the oily mess you made by flipping the engine.
    Perch the engine stirdy upside down:
    20200412 op de operatietafel.jpg
    Remove all engine casing bolts from the underside including the 4 big ones clamping the crankshaft.
    Remove the balancer adjuster spring and bolt:
    20200412 balancer schroef.jpg
    You can actually clearly see the kickstart hole through the sump hole. My bet is you could install the kickstarter in a FT engine without splitting the cases. You would have to remove the clutch to install the return spring bolt though.
    20200412 kickstartgat door carter.jpg
    Now everything is loose and ready to be split.
    I put the engine to frame bolts back in the engine to have something to tap with a rubber hammer (hardly any other point to tap against).
    The engine split really nicely and looks very good and clean inside.
    Hardly any wear.
    20200412 open onderkant blok.jpg
    The shifter forks are still in the bottom and aligning them properly when reinstalling the bottom half will be the tricky part.
    You also have to watch the two dowel pins that go inside the gear shaft bearings. The holes in the bearing can be seen in the split picture.

    My new XL parts are in the mail so will post progress when I receive them.
    shinyribs and aptbldr like this.
  12. plugeye

    plugeye MC rescue

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    Garland, Texas USA
    i dont remember drinking this much
  13. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

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    den haag, the netherlands
    hahaha some how the forum is fighting me. I selected to imbed the pictures as thumbnails but only for the last picture it seemed to work.
    If you click the pictures you get the better quality.
  14. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    The South
    @FT500 Do you have the bits in install the manual decomp stuff also? You'll break kicker parts without it. Just a thought.
    thewbee likes this.
  15. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

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    Apr 7, 2020
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    den haag, the netherlands
    I have the parts to install the automatic decompression and the decompression lever that I have is from a R so it has the possibility to install a manual one too.
    shinyribs likes this.
  16. Twin headlight Ernie

    Twin headlight Ernie Custom fabricated dual sport accessories

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    Location:
    Dakota Minnesota
    Would anyone on this thread know where I can score a set of piston rings for a 1980 XL80S ?
    Our local dealership says they are discontinued. I tried calling Partszilla but gave up after being on hold for a half hour.
  17. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Southwestern Illinois
    Picked up this little gem yesterday. 1983 DT 100 with 430 original miles. I've been looking for a pit bike to toodle around on at places like Barber and Road America and something to teach my grandkids to ride on.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Not perfect, but generally unmolested. I'm looking for rear turn signals.
    Scoozi, FT500, bultacobill and 2 others like this.
  18. Vinduroman

    Vinduroman Been here awhile

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    Apr 30, 2011
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    769
    Location:
    Patooty, Eastern Oklahoma
    WOW. That's a clean little vinduro scoot! 'Ya done good!

    V-man
  19. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Southwestern Illinois
    I probably paid a bit too much, but when does one even find such a clean, un-clapped-out old dirtbike?
  20. Jax_xl250

    Jax_xl250 n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2020
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Hollister, CA
    hi a question or 2. A running 81 XL 185 acquired with an oil leak pouring out of the seam between crankcase and cylinder, right side. Has anyone seen a crank to cylinder gasket blow out like this? Trying to understand what may have happened so i can fix it correctly.
    Found a shaving, looks like it came from the inside wall of the galley (in the cylinder) that leads up to the head and cam. Found it in the galley that goes off on a 45 deg up to the cam journal. Is this common? Wondering if that plugged the line up and back pressured the oil out the bottom gasket. I imagine that the red rtv didn't help.
    20200413_183017.jpg
    Cam and rockers are pretty much trashed, looks like starvation.

    Secondly, i am trying to figure out the o-ring for the head gasket. Not sure I like the fit or alignment with the gasket and hole. Gasket kit from ebay -the green o ring measures 10 x 1.6 as per spec but almost looks like the black o ring fits the gasket better but looks like a 10 x 2 or so. Not sure the o ring will center correctly when i drop the head onto it. Seems like that's important. But, maybe that's good enough?

    Anyone have issues with the ebay $28 gasket kits?
    20200413_183131.jpg

    When i get the gasket hole lined up, I don't like how the center ring of the gasket hangs over into the cylinder.
    20200413_183311 (1).jpg

    thanks in advance for any comments, opinions, expertise, etc.