The Honda XL (and other vintage singles) thread!

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

  1. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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  2. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    You might have to contact a piston company like Wiseco and ask them. Worse case scenario, have to go up one size piston if the stock size is unavailable. But if you can get your ring dimensions you can most likely cross reference it to another bike with the same bore and ring pack. Won't be easy, but the Great Google Machine should make it possible. If you find a matched fit from another bike/engine just make sure it also runs a cast iron cylinder liner, as you need the ring material to match up as well as the physical dimensions.
  3. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    I've used several "ebay" gasket kits with no issues. The gaskets always hold up and seal just fine, but sometimes they don't fit. If your steel fire ring on your head gasket is hanging in to the bore it's likely the headgasket is either the wrong one for your engine, or your cylinder has been bored. The fire ring will live overhanging the bore, but the paper part of the gasket will not. If the piston doesn't come up high enough to hit the ring ( and the valves don't snag it, too) it likely it will work ok. Have you measured your bore ( you may know for a fact that it's stock bore), and how far does the ring protrude in to the bore?
  4. bultacobill

    bultacobill Long timer

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    So my 1982 XL500R has always been a real bear to start when it’s hot. I know the proper starting procedure, no it’s not a stator or CDI because a can bump start it on a hill easy. Yes if I give it a little throttle it will backfire and about throw me over the handlebars.
    My question is has anyone tried to give it about 1/2 throttle when starting it hot with any good results? It seems to me a fuel issue. How about hitting the decomp lever kicking it with the throttle wide open a few times like you would for flooding but when the engine is hot? Anyone have luck with this or any other ideas?
  5. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    My 500S seems like there is a sensitive relationship between idle speed and hot starting. If the idle speed is too high, it sometimes takes 3 or 4 kicks to get going again. I suppose it's related to strength of vacuum signal, because it starts easily if the idle speed isn't too high. I do like to hold the front brake tight while I kick the bike. helps lock my hand in position to prevent inadvertently twisting the throttle and activating the pump shot, which is insta-flood on these things.

    Not sure if your R runs the pumper carb though?
    bultacobill likes this.
  6. bultacobill

    bultacobill Long timer

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    Yes it’s a pumper
  7. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna NSFW

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    Mine starts first kick most times. I always kick it though slowly two times with the key off then I find TDC, key on and a good kick, touch of throttle as soon as it fires when hot.

    The exception is a quick stop for fuel after a long hard ride. If I don't give it a little cool off time, it can take a few more strokes with the key off. Never any throttle while kicking.

    82 XL500R same bike as @bultacobill
    bultacobill likes this.
  8. e rock

    e rock Been here awhile

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    My first 3 bikes were all XL's from early-mid 70's. I rode an orange 175 as a commuter bike to college and work in the 80s, then stored it in my Dad's barn after it wore out. Went back years later to retrieve it, if only for sentimental reasons, to discover my step mother sold it for junk.
  9. bultacobill

    bultacobill Long timer

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    Thanks that’s helpful. I’ll try that. Yes hot starts after getting gas is the worst.
  10. Al Tuna

    Al Tuna NSFW

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    Not a good idea to gas up a hot bike anyway, I try to park the bike for a break, then push it over to the pump to gas up.
    bultacobill likes this.
  11. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Been here awhile Supporter

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    I've been addressing it's issues from so much sitting. Wouldn't run without choke, so I pulled the carb. Pilot jet was frozen in place, so I ordered a new one and some small easy-outs for removal. The petcock leaked down and filled the crankcase with fuel, so pulled it and ordered a new one. The insert behind the lever was chewed up and incapable of stopping fuel flow. A whole new one was cheaper than the part. The kill switch was knackered, so that's on order, too, as is an air filter, which was missing. Got the new battery in and charged and everything works but the headlight. I'm puzzling how to get that apart so I can check out the wiring in the bucket.

    Sometimes non-use is as hard on a bike as constant use. Car salesman call it "lot rot"
  12. pommie john

    pommie john Long timer

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    Cmsnl.com have massive stocks of old Japanese spares
  13. Twin headlight Ernie

    Twin headlight Ernie Custom fabricated dual sport accessories

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    Thanks for the tip!!!
  14. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

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    I just replaced the output shaft seal.
    Although I did this on a FT500 engine, this should be the same for the XL.
    This seal is prone to leaking and due to the shape of it you have to split the cases the change it. Better do it when you have the cases open ;).

    The seal in question.
    20200419 01.jpg
    As you can see mine was sprayed over a bit and in general not in the best shape anymore (you also see the nylon spacer I have to space the 520 sprocket).
    If the gearbox is in neutral, you should be able to spin the output shaft freely, If it is not in neutral set the gears as in the picture in my previous post. It is important that the gearbox is in neutral as you are going to remove the output shaft and you do not want to move the balancer shaft.
    To loosen up the output shaft, gently tap the output side with a rubber hammer while keeping pressure on the balancer shaft to prevent it from moving.
    You can now choose to either remove the shaft completely or leave it halfway in.

    Here you see the shaft just loosened up and the seal removed without taking the whole shaft out.
    20200419 02.jpg
    If you choose to remove the whole shaft be careful not to disturb the balancer shaft.

    I opted to remove the whole shaft as the surface where the seal needs to sit was a bit rough and cleaning it was easier with the shaft removed.
    When taking out the shaft be careful, the left side (with the bearing with the hole in it) can slide of.
    20200419 06.jpg
    Clean up the mating surface of the shaft and also be sure to clean the chamfered edge as you are going to want to have this smooth to properly seat the new seal.

    When pushing the new seal on be sure it seats correctly. The inner part wants to catch on the edge of the shaft and be pushed outward. If seated properly it should look like in the picture. I used a tiny bit of new engine oil on the inside of the seal to help it on.
    20200419 05.jpg
    Don't forget to clean all the mating surfaces in the crankcase.
    20200419 03.jpg
    Refit the output shaft with the gears in the same (neutral) position, make sure the seal seats correctly in the crankcase and that the hole in the left bearing faces upwards.
    shinyribs likes this.
  15. Jax_xl250

    Jax_xl250 n00b

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    thanks for the reply. Looks like all is ok. Guess i was looking for perfect alignment but was maybe 1-2mm off, very little overhang into the bore. Looks like the 10x6 green o-ring seated correctly when the head was dropped on. Got about 20 mins running, no visible leaks from either gasket (so far). Grumpy idle when cold right now but a decent idle when warm.

    Now on to the next question. New, charged battery in place. Grounds are in good shape. I had a working headlight, now is not working. I did remove the light assembly (not the basket) after the first couple runs. Rectifier checks out ok as per book but think that is out of scope of this question. Checked the AC Generator, ie check the black/red wire at AC coupler with frame ground. Book says 245 ohms, i am showing 325 ohms. Curious whether this is, in reality, out of spec or not. I have an XL 125 showing 295 ohms and appears to be working ok. Bulb checks out good with 6v AC trickle charger. Did i trash the AC generator by running without the headlight in place?

    Also gained a permanent Neutral light at the same time i lost the headlight. Neutral light was working correctly. Very strange. Wondering if those 2 are related.

    thanks in advance for any comments, expertise, etc.
  16. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

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    The neutral switch is a ground switch (so activated by the ground connector instead of a live/positive wire). Sounds like you have an issue with your ground somewhere causing the neutral to be always grounded and potentially your headlight to stop functioning.
    Your neutral wire comes from the same side as your stator and goes through the same grommets, maybe the wires got pinched there somewhere and are now grounding eachother out?
  17. Jax_xl250

    Jax_xl250 n00b

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    Thanks for the insight. Went through the grounds in the basket again. Have the neutral light working correctly again but still looking for 6V+ at the bulb, which brings me back to AC output and ohms, i think...

    Turns out it was the dimmer switch that was stuck between hi and lo. Got that working, now on to turn signals.
  18. FT500

    FT500 Adventurer

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    I am making a write-up on how to install a XL kick-start on a FT500 at the moment, also based on some of the input I received here.
    If anyone of you is interested have a look at http://ascot500.com/index.php?topic=1074.msg5274#msg5274 and let me know what you think.
    Its far from done but it already contains quite a lot of info I think.
  19. snake89

    snake89 Long timer

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    Looks like im back in the XL game. A friend bought 2 titled running XL185s. Im taking parts from both to make one close to complete bike. Lights, speedo, switch gear etc and i get whats left over. Im gonna hafta do something about the exhaust on mine. Think im gonna just do a little woods bike with mine. Maybe a headlight and tail light, speedo maybe. download (1).png
  20. Nosotros Racing

    Nosotros Racing Been here awhile Supporter

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    Pics are of the good side. I've already fixed the rashed sidecover and gouged tank paint on the left. Idle circuit (what else?) was hopelessly clogged and the frozen pilot jet didn't all come out after drilling and extracting most of it, so I've ordered a new carb. With only 400+ miles over 37 years, it has to have been parked for most of it's life.