Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

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Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:32 am

Seeing as how you fella's are complaining about the site going quite I'll put this up. This is many months work and I was going to wait until I had made more progress before posting. I have tried to write a bit up in a word document as I go so it's easier to keep track of pictures etc so here goes.


I finally started to rebuild my XR after nearly 3yrs of ownership, still haven’t ridden it!!

The previous owner really did a number on it and it’s not until now I could do something about it. After some tuff times with health to put to bed and a 40th to celebrate I borrowed a fist full of cash to get this thing sorted.
Here is what I have started with.  

http://www.xr650rforum.com/t2254-new-guy-in-new-zealand


The airfilter hadn’t seen any maintenance for a while and never any rim grease so it had dusted up the whole intake tract.



Head and valves were not pretty.






Piston and bore came out surprisingly well considering, I was expecting much worse. Everything below the compression ring was fine apart from a wee bit of glazing on the bore. Amazing considering how much dust and crap had gone through it.





Stock valve gear was in good shape, cam was like new and rockers have a bit of wear at the edges.



Clutch basket shows only a small amount of wear, I had the cover off to check the oil screen which was clear and to rebuild the oil pump. It seems like a low hour bike but the hours it has done were by done by an idiot… Every nut/bolt that he has touched is WAY over tightened, I had 1.2m of leverage (long piece of pipe over socket wrench) just to undo the rear axle nut.



Wiring is pretty obvious… Throw most of it away and start again! Burnt wires and poor connections are just the beginning.



So that’s my starting point, I have a bunch of parts and a very long list of jobs to do.

dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:35 am

Head has been stripped, cleaned and disassembled. Doesn’t look quite as bad now the crud has been removed!








Fellow member Temporary Kiwi worked his magic on the ports. Plugged the holes for the emissions stuff, smoothed and generally made a very nice job without going extreme. Many thanks for your time mate and I hope we can catch up for a ride and a beer on me soon.











Local shop machined the head and valve surfaces then assembled the head for me as I don’t have spring compressors.
Head has:
Kibblewhite valves in standard size
Kibblewhite seals
I reused the stock springs and retainers
New OEM bearings





Big end checked out ok, wrist pin and little end were unmarked and as I said I believe it’s a low hour motor so I decided to leave the bottom end for now. Cylinder got a very light hone from same shop and in went a 100mm hi comp Wiseco. Piston to bore clearance is a bit bigger than it should be, ring end gap was just in spec. Can’t remember the figures off hand but the machine shop said run it and see, it’s not ideal and I hope like hell it doesn’t vibrate too much. My plan is to do the Falicon Rod thing in the next 1-2 years and I will replace piston again then and get it right. The Wiseco is pretty heavy but it was cheap to tide me over until I go through the whole motor.





Hot Cams Stage 1. Decided to put new rockers and shafts in with the new cam, along with the wavy washers and any seals.




The above pic leads onto the next thing I found, this bike came with a Baja Designs Electric start, that and being a 2007 model were the main reasons I chose this particular bike. It has a few design flaws that I have spotted so far. First and foremost it leaks water into the stator cover hence the rusty fly wheel etc, what a mess. Wasn’t very pleased to find this, and I’m a little concerned about the metal plates of the BD stator. They are a bit rusty in places and they are supposed to be insulated from each other so I hope its performance isn’t compromised by this.
I have cleaned it all up and found out where it leaks. Look around the bolt, (there is actually 2) holding the (giant) starter motor together. There is no way the paper gasket can seal this surface where the bolts are.









Made a new paper gasket the only way I know how, of course I was gentle.





Filled the bolt holes with windscreen silicone, made a slight hump so it puts tension on the gasket and fingers crossed that will be water tight. Will do a test once bike is done. Bike came from Las Vegas so I guess those rock scars are ‘rolls of the dice’ that didn’t go well… There’s a few of them around the bike!


dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:37 am

The air filter design isn’t up to Honda’s usual standard or any half decent dirt bike manufacturer really. Space dictated the shape rather than best air flow or particle filtration. Whilst I would grease the rim and maintain it better than the previous owner it worries me that it could leak again and I will be doing some dusty riding.
I got a ‘batwing’ a while ago and after a fair bit of umming and ahhhing I decided to combine that with the filter sandwich/clamp to stop me worrying about dust in the airbox. Yes it makes air filter changes a bit slower and maybe one day I will have to replace the Riv-nuts if I wear the threads out but I have peace of mind that it won’t leak unless the filter rips. Here is a few of the steps of me making it, for what it’s worth it was a difficult piece to make and bend by hand. The bit of aluminium I had laying around to use fatigued very easily and wanted to crack, the repeated test fitting into the airbox caused the edges of the many of the bends to crack. I was very pleased to get it finished but I’m not very thrilled with the quality, if it wasn’t such a #*&^ of shape to make I would make better one!!





I bolted the Batwing to the filter clamp so it’s all one solid bit. The nuts are welded so they can’t come undone.








Screws all around hold the tabs so no way is it moving and nothing can come loose and get ingested. The silicone surrounds the clamp bolts so no air can pass un-filtered and if the Riv-nuts make any filings they are also captured in the silicon pocket and can’t be ingested.




Just need to bush the aluminium top clamp where the bolts go through it as turning the bolts produces filings otherwise it’s done. Not pretty but hopefully pretty effective. Will still use grease round the edge and it will be sound as a pound. A bit of restriction in air flow but I’ll take that for peace of mind on dusty days.



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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:42 am

Suspension, this ol’ can of worms!! I’ll start with the shock, the PO had the good sense to send it to XR’s Only to be rebuilt with an Eibach spring but then went and used some sort of chisel on the spring adjuster. Of course he missed and dinged the shock body, not sure I could have done such a job if I had tried…





Ebay came to the rescue and out of Italy came an Ohlins shock that was originally made for the XR650R (I have checked the body and spring numbers with the local ohlins guy). It’s in very good condition apart from a couple marks. The back of the top airbox clip rubs on the shock near the adjuster so I have trimmed my airbox clip a bit, the bottom mount bolt has turned where it should sit firm so has garked it up. All minor stuff!! Was excellent value for money and can’t believe my luck that it was available.



P.S   I had the correct size spanner on the nut of the top shock mount, it had been well rounded by the same quality tools that stabbed the OEM shock body.


Now for the front end. I’m going to say something that may upset a few people and for that I apologise graciously, this is just my humble personal opinion and everybody is entitled to their own opinion. I welcome comment on this, just be friendly. Maybe Honda only continued to put those forks on this bike because it was called an XR and every XR has had those forks and Gators. Perhaps its part of the ‘XR image’ ‘the look’. The dated look. If they are the best possible fork why are they not used everywhere? I believe the best fork, as used universally nowadays is USD, because they are easily adjustable, have less un-sprung weight and are much more rigid.
I’m talking out my a** here as I know no facts but if Johnny Cambell wanted to change to USD for the Baja 1000, I’m guessing Honda would have said “hell no!! Do what you like internally but leave the outside looking stock” it has to look like a customer bike in the main parts.

Some of you may remember me saying I’m yet to ride this bike so how would I know? Well I have done enough miles on a mates XR650R, albeit a few years ago to make my judgement. I have also owned 2 XR600R’s and I loved those bikes except the front end… Ok forks and airbox covered I’ve packed the soapbox away now! I am a Honda man, have been for years but like an old married couple there are the odd things to whinge about!


So the remedy… I found a company called Gatosbros here is the link.


https://gatosbros.com/shop/products/xr650_conversion_clamps/


Robert was extremely helpful and a great person to deal with, I also brought his ‘universal steering stabilizer mount’ for my CR500 from him and he gave me free shipping so a big thanks to him for great personal service. Check out his website and his many other products that he designs and makes himself.

So I got the Triple clamps that convert the XR650R to USD CRF type forks. These are well made, well thought out and look to be very strong. The steering stops line up and you keep the stock steering geometry. This was important to me as decent stability is important, will just need to see how much the change in fork length will affect geometry as I’m yet to measure both.

Top clamp comes with KTM handlebar mounting hardware but not the actual bar clamps. There are also mounts for a Scotts steering stabilizer in the forward position under the bars. The reason for the KTM bar mounts is they use 4 bolts into the triple clamp and they are adjustable. I got some Ebay special bar clamps out of China that are actually nicely made, they came with crap bolts though so will replace them.








Fitting was easy, simply press out stem from OEM triple clamps and press into new clamps. Credit to Gatosbros as fit was perfect. The only thing I had to modify was the fixed post for the steering damper/stabilizer, it’s really phat and the top clamp just impacts it before hitting the proper stops so it requires a bit of grinding. It ended up looking a bit like a Wankle engine rotor, I had read about this so it wasn’t a surprise.










The plan was just to use the spare set of CR500 forks I have until I could afford a decent set of CRF or similar forks and get them set up. Then late one night, I found in Tasmania of all places, a set of Ohlins forks off a 2004 VOR 530 enduro. Well it was a complete front end, I looked and looked and asked a few questions.

You see the Ohlins on my CR500 (pics can be found in my intro link at start of this novel ‘new guy in nz’) came off a 2004 TM Racing 400 enduro, they bolt straight into CR/CRF triple clamps. I absolutely adore these forks, with no modification they made the CR comfortable. All I have done to make them perfect for me is fiddle with the clickers a tiny bit from the centre settings. As both bikes were enduro spec models made in Italy in the same year, I assumed they used identical spec Ohlins. The thought of having matching front ends was too much. So I sold my soul to the Mrs, made promises I shouldn’t have made and took the punt that they would be the same.

As it turns out they are the same. Externally at least. The beauty of these particular forks is the fact they have the same axle size as my CR500 & CR/CRF’s so wheels are interchangeable and as I said they fit Honda triple clamps. Also I get the Excel Rim, 270mm Disk and Brembo caliper. It came with a Brembo master cylinder but I will use the XR’s Nissin master as it’s a great combo on the CR and so both bikes have the same levers and pads.





They not quite as nice a condition as I would like and I paid a handsome price but beggars can’t be choosers, I’m amazed I found a set and I will probably have to re-spring them as the XR is considerably heavier than the VOR. There is a patch of chrome that is not perfect and some of the gold anodising is a little worn so one day in the distant future they might get a total make over. But at this stage they don’t leak so will see how they go.

I had big plans for the VOR triples, adapt them to fit the CR as they do look trick compared to the stock cast ones currently gracing the beast. Alas it would be quite the job as the stem is massive on the VOR stuff, sleeves would have to be made and pressed or welded in. I don’t have a lathe and my mate who does I have already asked a few too many favours lately and he is very busy.  





Neither the front or the rear Ohlins were in the careful budget I set, damn those late night internet sessions looking at bike porn…. Budget was simple, Motard wheels, Triple clamps, fix the engine and get it road legal. That was it and holy moly I had to round up what spare parts I wasn’t using and get them sold. Out the door went the OEM forks, front wheel, lowering link, edelbrock carby, numerous other bits and some excess CR500 parts I will also regret selling… But hey don’t look back aye! Now I have sic Ohlins and I couldn’t be happier.

dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:45 am

Wheels had been sitting in my shed for a while and I just had to test fit them up to see what it would look like. Patience is not one of my strong suits…
This bike will be a jack of all trades, long haul adventure with the 21”/18” wheels, gentle trails also with the 21”/18” but I love blasts on a supermoto set up. I hunted down a 17” set with cush drive, there are not many options as it turns out and MotoXindustries is where it’s at.

Here is a link below, they do all kinds of wheel sets dirt and supermoto etc.

https://motoxindustries.com/products/Supermoto-Conversion-Kit-Cush-Hub

I can’t speak highly enough of the service and value for money, excellent personal service actually and nothing is a problem. Jim even helped me import an item from another company that wouldn’t ship Internationaly.
There was a problem with one of the wheels, and without hesitation a replacement wheel was sent from USA to NZ. Now that’s what sets excellence apart, it’s the ‘putting right’ that counts. It wasn’t a quality issue, it was a mis-read on the order and it was put right straight away at no extra cost to me. I simply won’t be buying wheels etc from anywhere else.





Holy s*** they are big, front wheel won’t turn with those Polisport fork guards on and I’m still waiting on a caliper bracket to get the proper location for the front wheel before sorting out the spacers. When I ordered the motard set I was going to use my spare CR500 forks so I received a caliper bracket for the CR forks, now I have to wait for the local TM Racing Importer to source me the caliper bracket for the Ohlins and his service is notoriously s***… slow, I mean slow…

The rear with its 5” rim and 160 tyre was tough to get in, had to remove the chain guide and even then it was tricky. Haven’t looked at chain alignment or anything yet, I’ll come back to the wheels…

dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:45 am

At this stage I’ll point out there are a few things I’ve done that I forgot to take pics of.

Oil pump was replaced. Made a rookie mistake here. Bare in mind this is my first 4T engine to rebuild. I ordered the oil pump parts from a parts diagram before stripping bike. I ordered everything that moved or was a seal. When I disassembled the pump I found the inner rotor had picked up two tiny pieces from the metal backing plate and spun them. The backing plate was the only part of the oil pump I didn’t order and it was the only part in the oil pump that needed replacing… Mutter, mutter. Phone the Honda Shop on Monday morning, sorry sir that part is not stocked locally it is Ex Japan and a minimum 2weeks. Mutter, mutter $3 part.

Got a piece of glass and a new sheet of 400 wet and dry sand paper, layed the paper on the glass as it’s a perfect flat surface and sanded the backing plate smooth. Then with some 80 grit I put some light cross hatching in so oil can sit on the surface, might prevent it picking up again.

Swing arm and Linkage bearings have been done, not too hard although nuts were hard to undo. Got the swingarm tool from turbosuzuki, they are nicely made and well priced. Swingarm bolt was a bit corroded but not too bad, lots of grease went back in.

Also changed the chain adjuster bolts, dodged a bullet there. One was easy one was a little tuff, it seems me ol’ mate the PO lubricated one but not the other??? The swingarm had a bit of water in but not much. I have removed all the little screws that go into the swingarm and put gasket silicone on them when I put them back so hopefully that will keep a good deal of the water out and the adjuster bolts got a liberal coating of copper grease. They are the same adjusters as the CR500 so I had a new pair on hand, nice to have a win every now and then.

dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:46 am

My right side foot peg had been slightly loose at some point so instead of just upgrading the bolts I decided to weld the loop over the frame and pick up the front bolt. Harder to get spot on than it looks, especially for someone like me who is not a fabricator by trade. Far from it in fact, I know my weld is pretty ugly but I’m sure it will be pretty strong and a big improvement.





It’s a very tight fit so hopefully there will be no chance of it moving and flogging out the frame.





The long bolt is where I’m a little unsure on what to do. I can’t find a bolt that has a long enough thread so I can avoid drilling out the thread in the frame. I extended the thread down a 12.9 rated bolt but it wasn’t pretty, turned out rough and jagged. I also wonder how much this has weakened the bolt. Although it is now taking a bit less load as it’s spread to both ends of the bolt.

I won’t be using this bolt below as it was an experiment, I had a couple of goes on different bolts. Used lots of lubrication and I just couldn’t get it to cut nicely and make an acceptable job. I really wanted to leave the threads in the frame so I could crank the foot peg up tight then put a nut on the inside of the frame and crank that up tight and all would be dandy. But looks like I may have to drill out the threads in the frame and use one nut and a locking nut for safety. Any suggestions would be welcome.



dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Tue May 30, 2017 4:49 am

That's it for now, the shed is a mess and I'm waiting on a few parts to arrive. Dufas out...

dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  Earache on Tue May 30, 2017 1:02 pm

Nice write up and great pictures. Really like the airbox mod.
Looking forward to more as you complete the bike.
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  BuRP on Tue May 30, 2017 2:36 pm

Great post!
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Welcome back!

Post  dufasnz on Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:55 am

Welcome back to the rebuild of this ol’ girl. Jeez it’s turning into some job! Thankfully had the folks visiting for a couple of weeks as I had nasal surgery the other day. Kind of a big bore and drainage job to try and alleviate these pesky headaches! Had to have a few days rest but eased back into it, so while Mum looked after my kids Dad and I spent a bit of time working on the bike. Was great to spend some quality time with him in the shed doing manly things!





So I’ll kick off where I left it last time. The foot peg bolt with full length thread, local fastener shop was able to order in 6x  M10 x 100mm full length thread Cap Screws. They are 12.9 rated so very strong but they only came in black not Zinc coated. I shortened to desired length etch primed and silver top coated to minimise rusting.




Here is the finished result, on the inside of the front bolt is a Nyloc nut to clamp it up tight and I retained the thread in the frame. With regards to the rear bolt it was the longest one I could fit in there, 50-60mm at a guess and loctited in place. Can hardly notice the brace over the frame and because the bolt is pulling the brace down on the inside of the frame it’s under tension so definitely adding strength.





Next up was mount the Spal 4”/100mm fan, got it off Ebay out of Germany for a decent price.
Dreaded aluminium again, no bending tho so chill baby chill. Stupid airbox modification has put me right off ali.





Should have mounted the fan clocked 180 degrees, that would have had the wiring pointing down so water won’t run in…. Some extra silicone will need to be applied.
Fan sits about 2mm off the radiator core, had to trim some plastic gussets off the fan to make it work but it sits nice. Maybe a foam strip around the perimeter to seal against the core would increase its performance and I could probably reduce the size of my bracket although it’s a crap bit of alloy.




Dad helped a lot with the fitting of the radiators and the Unibiker braces/guards. If the radiators are new, straight and true, and the Unibikers are new I’m sure they are straight forward to fit. But my rads are bent, guards are bent, fan gets in the way and the headers get in the way to mount all the rear support rods. Ended up re-drilling and moving a few and drilling an access hole for the allen key just to do the bolts up. Much fun and quite a few hours of messing around…





Silicone Hoses are purdy but I’ll have to watch for rubbing as they don’t handle it like the rubber does. The top hose that joins the radiators is not sitting right  as the tank rubs it pretty hard so some solution is required.





The thermostat housing has been drilled and tapped 1/8 NPT for a fan switch. Switch is still in the post.




Once the radiators were finally on, we soon realised there was a problem. The original forks are considerably smaller in diameter at the top than the USD, consequently the new to me ohlins hit the top of the radiator guards and on full lock there was quite a lot of interference. Out came the dremel with a cut off wheel and while I was there I trimmed the guard back so it didn’t rub on the oil line.





While I had the dremel handy I trimmed the bottom right triple clamp a tad as it also impacted the oil line a wee bit on full lock. Bit of an awkward spot and I slipped a couple of times, alas lads I’m only human…





I have been working on a unique way of mounting headlight, spot lights, indicators, dash, and wiring loom to the handlebar/fork area. Below is what I came up with, I have a mate who is the manager of a company that sells industrial plastic. It is amazing stuff and I use it all the time for all sorts projects, you can machine it and it will take a thread so very handy. I still have some way to go cutting shaping and drilling and tapping but you get the idea, they will be quite a bit smaller once finished.




It’s a tight fit around the radiators.






As you can see there is not much room at the top for the block and it’s clamp because the steering damper post is in the way. The black marker pen scribbled on the steering damper post is there so I can see where the clamp bolts were just impacting and that area required attention from the dremel. My mate cut the 4 blocks for me and then I used a hole-saw to drill out the hole for the fork. It turned out that carefully placed 45 degree cuts across the holes put the clamps in the correct spot to clear everything.







I tried bending the clamps out of some Titanium that I got off Ebay but turns out it was extremely hard to bend then it broke. That’s 3mm thick Ti Grade 5 (Ti 6Al-4V). I plan on making a couple of things for this bike out of this material, I have never used it before so it’s a learning curve. White sparks when you cut it are cool!!





I ended up making the clamps out of some stainless steel I had laying around, a material I’m much more familiar with. Here is how I bent them into shape, pretty low-tech. Used the same hole-saw that cut the hole in the plastic block and the trusty vice. Forgot to mention the plastic is cut with wood working tools so I used my Dewalt compound mitre saw to do the 45 degree cuts, hole-saw and drill press for the fork slot, belt sander to round the edges, easy as.







Dad spent a bit of time before he went home on chain alignment and even with a non O-ring chain clearance is tight with the 5” rim and 160 tyre. He trimmed the inner part of the chain guide back as far as we dared and relocated the bolts that hold it together. This is just to give us some chain adjustment as the inner part impacted in the rim. Not the best pic I’m sorry.







Heaps more to come, stay upright...

dufasnz
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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  Mauser on Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:06 am

Great write up, 1 question the right foot peg bolt doesn't look like the correct thread pitch it's a metric fine not standard pitch ?.....should be M10x1.25 which is fine and standard being M10x.15..... BRP smile

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Re: Long Awaited Rebuild with Lots of Mods and Plenty of Pics

Post  dufasnz on Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:32 am

Well the previous owner strikes again, I put the same thread size in as I took out. At some point the original bolts must have come loose as the frame mounts show some wear. He has then changed them to the standard M10 thread. Front bolt is of no concern as it has a Nyloc nut locking it all together, the rear bolt is wound in ridiculously tight with heaps of locktite and the brace will reduce the load on the bolts. Not much I can do now and I'm certain it will hold up, I won't be hitting big jumps!!

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