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An Adventure in Firsts: '83 XS650 Heritage Special Build/Rebuild

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MarieKaramazov, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Good to see you got the clutch sorted.:cheers:
    As far as the leaks, give it a retorque and see what happens. It might fix both leaks... at least there's a better than even chance it will. One bridge at a time. :D
    MarieKaramazov, gggGary and Raymond like this.
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, do the re-torque on the head bolts. There's a very good chance it will help and hopefully even fix the issue totally. Don't forget the two bolts under the spark plugs (one on each side). They're part of the head bolt pattern.
    MarieKaramazov, gggGary and Raymond like this.
  3. gggGary

    gggGary When a whole one is just too much. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    And that poor lonely little 6mm (10mm head) atop the cam chain tensioner, an sob to get at and you gotta be SO careful you don't strip threads.
    Do NOT delay the retorque, left loose the gasket WILL blow out completely. But I've brought back several that were leaking a steady stream. At gggGary's home for neglected XS's the retorque now gets done BEFORE I start the motor for the first time.
  4. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty What should I put here? XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    With what you've proven you can learn to do, even if your worst fears are realized, I believe you'll be able to somehow work your way through it. Nothing more for me to add, other than BEST WISHES!
  5. Thank you @jetmechmarty, you just made my damn day, and well, that's actually an understatement. :D:heart:
  6. Hiii! I'm baaaack! Fell behind with another project so had to step away from this for a minute to play life catch up.
    I've got today and tomorrow to research and (hopefully, my ability to figure it out fast enough withstanding) get started on this retorque. Tearing into research as fast as I can at the moment as I'm hoping I can at least get the tank off before dark today. As bad as I want to just pull that damn tank off--which I've been dying to do so I can explore what's going on under there--and just start tearing into things, forcing myself to figure out all the steps first, see if there's tools I need I don't have blah blah, especially since I can't really leave many things sitting out overnight where I'm working. So, so far, just to get to the bolts, I need to:
    --pull the gas tank. To do that I need to disconnect fuel pipes and vacuum pipes from petcock, and loosen bolt by the seat. How to do this, I'm hoping you tube will show me shortly, not seeing it in manual so far

    --pull the top motor mount (found this video, time 8.12 removes mount)...I do see that the manual says to only remove 4... Looks straight forward now that I see what the motor mount actually is haha

    Having done those things, I'm hoping then I see these bolts. Still debating whether or not to lube (some say anti-seize, other oil) the bolts or not. Will look into torque details after I have the above complete

    A few quick questions that have popped up as I've been reading:
    --Loosening bolts before tightening to get an accurate reading? Seen both yes and no advised. If loosening, loosen all at once and then follow pattern, or loosen one, do full torque to spec, then onto the next, the pattern not really mattering as much in that context. Cleaning each bolt has been advised so I need to loosen to do that...
    --The measurements for these bolts (and for these types of measurements in general)...is it the measurement for the head of the bolt or the thread? I can't measure the thread with it in the hole obviously so if it's the thread, hopefully there's a way to know you're dealing with the right one (I know there are diagrams for the head, I'm just wondering for this and general purposes as well)
    --Oh and I saw a few people advising to change out the washers.. I don't want to cuz I don't want to wait on things to be delivered but if you guys say it's important for now, then I'll shut up and do it. Last thing I need is another problem due to half doing something so I guess I just answered my own question.

    It's only been two weeks, but still, good to be back.
  7. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    When removing the nut, i would loosen a bit then re-tighten just a bit to work the nut back and forth to help unlock the threads. Something i always do especially if there is resistance so when it is time to redo then it should be able to be done by hand till it hits the surface. This is in conjunction with a wire brush when removed

    For me the way i look at it is if i was to remove one at a time clean up anti seize and re-torque then that bolt/nut is going to be a little tighter than the others........Gong by that theory then i would re-torque in the proper sequence......wont take any more time and a good practice to get into, ( i always do), when doing anything with 2 flat surfaces with or without a gasket.

    Measurement is for the nut on the bolt/stud in the cases.
  8. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    What with the outbreak in your neck of the woods... was getting a little concerned. Glad you're back at it. :D

    Me personally, I consider lube mandatory. Doesn't really matter if it's oil or proper thread lube. Either will work fine.

    Loosening first is essential. They've been stuck in place for 40 odd yrs. It'll take way more torque to break 'em loose then's needed for a proper torque.
    Here... I'll just go through my drill, others can chime in and you can decide based on that....

    Using the torque pattern isn't necessary, but obviously it's a good way to keep track of where you're at. If you run out of daylight, you'll know where you're at for the next day. Break loose and remove the first acorn nut. There will be some corrosion on the stud and nut. Clean as best you can, lube the nut and stud with 30W motor oil (or thread lube) and torque to whatever spec you're gonna use. Then go on to the next one. Keep going 'till you've redone all 8 nuts. On the bolts, it depends on what day you ask me as to whether or not to remove, clean and lube 'em, . It's a good idea to do that... but I've also just broke 'em loose and retorqued 'em too. :rolleyes:

    Here's the pattern and values I put in the buildup thread. Those torque values are a little less than book values for reasons I explained in that thread. Your choice to use 'em or go with the book values.

    Head torque.jpg
  9. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    In Jim's pic change out the washers on 5,6,7, and 8. Will save you from doing it later. I like brass washers. Brass looks cooler than copper and works as well or better.
  10. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Right there, if you want to do the retorque now, just go for it. I've gotten away with those original washers several times. You can easily access and replace those at any convenient time.. One at a time.
  11. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Junkie

    Merry Christmas

    I Would not loosen any bolts at this point in time ..I Perhaps would not even remove top mounting
    I did a re torque this year after a rebuild and then it was the outermost bolts that needed a bit more.
    Have brass washers
    But OK if you take off the upper mount Ok
    I many years ago had a cylinder head leak and had it for some years
    I asked the competent shop about the re torque --- He said you can do it but it wont help ..
    So I drove on with a leaking cylinder head No problems. For a while.
    Every spring i checked the bolts without torque measurement.

    So my view at this point in time is that you use a torque wrench and tighten the bolts to specifications.
    Without loosening any bolts . As long as they are at the right spec .It is in my view OK.
    Others here can have other opinions . and they can be right ..
    Can be found there ---> http://www.xs650.com/threads/head-bolt-retorque.2034/

    Loosening is risky ;Some places even Motorcycles recommends a loosening pattern as well as a tightening pattern
    It is not difficult to take off the tank and do it again.
    If you use a torque wrench you notice it it is loose ..and turns before the click .
    If it don't move one can try slightly more and after that then consider to loosening it.

    Every human action can go wrong and so can a head bolt loosening . What happens if you
    strip the threads off a bolt loosening it when it is already tightened to Specifications.
    The project can be over for a long time. Perhaps for ever ..
    The gentlemen giving advice here are Experts and perhaps makes things more perfect and complicated than is necessary.
    The advice must take into consideration the performing --mechanics experience and more
    As with every profession .Some needs clearer and simpler advice while others can be given the drawing and fix it.
    Keep it simple .....

    I suggest you take off the tank and follow the tightening pattern ( without loosening ) to specs
    and then come back with what happened -- noticing if something is loose

    The tank om my 1980 one bolt at the back of the tank ..and the hoses off. Then if you pull it upwards at the rear it will come off there are some rubber pads in under front.
    MarieKaramazov likes this.
  12. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I'll just throw in too that your local hardware store will most likely have 7/16" copper washers for about a buck apiece. My local Ace had 'em. That's what you see in the pic above.:sneaky:
  13. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    For a head re-torque to try and cure a leak, you needn't touch bolts 12 - 15 in Jim's pic. They don't contribute to holding the head on, they only hold the top cover on. I agree that you must loosen the bolts before trying to torque them. If they're stuck, you would get a false torque reading. They might read tight when they're really not. And yes, do one at a time and following a pattern isn't really necessary.
    MarieKaramazov and gggGary like this.
  14. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yeah, good point. Just the 8 acorn nuts and the 2 bolts under the spark plugs unless the rocker box is also leaking.
    EDIT: Doh.... :doh: and the little one in back... #11.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  15. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    When you re-install the tank, I suggest using a little silicone spray on the circular positioning rubbers where they contact the slots near the neck; this will allow the tank to go back in much more easily. And keep an eye on the cables and wiring as you slowly push it back on, so as to not bind anything.
    And while you have the tank off, you could check out the main wiring harness for any chafing spots, and cover with electrical tape if you see something. The area just forward of the battery is famous for slight chafing.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
  16. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    When you take the tank off, lift it slightly at the rear to let the fuel taps clear the frame, take hold with both hands, pull back and if it's a bit stuck wiggle slightly side to side. It should come off easy after the two rubber bungs at the front let go. And, decide in advance where you are going to put it down. A chair or stool is good - you can put the tank down with the taps hanging in free space. Or have a folded towel to put it down on.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
  17. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Jim,
    copper washers work better than the stock steel/rubber laminated washers but what works better yet is the Dowty Seals they shoulda used in the first place.
    gggGary likes this.
  18. Thanks everyone.
    Wasn't able to get to anything before dark the other week and then I got a gig offer so the project had to wait again. So, let's try this again.

    Today: tank and motor mount are off. No problems there. (Side note, it's a tiny thing, but it really just feels great to have taken the tank off, and to be able to really see things). Though I will say that, when I put it back on, getting those hoses back on and zip tying at the top with the tank back on sounds near impossible considering the small space.

    Tested it out and can't reach bolts by spark plug...saw in another post here (#20 by @5twins ) that I can get a wobble adapter and take off the rounded cover with the 650 on them (I think they're the valve covers). I didn't have a wobble adapter on hand, so I took off the 650 lid but still didn't have enough room. I can grab a wobble adapter tomorrow--I imagine I just grab a 1/2 drive one that fits my torque wrench and it'll work like an extender. BUT I was wondering if I need to--can I just remove this with a screwdriver? The gunk buildup made it hard to see if it was an integral part of the cylinder but I figured if it had these screws, something comes off. (The bendy arrow points to the bolt I'm trying to get at). Also, what size socket are you guys using for this one? I can't tell if I have the right size or not yet because I can't reach it properly.

    Aside from that, I'm not sure I've correctly located the #11 bolt (circled below; number taken from Jim's diagram and this one from 5Twins (post #17). The one I found seems to be the closest and most logical in terms of location, buuut I can't see how I'd be able to get to it without at least removing the carburetors.
    Also, I'm not sure what socket it takes. I tried the 7/16 socket (smallest I have) but I couldn't tell if it even fit on properly because there isn't enough clearance behind it to even get a socket to sit on it properly. Reaching this thing period seems like a tiny nightmare, let alone torquing it... hopefully I''m looking at the wrong bolt.

    Thanks for mentioning getting the washers at the hardware store, @Jim. I keep forgetting and thinking I have to order everything stock online.

    When you guys say to clean the bolts, you just wiping them down or is putting them in solvent like mineral spirits needed? I imagine I'll see based on the amount of gunk on them.

    Thanks as always!
    Raymond likes this.
  19. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    RE: The bolt behind the head. It's a 10mm iirc. If it's not leaking back there, just let it be... for now at least.
    About those cam covers with the 3 screws (arrows in your pic), let them be too. Removing that cover exposes the inside of the head. Best not do that for now. Get a wobble adapter so you can reach the bolts beside the plugs. Don't recall off hand the size. 12mm I think?
  20. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    All the fasteners must be metric so if #11 is smaller than 7/16” it must 10mm.

    Looks like the cam seal could use replacement too.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
    Greyandridin and MarieKaramazov like this.

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