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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. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Honestly, I don't think the change in length or the "look" of the bike will change much at all with just the distance available in the chain adjuster slots. I'd be cutting the chain as short as possible right from the git-go.

    The brake plate torque arm mounts up with special shouldered bolts. The arm sits on the shouldered part so the nut can be tightened but still allow the arm to rotate .....



    Raymond likes this.
  2. Okay so everything was going okay until...now the back wheel hardly wants to roll. (Bike is on center stand). I have chain tension right, adjusters tightened, axle nut tightened to spec 110lb/ft torque (which was quite a bit...downward force had me lifting front of bike to do it). Free play tightened but not positive on how accurate it is yet. R clip in.
    I was about to put muffler on before dark in 20min and take it for a quick spin to test leak (and ride)...
    Any ideas? All I can think of is that axle nut is too tight...
    I did see you in a video that someone put a rag normally between a chain and sprocket when I tightened the nut and I forgot to do that.. idk..
    This (axle piece? Hah) was pushed out so I pushed it all the way back in (pretty sure that was the right choice considering I didn’t even have a thread to put the axle nut back on left side unless I do push that piece back in and the bike would be wonky)

    Attached Files:

    Greyandridin and Jim like this.
  3. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Addict

    I don't have such a brake I have disc brake
    But it should not be possible to lock the rear wheel if all washers and spacers and so are there
    Safety issue --and the chain is not to tight and it is the right chain.
    Not in gear ???
    I would guess the brake is on
    If not I would loose the wheel nut and slacken the chain tensioners
    then rotating the wheel by hand so it is OK
    Dont forget liberally with grease on the axle ...at least that is what i do.
  4. Jim

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

    With that big tire on there it's possible to get it cocked just enough for it to rub (bind) on the side of the swingarm. That or possibly you adjusted the brake too much? It's doubtful the axle is too tight as it's run through spacers... and as long as you didn't remove the rear wheel, those won't change.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
    Raymond, MarieKaramazov and gggGary like this.
  5. Yeah it's in neutral, and it's not rubbing on anything, and it didn't appear like the rear brake was sticking or anything... I think it may have been the rear break tension or that the axle nut thread needs more grease. Anyway, I loosened the axle nut, retightened it to spec, wheel still stiff but better. Loosened brake freeplay, lil better, still feels like it's moving stiffly. I'll grease the axle nut thread tomorrow and look at it again--got dark.
    Thanks guys! Will look into rear brake torque arm location etc tomorrow.
    And yes, I neglected to think about the obvious fact that the chain is a stretching wear item so I won't have as much space to tighten for wear (Thanks for that @Jim and @XSLeo ) so will have to go down to 104 at some point, but for now that tiny bit makes me happy and it does make a difference as there's over an inch of space on adjustments--I just see now it'll always only be a temporary position and then I have to go down to 104--and it'll serve as an experiment to feel and see both. Or a lesson in a bad idea, we'll see.
    Did and checked everything a bunch of times because I didn't want to mess anything up so it took a while, but I'm glad it feels like things are starting to move again...
  6. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Addict

    Hi again
    Misunderstood it believed you had the axle out


    Yamaha Motorcycle Wheels

    Wheel Bearings and Seals are important factors in Motorcycle Maintenance. This in most cases is overlooked. It is suggested to clean, inspect, lubricate, or replace at intervals associated with chain and sprocket replacement.

    The grease I put all the way on the axle before pushing it in
    I have replaced bearing in the front wheel never in a back wheel .. Not cleaned either perhaps wiped with a rag
    The nut does not need so much even if it is good practice to give bolts and nuts some oil when assembling.
    It is sometimes mandatory when exact torque is needed.
    Raymond and Jim like this.
  7. Jim

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

    Possible stiff wheel rotation causes for your scenario:
    1. Brake adjusted so it's being applied. A quick check would be to see if you have any free play at the pedal. Then try backing the adjuster all the way off.
    2. Chain too tight. It would have to be pretty damn tight, but it could happen. try backing off the adjustment.
    3. Rubbing on the swingarm (or something else) from misalignment. Have a close look all the way around.
    4. Incorrect spacers and/or shot bearings.

    Anyone think of anything else?

    Just start at the top and go through a process of elimination. Do one and check for results, then go on to the next. If you get down to #4, you're getting into the unsafe to ride territory.
    The pic you put up is the axle head. Think of it as the head of a long bolt... that's all the axle is, a long bolt. Your axle nut you tightened is on the other end. In between is all spacers. the swingarm axle plates act as spacers... there's external spacers you can see, then there's internal spacers you can't. Even the inner race of the bearings act as spacers... so that you can tighten the axle and lock all those spacers firmly in place, allowing only the outer races of the bearings to turn. What I'm gettin' at is that if all that is correct, over-tightening the axle nut is not really a thing....all you're doing is locking all the spacers more firmly in place. And that won't hurt a thing. If loosening the axle nut causes it to turn freely, you've got a spacer/bearing problem.
    Did you notice if it spun freely before you first loosened the axle nut?
    Was the axle nut good and tight at first or did it come loose easily?
    You didn't remove the rear wheel, correct?
    MarieKaramazov, GLJ, gggGary and 2 others like this.
  8. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Marie, I should apologise for mentioning the brake torque arm, as the others have said, it's designed to rotate even when correctly tightened up. Loosening the nut on the torque arm is something I do when I adjust a chain and especially when fitting a new chain because on some other bikes you need to. Habit.

    You are getting lots of advice from lots of people! Which is great, but might sometimes cause confusion.

    Why is your wheel stiff to turn? I think Jim has covered all bases in the post above. Just work through his list. I will just mention again to make sure the chain is slack.

    You mention 'settings' for chain adjustment? If you mean the raised marks along the adjustment slot, they are there as a rough guide to wheel alignment but you don't need to adjust to a setting mark. The adjustment is continuous, so part-way between marks is normal. Adjusting the chain by as little as 1/6 of a turn of the adjusters is often all it needs to set the chain tension.

    The adjusters should look the same on both sides, but as said, they are only a rough guide. The important thing is the wheel must be straight. Correct wheel alignment is another subject so I'll leave that for now except to say take a squint past the back wheel and see if it looks 'off' to one side, and check the tyre-to-s/arm gap is similar both sides at the front of the tyre.
  9. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    110lbs ? Seems quite tight. I think I cheat a few pounds on the light side. Using my big offset box end (awesome), or try the factory style tool kit lever/box end. Actually, it looks difficult to torque the axlenut that high using tool kit provided road side wrench.
    Using my 32t and 104 links stretches to about here I'm hoping, and will stabilize somewhat still in that adjustment range area.
    Your 34t with your 106 links may just end up still shy of the rear few axle adjustment marks...
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
    MarieKaramazov and Raymond like this.
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The single value torque spec for the axles given in the manuals is pretty silly for a fastener that must be aligned with a cotter pin hole. You don't stand much chance of that happening and if it did, I'd advise you to run out and buy a Lotto ticket because you've got to be one of the luckiest people on the planet, lol. I don't torque the axles, I just make them good and tight with the proper fitting large box wrench or long 1/2" drive ratchet. Very tight and aligned for the cotter pin of course.
    Jim and Raymond like this.
  11. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    That's surprising. My impression was you use a torque wrench on your light bulbs. On my bike, I use a torque wrench for the axle, whatever is spec'd, I have to look it up every time, and the cotter pin just lines right up there, because I guess it's all happy there... (btw, general rule for torque wrench + cotter pin is if it doesn't line up at recommended torque, just tighten, don't loosen, until it lines up ).
    MarieKaramazov and gggGary like this.
  12. Jim

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

    Like 5twins, I don't torque the axle nut either.
    In order to properly torque a castle and cotter setup, a torque range has to be given. Say... 80-100 ft-lbs. Then the procedure is to torque it to the lowest value and try the cotter pin. if it won't fit you set the wrench to the max value and continue tightening until the pin drops without the wrench clicking (exceeding the max value). If the wrench clicks, you take it back apart, install a different thickness washer and try again. When used on flight control linkages and such, it's a foolproof method for critical systems. An axle nut? Just crank that sucker down. :smoke:
    MarieKaramazov, GLJ, Raymond and 2 others like this.
  13. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I've studied the torque listing charts in pretty much all the factory shop manuals and the best one I found comes from the '77D supplement. It gives the values in ranges which I like and consider necessary for things like the axles and the swingarm pivot bolt .....

    MarieKaramazov and Jan_P like this.
  14. Jim

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

    That's the range you would expect to see for a castle/cotter combination. Set the wrench to 87 ft-lbs and tighten 'till it clicks. Then set it to 132 ft-lbs and continue to tighten until the pin drops without getting another click.

    gggGary likes this.
  15. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    so's youse wiseguys wanna 'splain how you get a torque wrench past the stock 'zaust?
  16. Jim

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

    It fits.

  17. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    Mine isn’t stock but u use a 27 mm crows foot wrench on the end of the torque wrench.
    Greyandridin and YamadudeXS650C like this.
  18. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Lol.. thanks gggGary, been watchin. Perhaps with the "Special" mufflers there is room for a torque wrench..
    Certainly not with "Standard" mufflers.
    Raymond, gggGary and Jim like this.
  19. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Addict

    Many here have been using tools since at least the early seventies .
    And the nostalgic memory of the first stripped Aluminum thread ---as in my case a Carburetor for a VOLVO
    Amazon as the saying goes " S*it happens "
    It still does at times --- but after doing it for many years one gets a feel for it when the threads feels soft. and so on.
    So for a beginner one with not so many years experience a bit more with the torque wrench is not wrong.
    For getting the feel for it and further on using it more seldom . A small torque wrench is in the context not so expensive in relation
    to what the cost is for repairing if it goes wrong .. If it is a rare bike the part might not be available anymore at all or expensive.
    Back in the day there was people not riding anything but a few miles .The rest of the summer waiting for parts.
    And also re tightening can be a big problem rather quick on modern bikes
    Since one might need to take other parts away for doing it.
    gggGary and Raymond like this.
  20. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Its so fun for all of us to chat about torqueing our nuts that let's look just ahead at the very next one to check. Yes, the front sprocket nut.
    Once the rear brakes are working well I've found it very easy to put the bike in 1st gear and rotate the engine with the sprocket nut to a compression resistance state. Then stuff a board under the footpeg to aid in holding the rear brake on as well.
    Now its a very easy one person operation to ease that tightness up to where you want. A beam type torque wrench (very inexpensive) is long and provides good leverage and you can watch the Ft. Lbs. scale as you pull clockwise.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020

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