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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Raymondo, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Raymond: you can remove the camshaft by simply removing the adjuster assembly as stated earlier and then tapping - gently - the ball bearings outwards to remove them from the cylinder head. Once you have the bearings out, the camshaft can be carefully disengaged from the timing chain and lifted out.

    You might want to slip a piece of "100 MPH" wire around the chain to keep it from dropping down into the bowels of the engine first though.

    On the valve adjusters: new ones are available and are inexpensive but I went a step further and got a set of "elephants foot" adjusters (which are actually automotive parts). The following figures (from 5Twins) illustrate the difference - but NOTE: do not buy the el-cheapo adjusters sold by some aftermarket places. The swivelling "feet" on these knock-off parts are made of plastic and they do not stand up in service.
    21312-1426150932-3cfef9ce591a706639160136c0dbc76e.gif 21360-1426434773-5104294a1d6d4fdb44f3ad88f929fcf3.gif AdjustersInstalled.jpg

    The adjuster on the right is a stock part and the one on the left is an "elephants foot" swivelling or pivoting type. What you can not see is that a small conical depression has been ground into the rocker arm to make a pocket for the top of the "foot". Ten seconds with a conical stone on a Dremel tool or air die grinder will do it. The larger contact area of the swiveling adjuster spreads the load out better than the plain rounded adjust tip and results in less tendency for the top of the valve stem to be dented by the impacts of the adjuster screws.

    There will be an article on the forum on this simple modification. I got mine from a place in the US called AirCooled.net and as I said, they are actually designed for high performance VWs and Porsches but they fit an XS650 just fine - with a small modification to the rocker arms to accommodate the swivelling foot. A set of eight adjusters (enough for two XS650 engines) cost around $30 USD.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I installed these in my '76 XS650C engine last summer and (although it may be just my imagination) I am convinced that the engine is quieter with them than without them and the valves stay in correct adjustment longer.

    Enjoy that BEvERage!

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    madmax-im, Jim, Scripto VU and 3 others like this.
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    No need to remove the tensioner housing. Just pull the adjuster bolt, plunger, and spring out of it. Now you can really see how much the cam timing is off. Set the motor on the TDC mark and look at the notch on the left side of the cam sprocket .....


    That notch is in line with that pin hole on the right end of the cam so you already know it's going to be off (should point straight up). Now you'll be able to see, maybe even count the teeth it's off .....


    The cam chain is split with a riveted master link. Most of us use a new split chain to replace it. Find the master link and grind the pin ends off, then tap it out. It's easy to find, the factory did an ugly job on the riveting, lol .....



    Leave to old split chain in place for the time being. Stick some tie wire through the two ends so the chain doesn't fall down into the engine. When it comes time for reassembly, hook the end of the new chain to one of the ends of the old chain with some tie wire and use the old chain to pull the new chain in and through the engine.
  3. Jim

    Jim I have a plan. It's something to deviate from. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Scripto VU, JAX71224, gggGary and 3 others like this.
  4. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    CORRECTON: It is absolutely superbly done: clear, comprehensive, profusely illustrated, practical and cogent - and truly a great resource.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    madmax-im, JAX71224, gggGary and 2 others like this.
  5. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    Fully agree. Just had a quick look but will be back to study further.

    There's a lot of methods in there I haven't seen or used before, but it all makes sense. A nice, slow methodical approach. In the past, I've used the Haynes method of fitting the pistons to the rods before lowering the cylinder block. But you either need an assistant, and I haven't always had one, or you end up very busy holding the block with one hand and feeding the pistons in with the other. Have done this successfully - well apart from one occasion - but always felt pressured and rushed.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    MaxPete likes this.
  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    That method doesn't work so well on these engines because the pistons rise and fall together. You end up trying to work both pistons into the jugs at the same time. If you like to suffer, go bang your head against the wall, it's easier, lol.
    gggGary, Raymondo and MaxPete like this.
  7. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    It doesn't work so well on Norton Commando or Triumph 650 engines for the same reason. LOL. In my yoof, rebuilt a Z1 engine. No ring compressors, no assistant, just balancing the barrel block in one hand, patiently squeezing rings between finger & thumb and feeding pistons into the chamfer at the bottom of each barrel. Mind you, the four pistons rise and fall in pairs, not all at once, so that was a cinch.

    But that was then.

    Now, I would prefer not to go there or at least to have a much more do-able method.

    BTW avatar is a photo Mrs took when I had spent two days, yes, removing the sprocket nut on a W800. Kawasaki fits them using air tools. Day one, tried the 27mm socket, back brake applied, long lever etc and just not gonna happen. Even with enough force applied to lift the motorbike and/or turn the brake. Day two, re-grouped, bought single-hex hardened socket, wooden beam on top of swing-arm and through the wheel, Willing Assistant sitting on bike holding front brake, she wouldn't forgive me for saying adding her weight, old Z1 fork tube as long lever, mucho heaving and Bang! it conceded defeat. Hence the amused look.
    Jim, gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  8. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    Have taken a look at cam chain timing - as expected, it's well out.

    First photo, notch on cam sprocket with engine at TDC:


    Second, general view. The sharp-eyed may be able to see notch and crankshaft mark?


    Had to hunt to find riveted link, because I was expecting a) rivet heads on l/h and b) a very untidy slot-headed rivet as seen on this forum. What I found is rivet heads on r/h and a very tidy job:


    My guess is the cam chain has been replaced, probably recently given other things about the bike's condition.

    I could simply loosen the tensioner, move the chain, and slap everything back together. Need to think.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Mailman, Jim and 2 others like this.
  9. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Hmmmm....very tempting indeed as that would essentially cost - nothing!

    ....definitely a price range that would appeal to a Scot....;)

    <my wife’s maiden name was Chisholm, so I know of what I speak...>
    Jim and gggGary like this.
  10. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    'fraid I can't let that stand, Pete. Live in Scotland, love Scotland, but not actually born in Scotland. Nobody in Scotland would let me get away with claiming to be a Scot. Not for one second.

    Not that the Scots are touchy . . .
    gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  11. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter


    Raymondo likes this.
  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Interesting. Yes, it appears that chain, or at least it's master link, has been replaced. I wonder if a longer than stock chain was purchased and then just not shortened enough? To find out, you could count the links. Stock length is 106 links. As you're probably aware, chains consist of inner and outer links, and when you shorten one, you must remove 2 links at a time (an inner and an outer) to arrive at the next inner link because master links connect an inner to an inner. By the amount that notch is off, it almost looks like 2 links worth. And a longer than stock chain would account for why the tensioner had to be adjusted in so far.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    MaxPete and Raymondo like this.
  13. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Raymond,
    sealing washers are needed on those four head studs but Yamaha used the wrong style of combination washers.
    The stock sealing washers are laminated like a liquorice allsort so the rubber squishes out when the nuts get tightened
    and as a consequence those four nuts don't stay torqued up properly. Use 3/8" or 10mm Dowty washers instead.
    The Dowty washer's inner rubber seal keeps the oil in while it's outer steel plain washer allows the nuts to stay tight.
    MaxPete and Raymondo like this.
  14. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    Pete, you got it!

    5twins, I will do as you suggest and count the links. I have a hypothesis about this bike. It has been rebuilt recently. Drive chain & sprockets have effectively no miles. Lots of new bits & bobs. New alternator cover gasket and clean area around the gearbox sprocket suggests the engine has been taken apart recently. In fact, the engine is clean underneath. So, somebody has done a rebuild. Then for some reason got the valve timing wrong. Possibly, I hope note, contact between valves & pistons. Maybe they didn't understand why it got that way, maybe they just got fed up. Maybe they had running issues 'coz of rust in the tank. So they put the bike on the market.

    Could explain why the valve adjustments have been opened waay out wide?

    I will take the cylinder head off and have a look at valves & piston crowns. But then, going to nail it all back together. New gaskets, replace the valve adjusters, possibly replace the valve guide oil seals, replace the valve cover O rings and a few other items. If the engine has been rebuilt then the cam chain was probably replaced, so I'll just fit the missing damper washer (it's on order), adjust and go with what's there.

    Remember, I've not ridden this bike yet. If it goes well, that's great. But if riding highlights problems, then I might end up having to tackle the engine again. But what have I lost? Not a lot in cash terms. I'll have done a some work needlessly, but at least 2nd time round I'll have prior experience with pulling engine out and dismantling.

    But will definitely try to avoid lifting that lump again by myself!

    Fred, thank you for the suggestion of Dowty washers. The rubber/steel washers off the bike are in a terrible state so I was gonna ask what the best replacement is. On another thread I see that 5twins used copper Suzuki washers.Other people mention brass washers. Maybe the Dowty will be best - will need to see what is available in the UK.

    Feeling good that I can see a good way to move forward.
  15. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    The copper Suzuki washers work just fine Raymond - and they look snazzy too!

    Raymondo likes this.
  16. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Good going Raymond. You always feel better when you feel like you’re getting a handle on what’s wrong and you have a plan to go forward, good luck sir! By the way my father is Scottish ( Campbell ) my mother is Irish, but I live in the Arizona desert. What does that make me? :umm:
    gggGary, Raymondo and MaxPete like this.
  17. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    …..very warm and in need of a BEvERage...?
    Scripto VU, TwoManyXS1Bs and Mailman like this.
  18. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Late cam timing like that, the intake valves should be OK. The exhaust valves would risk piston contact during closure.

    With a new camchain, and the adjuster removed, it's very tight. Was there any perceived slop in the cam and camchain after you removed the camcover?
    gggGary, Raymondo and MaxPete like this.
  19. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    Thank you all.

    Bob, I was born in England, Mother mostly English but Irish ancestry, Father French, have lived mostly in Scotland since I was two, what does that make me?

    Yes, TwoMany, with the tensioner rod removed there was enough slack in the cam chain to move it along the sprocket and correct the timing - I now have crank on TDC and the cam sprocket timing slot vertical. So either the chain is stretched or has too many links. In line with 5twins suggestion, I'm about to go and count the links. Maybe PO split a chain and added a rivet link?

    Then, lift the chain off, remove camshaft, lift the head and have a Look.

    Fingers crossed.
    TwoManyXS1Bs and Mailman like this.
  20. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey

    Update to earlier posting. There's 108 links. 5twins, your hunch absolutely correct. Looks like PO added a rivet link. Which accounts for a lot.

    Will buy a new rivet link and buy/borrow/steal a cam chain tool. I think my drive chain splitter/riveter is too large.

    Pistons fine - at least, no crash damage from valves. Bit black and esp r/h rather wet and oily:


    Valves also fine, appear to seat an no visible damage. But, again, sooty and oily:


    I could try a leak test, pour petrol in the ports and see if the valves leak?

    Cam shaft bearings - perfect, probably new.

    There is a lot of oil at the cylinder head joint and gasket. No evidence of oil of the outside, but maybe somebody has pressure washed the fins to clean up the evidence? How normal is it to find oil at this joint? Could this account for crusty and wet pistons & valves?

    As said earlier, an vague air of mystery about this bike.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Mailman and MaxPete like this.

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