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'79 XS650 Special Low-Effort Resto

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BSAKat, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here are the fruits of Sunday's labor.
    • New All Balls steering bearings installed
    • New triple clamp and rebuilt forks installed
    • Wheels mounted
    • Gauge bracket installed with new dampers
    • Handlebar mounted with new dampers
    • Taillight assembly rebuilt and bolted to the rear fender
    • Rear fender mounted
    There was also a lot of cleaning, painting, swearing, searching for fasteners, consulting parts diagrams, and regretting ever having set eyes on this thing. I believe that I now have (or will have in a few days) everything needed to do a final reassembly. New head pipes are on the way from Mike's (along with grips and mirrors), but aside from that everything is just sitting in boxes waiting to go on. Next I'll put the gauges in with their new dampers and get the headlight assembly squared away. I'm going to spruce up the control binnacles a bit (they're super faded) and do some cleaning around the primary sprocket so I can fit the left-hand crankcase cover. If I'm very lucky and the stars align, I may be able to ride it this coming weekend.
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    Oh, and yes, I've painted over almost all the chrome. The fenders, taillight bracket, chain guard, front engine mount (pictured below), gauge buckets, and headlight bucket were all ruined. Rust, pitting and the chrome peeling off in some places. I wasn't about to shell out for new parts or plating, so it was the rattlecan for them. Each of those pieces got thoroughly de-rusted, degreased, scrubbed with a wire wheel, cleaned again, and sprayed with two coats of self-etching primer and three coats of satin black lacquer with primer in it. Since the bike is Carmine Red, I decided on a cool red-black color scheme with hints of chrome here and there (headlight ring, grab bar, headlight ears, tappet covers, mirrors, shocks, etc.). Before final assembly, I'm going to attempt to buff the original paint out while leaving the dents and scratches. This thing is a survivor and I want it to wear its scars with pride.
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    Mailman and Greyandridin like this.
  2. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    I dipped out real quick to button up the gauges and dash so I figured I'd share. Bonus pic of the taillight assembly.
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    Mailman, GLJ and jetmechmarty like this.
  3. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    Sigh...

    So, I did something at the end of last year that I knew I would regret in the future. The future is here now, and sure as shit, I regret it. I took the battery box all the way out to clean, sand, and paint it. When I did so, I removed everything from it. What I didn't do was take any reference pictures of where all the components bolt back on, and now I can't remember where things like the starter solenoid and regulator go. The parts diagrams in my manual and on Partzilla/Babbitt's/et al are no help either, since they just show blurry images of the parts and an arrow pointing to their general location on the bike. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that I pulled the whole loom out of the headlight bucket and back to about where the tank mounts to clean it and deal with any bad/broken connectors and now I'm not sure where the loom runs along the frame anymore.

    Could someone shoot me a couple pictures of the top and sides of their battery box and possibly how the loom runs down the frame toward the rear of the bike? If not, does anyone know where I could find some pics online? A quick Google hasn't turned up anything.
     
  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    21,023
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    If you don't have it already, download a copy of the '78E full factory shop manual that includes supplements for your '79 SF model. Near the end of the SF section, you'll find drawings showing the cable routing and wiring loom layout.

    The voltage regulator mounts on the left side of the battery box and is the only thing there .....

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    The right side has a couple components, the safety relay and the solenoid .....

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    The only thing on top of the battery box would be the RLU, but most of us remove and eliminate that .....

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    The light checker is a little rubber box and mounts on the rear of the battery box. Your rectifier will mount on the bottom. I upgraded mine to a Windy Nation unit .....

    [​IMG]

    I've also upgraded my voltage regulator to a VR115 .....

    [​IMG]
     
    Mailman likes this.
  5. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    You're a prince, Twins. I totally forgot that I have the shop manual PDF on my cloud storage, too. I'll consult that about loom routing. Again, thank you so much.

    PS: Oh, I should mention, I've already cut the RLU out of the system, and I bought a solid state Reg/Rec for this thing from Rick's Motorsport Electrics. Also, I'm extremely envious of your factory tool kit.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 1:58 PM
  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    21,023
    13,809
    813
    Oh, it's not the real thing, it came from my Honda lawnmower, lol.
     
  7. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    Hahahahahaha, right on. It's not XS-related, but I recently rescued a pair of CB750 Supersports (a very early '75 and a '76) out of some guy's back yard where they'd sat, outside in the Michigan weather, for 30 years, and the '75 still had its tool kit and owner's manual in it. I was blown away.
     
    Mailman likes this.
  8. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    Out of curiosity, what do we think about painting/rehabbing switch binnacles? This bike's switchgear is a shambles. I reckon I could strip them and lay some satin black on them, but what about the little red inset on the killswitch? I assume there's no bringing that faded thing back to life. Also, does anyone make repros of the various labels for the controls? Like the RUN-OFF-RUN for the killswitch and the HORN label?
     
  9. mick71b

    mick71b Kick Start Only

    My first street bike was brand-new red SF, so it's great seeing yours come back to life. Your photos are excellent. by the way.
     
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    21,023
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    Before bothering to refurb the right assembly, you may want to seek out an older replacement that has the headlight on-off switch in it. Yes, label decals are available, not sure from where. Someone who knows will probably chime in here.
     
  11. Jim

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

    Diablo Cycle
     
  12. BSAKat

    BSAKat XS650 Enthusiast

    Thanks, Jim. Those are perfect. As for the right-side box, I have one off an XS750 with the on/off switch, but I'm not cutting any of the other lighting relays out so I'm gonna stay with the '79 box.
     
  13. Jim

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

    I've used 2 sets so far. The quality is top notch! And the price ain't bad either.
     

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