FixThe's 1981 XS650SH

fixthe

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Son of a...

Can anybody post a photo of how their bulb and rim mount work? As I was riding the bulb looked like it was going to fall out the front of the bike. Inside my bucket were two long screws that fell out of place and I see there are three tabs. Should these just have a nut on the back of them or is there a place to actually screw into? I didn't touch this part at all so they must have been loose from Mike's and rattled free..

I've looked at the parts diagram but am not really seeing what Im looking for.
 

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5twins

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I think the parts drawing shows things pretty well .....

19TTYjY.jpg


It appears the retaining ring (#8) has come loose from the backing ring (#11). These two parts get screwed together, trapping the headlight between them. This is done with 3 short screws (#19) and there are no nuts. The holes in ring #11 are threaded.
 

MaxPete

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Stick at it fixthe - you're getting there and the old gal has given you just a sample of how much fun she can be!

Cheers,

Pete
 

fixthe

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I think the parts drawing shows things pretty well .....

19TTYjY.jpg


It appears the retaining ring (#8) has come loose from the backing ring (#11). These two parts get screwed together, trapping the headlight between them. This is done with 3 short screws (#19) and there are no nuts. The holes in ring #11 are threaded.
Ahh got it, thanks. Just took the light all apart. Doing it roadside yesterday the screws seemed really loose going in that way so I thought there should be something on the back side to hold them there. Now with it all open I see they stay pretty loose until it's really tightened down.

Stick at it fixthe - you're getting there and the old gal has given you just a sample of how much fun she can be!

Cheers,

Pete
Thanks Pete! Lack of time and energy leads me to asking dumb questions, but I appreciate the support from everyone helping out!
 

5twins

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Notice the 3 little screws get lock washers too (#20).
 

fixthe

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Yes - I'm assuming those fell out of the bucket along with the third screw as I was riding yesterday. I'll get some on there this week
 

5twins

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Yes, it is a learning curve and as you're finding out, this old bike will take every opportunity it can to teach you a new lesson, lol. Being an old bike, even if it looks good, you really need to go through the thing when you get one. Check all the nuts and bolts, check all the wiring and connections. You will ward off many potential future problems by doing this.
 

fixthe

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Update that is uninteresting to anyone, but I'm using this as a log so I can look back and see what's gone on with the bike.

Was really hoping to get some work done over winter but life with a new baby is pretty hectic and there just wasn't the time. Fired up the bike last week to make sure everything was good before riding season starts up here and it seemed to be, so yesterday I bought insurance, went home for my first ride and... no go. It's got two problems:

One - I'm back to running on one cylinder. If I pull the left spark plug cap mostly off and hold it there it runs properly, but if I place the cap on it doesn't. I'm going to give everything a good cleaning in the next day or so to see if maybe something is corroded, but I suppose I should order in a new coil so I can install new leads, as was suggested I look into last year. Unfortunately, shipping delays due to COVID are still a problem up here so I'm hoping I can get the bike running without it, but even if I do I'll order in a MP08 and new leads to be on the safe side any way.

Two - the clutch won't disengage. Can't remember if I talked about this before, but this was a problem after changing my bars - the cable is just too long. I re-routed it and was able to get it to work last season, but for some reason after sitting over winter it's not working again. Tried adjusting it, lubing it, and moving it around without pulling off the tank, but I'm bottoming out my lever and it still won't disengage. I might be able to play around with the routing again, but screw it - ordered a proper shorter cable and it should arrive tomorrow.
 

fixthe

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Alright - small update that I have a question about.

Called my mechanic and turns out he had proper coils in stock and he sold me one for cheaper than I could grab a MP08 for + shipping, so grabbed that and will install later today.

The boots that the wires go into have smaller little rubber cylinders inside them that the wires fit through very tightly. Where does this go? Inside the boot? Outside? Not sure what the purpose of it is - to stop the wire from pulling out or sealing from water. Will edit this with a photo in a minute.
 

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fredintoon

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Sweet, thanks.
Wasn't sure if I couldn't see it in photos because it was inside or if they aren't used all the time.

Hi fixthe,
assemble the sparkplug wires like Machine sez.
Check if your coil has woodscrew-style things inside it so that you need to screw the plug wires onto them
or if it has flat surfaces inside that need to have the plug wire's insulation cut back so the exposed conductor wire
can be fanned out like a chimney-sweep's brush to make contact.
 

fixthe

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Hi fixthe,
assemble the sparkplug wires like Machine sez.
Check if your coil has woodscrew-style things inside it so that you need to screw the plug wires onto them
or if it has flat surfaces inside that need to have the plug wire's insulation cut back so the exposed conductor wire
can be fanned out like a chimney-sweep's brush to make contact.
Thanks - wood screw type deal. Just installed it on my lunch break, coil works but I have the same problem. That's alright, I wanted to replace the coil eventually anyway.

So I guess theres either something wrong with the spark plug or the cap. After work I'll swap the two spark plugs to narrow down the problem.
 

fredintoon

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Thanks - wood screw type deal. Just installed it on my lunch break, coil works but I have the same problem. That's alright, I wanted to replace the coil eventually anyway.
So I guess theres either something wrong with the spark plug or the cap. After work I'll swap the two spark plugs to narrow down the problem.

Hi fixthe,
check if you have resistor-style sparkplugs AND resistor style plug caps. Bike needs EITHER but NOT both.
You can find non-resistor plug caps in the snowmobile aisle (in Canada, anyway)
 

fixthe

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They are resistor caps with non-resistor spark plugs. I went that way because the resistor plugs aren't carried here and need to be brought in. The BP7ES plugs are pretty easy to find.
 

5twins

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Slide the threaded coil cap onto the plug wire, then the rubber "doughnut". Now screw the plug wire into the coil until it's tight. Then slide the rubber doughnut up tight against the coil and thread the cap on. The "doughnut" is sort of a compression fitting. Screwing the cap tight against it squeezes it tight on the wire. This both seals it and holds it in. I like to prep the ends of my plug wires like so before installing to insure good contact. Do this on the spark plug cap end of the wire too .....

VqkZjYD.jpg


In fact, if you still have the original spark plug caps, that could be the issue. They do go bad. Or maybe the connection to the wire is just bad, loose or corroded. If the caps are original you should replace them. The NGK LB05F is the preferred cap of choice .....

CfYZoPi.jpg


Even if you don't have new caps, I would re-do the cap to wire connection. Cut 1/4" to 1/2" off the plug wire to get to some fresh wire, then trim another 1/8" or so of the insulation off so you can fan the wire strands out. I also like to coat the ends of the wires with dielectric grease before screwing them into the coil or plug cap. I put it in a few more places as well .....

J8LBimR.jpg
 

fixthe

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Slide the threaded coil cap onto the plug wire, then the rubber "doughnut". Now screw the plug wire into the coil until it's tight. Then slide the rubber doughnut up tight against the coil and thread the cap on. The "doughnut" is sort of a compression fitting. Screwing the cap tight against it squeezes it tight on the wire. This both seals it and holds it in.

Beaut - thank you.

As for the rest of your post, those are the plugs I'm using and that's also how I've prepped the ends. You made this suggestion back on page one of this thread and I took it then when I was replacing the caps! Only slept on your advice for swapping out the coil so I could use new wires.

*Edit:* just swapped my plugs - sure enough it's the plug that's the problem. I'll either try giving it a clean or just grab one tomorrow depending how my day looks.
 
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fixthe

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Urg. Gonna need to get a hand from a couple of friends.

BP7ES spark plugs are impossible to find here, so I did some calling around and was able to track down two LZFH spark plug caps, so now I can go with BP7ES plugs, which are stocked everywhere. So I popped those on yesterday, but somehow I seem to have stripped one of my spark plug holes. Doesn't look too bad, just the first couple threads, but this is something I don't want to mess with myself, so I gave a call to a car mechanic buddy and he is going to come down Tuesday and take a look and re-thread the hole if needed.

I also installed my new clutch cable, but still can't get the clutch to disengage. I'm going to keep messing around this afternoon and see if I can get it to go, but if not I've got a motorcycle friend who will come down this week to give me a hand with it. I've done a bunch of reading on the clutch here but I'm thinking its way more likely that I don't have the cable routed or adjusted properly as opposed to some other issue, and probably something someone with more experience could figure out quickly and walk me through things.
 

fixthe

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Oh my god. If the child was old enough to be out working on my bike with me, there would have been a whole lot of "don't do what I'm about to do" teaching moments.

Updates on the bike - I got my clutch sorted. Never met up with my buddy but was able to figure it out myself. Without looking it up, instructions were something like "turn in the screw until it's touching the push rod, then back a quarter turn." I think my issue was I was hitting a little bit of resistance early so I thought I was touching the pushrod but wasn't. Ended up putting the screw way further in until I think I'm actually touching the pushrod, backed it off, tightened the nut, and it's good to go. Healthy amount of lube on the new cable and the clutch feels great. Now that that's working and the bike moves I can get it over to my buddys place some time in the near future to give it a double check and show me how to properly fine tune it, but for now it's fine.

As for the spark plug socket, my mechanic buddy came over but wasn't able to fix it at my place and recommended that I bring it to his shop. He was able to (carefully) get the spark plug threaded back in, now the bike is firing on all cylinders again and I can ride it to the shop.

So heres where the stupidity comes into play a bit. I've had the tank on and off a bunch over the past two weeks so I've gotten in the habit of just barely reattaching the fuel line, because it's a bit awkward and I'm a bit lazy. So last time I put it on I did the same thing, expecting that I was going to have to take it off right away again, but then I ran out of time with what I was doing and had to clean up. Yesterday I wanted to go for short test ride to make sure the bike was actually running decent enough to get to the shop so I go for a quick little ride. It's running like hell but I had drained the old gas with stabilizer in it and just left a small amount to get me to a gas station. Fill it up with fresh gas and woohoo! The bike runs like a bat out of hell! Finish up my test ride and park it for the night.

I work at 8am and the mechanic shop is a half hour from my house, so I tell him I'll be there at 730. At 7 I go to kick over the bike and...nothing. Kick, kick, kick, nothing. Kickkickkickkickkickkickkick, sweating, swearing, kickkickkickkick oh wait... maybe my fuel line rattled off? Sure enough, it did. Take of the seat and lift the tank to make it easier to get in there, reattach the line and clamp it, kickkickkickkickkickkickkickkickkickkickkick, more sweating, more swearing. We have a high of 18C today but it was freezing over night and currently 1C, so I had thought it was just cold, but I kept hearing a bit of a faint hiss out the left side that seemed concerning but it disappeared so quickly I couldn't tell what it was. Finally, I get down close to where the sound is, give a light kick and realize... when I lifted the tank the vacuum line got pulled. Ugh. Re-attach it, single light kick and the bike fired right up. Whole ordeal took about 45 minutes, with me also working on the clutch at one point thinking maybe that was the issue (I know you can't get proper compression if the clutch is off, and despite it being fine yesterday I thought maybe I messed it up again). Had I not been up since 6am and frustrated that I was running late I probably could have figured out what was wrong in a significantly less amount of time, but here we are. Lessons learned.

Bike ran beautifully on the freezing cold ride to the shop and reminded me how much I love this bike when it's running as it should. Really excited to get it back, but it'll be a few weeks.

Most likely he's going to put a Heli-Coil in, but he said he'll look at some options and let me know. I'm also getting him to install my brass swingarm bushings and swingarm bolt tube, which I bought last year but never had time to install. Not a big job but here comes the plusses and minuses - the work is going to cost me nothing, but it'll take a long time because his shop is at a school where he is a shop mechanic teacher, so everything is teaching the kids as they go. The spark plug socket needs to be fixed and I don't feel confident to do it myself so it was either free with a delay, or pay somebody (if I could get in) to get it done quicker, but riding season hasn't really started here anyway so hopefully I get it back not too long after they clean all the sand off the streets!

I'll probably update back once I get the bike back home then hopefully not again for the rest of the season. Free time is a limited and precious thing when you have a baby - there are things I want to do with the bike still, but would rather ride than wrench when I can so hopefully I'm not updating here with any work that needs to be done until after the riding season ends!
 
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