FixThe's 1981 XS650SH

There is a tool that uses a expandable thread. You loosen the tool, slip it own the plug hole then snug it up. Making sure the threads of the tool line up with threads in the head. Then as you unscrew the tool it cleans up the damaged threads from the inside out.
Got the bike back! Much sooner than expected so that's great.

The bike runs and feels fantastic. They were able to tap the socket so no Heli-Coil, got in the bronze swingarm bushings and new swing arm bolt tube, then gave a general once over once it was all back together - adjusted my rear brake (didn't think it was off before but way less spongey now), made sure all nuts and bolts were tightened up to spec, etc.

Now, I think the new bushings have made a pretty night and day difference. I used to have a slight wiggle in the back end, usually when accelerating from a stop and things felt a bit loose when going over bumps. Now both of these are gone and overall the bike just feels more stable. Because they also made sure the rear wheel was aligned properly, lubed and torqued everything, I don't know what to attribute to the bushings and what no, but it is a noticeable difference.

Really happy with the work and cant complain getting it done for free. My buddy is just on practicum at the school, so no guarantee that he'll be back next year but if he is I think I'll get them to tear apart the engine over winter - put in a new cam chain guide and do a rebuild.

Some time in the next week I'll get over to my other friends place to show me how to dial in the clutch then should be good to go for the season!


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Bit grumpy about the whole situation so I don't want to get into it right now, but long story short needed to get in a new brake arm and rod. Couldn't get the brake back plate within Canada, so bought from Mikes and paid through the nose to get it expedited so I could get things going and get back on the bike ASAP.

Foolishly, I had done a visual inspection but not actually removed the old arm, so after getting in my parts yesterday and going to install the new bits, I see my cam shaft is bent. Reading I see a big ol 5twins post saying I can get an VStar 650 one, but am not finding that anywhere that I can again expedite ship from, so hoping someone here has one and can ship on the quick for me.

Installed the new rod though so thats done, should be quick to get back going once I get the part. The rod from Mikes wasn't perfect and needed a bit of work, but it's good to go. I can't find this all on the exploded view so I'm not sure what to call the parts, but on the front of the rod it extends too far into the piece that goes around the part that's connected to the brake lever so it wouldn't go in. Took a grinder to the rod and it's good to go. You should be able to tell what I mean by the pictures.


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Alright, the bike lives!

Got a new cam shaft in from kshansen yesterday and just finished getting it installed. Rode around my driveway a few times, everything feels great. Now just need to pop insurance on it tomorrow and will go for a ride.

This was a learning lesson in how not doing a simple double check can cost losing a couple weeks ride time.
When I got the bike it seems to run fine up to 4k RPM, at which point the bike bogs and it lurches a bit until it hits 5k, then it comes back to life. Not really a problem going to and from work, but theres a couple speeds that are right in that RPM range - 80 and 100 km/h are the worst, so taking it out on the highway has been a no go.

I ordered in carb rebuild kits and new floats, then yesterday I went over to a buddies place to get him to show me how to clean and set up the carbs. Once we finished up and got them back on the bike it was in worse shape than before. We had a hell of a time getting it to idle but it was getting late and I had to get home, so we rigged up the throttle cable to give it a bit extra on idle, I was going to go home and get the bike back today. Driving home ended up being a nightmare. I kept having to give more and more throttle to keep the bike going, if I held my throttle open the RPM would jump up and down, I can't really describe the sound from the exhausts other than stupid loud and sounding like a dying animal, I was getting a darker smoke out of the left exhaust pipe, it was extremely slow responding to giving more throttle, the bike would sputter and jump and time I was decelerating, then it died on me at a stop light and it took great effort to kick back over. Eventually it went, I modified my route home to hit less stops, but the bike died again as I was slowing down to go into a roundabout. Again, it wouldn't kick over and many times there was no resistance at all on the kick lever. I thought about just ditching the bike for the night but I was in a bit of a sketchy area of town and didn't really feel comfortable leaving it there, so I kept trying to get it going which it eventually did, and I limped it home.

Possible problems or notes that came up last night and this morning:

* I had read that removing the cam chain tensioner acorn nut gives you a bit more room to get the carbs down and out, so I took it off. I loosened the chain a bit by accident as I was doing that and was going to re-set it once the carbs were back in, but I forgot
* One of the pilot jet screws was out way more than the other. We set them both back to 3.5 turns
* One of the pilot jet caps was missing. It's maybe possible that it actually was there and dropped out, but we gave a good look and didn't see it anywhere so I'm fairly confident that it wasn't there. We didn't have any on hand, so the guy I was working with quickly cut one out of rubber and we put it in until I could get a proper cap.
* The guy I was doing with showed me what do on one carb then I did the other. Once he had me going he went to do something else on my bike, then this morning he texted saying there was a washer left in the pan we were working in, so it looks like I missed putting the washer back in under the big jet

This morning I re-checked on the cam chain tension which was slightly loose but nothing to be concerned about (I don't think). I included a picture but it's hard to see, but there was a good amount of oil around the left spark plug. Also the plugs were super burnt, although that's not too surprising.

So, I've got a new baby at home and my time to work on stuff is extremely limited, so after work the guy from last night is going to come pick up the bike with a trailer and take it back to his place to get it going. If anybody has some insight on whats going on I'd love to hear it, or if there's any potentially stupid small thing we missed that I can check on before he picks it up. If not, I'll update back when he takes another look.

see the little brass tube coming off the carb holder in pic 2? (right side)
either you have a petcock to wich it requires vaccum
or ya dont. If it doesnt -->that tube needs to be plugged up
cause if not it becomes a massive air leak and will cause a heck of a lot of problems


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You have mentioned several times about removing one of the plugs or plug wires. You have a dual output coil. Don't do that with the switch on or the engine running. It will burn up the coil because the spark can't get to ground. Worse case is a cracked coil shell allowing sparking to the gas tank. Not a good look.