MisterP's revival/build thread: 1977 XS650

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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Well I purchased one, and my goal is to get this bad Larry road ready and reliable in time for next year's vintage yamaha rally (i may just skip my CB1100 rally for it...) I've been in the "planning phase" for this project for over a year, so i've got a strong idea of where I want to start. However, now that the bike is in my hands, I've got real-world circumstances to address before this project goes on rails. My first move is as follows:

Gas tank/fuel filter/petcock cleanup

oil change

Compression Test

Carb rebuild

plugs and ignition coil check.

The bike will not start without a GREAT DEAL of complaint, or at least it didn't at the time of purchase, but i have seen it start and idle. believe me, i adjusted my offer to compensate, still walked away with the bike. , The gas tank seems a bit rusty so a cleanup is in order. However, this brings me to my first judgement call: to clean the tank or to replace the tank? I'm adding up the cost of everything i'll need to buy : muriatic acid, plastic tub, heat gun, redkote, all that jazz, and finding that i could buy a clean replacement tank for roughly the same price. Can any experts here tell me if there's any reason why a tank from, say, a '73 XS650 would not fit my '77? are they all the same?

Compression test should be cut and dry. I'm getting a gauge in a couple of days, and i'll post the results.

Carb rebuid is also going to be super easy. i've got a package on the way from MikesXS.

I
 

5twins

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Take care with those carb rebuild kits. Many times the parts in them, specifically the jet sizes, are wrong. The '76-'77 kit in particular is bad. It has the jet sizes for the '78-'79 carbs, lol. Best course of action is not to use a rebuild kit, just replace any individual parts that may be needed.
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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I guess my issue there is that I don't know enough about what parts are what to order them individually. That's the whole reason i was relying on a kit! not packaging the right parts really defeats the purpose....should I be worried about similar honey traps from MikesXS in the future?
 

member28833

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However, now that the bike is in my hands, I've got real-world circumstances to address before this project goes on rails. My first move is as follows:
Approx how many miles are on your 77XS ? If it’s low , I’d try to stick with as many original OEM parts as possible and clean em all up !
Pull the sump strainer soon to look what’s going on in there ..
-RT
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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They estimate 33k, but the odometer reads a lot less because i'm also told that the odometer was reset at some point due to an electrical snafu that was subsequently fixed.

sump strainer? gotcha. i'll have to look that up.

Thanks for that link WannaB, a bit more expensive but it's worth it if it comes from experience.
 

Raymond

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Sounds as if you're on a similar journey to myself. But you have done a lot more homework than me - which was none. So in that way, you're starting from a better place. I like your plan for tackling the bike. Advice I was given by XSLeo was to spend some time and go over the electrical system from end-to-end, have a look for rubbed wires, pull connectors apart and clean them, etcetera. There's plenty of advice on how to check the electrics on here.
 

gggGary

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I guess my issue there is that I don't know enough about what parts are what to order them individually. That's the whole reason i was relying on a kit! not packaging the right parts really defeats the purpose....should I be worried about similar honey traps from MikesXS in the future?
YES and not just mikes all carb "kits" are suspect.
Niche cycle supply sells genuine mikuni brass that's the only way to go.
650carbspecsreducedsizeey7.png

Find and read the carb guide. As we like to say "til your eyes bleed"
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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I intend to. (re: wiring). it's not on the first item because I'm not up for a complete disassembly yet to get an overall look at the wiring harness. My initial budget did account for about $350 for a brand new wiring harness to be made, just in case i get into it and find it's over my head or too screwed up to be able to salvage. The fact that the ODO was jacked up at some point in the past indicates a wiring problem already, so i'm ready to find issues. However, the Instruments and controls will eventually be replaced with aftermarket ones, so i'm not going to put too much effort into getting that to work flawlessly right from the start.
 

Jim

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MikesXS is hit and miss. Here's a thread reviewing some of their parts.
Whenever possible I buy from Partzilla. It's OEM Yamaha parts and oftentimes there's not a nickles difference 'tween them and Mikes. The best thing you could do is ask (in this thread) prior to ordering. If it goes on an XS... someone here knows the best place to order.... and some of us are hoarders... right Gary... :rolleyes::boxing:
 

nj1639

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Welcome aboard!
Eh, there's no link of electrics affecting the odometers function aside from the little lights in the gauges, and they're just for seeing at night.....sounds like P.O. B-shibish to me lol.

On the tank.....if the paints good and you want to keep her stock then clean and kote. Mikesxs's Standard tank came with the '77 decal and you could have any color tank you wanted as long as it was black....now you're needing to match the sidecovers to tank or faux pas.
I think for swapping tanks you may be limited to going back to '74...Gary may have the skinny on that.
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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Welcome aboard!
Eh, there's no link of electrics affecting the odometers function aside from the little lights in the gauges, and they're just for seeing at night.....sounds like P.O. B-shibish to me lol.

On the tank.....if the paints good and you want to keep her stock then clean and kote. Mikesxs's Standard tank came with the '77 decal and you could have any color tank you wanted as long as it was black....now you're needing to match the sidecovers to tank or faux pas.
I think for swapping tanks you may be limited to going back to '74...Gary may have the skinny on that.

you might be right, but at least it wasn't *this* previous owner that was BSing me. i get the feeling that was the tale told by the owner before him, and they had had the bike for 40 years.

as for the tank matching the side covers? it won't be long before this bike has no side covers. this will not be a restoration job. i simply don't have the funds to accomplish something like that. brats are cheaper, so that's my goal. the good news is, the bike will be lighter, faster, and better handling when i'm done, so i don't feel bad as long as it's an improvement on the original.

as for the gas tank, in the mean time, my plan was to take it down to bare metal and then clearcoat it or something durable to keep it protected and prevent rusting. i didn't know mikes sold a replacement tank though, i'd been shopping ebay, i'll have to give that a look.
 

650Skull

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Welcome........

Tanks do clean up well.......Use white vinegar as let it sit for a couple of days.........depending on the severity of the rust and temperature, you may need to go a bit longer............Vinegar is cheap, and then rinse with water and use a bit of 2 stroke petrol, (make your own mix with ordinary oil), give the tank a good rinse, petrol evaporates and leaves an oil film.

Speedo and Tac are driven by magnet........Pics in here about 1/2 way down page..............A lot of Gauge info for getting into them and repair's.
http://www.xs650.com/threads/70-83-...damper-replacement-replace-face-decals.52013/
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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OK

here I am, back from vacationing in the WV mountains with the CB1100 owners forum, and it's time to dig into this thing for real.

Step 1) confirmed that he still starts and idles, no problems there. complains a bit while starting but that's not new.

step 2) remove gas tank, seat, airbox, and carbs. My service manual came in the mail while i was away so this wasn't terrible, but this being my first experience with a Haynes manual i have to say i'm not impressed with how it's laid out. i spent more time looking for what i wanted to do than i did doing it. a PDF might have been way easier to use.

step 3) Gas tank cleanout. we've got some rust here, and on the locking gas cap too, so the sandpaper is out, i've got a couple gallons of acid, funnels, POR15 tank sealer, baking soda, and all that good stuff ready to go. However, i'm not clear on something: How does one go about properly sealing up the holes where the petcock was while filling the tank with acid? the holes where the screws were seems easy enough (just put the screws back in with new rubber seals and tighten them down plenty) but the slot where the gas inlets go is another animal. how do i seal up something so oddly shaped? There's not going to be a rubber stopper shaped like that, I already know. Can anybody lend me any insight on this one? if you've done this before, how did you accomplish this part?

step 4) probably a compression test and plug cleanup.
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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'77 came in blue or red.
Got any pics of the tank and tins? If they're of any account you might put them in the classifieds here on site and sell or swap for what you might need. Consider it.

sorry, i forgot to answer this. the tank and tins were repainted solid black by the PO, but are already showing signs of exterior rust. they're all getting sanded off and clearcoated before i'm done.
 

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On sealing the petcock holes, make a plate out of steel plate at least 3/16 thick. Less it may warp.
Cut the steel in most any shape as long and wide as the petcock. Drill holes to match the mount bolt holes. Cut gasket out of old inner tube. Bolt in place.
On your wiring harness, you can build one for a lot less than $350. Not hard to do.
Repairing what you have isn't hard. Most of the harness issues I've run across are the ground for the stock flasher unit. For some reason the ground burns up. The heat from this melts the other wires around it.
On the bikes with 4 fuses, the fuse box clips get weak and won't hold the fuses well.
A lot of issues with electrical can be fixed by going through the harness and cleaning and tightening every connection. Cleaning all the switches and checking to see if the connections on the switches are soldered well. A lot of turn signal switches have had the wires come loose from a poor solder job at the factory.
Leo
 

MISTERPROFESSIONALITY

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On sealing the petcock holes, make a plate out of steel plate at least 3/16 thick. Less it may warp.
Cut the steel in most any shape as long and wide as the petcock. Drill holes to match the mount bolt holes. Cut gasket out of old inner tube. Bolt in place.
On your wiring harness, you can build one for a lot less than $350. Not hard to do.

Leo


Thanks for the info on the seal-up procedure. I don't have access to an old inner tube, though. i'm going to have to think of anything else around the house made of that kind of rubber. would cutting a piece up some thick rubber gloves work?

as for the wiring harness, i'm not so sure. one common theme in all the "first time build" videos, blogs, and threads that i've read was that the wiring harness was an absolute nightmare and stole weeks or even months of the builders life. almost all of them ended up giving up in frustration and buying a new harness. it taught me that tackling a wiring harness on my own is going to be a terrible, horrible, potentially project-ending mistake. you've got to take into account that i have never ever touched these kinds of mechanicals before. i can barely install a light in my dining room. i have no tools, and no background knowledge. I have to consider not just how much money the repair of the wiring harness will cost, but how much the cost of the oodles of tools i'll inevitably have to buy will be. when i start adding all that up, and then factor in that it could rob me of weeks of my life, buying a new harness doesn't look so bad.

Of course, all of that is just in the event that there's anything that isn't immediately obvious wrong with my wiring. if the wiring is fine, i'm just going to hook it back up and keep it that way. However, i've budgeted for it because i know that 9/10 times it's not fine, especially not later when i start hooking up LED headlamps and turn signals and new instruments and whatnot.
 

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Take care with those carb rebuild kits. Many times the parts in them, specifically the jet sizes, are wrong. The '76-'77 kit in particular is bad. It has the jet sizes for the '78-'79 carbs, lol. Best course of action is not to use a rebuild kit, just replace any individual parts that may be needed.
You said a mouthful sir. Remembering the day I installed new "kits" I spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong....
 
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