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Starting from scratch 1981 xs650

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by OLD ROOKIE, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    Hello,

    First of all, I am thankful for all the information I have already gotten from XS650 Forum
    and I plan to continue to support this site and be a good member.

    My name is Patrick and just got the bike I wanted 40 years. I love it. My plan is to get it reliable
    and keep it with historic plates and enjoy regular local outing. What is want to do is buy
    an array of electrical (ignition, charging, starting etc). I am doing this myself
    with advice from a neighbor. I only paid $1100 so I have no problem buying maybe $1000
    of electrical components. I figured keeping it original TCI (due to my lack of tech know how)., and replacing all the old problem areas with quality new parts. I will have input from a skilled neighbor and longtime motorcyclist.


    I can turn a wrench and plug and play but I am weak with the multimeter. In addition to go karts, lawn mowersand mini bike build and repair, I have rewired and trouble shot and successfully repaired and maintained my 2003 Mercury 60 hp 2 stroke for 15 years. I have never needed a marine mechanic. I have launched my boat, trailer, and same outboard 600 times since 2002 , logging 30K mileage. Luckily I have always found used parts and cheap ebay parts for my boat, paying 50 for starter, 29 for a complete wiring harness and CDM's. Internet schematics, parts lists, videos, have empowered many, including myself.


    It is pretty but has it's issues.
    I have looking at posts for few weeks. Then I experienced some of the electrical issues described as
    typical.
    • started and ran sometimes with usual grinding sound;
    • bought new battery (post on old one had cracked);
    • took a spin and I ended up stalling;
    • new battery might be dead, and;
    • starts by kick start.
    • carb needs cleaned and rebuilt, I can handle that most likely.
    Say I have a $1000 budget for parts. should I just buy a compatible parts new wiring harness, stator, rotor, cables, rectifier etc. What else ? I want it to charge and start and for a long time and be proud of it.
    I have already started detailing it out a bit.

    Thank you much. Respectively submitted, PATRICK
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Hi Patrick. Welcome to the forum. Xs650 is great for being owner serviceable and it looks like you are more than qualified. I'm no guru but here's my 2 cents. On the electrics, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Lots of the old parts are quality parts. Lots of info here on specific diagnosis of electrics. Usually with multi-meter setings and readings explained. I the bike was sitting think about going through the carbs sooner than later. This bike should give you years of solid service. Have fun. Jim.
     
  3. Team Junk

    Team Junk XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    madmax-im, Jim and jetmechmarty like this.
  4. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Welcome to the forum, Patrick

    Boats come with odometers now...?
     
    Jim likes this.
  5. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    dragging the boat on the trailer to fishing spot
    Yeah I use an old GPS to keep a running total of how far I run up and down the river.
     
    madmax-im, Jim, TwoManyXS1Bs and 2 others like this.
  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    You shouldn't need to spend anywhere near $1000 on renovating your electrics. As mentioned, most of the original electrical components were quite good. One "big ticket" item that does sometimes go bad is the rotor but there's a guy here on the site that rewinds them and does a great job for a good price. But, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Start with the simple charging test. Start the bike and clip a voltmeter to the battery. You should see around 12 volts at idle and that should increase to the low to mid 14's when you rev the bike up to about 3K RPMs. If you get no increase then you do indeed have charging issues.

    The first thing to check then would be your brushes. They are considered a wear item on this bike. When they wear too short, charging can become erratic or even stop completely. They are easiest to measure if you remove them, or at least remove the stator. If the brushes are originals, they will have a wear indicator line etched in one side at the half worn mark. New they are 14mm long so that line is at 7mm. If you can see that line with the brush still mounted, just measure to it and add 7 .....

    [​IMG]

    Since the brushes need to be off the rotor slip rings to test them, now's the time to do that too.
     
  7. aldo5468

    aldo5468 Redleg XS650.com Supporter

    If your bike still has the original fuse block that holds glass cartridge fuses, it's one of the first electrical items to check, because the clips are prone to losing tension and eventually breaking, resulting in intermittent or total loss of power to the particular circuit involved. Lots of searchable info on this site about how to replace broken or suspect fuse blocks. Having totally reliable power available to each circuit is key to successfully diagnosing any problems further "downstream", whether somewhere in the wiring harness or in particular components.
     
  8. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    Thank you for all the help. It is running much better. I replaced the brushes and changed out the spark plugs. The backfiring stopped completely after I
    jammed the mufflers securely in the pipes using a rubber mallet at the end of the muffler then tightened the coupler holding the two together.

    Volts go up as I rev it but not as high as they should. The battery tests at 13.48 volts when I take it off the charger, when I start the volts drop to 12.50 or lower .At 3000 rpm it reads a little over 13 V. I did the slap test and I think it passes. Rectifier passes the diode and ohms tests. I ordered a rotor puller. Next I will pull it and test it.

    Side tail lights are not working. I cleaned the grounds. The light bulbs are 1156 and only have one solder spot and one wire going through the hollow screw
    that attaches sidle light. If it was a turn signal won't the bulb fixture has two wires ? Front turn signals light but do not blink. I replaced the Denso flasher three post with a 552 two post and they still don't blink. Maybe I missed the hole the two posts are supposed to go into. The horn works the high beam switch works
    but I am pretty clueless concerning the blinkers. Oh I moved the kick start lever to 12:00.

    I'll keep trying but oh how much my back hurts in the morning. Happy Easter everyone.
    Patrick
     
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  9. Jim

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

    You can test it in situ. Take the inner brush out to gain access to the inner ring and the outer is easily accessible. You should reed about 5Ω's across the rings and open on each ring to ground.
    Oh... and welcome to the forum. :D
     
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  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    What you're calling side tail lights are not, they're just turn signals. The fronts aren't flashing because the rears aren't working. The flasher is designed to power and flash two bulbs. If one is out, you get what you got - the other comes on but doesn't flash. So, you'll need to track down why the rear signal lights aren't coming on. Each has a separate ground wire, a ring terminal and wire placed under the mounting nut on the stem. They are fed power from connections in the headlight bucket so you may need to check those too.
     
  11. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    Thank You I am learning alot. I love this motorcycle. I am like a kid on Christmas even though I am 64. Riding again after 40 years I am getting more and more comfortable.
    Which ring do I put the red probe on and black one on when reading across the rings ? Doesn't matter ? When you say "open" you meaning a reading of OL with the black probe grounded and the white on each ring ?"
     
    madmax-im, ThatXS650Guy and Jim like this.
  12. Jim

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

    Doesn't matter. If it's not auto-ranging, make sure it's set to the 200 ohms scale.
    Yes. Make sure your meter is on the highest ohms range (M or Mega-ohms) if it's not auto-ranging.
    You'll fit right in ... we're mostly old bastards here. :rolleyes:
     
  13. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hi Patrick and welcome to XS650.com - from Canada's sunny southern coast in Windsor, Ontario!

    I like your bike - looks nice and clean and it should come back to life without a huge amount of effort - or too much money. I would suggest adjusting the right hand mirror before you try to ride it though.....;) and many folks find that a set of lower / flatter bars makes for a more comfortable ride. Having said that, a lot of the folks who ride Specials (that is why yours appears to be) state that they like the high bars - so don't bug 'em.

    Anyhow - there is all the knowledge you'll need right here and so ask lots of questions and post lots of pictures and we'll get you going.

    Cheers,

    Pete
     
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  14. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    OHMS tested the rotor. I think it is bad.
    when I pull it out, if it is an OEM, I'll get it rewound hopefully.
    Bought a ebay used oem rotor. The guy has 100% positive feedback. IF it doesn't work, I'll get it sent back free, or rewind.
    I am close to my one thousandth buy on Ebay. They treat me great. Whenever I 've had an issue they always side with me.
     
    Jim likes this.
  15. Jim

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

    TwoManyXS1Bs and nj1639 like this.
  16. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    It was all over the place ... = ..,,, couldn't get a reading at all. I left the outside brush in and the key was off. Looking back, I am sure I did it wrong, I should have reported back. ( took the probes and tried to touch each ring with the meter on the ohms setting.

    Yeah that (those) mirrors don't give me much of a view except of my arm. What am I going to do get some slickster mirrors that stick ut of the end of the grips ? Those handlebars aren't original I have the OEM bars.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
    Jim likes this.
  17. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    Hello Everyone,
    I've been working on the light wiring. Tomorrow I am going to install a rewound rotor to hopefully get the charging system to where it should be.
    I've been meaning to ask, what is this thing connected to the breather hose ? It is hanging from a zip tie and it looks to in-operable at the moment. When I used to work on a go kart racing clone engine, sometimes a "catch can" would be attached to the hose coming out of the valve cover.

    Thank you all for your help. I'm enjoying this.
    Patrick

    IMG_0606.JPG
    IMG_0606.JPG
    IMG_0606.JPG
     
  18. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    That's a one-way check valve on your breather hose. It lets crankcase pressure out but no air back in. What's that disc on the end of it, a filter of some sort? You probably don't even need that. MikesXS sells that valve and by all accounts, it's a pretty nice one. I'd rig up a better mounting system for it (bolt it to something) and keep it. I just use cheapo power brake check valves on mine. If you poise the outlet over your pod filter, any oil or oil mist that might come out will just get recycled through the motor .....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
    nj1639 likes this.
  19. OLD ROOKIE

    OLD ROOKIE Go Slow and Wave at Your Neighbors. XS650.com Supporter

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    5 twins thanks for the clarification..
     
  20. aldo5468

    aldo5468 Redleg XS650.com Supporter

    It's possible to mount your check valve directly to your breather outlet port but requires trimming back the bracket that would be just above it to get some clearance.
     

    Attached Files:

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