win some, lose some -- 1971 XS1B

DogBunny

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I bought this matching numbers 1971 XS1B Monday. I was stoked. The seller needed to keep the exhaust for his own 72 project, but otherwise pretty much complete and unmolested.
My plan was to do a resurrection similar to my 1973 Super RustBucket. In other words, do the minimum necessary to make it run great, be safe, and pass inspection.
Then I discovered the motor is stuck. Oh, no! You may ask, "isn't that something you check before you buy a bike?" Normally, yes, but the seller is a trusted source of mine, and he honestly thought the engine was good. I've gotten some great deals from this person, so I can't get too mad at him.

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The seat loop is cracked near the rear seat hinge (I knew about that). And no title. So... stuck motor, cracked frame, no title -- my resurrection project that I was so excited about is now a part-out. EDIT: The part-out is on hold. I'm thinking I might resurrect it after all. Stay tuned...
The bike wasn't cheap, but I'll make my money back on parts, plus some -- but it will be earned. A part-out is a lot of work.
If anyone sees anything they'd like, PM me. As said, the part-out is on hold.
 
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About 7 years ago I bought a '67 YR1 from a woman in her 80's who bought it new and was the first woman in her area to own a bike.
She told a good story.
She said $300 over the phone and that it had been kept in a barn for decades. It was stuck.
When I got to her house she said $450 (!) and wouldn't budge. For some reason I gave in, and found later everything had been filled with water. She lied.
It didnt look this good.
However, I parted it out, and eventually made about $2500. The exhaust went to a guy in Sweden who invited me to come visit and ride the roads in his area.
It was a lot of work.


Lot 283 - 1967 Yamaha YR1



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I bought this matching numbers 1971 XS1B Monday. I was stoked. The seller needed to keep the exhaust for his own 72 project, but otherwise pretty much complete and unmolested.
My plan was to do a resurrection similar to my 1973 Super RustBucket. In other words, do the minimum necessary to make it run great, be safe, and pass inspection.
Then I discovered the motor is stuck. Oh, no! You may ask, "isn't that something you check before you buy a bike?" Normally, yes, but the seller is a trusted source of mine, and he honestly thought the engine was good. I've gotten some great deals from this person, so I can't get too mad at him.

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The seat loop is cracked near the rear seat hinge (I knew about that). And no title. So... stuck motor, cracked frame, no title -- my resurrection project that I was so excited about is now a part-out.
The bike wasn't cheap, but I'll make my money back on parts, plus some -- but it will be earned. A part-out is a lot of work.
If anyone sees anything they'd like, PM me.
I have a 72 thats in way better shape than that up in my loft that Im never gonna get to. Its titled too...you can have it for $950 bucks (what I paid for it way back when) if you want to ship it down to your address.

Its got a seat pan, blinkers, instruments, etc. No tank. Turns over too. No rust ,been in my climate controlled shop at least 10 years.

You could make one good one outta the two, just a thought?
 
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I think that all of us get ahead of ourselves at some point, myself, I think that I'd have a go at freeing that seized engine, just for the hell of it. It's worth more in bits than it is in one piece, so nothing to lose except maybe the skin off your knuckles.
 
have a go at freeing that seized engine, just for the hell of it. It's worth more in bits than it is in one piece, so nothing to lose except maybe the skin off your knuckles.
Yes. Two weeks later, and there is now a possibility that I will resurrect this bike. In any case, I am definitely going to free the motor.

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A week ago, I poured a mixture of 50/50 acetone and ATF into each spark plug hole. A couple times each day I tapped on and torqued on the crank. Nothing. Last night, I took the head off.
The right cylinder (on the left in the pic) looks okay, and all of the acetone/ATF mixture has seeped past the rings.
The left cylinder (on the right in the pic) is covered with rust and is still holding the acetone/ATF mixture.

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I now understand why vinegar is popular for freeing stuck engines. The rings must be rusted solid to the cylinder. I am going to get all of that old acetone/ATF mixture out, and replace it with vinegar, and wait. I hope the cylinder isn't pitted.
 
Yes. Two weeks later, and there is now a possibility that I will resurrect this bike. In any case, I am definitely going to free the motor.

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A week ago, I poured a mixture of 50/50 acetone and ATF into each spark plug hole. A couple times each day I tapped on and torqued on the crank. Nothing. Last night, I took the head off.
The right cylinder (on the left in the pic) looks okay, and all of the acetone/ATF mixture has seeped past the rings.
The left cylinder (on the right in the pic) is covered with rust and is still holding the acetone/ATF mixture.

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I now understand why vinegar is popular for freeing stuck engines. The rings are rusted solid to the cylinder. I am going to get all of that old acetone/ATF mixture out, and replace it with vinegar, and wait. I hope the cylinder isn't pitted.
I tried Metal Rescue/Evaporust as you’re doing with vinegar. I failed. I’m interested to see if the vinegar is successful.
 
Now that you know exactly which cylinder is seized you could use one of these to exert quite a bit of hydraulic force on the piston crown.
Also it could probably force some of that ATF/Acetone mix past the rings etc.
Obviously you'd have to refit the head and valves, and get a gasket to seal the joint.
I'm wary about using them on an engine "blind" i.e. when you are not sure which cylinder is the one that's seized.
Probably possible to put a couple of tons of force on the rods, with obvious destructive results, but in your case that's not an issue now
 

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Since the head is off, the window for using hydraulics is closed. In the future, I think the thing to do would be to use a bore scope to try to determine which piston is stuck, and then use hydraulics, if that's what you want to do. In my case a bore scope would have easily identified the stuck piston.
One fly in the ointment is that I think 9 out of 10 times the stuck cylinder is going to have an open valve.

In any case, the stuck cylinder is now full of vinegar. I very thoroughly removed as much of the acetone/ATF mix as possible. I'm just going to let the acid do its thing, undisturbed. I have a lot of confidence that with patience, this will eventually work.
 
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Still fiddling around with this bike as a possible resurrection. Been jacking with the engine for over two weeks, and it's still stuck.
The latest indignity is that the tank is badly sprung. Never seen this before -- how does it even happen? The spread at the bottom is a good 2 inches, and you can see by looking at the damper locators that the right side (on the left in the pic) is twice as sprung as the other side.
I'm going to try to fix this by putting one or more wide ratchet straps around it and ratcheting away, hopefully without causing a dent or total collapse. Unless someone comes up with a better idea.
It just occurred to me that I could lessen the chance of a collapse by packing the inside with sand, but nope, probably not going to do that... but I might, it depends on what happens as I begin the ratchetting.
 
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Still fiddling around with this bike as a possible resurrection. Been jacking with the engine for over two weeks, and it's still stuck.
The latest indignity is that the tank is badly sprung. Never seen this before -- how does it even happen? The spread at the bottom is a good 2 inches, and you can see by looking at the damper locators that the right side (on the left in the pic) is twice as sprung as the other side.
I'm going to try to fix this by putting one or more wide ratchet straps around it and ratcheting away, hopefully without causing a dent or total collapse. Unless someone comes up with a better idea.
It just occurred to me that I could lessen the chance of a collapse by packing the inside with sand, but nope, probably not going to do that... but I might, it depends on what happens as I begin the ratchetting.

Someone may have tried pressurizing that tank to pop a dent out at one time.

I've seen them turtle out before when folks attempted it.
 
I remember an instructor at a training centre offering to pop a dent out of my GS750 (suzuki) tank using an airline.
Ended up looking like the tank above, ballooned out.
Luckily those tanks were cheap back then.
1984.
Forty years ago.
That makes me feel old
I suspect that if you ratchet strap that tank, it won't yield at all, then it will suddenly collapse in an instant, fold up.
Maybe not, best of luck with it anyway.
 
Yeah I destroyed a CB900F tank with air.
On the stuck piston;
Rust is bigger than the base metal it comes from, so you now have an interference fit. The worst piston I ever removed was a 500 Husky 2 stroke that mice had pissed in. For that and an XS650 or two, I made a heavy plate held by the studs with a center jack bolt pushing on a hardwood spreader so it doesn't just collapse the piston crown, then start jacking it down a bit at a time. Think that husky piston took a week to remove tightening a thread or two at a time.
(use heavy grease on the jack bolt threads) 3/4 threaded rod is pretty much an irresistible force over time. best to let the cylinder float so's you aren't introducing twisting force to the crank on a twin.
I've used the big chunk of hardwood fitted to the piston crown and 8 pound maul method too....
 
I think you all are right, that it was air that sprung the tank.
Getting the right kind of ratchet straps is not as easy as going to Home Depot or Harbor Freight. I'm about to order $45 worth of straps with shipping.

On the stuck piston;
Rust is bigger than the base metal it comes from, so you now have an interference fit. The worst piston I ever removed was a 500 Husky 2 stroke that mice had pissed in. For that and an XS650 or two, I made a heavy plate held by the studs with a center jack bolt pushing on a hardwood spreader so it doesn't just collapse the piston crown, then start jacking it down a bit at a time. Think that husky piston took a week to remove tightening a thread or two at a time.
(use heavy grease on the jack bolt threads) 3/4 threaded rod is pretty much an irresistible force over time. best to let the cylinder float so's you aren't introducing twisting force to the crank on a twin.
I've used the big chunk of hardwood fitted to the piston crown and 8 pound maul method too....
This is very discouraging. I don't think I have going to the trouble of making the heavy plate in me, but I might change my mind. And, the plate would surely be used more than once.
The only time I ever freed a piston was with the 8 pound maul method. I was impatient, and after a couple of days, made an all-out assault on the piston, removing it in pieces.
There's no rush, I'll spend a couple more weeks tapping and torqueing. Then, I may well make the steel plate, that idea is sounding better and better.
 
I think that I might try welding tabs along the bottom welded seams on that tank.
Tabs with holes in.
Then maybe draw the two seams towards each other with threaded rod.
Still might collapse all of a sudden.
I think what you really need is to persuade someone in India to start making repop '70 to '72 tanks.
I'm not sure that the numbers of surviving bikes would justify it.
I think there were about 7,000 original XS1's built, maybe 19,000 XS1B's and possibly 30,000 XS2's
I wonder how many have escaped the scrapyard crusher ? 5% maybe ?
 
I made a heavy plate held by the studs with a center jack bolt pushing on a hardwood spreader
I need to start reading these responses more carefully...
When I first read this, I envisioned a bottle jack. I wasted a lot of time searching. They make low-profile and mini bottle jacks, but nothing comes even close to being small enough, unless you want to spend in the $100s.
Then I looked at screw jacks. Again, none are small enough.

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https://www.ebay.com/itm/166177654347
This is the only suitable and affordable thing I could find. Exactly what Gary suggested? It's a knock-off of a Starrett. Can be had for less than $30 from India-based eBay sellers.
I think that I might try welding tabs along the bottom welded seams on that tank.
Tabs with holes in.
Then maybe draw the two seams towards each other with threaded rod.
Still might collapse all of a sudden.
Welded tabs are a great idea, but I don't weld. I also think there is a good chance that they would cause localized tearing or distortion of the steel.
I have already ordered the straps. I feel good about them. I'll post results.
 
You're too fancy for me! A 3/4" bolt and a couple nuts is all I used, drill some holes for the 3/4" bolt and to fit several stud 4? locations in a random chunk of heavy iron. (think C-channel) and bob's your uncle.
 
You could reinstall the head, go to the hardware store and buy some adapters to go from spark plug hole all the way down to a grease zerk. Stick grease gun on it and start pumping.
Nice even pressure across the piston. Prolly your best shot at saving the piston.

EDIT: never mind, I see that's already been suggested and rejected... carry on. :doh:
 
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