New Member Here...with one quick question too.


20 replies to this topic
  • cjcosmos

Posted May 17, 2007 - 09:05 PM

#1

Hello to all..

I am the proud new owner of a 1983 XL600R. I found this bike in a local classified ad and after searching Thumpertalk and other websites for information on her, I took the plunge.

The previous owner of the XL spent some time spiffing the bike up before I came upon her. The frame was sand blasted and painted factory red. New plastics, tires, seals and bearings were installed. All suspension components were cleaned and the swing arm painted. Overall, she is in great shape.

Some areas of attention are needed, however. The electrics need to be given a once over as the turn signals and headlight do not function. The front brake caliper needs to be rebuilt as it sticks and drags on the rotor.

So here is the question! I started and ran the XL for about 2 minutes this afternoon. Startup was a little tiresome for me as I am still getting used to how to start the thing quickly, but nothing out of the ordinary. This evening being the first time that I have ridden the bike, I only went around the block. When I got back to the garage, the bike quite suddenly died. No warning, sputtering or anything. She just quit as if I had pressed the kill switch. After numerous attempts at starting the bike up, I gave up having had no luck. I went on to check a few things:

* I pulled the plug and found a healthy spark/the plug was dry
* Adequate compression
* Fuel runs freely from the petcock
* When kicking the motor over, no combustion sounds were notable
* A small amount of fuel dripped out of the overflow tubes from the carburetor(s).
* The battery is, well, dead. I mean dead dead. Won't hold a charge dead.

I must be honest and say that I am a little scared about my new, non-running XL :) She is my first bike! I thank you all for any advice thrown my way and am extremely appreciative!

Take care all,

Chris

  • DOHCFOX

Posted May 17, 2007 - 10:03 PM

#2

Hey cousin Chris!

You'll recall that the bike had been sitting for a while. Do you think that the float in the primary carburetor might be stuck shut?

Thoughts anyone?

JT

  • ofarrellfitz

Posted May 17, 2007 - 10:58 PM

#3

Hey Chris--

I too have just purchased a 1983 XL 600 here in California a couple weeks ago. :D

First, congratulations! This is a truly awesome machine. :ride: I didn't get a whole lot of love for my first post on here, about the clutch actuator seal, because I think most guys on this forum ride XR's and think XL's are for grannies or something. HOWEVER, there is another site, called Cycle Chaos that is more open to anything bike related... and the admin will respond about any old thing. Also, http://www.aimoo.com...hreadID=2106532 has an XL only page.

That being said, ThumperTalk is where most of the experts hang out, period. I would extensively search everything related to your topic and read up on other threads. They've detailed, although searching can be time-consuming. It is a great archive of info and where you will probably find all your answers. OK, TT, I've stroked your ego...

First off, get a new battery in that thing. Follow dude's recommendations about a possible stuck float and clean your carb really good. Possibly drain the gas out of it, if it's real old. Refilling it with new. Finally, check the wiring and make sure the lines from the stator are running what they should. It can be kind of a hassle, but from what I know about these machines, they're dead reliable, once you get some basic kinks worked out. If it doesn't smoke, it's probably something simple, and once you have it figured, your love affair with this bike will begin again.

BTW, how much was it? I paid $1100 for mine, and it's in cherry condition. I had to replace several things, mostly minor to get it up and blasting, and still have a few things to go, but that beast is running loud and proud now!:bonk:

Don't feel discouraged though-- part of the fun is cracking it open and learning about it-- it will only increase the bond you have with your machine. I don't know a whole lot about mine, but I'm on this forum every day, and I'm taking another piece of my XL apart every day, cleaning it, oiling it, revving it up. They've a whole lot of fun, and good luck with it!

I know somebody else on here has your exact right answer, so be persistent, and know that answers take a little while.

All the best from a native Montanan, raging around San Francisco on the big red beast.:)

  • roryscott30

Posted May 18, 2007 - 01:36 AM

#4

What about decrompressor mechanism, ie being stuck open/partially open.
You mention no combustion noise.
Good luck!

  • Firelyle

Posted May 18, 2007 - 03:49 AM

#5

Start with the basics as you have and work your way up. Be very logical as I'm sure it is something probably very simple. Check the decompression system and carb too. You mentioned the lights did not work. I would check that electrical system too. I'm not familiar with the XL's ignition system, but the dead battery and lack of running lights makes me wonder if you don't have a ground issue (or lack thereof) with your system. Good Luck

  • cleonard

Posted May 18, 2007 - 06:03 AM

#6

It is almost for sure something carb related. If you see a spark then usually it means that the ignition is OK. The battery is only for the lights, it has nothing to do with the engine. The ignition works form power generated by the stator. The stators can fail. Many times the stator will work fine when cold, but not work when it gets warm/hot.

Since you saw gas coming out of the carb overflow, that indicated that there is some crud keeping the float valve open. There is too much gas in the carb and that caused too much gas to get to the engine stopping it. Take a look at the tank. Is there rust? It can get to the carb and jam the valve open. If there is a lot of rust it will need to be removed. Do some searches and you will find several options. The float valve has a little rubber tip and that could also be shot. Twenty four old rubber can be a problem. Expect to be replacing some all over the bike.

You might not have to take the carbs apart, although it is a good idea as there might be many things in there that need cleaning. Try draining the float bowls. I'm pretty sure that there is a drain that is operated with a screw. Drain out the gas. Leave the drain(s) open and open the petcock so gas runs out. Then close the petcock and the drains. That might get you going.

Consider a fuel filter between the tank and carb if this becomes a recurring issue.

I have brought several bikes back that have sat for many years. Rust and crud in the tank causing these kind of issues is one of the largest problem areas in old bikes.

If you do not find the answers your are looking for here, you can try the vintage forum category as well. There is a different set of people there and they all have dealt with the problems that old neglected bikes have.

  • martinfan30

Posted May 18, 2007 - 08:29 AM

#7

welcome! you have spark, compression, fuel TO the carbs. you have a carb issue. good luck, and just remember, its just nuts and bolts!:)

  • DOHCFOX

Posted May 18, 2007 - 09:13 AM

#8

I was looking at the bike last night with my cousin (who owns the bike) and we did find that there was adequate spark at the plug and that the plug was bone dry when we pulled it from the head a few minutes after the bike shut off.

Could this mean a sticky float is sticking shut and cutting off fuel?

JT

  • martinfan30

Posted May 18, 2007 - 09:37 AM

#9

not if you had fuel coming out of the overflow tube, that would mean stuck open letting fuel to continuosly run into the bowl. im thinking since the plug is dry, you may have clogged jets and or passages in the carb.

  • Motosprtman

Posted May 18, 2007 - 11:41 AM

#10

not if you had fuel coming out of the overflow tube, that would mean stuck open letting fuel to continuosly run into the bowl. im thinking since the plug is dry, you may have clogged jets and or passages in the carb.


ah grasshopper... when float needle is stuck fuel will continously run through carburator via overflow tube, it is just like running out of gas. That is, insufficient fuel is retained in the float bowl (s) to enable thge engine to keep running and thus the quick stop you encountered. It simply ran out of gas. Correct sticky float needle and motor will run. This is also why XL start hard low fuel level in carb - caused by sticky float needle. Item #2 on LH carb is culprit.

02 VALVE SET, FLOAT 002 $21.89



When you can snatch the 10mm from my hand - it will be time for you to ride.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • martinfan30

Posted May 18, 2007 - 11:53 AM

#11

ah grasshopper... when float needle is stuck fuel will continously run through carburator via overflow tube, it is just like running out of gas. That is, insufficient fuel is retained in the float bowl (s) to enable thge engine to keep running and thus the quick stop you encountered. It simply ran out of gas. Correct sticky float needle and motor will run. This is also why XL start hard low fuel level in carb - caused by sticky float needle. Item #2 on LH carb is culprit.

02 VALVE SET, FLOAT 002 $21.89



When you can snatch the 10mm from my hand - it will be time for you to ride.



i stand corrected, thank you!:ride: :)

  • cleonard

Posted May 18, 2007 - 12:04 PM

#12

One more thing. If you don't already have one, get a shop manual for the bike. The real Honda ones are by far the best, but a Clymer is way better than nothing. Check for them on ebay. They come up from time to time.

  • DOHCFOX

Posted May 18, 2007 - 01:23 PM

#13

Gentlemen,

The carb overflow was not peeing a continuous flow of fuel if not releasing just enough to get things wet and create an 8 inch puddle on the floor while we went inside to drink a few beers and chat....25 minutes? Anyways, I think a rebuild is in order.

Regards and a warm thanks,

JT (the XL owner's cousin, I'll get Chris to post this evening:thumbsup: )

ah grasshopper... when float needle is stuck fuel will continously run through carburator via overflow tube, it is just like running out of gas. That is, insufficient fuel is retained in the float bowl (s) to enable thge engine to keep running and thus the quick stop you encountered. It simply ran out of gas. Correct sticky float needle and motor will run. This is also why XL start hard low fuel level in carb - caused by sticky float needle. Item #2 on LH carb is culprit.

02 VALVE SET, FLOAT 002 $21.89



When you can snatch the 10mm from my hand - it will be time for you to ride.



  • DOHCFOX

Posted May 18, 2007 - 01:25 PM

#14

ah grasshopper... when float needle is stuck fuel will continously run through carburator via overflow tube, it is just like running out of gas. That is, insufficient fuel is retained in the float bowl (s) to enable thge engine to keep running and thus the quick stop you encountered. It simply ran out of gas. Correct sticky float needle and motor will run. This is also why XL start hard low fuel level in carb - caused by sticky float needle. Item #2 on LH carb is culprit.

02 VALVE SET, FLOAT 002 $21.89



When you can snatch the 10mm from my hand - it will be time for you to ride.


In this scenario, would the float needle be stuck open or closed? Open to some extent....I imagine.

  • cleonard

Posted May 18, 2007 - 01:39 PM

#15

In this scenario, would the float needle be stuck open or closed? Open to some extent....I imagine.


Yes, it is not quite closing. It could be due to some crud stuck in there, or it couldd be because the rubber tip had degraded and it no longer seals. The drain procedure that I put here earlier should dislodge crud. If it still leaks then it is usually the rubber tip that is bad.

Recently I put an old Honda 1980 CM400 that had been parked for 24 years. It had rust in the tank and teh carbs were full of crud. After cleaning the rusty tank and the carbs, I would occasionally get the leak just like you described. A fuel filter and a few drain the carb cycles and it has been fine since. I did not "rebuild" thje carbs, just opened them up and cleaned them. It took about 3 cycles of cleaning before it would run right.

  • DOHCFOX

Posted May 18, 2007 - 01:45 PM

#16

Yes, it is not quite closing. It could be due to some crud stuck in there, or it couldd be because the rubber tip had degraded and it no longer seals. The drain procedure that I put here earlier should dislodge crud. If it still leaks then it is usually the rubber tip that is bad.

Recently I put an old Honda 1980 CM400 that had been parked for 24 years. It had rust in the tank and teh carbs were full of crud. After cleaning the rusty tank and the carbs, I would occasionally get the leak just like you described. A fuel filter and a few drain the carb cycles and it has been fine since. I did not "rebuild" thje carbs, just opened them up and cleaned them. It took about 3 cycles of cleaning before it would run right.


So, to summarize: If the float needle is a little open, the floats will not fill adequately with fuel and the motor will starve and shut off? The float needle might become lodged open due to debris or a faulty float needle tip?

  • DOHCFOX

Posted May 22, 2007 - 05:33 AM

#17

Quick update: Chris and I got the XL up and running again after tearing the carbs apart and cleaning them. The bike still takes some effort to start but seems to idle well and pull strong when ridden.

Thanks for all of the help! :)

  • cjcosmos

Posted May 24, 2007 - 10:27 PM

#18

So it appears that this weekend will be the first outing on the XL. I am really excited, this being my first bike and all. Maybe I can get some pictures posted of the beast during the first ride.

Cheers!

Chris

  • cjcosmos

Posted May 26, 2007 - 08:32 PM

#19

Before embarking on my first ride on the XL I decided I'd have a look at the wiring. My headlight, blinkers and tail light had not been working but I chalked it up to a bad battery. Before installing a new battery, I tested for voltage at the tail light harness and found ~1.8-1.9 volts at the +pins. I checked for proper ground and found the same condition at the same pin as well as others.

Do I have a bad stator? Thoughts?

Take care all and have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend,

Chris

  • cjcosmos

Posted May 26, 2007 - 08:41 PM

#20

Here is a pic of my XL:

http://picasaweb.goo...095823509742034

Enjoy!





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