camshaft confusion

Hey- my 88 xr600 recently quit running on me. A rattle in the top end (i think) developed and it died, and when i tried starting it agian it would run for a few seconds with the rattle then die again, and now it wont start up. I took the engine out, and took the head cover off and took the camshaft out. The plate (part # 6 on this diagram http://houseofmotorcycles.bikebandit.com/partsbandit/oem_schematic_view~schem_dept_id~378534~section_dept_id~1~section_dept_name~OEM+%28Stock%29+Parts~dept_type_id~2~model_dept_year~1988~model_dept_mfr~Honda~model_dept_id~375278~model_dept_name~XR600R.asp)

between the decompression cam and the first cam moves back and forth very easily. Think mabye this is the source of my rattle and troubles?

I think that's part of the anti-kickback compression release, and mine was rather loose as well. I don't think that is the issue.

If your bike has a lot of hours, I'd be concerned about the health of the valves and the cam chain tensioner. Were all the valve clearances within spec when you took the engine out?

My 89 xr600 has some movement in the decompressor cam.

I had a rattle (thought it was the top end) - ended up being worn conrod bearings - piston will rock side to side if one or both are worn.

I would check the valve clearances and cam chain tensioner first (as already suggested) - if the cam chain slips enough, it will never start (happened to me once because of a broken tensioner spring)

all the best

dave

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