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New owner of Yamaha XT 600 trying to learn and restore this bike


bernek
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Hi guys,

I'm really new to the forums and I've just acquired an old Yamaha XT600 E (3TB) from 1994. It looks quite bad and first I want to have it up and running as it should then move on to the restoration plan. It was bought from a small mountain village where it has been abused quite a lot from what it looks like. The price was fair and I know I will have to invest twice or maybe triple that amount to have it in a decent condition.

First things first:

- the uni-sens bearing from the electric start died instantly and its turning but not engaging. (the bike is at a service shop at this moment for fixes beyond my qualification)

- the handle bar is bent and the foot pegs are toasted also (will replace eventually)

- the stand is bent (hope to straighten this one out)

- missing quite a few plastic parts (will be bought)

- tank is bent (will have this fixed or replaced)

- twist grip not working correctly and it remains engaged at 1/4 - 1/8 throttle. (will change cable if I find a replacement or just oil it and use new rubber grips)

- bike misfires when it was running (changed plug no improvement) maybe the mixture but I doubt it (have to have it running again to check further)

- the valve clearance I've adjusted to 0.1mm intake and 0.15mm exhaust (according to service manual for intake is 0.05-01 and exhaust 0.12-0.17)

- the crankshaft was changed (it had wear on one side)

- the piston kit was changed (wiseco) with new rings - I believe the clearance of the rebore wasn't good since I was told it overheated for quite some time after this job !

- clutch lever and brake lever are quite bent (is it possible to straighten them out a bit ?? or they will crack as soon as I apply pressure to them ?)

- tires completely toasted (will change them both new)

- chain its a wreck and pinions also (will have to get a brand new chain kit)

- some oil spilling from the vents on the bottom end (not sure about the cause).

- the exhaust has been changed to some home made cannon type exhaust ... (will have to buy a replacement original but used)

- electrical is a mess wires going everywhere (will have to take a few days off from work to clear this up)

Now you would say that I'm out of my mind buying this ! but you can find a lot of good used parts waiting for you to pick them up in almost any major city here. I want to get a road worthy bike with off-road capabilities and this was my choice. I needed torque and power and you just can't have them both without a big engine like this one. I was using 125 cc 2 stroke bikes before and I honestly hope this old "tractor" will offer me the best reliability on mixed roads.

I came to this forum to ask for help regarding the most common issues with these bikes and especially what to look for when hunting "bugs".

Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining about the bike ! I love it as crippled as it is and I've made a commitment to myself and to it that it will be "flying" again.

I will post in a different thread when I will have more objective questions !

Thanks for reading this crap,

Bernek

IMG_0680.jpgIMG_0683.jpgIMG_0684.jpgIMG_0688.jpg

IMG_0694.jpgIMG_0701.jpgIMG_0703.jpgIMG_0705.jpg

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  • Moderator

Well done on the English, lot of English kids would not have been able to write that out in English. I'm talking about 17yr olds too.

Bike looks pretty good as is, here in the uk they get a lot worse than that. You have a few mechanicals to fix and then the cosmetics that can cost a fortune, way more than you will ever get back.

Also as far as it goes, unless they are set up to perfection and you are used to them big singles are generally a pain in the arse to start.

Unless you really love it, get it running really really good, and do the cosmetics as and when.

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Thank you ! I'm sure that I make some mistakes but I'm happy that people can understand what I'm trying to say !

The bike is an E model and electric start should be working when I get it back from the service shop. (There is also a de-compressor on the upper right hand side of the engine - but sadly it has no cable attached and I'm missing the kickstart itself and the internal mechanism maybe)

I really need to see that her heart is still alive and kicking (engine working nicely) then I would start the restoring process. It will take a while since I don't have all the time and money needed but each day for 2-3 hours I can work on it and browse the web for used parts.

It won't be a daily ride but I would love to use it on summer afternoons for "walks" around my small city. I live in the mountains and the view is really nice especially if you are driving a bike not a car. 

I'm honestly a bit afraid about the uni-sens bearing (it will be expensive new) ... I hope I will find a good one from a bike with a low mileage. 

If anyone can help me with some compression values (actual values from used bikes that still are in "good" condition) would be nice ! I have the full service manual but lets be honest the bike is not new its from 1994. My spending spree has to be focused in the right direction I don't want to change something that is perfectly fine (but used) because its out of spec (according to the service manual).

Bernek.

P.S. I moved to this bike from a small two stroke engine that was really simple to maintain and repair. But with time I think I will be able to fix this bike myself. The mechanics here aren't that good and they work by very old ideas. 

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Was browsing trough some pics that I have from the bike and something shocking showed up ...

One bolt from the cylinder missing and the case butchered ...

Any way I can salvage this ? using a metal epoxy or aluminium weld ? 

IMG_0706.jpg

I know this is bad ... very bad ... 

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Have you checked to see if the thread is still there, its not leaking oil which is good. May be no oil galleries and such in there so, if there are still threads whack a bolt in and ride.

Even if it needs a helicoil its not a disaster, as i said the bonus is no oil leaking.

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4 minutes ago, Cynic said:

Have you checked to see if the thread is still there, its not leaking oil which is good. May be no oil galleries and such in there so, if there are still threads whack a bolt in and ride.

Even if it needs a helicoil its not a disaster, as i said the bonus is no oil leaking.

It still breaks my heart ! I can't check at the moment only on Monday since the bike is not at my house (it is at a service shop). Will definitely go there on Monday and discuss with them this issue. I was looking at this video: 

 

Which gave me a little hope :) (I now the rebuild in the video is quite pointless since all the engine is cracked ... if you look closely ... and will never be 100% fixed)

Will report back with my findings on Monday regarding this problem.

Thanks Cynic for your support !

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14 hours ago, bernek said:

Was browsing trough some pics that I have from the bike and something shocking showed up ...

One bolt from the cylinder missing and the case butchered ...

Any way I can salvage this ? using a metal epoxy or aluminium weld ? 

IMG_0706.jpg and

I know this is bad ... very bad ... 

Do not lose heart. I have had the thread go on my xt 600 in this particular place . As cynic stated , if it doesnt leak oil, you should be ok. And if there is any thread left ,even better. The two bolts in this picture are not the main ones holding the cylinder head and cylinder in place and if there is no leakage the bike will be ok to run. If you are going to split the engine (and the thread is broken) then buy a helicoil kit. I believe that these bolts are a 6mm thread and a 6mm helicoil kit is a wise investment. 6mm threads on japanese bikes are very common and fragile. Especially if a bolt has been over tightened. With older bikes there is a good chance that you will need to do more helicoils and a kit will pay for itself after a couple of repairs.

As for compression i would be happy with anything over 120psi/8 bar and wold probably be ok with over 100psi or 6-7 bar.

And yes they can be buggers to start. Your model i think does not come with a kick, Just the blanked of casing where the kick used to be (i think). I have an 1984 model with just the kick and decompression lever. Full choke, no throttle push it just after tdc (the point of highest compression) and she starts. Any whiff  of throttle for the first 30 seconds and she will die. With your bike i would spin her over with the decompression lever pulled (again full choke, no throttle) and once the engine is spinning nicely let the decompression lever out  and she should come to life.

Good luck. Your bike actually looks in quite good condition compared to mine.

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1 hour ago, hug said:

Do not lose heart. I have had the thread go on my xt 600 in this particular place . As cynic stated , if it doesnt leak oil, you should be ok. And if there is any thread left ,even better. The two bolts in this picture are not the main ones holding the cylinder head and cylinder in place and if there is no leakage the bike will be ok to run. If you are going to split the engine (and the thread is broken) then buy a helicoil kit. I believe that these bolts are a 6mm thread and a 6mm helicoil kit is a wise investment. 6mm threads on japanese bikes are very common and fragile. Especially if a bolt has been over tightened. With older bikes there is a good chance that you will need to do more helicoils and a kit will pay for itself after a couple of repairs.

As for compression i would be happy with anything over 120psi/8 bar and wold probably be ok with over 100psi or 6-7 bar.

And yes they can be buggers to start. Your model i think does not come with a kick, Just the blanked of casing where the kick used to be (i think). I have an 1984 model with just the kick and decompression lever. Full choke, no throttle push it just after tdc (the point of highest compression) and she starts. Any whiff  of throttle for the first 30 seconds and she will die. With your bike i would spin her over with the decompression lever pulled (again full choke, no throttle) and once the engine is spinning nicely let the decompression lever out  and she should come to life.

Good luck. Your bike actually looks in quite good condition compared to mine.

Thank you very much for your reply and kind words !

I believed those bolts (1 there and 1 missing) are holding the cylinder head but after you've told me that they aren't the main ones I'm a little relived. I have a lot to learn about these engines and 4 strokers in general. I only used to ride two stroke small bikes and this is my first big one. 

Regarding the helicoil kit I will talk to the mechanic that is working on it this time and maybe we find a fix for it !

The bike needs a lot of work and I'm ready for it to come home and start slowly :)

I will get a compression gauge myself from an autoparts store and test as soon as its back home. I also want to learn (with your guys help and the service manual that I have) to be able to fix most of the problems at home since I don't have a lot of cash to spend. I just want someone more qualified to bring in to the floating line this time. Next it will be between me and her !

Regarding my model like you said it has just a blank spot where the kickstart should be its 600E and its only electric start. My plan is to use it 80% off-road or on mixed roads and 20% on asphalt (maybe less). Question here: are the internals there ? if I want to conver it to kickstart.

Not sure how reliable the Electric start will be for me (with no additional kickstart) but I guess these bikes (bigger 4T models) are harder to stall in difficult terrain/technical tracks compared to a small two stroke with no grunt down low at all. 

My plans for it are to lug it around green hills in my vicinity and small Sunday trips (50-100 km long). I hope it will do the job just fine !

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1 hour ago, bernek said:

Regarding my model like you said it has just a blank spot where the kickstart should be its 600E and its only electric start. My plan is to use it 80% off-road or on mixed roads and 20% on asphalt (maybe less). Question here: are the internals there ? if I want to conver it to kickstart.

 

You will need to find a secondhand clutch cover, with the hole for the kickstart shaft, a kickstart lever and a kickstart shaft with all of the bits (pinion, spring and shims etc).  This is providing that the crankcases are the same as the kickstart models which would mean that there is a hole for the kickstart shaft to slot in next to the large clutch pinion. If it was me i wouldn't bother. Too much messing around when you clearly have other jobs to prioritise. If you have a decent electric start it will start ok unless you drop it on the tracks then flood it and then run the battery flat trying to start a flooded engine or something like that.

 

All of the work is doable by you on this bike as long you read the manual take your time. There's loads of information out there in internet land. You will probably make mistakes but this is how we learn....

 

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7 hours ago, hug said:

You will need to find a secondhand clutch cover, with the hole for the kickstart shaft, a kickstart lever and a kickstart shaft with all of the bits (pinion, spring and shims etc).  This is providing that the crankcases are the same as the kickstart models which would mean that there is a hole for the kickstart shaft to slot in next to the large clutch pinion. If it was me i wouldn't bother. Too much messing around when you clearly have other jobs to prioritise. If you have a decent electric start it will start ok unless you drop it on the tracks then flood it and then run the battery flat trying to start a flooded engine or something like that.

 

All of the work is doable by you on this bike as long you read the manual take your time. There's loads of information out there in internet land. You will probably make mistakes but this is how we learn....

 

I won't bother with the kick-start like you said ... its not a priority for me right now :) I need to have the bike working and first restoration point should be mechanical not cosmetics. After that I can start cosmetic fixes and improvements.

I didn't think about the flooding and not being able to start it ... this will be quite problematic for me because I will fall and I will do it several times until I get used to the bike on off road technical tracks ! But if I manage to push it to a slope and try starting it that way I won't discharge the battery and eventually it will start !

I wish had enough money to buy a 100% working bike and not wait for it to be fixed because the weather is getting better and better and sun shines longer in the afternoon and I miss riding ... it will be a blast from a 85cc two stroke bike in almost all situations except lifting it :D

I think in 2nd or 3rd I can start it going down a hill with no problems at all ... time will tell for sure !

Like you said I will have to work on it and fix all the future issues because I can't afford have it serviced every time. 

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Welcome in bernek,  that's a fair project,  maybe best start a  project thread in the workshop section ,etc,,  as this is the newbe section ,:welcome:

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