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Beginner restoration of a 82 XJ550 Maxim

Discussion in 'Hangout Lounge' started by Mancub, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Simmy

    Simmy Well-Known Member

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    Oops! just realized we are talking about a 550, please ignore as your carb spacing is tighter.
     
  2. First82maxim

    First82maxim New Member

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    The surge tank would definitely be a good option ! and local parts are always nice, maybe I could look into that. probably cheaper than i can make one up lol
     
  3. First82maxim

    First82maxim New Member

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    My bike is a xj650. guess I kinda hopped in on the wrong convo lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2022
  4. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Alright boys. You know between a new baby, moving, and all sorts of things it's been slow progress but hey! I'm making small steps!

    I was able to finally get in there and do the Shim swaps, from the last posts of mine you can follow the whole logic behind that. Thanks everyone for the help. I believe that now my valve clearances are now in spec. The moment of truth was finally here, after the bike sitting for like 8 months ish since that last rough run, I got the battery back in, got my little aux tank with more ethanol free gas, and.... can't get the dang thing to run!

    Now, here is the situation. Last year late summer I took the carbs all apart, got it all back together, changed oil, plugs, etc, and got it running (roughly though, with some ghost revving) I was using ethanol free then as well. Thats when I decided to do the valve clearances, and life happened. Now, I believe I put it all back together the way it should be like I had it, but I'm not getting it to turn over. Aux tank just hangs from the handlebars, goes directly into the carbs so no petcock. I let the carbs fill up first then when it stopped I knew things were full and I tried.

    In my other small engines I use ethanol free, and the carb doesn't seem to get gummed up or gross, after the winter I can usually pull a few times and start things right back up!

    Hate is a gentle word for how I feel the process is for taking the carb out from that unholy small space and messing with it;) I'm curious if anyone has any simple ideas for me. Or are things pointing back to the carbs? Any things I can do without taking them totally apart again?
     
  5. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    -Heat gun to soften the boots,
    -Light Smear of engine oil or Vaseline on the manifold boots ... NOT on the airbox boots— you want the stiction to help the clamps hold them in place.
     
  6. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Yeah I've used those tips to help get the carbs out the other times. However, I was more wondering 1. if you guys thought for sure it was the Carbs that needed to be recleaned even though they shouldn't have much in them, just evaporated ethanol free gas, and now new gas. 2. If it is the carbs, is there anything I can put in them, or smaller parts to do prior to a full pull apart again?
     
  7. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    Did you sync the carbs when you put them back on? I’m not seeing that in the description
     
  8. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    I did not sync them. About 8 months ago I had done the church of clean, then put it back together, and got things to run a little bit but it was really rough. So I knew I needed to do the valve clearances as well. Fast forward, I finally did the valve clearances, but now I can't get it to run or fire.
     
  9. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Gentlemen and xj wizards… IM BACK! Couple large remodels, another kid, truck work… but my xj550 sitting in my man cave has been whispering sweet nothings saying it needs attention after sitting so close to finished. So here we are!

    Update on what’s been done. Did valve clearances like 18 months ago, been sitting since. Took the tank off last week and derusted, cleaned, got it back on. Has had a in line filter. Cleaned the bikes outsides. I had done a carb cleaning about 2 years ago before it sat, and it has only had ethanol free in it so shouldnt have much gunk. Sprayed some starting fluid in the air box and got it fired up! Ran high RPMs with choke on, would bring choke down to bring the rpms down but then had to give it some throttle to keep it alive. Thought it was close to idle so needed adjustment is all. Got it warm and drove around the block a bit thinking I’d get the juices flowing. Could not get it to idle well, and then, it stopped starting on its own. (Lucky I threw the starting fluid can in the storage container cause I had a feeling) had to use that a few times to get home. Now I can get it running with a squirt of fluid, but only on full choke. If I give it gas it dies, if I drop choke it dies. I twisted the idle screw this way and that which seemed to have no impact. Just strange it seemed to run better and then the longer I ran it got worse. Last thing I noticed at the end, was the 2 outside exhausts (1&4 sitting on the bike left to right) are cold. (Warm from radiant heat but not nearly as hot as the inside two). STRANGE. I checked spark, and both those outside plugs have spark… so not that.

    alright wizards. Help me get this thing purring, am I missing something here?

    My current plan is to take off and clean the carbs AGAIN, make sure the floats are in spec, jets clean, 2.5 turns out… those outside two not firing make sense why the choke is keeping it alive. Maybe all four ran at first and then over time some gunk worked into those outside two and now it’s not wanting to run? I’m trying not to lose hope haha help!?
     
  10. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    If it is the two outside cylinders, that would indicate an issue with the 1/4 coil… Switch the coil connectors, and the spark plug leadsAnd see if the problem stays with that coil or not
     
  11. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    I was thinking of that idea too once I saw the coils are setup that way. Any idea why when I pulled those two, put a little metal in and let it arc to the plug so I could see that it still had spark? If the coil was bad wouldn't they not spark? It is just odd that it's 1 and 4 if it's something other than coils I guess.
     
  12. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    You’ll hafta do some coil testing then
     
  13. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Do you mean just swapping the two or something more? If you have links or directions to help that would rock if you're thinking of more than just the swap.

    I'm still planning to pull and check the carbs just to be sure they are clean.
     
  14. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    Check with Kmoe in testing values of coils. I just know to swap connections and leads to see if the prom let goes to the other side or not
     
  15. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Well I put the plugs of 2 and 3 onto 1 and 4 to see if anything would work. It wouldn’t fire up at all. So I put them back to 2&3 and it fired for a second. I thought it might be problems with 1 and 4 carbs?
    Looked deeper, took the carbs off drained them, started taking apart. Looking for patterns for 1 and 4 of course took the first jet off and noticed something! The middle two are wet, and 1 and 4 are dry! I’m talking about the larger middle jet when upside down looking at the floats. It screws into that middle slider with the many holes. (Like my expert terms!? Haha attached picture) Noticed on the other side that the area about the membrane on 2 was wet, more than the rest I’d say. (Attached picture)

    Oddly enough the rest looks really clean, no real gunk, all jet holes are clear so far in take apart. I’d any of this pointing to something? My rookie thought is maybe the floats? If 1&4 are dry maybe something with those? They appear very close though, similar spring in them… hmmm thoughts? Direction? Happy to send pics of anything. A neighbor said, “Google said you need to find a pro to get those figured out” I said, “nah I trust my boys at xjbikes! I have the heart to try doing it!”
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 25, 2024
  16. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Hogfiddle is “kmoe” a user? I couldn’t find him in the messaging. It would be good to check coils I guess unless we know it’s not that now.
     
  17. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    Look for “ k-moe “
     
  18. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Got it. Thanks. And any thoughts or direction from anyone on what I found in the carbs!?
     
  19. hogfiddles

    hogfiddles XJ-Wizard, Host-Central NY Carb Clinic Moderator Premium Member

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    Top of diaphragms should be dry. You’re getting fuel backing up on top. I’d check valve clearances, I’d check for pinholes in diaphragms too
     
  20. Mancub

    Mancub Member

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    Alright, quick question, I’ve got the wheels off to take to a local shop for swapping in the tires I bought and then balancing…

    how much do I take them apart? The rear has the sprocket and the drum on still (shoes and cover are off), is that what they want or do I take off the sprocket, the thick axle washer on that side, etc? Same on front, do I leave the disc on?
     

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