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Old 09-18-2016, 09:58 PM
Getzapped Getzapped is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lockport, IL.
Posts: 8
Thanks for the Add!

Just got my account. Thanks for adding me.
I acquired in a trade a 1980 midnight special.
Its in great shape. 20k miles. It was not running.
I did a carb teardown,.
Drained oil which was filled to the top. My guess is the gas drained into the oil over years.
Made a new starter button which was missing.
The petcocks have the dripsies gonna have to rebuild or get new ones.
She runs like a monster now.

Only issue i see is it runs like crap once the low fuel light comes on. Is that a common problem?
1980 xs1100 midnight special
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:56 PM
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DiverRay DiverRay is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Now in Boise, ID
Posts: 6,674
Yeah, the Specials do NOT like to run when low on gas! If the light is on, go to reserve and find a station. Other than that, a TKat fork brace is about the only thing I would say you could use, other that roads with no traffic and less cops!
Welcome to the madness of the XS1100.
Ray Matteis
XS1100 E '78 (winter project)
XS1100 SF
1977 450SL Retirement winter vehicle
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:59 PM
3Phase's Avatar
3Phase 3Phase is offline
XS-XJ Super Guru
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 5,320
Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on finding a low-mileage Midnight Special!

Originally Posted by Getzapped View Post
... Only issue i see is it runs like crap once the low fuel light comes on. Is that a common problem?
Well, yeah, it can be a problem because by design it means you're low on fuel and all engines run like goldfish when they're low on fuel, not just Yamahas. Like Diver Ray said, switch to Reserve and find a gas station.

The warning light is controlled by a thermistor that stays cool and stays off when it's submerged in the fuel in the tank. When the fuel gets low enough to uncover the thermistor there normally isn't much margin between the "low-fuel" warning light and the "you-fool" walking light. If the one in your tank is bent, hanging a little low in the tank, or it's old and just doesn't start to conduct current until a little later than it's supposed to then you're pretty much out of fuel when the low-fuel light comes on.

There is the very remote possibility of an ignition short to the thermistor wire and to ground in the tank but it's far more likely that you are running out of gas when the light comes on. Don't do that.

Welcome to the forums!
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:54 AM
dbmb0416 dbmb0416 is offline
Truly XSive
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Westdale Ny
Posts: 128
Yes I made the mistake of running out gas just once. Now when she hits the 100 mile mark or so I'm looking for a station. I'd rather stop for 5 minutes and put 2 gallons in then walk for 2 hours.
79 XS11SF
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:00 AM
Getzapped Getzapped is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lockport, IL.
Posts: 8
Ok i will make sure to keep it gassed up then!

I forgot to mention my other problem. I had to remove the exhaust to change thr oil filter. It is kerker 4-1 exhaust. And that oil filter cannot come off with that exhaust in place.
1980 xs1100 midnight special
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:43 AM
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bikerphil bikerphil is offline
Master of XSology
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Broward County, S. Flori-DUH
Posts: 7,527
I reckon all bikes are not created equal. I can access my oil filter on my Kerker 4-1 system just fine (no oil cooler adapter) and my Special runs great with only one petcock (right one is blocked off) all the way down to empty on reserve until nothing left. YMMV

79F - owned since '89 - FJ fork mod, solo seat mod, Dyna 3Ω's, 14MM M/C (160K miles)
79SF - every day rider, solo seat mod, Brembo 16MM M/C, Accel 3Ω's, Supertrapp (122K miles)

"If it ain't broke, modify it"

30 year XS11 owner

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Old 09-19-2016, 01:13 PM
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skids skids is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Florissant, CO, USA
Posts: 4,922
Did you flush out the crud in the bottom of the fuel tank and clean off the petcock filter towers? I would try that. Someone said they ran the fuel outlets from the petcocks to a tee to take advantage of the best flowing petcock... That may have been more applicable to standards however.
Skids (Sid Hansen)

Down to two 1978 E's. Both stock air boxes with K&N filters, one with 81H pipes and carbs,
One with Jardine 4-1 pipes. 8500 feet elevation.
03 Honda ST1300 ABS
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:58 PM
Getzapped Getzapped is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lockport, IL.
Posts: 8
Im just gonna rebuild or replace them. Im gonna use the winter to fix it up.
I was messing with it today. Drove around the neighborhood and did some adjustment.
It seems to take a while to warm up.
Like 1 min on choke then a couple off choke.
I did a good inspection on it and it looks like it was dropped. Nothing major, scrapes on the handle bars and a good ding in the headlight bezel and it looks like the front fender is crooked.
I will probably replace the handlebars. I really dont like that long sweeping feel of these ones. It will get ther and i dont want to do any permanent changes. I will need a new seat, my legs are too short.
1980 xs1100 midnight special
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:18 PM
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cajun31 cajun31 is offline
XSive Maximus
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 750
Hey Zap

I too have the same bike you have and also have the kerker 4 into 1. My filter comes off fine. The trick is to drain the oil from the bike....put the drain plug back in. Start the bike and slowly rev for about 10 seconds then shut the bike off and drain oil again. You don't want the bike hot or especially the pipes hot. Running the bike should suck most of the oil out of the filter and allow it to drain from the bike. Once you get to this point remove the filter bolt and allow as much oil as you can to drain out then you should be able to turn the filter enough to clear the pipes. Granted it is messy but can be done. I don't worry about the small amount of oil on the pipes .... it burns off quickly. Some folks just use some carb cleaner to clean the oil off the pipes. Taking the pipes off will ultimately result in your needing to replace the exhaust gaskets. Not doing so will result in popping on deceleration due to those gaskets allowing air into the pipes. Some folks on here will tell you to replace the gaskets anytime you remove and reinstall the pipes. Any how that's my two cents.
80 LG
02 FXSTB Nighttrain
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:48 AM
kevxs kevxs is offline
XStremely XSive
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: toronto
Posts: 350
wow reading this makes me really glad I don't have a kerker 4-1
1979 XS1100SF 37000km
Green Dyna Coils
Stainless Brake Lines

1973 CB100
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:07 AM
Getzapped Getzapped is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lockport, IL.
Posts: 8
I removed them as i am inspecting everything. I am going to have to replace the exhaust. The bottom is smashed flat. It must have been bottomed pretty hard or several times pretty hard.
1980 xs1100 midnight special
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:11 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Portsmouth, Va.
Posts: 12,620
Hey there Zapped,

Regrettably, if you haven't tried to find exhaust systems, they are NO LONGER MADE by any aftermarket company for our bikes, Jardine, Mac, Kerker, etc.! So...if you have an otherwise decent looking and working system, then you're going to want to try to keep it and fix it.

I read a thread on here a while back about a way to get the dents/crushed pipes fixed without any welding on the pipes. Getting a section of chain and getting a steel ball of similar but slightly smaller diameter than the ID of the pipe, but enough chain to be able to get it into the headers, and then out the other end, and then have a way of pulling it thru the pipe and it can press out the dent in the pipe as it passes thru it.

I can't recall how the ball would be attached to the chain, but I'm sure someone will reply on this info.

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Old 09-30-2016, 06:46 AM
Getzapped Getzapped is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lockport, IL.
Posts: 8
It looks like the headers are good and the muffler is intact.
Its the crossover that is smashed. I have welding equipment if i have to make new pipes. And i have been seeing part on ebay. I will get it sorted eventually. Its gonna be a nice winter project.
1980 xs1100 midnight special
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