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  #16  
Old 09-16-2014, 09:30 PM
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Ken Talbot Ken Talbot is offline
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Just for interest's sake, you could take off the valve cover, remove the cams (being careful to tie up the cam chain so it doesn't drop inside the motor), and perform a leak-down test. With the cams out, the valves should all be closed, with even the bent one(s) closed enough not to hit anything when you rotate the crank to bring each piston to TDC for its test. A leak-down test will give you an idea how many valves, and whether intake or exhaust, before you remove the head.
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  #17  
Old 09-16-2014, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red bandit View Post
If you turn it over gently you won't bend any.

That is not a true statement. You don't realize the amount of leverage a piston has at the top of it's stroke and how weak a valve stem is. My very first time to do this type of thing to one of these, I got the cams in time with the crank, then very very carefully, I rotated the crank with a wrench. The cam chain was running beside the crank, not on the crank gear, so the cams never moved. I was busy watching the crank timing. I bent several valves and never felt a thing.

A valve just a little bit open and an ever so slight kiss from the piston.. bent valve. A valve pushed all the way open.. locked up motor and severely bent valves. Probably cheaper to find a used head than buy a handful of replacement valves. But... better still to get in there to examine what's going on.
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Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
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  #18  
Old 09-16-2014, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Talbot View Post
Just for interest's sake, you could take off the valve cover, remove the cams (being careful to tie up the cam chain so it doesn't drop inside the motor), and perform a leak-down test. With the cams out, the valves should all be closed, with even the bent one(s) closed enough not to hit anything when you rotate the crank to bring each piston to TDC for its test. A leak-down test will give you an idea how many valves, and whether intake or exhaust, before you remove the head.

Just curious... Why do you worry about TDC when you're just doing a leakdown test? It shouldn't matter where the piston is just as long as it's still in the cylinder.. lol.

I'm just concerned with moving this motor any more until the head is off. After the head is removed, I usually stand up the head on it's edge.. either on the exhaust ports or the intakes, with a set of the ports straight up. I pour a small amount of gas into the port and check for leaks around the valve. Turn over and repeat for opposite side. Very small seepage can be fixed with lapping compound. Valves that have quite obvious amounts of fuel running out around them need to be replaced.
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Try your hardest to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

You can live to be 100, as long as you give up everything that would make you want to live to be 100!

Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
*Crashed/Totalled, still own
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  #19  
Old 09-17-2014, 01:58 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbig View Post
That is not a true statement. You don't realize the amount of leverage a piston has at the top of it's stroke and how weak a valve stem is. My very first time to do this type of thing to one of these, I got the cams in time with the crank, then very very carefully, I rotated the crank with a wrench. The cam chain was running beside the crank, not on the crank gear, so the cams never moved. I was busy watching the crank timing. I bent several valves and never felt a thing.

A valve just a little bit open and an ever so slight kiss from the piston.. bent valve. A valve pushed all the way open.. locked up motor and severely bent valves. Probably cheaper to find a used head than buy a handful of replacement valves. But... better still to get in there to examine what's going on.
+1!........on top of fact that it was spun over with the starter......agree that a known good head/valves is best option.
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  #20  
Old 09-17-2014, 07:37 PM
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There are motorcycle mechanics out there making a living working on old bikes in little shops, often their own garage. I know several of them. Mechs like that may not know every nuance of an XS1100, but many of them can find a manual and read it, and get an old bike sorted just fine. No offense intended towards Mr. Pain, but some folks shouldn't be dissuaded from taking their bike to a qualified mechanic.
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  #21  
Old 09-17-2014, 10:24 PM
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While there is truth to what you say, Marty, how many times have we heard good stories about people taking their bikes to mechanics on here vs horror stories? What seems to happen most of the time, is people take it to a mechanic, they don't fix it, they charge the person large fees, then they are essentially right back where they started, minus some weight in the pocket book.

It happens often enough that I think the dissuasion is warranted... even though yes, there are some good mechanics out there for those with more money than time.
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Try your hardest to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

You can live to be 100, as long as you give up everything that would make you want to live to be 100!

Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
*Crashed/Totalled, still own
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  #22  
Old 09-17-2014, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbig View Post
Just curious... Why do you worry about TDC when you're just doing a leakdown test? It shouldn't matter where the piston is just as long as it's still in the cylinder.. lol.
.
You're absolutely correct. With the cams off, it really doesn't metter where the pistons are for a leakdown test.

... gotta disengage the brain autopilot more often....
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  #23  
Old 09-18-2014, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Talbot View Post

... gotta disengage the brain autopilot more often....

lol.. Not a problem, Ken. Was just asking.
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Try your hardest to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

You can live to be 100, as long as you give up everything that would make you want to live to be 100!

Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
*Crashed/Totalled, still own
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  #24  
Old 09-18-2014, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbig View Post
Just curious... Why do you worry about TDC when you're just doing a leakdown test? It shouldn't matter where the piston is just as long as it's still in the cylinder.. lol.
Depending on cylinder wear and WHERE the wear is, TDC would be the best place to check it since that would be the highest point of compression. Just my $.002.
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  #25  
Old 09-19-2014, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmechmarty View Post
No offense intended towards Mr. Pain, but some folks shouldn't be dissuaded from taking their bike to a qualified mechanic.
None taken. I aware aware of my limits when wrenching, mostly because I am constantly stretching them.

I have a lot of faith in my mechanic (The Shop in Milwaukee), and have been using them for more than a decade. They aren't cheap, but they stand by their work.

The current plan is to replace the head, which I'll be doing later in October, since I have a couple events before then which will take up my time. I'll share, when the time comes.
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  #26  
Old 09-19-2014, 02:12 PM
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Your shop appears to be a place with the resources to keep an XS1100 going. A place like that doesn't last if they can't turn out a good product. You have to understand, a lot of folks have had bad experiences taking an XS1100 to a professional. I've had errors made on mine when I turned it over as well, but overall my experience with the old time bike mechanic has been good. These days, I'm doing my own work.
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  #27  
Old 09-19-2014, 02:45 PM
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Back in the day before I discovered this forum...I would always take my XJ back to the service dept of the dealer I bought it from. For many years their Service manager worked on my bike and all was well...then at some point in the 1990s they no longer could or would...one of the salespeople had started his own bike shop and the service mgr referred them to me. They would only work on older bikes. I became friends with their main mechanic and he knew these bikes inside and out....most people though are not that fortunate.
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