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1981 Virago 750

Discussion in 'Other Motorcycles' started by Timbox, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    I can't stay away from project bikes and this winter is no different. I pick up a (lot) of bikes when I was only looking for one. Yes the seller talked me into the lot of five bikes, four with titles and one parts bike.

    The first one I dove into was a 1985 Virago 700, more or less straight forward with all the refreshing on that bike. Carbs, ect...

    The starter clutch gear, well parts in the mail.

    So to the Virago 750.
    [​IMG]DSCN0005 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    Seller said this was a parts bike, the PO said that it has dropped a chain off one of the OHV's. After pulling the plugs out and rotating the engine by hand, there was no compression to be found. Pistons were moving just fine and no binding. Had to pull the OHV timing covers off.
    [​IMG]DSCN0014 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    So the engine is done, but that is not a bad thing, good carbs and lots of metric bolts to salvage. I wanted to see what this starter clutch gear looked like, so pulled the cover. I found some nasty stuff.
    [​IMG]DSCN0012 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    [​IMG]DSCN0013 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    [​IMG]DSCN0016 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    Not only had the rear chain broken in two places, the front exhaust valve spring cover or washer had broken as well.
    [​IMG]DSCN0017 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    I know this is a long first post but just wanted to show all the stuff you don't want to find in a engine and a bike refresh. Good news is I have a donor motor that I just have to pull out of a chopped frame and swap them out. You know it will not be that easy...come on. lol
     
  2. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    What idiot touched that last?
     
  3. Fuller56

    Fuller56 Active Member

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    It took some serious effort to blow one up that badly. I wonder if they were trying to test the rev limits? At least is it clean, broken but clean. Yes, sometimes we have to stretch to find the positives.....
    John
     
  4. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    For the price it still was a good deal. 2 Honda Magna 750's, 1 Virago 700 and 2 Viago 750's. Got all the bikes for the price of one running bike. He needed the room in his garage, so it was good timing for the both of us.

    I just thought I would share the engine swap on this one with the board. Going to do some reading today and see if I need to support the frame in any special way to remove the engine. I have the ability to hang ratchet straps from the rafters in case I have to support frame.
     
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  5. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Was able to take advantage of a warm day here in Wisconsin. Got two motors pulled and stopped at putting the good motor in titled frame. I didn't want to push my luck.

    If anyone ever does this in the future the book is wrong. It tells you to take out the screws on the engine side of the driveshaft. It is wrong, that only holds a plate and has nothing to do with spline alignment on the driveshaft.
    This is the donor bike, don't you love how someone cut the front end off the bike. I would guess it was a junk yard bike and from the right side pipe scrapes it has been in a crash. I would guess the front end was messed up and so they cut it off.
    [​IMG]DSCN0018 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    The engine came out of the donor a little hard, getting it to away from the driveshaft. The titled bike, the junk engine came out nice. I thought it might have been just getting the used to it from the first one. It just seems like a much better taken care of bike with less rust and junk.
    [​IMG]DSCN0020 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    I thought I had better call it a day with both engines out. I should take advantage of the donor motor being out and do the valves with the easy asses. I did test the donor engine before I pulled it. Turned it by hand and both pistons moved with good "feeling" compression. I didn't test the compression, just had plugs in lose.
    DOA motor on left with side cover off, donor motor up front ready for some TLC.
    [​IMG]DSCN0019 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
     
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  6. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Another good weather day, so the engine went back it nicely, not one curse word was said. Put the rear sets on the bike (this holds the back frame to the engine and front of frame, and moved the bike back to a warm table.

    Did the valves, 3 were out of tolerance, cleaned up the covers while I had them off. Checked timing all looks good. Plugged in all the connectors, put jumpers on the bike and turned the key. Hear a relay so that was good. Start button is frozen but was able to jump the solenoid and the starter works! For those that don't know about the starter clutch gear on these bikes, they are terrible. Engine turned over well, front compression was 120 back was not that. I am hoping that rings are frozen and will soak them a few days. I do have spark that is half the battle. On to the carbs today if I wand to drive on snow covered icy roads....hmm.

    Got on the Virago forum finally and chatted about the starter gear. Seems most of the Virago people just use a SS hose clamp to put more force on clip #2 in the starer clutch diagram. They also take either a cutting wheel or a dremel and remove the rounded portions of the gear face that slams into thew fly wheel as the best fix. I have the new starter gear coming but for $200 is it really worth it on these older bikes?
     
  7. Simmy

    Simmy Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to your pics of this. A buddy rode this same bike back in the 80's and I always had a laugh when he pressed the starter. I'm curios to see what goes on there.
     
  8. Fuller56

    Fuller56 Active Member

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    No pinched fingers? No scuffed knuckles? Wow, I am impressed but wondering what was forgotten. An engine in and not a single cussing, that isn't right. Good on you if you could do it though, I have heard of such things but never experienced it.
    John
     
  9. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Here is the new superseded part that is offered. I have one coming of the VX700.
     
  10. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Here here is a pic of the old nasty starter gear on the left. It is very rounded compared to the one of the right. I tired to point out the new cuts to take the rounding off the front of the gears.
    [​IMG]gear by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    The plastic buffer was also party ground off or broken so that was filed off.

    This is my attempt at patching a crack in the "custom" exhaust that is on the bike. The baffles is a large washer welded at a angle 5" from the end of each pipe. This bike will be loud.
    [​IMG]20210205_123409 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    [​IMG]20210205_124618 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    Carbs parts are soaking and exhaust is working up in the shop. Would like to paint the exhaust and have it on when I try to start the old gal.
     
  11. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Worked on the carbs a bit, the donor engines carbs that is. Noting too nasty in them, just the normal varnish but the slide pin was so stuck in one, had to remover the emulation tube and soak them together. Chokes were really nasty, not used to seeking the choke ares so full of old gas and varnish, might be a Vtwin thing. The enrichment jet in the bottom of the bowls are also very plugged. They are still soaking as I had not luck with the bread tie wire and compressed air. I do have two other sets of the 750 carbs that came with the lot I purchased. I think I will see if the float bowls are any better.
     
  12. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Been cleaning and painting the exhaust, back on the bike. Removed the rear tire to inspect rear hub, looks good. Brakes are new on the back so that is one less thing. Cleaned the left side cover from all the RTV that was used. It is strange all the RTV with a new good gasket on the cover too. Engine is still oily from PO, not too sure but I think it was coming from the valve covers and leaking down.

    Got the superseded starter gear in hand, will post some pics of the new and the old before I put it in the bike. That is going in the 700 as the 750 seems to have a good OEM starter gear.
     
  13. Franz

    Franz Well-Known Member

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    Does that operate the same way as a Bendix setup of a car?
     
  14. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Yes but with more moving parts.
    [​IMG]DSCN0021 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    This is the part and number...
    [​IMG]DSCN0022 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    Old left new right.
    [​IMG]DSCN0023 by Tim Brown, on Flickr
    Well I am not too sure that this is the right part for this bike. I thought I looked it up and it will fit a 1985 700, well I tired for a while and had to wold away from the project for a bit. The cover would not go on with the new part.
    After switching back to the old gear but with the shaved mod and the one coil of the spring cut, the starter worked just find. I hit the starter with and the bike not only turned over right away, but started right up. I didn't have oil in it so had to kill it right away. So, the mod fix works just don't know for how long.
     
  15. Franz

    Franz Well-Known Member

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    The damage to the pinion I have the same problem on a car at the moment when the engine fires the pinion is not retracting fast enough and grinding on the flywheel ring gear. A bit of difference in the angle of the splines on your new parts hopefully that will fix it.
     
  16. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Having some issues getting the 9mm hex bolt out of the bottom of the forks. Any advice? If I remember, taking a long wood broom handle and wedging it down there might work. I think in the past I have had to drill many out and just replace the 9mm hex after the rebuild. What have you guys and gals done to remove the bottom fork bolt?
     
  17. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    The real Bendix system (which the rest of the world got from the beginning) requires parts from the US XV1000 or 1100. Notably the case cover as well as the gears.
     
  18. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    Patience and rage :p
    Put the fork back together, and then loosen (but do not remove) the lower bolt. The spring pressure will make a huge difference.
     
  19. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    Thanks k=moe already tried that, put them back together but the inside lower is still spinning. I will try the wood dowel jam trick. If that does not work I have a good drill bit collection and will just drill them out. You got to love the smell of 40 yrs old fork oil. Good think nit was very cold today so the scent was lower. Have them upside down draining all night, will give them a try again tomorrow.

    I think I have some of the metric keys that would work if the lower portion was cast with a bolt or what ever mm hex key was needed. I don't think the older ones had any factory key size on them. So jamming a wood handle down there with pressure and try. I also so one vid, they cut the wood handle the same size as the internals to the cap. The cap was screwed back on tight and it provided the pressure to hold the internals. Might give them both a try.
     
  20. Brent NZ

    Brent NZ Member

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    Does the Virago have fork internals similar to the XJ650? I used a bolt on the end of a socket to hold the lower internals in position. Let me know if you want bolt size.
     

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