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XJ500 "Cafe" Build story :)

Discussion in 'XJ Modifications' started by zburke11, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Hey guys so here is the update. I did mostly a factory reset. Got the original plugs that aren't resistor, also checked the gap, quite different than the ones that were on it. Original 105 main jets are in. Put the 42.5 pilot jets in, just one step up from the original 40. Dropped the needles back down 2 notches from where they were. Then decided to try to do the fuel level setting with the clear tube and all. One was spot on. The other 3 were all about -5 mm. Adjusted them, and then #3 decided it didn't want to shut off. Opened them back up and the pins and everything seemed fine. Blew it all out just in case. Still didn't shut off. Thought maybe I just adjusted the float too far, so I kinda went "extreme" and adjusted it back. Well then I checked the level and it was actually about -2mm. So all 4 carbs were right around -1 to -2mm.
    So I put it all back on the bike, primed it, and set it to run. Boom the bike started right up no spray. This is huge for me, considering I've had to use spray basically every time. It actually sounded pretty good, minus this super loud sound like a dolphin haha. Here's a link to the video.


    I realized that it was actually the far right boot. Must have air escaping so I didn't get the carbs back on super well which I'll fix next time I go out. could also be the fact I replaced all the gaskets from the boots to the manifold cuz they were shot. So maybe I just didn't get it on right. I found out by kind of "lifting" the carbs some and it would change sound and I realized where it was coming from.
    Well... on top of that I checked the plugs after running it. None of them are black so thats a plus. However #1 was pretty clean #2 and #4 were a light brown, and sadly #3 was completely clean. So I felt the pipes and #3 wasn't even warm :( That was the same one having issues with shutting off. I checked the drainage screw while on the bike and it had fuel in it. So not sure what's up. I need to check for spark, and also I'll take them all off again to make sure it is shutting off and randomly isn't too low suddenly. On top of that my turn signals randomly decided to stop working hahaha.

    But!!! it started without spray which is huge!
     
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  2. a100man

    a100man Well-Known Member

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    Good progress your persistence is paying off.

    but this

    May well be due to the fact you no longer have carb support at the rear from the airbox..
     
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  3. MattiThundrrr

    MattiThundrrr Not a guru

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    Ummm, you may wanna take a look at the frame... it seems a little... pink!:oops:
    Just kidding. Great progress!
     
  4. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Yea I wondered about that, but it didn't have the issue before, and plenty of people do it no problem :) I think it's mostly the gasket not being on correct most likely and causing a small gap. I'll mess with it some today.
     
  5. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Do you guys ever post something then realize you're just an idiot and the fix was stupid easy? Welp.. that happened. Took the carbs off and realized after replacing the gaskets for the intake boots I never screwed the 3rd one in... nice. Anyway, I did that. Then also checked fuel levels again just to make sure it was all good. Started the bike up ran pretty ok. It has that thing where when I rev it takes a bit to drop back down. Which I was told is running too lean. Took a pic of the spark plugs for you guys. 1,2,3,4 from left to right. You can see number 3 isn't too colorful. Could be because it has the lowest fuel level. 1,2 have the air fuel screws out only 2 turns, 3,4 have them out 2,5 turns I believe.

    Turn signal problem I haven't figured out. But haven't tried too much either. As the bike was turning over to start the turn signals worked normal. But not when it was actually started or just in the on position. Only when the bike was turning over. I should let you know I switched to LED's and had to run some diode stuff in the front so they all didn't light up, then get a new flasher relay so they would actually flash. The flasher relay has a negative wire ran to the negative on the left starter coil, cuz that's what was shown to do to make it work. Thoughts on this?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Todd A Smith

    Todd A Smith New Member

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    This thing is awesome
     
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  7. k-moe

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

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    Do yourself two favors.
    1. make a bracket to hold the carbs up. The intake boots will not do the job reliabaly for very long.
    2. Get a length of hose and relocate the breather filter up under the tank or seat so it can't get wet, and so the oil mist that comes out of it won't cover your leg.


    The stock turn signal flasher is unique, and the typical workarounds you find for other bikes dont work.
    Do this instead: page-2
    The flasher you need is a two-pin, no-load (or adjustable) positive ground, and it will plug right into the stock location. The second relay is only need if you want the auto-cancel feature to work.

    The plugs look sooty, but 3 almost looks like there is oil on it.
    Do you have, or have access to a Gunson Colortune plug?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  8. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Thanks man :) much appreciated. It’ll be more awesome when it’s running well ☺️

    Weird thing is the way I had flashers set up it worked. It just recently stopped after I cleaned up the starter. I’ll check that other post. Thanks for the heads up on the bracket and relocation of the breather.

    Plugs 1 and 2 are definitely a little sooty. 3 didn’t have oil on it. And 4 was brown. I don’t have a colortune plug but I may order one soon.
     
  9. k-moe

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

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    Since #4 was brown you can use the setting for it as a guide to set the other mixture screw (the other cylinders should not be far off unless they have lower compression than #4, or a fueling issue not related to idle mixture). Set the others the same and then read the plugs again. Nudge the mixture screws about a dimes-width each time you adjust until the plugs all have good color. Pay close attention to the color line on the ground strap, and where it is in relation to each end of the strap.

    Soot can be a sign of being either lean or rich, so listen for popping under off-throttle deceleration. If you hear that then you’ve got too lean.
     
  10. MattiThundrrr

    MattiThundrrr Not a guru

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    No. I never make any mistakes.
    PS. There's an "edit" button.
     
  11. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    if you don't make mistakes you never learn.
    we all learn from others mistakes
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
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  12. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Quick update on the bike, I know it's been a while. Had the bike running well, at least I thought anyway. Had the guy do the entire technical check, import process, and registration. The day I got my plates, I drove it a couple miles to the school I work at, and the bike ran out of gas right as I pulled in our parking lot. It ran well right up until it ran out of gas. Started up fine no problems as well. It did sound low on gas, but I thought it was just warming up still. I got too excited and forgot to check the level before I left haha. Good thing it died at the school though. Well.... then I put more gas in it. It started up but was only firing on 2 cylinders? Pulled the plugs. 1 and 2 were pretty wet, scrubbed them, let them dry, started it up again and it ran, but sounded awful. After a little while the starter just stopped working... I've taken it apart twice and cleaned it up. The brushes are pretty worn down, so one or two of them aren't touching :( Sadly getting a repair kit here in Slovakia isn't as easy as in the US.

    Meanwhile I took the carbs off and decided to check levels. #2 was overflowing some... So I replaced the pin and stuff in it. Checked levels again and they were good. Put it back on the bike and tried to push start it several times. And nothing.... So I'm at a bit of a loss.

    So here is what I'm going to do, and if you guys have any suggestions let me know! As soon as I get the starter kit I'll replace those things. I'll first check for spark. Also pull the carbs off again, use an air hose to blow anything out, that maybe I missed. Check levels again. Do an oil change, because I haven't since I got the bike.

    Could it be that running it out of fuel really messed something up? Or maybe from overflow of a carb there is fuel in the crank case? Would that cause the bike to not even push start at all? Open to any thoughts or suggestions of course.
     
  13. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    when you refill the mikuni carbs you have to rap on the bowls to keep the floats from sticking and overflowing the carbs
     
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  14. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Hoping the starter kit comes in this week. Geez it’s taking 3 weeks to get it here in Europe. Nonsense . Anyway, something I wanted to run by you guys. Sometimes when I turn the fuel to prime I watch it flow and then stop, as it should, because the floats shut it off right? then I put it on run. After the bike sits like a day I’ll go back and if I flip the lever to prime fuel will flow again like it’s filling the carbs? If the floats stopped the first time and fuel didn’t keep flowing, why after like a day would it flow again like it’s filling a carb or something? And then it will also stop flowing like it shut off. Thoughts?
     
  15. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    fuel evaporates through air compensator jet in back of carb across from air jet. compensator jet passage goes directly into float bowl.
    this is normal in the 550.

    or your needle valves are not sealing properly has your oil level risen?
     
  16. Chitwood

    Chitwood Well-Known Member

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    My bikes do the same thing. Since I'm not gaining fluid in the crankcases, I chalk it up to evaporation.
     
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  17. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Update for anyone interested!

    Firstly.... I ordered a starter rebuild kit from a guy here in Slovakia. He said the place said it would take a while. I said "well if it's more than two weeks I can have someone from the US bring it." because I know people that come over every summer, his reply "no! I already ordered it." 5 weeks later he says the contacted him and they can't get it anywhere... So I order from amazon in the U.S. have my brother send it to me. I get it in about 2 weeks. so 7 weeks later I get to fix the starter to check for the real problem why it won't start.

    Replaced the starter parts today. Threw the starter on, boom! Turns over no problem. Wouldn't start though. Sprayed some starter spray in the filters, nothing. Pull the plugs and check for spark. 1, meh, 2 ok, 4 nothing, 3 not great. Plugs are new, and I thought maybe it was the wires, but I decided to check the coils. Of course I'm new to this so had to look up some videos haha. Both coils on the primary side (thats the plug into the electrical system right?) were about 3.9 Ohm. Checked the ends of the wires, with spark plug caps on. One coil was like 18k, the other one, nothing. So I'm guessing that one will need to be replaced.

    Could it be that since I've fixed some things that it was too much and ruined the coil? I mean it's got quite a bit of miles on it and quite a bit of wear. Anyways, theres the update. Trying to find a place to order a new coil, and then we'll go from there. Also should I just replace both? or is just replacing the one ok?
     
  18. Polock

    Polock Well-Known Member

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    might be easier to find 750 honda coils
    @Jetfixer can tell you more
     
  19. zburke11

    zburke11 Member

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    Interesting. I wonder which year. And why the 750? Do the coils basically fit the same? I found some for the xj550 but there about $120 each.
     
  20. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    You can buy CB750 coils new from Cycle Recycle part 2 they are around 39.00 ea and they sell the plug wires and caps as well these fit into stock location you only have to flip them over .
     

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