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81 XS400H – putting the Trusty back into Rusty

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by CaptChrome, Aug 19, 2021.

  1. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Addict

    I’ve since discovered that the CLUTCH cable for a few different Royal Enfields have the requisite connectors/barrel shapes as our brake cable (the drum-side adjuster is an M8 1.25). However, they are shorter than OEM. Since I’m using new bars that require significantly less cable length… I’m hoping this works. I’ve ordered one and I’ll let you know how it works.
    The OEM is about 49”, the cable I ordered is 44.5” (those are the lengths of the sheathing).

    There’s also Venhill Cables. They make custom cables as well. Pricey but great.
  2. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    @AmbientMoto - Yes, please let me know how your cables work out. I am planning something close to what you did with your bars so what works for you will probably help me out when I get to the cable length head scratching stage. It is always good to have some other options, even if they are from other production bikes.
  3. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Addict

    Interestingly enough, the CLUTCH cable for my daily rider (Versys 650) has the correct end bits. I suspect there are others that could be used as well. The best would be a bespoke cable by Motion Pro of Venhill... but if a similar cable already exists...
    CaptChrome likes this.
  4. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    The weather is turning warmer, but you can't ride a motorcycle without an engine. Trusty Rusty now has one as the 391cc paperweight came off of the work bench and got installed. I did everything on the floor as it is much easier for one person to manage. After putting the engine down on its side, I placed the frame over and blocked it to get the mounting bits reasonably well aligned.
    Engine Install 1.JPG

    After installing the lower mounts finger tight, I picked the whole thing up and placed it on the dolly where the lower mounts were tightened up and the head steady installed.
    Engine in frame.JPG

    Finally, I had left the engine completely dry for the install and followed up with the last bit of the head installation procedure by adding oil to the open "tubs" in the head that the cams run through for lubrication (normally done with the cam cover off.)
    Cam Oiling.JPG

    In the next few days I hope to have the all of the components I left off of the case sides back on and the engine crankcase ready for some oil.
  5. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    The plan today was to get all of the case side components back on and put oil back in the engine. The left side was first with the install of the starter motor components, the alternator windings and then routing the engine wiring sub-harness.
    Alternator install.JPG

    On the left I put the shift shaft back in, installed the kick start gear and then started on the clutch. I then found I am missing a shim washer that goes between the boss and the circlip that holds the clutch assembly in place. I looked everywhere in the plastic storage bag, on the bench, on the components to see if it had stuck to something. Nothing. I went to look at the pictures I have been taking, but I have none of the clutch boss. So I went back and searched everywhere again. No joy.

    So, after some hours of looking, frequent use of my special vehicle wrenching vocabulary and one big Homer Simpson head slap, I am dead in the water on the engine until I get a new shim washer. Just so I don't feel like I wasted the whole weekend, I think I will try putting the wiring harness back on the bike - if I can find it.
  6. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Addict

    Well that cable is going back. The entire assembly was *just* long enough... but there was not enough slack in the actual wire to interface correctly.

    Ordered a Venhill universal kit. I know there's enough length there; we'll just have to do a bit of soldering. I'll report back.
  7. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    @AmbientMoto - Too bad it is just a bit short. At least you will get a good look at a Venhill kit. I will look for your assessment of that in your build thread. Thanks for checking this out for us!
  8. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    Not much to report, but I did get the battery box, the inner rear fender and the wiring harness back in.
    Wire harness install 4.JPG

    It is hard to see the harness now that there isn't much rust on the bike! I actually had to use a flashlight to look up underneath the frame to sort the wires at the front of the battery box. I also took some time to fabricate a small bracket to hold the new fuse box in place. It was nice to get some of these large bits out of my bin of parts and on the bike.
  9. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Addict

    Great idea... the fusebox bracket.

    Also... for brakes... the Venhill Universal Kit. U01-1-1-100-BK is the one that worked. Make sure you get the correct kit:)
    CaptChrome likes this.
  10. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    I am back at it again. It is kind of hard to make progress when you are in North Africa for three weeks, and I have a couple of travel commitments upcoming as well that will make progress spotty. But at least when I returned home the shim washer I ordered was waiting for me and I now have the clutch back together.
    Clutch install 1.JPG
    Clutch install 3.JPG

    The side cover is also on and I filled the engine with oil.
    Oil Fill.JPG

    Lastly, I put on the kick crank and turned the engine over 30-40 times with the plugs out to have the oil pump start filling the filter housing and oil galleys. After that the oil level is now in the center of the view port.

    That ends the inspection and refurbishment of the engine. I will see what else I can get into with the time I have right now. I am going to hold off on the carbs until I can do them completely in one go. Sorting through disassembled carb bits after a lot of time away has never worked well for me as I will probably lose some of them (they would no doubt end up with the shim washer, a surprising number of pocket knives and the small sockets and other tools I no longer have.)
  11. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    I got the forks reassembled. Preparation work involved sanding/polishing the lowers to remove the remaining clear coat and corrosion, annealing the copper sealing washers and making up some new seal retaining rings. For the retaining rings I used XS650 retaining rings and just bent them to put the two chingasas on each side and then cut off the excess. New seals and top cap o-rings were used.
    Fork assembly 2.JPG
    Fork assembly 3.JPG
  12. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    A couple more small jobs off of the list:
    The bike did not have the hook that latches the seat, so I make a new one as the basic materials were on hand. My welding will not win any awards, unless there is a "Farm Weld" category, but since I was going to paint the part and it is basically out of sight when on the bike, I just knocked it out.
    New latch 1.JPG
    New latch 4.JPG
    New latch 5.JPG

    I also re-lamped everything except the headlight with LEDs this week and made up the blocking diodes for the turn signal dash light and a ground jumper that replaces the auto-cancelling relay. I did not want to cut the harness or any connectors to make this mod, so everything plugs into existing connectors and can be undone pretty simply.
    Dash lights with LED jumper.JPG

    The gauge cluster is back together and ready to go back on the bike when I get the stem head back together.
    JPaganel likes this.
  13. Jasonsblue81

    Jasonsblue81 colorado Kid

    I commend you for your efforts. I would never tried to tackle that from start. nice going
  14. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

  15. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    Today was the day. I had been dreaming about this for a long time.

    WARNINIG – minors and persons with fragile sensibilities should refrain from reading the following post. You have been warned.

    Just look at these fine twins:
    Carb engine side top.JPG

    Yes, they are a bit weather beaten, as though they have spent a lot of time selling grill cheese sandwiches and Heineken beer out of the back of a VW bus at Grateful Dead concerts. But, I am up for the challenge and in trying to get a bit more intimate with these two, I was surprised that after only a couple of rounds of PB Blaster, both twins stripped completely down...
    Carb Stripdown7.JPG

    ...and went straight into the hot tub without any complaint – just like in my dream!
    Carb Hot Tub2.JPG

    My apologies, but I have the sudden urge to put on the Eagles Hotel California album and crack open a Coors Banquet Beer.
  16. Buddha

    Buddha XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    Did you remove the throttle shafts and seals?
  17. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Addict

    I was wondering the same thing @Buddha . The only way I know that is I just did the same thing. @CaptChrome I found a good place for the shaft seals if you need them; can't find the info atm but I can dig it up.
  18. Buddha

    Buddha XS400 Addict Top Contributor

    Taking a closer look at the carbs in the bath it looks like the shafts are out:cheers:
  19. CaptChrome

    CaptChrome XS400 Addict

    @Buddha - Good eye! The throttle shafts were indeed removed. And I found that the shaft seals that came out were pretty much ossified.

    @AmbientMoto - I already have two sets of throttle shaft seals on-hand in my bag of new stuff going into these carbs, but thanks for the offer of info! I would definitely take you up on it if I hadn't purchased them already. Also, the washers on the outboard ends of the shafts are 0.5mm thick plastic (looks like nylon) on my '81. I know you found brass ones on your bike. One of my washers is in very poor shape, but I have some 0.5mm HDPE sheet lying around and plan to make my own replacement as you did with your brass one.
  20. AmbientMoto

    AmbientMoto XS400 Addict

    Awesome. It's a good thing you had them; I can't find the record of where I found mine. It was a set of four from a random shop. Yes... the washers I found were 1mm, so I tasked my daughter with sanding them down, like you'd do with valve shims. Nylon would have been much easier!

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