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help me decide !

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by klootwyk, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    I'm considering purchasing a 1983 maxim 400 that I've foud cheap locally. problem is that it has been sitting outside for years, with the clutch cover off. other than that the bike looks to have everything on it, except the front brake lever. I can purchase it for $100. is it worth it, or am i just getting into a money pit? is the uncovered clutch going to mean big internal problems? (having been outside in rain and snow). it is going to be my first motorcycle and a winter project. good idea?? thanks in advanced!!
     
  2. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Buy it and part it out, but don't expect to get a cheap running bike out of it. It will probably cost the better part of $1500 to get it street legal, if you do all of the labour yourself. And that isn't accounting for any internal damage to the engine. What would 400lbs of scrap metal pay in your area? That, less the cost to deliver it to the scrap yard, is the value of the bike as it sits. I'd take the bike for parts, if it came with a valid title, but I wouldn't pay much for it.

    Why was the clutch cover removed in the first place? Fried clutch? Bad oil pump? Crashed and damaged cover?
     
    klootwyk likes this.
  3. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    Good idea! it will come with a valid title, from what i can tell. i believe the story is that the person had two of these bikes, and was going to use this one as a parts bike. but all they ended up using is the brake lever. they claimed that they took the cover off because it was nicer than the one on the project bike, but decided to never swap them. they just never bothered to put the cover back on, odd i know? seems as though everything is there though. he has the caliper and the cover on the side. not sure about the scrap metal pricing here, but it can't hurt to have a parts bike sitting on the driveway! im attaching some pictures of the bike. thanks for the reply
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Lego

    Lego XS400 Addict

    I would have 10 bikes in my garage if i can find them for 100Euro in europe, or Slovakia :)
    my call, take it, its like for free.. you can see if it can be repaired, start with engine. if you fail, you have donor bike with a lot of good parts, and search for a new project :)
     
  5. Jeff0133

    Jeff0133 XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    Take it, I bought a crashed bike in way worse shape than yours for 100$....TOTALLY WORTH IT...
    But, like Dave said...putting a 30 year old bike on the road isn'the cheap, I'm upwards of 300$ now just on the engine rebuild...and it's not even done yet.
    A lot to consider here
     
  6. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    Thanks guys, think it's best I go for it. I'll keep you posted when I get it home!
     
  7. Jeff0133

    Jeff0133 XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    ...if you are willing to learn and good with your hands...it's loads of fun
     
  8. dgoodsy

    dgoodsy XS400 Enthusiast

    Are you set on getting an xs400 maxim? If you are then go ahead and get this one as a parts bike. Keep in mind the maxim is different than the sohc xs400 and not many parts are common between the two.

    If you are not set on any particular bike then I would suggest not buying a parts bike before you get the primary/project bike. Either way good luck!
     
  9. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    I'm actually not overly interested in the maxim 400's. but with it being so cheap, its hard to say no. my original plan is a late 70's xs 650 or 750 for a bobber, but im thinking it might be better to tinker around on this 400 until i find what im looking for. my plan is to get it home, and look over to see what the damage truly is and if anything is salvageable. if it seems like it can be saved, ill try to fix it up ad sell it or part what is of any value. if its just scrap metal, like im expecting for $100, then ill write it off as a learning experience and take it apart and put it back together for fun, like a cadaver haha.
     
  10. dgoodsy

    dgoodsy XS400 Enthusiast

    I must have missed reading the $100 purchase price. I would say its hard to go wrong with that, if it doesn't run you should be able to part it out for that pretty easy, if you are up for taking it apart, advertising, shipping (if necessary) etc.
     
  11. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    This is probably a dumb question. But is there normally oil in where that clutch cover goes? I can see where the main drive gear meets the clutch. But is there oil sitting in there when the cover is on? does the oil in the crankcase flow through to the clutch cover as well? I'm new to bikes. But have heard the term "wet clutch" making me think that the clutch would require oil, as well as that primary drive gear needing lubrication as well. In the picture I can see the drive gear is very rusty. Assuming from being exposed to the elements.
     
  12. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    here is a close up of the clutch etc.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Jeff0133

    Jeff0133 XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    Yep, bathing in it actually.
     
  14. Ouch!!! That will all have to be stripped down, and cleaned to see IF it is recoverable? If not it will all have to be replaced. There isn't a short cut on this, it will be very time consuming, with the possibility of it having to be thrown out, and replaced. As for your question, Yes, it is a "Wet clutch" with it actually running in an oil bath!
    I hope that this has been of help to you?

    Merlin
     
    klootwyk likes this.
  15. Jeff0133

    Jeff0133 XS400 Junkie Top Contributor

    Get the manual on this forum, take the whole engine apart as I'd be suspicious of water/corrosion also in the crankcase. Check everything as per manual specs, clean everything, oil everything and it should be ok. If the plates in the clutch are not warped and still within 3mm or so you should be able to just clean it and reassemble Imo.
    All depends on the amount of time/money you wish to spend. At the very least you'd need a gasket set and an oil seal set wich will probably set you back about 100$
    Oh ...almost forgot, if you don't intend on replacing the connecting rod bolts, don't take them off as they cannot be reused and are somewhat a bitch to find...anyway the conrod bearings are unavailable so it is pretty pointless to remove the con rods from the crank...I made that mistake myself....ended up costing 40$ for bolts:doh:
    Anyway...have fun with it...could become a nice little city bike
     
    klootwyk likes this.
  16. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    Thank you guys for the help! Your answers went above and beyond what expected. I'm thinking I'll inspect the engine, and if it's too far gone then I'll part out what has any value. If it doesn't seem to bad, I'll get the gaskets and seals on the way!
    What could go wrong?! Haha
     
  17. Hahaha, Famous last words there Kloot, when dealing with the Maxim, Murphy's Law applies! (IF, it can go wrong, it will!) With dealing with these bikes, always look to the dark side of things, and be pleasantly suprised, when things go right for you?
    It's like all things, a case of swings and roundabouts, what you may lose on the roundabouts, you may gain on the swings!
    You may be lucky, and be able to use those parts, again. Don't count on this being the case, on all the parts. After all with a 30+ year old bike, some parts will be well worn, while others, will be almost pristine! Just be careful when ordering your spare parts, make sure that they are for the specific year.

    Merlin
     
  18. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    Appreciate the input Merlin :D I know I'm going into it hopeful and naive. But for $100 what have I got to lose ! I don't intend on dumping too much money into it, I know almost certainly that it will be used to sell for parts, and hopefully pay for a bike in better shape.. but I like the optimism of thinking its a diamond in the rough ;) just excited to see a bike sitting on my driveway! A dream of mine. Second step is fulfilling the bike roadtrip dream (preferably on something restored or newer haha)
     
  19. Tate

    Tate Knowledge speaks,but wisdom listens

    Hey Kloot. You have the same attitude I had when bought my first bikes back in July. Always wanted a bike and at 42 years old I finally got one. Well two actually. One was a "parts bike". Both for just over a grand. At the time I thought a decent deal, and I still do (optimist) and even though 3 months later and maybe a hundred hours in, and $1000 so far, I'm guessing I need hopefully no more than $500 to get one safetied. I don't plan on selling either so...
    These bikes were in a garage for twenty years. So like Merlin said, some original parts are in great shape, others are shite.
    But with the forum as guidance and friendly people who want to help out cause they are good people (shout out to Dave from Drumbo), I've plugged away at my own pace with a budget that's slowly creeping up. But really enjoying it and learning lots.
    Cheers
     

    Attached Files:

  20. klootwyk

    klootwyk XS400 Member

    Thanks Tate, happy to know I'm going into it with good help. Love the bikes btw. Looking good. Glad you got to make it happen! I'm hoping someday I'll be that close to completion!
     

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