Author Topic: Getting ready to start on my XS 500 after it has sat for over 15 years..  (Read 329 times)

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Offline werner1

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Hey guys!

Newbie here, but no stranger to forums by any means ;)

I've had this 76 XS500 for almost 20 years,..  and it has sat for the last 17 in a garage ... with gas in it (I know, STUPID!) ..

I already had the tank redone last year and I'm getting ready to pull the carbs and go through them. I also need to rebuild (?) or pick up some new petcocks(?)..  Then I'll move onto other areas.

The bike did run fine before it sat so I'm pretty confident she'll be back up in running with out too much trouble ... hopefully :D

Rick

Offline Vince

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Just something I wanted to share with everyone. I'm always puzzled when the idea of leaving gas in a stored bike is bad for the tank. Maybe I'm just lucky, but when I started restoration of my '78 three winters ago, I found there was still half a tank of fuel in it. Thinking this was going to be a real mess inside, after disposing of the old stuff, I was surprised to find it in pristine condition. Even the seals in the petcocks were in good shape. Maybe this tank was saved because the previous owner had stored the bike inside his heated garage since 1982! Maybe because there was a good seal on the gas cap and no air could infiltrate the tank! Or, maybe the old stale gas probably still contained lead and no ethanol. Nevertheless, I'm grateful there wasn't (and still isn't) any issues with the tank!

Offline steve

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It's good that your bike was stored indoors; an old bike can literally be ruined by bad storage.   But even a bike stored in an enclosed garage may have lots of hidden deferred maintenance.   Typically it will have dried fuel residue and aluminum oxide corrosion in the carbs (i.e. clogged jets and passages, and possible crusty and leaky floats).  It will almost certainly have hardened tires, and some corrosion on the electrical connectors.   In humid climates, expect some condensation (moisture) and corrosion inside the motor, unless the motor was turned over regularly and the oil was changed from time to time.   And of course there is the inevitable deterioration of the rubber parts like carb boots and fork seal covers, etc.   

The typical post-long-term-storage resurrection procedure involves cleaning out the fuel tank (and possibly relining it with POR15 or Caswell's if it has rust inside), carb inspection and possible carb rebuild, removing the cam cover and inspecting for corrosion on the cam lobes, disconnecting all electric connectors and cleaning them with contact cleaner and coating them with silicone grease, draining the oil and looking for water, rust flakes, etc.

It is important to remember that many internal engine parts will have little or no oil on their wear surfaces, due to sitting for so long.   The first few moments after startup could do a lot of damage to those un-lubricated parts.  This means you should prime the oil circuit if possible.   I haven't had to do this on my bike, so I can't give you step-by-step instructions.   There is an oil line on the back side of the cylinders on my TX500; it might be possible to inject some oil in that passage before trying to start the bike.  I have seen restorers use a hand-pumped oiler, or even a huge syringe filled with oil to get oil in the passages before startup.  They keep injecting oil until the see it reach the top end.

Offline Vince

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As you pointed out Steve, I had my concerns during the rebuild, but the further I got into it, the better it looked. I did a full rebuild on the engine, carbs, brakes and new tires. The forks didn't leak, but I replaced the seals in them anyway. All the other rubber was still good! Even the seat looked NOS. Our Canadian (west) winters are long, cold and low in humidity. This may be why there was very little preservation of the parts required. It WAS a lucky buy!

Offline werner1

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Vince & Steve - Unfortunately I wasn't this lucky... I'm not sure exactly how much gas I had left in the tank, but when I went to clean the tank out last year it was this thick gel like globby substance that oozed out ... I put some rust removal stuff in there and left it for months at a time, and it was working, but ended up taking it in and having it professionally done. I'm not sure of the process was used, but it has this dark red coating on the inside now.

I haven't had a chance to pull the carbs yet as I ran into an electrical gremlin on my 85 V65 Magna... hopefully this weekend I'll the carbs off and see how bad they are,.. I'm sure they're horrible :D ... I have a good ultrasonic cleaner, so I'm sure after a good scrubbing and a couple passes through the cleaner, they should be good to go...

I also found a complete tune up kit for it that I had bought back all those years ago so that's one less thing I have to come up with.

I need to find out the best solution for an air filter as well,.. mine is "gone".. .. I think I had bought a couple of individual pods for it back in the day,.. but now I'm thinking I'd rather have one that fits in the factory air box (?)

Offline steve

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Here's an old thread with info on air filters:   http://www.xs500forum.com/index.php?topic=2116.0

Avoid pods; "rebuild" your old filter with some new foam.

Offline werner1

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Here's an old thread with info on air filters:   http://www.xs500forum.com/index.php?topic=2116.0

Avoid pods; "rebuild" your old filter with some new foam.

Yeah that's part of the problem... I don't have the cage at all.... No idea where it went  :-[