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$900 xr650l top end help

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I'm brand new here and looking for some guidance.

I picked up a 1996 xr650l with a skeptical 12k on the clock. I got her running and it's got a loud tick in the top end and some oil burning on deceleration. I have some friends at a reputable Harley shop that tell me it sounds like valve guides are causing the smoke. I took apart the top end and the rockers and cam show significant wear.

My questions are weather or not to have the head serviced and cam/rockers replaced or if it's more cost effective to source new/gently used head and rocker boxes. The Harley shop guys are friends and would be doing the valve and head work if I go that route.

At the risk of having lots of opinions I'm curious about possible cam upgrades and any other mods while I'm in there. My ultimate goal is reliability but could be persuaded to hot rod a little.

Thanks

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My 2 cents.

Sounds like lack of oil in top end. Id replace everything with stock.

Thats me. I also get honda parts cheaper so...

But with measuring the shop guys you know should be able to see if you need new guides. Valves are probably good with a 3 angle cut job with matching cuts to seat.

Maybe get new springs though. But id definitely get new rockers if i was you. New cam chain. Hows the cylinder? Might just need a hone and re ring. Again...measure.

But if i was building a motor id not want to go back in anytime soon so id replace it all. More or less.

If you plan on keeping this bike you wont be disappointed.

Cams. Like i said i get a discount on honda parts so i have a new stock cam. Ive heard frowns on hotcams. But the OG builders know of good spots to get a cam done. And their results.

$900 i could build a whole 650l!!!

I forgot to mention. Check oil flow to top end through the top banjo bolt. Or go further and take out your oil pump. Open it up and look at the gears. I had thrust washer shavings in my oil and it tattered up my pump. Had to get a new one. You wanna make sure up top gets oil or youll ruin all those brand new parts up top.

Edited by notoriousE-R-I-C

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If the engine was run low on oil and the cam and rockers are cooked I'll bet my bottom dollar the piston is cooked also. The smoking is not the guides.

 

No, $900.00 will not rebuild an engine with a cooked cam, rockers possible head cam center journal and a piston.

 

But that's just my two cents.

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Thanks for the info. I know a guy that used to work at Honda so I'll see if he knows of any deals I can get. In general I feel like dealerships are overpriced. Any place specific were prices are a bit cheaper?

Joe, what am I looking for at the banjo bolt oil fitting? Just that it has some pressure while running?

Also will check the frame strainer.

Again thanks

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Harley shop...big mistake. Just cause Harleys wear out guides every 15K doesn't mean Hondas will. The smoke is from rings not guides. Replace the cam and rockers, add a new piston or set of rings as needed. Set ring end gap correctly and you should be fine.

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+1    valve guides are not your issue...

 

you can get low mile cams on ebay for fairly cheap,,aftermarket pistons or OE ..your choice..do not reassemble till you check the piston and at least hone and re-ring..

 

 

Aftermarket cams,,,WebCam  or Megacycle.....not cheap though,but wear extremely well and you can get a good boost in power with a hi-comp piston...900 bucks won`t get you that unless you use a HotCam maybe..

B

Edited by brianhare

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Any place specific were prices are a bit cheaper?

I had Steve in San Francisco (mcma111 here) rebuild my engine.  It's hard to find a better deal on the work and you'll know that it was rebuilt by an expert with lots of experience rebuilding XR650 engines.  I'm more than happy with how mine turned out, which is totally stock except for a larger, higher compression piston.  It makes about 5 more hp everywhere, according to back to back dyno runs done recently against a stock 2001 XR650L that was otherwise very similar to mine.

 

I dropped my engine off at his place in the city, by you can ship your engine to him if you live further away.

 

It's an option worth considering.

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One of the valves dropped a seat.. I pulled the cylinder to have it further inspected since a few guys said to do the rings.

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This is a dropped valve. Two actually...

 

If you want the head repaired correctly:

 

Mike at

 

Engine Dynamics LLC
2040 Petaluma Blvd. North
Petaluma Ca 94952

Phone: 707.763.7519

 

 

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