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Massaging a bike back to life that has sat for 8+ years

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Posted (edited)

*I'm putting this on the general forum page because I don't believe this topic is specific to this type of bike.

Story time. I recently picked up an '04 crf80 that the seller (original owner) claimed has only had 4-5 tanks of gas through it. Whether or not that's true, I'm not sure. But it does seem to be in impressive cosmetic condition. The guy bought it brand new along with 3 other bikes for his kids (crf 70, 100, and 150) back in 2004. Apparently all the bikes were ridden for a short time and then put away wet. And there they sat for supposedly over 7-8 years. 

I show up at the scene to find a bike that is basically frozen in time. And frozen in most other ways. As expected, the brake lever and throttle are completely stuck. Clutch cable seems to move freely. The engine is unsurprisingly stuck. The oil drained out clean and free from water or other obvious contaminants. The chain seems to have completely surrendered to rust a long time ago. Very stiff. There's evidence that a mouse family happily lived on top of the crankcase behind the cylinder. One thing going on with this bike that I haven't encountered before is the wheels are completely stuck. Because of this, we had to lift and carry the bike to load it on my trailer.

I won't lie, I'm pretty giddy to start tinkering with this little guy. I usually quite enjoy working on little bikes like this. Here are my main questions:

-How do I go about dealing with the stuck wheels? Should I jump straight to replacing the bearings or can they be saved? Should I apply force and see if they break free or is that bad news?

-How would you guys approach the engine being stuck? I'm planning on pulling off the head and cylinder to take a look. My first suspicion is that the piston may have just rusted to the cylinder wall. What do you think?

I'd love to hear any other ideas you guys have for me going into this.

 

crf80.jpg.55e596c53643c8c4a5eefc4832677f6f.jpg

(The bent fender appears to have occurred from something leaning on it, not from a crash)

Edited by jtanman

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Teaspoon of marvel mystery oil down the spark plug hole, carb rebuild, new wheel bearings, clean the pivot pins in the drums and grease them, new chain. Change the oil, run it, change it again. Good to go, or maybe not, but worth a shot if you ask me. Of course that all depends on if you plan to keep it for a long time or not. If so I’d say screw it and just replace the top end as well

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Posted (edited)

Make sure it's not the brake pads, before swapping out the bearing.  However, the bearings are only $10 a set.  New oil, chain, rear fender, lube everything, and SC1 the plastic and you should be good to go. 

Edited by socalxr
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We've bought quite a few bikes that have been sitting for a LONG time.
We...
Fill tires to at least 20psi.
Remove tank, pour the old gas on some weeds.
Check oil, add... or remove some as necessary.
Remove plug, check for spark, good spark, reinstall plug.
Remove carb, clear pilot jet, reinstall carb.
Fresh gas... start it up and have fun.

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I’ve done the mystery oil in the spark plug hole on a Honda 250es big red that was left in a field and apparently locked up. Nike is still running great to the guy I sold it to.

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Thanks for all of the input. I started working on the bike a couple days ago and have discovered more details.

-After taking the flywheel cover off I found that the flywheel has a bit of rust on one side. That'll need attention. I'm hoping the crank bearings on that side aren't rusted as well. Haven't taken the clutch cover off yet, but hopefully the oil that sat in the bike kept the rust away from that area.

-I took off the valve cover and looked at the cam/journals. There's not any crazy wear, at least nothing that's noticeable to the touch.

-The rear axle bolt is seized. I'll need to give it some encouragement to get it out.

-The throttle slide is stuck inside the carb. I'm not surprised. I haven't taken the float bowl off yet but I imagine it won't be pretty. A carb rebuild kit is on the way.

The next step is pulling the engine out of the frame so I can pull the head off and see what's going on there. 

 

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That's a lot of work for a $500 bike. Just start it and go have fun.
Also there's hundreds of threads on this site alone about bikes that have been "rebuilt" that the guy cannot hey started again.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, arthur6 said:

That's a lot of work for a $500 bike. Just start it and go have fun.
Also there's hundreds of threads on this site alone about bikes that have been "rebuilt" that the guy cannot hey started again.

As I mentioned before, the engine is locked up. So starting it up isn't an option yet. ? I hear where you're coming from though, and I should say that I got this bike to primarily enjoy as a project. Heck, I might have more fun working on it than riding it ?. Plus I did just pay $350 for it, which I believe gives me a little elbow room financially.

Edited by jtanman

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Mystery oil or PB Blaster in the spark plug hole. Socket wrench on the flywheel nut and work it carefully back and forth. The piston rings are probably just stuck to the cylinder.

 

Has worked for me more than once.

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Just let that mystery oil soak a few days it’ll most likely free up with some wiggling back and forth as mentioned.

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We've bought, sold and parted out about 200 small XRs... Only had a couple that had stuck engines... I know how it happens... but how does anyone let it happen???

 

 

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9 hours ago, arthur6 said:

We've bought, sold and parted out about 200 small XRs... Only had a couple that had stuck engines... I know how it happens... but how does it happen???

I can't imagine your knowledge of engines is much, after all you think octane relates to power.

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Might not be much but we sure enjoy the fuel additives

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Seems odd that it would have so much rust in a fairly dry part of the country ....but maybe the PO had it stored where there were wild swings in temperature, promoting condensation.

Your stuck wheels are very likely the drum brake shoes frozen to the linings ?

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36 minutes ago, ss-racing said:

Seems odd that it would have so much rust in a fairly dry part of the country ....but maybe the PO had it stored where there were wild swings in temperature, promoting condensation.

Your stuck wheels are very likely the drum brake shoes frozen to the linings ?

Thanks for the tip! I'll be sure to check those out.

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