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1983 xr500r where to start?

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I got this 1983 xr500r off someone who was moving out of my neighborhood. It has a huge hole in the fuel tank and has sat along side a house for ten years. I got it started but I have some issues which are confusing me pretty good. Here is my challenges: What is the thingy sitting on the center of the valve cover between the carbs? Why has it shot out of the valve cover and landed between the carbs followed by all the oil in the bike? How do I reset it? There is a spring on it and it has a cable seat but no cable is connected to the seat. I wired it to the frame with a peice of speaker wire and that keeps it in place for now but can someone help me get this solved. I went to BIKEBANDITS.COM and found some schematics but that part was not on the list. I don't know what it's called or where to find any info on it. I also noticed that the clutch actuator is leaking oil like pretty fast. How hard is it going to be to replace the oil seal under the case and on that rod? I don't have either side cover and there wasn't any available anywhere I looked on the web. Can someone let me know if there are any companies offering replacement side covers? Any help is helpful...http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/images/smilies/banghead.gif

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Welcome to the family! My first bit of advice is to keep plugen' away at getting that bike up and running, it is worth it!

For the "thingy sitting on the center of the valve cover between the carbs", a picture would help for figgurin' what it is. I'm having a hard time seeing it from your description.

The clutch actuator is actually on the easy side. Drain the oil and take off the left side of the motor and it's right there.

As far as body parts, unfortunately the '83-'84 500 is the red-headed stepchild of the XR world. Nobody makes 'em that I have found in many years of looking. Clark does make a tank. Best bet is to start haunting Ebay, they pop up from time to time.

I do have a factory manual if you need info.

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If you are talking about a large pin looking thing that faces the right side of the bike it is the tensioner for the cam chain guide. On BikeBandit.com look at the section for the cam chain and see if that looks like your mystery part. A pin holds it in from the other side. I use mrcycles.com for parts diagrams. I have the decompressor cable that goes from the kicker to the head if you need one. It will go on ebay next week. Good luck

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Okay- I guess it may be the timing chain tensioner but it doesn't look like the one on any parts diagram I found. Does the timing chain tensioner actuate thru the engine cover/valve cover? I see that the seal which this piece passes thru is shot. It looks easy to replace but what exactly holds this thing in place after it passes the seal is still a concern. seems like it would need a clip or something. Here are the photos i took of the thingy. Now I need to get the rest of this mechanism and figure out what it does.

<a  href=http://i594.photobucket.com/albums/tt30/rc95066/th_0321091342a.jpg' alt='th_0321091342a.jpg'>

th_0321091344a.jpg

th_0321091341a.jpg[/img]

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As far as body parts, unfortunately the '83-'84 500 is the red-headed stepchild of the XR world.

Them be fightin' words.

As for the XR they are really good bikes. I would get ahold of a shop manual and study it up. Get on Bike Bandit and Ebay or whatever and get an inventory of parts the bike might need. Then assess your wrench ability. If this thing needs alot of parts and you need to have a shop do most of the work, it will turn into a money pit real quick. But if you have the time, wrench ability and the extra $$$ these are pretty good bikes.

Good Luck

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That's a decompression lever-probably an auto decompression when you kickstart. Sorry-don't know what holds it in- maybe the valve lifter inside the cover.

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I thought the compression release actuator was only on the right side of the bike. This is between the two carbs in the center. If you have the tank off, stratal the bike and look straight down you cannot see it because it would be completely blocked by the frame/oil reservoir. However from the same position you can clearly see the compression release actuators on the right which clearly have plenty of infrastructure to support their operation. This doesn't have any effect on the bike if I mess with it while the bike is idling. I can't find a blow up of the engine cover/valve cover which includes this part nor any cable which goes to anything facing this direction. A close up photo of a 1983 XR500R engine cover on a complete bike would be great. I found some pictures but none which include any detail regarding this thing.

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Appears thats got an XL600 Tappet cover and maybe head as well on it..Go to the Xl diagrams and you will see it in all its glory..The entire engine may in fact be a 600 as they fit into the 500 frame with minor tinkering..Suppose check whats written on the side of the cylinder as regards to cc rating to confirm whether its got a 600 barrel on it as well..I can probably tell you what goes where if you need a hand as I have two or 3 XL engines in the garage..

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Them be fightin' words.

Hey, I have an '83 and love it. It's street legal and everything. But Ya have to admit, the aftermarket does not do much with the '83-'84 500's compared to the rest of the XR world. Not that I have found anyway. I looked for years for anybody that made body parts and got nothin'.

I would love to be proved wrong on this one!

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You are right. It appears to be an xl head cover on a XR 500 head (498cm3). This really helps me to know this because I needed the part number for the seal that shrouds this thing which turned out to be a (lifter, valve) or another decompression actuation devise. Looks like there is a pin which holds it in place and that was the issue. I am wondering if since the cover is different, will it still need to be operational for any reason? I mean the bike will start, I am thinking I only need the seal to keep it from bleeding oil while it's running. Am I wrong? Will XL side covers fit on this bike?

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Quote::: I am wondering if since the cover is different, will it still need to be operational for any reason? I mean the bike will start, I am thinking I only need the seal to keep it from bleeding oil while it's running.

Answer::: No it doesn't need to be operational..It needs to be put back on the bike but doesn't need to be hooked up cable wise,,I suppose if you wanted to the complete unit could be eliminated and a plug and seal put in its place but it's probably easier just to put it back and leave it as is. Use the other similar lever on the right hand top of the engine and hook that up to a hand operated decompression lever on the Handlebars to ease the starting procedure..

Q:: Will XL side covers fit on this bike?

A:: Which side covers are you talking about,,engine ones or the plastic sidecovers..Plastics won't fit, or should I say they will but not to the standard attachment holes so you would need to do a DIY attachment of them,,they are not and never will be a perfect fit though The metal covers and everything else are the same barring barrel etc.

Seeing as this things been sitting round for quite a while it'd pay you to do a couple of oil changes on it pretty smartly and also a change of oil filter and a check of the oil strainer thats in the front frame downtube..(The Strainer can be a bugger to get out as the bolt holding it in is normally seized up..be warned) Give her a run to warm it all up then dump the oil and put 2 litres of fresh stuff in..Do it a couple of times in say a few hundred miles to get rid of any crappy old stuff..They last a lot longer if the oils changed on a regular basis..

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