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Can you teach a wrencher to build a motor?

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I have some calls to Barnumspro about doing a "once and for all" the top-end rebuild that my local shop has failed at on this bike on multiple occasions.

Is there other places that are recommended? (I'm in TN so I'd have to ship and deal with only by phone)

OR I have a replacement head and cylinder now...just need valves and piston. Can I be instructed on how to assemble this 680 in a reliable bulletproof fashion? I know, I know...like asking how to do, DIY home surgery.

I can assemble and turn wrenches and assemble parts with the best of them but I don't know the nuances of building a motor other than putting back together what I took apart?

Can I be told the little things or should I just break down and pay the fee the 3rd time to rebuild it again for good?

My local shop is the only motorcycle motor machine shop in town so even if I build it I'd have to either send out for machining or get him to do it.

My thoughts:

  • Fresh stock head...New SS Stock size valves ONLY with kibblewhite springs and retainers. (I don't know anything about measuring valve lash...or spring bind etc....?)
  • 11:1 piston (will need to get notched because I only have stage 2 cam)
  • Cylinder bored and plated to piston specs.

The rod in the bike is stamped "made Japan" but I don't see any other manufacture or model on it. (it was replaced when I ran low on oil first rebuild) because I want bulletproof should I get a good quality one?

My shop told me he couldn't balance the crank but that it didn't need it. If I do the work I'd like to have it balanced...where do I send it for that since my local shop doesn't do that? as well what parts...(counter balancer as well?)

Putting it all back together...I can clay test if told the proper procedure and proper clay to use and clearances to look for?

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There are a couple of places here in the Evansville, Indiana to look at, there is Big 4 Cycle, they have been around a looonnnggg time and there is this other place on Hwy 41, that looks like a pretty nice shop, I can't find their card right now, but I'll be passing that way later this afternoon. I've been in there, and it looks like a really clean well organized professional shop. Sorry to hear about your bad luck.

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all depends on the price to get a motor built for you and if you want to spend that money cuz your not sure or confident in yourself. ME im the kind that knows i can do anything but when doing the first time alone its kinda slow and experimental. but for you building a motor im sure you could get some good help from here, obviously its kinda scary sometimes when you have no clue what your doing and want to be able to have confidence in your abilities after your done. I do know this that top end rebuild on a motor thats out of the bike isnt alot. I just got a quote from XRs about doing a top end on the bike for a friend and they said $250, and im sure that if the engine is out and tore down and just needing build up its maybe $150 max, i think for someone that may not have all the tools or time to do that and doesnt mind paying for the satisfaction of having an experienced hand put it together then its a good investment and keeps you happy that its most likely done properly.

IF you need any help with XRs or Barnums there both here local to where im at, XRs is right across town and Barnums is just in a near town like 20 mins away.

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There are a couple of places here in the Evansville, Indiana to look at, there is Big 4 Cycle, they have been around a looonnnggg time and there is this other place on Hwy 41, that looks like a pretty nice shop, I can't find their card right now, but I'll be passing that way later this afternoon. I've been in there, and it looks like a really clean well organized professional shop. Sorry to hear about your bad luck.

Jtak77 I'm open to any place as long as they have XR650R experience. My local shop is highly recommended and a nice guy to work with...but this is probably the first XR650R rebuild. He's an old Enduro racer and his son is MX racer and get a ton of the crotch-rocket crowd but for some reason the piston kept hitting the valves on this one? so if it was just replacing stock parts it would haven simple but making my different aftermarket performance request work made it more difficult I guess? I know out west there are shops that see tons of these and race them harder than I'll ever ride...thats the reliability I want.

all depends on the price to get a motor built for you and if you want to spend that money cuz your not sure or confident in yourself. ME im the kind that knows i can do anything but when doing the first time alone its kinda slow and experimental. but for you building a motor im sure you could get some good help from here, obviously its kinda scary sometimes when you have no clue what your doing and want to be able to have confidence in your abilities after your done. I do know this that top end rebuild on a motor thats out of the bike isnt alot. I just got a quote from XRs about doing a top end on the bike for a friend and they said $250, and im sure that if the engine is out and tore down and just needing build up its maybe $150 max, i think for someone that may not have all the tools or time to do that and doesnt mind paying for the satisfaction of having an experienced hand put it together then its a good investment and keeps you happy that its most likely done properly.

IF you need any help with XRs or Barnums there both here local to where im at, XRs is right across town and Barnums is just in a near town like 20 mins away.

Thanks Denn10, I talked to Rob before I found a used head and he was going to try to source some and get back to me with an estimate but that was a couple of weeks ago and I found a head and haven't heard from him yet...I also will email him today and let him know that the head came in and see what sort of estimate he can give me.

When we spoke he asked about the rod in it and sounded un-easy that it said "Made in Japan" on it since the good aftermarket rods aren't??? but other than that it is JUST a top-end...unless I can get some advice on balancing the crank. Then I'll pull it and ship it off to have that done.

But again, I'll try to get in touch with Rob first because if we come to an agreeable price I'd rather him make the decisions that he will stand behind on his build.

XRsonly price you quoted sounds reasonable. I'll have to call them to pick their brains as well.

Anyone else have "how to build the XR650/680R motor" info?

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XRsonly price you quoted sounds reasonable. I'll have to call them to pick their brains as well.

Anyone else have "how to build the XR650/680R motor" info?

If you call XR's Only, make sure you ask to talk to one of the Technicans/Engine builders and not the guys at parts desk ... they're nice enough guys, but as far as "picking" their brains ... let's just say "the pickings is slim". :worthy:

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XRsonly price you quoted sounds reasonable. I'll have to call them to pick their brains as well.

yeah i was shocked to hear that you can roll the bike in and $250 you get to roll it back out complete, i didnt ask about motor only so would ask them that, im sure its right around 50 less

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that it said "Made in Japan" on it

That should be a Prox rod , I used them in XR600's before but I should go for the XR's only HD rod kit for the 650R.

Btw:There could be damage to the big end from when your bike locked the last time (the broken valves)...

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That should be a Prox rod , I used them in XR600's before but I should go for the XR's only HD rod kit for the 650R.

Btw:There could be damage to the big end from when your bike locked the last time (the broken valves)...

Damage from the sudden stop of the piston hitting the valves? it was a weisco piston that has holes through it now so I'd like to think it was the softer of the hardware and gave?

But if I end up doing the work I will check the play in the big-end especially if I get the crank out to be balanced.

Does Pro-x make descent rods? they are the cheaper of the rods I've seen? and would it keep it from being bulletproof? Those HD Rod kit looks nice and I wish my shop took my advice and put it in when I needed the rod from the lack of oil seizure the first rebuild.

I did Call XRsonly today and spoke with Chris. he said $125 to tear apart mine and give me an idea of cost and parts needed to rebuild (lower end and transmission inspection) and then $275 labor to reassemble. and then add parts cost in the middle. piston, valves, gaskets, Cylinder and head machining, (rod?).

Its looking like I may be tearing into this myself but I'll see what Rob has to say.

Any other recommendations on shops that KNOW and UNDERSTAND the XR650R?

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Any other recommendations on shops that KNOW and UNDERSTAND the XR650R?

As previously mentioned, you can't go wrong with Rob (and Denise) Barnum, they know the R inside and out. I've dealt with them a few times with Eddy carbs on my L and have been very satisfied with their customer service and technical knowledge. :worthy: The work done at XR's only would be a close 2nd though. :lol:

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Does Pro-x make descent rods? they are the cheaper of the rods I've seen? and would it keep it from being bulletproof?

There was a few years ago about a Pro-X rod failing and completely destroying a 650R engine. That is the only instance that I have heard of a Pro-X failing. The other thread was about a stock rod cutting loose.

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Someone on the yahoo group mentioned Precision Concepts for motor building? has anyone dealt with them and know about the quality and cost?

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