Speed's XJ Journal

Every XJ is a project whether big or small. Create a project page and tell us about the things you're doing to your XJ.
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Siper2
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by Siper2 » Tue May 31, 2016 3:04 pm

Nice! Gotta love those AH-HA! moments.

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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by Leroy » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:12 am

So I take it that those are the plastics we discussed in your FS thread? :(

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SpeedRacerOnline
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by SpeedRacerOnline » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:35 am

Yes, and no. I still have the same parts for sale so far; just red instead of black.
"I want to drive. I want to feel all of it: freedom, wind, curves, feedback, acceleration, unsteadiness, fear, joy... I don't want to ride. I want to drive."
- Speed's XJ Journal

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MichaelX
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by MichaelX » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:02 am

Your Ruby is now turned into an Opal :thumbsup:
1997 XJ600N Diversion
-(rusted inside)Marving Master 4 in 2 exhaust system
-DID X-Ring Chain 520 VX-Gold 110 Link
-Oxford Adventure Style Heated Grips

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radare
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by radare » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:17 pm

SpeedRacerOnline wrote:Image
That looks fantastic, Speed. Of course, you knew I'd say that, right?

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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by SpeedRacerOnline » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:16 pm

Well, I wasn't quite sure, but something told me you might approve. ;-)
"I want to drive. I want to feel all of it: freedom, wind, curves, feedback, acceleration, unsteadiness, fear, joy... I don't want to ride. I want to drive."
- Speed's XJ Journal

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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by SpeedRacerOnline » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:20 pm

Yesterday after work, I spent a few hours giving Ruby some love she's been needing for far too long. I just recently put on and adjusted a brand new Yamaha clutch cable after my Motion Pro cable failed in just a few months (the crimped end pulled right off the cable at the handle at a stop light). She got a pan full of fresh Valvoline and a new oil filter about a week or so ago. This time, I took the time to really get her ready for summer with some chain maintenance, inspections, and a spa day.

My chain was still in pretty decent shape, and I've always kept it nicely lubed with Chain Wax, but I've never really done a thorough cleaning on it. So, I grabbed a spray bottle of Simple Green (best thing I had handy) and a scrub brush and went at it. I didn't get it as eat-off-it spotless as Radare does, but I found it was a lot brighter shade of red under that gunk than I had remembered! There was quite a stream of ick running off it (don't worry; it runs into a drain with a skimming system that gets pumped out by Safety-Kleen occsionally in the shop at work).

I decided while I was going at it, that I'd take the front sprocket cover off and clean the front end, too. That's where I found bad news waiting. For those that don't know, I started a thread awhile back called "Experimental Parts". I like to take good care of my mistress Ruby, but with my low income and high expenses (read: "4 kids"), I just can't always afford the good stuff she deserves. So, I've become accustomed to doing thorough online research and reading reviews to find alternatives that are still dependable within my price range. One of those was a package deal on Amazon: Volar Motorsport O-Ring Chain and [JT] Sprocket Kit. All the specs checked out, and most of the reviews I read were positive, so I decided to give it a try. I've had it for a couple years now, and I've been happy with it, but you know the phrase "You get what you pay for"; there's always a trade-off with cheap parts. The chain has held up great, though I haven't really put very many miles on it. It hasn't had stretch problems; this is only the second time I've had to adjust it since installation about 4,000 miles ago. It still rolls smooth and quiet. It still looks good, and seems to be in good order. However, when I pulled off the front sprocket cover, I found a dirty little secret...


Yup. Those are chain o-rings. I was so bummed to find that! I was 95% confident they were from this chain too, because I remember cleaning the o-rings out from the old chain when I put this one on. Still, I went back to scrubbing the chain clean so I could be sure. It checked out. When the chain was clean enough to get a good look, I could see some links were in fact missing the o-rings. Phooey!


Well, it's not a disaster, at least. The chain is still perfectly usable. It had obviously stretched some over time and needed a bit of adjustment, but nothing out of the ordinary for the miles on it. With the o-rings failing, it won't last as long as it would have with them, but it will still work fine. The o-rings serve to help hold lubrication in and keep dirt out to help the chain last longer. I still clean it occasionally (more often from here out), and lube it regularly with Chain Wax, so it will always have lube on it. I'll just have to keep tabs on how much it stretches and watch for wear.

Moving on with maintenance, I made sure the K&N air filter was still looking good and nicely oiled. I checked the tires, decided they should be good for one more season, and set the air pressures where I like them; 29 psi front, 38 rear (I'm a hefty guy). I gave her a good all-over inspection to make sure everything was in good trustworthy condition. While the tank was off, I set it up on the bed of one of the shop trucks over a funnel, used a handheld pump to put some vacuum on the fuel tap, and let it dump out to reserve. I forgot to add Stabil in the fall, and the gas was getting a bit stale. She was still running, but I could hear the difference. Then, I got ready to giver her a bath.

That's when I found bad news number 2: somebody abused my poor Ruby! When I took the bra off the tank, I found a rather significant dent in the tank! I was sure I didn't recognize that dent, and I don't see it in any old pictures, so I was pretty ticked! Looking at the tank bra, I can see a small bit of damage in the leather right in that spot. The worst part is wondering who or what did it. I do live in an apartment complex, but Ruby has a whole parking spot all to herself. I always keep her in the middle of the spot, so there's more than enough room for the little doors of the 4-door sedan next door. Plus, it's on the top/side of the tank. Something had to come down on it to cause that dent. And whoever did it didn't have the decency to let me know. One of my kids hit a car in our lot with a rock last year. I tracked her down, made him apologize, and offered to fix it for her in the auto body shop at work. A couple weeks ago, one of the kids (again) let the truck door swing open and put a little scratch on someone's mirror at Burger King. Again, I went inside, apologized profusely, and offered to fix it for them. Somebody hits the top of the gas tank on my gorgeous Ruby hard enough to put a dent in the tank through a thick leather bra, and just walked away and left it that way. Grr! <sigh!> It could be worse I suppose, but I'm still not happy about it.


Anyway, I did my best to get over it, and spent the rest of my shop time pampering and consoling poor Ruby with a spa treatment and warm water massage. Her bra covers her new "beauty mark", so at least it's not noticable. Overall, she's looking pretty darn good!

I'm gonna be listing her for sale soon, but don't despair. I'm only selling her because: 1) We really need a second vehicle that I can use year-round in Michigan weather. 2) I need a truck I can use for my second/summer job as Director of Facilities & Technology at our church, Living Waters Chapel. 3) I really want a Suzuki Samurai again! I had one with a small lift years ago, and I miss it a ton. Such a fun and surprisingly capable little overgrown ATV! It's like a reliable even more capable Jeep for 1/10th of the price. 4) Most importantly, I still have another XJ in parts in my storage unit waiting for restoration. We're hoping to finally be able to buy a house this summer, and once I have a garage, I should finally be able to start making some progress on that project. Then, I'll have a Samurai and an XJ! Win-win! With the prices I've seen bikes selling for lately, I'm gonna start her off at $3,000 with the luggage or $2,500 without (I would prefer to keep the luggage, but it can be replaced if it makes the deal). I don't intend to lower the price much, either. I don't care how cheap some people sell them for. I know what she's actually worth, I love her too much to let her go to a home that doesn't see her value, and I'm not in any kind of hurry or desperate need to sell her out cheap. Plus, I'm offering color options: black on red, or red on red, as I still have all the red body panels I could easily swap back on. I even uploaded a short video of her running on YouTube to hopefully help with the sale (it's at the end).

Oh, and remember that semi-stale gas I dumped out? I took her down the road and treated her to a full tank of premium ala Seafoam, and she thanked my by purring like a contented little kitten.

Anyway, here's my beautiful little mistress all shined up and ready to impress:
(I plan to re-blacken the exhaust here in a week or so when I find the time.)



phpBB [video]
"I want to drive. I want to feel all of it: freedom, wind, curves, feedback, acceleration, unsteadiness, fear, joy... I don't want to ride. I want to drive."
- Speed's XJ Journal

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radare
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by radare » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:19 am

What a bummer on two-fronts. The tank ding AND the failed chain. Both of these items suck.

Crimson
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by Crimson » Mon May 15, 2017 4:45 am

Too bad about the chain... I've always had good luck with DID chains. They're prone to rusting if neglected even for very short periods, but the quality of construction is just great. There's a bike shop that does maintenance for BMW GS-riding types around here. I wanted them to change the chain on my old bike, so I found one of those chain and sprocket combos on Ebay, and they asked me the manufacturer of the chain. I told them the one I intended to purchase, and they refused the work! They have a set list of chain manufacturers whose chains they will fit. Bring them anything but a chain from that list, and they'll refuse to do it. They said this is because they have a great reputation (this is true, going by Facebook and Google reviews) and it would be ruined if they fitted these chains. So I ended up buying a more expensive DID and JT set, and fitting them myself (as much to learn how to do it as to get it done). There are a lot of dodgy chains out there, coming from places like China and Vietnam. I remember once I got a bike shop to fit an Ebay chain to my 125. That thing had about 10 or 11 hp. The chain stretched every 100 miles or so! On the other hand, every DID chain I've ever fitted has stretched to a certain point, and then just stopped stretching (usually after about 1000 miles).
A record of maintenance items carried out on my bike:
https://crimsonxj.wordpress.com/

Michaelphilip
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Re: Speed's XJ Journal

Post by Michaelphilip » Sun May 21, 2017 2:31 pm

This is exactly why i will never leave my bike at a shop when i lived in an appartmeny i actually took my bike and worked on it in the kitchen if you are upstairs that wouldnt work for obvious reasons but having worked as a auto tech ive seen the hack jobs some do and no way will i let that happen to my stuff
You can run but you will just die tired

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