Jim's $400.00 1986 VF500F

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by Jim McCulloch, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Engine finally done! Got it installed today and hope to have it running this weekend! Finally got the workbench cleared after a month of waiting for parts. IMG_9589.JPG IMG_9598.JPG
     
  2. VFR4Lee

    VFR4Lee Member

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    I think I'd be scared half to death to push the button to start it when it is all together. :)

    Good luck. I'm sure you're not counting on luck, but it can't hurt. :drink:
     
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  3. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Ye
    Yeah, trying not to think about it too much! That is a pretty complicated engine. Lots to go wrong.
     
  4. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    CHARACTER BUILDING!

    So the engine is installed and actually fired up almost instantly. GOOD NEWS.
    However.......nothing has changed as far as compression. It is still terrible. BAD NEWS.

    I am afraid several of the valves are shot and it would be crazy expensive to do a valve job. I am throwing in the towel on this engine. At least I know I can put one of these V4's together and make it run. Unfortunately there is no economically feasible way to properly rebuild this engine I have found. I gave it a good shot but it was a bridge too far.

    I am negotiating with an EBAY seller on a VF500C Magna engine and will buy it as soon as I can find a good freight rate. In the mean time I am pushing forward with further restoration on the tank.

    I finally got it clean enough after the acid treatment to try the Red Kote. This tank was so bad I will be shocked if the Red Kote actually works!

    IMG_9607.JPG
    Inside of tank after pouring it in. I did (2) light coats as the directions recommended. It sealed up a few holes I did not even know I had. I have not tested the tank with gas yet but feel pretty confident this stuff works as advertised.

    IMG_9610.JPG
     
  5. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Lapped the valves to where they didn't seep fluid and re-ringed and NO change in compression?

    Something isn't right.

    Does it still smoke?
     
  6. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Yes lapped the valves but not confident they don't leak after the engine gets hot.

    Yes, it starts smoking after about 5 minutes. Compression is about 65 PSI

    Also, since this was a hail Mary repair, I skipped several steps in the rebuild. One these items was to see if the head or block was warped. It appears that something is warped as the head gasket joint area was leaking on the front bank of cylinders. I gave the front head bolts a tug and it almost completely stopped leaking. This is not good. I was going to get a leak down tester tomorrow and see exactly what is leaking.

    I did measure the cylinders and pistons and they were in spec according to the Helms manual. I don't think the short block is bad.

    Any ideas???
     
  7. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I know exactly how it feels to bust your ass on something...only to find out there are hidden issues. Personally, you've come this far, I would yank the heads and have them redone. For what you will pay to ship an engine you know nothing about, that would be a decent down payment on a valve job....and you'll know that engine inside and out.
     
  8. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Good advice, I am sure thinking that right now. I have no idea who can do a valve job here in Houston however. I don't want these to be a $600.00 set of heads when finished.

    Sure on the fence on this now. A VF500C Magna just showed up on Facebook Market place and the guy wants $650.00 for it. Says it has 7112 miles on it. I am going to check it out, I am sure I can get him down to $400. It's been sitting for a while but if it runs on starter fluid I may just buy it. The exhaust chrome looks good which is a good sign that the mileage is believable.
     
  9. chuntera

    chuntera New Member

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    Do you have a link for the C-clamp style valve spring compressor ?
     
  10. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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  11. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    UPDATE....I got my cylinder leak down tester in and put it to work. According to it my compression is "OK" at abut 30% leakage.

    Am I reading this right?

    I took off the oil filler cap and I can hear the air leaking. It is not very loud. I can't hear anything coming from the intake or exhaust. So my leak must be the piston rings??? This is a cold test as I can't run the bike to get it to temperature.
    IMG_9620.JPG
     
  12. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Oh and I ended up buying another bike....1985 VF500C Magna....I ended up paying $300.00 for it. I think it was in the 2017 flood here in Houston as the PO said it would only run for about 3 minutes then go dead. Sounded like an electrical issue. I am going to change the oil in it and do a quick clean on the carbs and see if I can get it running. Hopefully the engine is usable. Everything I have read on this forum states that the engine will fit the VF500F.

    IMG_9622.JPG

    IMG_9623.JPG
     
  13. chuntera

    chuntera New Member

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  14. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Crap, the Magna V30 engine I bought has only 70 PSI of compression. Can't seem to get a break here.
     
  15. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Unfortunately, there are no free lunches, and sometimes they even end up costing more than you expect. I would keep fighting the good fight on the engine you have put so much time into. I know, I sound like a broken record.
     
  16. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Thanks! I do appreciate the encouragement! I am moving forward!
     
  17. squirrelman#1

    squirrelman#1 New Member

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    great work. just wondering if you pushed rings about an inch down in the cylinders to check ring end gap ? it's a mandatory, not optional, check when new rings are fitted.
     
  18. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    I did but only on one cylinder. I miked the ID of all 4 cylinders and they were well within specifications. So I assumed (possibly wrongly) that I did not need to check the ring gap on the other three cylinders.

    It's kind of looking like I may need to take at least the heads back off. When I started it after the rebuild it smoked little then as it warmed up it smoked (Water vapor???) so bad I had to shut it down. I also had air bubbles coming out of the radiator neck. I am pretty sure the head gasket never sealed.

    Not sure if the heads are warped or the block is uneven. Like I said I skipped a lot of steps on the rebuild. These V4's demand absolute perfection on the rebuild and I did not do that.
     
  19. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    As painful as it may seem now, this will all be worth it in the end. At least that's what I tell myself, anyway. Time to disassemble the engine and go though the process of checking and confirming all of the clearances. You will feel good when this is over....it's kinda like beating your head against a brick wall.
     
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  20. squirrelman#1

    squirrelman#1 New Member

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    it's hard to understand why would-be riders want to fool with the unreliable, trouble-prone 500's when undervalued, bulletproof '86/'87 VFRs 700/750's are available fairly cheap.
     
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