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87 ex500 in a basement

3222 Views 121 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  ducatiman
Hi, this is my rebuild thread. Bike was left in a field for a few years, then given to me as a wedding present. Intention is to build it up to be a ultra reliable, dialed in performance machine (within it's own limits) to be used at the track, and hopefully raced one day. Also will be nice to keep in the garage for the wife or visiting friends to be able to rip on.

let's see if this photo works to share:
New item by Chris Grannen



OK!
Here's a photo album of the progress:



Will update text tomorrow when back @ work.

Initial burning question:
Gen1 vs Gen2 flywheel. is it foolish to leave the gen1 flywheel on for reassembly? See photo album for reference image of current flywheel. some of the reddish coating is flaking on the magnets.

FLYWHEEL IMG
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The red spring adds 2HP.
馃槅
But no one knows unless you're upside down in a ditch. Which is the perfect explanation for the trouble that 2HP gets you into.
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鈥楪rats, bro
Excellent. Thanks for the tips鈥 I was born in 87 so I have a little affinity for this machine.
And as the years have accumulated behind me, I have found patience which has helped wrenching. Now I find myself more able to take a moment and only change one variable at a time in my search. I was going to swap the coils the night before while I also was tampering with fuel, but maturity told me to isolate the troubleshooting variables. Huzzah.

Similarly, with my track aspirations, I want to adapt the machine to its performance capabilities little by little, and hopefully feel the deficiencies before upgrading, to better appreciate what a swapped rear shock (for example) does.
I have found patience which has helped wrenching. Now I find myself more able to take a moment and only change one variable at a time in my search. I was going to swap the coils the night before while I also was tampering with fuel, but maturity told me to isolate the troubleshooting variables. Huzzah.
wise words indeed. yes that is the only way to troubleshoot effectively. too many go all out swapping stuff all at once and even if that cures the issue. there is no way to tell which bit worked. so next time they're lost for the reason they had the issue.
Unfortunately鈥 problem has been mitigated but not completely rectified.

it has died temporarily en route to work on the Chicago express lanes (in construction season no less!!!) but it comes back on after a minute of head scratching or so, with cranking and the usual go-to checks (open gas cap, key on off, choke, throttle WFO, shake side to side, etc etc). Once it comes back on, it鈥檚 time to get to work, not troubleshoot!!

last night on the way home from work (interstate, 4th gear, 5krpm) , it did it鈥檚 old 鈥渓oss of power鈥 partytrick. Seemed to lose only 30% of power instead of the previously felt 50%. The TACH went dead tho, down to zero. Checked the wiring diagram when I got home, and saw the the tach takes its signal from a Y鈥檇 off connection from the left coil鈥 could be onto something with that.

Gonna pull the instrument cluster harness plugs and see how it changes stuff.
Spoiler alert; unplugged instruments didn鈥檛 help for s h i t
Spoiler alert; unplugged instruments didn鈥檛 help for s h i t
I think you still might be onto something here, but I think you are maybe approaching it from maybe the wrong angle. I doubt the instruments are causing the power cut to the coils. I would suggest there is maybe an interruption in the power wire that is affecting both the cluster and the coil? The cluster cutting out might be a tell-tale sign that the coils are not getting consistent power and causing a misfire.

Now, intermittent power on wires is a whole ball of wax to solve.
BTW, whereabouts in Chicago do you live?

I'm in Lisle....
About a 1/4 mile off the Belmont/Kedzie exit on 90/94鈥 Albany park Irving park ish

this intermittent thing is really making me rack my brain. Haven鈥檛 had a symptom free ride yet, it feels, though I trust the bike to get me where I need to go.

today coming home from work, it felt almost certainly like fuel delivery problems. The bike would only stay on @ 1/4 throttle, gassing it would make it wheeze and want to die鈥 roll off too much and it would probably die. Sitting at the very small sweet spot, i was able to get to that belmont Kedzie exit, come to a stop, it died, and about 6 seconds later I hit the starter button and had full power once again for the last rip home. Pulled great! WTF!!!

???
Just opened the carbs, reinstalled the rail filter (in addition to the inline filter) and inspected the Jets and bowls. Bowls had a small amount of verrry fine rust dust in them, mains looked totally fine, pilots looked maybe a bit congested? Blew them out w air and just put it back together.

test ride鈥?
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Sounds like you have rust in you're tank.
Vehicle Sky Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood


rides finefor the first 5 miles or so. No issues.

get to the open lot, make some runs, intermittency returns. Sometimes I can blast across this lot no problems, sometimes it will lose it鈥檚 mustard and buck spastically while I hold the throttle 3/4 open, for as long as I hold it鈥. If I let the throttle off, it settles back to a steady idle.

Is an ignition advance system a suspect??
i already did some eBay searching for the 鈥淚C IGNITER鈥 box鈥 not easy to find, and that鈥檚 the only way to test it (swap)

hmmmm
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Sounds like you have rust in you're tank.
My gas tank is a mess鈥 some PO bonehead filled it with redkote and did an awful job. I鈥檝e done the Por-15 treatment on probably 8 different tanks, but haven鈥檛 had to strip redkote from a tank yet. Sounds like a chemical nightmare.


also. Looking @ the wiring diagram, the ignition circuitry is just

pickup coil -> Ic igniter box->Coils

it seems like one of those components is having heat related fatigue.
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i found out how to repair a CDI system. Wish me luck
that guy is a clown, but not only that a dangerous clown if anyone took him seriously.
Agreed, anyone who would take the clown seriously would probably not last long on two wheels anyways!!!

I found a CDI for about 80 bucks on eBay, hoping it could cure the issue.
If it does, and my CDI was the problem, I鈥檒l probably try my hand at opening and resoldering the contacts on mine.

Strike one in the CDI column when I read that that circuitry can be damaged by being connected to a bad ignition coil鈥.
$80 could get you a few service manuals. They have resistance values for checking cdis, coils, and all the other good stuff. I'd check the cdi you have in the bike before buying another, but worst case scenario having spares isn't the worst thing in the world.

It does sound sound like an electric problem. If I were doing diag I'd put a test light on the coil signal to see if it's getting voltage when it's acting up.

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Great info from @aneiwck .
Be advised, the above chart applies to the Gen2 CDI.

This information can only be found in a Factory Service Manual.
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Great info from @aneiwck .
Be advised, the above chart applies to the Gen2 CDI.

This information can only be found in a Factory Service Manual.
I should know better. I'll still try to be helpful.
This is from the base manual for the EN400/450. I checked this time and it's the same part for the first gen.

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