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Old 01-29-2015, 12:50 PM   #1
redprimo OP
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help me with adding an oil cooler to a 1980 XL500s



I know how you guys like pictures so I thought I would start of with a pic of the bike I will be discussing: A freshly restored 1980 xl500s, albeit with a currently siezed engine.

I put 1,200 miles on the engine befiore siezing it a week ago. I lucked out and can salvage the bore with a light hone and I didn't do any damage to the cam journals. A new weisco 10.5:1 piston is on its way and with luck the bike will be running in another week.

I would rather not replace the piston in another 1,00 miles so I'm thinking of adding an oil cooler. I like the look and location of the oil cooler on the xr400r but I'm worried I won't have enough room to keep the stock headlight with with stock mounting bracket, which is also the mounting point for the speedo. Can someone help me out with some measurements? I've seen the same cooler mounted on an 82 xr500 so I know it will fit on my frame. I'm not sure if it will fit between my forks so I could really use some measurements for the height and width. If I have to move the headlight it would be nice to know before I get started.

I plan on taping into the right side cover near the front, at the end of the passage that feeds the counter balancer. I'll dump the return on the top of the cam where the stock oil passage lets out in the top end. My only question about this part of the mod is it seems like I should restrict the inlet so I don't rob the rest of the engine of oil pressure. Any thoughts on what size that restriction should be?

If anyone has a better/different idea for cooling this puppy I'm all ears.

redprimo screwed with this post 01-29-2015 at 01:04 PM
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
lesman
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I owned a brand new 1980. I paid $1950 drive out. Why is your bike seizing. I could not get mine to seize in the Texas summer heat. Are you having restricted oil flow?
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:20 PM   #3
redprimo OP
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I owned a brand new 1980. I paid $1950 drive out. Why is your bike seizing. I could not get mine to seize in the Texas summer heat. Are you having restricted oil flow?
I'm running 10.5:1 compression vs the stock 8:1 and a 38mm Mikuni. Plus I have to run crap gas vs that non alcohol leaded fuel that was around when you drove yours out the dealer show room. That I'm sure will push up the engine temp a few degrees. I don't think I helped things any when I failed to properly torque the head and lost one of the head nuts and had a second one at finger tight. Not sure if I was sucking air but I know I was loosing oil.

I've heard a lot of people that had these when they were new loved them, but none seem to still be into them.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:33 PM   #4
Beezer
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sorry, I'm no help with the cooler installation.

were the ring gaps too tight? for sure I would check the head & jug for warp before it goes back together

maybe richen the main jet

if you can lay hands on 100LL Avgas, mix a little of that in with every tank.... plenty TEL in that stuff
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:34 PM   #5
Tytan
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I have a 1982 FT500 Ascot that I just dug out of the shed and plan on fixing it up and riding it this summer. I bought it new in 1982 and it has been in the family ever since.

Where am I going with this he says ? Back in the day I added a bunch of White Brothers go fast stuff and a Lockhart oil cooler was one of the items, in the shop manual I have with the bike I kept the original installation instructions for all the parts. The instructions say it will fit XR/Xl 500 (79-82) and FT 500 (82-84). It shows where to tap the case and which internal oil passage to block.

You can see the oil lines and cooler in this pic.

Send me a PM with an email address and I will scan and send you the instructions.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:30 PM   #6
redprimo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
sorry, I'm no help with the cooler installation.

were the ring gaps too tight? for sure I would check the head & jug for warp before it goes back together

maybe richen the main jet

if you can lay hands on 100LL Avgas, mix a little of that in with every tank.... plenty TEL in that stuff
I did check the end gap on the rings before installing them, but I didn't check the piston to cylinder clearance. I used a very good machine shop and they had lapped the top of the cylinder prior to boring.

Weisco specs something like 0.0015" clearance on the piston which is likely a bit too tight and may have contributed some.

I don't believe I was ruining too lean, but I can afford to give up a bit of power and run a bit fatter until I get out all assorted out.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:42 PM   #7
redprimo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tytan View Post
I have a 1982 FT500 Ascot that I just dug out of the shed and plan on fixing it up and riding it this summer. I bought it new in 1982 and it has been in the family ever since.

Where am I going with this he says ? Back in the day I added a bunch of White Brothers go fast stuff and a Lockhart oil cooler was one of the items, in the shop manual I have with the bike I kept the original installation instructions for all the parts. The instructions say it will fit XR/Xl 500 (79-82) and FT 500 (82-84). It shows where to tap the case and which internal oil passage to block.

You can see the oil lines and cooler in this pic.

Send me a PM with an email address and I will scan and send you the instructions.
PM. sent. That's a sweet looking Ascot.

That's a sweet looking Ascot. I have
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:57 AM   #8
plugeye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
maybe richen the main jet
yeah, get plenty of fuel in there to cool it off.
an oil cooler is a poor band-aid for the real problem.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:36 AM   #9
sprouty115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redprimo View Post
...I've heard a lot of people that had these when they were new loved them, but none seem to still be into them.
I had one in high school. I disliked it within 30 minutes of driving it off the dealer's lot. It was slower, heavier, handled worse and was, generally speaking, less fun in every way than my friend's IT175. By the end of the first week I down-right hated it. It was however dead-reliable. I ended up having it for about a year and eventually I begrudgingly started to realize it wasn’t built for speed but I could trust it. In fact even after it very nearly drowned me (when I fell off a beaver dam we were using to cross a river) it started up on the third kick. If it does what you want and you like it, it's a great, reliable bike.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:57 AM   #10
H96669
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My friend rebuilt one of them for a customer last year. Yep new oversize piston.

From what I could see after some research the oil pump can be very hard to prime after a rebuilt. Some even seized their engines in less than a week....more like the first ride.

Yep I was the one pushing that bike around the yard in gear to prime the pump.With the spark plug out of course....!

Adopt the XL500 mantra as the owner should have....Check oil.....Check oil....every day and maybe even every tank of gas.
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