Getting old 1974 CB450 up and running!
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  1. #1
    Member fillmarr's Avatar
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    Getting old 1974 CB450 up and running!

    Hi everyone — Here's the bike that I'm going to be working on over the summer. Goal is to get it running and slowly restore over the next year or so.

    I have re-installed a missing kick lever and determined that the engine is seized. The previous owner said he'd poured in some of that mystery oil stuff into the spark plugs 3 weeks ago, but it's still not moving easily and I don't want to push it. Side note, it moves freely for about the first 45 degrees then just stops as if it's not supposed to turn anymore. Interestingly, the engine VIN has a different number than the body, and so I suppose this will be the bike's 3rd coming-back-to-life event.

    I imagine removing/restoring/replacing the engine will have to be step one. I do plan on giving this a whack myself. I'm new to engine work, but I've been wrenching on old trucks/cars for about the last 7 years in a hobby night class and I'm very excited to have this project.

    Here are some pics. Much of the rust comes off with a wire brush fortunately. Also, I just cleaned out my "shop" last night. I'll be posting questions as I stumble into them.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: uploading pics now...



    Edit: anyone know what the corroded prod piece in the below picture is? I pulled it out of the gas tank...












    Edit: I will take advice on a replacement battery....



    My "shop":
    Last edited by fillmarr; 04-30-2017 at 09:55 AM.
    JimmieJag and jbc2408 like this.
    Boston, MA. Proud owner of a $700, 1974 Honda CB450 K7 that doesn't run. Looking for advice on getting running and looking sharp. No need for perfection, but trying to show the bike some respect!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillmarr View Post
    Hi everyone — Here's the bike that I'm going to be working on over the summer. Goa lis to get it running and slowly restore over the next year or so.

    I have re-installed a missing kick lever and determined that the engine is seized. The previous owner said he'd poured in some of that mystery oil stuff into the spark plugs 3 weeks ago, but it's still not moving easily and I don't want to push it. Side note, it moves freely for about the first 45 degrees then just stops as if it's not supposed to turn anymore. Interestingly, the engine VIN has a different number than the body, and so I suppose this will be the bike's 3rd coming-back-to-life event.

    I imagine removing/restoring/replacing the engine will have to be step one. I do plan on giving this a whack myself. I'm new to engine work, but I've been wrenching on old trucks/cars for about the last 7 years in a hobby night class, but I didn't have the benefit of doing too much of this stuff as a kids. Very excited to have this project.

    Here are some pics. Much of the rust comes off with a wire brush fortunately. Also, I just cleaned out my "shop" last night. I'll be posting questions as I stumble into them.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: uploading pics now...
    Don't worry or be misled by the engine number not matching the frame - I've never seen a Honda from that era have matching numbers, just didn't normally occur. The frame number is the VIN you'll likely find on the title. From your description of the amount the engine turns over, it sounds like it isn't stuck rings in the cylinders or it wouldn't move at all (though I guess there's a possibility that the piston with stuck rings was at BDC when it sat still and froze). Starting to sound more like valve train issues...
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  3. #3
    Member fillmarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientdad View Post
    Don't worry or be misled by the engine number not matching the frame - I've never seen a Honda from that era have matching numbers, just didn't normally occur. The frame number is the VIN you'll likely find on the title. From your description of the amount the engine turns over, it sounds like it isn't stuck rings in the cylinders or it wouldn't move at all (though I guess there's a possibility that the piston with stuck rings was at BDC when it sat still and froze). Starting to sound more like valve train issues...
    Interesting. Is it normal for the kickstart lever to feel like it has no significant resistance when turning? I can easily press it down with just my pinky finger. Note, it does spring back on its own.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Boston, MA. Proud owner of a $700, 1974 Honda CB450 K7 that doesn't run. Looking for advice on getting running and looking sharp. No need for perfection, but trying to show the bike some respect!

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  5. #4
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillmarr View Post
    Interesting. Is it normal for the kickstart lever to feel like it has no significant resistance when turning? I can easily press it down with just my pinky finger. Note, it does spring back on its own.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No, definitely not normal. This is starting to sound like more than just a stuck engine... the order of business is up to you, but I'd be pulling the engine down early in the process to find out where the majority of your money is going to go.
    540nova and fillmarr like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member JamesPal's Avatar
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    YO! another DOHC project! I love it. This bike reminds of where I started. If you stick with it you will be rewarded with one of the great motorcycles. The Honda CB450 was revolutionary at its introduction. It is the first production DOHC engine. It was so advanced the British banned them from racing in the 500CC class because they were too much like a racing bike. Before the other side of the pond blows up we allowed 750CC Harleys to run against the 500CC at Daytona in the 1960s.

    I really enjoy mine. I love pulling up at a large bike ride with a bunch of $30K Harleys and get all of the attention. GEt with it and let me know if you need anything. I will be watching!
    fillmarr likes this.
    Jim Palmer
    '85 GL1200I (Garage Find)
    '81 GL1100 STD (Project)
    CB450 K5 Done
    http://www.hondatwins.net/forums/1-p...s-cb450k5.html
    What I learned from Restoring a CB450 K5
    Watch Mike and Jim Take on Mt Erie Washington State
    "If everything seems under control you are not going fast enough" Mario Andretti...

  7. #6
    Supporting Member jd50i's Avatar
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    Go slow and search this forum. A lot of great information on it and very experienced members willing to help, some who actually worked on these bikes when new.
    fillmarr likes this.
    Jim

    1973 CB 450 K6
    1975 CB 500T
    1985 CB650SC Nighthawk
    1985 VF 1100S Sabre
    2012 Buddy 125 (wifes)

  8. #7
    Senior Member Zeek's Avatar
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    That looks as though it'll keep you amused for a while
    A lot better base than mine was though.

  9. #8
    Supporting Member jd50i's Avatar
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    read up on wood bleach (cheap but effective), evapo rust (good but about $20 a gallon), white vinegar (used for cleaning fuel tanks) and other derusters on the site. You'll be amazed at how well bad looking chrome turns out.
    fillmarr likes this.
    Jim

    1973 CB 450 K6
    1975 CB 500T
    1985 CB650SC Nighthawk
    1985 VF 1100S Sabre
    2012 Buddy 125 (wifes)

  10. #9
    Member brokencamchain's Avatar
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    Great old bike. I used to drag race a CL450 in 1970 for about a year. These bikes are quick if you set them up right. Replace the 15 tooth countershaft sprocket with a 13 tooth, shorty mufflers and rejet the carbs and they would really go.
    I agree with ther previous post, pull the motor and see if it is worth fixing before you spend a lot of money on this. If the motor is toast it may be rebuilt. If it can't be rebuilt you can find another motor.
    The vins may or may not match, I have a '73 that has matching numbers but it is a fluke I believe.

    I am rebuilding a '73 CL and I cleaned the tank using apple cider vinegar (soak it for days) then I put about 1/4 tank of aquarium gravel and shokk it for hours till the inside looked really clean. I then coated it with epoxy made for fuel tanks.
    Good luck!
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  11. #10
    Member fillmarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokencamchain View Post
    . Replace the 15 tooth countershaft sprocket with a 13 tooth, shorty mufflers and rejet the carbs and they would really go.
    Good luck!
    Really?! That's awesome.

    Thanks for the enthusiasm everyone. I got going on pulling the motor tonight. I got all the little screws on it loosened up too (per the strip down video ancientdad posted by common motors--awesome). Stopped at the carbs b/c I couldn't remember how to get at the inside bolts...gotta watch the video again.

    Also- was down to one last stuck screw on the inner circle of the crank box lid (right side, behind the brake, not sure what this is actually called). For a stripped screw that the impact driver isn't helping on, when the flat head screw driver and hammer at an angle trick doesn't work, what's next??

    Also thought I'd post this pic of all the acorns that came out of my muffler when removed. About 10 acorns per muffler, those chipmunk bastards!!Getting old 1974 CB450 up and running!-img_0294.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Boston, MA. Proud owner of a $700, 1974 Honda CB450 K7 that doesn't run. Looking for advice on getting running and looking sharp. No need for perfection, but trying to show the bike some respect!

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